Friday, November 16th, 2018



Sale of U.K.’s Flybe sparks interest from multiple directions

After issuing a profits warning, citing fuel costs, weakening demand and currency woes as major contributors, Exeter-based Flybe has put itself up for sale, though a merger with another airline may not be out of the question.

In March this year Dublin-based Stobart Air withdrew its bid for the regional carrier after months of negotiations, though it continued with its franchise agreement with Flybe. Stobart Air has not excluded the possibility of making a further bid – aviation sources have indicated that it would be a sensible strategic move by Stobart Air as it looks to expand operations from London Southend Airport.

Ryanair will also be a likely contender along with easyJet and IAG-owned British Airways. Whether these three carriers would be interested in acquiring Flybe as a whole remains to be seen. A potential scenario would see Ryanair picking up predominantly local airport slots as it is keen to expand its services from airports such as Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, but also Schiphol in the Netherlands, where Flybe holds approximately 33%, 19%, 18% and 2% of landing slots, respectively. The Irish carrier has been busy recently with its acquisition of a major portion of Laudamotion. British Airways would likely be more interested in Flybe’s London Heathrow slots.

easyJet cannot be excluded as it continues to expand and challenge Ryanair’ stronghold on the low-cost European market, having recently acquired parts of the now defunct Air Berlin.


BelugaXL arrives at Airbus’ Bremen site

Touching down in Bremen, Germany for the first time on November 14, the BelugaXL will remain at this major Airbus site while performing loading and unloading tests as part of the airlifter’s validation and certification process.

As the first of five upsized transporters to carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around Europe to the company’s final assembly lines in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany, the BelugaXL is a highly modified version of the Airbus A330 freighter variant.

The BelugaXL’s flight test campaign was initiated with the no.1 aircraft’s maiden flight on July 19, 2018 from Airbus’ Toulouse, France headquarters operation. Once all tests are completed and certification is granted, BelugaXLs will begin regular operations starting late next year. The five airlifters will gradually replace a similar number of Beluga STs, which are derived from the smaller A330-600 jetliner version and have been in service since 1995.

Bremen is well-prepared to welcome the BelugaXL. The unloading facility for Belugas at this Airbus industrial site was adapted to the new aircraft’s size, and the loading hangar has been equipped with a new rolling shutter door that completely encloses the front fuselage during the loading process.

On its way to Bremen, the BelugaXL performed a fly-past of the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany, which also will become regular stopover in the airlifter’s transportation rotations. Additionally, it overflew Airbus’ plant in the German city of Stade.

The no. 1 BelugaXL is easily recognizable by its smiling “face,” which reinforces the aircraft’s resemblance to a Beluga whale.

With a length of 63 metres, the BelugaXL is approximately seven metres longer than its Beluga ST predecessor and incorporates a highly-enlarged cargo bay structure and modified rear and tail section. The BelugaXL fleet will increase Airbus’ air transport capacity for the company’s industrial network by about 30%.

SR Technics

GA Telesis appoints Eric Dollman, Vice President of Leveraged Finance Group

GA Telesis (GAT) has appointed Eric Dollman as Vice President of its Leveraged Finance Group.

Eric Dollman brings nearly 20 years of experience in the transportation finance and leasing sector to GAT. Dollman joins GA Telesis from Amur Capital Management, where he led the fixed and rotary-wing aircraft business for over four years. His previous positions include American Express Co., where he led the global risk and strategy team responsible for American Express’ portfolio of airline partners for over three years and HSH Nordbank AG, where he served as Senior Vice President – Aviation Finance Americas, originating aircraft secured loans for over six years.

Joining the GA Telesis Leveraged Finance Group, Dollman will be responsible for transaction origination, loan execution and risk management.

GKN Aerospace steps into widebody MRO market

GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Techniek business has successfully completed its first A330 major maintenance project. The aircraft was delivered to Air Europa at the beginning of November, marking another milestone in the company’s long history as an aircraft MRO.

Air Europa (Spain) has previously awarded heavy maintenance projects for its 737 narrowbody fleet to GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Techniek business. Last year the company performed a cabin modification package on another A330 succesfully. The required training, tooling and equipment for wide body maintenance have now all been obtained. Approvals and further commitments are secured to add this first widebody aircraft type to the portfolio.


Avolon places 15 Airbus A320neo aircraft with Vistara

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, has announced the placement of fifteen Airbus A320neo aircraft with Vistara, one of India’s leading full-service carriers and a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.

Delivery of the aircraft will commence in June 2019 and continue up to August 2021. These are the first aircraft Avolon will have on lease to Vistara.

SaudiGulf Airlines to add ten Airbus A320neo family aircraft

Al-Qahtani Aviation, owner of SaudiGulf Airlines, has signed an agreement to purchase ten A320neo family aircraft. The commitment was announced today at the Bahrain International Airshow, which runs until the 16th November 2018.

SaudiGulf Airlines currently operates a fleet of six A320 aircraft from its hub in Dammam. The carrier commenced operations in 2016 serving domestic destinations across the Kingdom prior to expanding to international routes. In October, 2018 the airline launched its second international destination with flights to four destinations in Pakistan.

Sheikh Tariq Abdulhadi Al Qahtani, Chairman of Al-Qahtani Aviation and SaudiGulf Airlines, said: “As a premium service boutique airline we are excited to be adding the A320neo to our fleet. This expansion is in keeping with our intention to see the Saudi aviation sector continue to develop and grow in support of the Saudi Vision 2030.”

AJW Group

Go2Sky phases out last Boeing 737-400 Classic aircraft

Go2Sky of Slovakia has sold its remaining Boeing 737-400 aircraft, MSN 28882, to Air Vega Bulgaria. The aircraft was manufactured in 1997 and was previously operated by CSA Czech Airlines and Sky Airlines of Turkey.

The sale was arranged by ISIS Aviation Services of Norwich, England acting as sole agent on behalf of Go2Sky. This brings an end to Go2Sky's Boeing 737-400 operations after more than five successful years since its inception with this aircraft type back in 2013. Go2Sky's focus will now be on an all Boeing 737-800NG fleet and the airline is in advanced discussions to source its fourth aircraft of the type.

The aircraft was delivered to the buyer in Belgrade on November 9, 2018, for onward lease to Cargo Air of Bulgaria. Cargo Air will initially utilise the aircraft on passenger ACMI-contracts with a view to future freighter conversion.

Falko establishes leasing business in China

Triangle (Holdings) has released that through Falko Regional Aircraft Limited, it has established an aviation leasing company – Falko (Tianjin) Leasing Co. (Falko Tianjin) – in the Dongjiang Free Trade Port (DFTP) in Tianjin, China. This makes Falko Regional Aircraft Limited the first foreign regional aircraft lessor to set up a leasing business in the DFTP.

With this new entity in the DFTP, Falko Tianjin will be in the position to offer Chinese airlines more choice of regional aircraft leasing solutions.

Jeremy Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of Falko Regional Aircraft Limited said: “We are extremely pleased to be the first foreign regional aircraft lessor to establish a leasing business in the DFTP zone in Tianjin. With Falko Tianjin we will be able to offer our specialist regional aircraft leasing capabilities to help the regional aircraft market to grow, which is in line with the Chinese government’s goal to improve regional air-connectivity throughout China.”

TP Aerospace

ATR estimates market of 100 regional turboprop aircraft for Japan up to 2025

ATR has presented a product and market update in Tokyo at the occasion of the visit of its new CEO, Stefano Bortoli. Considering market and social-economic trends and developments, ATR estimates a need for around 100 turboprop aircraft up till 2025 to upgrade the existing fleet and especially open up new routes to respond to the need of the continuous tourism development within Japan as well as the further expansion of regional connections.

Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR said: “Japan values the principles of state-of-the-art technology, efficiency and environmental protection. With its low operating costs, a low environmental footprint and a modern and passenger friendly cabin the ATR -600 series perfectly fit with the needs and expectations of the sophisticated Japanese market. The ATR is now well established in the Japanese regional aviation and we see an important growth potential for next decade. Connecting smaller, isolated communities, increased local tourism and flights to world heritage sites as well as the celebration of two major worldwide sports events will boost regional travel in Japan and ATR is the ideal tool for offering country-wide connectivity.”

ATR has delivered its 1500th aircraft, an ATR 72-600 to Japan Air Commuter (JAC) last October. The first ATR delivered to Japan was an ATR 42-600 to Amakusa Airlines in 2015.

DAE signs new US$720 million revolving credit facility

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has signed a new unsecured US$720 million revolving credit facility with a group of nine international banks based in US, Europe and Asia. The credit facility has a maturity of five years.

Firoz Tarapore, Chief Executive Officer of DAE commented: “This new revolving credit facility will significantly boost our liquidity profile and accord us enhanced flexibility to act expeditiously on market opportunities to acquire assets and grow our business. In October, DAE received its first investment grade rating of BBB+ and this strengthening of our liquidity profile and overall financial position is consistent with our publicly stated intent of achieving investment grade ratings from all major credit rating agencies.”


Sky Aerospace Engineering completes test flight of first Ka-Band Wi-Fi installation for Spirit Airlines’ Airbus fleet

Orlando, Florida-based MRO, Sky Aerospace Engineering (SAE) has completed the successful aircraft test flight after the modification of the first Spirit Airlines’ A320 family series aircraft. SAE has completed the installation of the first Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) system fitted on A320 family aircraft; the system provides high-speed web browsing and streaming.

In August 2018 Sky Aerospace Engineering entered into an agreement with Spirit Airlines, headquartered in Miramar, Florida USA. The agreement provides maintenance checks, repair and modifications of Spirit’s fleet of Airbus 319, 320 and 321 that are being accomplished at SAE’s state-of-the-art hangar facility located in Orlando International Airport (MCO), Orlando, Florida, USA.

SAE also accomplished the modification and installation of the first of its kind within the A320 aircraft family – the Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) system, which will become mandatory by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on January 1, 2020.


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Aircraft Economic Life Summit 2018
November 20, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Inventory Optimization & Supply Chain Management Seminar
February 19 - 20, 2019 – Palma de Majorca, Spain

IATP Conference 2019
March 9 - 13, 2019 – Athens, Greece

Saudi International Airshow 2019
March 12 - 14, 2019 – Thumamah Airport, Riyadh, KSA
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