Tuesday, December 18th, 2018



TAT Group enters into exclusive negotiations with Sagard, BPI France and Towerbrook funds for acquisition of Sabena technics’ capital

TAT Group has entered into exclusive negotiations with the investment companies Sagard, Bpifrance and TowerBrook in order to sell them its majority interest in its subsidiary Sabena technics, one of the European leaders in the field of aircraft maintenance and modification.

This project was presented on December 17, 2018 to all Sabena technics Group’ s works councils. The sale should be finalized during the second quarter of 2019, subject to the completion of this procedure and the approval of the supervisory authorities.

This shareholder evolution will be an important step for Sabena technics’ development by reinforcing its growth opportunities while accompanying it in the successful implementation of its strategic plan which aims at a turnover of €600 million in 2021. This development will also give the Group significant resources to expand its offer through external growth, with the constant goal of better serving its customers using skills or locations that complement its own.

TAT Group will remain a minority shareholder and its current chairman, Rodolphe Marchais, will take over the presidency of Sabena technics’ supervisory board. Philippe Rochet will become the executive CEO and shareholder of the Group alongside the group’s senior executives, Jean Marc Schaefer, Gilles Foultier, Philippe Delisle and Fabrice Dumas, who are all continuing in their positions.


Boeing and Embraer agree terms for strategic partnership

American plane giant Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer have agreed the terms of the joint venture which will create a strategic partnership to target growth in the global aerospace market. The partnership, in which Boeing will have an 80% stake and Embraer 20%, will comprise the current commercial aircraft and services operations, which will be hived off from Embraer S.A., the Brazilian aerospace conglomerate which produces commercial, military, executive and agricultural aircraft, and provides aeronautical services. The joint-venture will still be subject to Brazilian government approval, after which transaction documents will be executed, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

The cost of Boeing’s 80% share is US$4.2 billion. The partnership is expected to be neutral to Boeing's earnings per share in 2020 and accretive thereafter. Estimated annual pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $150 million are anticipated by the third year of operations.

The new company will be headed by Brazilian-based management, with Boeing having operational and management control, both reporting directly to Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"Boeing and Embraer know each other well through more than two decades of collaboration, and the respect we have for each other and the value we see in this partnership has only increased since we announced our joint efforts earlier this year," said Dennis Muilenburg.

"We are confident that this partnership will deliver great value to Brazil and the Brazilian aerospace industry as a whole. This alliance will strengthen both companies in the global market and is aligned with our long-term sustainable growth strategy," said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer president and chief executive officer.

The companies have also agreed to the terms of another joint venture to promote and develop new markets for the multi-mission medium airlift KC-390 where Embraer will own a 51% stake and Boeing the remaining 49%.

AeroVision International signs ERJ parts support agreement with Eastern Airways

AeroVision International has signed a long-term component spares and exchange agreement with UK-based Eastern Airways.

The parts support agreement provides Eastern Airways with access to an extensive inventory of components used to support their fleet of ERJ aircraft. Parts will be forward-positioned at Eastern’s maintenance facilities throughout the UK and France and Bristow Helicopters maintenance facility in Nigeria, supplied from AeroVision’s distribution center located at London Heathrow Airport and the main Logistics Center located in Muskegon, Michigan.

“AeroVision’s team is focused on developing a support model tailored to our organisation. This, along with their large ERJ inventory positioned regionally, were key factors in our decision to select AeroVision as our partner,” said Tony Burgess, Managing Director of Eastern Airways. “It was important for us to choose a partner who could align with our specific business needs, and willing to adapt as our business grows. Supported in-region by AeroVision’s Regional Director, Gary Jones, gives us the attention and focus that’s required.”

Component Control

Airbus and Hungary sign long-term industrial partnership

Airbus Helicopters and Hungary have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to create an industrial cooperation for long-term aviation projects that will initially focus on the production of certain high precision mechanical parts for helicopter dynamic systems.

This project is part of the 'Zrinyi 2026' armed forces development program supporting Hungary’s national security goals of developing independent defence capabilities.

The agreement intends to create a sustainable and integrated plant within Airbus. The green field production unit will start by manufacturing mechanical parts that will then be delivered to the major component assembly centre for dynamic parts to be fitted on to the various helicopters of the Airbus range that are operated in more than 150 countries worldwide. The agreement will also rely on a local supply chain being qualified to perform certain tasks such as surface treatment.

Hungary has been a long-standing supporter of Airbus’ civil and military products, which found a home in a wide range of defense and civil applications.

Air Italy to start direct flights to Toronto, Canada in 2019

Air Italy has released that from May 6, 2019 it will start a direct flight to the Canadian city of Toronto, the eighth new international destination of the company served by its hub in Milan Malpensa.

The new service between Milan Malpensa and Toronto, the capital city of the province of Ontario, represents Air Italy's first route to Canada and will be operated four times a week.

Operated by an Airbus A330-200 from Air Italy, with 24 seats in Business Class and 228 seats in Economy Class, the Milan-Toronto route is the third new route scheduled for 2019 after the announcement of new flights from Milan Malpensa to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively scheduled for April 3 and 11.


Etihad Cargo expands global network with launch of services to Barcelona

With the launch of Etihad Airways' passenger services to Barcelona, Etihad Cargo has expanded its cargo capacity into Spain, providing freight forwarders and cargo customers greater access to its global network along key trade routes connecting Europe to the Middle East, Africa and Asia over its Abu Dhabi hub.

Etihad has launched its first scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Barcelona. Combined with its daily Madrid service, launched in 2015, these operations now offer more than 23,000 tons per year of cargo capacity for the Spanish market. In addition, trucking services from gateways across Europe further compliment the network, offering customers greater reach and faster delivery times.

Emirates to operate A380 to Glasgow

Emirates will introduce a daily A380 service for a temporary period between Glasgow and Dubai from April 16, 2019. It will be the first time the popular double decker aircraft will operate on a scheduled basis to Scotland.

The larger capacity A380 will replace Emirates’ current twice daily Boeing 777 service between Glasgow and Dubai from April 16 until May 31, 2019, during which time Dubai Airports plan to close Dubai International’s (DXB) southern runway for upgrade works, and the single runway operations require airlines to reduce and adjust their operating schedules. The deployment of the A380 is to minimise the reduction of Emirates’ capacity from Glasgow to Dubai and beyond during this period.

From June 1, until September 30, the double daily service will be reinstated on the route, with the A380 operating on the first flight of the day, and a Boeing 777 on the second, increasing capacity on the route during this period to meet seasonal summer demand.

Thereafter, the service will revert back to a twice daily Boeing 777 operation. Launched in October this year, Emirates also offers a daily service to Edinburgh, bringing to three the number of daily flights between Scotland and Dubai.


Cathay Pacific Group releases combined traffic figures for November 2018

Cathay Pacific Group has released combined Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon traffic figures for November 2018 that show an increase in the number of passengers carried and a slight drop in cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month in 2017.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 2,883,056 passengers last month, an increase of 1.4% compared to November 2017. The passenger load factor decreased 0.3 points to 83.3%, while capacity increased by 4.5%. In the first eleven months of 2018, the number of passengers carried grew by 1.9% while capacity increased by 3.3%.

The two airlines carried 185,135 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an decrease of 1.3% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 1.5 points to 70.1%. Capacity increased by 0.9% while cargo and mail revenue freight tonne kilometres (RFTKs) decreased by 1.1%. In the first eleven months of 2018, the tonnage rose by 5.7% against a 2.9% increase in capacity and a 5.3% increase in RFTKs.

Star Alliance Chief Executive Board meeting hosted by Avianca in Bogota

Star Alliance member carrier Avianca has hosted the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board meeting (CEB) in the Colombian capital using the occasion also to begin celebrating its 100th anniversary year, underlining its position as the oldest airline in the Americas and the second oldest airline in the world.

During the meeting, the CEB endorsed the business plan for 2019 which was presented by Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh. This foresees the continuation of the Alliance’s strategic shift from membership growth to improving the seamless travel experience, with a special focus on those customers who fly on multi-carrier journeys.

The CEB noted the progress in the development of digital capabilities using the Digital Services Platform (DSP) including advanced seat selection which was enabled earlier in the year for United customers to select seats on Singapore Airlines flights booked via United’s online sales channels. This functionality is set to be progressively expanded to other Star Alliance member carriers.

As part of its digitalisation strategy Star Alliance has now also implemented “online redemption”. This new functionality permits customers to see the availability for mileage redemption tickets online via their respective Frequent Flyer Programme (FFP) website for flights operated by Star Alliance member carriers. Up to now, this was very often only possible for flights operated by the same airline as the FFP.

Complementing the digital developments, Star Alliance continues to cooperate with airports to ensure the best possible Alliance experience can be delivered on the ground. For 2019, Asia will remain as the one of the focus areas for airport projects, as airport expansions continue. Additional space and capacity at Beijing’s Capital Airport will enable the Alliance to grow and improve the travel experience. Along the same lines, with the expansion and redevelopment at Hong Kong and Seoul – Incheon, Star Alliance customers using these airports will also notice enhancements to their journeys.

Following the successful expansion of the Star Alliance Connection Service in 2018, the board approved adding passenger assistance to the existing baggage expedite at London – Heathrow and Newark, as well as the introduction to this service at Brussels in 2019.

Additional investments in the Alliance’s lounge product will also be made. Following the opening of a Star Alliance Lounge in Rome, a further new lounge will be available in Amsterdam by early March 2019, with the existing properties in Paris – Charles de Gaulle and Nagoya slated for refurbishments. Further locations are also under consideration.

Bombardier MRO

AAR and City Colleges of Chicago announce new Aviation Futures Training Center

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined City Colleges of Chicago and AAR to announce the new Aviation Futures Training Center to train students in aviation sheet metalworking. AAR, a global leader in aviation aftermarket services, will partner with Olive-Harvey College to prepare students for in-demand jobs in aviation, heavy manufacturing, boating, automotive repair, and HVAC.

The Center will launch in March 2019 as an extension of Olive-Harvey College’s Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center. The aviation sheet metalworking course prepares graduates for the CertTEC Certification with 300 hours of instruction and hands-on training with sheet metal from airplane fuselages.

The Center will also expand its program offering to include composite repair. Students will receive training on how to work with this lighter and stronger material, which is increasingly used in industries such as aerospace, transportation, construction and more.

Airbus appoints Philippe Mhun Chief Programmes and Services Officer

Airbus has appointed Philippe Mhun as Chief Programmes and Services Officer for Airbus Commercial Aircraft, effective January 1, 2019. Mhun, currently Head of Customer Services at Airbus, will succeed EVP Head of Programmes Didier Evrard, who retires around the turn of the year after 41 years associated with Airbus, 20 of those in top management positions.

Philippe Mhun will report to Guillaume Faury, who is due to succeed Tom Enders as Airbus CEO following the Airbus Annual General Meeting on April 10, 2019. Mhun will also become a Member of the Airbus Executive Committee.


Wizz Air to further expand Varna base

Wizz Air has announced further capacity expansion to its Varna network, allocating an additional Airbus A320 aircraft, adding 6 new routes and updating the frequencies of some of the airline’s existing routes.

The new Airbus A320 will be joining Wizz Air's Varna fleet in July 2019 and will create 35 additional direct local jobs with the airline. With the arrival of the new aircraft in Varna Wizz Air's Bulgarian fleet will grow to a total of 9 aircraft, with 2 based in Varna and 7 in Sofia. The fleet growth will increase Wizz Air's capacity in Bulgaria further by 14% year on year, manifesting in both new routes and frequency updates.

Starting in July 2019, the newest Wizz Air routes will connect Varna with three exciting German cities. The beautiful port town of Hamburg, Cologne the gothic gem and the remarkable cultural hub Berlin are all among the airline’s newest direct routes from Varna. The romantic vibes of Paris, the exciting Mersey-side in Liverpool and the historical harbors and the colorful creativity in Copenhagen are now available for passengers travelling from Varna at Wizz Air’s genuinely low fares.


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