Thursday, January 17th, 2019


Competition heightens as Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways completes first commercial flight

Vietnam’s startup airline Bamboo Airways has completed a long overdue maiden commercial flight which will now see competition in South-east Asia ramp up. The flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi Noi Bat International Airport carried 5 crew and 180 passengers after securing an Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam earlier this month. The airline’s launch flight has been twice postponed.

Bamboo Airways is the fifth Vietnamese carrier to enter into service behind Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co. It is owned by Vietnamese construction company FLC and is based at Quy Nhon’s Phu Cat airport. The carrier is currently leasing two aircraft, but has orders with Boeing and Airbus for 20 787-9s and 23 A321neos, respectively. The carrier will provide domestic flights to tourist destinations where FLC has invested heavily, including Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Dong Hoi, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Ho Chi Minh
City and Phu Quoc.

Component Control

United Airlines places orders for 737 MAX and 777

Boeing and United Airlines have confirmed that the carrier ordered 24 additional 737 MAX jets and four more 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes last year. The US$4.5 billion order, according to list prices, was booked as unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website.

The Chicago-based airline has steadily placed new orders for the two Boeing jets to serve its large domestic and international network. United Airlines is among the more than 100 customers who have made the 737 MAX the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, receiving more than 5,000 orders since the program’s launch.

Liebherr-Aerospace starts serial production of 3D printed components

Liebherr-Aerospace has begun printing 3D components for Airbus. Following approval from the European aircraft manufacturer, first equipment fit for flight that Liebherr will be supplying will be nose landing gear brackets for the Airbus A350 XWB.

Liebherr has collaborated intensively with Airbus over the past few years and development of additive manufacturing is advancing at a fast pace. These brackets will be the first ever introduced Airbus systems parts to be qualified for printed titanium.

In the fall of 2017, Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH, Liebherr’s centre of excellence for flight control systems, landing gears, gears and gearboxes, reached a key milestone: authorization by
the German Federal Aviation Office (Luftfahrtbundesamt, LBA) to produce components using additive manufacturing. Liebherr has since been printing class 2 and 3 titanium serial parts, delivering them under EASA Form 1.


Embraer presents preliminary forecast for 2019 and 2020

On January 16, Embraer presented its preliminary forecast for 2019 and 2020 at a meeting with investors at the New York Stock Exchange. For 2019, Embraer expects to deliver between 85 and 95 commercial jets, 90 to 110 executive jets, including light and large jets, 10 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and two multi-mission KC-390 aircraft.

Total consolidated revenues should be between US$ 5.3 billion and US$ 5.7 billion. The Company expects to achieve a consolidated EBIT margin of breakeven (approximately zero) for the year 2019. It is important to highlight that 2019 guidance includes potential costs and expenses associated with the creation of the Commercial Aviation JV in a strategic partnership between the Company and Boeing, under the terms of the associated material facts published by Embraer.

With the finalization and closure of the partnership operation described above, tentatively expected to occur by the end of 2019, Embraer anticipates a capital structure without leverage, with a net cash position of approximately US$ 1.0 billion after the payment of a special dividend to shareholders of roughly US$ 1.6 billion (which remains subject to the confirmation of certain requirements, including the fiscal year results). 

During the event in New York, Embraer also presented its guidance for the year 2020, the first year after the potential closure of the operation creating the strategic partnership between Embraer and Boeing in Commercial Aviation, as mentioned above. The guidance presented for 2020 includes 100% of the expected results of the Executive Jets and Defense & Security segments (and the results of their respective services and support businesses) and exclude expected financial results coming from the 20% stake Embraer will have in the Commercial Aviation JV in partnership with Boeing.  Embraer expects to have net revenues of between US$ 2.5 billion and US$ 2.8 billion, EBIT margin of between 2% and 5% and roughly breakeven free cash flow for the year 2020.

Aireon signs US$200 million credit facility with Deutsche Bank

Aireon has signed a credit facility agreement for US$200 million with a group of several independent investor funds, led by Deutsche Bank.

This credit facility provides Aireon with the resources to fund various company initiatives and to continue to pay Iridium for the costs related to the integration, launch and hosting of the AireonSM payload on each of the 81 Iridium® NEXT satellites.

The agreement was signed on December 21st, 2018. This announcement comes just days after the final launch of Iridium NEXT satellites and their Aireon hosted-payloads.

The eleven long-term contracts signed with its launch Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) customers have provided Aireon with a strong financial foundation. Aireon has already started paying the US$200 million hosting fee owed to Iridium, and this new credit facility has enabled the company to pay another US$35 million in 2018 for a total of US$43 million to date.

Acropolis Aviation accepts first Airbus ACJ320neo

Acropolis Aviation, the UK VVIP charter operator, has accepted the first Airbus ACJ320neo on January 16th, at Airbus' Toulouse, France, headquarter.

Powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, the aircraft flies on to Basle, Switzerland where cabin outfitting will immediately commence by AMAC Aerospace.

Its new Alberto Pinto cabin interior, which meets Acropolis‘s unique specification, will be installed over the coming months.

“This is an historic day for Acropolis Aviation, and we are very much looking forward to presenting the aircraft to our clients at the end of the year,” commented CEO Jonathan Bousfield.

Airbus ACJ President Benoit Defforge added. “Delivery of the first ACJ320neo is the latest milestone
in the roll-out of a completely new ACJ family, enabling even more of the comfort, range and value prized by business jet customers.”


West Star Aviation names Tommi Krell as Director of Corporate Communications

West Star Aviation has named Tommi Krell Director of Corporate Communications.  Krell will be responsible for managing internal employee communications channels, as well as assisting Human Resources with enhancing and expanding corporate recruiting strategies.

Krell has 5+ years of aviation marketing and communications experience, previously holding various marketing positions with Jet Aviation. Prior to that, Krell held positions at CBS Radio as an Account Executive and Lindenwood University as Campus Director.  Additionally, she holds both a BA and MBA in Business Administration from Lindenwood University.

TurbineAero acquires APU piece part repair business from Triumph Group

TurbineAero, a portfolio company of The Gores Group, has acquired the APU piece part repair product line (RPL) from Triumph Aviation Services Asia.

The acquisition of this business segment integrates APU piece part repair into the APU Systems MRO in TurbineAero’s Asia facility which increases in-house capabilities, improves turn-times and assures extra cost reduction.

Effective immediately, the integration will take place in TurbineAero Asia’s new Thailand based 80,000 ft² facility which will house up to 250 employees and will handle high technological testing, maintenance, repair and overhaul activities for aircraft components and systems for our worldwide customers, including APU MRO, LRUs and APU part repair.

The Av8 Group combines related capabilities and resources under one brand

Yoel Arnoni, founder and principal of aircraft specialty companies Av8 MRO, Av8 PMA and Av8 AOG has announced the consolidation of capabilities and resources between these companies under one overarching brand - The Av8 Group. The organizational move simplifies the relationship between the companies, as well as providing a unified brand for communication as related capabilities and services continue to expand.

The consolidation will combine the capabilities and resources of the individual Av8 units. Av8 MRO, an FAA and EASA-approved Repair Station known for Hawker landing gear overhaul and repair with unprecedented lead times, pricing structures and repair specification approval, will potentially expand their scope to include additional airframes in the near future.

Av8 PMA specializes in the design, certification and manufacture of hard to find, out of production or under-supported aircraft parts. Using their FAA Parts Manufacture Approval (PMA), the company has quickly grown these capabilities and solidified themselves as a true resource by adding a dedicated engineering facility and team that includes an on-staff FAA-DER.

The newest of the units, Av8 AOG, provides OEM and PMA parts sales and distribution, expedited parts services, managed repair services, inventory acquisition and liquidation, and much more.

The new parent brand, The Av8 Group, brings all of these capabilities and services together, yet allows each of the units to provide specialized, in-depth and strategic services to a broad base of customers.

In conjunction with the new branding, the Av8 Group has launched a new website that envelopes each segment, providing specific details of each of the services offered through Av8 Group.

"The new group logo and website was the logical next step to communicate our entire
range of capability under one roof, with one common mission," said Yoel Arnoni, Chief Executive Officer, Av8 Group. "It was essential that with our continued growth that our overall messaging could communicate the synergies available between our three units," Arnoni continued.

Royal Aero

ST Engineering's Aerospace arm secures contracts worth S$450m in 4Q2018

Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) reported that its Aerospace arm secured new contracts worth about S$450 million in the fourth quarter (4Q) of 2018 for services including maintenance and modification for wide-ranging aircraft parts from the airframe to components.

A number of new contracts secured in 4Q2018 are for airframe heavy maintenance checks to service both commercial aircraft and private jets. These include a contract from a major North American airline to carry out heavy maintenance services to their A321s for the first time. In addition to airframe maintenance, the same North American airline also awarded a contract for an in-seat power supply, overhead bin and galley modification programme for their entire suite of 48 A320s.

ST Engineering continues to win multi-year contracts as it maintains the confidence of repeat customers with high-quality redeliveries. Multi-year contracts won in 4Q2018 include a five-year component maintenance-by-the-hour contract extension to support an Asian airline’s entire fleet of B737NG/MAX aircraft.

The Aerospace sector redelivered a total of 213 aircraft for airframe heavy maintenance and modification work in 4Q2018. Additionally, a total of 11,212 components, 50 landing gears and 41 engines were processed, while 2,515 engine washes were conducted.
In China, the sector expanded its airframe maintenance portfolio when its Guangzhou facility obtained approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to carry out base maintenance for the A320neo platform.

Ardian in talks to acquire majority stake in Revima

Ardian, a private investment house, said that it is in exclusive talks to acquire a majority stake in Revima, a leading MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) solutions provider for aircraft equipment, from private equity firm, Argos Wityu. Following the transaction, Olivier Legrand, President of the Group, and Argos Wityu will reinvest alongside Ardian. This transaction is subject to approval from the antitrust authorities as well as the opinion of the works council.

Founded in 1952, Revima is an independent company which has become a leader in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of commercial transport aircraft equipment. The group is well-known for its expertise in the maintenance of auxiliary power units (APU) and landing gears for regional, medium and long-haul aircraft. The company, which has c.750 employees, realized revenues of more than €280 million in 2018, showing double digit growth for several years.

LHT develops first cockpit panel test robot

Lufthansa Technik AG has developed the first robot for fully automated tests of cockpit controls. The test procedure is called RoCCET, which stands for Robot Controlled Cockpit Electronics Testing. In the future, RoCCET will be used to check the functionality of LED lights and switches on the basis of concrete, standardized measurement data. The robot-based procedure is currently in the integration phase.

The robot has integrated sensors to measure the forces that occur when switches are activated. In addition, it is equipped with several industrial cameras with which it captures all display instruments and any outer damage. With another camera, it measures the brightness of all displays from various angles. The robot is thus able to check all switches and LEDs just as well as a human and perform defined functional tests.

The robot-based test procedure will initially be used for cockpit controls on Airbus A320 and A350 as well as Boeing 787 aircraft. In the future, its use may also be extended to other cockpit and cabin controls on all aircraft types at various locations.

Beach Aviation Group

Magnetic MRO provides aircraft for fight against terrorism

Tallinn based Total Technical Care partner Magnetic MRO completed a teardown project for an Airbus A320 aircraft which will be used for fight against terrorism in Germany by special forces.

Magnetic MRO obtained the aircraft after an emergency landing in Tallinn at the start of 2018. In cooperation with a Netherlands partner organization XTRAPartners the airframe found its way to the German Bundeswehr for training of its special forces.

The teardown project took place over a course of a few weeks in Tallinn Airport where the aircraft had its stabilizers and both wings removed. Aircraft was transported to Calw, near Stuttgart with five large trucks and in addition to careful manoeuvring in Estonia and Germany, it also involved marine transport from Paldiski, Estonia to Lübeck, Germany.

“We had done teardown projects before but nothing of this scope,” stated Maksim Kolesnik, Facility and Tooling manager of Magnetic MRO. “The logistics of the teardown and especially the transport provided huge challenges, but after months of hard work we were successful in delivering an aircraft that will now be used for a good cause.”


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