Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019


Lufthansa Group makes multi-million-dollar investment in AI Partnership with Hopper

Finalizing their third technology-related investment within a year and after investing in Fleet Logistics and cargo.one. startups, Lufthansa Group and the Lufthansa Innovation Hub have now invested heavily in a research alliance with Hopper which will be focussed on the subject of artificial intelligence. The two companies are looking to establish a long-term collaboration involving predictive analytics models and flight-demand forecasting. Hopper operates one of the world's most innovative travel booking apps. By leveraging powerful machine learning and AI, Hopper's proprietary technology accurately predicts flight and hotel prices.

Additionally, the intention is to utilize AI to learn customer preferences at a much deeper level in order to provide personalized recommendations for additional services or upgrades.

According to Christian Langer, Vice President Digital Strategy, Lufthansa Group: "Hopper operates one of the world's most successful flight booking apps and has developed a unique AI-based technology. With this research alliance, the Lufthansa Group is further expanding its expertise in this area. This will enable us to provide our customers with even better data-driven, tailor-made
offers in the future. This is one of the central goals of our digital strategy for this year,"

“We are thrilled to have Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa Innovation Hub as partners in research as we further our expansion into Europe,” said Frederic Lalonde, CEO of Hopper. “The combination of local market knowledge and dedication to exploring the upper bounds of AI makes this an ideal partnership for Hopper as we double down on our efforts to bring the best in travel booking to a global audience.”

True Aero

Delta completes construction on engine test cell

After breaking ground nearly 18 months ago, Delta completed construction on the world's largest jet engine test cell this month.

Standing 48 feet tall, with inlet and exhaust sections measuring 66 feet and 78 feet respectively, the test cell is capable of safely running a mounted, stationary engine at full power with 150,000 pounds of thrust. To compare, the airline's current test cell has a 68,000 pound thrust capacity.

The test cell will provide capabilities to test a new assortment of engines that will advance Delta into the future. With its 150,000 pound thrust capacity, the cell will open the door to many new, larger engine testing capabilities, including the Trent 1000, 7000 and XWB and the PW1100 and PW1500 variants of the Geared Turbofan.

The ability to test larger engines reinforces Delta's commitment to offering repair capabilities for newer engine models and helps facilitate future demand.

Delta will host the official grand opening of the test cell in February. Additional next steps include the proving and data validation for the cell, the commissioning of the cell with the Trent XWB engine, Trent 1000 Electric Start System installation, the Trent 1000 commissioning, correlation and production test, with the first production test taking place in late 2019.

The new state-of-the-art test cell is the first cell built by a U.S. airline in more than 20 years.

Weston Aviation FBO open for Business at Gloucestershire Airport

Weston Aviation, the UK and Ireland based FBO and Business Aviation specialist have commenced operations and launched a new Business Aviation Centre and FBO at Gloucestershire Airport (EGBJ/GLO).

The new facility and service officially opened its doors on the January 7, 2019 and the FBO has already welcomed a number of visiting aircraft and crews.

The new FBO facility, located in the main terminal building, offers crew and passenger lounge facilities with direct ramp access for passengers and vehicles.

Established in 1995, Weston Aviation is the second largest FBO network in the UK and Ireland in terms of locations with additional FBO facilities at Cornwall Airport Newquay, Humberside International Airport and Cork Airport in Ireland. Weston Aviation also provides aircraft charter services, aircraft leasing and fuel services.


GA Telesis Board appoints Norman Liu as Independent Director

GA Telesis' Board of Directors will appoint Norman C.T. Liu as an Independent Board Member effective February 1, 2019.

Liu brings over 35 years of experience in aviation financing, infrastructure investing and investment banking. He is the former Chairman, President and CEO of GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), a world leader in commercial aircraft leasing and financing.

He retired from GE at the end of 2016 after 30 years of service and is currently a senior advisor to various companies in the infrastructure and aviation sectors.

Cathay Pacific becomes easyJet Worldwide partner

easyJet has released that Cathay Pacific will be a new airline partner to its unique connections service, Worldwide by easyJet.

easyJet customers will be able to connect seamlessly between easyJet flights across its European network flying into London Gatwick Airport and onwards on Cathay Pacific flights, initially between London Gatwick and Hong Kong once it is live on Worldwide in the coming weeks.

Worldwide by easyJet has been consistently growing in popularity. Chicago is currently the most popular longhaul destination connecting through Rome while the Rome-Reykjavik connection is the most popular shorthaul connection. To date, more than 5,000 unique origins and destinations which have been booked in combination with partner airlines.

Royal Aero

CDB Aviation promotes Patrick Hannigan to President

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., has promoted Patrick C. Hannigan, who has served as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer since January 2017, to the position of President, as part of the continued strategy to further strengthen executive management for the next phase of development.

In addition to providing strategic leadership for the company as President, working with the CEO, the Board and other management to establish long-range goals and strategies, Hannigan will continue to lead the company’s commercial operations as Chief Commercial Officer.

Elevate Capital Partners successful completes third aircraft transaction

In June 2018, Elevate closed on its first transaction, wherein it arranged, structured and managed the lease return of a Boeing 767-300ER (MSN 25449) from American Airlines, and subsequent induction into IAI Bedek (Tel Aviv) for cargo conversion on behalf of a major financial institution. The freighter conversion was completed in December 2018 and the aircraft commenced operations under lease with Cargojet Airways in January 2019.

In October 2018, Elevate closed on its second transaction, the acquisition of an Airbus A330-200 (MSN 343) on lease to Air Caraïbes Atlantique, which operates on routes between Paris and the Caribbean. The transaction was completed in conjunction with a large financial institution.

In January 2019, Elevate closed on its third transaction, the acquisition of a 757-200 (MSN 27971) on lease to Air Astana.

SR Technics

British Airways to paint aircraft with much-loved designs from airline's history

As part of its 100-year birthday, British Airways will be painting four of its aircraft in much-loved retro designs from across its past, with the first confirmed as a Boeing 747 in a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) design.

The livery from the 1964 – 1974 BOAC era will adorn a B747, reg: G-BYGC. The aircraft will leave the paint shop in Dublin and arrive at Heathrow on February 18, before entering service the following day. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Boeing 747 flight only a few days earlier.

The BOAC 747 will be followed by three other aircraft which will all have different retro liveries, with details being revealed in due course. All four aircraft will fly British Airways’ routes, proudly showcasing some of the popular designs as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations.

All new aircraft entering the fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive today’s popular Chatham Dockyard design – meaning five designs from across British Airways’ history will be in operation.

Asia Pacific Airlines acquires third 757-200 for PCF conversion

Asia Pacific Airlines has acquired B-757-200, MSN 25140. The acquisition was arranged by Aerolease Aviation and the asset has entered conversion at Flightsar Aviation in Jacksonville, FL with re-delivery expected in 120 days. The aircraft will return to service after conversion and will be joining two other Asia Pacific 757-PCF’s converted by Precision and operating in the Asia Pacific theatre.

Stated Precision’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian McCarthy “Asia Pacific’s transition from 727 operations to the 757 has been remarkable and has given them significant range and reach with the necessary. performance, flexibility and fuel savings to operate in this demanding environment. This has transformed their route structure as a direct result of the added payload and range.

“We are thrilled to have a third PCF aircraft joining our fleet as the demand for our service expands. The 757 performs extremely well under the demanding route structure of Pacific Theatre operations
requiring long range and high payload.” Said Asia Pacific Airlines President, Adam Ferguson.


easyJet reports £10 million cost impact of the drones at Gatwick

easyJet has delivered a good performance in the quarter with robust customer demand driving passenger and ancillary revenue which is in line with expectations. Underlying revenue per seat was positive, including good ancillary revenue growth. This was offset, as expected, by the impact from last year’s one-off revenue benefits, the dilutive impact of flying at Tegel and new accounting standards delaying the recognition of revenue.

easyJet has made good progress with its cost and operational performance but both were affected by the impact of drone activity at London Gatwick over the Christmas period.

Total revenue in the first quarter to 31 December 2018 increased by 13.7% to £1,296 million. Passenger revenue increased by 12.2% to £1,025 million and ancillary revenue increased by 19.9% to £271 million.

Passenger numbers in the quarter increased by 15.1% to 21.6 million, driven by an increase in capacity of 18.2% to 24.1 million seats which was slightly lower than originally planned due in part to the drone issues at London Gatwick and to late A321 deliveries from Airbus.

Load factor decreased by two percentage points to 89.7%, as anticipated, due to the one-off increase in prior year late demand and the dilutive impact of Tegel flying.

Total revenue per seat decreased by 4.2% at constant currency, in line with expectations.

easyJet’s underlying cost performance has been solid and in line with expectations, before the cost impact of the drones at Gatwick. Headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency increased by 1.0% in the quarter reflecting:

- A £10 million cost impact of the drones at Gatwick relating to customer welfare costs (representing c.1ppt of cost per seat in Q1). The incident affected around 82,000 customers and led to over 400 flights being cancelled

- Annualisation of crew pay deals; better than expected crew retention; and some additional inefficiency relating to Gatwick disruption

- Ownership costs reflecting new aircraft year on year, some additional leasing costs resulting from late Airbus aircraft deliveries and the impact of IFRS 16 accounting


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