Monday, January 28th, 2019


Seven killed in Italian Alps mid-air collision – flight instructor arrested

A French flying instructor has been arrested by Italian police following a mid-air collision between a light plane and a helicopter in the Val d’Aosta region of Italy last Friday in which seven people were killed. It is understood that a light plane which was attempting to land on the Rutor Glacier struck a
helicopter which had just collected some heli-skiers, and which was lifting off the glacier at the same time.

The flight instructor who is recovering in hospital could now be facing charges of negligence and manslaughter. According to Italian aviation authorities, the light aircraft had not communicated a flight plan to Italian air traffic control and had crossed into Italian territory.

Italian police have confirmed seven people were killed in the mid-air collision, including four Germans. The other victims were from Italy, France and Belgium. The other survivor of the crash is of German nationality and is being treated in the same hospital as the flight instructor. A local emergency services director, Luca Cavoretto, commented that: “Miraculously the two survivors are conscious and in stable condition, though with multiple traumas and contusions. They are able to collaborate, perhaps more in the coming days, as right now their memories are very confused.”

"We can't reveal the names because some of the families still don't know," one official at the joint office of Alpine rescue and police in Entreves, in the Aosta Valley, told Reuters.


ACG receives mandate to finance one B747-8F aircraft for AirBridgeCargo Airlines

Aircraft lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has been mandated by AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) to structure, arrange, and provide a guarantee for a senior loan to finance a portion of the airlines purchase price of one Boeing 747-8F aircraft expected to deliver to ABC in February 2019.

The ABC financing mandate was awarded to ACG in connection with ACG’s Aircraft Financing Solutions (AFS) program. The AFS program complements ACG’s operating lease business by providing customers with cost effective aircraft financing solutions.

“Expansion of our fleet and network is a part of our strategy and we are delighted to partner with ACG to be a part of our success. We are grateful to ACG for their support both to ABC and the 747-8 program. We are positive that this delivery will be the next step for us to enhance our quality to meet our customers’ needs,” said Tatiana Arslanova, vice-president, Strategic Management of Volga-Dnepr Group.

Boeing delivers first two KC-46A Pegasus tankers to U.S. Air Force

The first two Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft departed Everett’s Paine Field the morning of January 25, for McConnell Air Force Base, where the 22nd Air Refueling Wing will be the first unit to have the newest air refueling tankers.

McConnell, in Wichita, Kan., will receive two more tankers in the weeks ahead. Then Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base will receive four planes to support aircrew training.

The Air Force will soon begin evaluating the KC-46’s systems in operationally realistic scenarios, which is required before the aircraft can be used in combat. It will also continue validating the KC-46’s refueling capabilities, with aircraft including the B-2 bomber, C-5 cargo plane, and F-35 fighter. Prior testing involved the B-52 bomber, C-17 cargo plane, and F-15E and F/A-18 fighters, among others.

Beach Aviation Group

American Airlines unveils new maintenance hangar at O’Hare International Airport

American Airlines has opened a new hangar at its hub at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on January 25. The new facility, dubbed Hangar 2, is the largest hangar on the airfield at ORD, and its completion marks the carrier’s latest milestone reached in a series of major investments in Chicago.

The US$215 million investment in the new hangar and ground equipment building is the latest example in a long list of investments in ORD, including: American’s five new gates known as the L-Stinger, representing the first new gates at the airport in 25 years; a new Flagship Lounge; renovated Admirals Club lounges; and an expanding list of new destinations added to the ORD route network. These improvements set the framework for American to continue to grow its operation in Chicago and throughout the network.

The 191,000-ft², which is replacing a smaller hangar on the airfield, has increased bay capacity. The hangar is able to accommodate six narrowbody aircraft or two narrowbody aircraft and two widebody aircraft, including the Boeing 787, on which American operates international flights at ORD. The expanded space has allowed for more overnight workload capacity in the past month that it’s been open. Its high-tech features and updated workcenters provide more than 850 ORD maintenance team members with the most current tools to maintain the airline’s state-of-the-art aircraft.

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter net income of US$23 million

Alaska Air Group has reported fourth quarter 2018 GAAP net income of US$23 million, compared to US$315 million in 2017. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, other special items, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of US$93 million, compared to adjusted net income of US$88 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The Group generated approximately US$1.2 billion of operating cash flow, and used approximately US$960 million for capital expenditures, resulting in approximately US$240 million of free cash flow in 2018.

The company reported full-year 2018 GAAP net income of US$437 million, compared to US$960 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, other special items, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of US$554 million, compared to adjusted net income of US$791 million in 2017.

ASI Aero

Magnetic MRO opens new line maintenance station in Norway

Magnetic MRO, a global provider of Total Technical Care for aircraft operators and lessors, announced the launch of a new line maintenance station at Ørland International Airport (OLA), Norway. The new station will support Saab 340 aircraft, operated by a Scandinavian airline Air Leap.

The new line maintenance station at Ørland Airport was opened on the 1th of January, 2019. The scope of provided support includes, but not limits to transit, daily and weekly checks, defect rectification and engineering support for Air Leap’s twin-engine turboprop Saab 340s.

With 7 line stations on its operational map, Magnetic MRO runs one of TOP3 line maintenance
networks in Europe. The MRO’s capabilities cover narrow-body Boeing 737CL/NG, E170/190, CRJ900/1000 and Airbus A320FAM. In 2019, the company expects to add up to 5 new stations to its network.

GKN Aerospace delivers 10,000th standard parts order to RNLAF

In December 2018, GKN Fokker Services delivered its 10,000th order for standard parts to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). The order was delivered at the Air Force Base of Eindhoven. This milestone was reached 18 months after the implementation of the total support contract. This customized solution is offered by GKN Fokker Services in Hoofddorp (NL) and provides the RNLAF with one single point of contact for all standard parts requirements.

The total support solution covers the delivery of the standard parts and additional services such as transportation, management of storage systems, forecasting and stock storage.

RNLAF’s fleet of Apache, Chinook and Cougar helicopters, as well as the F-16's, PC-7's and the KDC-10 tanker aircraft, are included in the agreement. All orders are processed via GKN Fokker Services’
secure and dedicated customer portal, which is seamlessly integrated with back-office systems.


JAL and Marubeni to establish Business Jet Service company

Japan Airlines (JAL) and Marubeni have announced the establishment of a new business jet company to meet the expanding demand of the service in Japan. Services will include the arrangement of the charter flight, management of the privately owned aircraft and provide operational and concierge services to business jet operators and to customers flying to Japan; with a target to start the service during the spring of 2019.

The new company, a joint venture between JAL and Marubeni, will contribute toward the economic-rejuvenation and development of Japan by offering services and products that will maximize the customers’ time spent traveling; utilizing JAL ‘s worldwide network and Marubeni’s business knowledge in the aviation field.

Liebherr to supply Boeing 787 Nose Wheel Steering Remote Electronic Unit

Liebherr-Aerospace has been selected by Boeing to deliver the Nose Wheel Steering Remote Electronic Unit for the 787 Dreamliner. This contract from Boeing marks an important milestone in Liebherr’s stand-alone electronics strategy to bring the modular technology of ultra-versatile remote
electronic units to the skies.

One unit of the Remote Electronic Unit (REU) is installed per aircraft. It provides closed loop
control of the nose wheel steering angular position. The REU responds to commanded steering angles received via CAN bus by providing outputs to a solenoid valve and servo valve that control the supply of hydraulic fluid to the steering actuators. The electronic architecture of this unit is based on the ingenious concept of Liebherr’s ultra-versatile REU which offers high reliability.

Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH, Lindenberg (Germany), Liebherr’s center of excellence for
flight control and landing gear systems will be in charge of developing the software and the unit integration. The development of the hardware and the qualification as well as the manufacturing will be conducted in-house at Liebherr-Elektronik GmbH, Lindau (Germany), center of excellence for electronic hardware development and manufacturing.


Vx Capital Partners closes all-freighter aircraft securitization

Vx Capital Partners (Vx) has closed its inaugural asset-backed deal, becoming the first issuer since 1999 to securitize an all-freighter portfolio. The loan-format issuance generated US$189 million across three classes of term loans, secured by thirty-five 737 Classic freighters. Most of the aircraft were originally acquired in passenger configuration by Vx and subsequently converted and leased.

Vx Cargo 2018-1 Trust will be serviced by Vx through an affiliate, and the equity in the transaction will be retained by Vx Freighter Investment Fund (VXF). The US$107 million of equity behind VXF was raised in 2016.

Serving the transaction was BNP Paribas as lead structuring agent and Nord LB and DVB as co-managers. UMB is acting as the Trustee, Canyon CTS as the Managing Agent and DVB as the Liquidity Facility provider. Milbank Tweed served as counsel to the issuer and Hughes Hubbard represented the underwriter.

At close, the portfolio had a weighted average aircraft age of 23.1 years and weighted average remaining lease term of approximately 4.3 years. The aircraft are leased to 12 lessees in 12 countries, with three aircraft in the process of conversion. All but one aircraft are subject to


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