Thursday, November 29th, 2018



Investigators confirm Lion Air 737 MAX not airworthy prior to fatal crash

Indonesian investigators have confirmed that the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max jet was not in an airworthy condition the day before its fatal crash on October 29 which killed all 189 passengers and crew on board. They have released that on the flight from Bali to Jakarta on the October 28, the pilot had to shut down the plane’s anti-stall system before choosing to continue it flight. It has also been made clear to Lion Air that it must improve its safety culture and documentation of repair work carried out on its planes.

The transport safety agency has yet to pinpoint a specific cause for the crash and a full and final crash report is unlikely to be filed until next year. Its investigators have revealed that Lion Air kept returning the plane back into service despite a repeated failure to fix a problem with the airspeed indicator in the days leading up to the crash. These latest findings will heighten concerns there were problems with key systems in one of the world’s newest and most advanced commercial passenger planes.

It had previously been mentioned that the 737 MAX aircraft had problems with its airspeed indicator and angle of attack (AOA) sensors, after which Boeing issued a special bulletin advising operators on what actions to take in the event of a similar occurrence. An AOA sensor provides data which lets pilots know how much lift a plane is getting, information which can be critical in preventing an aircraft from stalling.


AEGEAN Airlines reports 13% net earnings growth to €80.9 million

AEGEAN Air has announced 2018, 9-month results with consolidated revenue at €939.3 million, 5% higher than 2017. Pre-tax earnings rose 14% to €115.8 million and net earnings after tax were up 13% to €80.9 million.

During the 9-month period to September 30, 2018, AEGEAN and its subsidiary Olympic Air, carried 10.8 million passengers, 6% more than the previous year, with 4.8 million in domestic and 6 million in the international network. Total passengers from/to Athens hub traveling on international routes increased by 12%. Load factor improved to 83.6% from 82.9% in 2017 as a result of efficient revenue and network management.

During the third quarter, revenue increased to €483.6 million, 9% up compared to 2017. Pre-tax earnings increased by 4% to €134.1 million while net earnings were 3% higher compared to last year at €94.7 million, despite the significant rise of fuel costs which stood at 27% for the quarter even after the effect of hedging.

Operating cash flow reached €161.8 million resulting to cash and cash equivalents and financial investments rising to €389.9 million as of 30.09.2018, following the payment of €34 million in pre-delivery payments to Airbus.

Arkia and LHT sign comprehensive support contract

Arkia Israeli Airlines has signed a comprehensive technical services contract with Lufthansa Technik. Within the framework of a ten-year agreement, Lufthansa Technik will support the airline with Total Technical Support (TTS®) including Technical Operations Management (TOM) for Arkia's three Airbus A321LR.

Integrating all MRO activities into one service package, Lufthansa Technik will provide engineering, line maintenance and component support including consumables and expendables as well as wheels-and-brakes services. The first aircraft delivered from the OEM to Arkia will be the first aircraft of the A321neo type featuring the long-range configuration.

The on-site services in Tel Aviv will be performed by Lufthansa Technik Maintenance International (LTMI). Over the next three years, experienced mechanics and the station manager will provide TOM and line maintenance services on site at Arkia's hub in Tel Aviv, preparing the carrier's technicians to take over line maintenance after that period.


Barfield reinforces partnership with TAME in new components maintenance support

Barfield, an Air France KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) subsidiary in the Americas and a major aviation industry player, has signed a multi-year components maintenance agreement with Ecuadorian based airline TAME. The flat rate agreement covers TAME's Airbus A330 aircraft.

The agreement also increases Barfield's long term partnership with TAME with the support of AFI KLM E&M. Indeed, for Franck Becker, AFI KLM E&M Regional Vice President Sales Americas, “The trusted relationship between TAME and Barfield as seen with this new agreement, increases and strengthens AFI KLM E&M position on the South American market.”

The component repair contract is based on high quality engineering practices put in place to increase the flying life of the components.

TAME is an airline founded in 1962 and headquartered in Quinto, Pichincha Province with the main hub in Mariscal Sucre International Airport. The airline was formed by the Air Force of Ecuador. In 2011, it became a commercial entity and now provides domestic, international and charter flights. TAME has a fleet of 10 aircraft including Airbus A319s, A320s and A330s.

BOC Aviation delivers Boeing 787-9 aircraft to Norwegian Air Shuttle

BOC Aviation has delivered one new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (Norwegian). The aircraft will be powered by Roll Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines.

“We are delighted to welcome Norwegian as a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner customer of BOC Aviation and to support its aims of broadening its long-haul, low cost footprint to new markets,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. “We are equally excited that Norwegian has chosen the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to achieve its goals. This new-technology aircraft delivers excellent mission capabilities and operational efficiency. BOC Aviation currently has 14 of these aircraft in its owned or committed fleet.”

Component Control

Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing sign strategic cooperation agreement

Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries have signed a strategic agreement setting out principles of cooperation between the two companies in commercial and military aviation, in Israel and other markets around the world.

According to the agreement, Boeing is expected to provide IAI with work packages totaling potentially billions of shekel, relating to potential future Boeing sales of defense products to Israel, including new tanker aircraft. The agreement also covers cooperation in other transactions Boeing expects to participate in worldwide.

IAI and the State of Israel have already cooperated for many years with Boeing in the development and manufacture of the Arrow system, production of parts for commercial airplanes, and a wide array of service activities. This decades-long partnership is now set to continue on a broader and deeper basis.

The “term sheet” agreement reflects Boeing’s commitment to the State of Israel and its activities there. The Israeli Air Force is evaluating the procurement of world class Boeing platforms that could total more than US$10 billion, including the sale of fighter aircraft, helicopters, and tanker aircraft. If Boeing is successful, it could place work at IAI worth billions of shekel.

Harel Locker, Chairman of IAI, said: “IAI has for decades viewed Boeing as a strategic partner in many areas, both military and civil. The Term Sheet will further strengthen and deepen the existing cooperation between the two companies, acting in partnership and synergy in Israel and internationally in many varied fields. I am grateful to the Ministry of Defense for its assistance in reaching this agreement with Boeing.”

MTU Maintenance signs CFM56 engine MRO contract with Serene Air

MTU Maintenance and new customer Serene Air have signed a long-term contract. The agreement covers the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the Pakistani operator’s CFM56-7 engines, powering its Boeing 737-800 fleet. Further, the agreement includes on-site support and spare engine leasing. The contract also includes the option to expand the scope in the future to include additional engines from Serene Air’s fleet.

Serene Air is a privately-owned start-up that has been operating out of Islamabad since 2017 and MTU Maintenance’s first customer in Pakistan. The airline operates domestic flights between the cities Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Faisalabad and Quetta. The airline is planning to expand the network to include international destinations in due course.

MTU Maintenance is an independent service provider for the CFM56-3/-5B/-7B variants and is seeing strong demand for its -7B services. The MRO provider expects to see well over 100 shop visits on the CFM56-7 in 2019.

TP Aerospace

Nowegian names Helga Bollman Leknes Chief Commercial Officer

Helga Bollmann Leknes has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Norwegian Air Shuttle. “I am very pleased to announce that Helga Bollmann Leknes has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. She will remain in her current role as Managing Director of Norwegian Air Resources (NAR), which she has led since March 2018,” says Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos.

Bollmann Leknes joined Norwegian in October 2017 as Chief HR Officer and has also been responsible for commercial management since September 2018.

"Helga has done a great job within a short amount of time. From now on, she will be responsible for the whole commercial value chain, a unique position for managing the synergies between vital parts of our operations,” Kjos continues.

China Eastern signs A350 components support deal with AFI KLM E&M

China Eastern has signed a new contract with AFI KLM E&M, covering its fleet of Airbus A350-900s, ultimately set to number 20 aircraft.

The bespoke A350 contract covers repairs, access to a regional spares pool, and the provision of a Main Base Kit (MBK). The agreement also includes complementary training services and engineering development assistance.

Based in Shanghai, China Eastern Air Holding Company (CEAH) is one of China's three largest state- owned air transport groups. As CEAH's principal company, China Eastern Airlines was the first Chinese airline to be listed on the New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges in 1997. It currently operates a fleet of about 600 aircraft averaging less than 5.5 years old, making it one of the youngest fleets of the world's major airlines.

Bristol Associates

Safran shareholders meeting approves merger of Zodiac Aerospace into Safran with 99.88% voting in favor

Safran's shareholders were invited to consider mainly the plan to merge Zodiac Aerospace into Safran at a meeting on November 27, 2018. All the resolutions submitted to the shareholders' vote were approved.

Following presentations by Safran of the merger plan and notably the reports of the merger appraisers concluding that the exchange ratio is fair, the shareholders approved notably the merger of Zodiac Aerospace into Safran with 99.88% voting in favor.

With the approval at the meetings on November 27, respectively of Zodiac Aerospace and Safran shareholders, all the conditions precedent have been satisfied. Therefore, the merger will complete
on December 1, 2018.

Shareholders also approved a new authorization allowing Safran to repurchase its own shares with a price not to exceed €140 per share.

GA Telesis

Turkish Airlines signs order for additional 777 jets

Boeing and Turkish Airlines have signed an order for three 777 Freighters as the flag carrier of Turkey continues to soar on record financial results and double-digit passenger and cargo growth. The order adds more of the long-range freighter to Turkish's fleet as the airline pursues its goal of becoming the world's largest cargo carrier.

Based on the 777-200LR (Longer Range), the 777 Freighter can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). The long range means fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter delivery times.

In line with the rapid growth, Turkish Airlines has steadily expanded its current and future fleet. Last January, the carrier announced the order of three 777 Freighters. Two months later, Turkish finalized an order for 25 787-9 Dreamliners and five options to prepare for growing demand at Istanbul's third airport, named "Istanbul Airport" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during its official opening last month. Over the past few months, Turkish has begun taking delivery of new 737 MAX airplanes to refresh its single-aisle jets. In all, the airline's fleet of Boeing jetliners has grown to more than 160, with nearly 100 additional jets on order.


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