Friday, November 30th, 2018



Icelandair reverses plans to acquire WOW Air

The future for Iceland’s low-cost carrier WOW Air looks bleak with Icelandair Group scrapping plans to buy out the struggling airline.

Icelandair confirmed that conditions for the share purchase were "unlikely" to be filled by the company's shareholder meeting November 30, 2018.

WOW Air first took to the air in 2012 as a no-frills budget airline offering low airfares, but charged for carry-on luggage, food and drinks. However, escalating financial problems began to take their toll after a bond issuance in September, the Icelandic carrier struggling to deal with rising fuel costs. Subsequent to this, aircraft lessors and the company's creditors "demanded stricter payment terms than before, putting further pressure on the company's cash flow," WOW air said in a statement on November 27.

The airline expanded rapidly, helping to fuel a tourism boom to Iceland, but has been beset by other problems including accusations of poor customer service. "We have to do better," CEO Skuli Mogensen told CNBC in an interview in June in Reykjavik. "It's obviously in our interest to fix it." He made it clear that canceled flights, delays and other problems cost the airline dearly in terms of passenger compensation.

While the airline reduced its fleet of aircraft by four earlier this week, there are no clear indication as to what WOW Air will do next.


United adds new nonstop service between Denver and Frankfurt, Germany

United Airlines will begin its 15th daily nonstop flight between the United States and Germany from its hub at Denver International Airport. The airline announced it will begin year-round service between Denver and Frankfurt, Germany, beginning May 2, 2019, subject to government approval.

United's new service between Denver and Frankfurt is the airline's ninth flight between the United States and Frankfurt. United currently operates daily nonstop service between Frankfurt and its hubs in Chicago, Houston, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington Dulles.

Aireon adds new executive team member

Aireon has released that Peter Cabooter has joined the executive team, fulfilling a newly created position, Vice President of Customer Affairs.

In this role, Cabooter will lead Aireon’s program to support existing customers around the world and developing new relationships with Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) currently not subscribed to the AireonSM service.

In addition to Cabooter’s new executive role, Cyriel Kronenburg, Aireon’s Vice President of Aviation Services, will now take on the responsibilities to lead Aireon’s regulatory, marketing, product development, commercial data services and partner development activities.


ST Engineering sign MOU with Singapore Economic Development Board

ST Engineering and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a strategic growth partnership.

The partnership aims to build new engines of growth by creating globally competitive industry ecosystems in Singapore. EDB aims to nurture and grow large Singapore enterprises that will drive economic development outcomes for Singapore as they succeed in global markets. ST Engineering aspires to become a global technology, defence and engineering powerhouse -- including through partnerships with companies, agencies and research institutions.

ST Engineering and EDB will work closely to identify and develop growth strategies for targeted industries, such as robotics, smart mobility and health tech, which could be globally competitive business areas for Singapore and ST Engineering. ST Engineering will lead or participate in consortia/alliances with MNCs, local large enterprises, SMEs and start-ups to offer end-to-end solutions. This includes collaborating with external technology partners to innovate and commercialise new products, services and solutions internationally. The partnership will also catalyse engagements with other key stakeholders such as regulators and lead demand users to build a strong track record for Singaporean companies to compete globally.

The partnership will further deepen ST Engineering’s capabilities in technology and innovation, including growing strategic technology centres such as in data analytics and cyber security. It will also further strengthen ST Engineering’s global leadership and workforce, in tandem with its global ambitions. The partnership will expand EDB’s efforts to develop a cluster of global-ready companies in Singapore, with a world-class workforce that is future ready and equipped with both breadth and depth in technology and engineering capabilities.

GA Telesis Component Solutions Group acquires and disassembles Airbus A330-200 aircraft

GA Telesis, has acquired an Airbus A330-200 (MSN 255) for disassembly and support of its increase in demand for inventory.

The disassembly is taking place in the United Kingdom, where key components will then be routed to its UK and US-based distribution facilities. The inventory will be used in support of the GA Telesis’ iGEAR, SNAP and ACCESS programs as well as day-to-day sales requirements of the company’s airline and MRO customers worldwide.

Beach Aviation Group

Airbus Helicopters expands presence in Japan

Airbus Helicopters will be adding a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) complex adjacent to its existing facility in the Kobe Airport Facility in Japan. Construction will commence in June 2019, with the new facility expected to be operational in November 2019.

The company’s existing facility is capable of accommodating up to 25 medium-sized helicopters simultaneously. It also houses its regional engineering hub and the country’s first and only helicopter full motion full-flight simulator, which has trained over 500 pilots and engineers in Japan and across the region.

With this expansion, Airbus Helicopters will have the largest footprint in the aviation business sector of the Kobe Airport Facility, occupying a total space of 19,685 m². Its overall capacity will increase by 60% to handle about 40 medium-sized helicopters at one time. The new building will feature a state-of-the-art hangar, an administration office, and a purpose-built warehouse.

LCI strengthens team with major technical and legal hires

Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, has further strengthened its operation with the appointments of John Gumulak as Technical Director and Eric Sherlock as Legal Counsel.

John Gumulak joins LCI from Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WHRS) in Australia, where he oversaw the continued airworthiness of Westpac’s fleet of AW139 helicopters and was the chief point of liaison for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) including Leonardo Helicopters on all technical matters.
As Technical Director based at LCI’s Singapore office, Gumulak will augment the existing technical team to support LCI and its customers in the region.

Eric Sherlock joins LCI from Elix Aviation Capital, where he managed the legal team on behalf of the turboprop lessor. Prior, he worked as a capital markets and corporate finance associate at Arthur Cox and Clifford Chance. Sherlock joins a highly-experienced legal team at LCI’s HQ in Dublin, and will work across all aspects of aircraft leasing, purchasing and financing.


Finnair to add capacity on both Moscow and St. Petersburg routes

Finnair will add a new daily frequency year-round on both its routes to Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia as of March 31, 2019.

The flights will be flown with an Embraer 190 aircraft. The new additions will bring the total amount of weekly flights up to 27 on the St. Petersburg route and up to 28 on the Moscow route.

China Eastern Airlines takes delivery of first Airbus A350-900

China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of its first A350-900 in Toulouse, becoming the latest operator of this efficient twin-engine widebody aircraft.

The Shanghai-based carrier now operates an Airbus fleet of 356 aircraft, including 306 A320 Family aircraft and 50 A330 Family aircraft (figures at the end of October 2018). China Eastern is the largest Airbus operator in Asia and second largest in the world.

China Eastern’s A350-900 aircraft features a modern and comfortable four-class cabin layout of 288 seats: four first, 36 business, 32 premium economy and 216 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes, followed by flights to international destinations.


STS Mod Center and STS AeroMod reach industry benchmark by installing 70 in-flight connectivity packages per month

Based out of Melbourne, Florida and Kansas City, Missouri, STS Mod Center and STS AeroMod have perfected the installation process of high-speed connectivity solutions across all commercial aircraft types.

“Each connectivity package we do, regardless of aircraft type, takes about three days to complete. That’s fast,” says Daniel Burgess, Senior Vice President of STS AeroMod. “And given our team's ability to deploy mobile, rapid-response teams across all corners of the world, we are now completing about 70 aircraft installations per month.”

Low TAT's and rapid product rollout is what it’s all about for STS, and customers all over the world are starting to take notice.

In addition to servicing both top-tier and low-cost carriers across North America and Europe, STS Mod Center and STS AeroMod are also working with clients on the ground in Asia and the Middle East.

Leonardo signs Term Loan Facility of €500 million

Leonardo has signed a new Term Loan Facility with a pool of domestic and international banks for the purpose of refinancing existing debt.

The credit line amounts to €500 million and has a maturity of 5 years. It’s terms include the payment of 110 basis points above 6 months Euribor and the bullet redemption of a total amount at maturity.

This credit line is in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Revolving Credit Facility (renogotiated on 2018 February), and is under English Law.

Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, commented: “The signing of this Term Loan Facility is a sign of us of implementing our disciplined financial strategy. It means we can also reduce further the group’s financial charges, in line with Industrial Plan targets. The current market conditions have enabled us to take advantage of this form of refinancing. We’ve achieved a successful refinancing, signed by 13 banks, and oversubscribed for more than double the requested amount. It confirms the interest of the market, and allows us to better diversify our funding sources”.


AirAsia Group posts third quarter 2018 revenue of RM2.61 billion

AirAsia Group has posted third quarter 2018 revenue of RM2.61 billion, up 7% year-on-year from RM2.45 billion in the same quarter in 2017. Revenue growth was supported by a healthy load factor of 82% and 9% increase in passengers carried recording 10.80 million pax as compared to the same quarter last year.

Net operating profit achieved RM124.9 million despite much higher overall costs in fuel.

Operating cash flow for the quarter under review was at RM1.63 billion, while net cash flow was reported at RM2.57 billion resulting from the proceeds of the aircraft disposal transaction.


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