Tuesday, December 4th, 2018



Fly Leasing to sell 12 aircraft

Fly Leasing (FLY) has contracted to sell 12 narrowbody aircraft from its portfolio. The 12 aircraft have a weighted average age of 10.6 years and an average remaining lease term of 3.2 years.

FLY anticipates the sales will generate in excess of US$125 million of cash after repaying debt and satisfying other transaction-related expenses. It is expected that the sales will be completed by March 31, 2019.

“These sales meet several strategic objectives, particularly reductions in our leverage and our lessee concentrations. We expect to announce more sales over the coming months as we prepare for our growth pipeline of more than US$2 billion of A320neo family aircraft that begin delivering in 2019,” said Colm Barrington, CEO of FLY.

Following these sales, FLY’s fleet will comprise 104 aircraft with an average age of less than seven years and on lease to 44 airlines in 24 countries. FLY has signed commitments to acquire 21 new A320neo family aircraft delivering between 2019 and 2021 and has options to acquire 20 more A320neo family aircraft delivering between 2019 and 2025.


MTU Aero Engines prospects for growth better than anticipated

MTU Aero Engines AG (MTU) has released at its Capital Market Day that: “In the short and long term, the prospects for growth in all business units are better than originally assumed” with net income to rise steadily along with further improvements in free cash flow.

Commercial new engine business looks to be the fastest growing segment with a low-teen income increase, while engine parts’ revenue is expected to increase in the mid-to-high single-digit percentage range. Military business revenue is anticipated to increase by around ten percent. Commercial maintenance business should remain at the same high level as 2018.

The group expects its EBIT margin to remain stable in 2019, despite the strong in-crease in the new engine production, a business which has a negative impact on earnings. MTU estimates that the cash conversion rate will reach around 50 to 60%, thus improving in line with expectations. According to CFO Peter Kameritsch: “Changes in the invoicing process as of 2019 will moderate MRO revenues. If calculated on a comparable basis, the 2019 outlook for the MRO business is high single-digit percentage growth.”

Reiner Winkler stated that: “Current market indicators and the group’s positioning give us reason to assume that this trend will continue and that it will have a positive impact on our business prospects through to 2025.” Given the outstanding sales record of engines in MTU’s OEM portfolio, the company expects to see a further increase in its production output over the next few years. Michael Schreyögg, the chief program officer commented that: “We have identified potential for growth in all market segments.”

NAC signs agreement to lease two Embraer E195 and one Embraer E175 aircraft to Air Burkina

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has committed to lease two Embraer E195 and one Embraer E175 to Air Burkina, the first of which was delivered in November 2018 to a delegation of the airline led by Transport Minister Vincent Dabilgou and CEO Blaise Sanou. The remaining E195 and the E175 are planned to join Air Burkina’s fleet in December 2018 and January 2019, respectively. Air Burkina intends to use the aircraft to replace its current fleet of two Embraer E170 aircraft and to expand its network and frequencies.

Air Burkina is the national airline of Burkina Faso, operating scheduled services from its main base at Ouagadougou Airport to one domestic destination, Bobo-Dioulasso, as well as regional services to Togo, Benin, Mali, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Ghana.


United Airlines expands partnership with Copa and Avianca

United Airlines has reached an agreement with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca's affiliates, for a joint business agreement (JBA) that, pending government approval, is expected to provide substantial benefits for customers, communities and the marketplace for air travel between the United States and 19 countries in Central and South America.

By integrating their complementary route networks into a collaborative revenue-sharing JBA, United, Avianca and Copa plan to offer customers many benefits, including integrated seamless service in more than 12,000 city pairs, new nonstop routes, additional flights on existing routes and reduced travel times.

The carriers expect the JBA to drive significant traffic growth at major gateway cities coast to coast, which is expected to help bring new investment and create more economic development opportunities. Further, the JBA is expected to provide customers with expanded codeshare flight options, competitive fares, a more streamlined travel experience and better customer service, resulting in significant projected consumer benefits.

Additionally, allowing the three carriers to serve customers as if they were a single airline is expected to enable the companies to better align their frequent flyer programs, coordinate flight schedules and improve airport facilities.

Hawaiian Airlines to Open IT Center in Arizona

Hawaiian Airlines will open a technology center in the Phoenix area in the first quarter of 2019.

When fully operational, the center will allow the airline to act nimbly in the rapidly changing IT space and provide Hawaiian Airlines with additional layers of security and redundancy for its information systems and personnel.

Hawaiian’s primary IT functions and decision-making will continue to take place in Honolulu and the airline will continue to collaborate with local educational institutions for IT internships and recruitment.

“This facility will provide us with important advantages as the airline continues to grow,’’ said John Jacobi, senior vice president of IT at Hawaiian Airlines. “As Hawaiian Airlines grows, so too, will our IT functions here in Hawaii.’’

Hawaiian Airlines expects to have a temporary Phoenix office operating in the first quarter of 2019 before moving into a permanent space. When it is fully staffed, it will have more than 100 employees.


Boeing KC-46 Tanker program completes Phase II receiver certification testing

Boeing’s KC-46 tanker program has completed its planned Phase II receiver certification flight testing following three weeks of flights with F-15E aircraft out of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Boeing and U.S. Air Force KC-46 crews kicked off receiver certification testing with F-16 aircraft in April 2018. Since then the joint team also completed testing with KC-135, C-17, A-10, KC-46, B-52, and F/A-18 aircraft.

During the certification flight tests, KC-46 and receiver aircraft flew at different airspeeds, altitudes and configurations to ensure compatibility and performance throughout the refueling envelope of each receiver. Now, the Air Force and the Aerial Refueling Certification Agency will review all test data and paperwork before ultimately “certifying” each aircraft.

Six test aircraft have now completed more than 3,700 flight hours and supplied more than four million pounds of fuel in flight to receiver aircraft.

Phase III receiver certification testing will be conducted by the Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base in 2019. That testing will include additional receiver aircraft.

The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company’s Everett, Wash., facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Lufthansa Group mourns loss of Wolfgang Mayrhuber

Wolfgang Mayrhuber, the former Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, has passed away last Saturday, December 1st, 2018, at the age of 71.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber had been working for Deutsche Lufthansa AG for over 40 years. As an engineer, he began his corporate career in 1970, in Hamburg, in the field of engine maintenance. After holding various management positions Mr. Mayrhuber was appointed Chairman of the Executive Board of the newly founded Lufthansa Technik AG in 1994, having played a key role in shaping the successful development of the company into a leading global service.

In 2001 he was appointed to the Group Executive Board with responsibility for "Passenger Services", and in 2002 he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board. From 2003 to 2010 Wolfgang Mayrhuber was Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. With the successful acquisitions of SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines he had a lasting impact on the Airline Group.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber was Chairman of the Supervisory Board from 2013 to 2017.

AJ Walter Group

Aviation Capital Group announces closing of US$800 million senior unsecured notes offering

Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has reported the closing of its sale of US$800 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes, consisting of US$300 million aggregate principal amount of its 4.375% senior unsecured notes due 2024 and US$500 million aggregate principal amount of its floating rate senior unsecured notes due 2021.

ACG intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes for general corporate purposes, including repayment of outstanding indebtedness and the purchase of commercial aircraft. The Notes are recourse only to ACG and are not guaranteed by any of ACG’s equity holders or subsidiaries, or any third party.

Air Lease Corporation delivers first of four new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Cayman Airways

Air Lease Corporation has delivered one new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, featuring CFM International LEAP-1B27 engines, on long-term lease to Cayman Airways (KX).

This Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the first of four 737 MAX 8 aircraft confirmed to deliver to Cayman Airways through 2020 from ALC’s order book with Boeing. With this new ALC aircraft, Cayman Airways will be the first 737 MAX 8 operator in the Caribbean and the aircraft will feature a new addition to the livery to showcase the airline’s first 737 MAX.

“ALC is pleased to announce this new Boeing 737 MAX 8 delivery with Cayman Airways,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation. “With this new 737 MAX 8 and the additional three aircraft set to deliver from ALC, Cayman Airways is successfully modernizing its fleet with the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft to enhance the airline’s overall operations, maximize customer comfort and bring a new standard of excellence for travelers to and from the Cayman Islands.”

TP Aerospace

Universal Avionics receives TSOA for InSight™ touchscreen control

Universal Avionics (UA) has received FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization for the company’s new touchscreen EFIS Control Display Unit (ECDU) for the InSight Display System. Designed for efficiency, the Touch ECDU provides fast, easy access of InSight user control and input. The STC is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

This latest offering further improves the InSight Display System, offering the ultimate in operator choice; the ECDU is now available in touchscreen or non-touchscreen versions. Both ECDU models combine multiple InSight System controls, including the flight displays, FMS, radios, traffic, and terrain into a centralized control device.

The ECDU eliminates the need for external panels that take up valuable cockpit space by integrating with the PFD/MFD and standalone radios. The Touch ECDU combines the functionality of the traditional ECDU with an even more intuitive interface for an enhanced, easy user experience. Operators can now use the Touch ECDU, Cursor Control Panel (CCP), or both for unique and intuitive ‘Point and Click’ system control.

First Embraer E190-E2 for Air Astana arrives in Kazakhstan

The first new generation Embraer E190-E2 for Air Astana arrived at Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport in Astana on December 3, following ferry flights from the manufacturer’s factory in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

This is the first of five Embraer E2 aircraft scheduled to be delivered to Air Astana, following an order originally placed in August, 2017. Air Astana currently operates a fleet of nine Embraer E190 aircraft on domestic and low-density regional services, with the first aircraft having entered service in 2011. The new generation Embraer E190-E2 aircraft will gradually replace older Embraer E190s in its fleet.

The new aircraft features a special Air Astana “Snow Leopard” livery, which is intended to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by this beautiful large wild cat, which is a native of the mountain ranges in southern Kazakhstan. Air Astana seeks to improve ecological protection for endangered species, like the Snow Leopard, as well as more widely preserving the environment.

The twin engine, single aisle Embraer E190-E2 belongs to the family of upgraded E-Jets, which offer lower operating costs, emissions and noise levels, with a range of more than 5,000 km.


Liebherr-Aerospace to supply NORDAM with anti-ice valves

Liebherr-Aerospace announced an agreement with U.S.-based NORDAM to develop, manufacture, test and certify anti-ice valves to be used in a NORDAM-developed engine build-up system for A320neos equipped with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine. The contract is considered a major milestone in Liebherr’s long-term strategy.

According to Nicolas Bonleux, Managing Director & Chief Commercial Officer, Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS, the valves prevent ice from forming on the engine cowl. They will be manufactured at the company’s center of competence for air management systems, then packaged into ship-sets of two pneumatic valves per nacelle, a redundancy designed to prevent engine overheating.

“This contract marks a major milestone in our long-term strategy to offer technical solutions for aircraft-engine applications, and to continuously extend and consolidate our activities in this market,” Bonleux said. “We are happy to support NORDAM as we supply our products to a nacelle provider for the first time.”

Ilmor Engineering applies motorsport technologies to improve GA aero engine for EU Clean Sky 2 programme

Ilmor Engineering has improved the power density of a General Aviation diesel engine by applying technologies and design solutions honed in Motorsport to successfully deliver an EU Clean Sky 2 (CS2) programme, funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation project aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise pollution.

Northampton, UK based Ilmor Engineering is world renowned for producing championship winning engines for Formula 1 and IndyCar and has a growing aerospace capability, which includes the development of a UAV engine and a project for Boeing that earned Ilmor a Boeing Silver Supplier Award.

The competitively awarded programme had two interdependent aims. The first and very demanding challenge was to improve power density on a certified engine by increasing power and reducing weight while also maintaining fuel efficiency. The second was to identify and apply new design techniques and technologies; the project’s remit was not to create an airworthy, certifiable power plant.
Ilmor collaborated with SMA, the Piston Engine Division of Safran Aircraft Engines, which supplied the EASA certified SR305-230E engine, a 227hp, four-cylinder, four-stroke, horizontally-opposed engine most commonly fitted to the Cessna 182. Ilmor met the initial goal to reduce mass and increase cooling performance to permit the engine to operate at a higher power output for the duration of its life. The overall mass of the engine was reduced by 2.6%, mostly by replacing the iron liners with a plasma bore coating.

The Ilmor team designed new components and redesigned existing components to meet the increased demand on the engine; and minimised the number of these components by 35%, thus improving machinability and serviceability. The team also identified a possible further mass reduction of 1.6% is available through the use of a steel piston and redesigned con-rod. Just less than 100 hours of test bench running in France proved the power increase and basic reliability, and at the same time highlighted elements that needed further refinement, many of them already predicted by the Ilmor team.

Ilmor was able to introduce design solutions, technologies and materials used in Motorsport’s constant quest for high power output, light weight and fuel efficiency. Many are unfamiliar to the aerospace industry and the CS2 programme demonstrated they can contribute towards improving the performance and efficiency of the next generation of aero diesel engines.


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