Thursday, February 28th, 2019


French-Dutch power struggle sees Air France-KLM shares tumble

In a bid to counter French influence over the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, the Dutch government has acquired a 12.7 percent stake. With the move highlighting the rising tension between the two countries, shares in Air-France KLM had fallen by 11.3 percent at 1612 GMT according to Reuters. Late on Tuesday, Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced the initial 12.7 percent stake acquisition for 680 million euros ($774 million) and pledged to increase the holding to parity with France’s 14.3 percent stake.

Problems have simmered for some time as the Dutch influence on the carrier has waned under a French-dominated executive board. Despite the merger of Air France with Dutch airline KLM in 2004, the KLM subsidiary has maintained an independent corporate structure. However, since taking the helm of Air France-KLM, Canadian Chief Executive Ben Smith has looked for deeper integration, but has met with the might of The Hague’s backing of KLM’s desire to have a greater say in the subsidiary’s activities.

Air France-KLM said on Wednesday it would seek to ensure that the Dutch government’s sudden arrival as a major shareholder “will not negatively impact the new working dynamic of the group”.

Delta Airlines and China Eastern Airlines have each also hold an 8.8 percent stake in Air France-KLM, while analysts Liberium have stated that “Government interference is unwelcome and likely to be contrary to investors’ interests,”

At a news conference called at short notice on Tuesday night in the Hague, Hoekstra said buying the stake was a “fundamental step toward protecting Dutch interests”.


Safran Reports Strong 2018 Performance

Safran has reported adjusted revenue of Euro 21,050 million for FY 2018, an increase of 32.0% on a reported basis, including a ten-month contribution of Euro 3,799 million from Zodiac Aerospace and Euro (338) million of currency impacts. On an organic basis, adjusted revenue grew 10.4%.

Adjusted recurring operating income was Euro 3,023 million (14.4% of revenue), an increase of 37.9% on a reported basis compared to Euro 2,192 million (13.7% of revenue) in FY 2017. FY 2018 adjusted recurring operating income included a ten-month contribution from Zodiac Aerospace amounting to Euro 290 million. Excluding Zodiac Aerospace, adjusted recurring operating income grew 24.7%.

Adjusted net income – Group share was Euro 1,981 million (basic adjusted EPS of Euro 4.60 and diluted adjusted EPS of Euro 4.54). In 2017, adjusted net income – Group share amounted to Euro 2,393 million comprising Euro 1,563 million of net income from continuing operations and Euro 830 million of net income from disposal gains.

FY 2018 civil aftermarket] was up 12.2% in USD terms driven notably by spare parts sales for second generation CFM56 engines.

Airpart Supply Appointed as Authorised Factory Distributor for Meggitt Wheels and Brakes

Airpart Supply has signed a new contract with Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems effective January 2019, as authorised distributor for wheels and brakes in the territories of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

A large inventory of Meggitt wheels, brakes and parts will be available for same day shipping from Airpart’s warehouse and corporate HQ at High Wycombe, Bucks, close to London’s Heathrow Airport.


Air Canada Introduces Non-Stop Montreal-São Paulo, Brazil Flights

Air Canada will introduce new winter service from Montreal to São Paulo, Brazil, the only non-stop flights between the two cities.

This new route to São Paulo will commence on December 11, 2019 and operate three return-trips weekly from Montreal until March 27, 2020. Flights are timed for convenient connections across Air Canada's network in North America, including to and from Vancouver, Calgary and Quebec City, as well as several Brazilian cities beyond São Paulo.

Pakistani airspace closed and India shuts down airports as tensions escalate

As the threat of a full-blown conflict looms over the two nuclear-armed countries of Pakistan and India, Pakistan has chosen to close down its airspace, leading to the cancellation and diversion of numerous flights (Wednesday). In addition, India has shut down six airports, including Srinagar, Jammu and Leh in Kashmir and Amritsar, Chandigarh and Dehradun, plus a vast area of airspace north of New Delhi has been closed to civilian flights.

Tension between the two countries increased on February 14 after a suicide bomb in the disputed territory of Indian Kashmir killed 40 troops, while current actions have resulted from Pakistan claiming it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes in its airspace over Kashmir. India
said its forces shot down a Pakistani fighter jet, but also lost one of its own planes.

The closure of the airspace will have a considerable effect on Western holidaymakers heading for Southeast Asia and will see the diversion of many scheduled flights. Pakistan's Civil Aviation
Authority and the military said the country's entire airspace had been closed, with a CAA source telling AFP that all airlines had been notified to "suspend their operations in Pakistan until further notice".

Pakistan International Airlines, the country's flag carrier, warned that "flights may be affected due to closure of Pakistan commercial air space".

A spokesman for the International Air Transport Association confirmed that approximately 220 flights usually pass through Pakistani airspace each day between Europe and Southeast Asia.

"Alternative routes are available for the flights impacted by the closure of Pakistan airspace," he said.


Comair Takes Delivery of First 737 MAX

Boeing has delivered the first 737 MAX 8 to Comair, which becomes the first airline in sub-Sahara Africa to operate the fuel-efficient jet.

The airplane is the first of eight 737 MAX airplanes on order for Comair as the airline looks to refresh its fleet and offer better service for its passengers.

The new airplane enters a growing African aviation market, where the domiciled fleet has almost doubled in the past two decades. And over the next two decades, Africa will require nearly 1,200 new jets, according to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook. Boeing airplanes represent nearly 70% of the continent’s in-service fleet.

Comair flies an all-Boeing fleet that includes 18 Next-Generation and seven Classic 737s for its kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair) brands. The 737 MAX 8 will allow Comair to achieve 14% better fuel efficiency and lower emissions, while flying 600 nautical miles farther than its predecessor.

Proponent and Joramco Sign Agreement at MRO Middle East

At MRO Middle East, independent aerospace parts distributor Proponent and commercial aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul company Joramco made an agreement for Proponent to support the supply of consumables and expendables for Joramco.

Proponent will also be exploring other value added services such as kitting and consignment to further develop and expand support for Joramco. This agreement will be active through December 31, 2019.

Bombardier MRO

Vietjet Orders Additional 100 Boeing 737 MAX Airplanes

Boeing and Vietnamese carrier Vietjet have confirmed that the carrier has purchased 100 additional 737 MAX airplanes, taking their MAX order book to 200 jets.

The deal includes 20 MAX 8s and 80 of the new, larger MAX 10 variant. The order was previously unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website.

In ordering 80 MAX 10s, Vietjet becomes the largest Asian customer of the airplane type. The carrier plans to use the added capacity to meet growing demand across Vietnam, as well as to serve popular destinations throughout Asia.

Vietjet placed its first order for 100 737 MAX airplanes in 2016.

ATR Enters into Partnership with AviAssist in Africa

ATR has signed a partnership agreement with AviAssist, the independent non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting African aviation safety.

Through this partnership, ATR continues to strengthen flight safety awareness and accident prevention actions. Since 2015, ATR has participated in the annual Safety in African Aviation Conferences (SiAAC) organised by AviAssist. ATR is also a member of the Conference Committee.

More than 120 ATR aircraft are operated in 22 African countries by 30 airlines. According to ATR's market forecast, the number of turboprops in Africa is expected to exceed 350 within the next twenty years.

GA Telesis

AJW Group Appoints Greg Hoggett As Technical Director

AJW Group has appointed Greg Hoggett as Technical Director.

In his new role, Hoggett will be responsible for technical standards and best practices across all divisions of the global business, focusing on driving continuous improvement of its supply chains and delivering innovative solutions to airline MRO challenges.

Hoggett brings more than three decades of aviation experience to his new role. He began his career in the Royal Air Force, before going on to hold senior management positions at GE Aviation, Tui
Group, easyJet and TAG Aviation UK.

At AJW Group, he will report directly to Boris Wolstenholme, Chief Strategy Officer, and will be based at the company’s Headquarters in Slinfold, West Sussex.

Vietnam Airlines and Sabre to Expand Existing Strategic Relationship

Sabre and Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The MOU describes Vietnam Airlines’ intention to significantly expand their existing strategic relationship with Sabre, with a potential value of over US$300 million. The scope of the signed MOU includes innovative technology from the Sabre AirVision and AirCenter portfolio, that will complement SabreSonic, Vietnam Airlines’ existing Passenger Service System (PSS), which was recently renewed. Together, Sabre’s solutions will help contribute to the carrier’s profitability and digital abilities once implemented, supporting their objective to become a digital airline by 2020.

The MOU contemplates that Sabre’s innovative Sabre In-Flight solution would be the first to be adopted by the airline, following the announcement. The solution, which has driven cost savings of up to 10% of the total catering budget, would also enhance the airlines’ operational efficiency. Additionally, the MOU contemplates a new, long-term domestic content distribution agreement for Vietnam Airlines through the Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS).

A growing domestic subsidiary of the Vietnam Airlines group would also onboard the SabreSonic PSS under the MOU in an effort to enhance the synergy within the Group. The deal
contemplated by the MOU, which is expected in the coming months, would provide a single integrated passenger technology platform across both airlines.


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