Tuesday, March 5th, 2019


EU and Qatar initial first EU-Gulf partner agreement

March 4th has seen the first initialing of an aviation agreement between the European Union (EU) and the State of Qatar which will upgrade the rules and standards for flights between Qatar and the EU. This will also be seen as a new global benchmark by committing to fair and robust competition mechanisms along with provisions not usually covered by bilateral air transport agreements, e.g. social and environmental matters.

The agreement, which is the first between the EU and any Gulf state, includes, but
is not limited to the following elements:
  • A gradual market opening over a period of five years to those EU Member States which have not yet fully liberalised direct connections for passengers: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
  • Provisions on fair competition with strong enforcement mechanisms to avoid distortions of
    competition and abuses negatively affecting the operations of EU airlines in the EU or in third countries.
  • Transparency provisions in line with international reporting and accounting standards to
    ensure obligations are fully respected.
  • Provisions on social matters committing the Parties to improve social and labour policies.
  • A forum for meetings addressing all issues, and any potential differences at an early stage, plus mechanisms to quickly resolve any disputes.
  • Provisions facilitating business transactions, including the removal of existing obligations for EU airlines to work through a local sponsor.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "We delivered! Qatar was the first partner with whom we launched negotiations following our adoption of the Aviation Strategy for Europe – now it is also the first one to cross the finish line! More than that – the agreement sets out ambitious standards for fair competition, transparency or social issues. It will provide a level playing field and raise the bar globally for air transport agreements. This is a major upgrade compared to the existing framework, and our joint contribution to making aviation more sustainable!"

Going beyond traffic rights, the EU-Qatar agreement will provide a single set of rules, high
standards and a platform for future cooperation on a road range of aviation issues including safety, security and air traffic management. Additionally, the agreement also commits both parties to improve social and labour policies – an achievement which existing agreements between Qatar and individual EU Member States have not thus far provided.


Loftleidir Acquires Majority of Shares of Cabo Verde Airlines

Loftleidir Cabo Verde has acquired 51% of the shares of Cabo Verde Airlines. Loftleidir Icelandic, which is a subsidiary of Icelandair Group, holds a 70% stake in Loftleidir Cabo Verde, and other investors 30%.

The acquisition of Cabo Verde Airlines does not have a significant effect on Icelandair Group's financial statements since Cabo Verde Airlines will not be reflected in the Group’s consolidated financial statements. The share will be classified as an associated company.  

Bii introduces new Regional Directors

Specialist aircraft component support providers, Bii have appointed two new Regional Directors to capitalise on a business growth trajectory that saw significant expansion in 2018. Cesar Pahl and Marco Pozzato have joined the Bii sales team to provide dedicated customer support for the regional commercial aircraft sector.

Cesar Pahl will utilise his extensive experience of the Latin America region to develop new accounts and build relationships. Recently Regional Sales Business Developer at AJW Aviation, following a three year career interacting with key airlines across Central and South America, Pahl began his aviation career with Iberia as a Customer Service Executive.

Marco Pozzato will primarily focus on building customer partnerships for Bii across Europe. A skilled negotiator, Pozzato commenced his seven year aviation career at Avtrade where he quickly progressed to Regional Sales Manager, overseeing four countries and thirty five airlines.


Aero Capital Solutions Raises First Aviation Investment Vehicle

Aero Capital Solutions (ACS), a mid-life aircraft leasing platform, has successfully closed its first aviation investment vehicle with total aggregate equity commitments of US$200 million. Investors include a broad group of sophisticated investors, registered investment advisers, and single and multi-family offices. In addition to the US$200 million of equity, ACS closed on a US$400 million debt facility with a multinational investment bank providing a total of approximately US$600 million of capital for deployment.

Adam Davidson, ACS’ EVP of Business Development, commented, “We were pleased to see
the strong demand for our first offering from such a sophisticated and diverse group of investors. Raising our first investment vehicle will allow us to continue building on our successful track record of acquiring and monetizing mid-life commercial aircraft.”

As of its final close on December 31, 2018, the vehicle was approximately 50% deployed, comprised of 21 commercial aircraft. The current portfolio includes a mix of mid-life Boeing and Airbus aircraft. These aircraft are on lease to a diversified group of airlines throughout the world.

Malaysia Airlines takes off with AMOS

Swiss-AS has reported the successful go-live of AMOS at Malaysia Airlines. The national carrier of Malaysia signed for AMOS at the end of September 2017 and went live with AMOS in just 14 months later while now managing more than 100 end-to-end processes with AMOS.

Malaysia Airlines undertook a strategic project to transform and optimize the entire organization. The AMOS implementation was considered as one of the major milestones in this process. The industry-best practice-processes that became possible via AMOS were fully adopted to render the maintenance division future-proof.

The organizational transformation within the engineering and maintenance departments does not end with the go-live of AMOS. In fact, the airline is already looking to implement paperless solutions, such as Swiss-AS’ e-signature solution, to further digitalize the maintenance and engineering operations and provide a platform to connect data across the organization.


Turkish Airlines and Oman Air extend codeshare agreement

Turkish Airlines and Oman Air have updated their codeshare agreement. This will allow Turkish Airlines to codeshare on Oman Air operating flights to Salalah, while Oman Air will codeshare on Turkish Airlines’ flights to Rome, Copenhagen and Algiers.

Turkish Airlines and Oman Air currently operate one daily flight each on the Muscat-Istanbul route. These flights are designed to complement each other by allowing same day return at Muscat and Istanbul - and offering convenient connections at both hubs.

GECAS Delivers AEI’s First 737-800 Converted Freighter to Ethiopian

GECAS has delivered AEI’s inaugural passenger-to-freighter converted 737-800 to Ethiopian Airlines, national flag carrier of Ethiopia.

Completing the conversion of the prototype aircraft in December, Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) has now received the supplemental type certification (STC) from the US Federal Aviation Administration for their 737-800SF.

In 2015, GECAS became the conversion program launch customer of both AEI and Boeing, providing the prototype aircraft to each. In April 2018, Boeing delivered their first converted 737-800 to GECAS customer West Atlantic. To date, GECAS has announced plans to convert at least fifty 737-800 passenger aircraft to freighters.

Royal Aero

Lufthansa Technik appoints new CEO's for LHT Sofia and LHT Shenzhen

Various management changes have been made in the international network of Lufthansa Technik. On January 25, Torsten Raabe became the new CEO of Lufthansa Technik Sofia (LTSF).

Futhermore, from March 1 Benjamin Scheidel took over the CEO position from Detlev Jeske at Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen (LTS).

At LTSF, Torsten Raabe succeeded Daniel Hoffmann, who was appointed Head of Lufthansa Technik Philippines after three years in Sofia. The former CEO of LTS, Detlev Jeske, joined Lumics GmbH & Co. KG in Hamburg, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and McKinsey & Company.

Airbus Helicopters unveils new H145 at Heli-Expo 2019

Airbus Helicopters is unveiling a new version of its H145 light twin-engine helicopter at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta.

This latest upgrade brings a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg while delivering new levels of comfort, simplicity and connectivity.

The H145’s new five-bladed rotor brings a significant increase in overall performance, with a maximum take-off weight raised to 3,800 kg and a useful load now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while
improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. The reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas.

EASA certification of the new H145 is planned for early 2020, with first deliveries to follow later that year. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital
engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.


Magnetic MRO acquires Dutch Direct Maintenance, enters wide-body market

Magnetic MRO has completed the acquisition of Direct Maintenance, an Amsterdam-based independent MRO provider that’s specialized in Line Maintenance for narrow- and wide-body aircraft. The deal adds Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 to Magnetic MRO group’s capabilities, and doubles its global line stations network while allowing the Dutch company to keep the Direct Maintenance brand.

Signed in February 2019, the deal covers the transfer of 100% of Direct Maintenance's shares from its previous owner Direct Aviation Group to Magnetic MRO. It also includes the right for the newly
acquired company to keep operating under the Direct Maintenance brand.

With a team of 140 employees, the Dutch MRO company provides a wide range of line maintenance services for narrow- and wide-body aircraft, including Airbus A340, A380 and A350, as well as Boeing 747, 777 and 787. The company also supports Embraer 170/190 and MD-11 aircraft types.
Direct Maintenance's network includes 8 countries and 11 line stations serving national flag carriers
and major leisure airlines from Europe, Middle East, USA, Asia and Africa.


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TurbineAero's Women in Aviation Day
March 8, 2019 – Arizona, USA

IATP Conference 2019
March 9 - 13, 2019 – Athens, Greece

Saudi International Airshow 2019
March 12 - 14, 2019 – Thumamah Airport, Riyadh, KSA

Analytics and AI in Travel North America
March 14 - 15, 2019 – Hilton Parc 55, San Francisco, CA, USA

Aviation Festival Americas 2019
May 13 - 15, 2019 – JW Marriott Marquis, Miami, FL, USA
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