Friday, April 19th, 2019


Boeing moves one step closer to certification for new 737 MAX software upgrade

Denis Muilenburg, Boeing Chairman, CEO and President, has confirmed that steady progress is being made towards certification for a new software upgrade for the troubled 737 MAX single-aisle jet. Tuesday saw an official engineering test flight that Muilenburg described as the “final test flight prior to the certification flight.” Boeing has been working frantically to develop new software for the 737 MAX which has been involved in what have been described as two ‘similar’ fatal nose-down crashes. The new software has been designed to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that is suspected as being the reason for the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX on October 29 last year, and the recent crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX on March 10.

According to Reuters, it is likely to take a further 90 days from the date of delivery of the software upgrade to the FAA before certification is likely to be obtained. To date, 120 737 MAX test flights have been carried out with more than 230 hours of air time with the new software. In addition to the software certification, decisions have yet to be made with regard to the nature of pilot training for the new software. Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau told Reuters on Wednesday that he thought pilots should receive simulator training rather than computer courses.

While Boeing has back orders for 4,600 of the fuel-efficient jet, currently all 737 MAX aircraft are grounded worldwide and have been since shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines’ crash, while sales of the jet have also been suspended until further notice; Boeing’s share value has fallen by roughly 11 percent since then.


Manta Air signs 5-year maintenance agreement with ATR

Manta Air, the new domestic carrier of the Republic of Maldives, has signed a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) with European turboprop manufacturer ATR. This five-year contract covers the Maldivian airline’s full fleet for the repair and overhaul of easily replaceable components (Line Replaceable Units), propeller maintenance and an on-site leased stock of spare parts.

This long-term agreement also includes on-site technical support, through which a dedicated Customer Support representative assists Manta Air in their daily operations. The airline is benefitting from tailored recommendations to make an optimal start to operations, based on its very specific needs, and ATR’s expertise to enhance aircraft reliability.

The first two ATR 72-600s of Manta Air, secured through Nordic Aviation Capital, have been delivered in late 2018, and a third aircraft has been delivered in early March 2019. With their
dual-class configuration of 64 seats, Manta Air’s ATR 72-600s will help improve connectivity for the hospitality industry in the beautiful Maldivian atolls. They will be mainly operated on short sectors where ATR aircraft have already proven their operational and economic efficiency.

Brunswick Aviation Services new preferred IFE installation and MRO supplier for AVIAA

AVIAA, the expanding group purchasing organization for business aviation, has announced Brunswick Aviation Services as a new communications and IFE MRO supplier in the USA.  The East Coast based FAA Part 145 certified business works across Gulfstream series; Bombardier Global family; BBJ and Dassault Falcon Jet aircraft platforms, providing IFE systems, alongside avionics modifications.  Its speciality installations are on the increasingly popular Honeywell Jet ConneX JetWave TM offering, delivering 15 megabits per second of seamless connectivity over the ocean.

AVIAA members are guaranteed rapid installation and customization, as quickly as inside two weeks. A preferred Honeywell Center of Connectivity and authorised dealer specializing in JetWave Ka-band connectivity exclusively from Inmarsat Jet ConneX, Brunswick devotes an entire team to one aircraft in the hangar, at any one time.  It is one of the few shops in the USA dedicated to cabin connectivity, internet, Wi-Fi, and inflight entertainment. 


United reports first quarter net income of US$292 million

United Airlines has posted first quarter net income of US$292 million, pre-tax earnings of US$367 million and pre-tax margin of 3.8%, expanding pre-tax margin 1.8 points versus the first quarter of 2018.

United reported first-quarter adjusted net income of US$309 million and adjusted pre-tax earnings of US$389 million. Adjusted pre-tax margin of 4.1% expanding adjusted pre-tax margin 2.1 points versus the first quarter of 2018.

Total passenger revenue increased 7.1% versus the first quarter of 2018. First-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.1% year-over-year.

Meggitt PLC and OEMServices sign long-term agreement for supply of aftermarket services

Meggitt PLC, a leading international company specialising in high performance components for the aerospace market, has signed a Long Term Agreement (LTA) with OEMServices to supply component after-market support to operators in the Middle East, Africa and Russia/CIS.
OEMServices is a market leader in providing component, logistic and trading services to airlines and original equipment manufacturers worldwide.

Under the agreement, OEMServices will act as an integrated service provider for Meggitt aftermarket products within the named regions, and will also operate a one-stop shop for maintenance, repair and overhaul, using dedicated global service centres and a 24/7 AOG
hotline, committed to responding to operator needs within the hour.

OEMServices’ considerable experience of serving operators in these markets will ensure that Meggitt OE approved solutions are immediately available, optimizing repair turn-around times and
minimizing unscheduled maintenance.

Magellan Group

AOG-247 signs with B&H Worldwide in UK and Germany

B&H Worldwide, the aerospace logistics provider, has signed a multi-year deal to provide fast-expanding aircraft and engine components supplier AOG-247, with warehouse and inventory management services at both London Heathrow and Frankfurt. Under the terms of the contact B&H will provide full inventory management at both locations including complete consignment handling and access to the B&H FirstTrac online portal.

B&H will initially be responsible for managing the UK headquartered company’s commercial engine inventory (introducing CFM56-7 Life Limited Parts) which AOG-247 will base from B&H's Frankfurt warehouse.

"As with all component suppliers, AOG-247 need to be very close to their markets and by
utilising space at both our Heathrow and Frankfurt facilities they are well placed to meet any of their own customers' requirements while at the same time having the scope to expand their activities in the years to come," states B&H Worldwide Group CEO, Stuart Allen.

GECAS and Oz Management close STARR 2019-1

GECAS and Oz Management have announced the closing of STARR 2019-1. In this transaction GECAS is selling twenty in-production Boeing and Airbus narrowbodies to START II Ltd. With an average aircraft age of less than six years, the diversified portfolio includes aircraft currently on lease to 13 airlines in 11 countries and has total appraised value of approximately US$589mn.

START II Ltd. is financing its acquisition through its issuance of 144A/Reg. S debt and equity. The sales are subject to typical conditions precedent including any regulatory approvals that may be necessary. In similar fashion to the STARR 2018-1 transaction -- which was the first aircraft portfolio purchase vehicle structure to include 144A tradeable equity and a dedicated Asset Manager for equity investors – an affiliate of Oz will serve as an Asset Manager and GECAS
will continue to service the portfolio.

An affiliate of Oz, through an exclusive, multi-year agreement with GECAS, will serve as an asset manager on this and potential future transactions, acting on behalf of the syndicated equity investors as an advisor to START II Ltd.’s board regarding portfolio matters. In this capacity, Oz will provide increased transparency on behalf of START II Ltd. through enhanced investor reporting to improve liquidity for debt and equity investors.


ST Engineering completes acquisition of MRA Systems

Singapore Technologies Engineering refers to its earlier announcements made on September 13, 2018, March 29, 2019 and April 14, 2019, in relation to the proposed acquisition by its US subsidiary, Vision Technologies Aerospace Incorporated, of a 100% ownership in MRA Systems (MRAS).

On April 18, 2019, the proposed acquisition was completed at a net consideration of about US$506m (approximately S$683m) in cash, subject to post-completion adjustments for debt-like items and working capital.

MRAS is now an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of ST Engineering, whose aerospace capabilities now include the Original Equipment Manufacturer business of high-value nacelle systems and replacement parts. With the inclusion of MRAS, ST Engineering has greatly boosted its network of facilities in the U.S. to support regional and global customers. Its extensive capabilities in the U.S. ranges from services in airframe maintenance, VIP completions and aircraft interior refurbishment to now nacelle design and manufacturing.

Kellstrom acquires another Airbus aircraft for part-out

Kellstrom Aerospace has announced that it has acquired another CFM56-5 powered Airbus  aircraft for part-out. This 1997 aircraft, MSN 662, is currently  slated for disassembly in the UK.  


The Av8 Group expands parts inventories for Hawker, Challenger and other major airframes

The Av8 AOG parts unit has acquired extensive parts inventories for Hawker 800A and Challenger 604/605 model aircraft. The Av8 AOG unit is focused on parts services including expedited AOG parts, managed repair services, engineering & repair, OEM & PMA parts sales and distribution as well as inventory acquisition & liquidation. The unit continues to actively expand inventories via aircraft purchased for part out and by acquiring flight department inventories whenever possible.

The Hawker 800A inventory has expanded Av8's Hawker inventory rapidly and has made
a number of major parts and components available to their customers which includes a large quantity of wheels, consumables and more. The Hawker parts acquisition also adds depth to their exchange pool by adding additional landing gear and TKS panels in use by their Av8 MRO unit. The Challenger inventory has acted as a similar catalyst for that airframe.

Air Mauritius takes delivery of its first A330neo

Air Mauritius has taken delivery of its first A330-900, on lease from ALC during a ceremony held in Toulouse. The national carrier of the Republic of Mauritius is the first A330neo operator to operate a combination of both the A330neo and A350 XWB.

The aircraft will feature a two-class cabin with 28 business class seats and 260 economy class seats. The carrier will deploy the aircraft on routes connecting Mauritius to Europe (mainly London and Geneva), India and South East Asian routes and on regional destinations including Johannesburg, Antananarivo and Reunion Island.

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AIR Convention Asia
May 1 - 3, 2019 – InterContinental Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

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

Managing Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset & Maintenance Reserves Seminar Training Seminar
June 11 - 12, 2019 – Novotel Barcelona City Hotel, Barcelona, Spain

Paris Air Show 2019
June 17 - 23, 2019 – Le Bourget, Paris, France
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