Thursday, April 25th, 2019


Google’s Alphabet gets FAA go-ahead for first U.S. drone deliveries

The Wing Aviation unit of Alphabet Inc, a sister unit of Google, has become the first U.S. company to be awarded air carrier certification by the FAA. As a result, Wing aims to commence food deliveries by drone in Blacksburg, Virginia, later this year. This means drones will be operated beyond line of sight and will have permission to fly over people but will be restricted to daytime flights. According to Wing data, there is a lower risk to pedestrians from drone deliveries than there is from deliveries made by automobiles.

According to Reuters, Wing partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech as one of the participants in the Transportation Department’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. Commenting on the certification, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that: “This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our number one priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential.”

The FAA confirmed that Wing had successfully shown its operations met the agency’s safety
requirements based on extensive data and documentation, as well as thousands of safe flights conducted in Australia. Wing has recently commenced commercial air delivery service in the north of Canberra, Australia, and will shortly begin its first European trial when it starts delivering to homes in Helsinki, Finland.

With the U.S. lagging behind many other countries in terms of drone experimentation, in May 2018, Chao announced approval for 10 projects to help assess how to regulate drones and integrate them safely into U.S. air space.


AviaAM Leasing posts net profit of €29.1 million for 2018

Aircraft leasing and trading company AviaAM Leasing, earned €49.3 million revenues (including net gain on sale of aircraft) and posted a record net profit of €29.1 million for the year ended 31 December 2018. The net profit grew by 9% as compared to 2017 (€26.8 million).

Last year the company together with its joint venture, AviaAM Financial Leasing China acquired and leased 14 brand new and mid-life aircraft and completed 6 aircraft sale transactions with leases attached. The company cooperated with airlines such as Air Transat, Thomas Cook, Avion Express, Aeroflot, OK Airways and others.

Furthermore AviaAM Financial Leasing China, a joint venture of AviaAM Leasing and Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company, attracted a new strategic partner – the world‘s largest insurance and finance group Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China. The current value of the joint venture’s aircraft fleet reached almost US$1 billion.


ePlane names Gideon Shmuel new CEO

ePlane, the AI-driven online marketplace for the US$80 billion-a-year aircraft parts market, has appointed Gideon Shmuel as the company’s new CEO. Shmuel is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience building tech companies through his expertise in investor relations, sales, and marketing. He succeeds Avi Gelman, who is one of the founders of the company. Gelman will remain on ePlane’s board of directors and continue to help guide the company.

The hire comes as ePlane looks towards further growth and deepening their strategic relationships within the industry. Despite the enormous size of the aerospace parts (MRO) market, the
purchasing and selling of aircraft parts rely on long-established methods without a single source. This prevents the ecosystem from effectively transacting and communicating increasing costs and inventory levels while reducing efficiency.

ePlane is modernizing and streamlining the process of buying, selling and exchanging airplane parts. Over 2,000 airlines, OEMs, distributors, MROs and brokers already use ePlane’s online platform, and the company is on track for more than 200 new registrants this month. With analysts predicting that 38,000 new aircraft will be produced over the next 20 years, the demand for
parts and repairs is expected to double.


IFS reports 67% increase in licence revenue

IFS the global enterprise applications company, has posted its financial results for the first quarter that ended March 31, 2019.

Net revenue for the quarter increased 29% to US$154 million on the back of a remarkable 67% growth in licence revenue, mainly driven by a massive influx of new customers across the globe. These outstanding results confirm both the capabilities of IFS’s offering and the company’s focus on providing sensible enterprise applications that deliver value.

Adjusted EBITDA grew by nearly 70% during the quarter. While increased revenue was the major driver behind the increase in profits, IFS has focused on significantly reducing the historical investments in the parts of the business which were either non-core, or not contributing value to customers. This singular focus on what customers appreciate—and what they need to continue to challenge their respective industries—remains the guiding principle at IFS. IFS sees the opportunity to continue to incrementally expand its margins as the business grows to scale.

SR Technics Engineering finishes complex cabin reconfiguration for Virgin Atlantic

MRO service provider SR Technics, has completed a complex cabin refurbishment on four Airbus 330-200s for partner Virgin Atlantic Airways.

In addition to a customized trolley stowage unit, the cabin reconfiguration introduced business class and premium economy seating including IFE. Despite the tight deadline and the fact that the project took place during the busy holiday season, all four aircraft were delivered on schedule between December 2018 and January 2019.


Boeing Commercial Airplanes' first quarter revenue down 9%

Boeing Commercial Airplanes first-quarter revenue was US$11.8 billion, down 9%, reflecting lower 737 deliveries partially offset by favorable mix. First-quarter operating margin was 9.9% reflecting lower 737 deliveries partially offset by a higher margin on the 787 program. The reported margin also reflects increased costs associated with the recent 737 production rate adjustment.

During the quarter, Commercial Airplanes delivered 149 airplanes compared to 184 the previous year. Boeing increased the production rate for the 787 to 14 airplanes per month. Commercial Airplanes captured several widebody orders during the quarter, including orders for 18 777X airplanes for British Airways parent company IAG, 20 787 airplanes for Lufthansa, and 10 787 airplanes for Bamboo Airways. The first 777X flight test airplane rolled out of the factory, and the program remains on track for flight testing this year and first delivery in 2020.

Commercial Airplanes backlog remains healthy with over 5,600 airplanes valued at US$399 billion.

SR Technics

Finnair posts first quarter results

Finnair has released its first quarter 2019 results, reporting revenue increase of 5% to €672.9 million compared to €641.1 million the previous year. Available seat kilometres grew by 19.4%, while the load factor for the quarter was down 4.6 points to 78.3%. Comparable operating result was €-16.2 million, compared to €14.6 million in the first quarter 2018. The operating result was €-17.6 million, compared to €16.9 million the previous year.

Unit revenue decreased by 4.9%. Unit revenue at constant currency decreased by 5.3%. Unit cost (CASK) decreased by 0.4%. Unit cost at constant currency excluding fuel decreased by 2.8%.

Net cash flow from operating activities was €148.3 million compared to €108.0 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Pattonair announces new contract win with TEXL

Aerospace and defence supply chain provider, Pattonair, has won a new conctract with MRO specialist, TEXL, the Chinese based joint venture between Swire Group and GE.

Pattonair is one of the most innovative provider in the MRO sector and this new award with TEXL, supporting the GE90 engine, draws on its track record and experience of providing world class service and availability, together with innovative and value adding solutions, including its market leading agile vending machines.


Aergo Capital finances two A321s with Deutsche Bank

Aergo Capital has partnered with Deutsche Bank (London Branch) to finance two 2009 vintage Airbus A321-200 aircraft, both subject to lease with Air Transat (Canada). The aircraft are subject to long term operating leases with Air Transat and were acquired by Aergo Capital in August of 2018.

Fred Browne, Chief Executive Office of Aergo Capital, commented, “We are delighted to partner with Deutsche Bank on this transaction as we continue to support the growth of Air Transat and further develop our banking relationships”.

CDB Aviation closes US$525 million unsecured credit facility

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB Leasing), announced the closing of a US$525 million unsecured credit facility, which marks the company’s first such syndicated transaction.

The five-year facility, which will be used for general corporate purposes, was led by Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., and Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners. Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank acted as the facility Agent.

GA Telesis

Channel Islands airline, Aurigny, opts for OASES from Commsoft

Guernsey-based Aurigny Air Services has chosen OASES, Commsoft’s MRO IT system, to support its fleet of Embraer, ATR and Dornier aircraft.

Implementation of OASES will begin shortly and the system will be shared by Aurigny's sister
company, Anglo Normandy Aero Engineering.

Combining a technical sophistication with an intuitive user interface, OASES is structured in a modular format to provide maximum flexibility and scalability. Aurigny has selected the Core, Airworthiness, Planning, Materials Management, Production and Line Maintenance Control modules which will be accessed through Commsoft’s Private Cloud service.

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

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