Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Lufthansa makes non-binding offer for Thomas Cook’s Condor

As part of its continued growth strategy, Germany’s largest commercial airline, Lufthansa, has made a non binding offer for U.K. travel giant Thomas Cook’s offshoot carrier Condor. According to a Lufthansa spokesperson: "We have made a non-binding offer for Condor, with the option of extending it to all Thomas Cook airlines."

Thomas Cook has been looking to dispose of its airlines in a bid to turn the company’s fortunes round by concentrating investment in hotels and digitisation. Last year the Group’s airlines carried 20 million passengers and operated a fleet of 103 aircraft. While the airlines made an operating profit of £129 million (US$169 million), the Group, as a whole, made a loss.

Condor is an attractive proposition for Lufthansa while the German carrier looks to build up long-haul routes at its subsidiary, Eurowings. However, European regulators may not be so keen. In a bid to avoid competition concerns the European Commission placed limits on Lufthansa’s buyout of Air Berlin after it went bankrupt in 2017. Brussels Airlines and Germany-based LGW have already been swallowed up by the carrier.

Shares in Lufthansa were down 1.7 percent around 1230 in Frankfurt (1030 GMT) while Thomas Cook gained 11.7 percent in London.

Jet Parts Engineering

Inmarsat SB-S approved by U.S. Federal AviationAdministration

Inmarsat has received final approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its SB-S digital airline operations and safety platform.

The FAA has validated the capability of Inmarsat SB-S to support air traffic services by providing direct datalink communication between pilots and Air Traffic Control (ATC). The letter of approval highlights the future potential of this ‘first-of-its-kind’ service, stating that SB-S technology “provides diversity and potential for advances of capability that will further maximise operational benefits and ensure safety”. The endorsement follows a recommendation last year from the
FAA’s Performance Based Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC).

FAA approval follows an extensive live evaluation of SB-S by Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines, which took place between June 2015 and July 2018 on approximately 25,000 flights and seven aircraft types. Inmarsat partners in the evaluation included Cobham Aerospace Communications, Collins Aerospace, SITAONAIR, ASG and L2. China’s Shenzhen Airlines is also using SB-S and Inmarsat’s digital airline operations platform has been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS) line fit solution on its A320 and A330 families.

TrueNoord opens office in Singapore

TrueNoord, the specialist regional aircraft lessor, has established a representative office in Singapore as the first step in broadening its global footprint in the Asia region with a view to establishing a more permanent presence going forward. Carst Lindeboom, Sales Director – Asia Pacific, will act as the chief representative of the new office based in Centennial Tower in the heart of the City.

Lindeboom says “Asia is an important region for TrueNoord, it has a large active regional fleet and a positive future outlook. In addition to the existing fleet of E190s with Mandarin Airlines and Air Astana, TrueNoord has recently leased four new ATR 72-600 aircraft to Wings Air Indonesia, and five new ATR 72-600s to IndiGo as we continue to expand our presence in Asia Pacific.”

Home to half of the world’s population and a vast growing middle class, Lindeboom adds that market predictions estimate demand for regional aviation in Asia will outgrow North America and Europe in the coming decades. “It is however a market where personal contact is very important and in order to be successful, we believe we need to have a firm presence here to better develop our contacts and understanding of the challenges faced by expanding regional operators. Our aim is to actively develop and broaden our portfolio of customers in the region.”


Willis Lease Finance reports quarterly pre-tax profit of US$27.8 million

Willis Lease Finance Corporation has reported pre-tax profit of US$27.8 million and total revenues of US$103.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. The Company’s first quarter 2019 pre-tax results were driven by continued revenue growth in the core leasing business, an increase in trading activity and continuing spare parts sales. Aggregate lease rent and maintenance reserve revenues were US$73.7 million for the first quarter of 2019.

Total revenue increased by 47.2% to $103.8 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to US$70.5 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Lease rent revenue achieved a record quarterly high of US$48.4 million in the first quarter of 2019; 22.0% growth from US$39.6 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Quarterly Maintenance reserve revenue increased by US$9.9 million, or 64.2%, to US$25.4 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to US$15.4 million in the prior year period.

Spare parts and equipment sales increased by 34.8% to US$17.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to US$13.0 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Component Control

Bombardier sells five Learjet 75 aircraft to undisclosed customer

Bombardier has reported that an undisclosed customer has purchased five Learjet 75 aircraft. The transaction is valued at approximately US$69 million dollars based on 2019 list prices.

This latest announcement follows the landmark achievement Bombardier’s fleet of Learjet aircraft set earlier in 2019, when the fleet surpassed the 25 million flight-hour mark, adding yet another accomplishment to a string of Learjet milestones and firsts.

The first Learjet business aircraft entered service in 1964, creating the experience and defining the industry of private flight.

StandardAero’s Gonesse, France, facility renews PW100 and PT6A DOF licenses

StandardAero’s engine MRO facility in Gonesse, France, is enjoying a strong start to 2019, with new capabilities and additional hires. The Gonesse facility, which is located mid-way between Le Bourget and Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, last month renewed its Pratt & Whitney Canada Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF) licenses for the PW100 and PT6A turboprop engine families, continuing its long association with these popular powerplants. The facility has a 33-year association supporting the PW100 engine, its predecessor company SECA having been the first independent PW100 shop to be appointed in 1986.

Gonesse has approvals for 23 members of the PW100 family, including the PW127M variant
powering the latest generation of ATR -600 turboprops, plus the PW127G engine which powers the Airbus C295 transport aircraft. Gonesse also has extensive approvals for the PT6A family, including, including the widely used PT6A-41/-42 models plus the Daher TBM 700’s PT6A-64 powerplant, and will shortly be delivering its 1,500th PT6A engine.

In addition to renewing its PT6A DOF license, the Gonesse facility has also been re-selected by Daher as the PT6A engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider for TBM very fast turboprop aircraft based in Europe. StandardAero was originally selected by Daher in 2016, this agreement including engine support for the fleet of TBM 700 aircraft operated by the French Ministry of Defense and managed by Daher under a Full Operational Support agreement.

For 2019, the Gonesse facility plans to offer additional capabilities to its customers throughout the EMEA region with the introduction of a dedicated on-site service center capability and an expanded Mobile Repair Technician (MRT) team of field support reps.


MTU Aero Engines establishes new repair facility in Serbia

MTU Aero Engines AG and the Government of the Republic of Serbia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with regard to the company’s intention to set up a new industrial site in Serbia. The Serbian government strongly supports this new venture, which will most likely be located in the Belgrade region. Due to ongoing negotiations, a decision regarding a specific location has not yet been made.

MTU, a leading engine manufacturer and one of the world’s largest engine maintenance providers, plans to expand its current network with a dedicated parts repair facility. After a carefully considered selection process including sites across Europe, MTU decided in favour of Serbia as the home of this growth project.

WestJet's net earnings up 33.4% in first quarter 2019

WestJet has posted its first quarter results for 2019, with net earnings of CA$45.6 million, compared with net earnings of CA$34.2 million reported in the first quarter of 2018, up 33.4%.

Total revenue for the quarter improved 5.5% to CA$1,257.7 million. Available seat miles and revenue passenger miles were each up 5.3% while the load factor was flat at 84.8%, compared to the first quarter 2018.


Field Aviation sells two EFI-890R flight deck upgrades

Field Aviation has sold two EFI-890R flight deck upgrades to an undisclosed U.S.-based customer for their Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft. This sale represents the first two upgrades in the operator’s fleet, one being on a Bombardier Dash 8 Series 200 aircraft and the second on a Series 300.

The timing of this sale aligns with the certification of FlightSafety International’s Dash 8 flight simulator at their Toronto, Canada facility, which has been recently upgraded with Field Aviation’s EFI-890R flight deck. This training device received Transport Canada certification on January 30, 2019 and is in the process of obtaining its FAA approval.

Field Aviation is also in the process of completing the last of a three aircraft EFI-890R flight deck and ADS-B Out upgrades on the Swedish Coast Guard Dash 8 aircraft fleet at Skavsta airport in Nyköping, Sweden.


TAM gets EASA Part 21 Design Organisation Approval

Täby Air Maintenance, TAM, has received EASA Part 21 Design Organisation Approval, DOA, giving the company an ability to offer enhanced technical services to airlines.

Already having a corresponding Production Organisation Approval in place, POA, TAM is now well suited to offer its customer a wide range of services, including rapid design and production of parts necessary for maintenance, repairs and modifications.

"This is a vital step for us, as we now can offer a vast range of technical services, primarily to our current customers who operate a Saab 340/Saab 2000-fleet but also to operators of other aircraft, ranging from biz-jets to major airliners," says Pär Gulle, TAM Managing Director. "Our approvals cover the in-house design and manufacture of mechanical and structural parts for installation on aircraft, manufacture of metallic and non-metallic parts, allowing us to provide STC and minor design changes and repairs for large and small aircraft (CS23, CS-25, CS-27), related to installation of avionics equipment, electrical systems, structure, hydro mechanical systems, cabin interiors and OSD. - In addition, we now also have an approved Flight Test Organization," Pär Gulle summarizes the new offerings.


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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