Thursday, May 9th, 2019

France and Italy kick-off traditional European summer holiday strike season

As is becoming a regular occurrence, the arrival of the summer holiday season in Europe has seen the commencement of two commercial aviation-related strikes. This Friday, a number of airport staff, along with some employees of debt-ridden Alitalia, and Air Italy, will be going on strike between 12 noon and 4 p.m. local time, though an intended strike by Italian air-traffic controllers working for ENAV has been postponed while negotiations continue.

Of greater concern and likely to create considerable disruption for numerous airlines, French air-traffic controllers are planning to go on strike, along with millions of other public servants in France as a show of opposition to President Macron’s plans to transform working conditions for public servants. Air-traffic controllers will be commencing strike action at 7 p.m. local time on May 8, lasting until 6 a.m. on May 10. Airlines will be unsure until later on in the week exactly how flights are likely to be affected once Eurocontrol has had the opportunity of discussing the matter with them.

The strike by Alitalia staff will likely not help the ailing carriers plight as it looks for a bail-out from its current “special administration” situation which has been ongoing for two years. Currently,
Delta Airlines and the Italian State Railway are exploring a rescue package but are not prepared to put up all the money required to turn around the carrier’s worsening situation. The Italian government has farther extended the deadline on a €900 million (US$1,017 million) bridging loan to enable Alitalia to remain operational.


Fraport Group's new business year starts off successfully

The Fraport Group has successfully started off the new business year, achieving higher revenue and earnings in the first three months of 2019. Supported by solid passenger growth at Frankfurt Airport and almost all of Fraport’s airports worldwide, Group revenue rose by 17.9% to €803.8 million. Adjusted for revenue in connection with capital expenditure for expansion projects at Fraport’s Group companies worldwide (according to IFRIC 12), revenue grew by 5.3% to €678.5 million. At Frankfurt Airport (FRA), traffic growth led to higher revenue, particularly from ground handling services, as well as security services and infrastructure charges. Moreover, the retail and parking businesses had a positive impact on revenue. In Fraport’s international portfolio, major contributions came, in particular, from the Lima (Peru) and the Fraport USA Group companies. In the U.S. market, Fraport recently took over management of retail areas at New York-JFK’s Terminal 5 (April 2018) and at Nashville International Airport (February 2019).

The operating result or Group EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) advanced by 14.8% to €200.6 million in the reporting period. This amount includes a €10.9 million positive effect, resulting from the application of IFRS 16 (effective January 1, 2019). The positive effect is offset by additional amortization and depreciation in the amount of €10.4 million and a €2.8 million increase in interest. Establishing new rules for the accounting of leases, the IFRS 16 standard specifically affects lease contracts between the Fraport USA Group company and respective concession lessors. Thus, Group EBIT climbed by 4.6% to €86.1 million. Supported by a better interest result, the financial result improved from minus €56.1 million in Q1 2018 to minus €49.6 million in the first quarter of 2019. Correspondingly, Group EBT soared by 39.3% to €36.5 million, while the Group result (net profit) jumped 42.9% to €28.0 million.

Lufthansa Aviation Training selects Reiser Simulation and Training for delivery of helicopter simulator

In the course of upcoming investments in new training equipment for pilot training and further education, Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) is cooperating with the manufacturer Reiser Simulation and Training in the field of helicopter simulation. This company is specialized in the production of helicopter full flight simulators of the type H145/H135 Level D.

With the acquisition of its first own combo-helicopter-simulator, Lufthansa Aviation Training
expands its training portfolio in this segment and responds to the high demand for training opportunities from Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), such as DRF Luftrettung.

The new FFS helicopter type H145/H135 is going to be put into operation at the largest training location of Lufthansa Aviation Training in Frankfurt in 2020, which has good accessibility for customers travelling from different directions for their training purposes.


Maria Della Posta named President, Pratt & Whitney Canada

Pratt & Whitney has appointed Maria Della Posta as president of Pratt & Whitney Canada, effective June 1 and reporting to Pratt & Whitney President Bob Leduc. Della Posta succeeds John Saabas as president, Pratt & Whitney Canada, who has announced his retirement.

Della Posta joined Pratt & Whitney in 1985 and progressed through roles of increasing leadership in Supply Chain, Finance and Customer Service. She was named vice president, Customer Support in 2001, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing in 2010 and senior vice president, Pratt & Whitney Canada in 2012.

Aergo Capital finances two B737-900ER with DVB Bank

Aergo Capital (Dublin & Hong Kong) has partnered with DVB Bank (London Branch) to finance two 2008 vintage Boeing B737-900ER aircraft, both subject to long term leases with Lion Air (Indonesia).

Smith Gambrell & Russell acted as borrower counsel, A&L Goodbody acted as Irish transaction counsel and Blakes, Mochtar Karuwin Komar acted as Indonesian counsel for Aergo Capital. Clifford Chance acted as lender counsel for DVB Bank. KPMG acted as tax and accounting adviser.


Air BP to fuel air ambulance charities

Air BP, the international aviation fuel products and services supplier, will fuel air ambulance charities as it grows its portfolio of customers in the UK. In April, Air BP celebrated six months with its most recent emergency services contract signing, the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC). Air BP was selected as the new fuel supplier given its supply reliability capabilities that will enable the charity to respond to life-saving, medical emergencies. This latest customer complements Air BP’s other air ambulance charity customers including Wales Air Ambulance Charity (WAAC) and Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

Since October 2018, Air BP has provided Jet A-1 fuelling services for GWAAC’s Airbus EC135 at its
Almondsbury, South Gloucester base in the UK. GWAAC provides critical care and an air ambulance service for 2.1 million people across Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Finnair reports April traffic up 17.8%

In April 2019 Finnair carried 1.227.400 passengers, 14.8% more than in the corresponding period of 2018. The overall capacity increased in April by 19.6%. Finnair's traffic increased by 17.8% and the passenger load factor (PLF) decreased year-on-year by 1.2% points to 81.4%.


Aero Controls names new VP Sales and Marketing and controller

Aero Controls welcomes Scott Cooper as new Vice President of Sales & Marketing. In this role, he will be responsible for strategic initiatives driving total revenue generation through repair services, part distribution, aircraft teardowns, consignment, and engineering while reporting to Aero Controls CEO, Michael Olesik.

Furthermore Aero Controls has appointed Xenia Aguinaldo to Controller. In this role, she will be responsible for financial strategies to support the company’s objectives and maintain the organizations strong financial health.

Leonardo reports first quarter results

Leonardo has released that at the end of the first quarter new orders amounted to €2,518 million and showed, compared to the first three months of 2018 (€ 2,164 million), an increase of 16.4%, mainly due to Defence Electronics & Security.

Order Backlog, amounted to €36,575 million, increasing 9.6% compared to €33,360 million in 2018 and ensuring a coverage in terms of equivalent production equal to about three years. Revenues, amounted to €2,725 million, an increase of 11.2% compared to the first quarter of 2018 (€2,451 million), mainly in relation to Defence Electronics & Security and, to a lesser extent, to Helicopters. EBITA, amounted to €163 million, an increase of 6.5% compared to €153 million in the first quarter of 2018 and EBIT, amounted to €156 million; showing an improvement of €35 million (+29%), compared to the first quarter of 2018 (€121 million), due to an improved EBITA and also to the decrease in restructuring costs and lower amortisation of assets deriving from the business combination of Leonardo DRS.

Net Result before extraordinary transactions, amounted to €77 million, (€50 million in the first quarter of 2018) and benefitted from both an improved operating result and from lower restructuring costs and lower amortisation of assets deriving from Purchase Price Allocation, as well as financial expenses.  

Revima Group

Inmarsat SB-S approved by U.S. Federal Aviation Administration

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.

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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