Thursday, March 28th, 2019


Cathay Pacific intents to acquire Hong Kong Express for US$628 million

Hong Kong-headquartered Cathay Pacific has announced its intention to acquire 100% of low-cost carrier Hong Kong Express (HKE), though HKE’s chairman and major shareholder, Zhong Guosong, is in the process of launching legal action in a bid to stop the sale.

If successful, Cathay Pacific will own three of the four airlines operating out of Hong Kong, namely Cathay Dragon which Cathay Pacific bought as Dragonair in 2006, HKE and Cathay Pacific itself. The result would see Cathay Pacific and its subsidiaries hold a 45 percent stake in Hong Kong’s runway slots.

Cathay Pacific has confirmed it intends to operate HKE as a subsidiary and stand-alone airline and not change its low-cost operating format which carried 4.1 million passengers in 2018; the deal will also see Cathay Pacific offering over half the airline seats available for flights from Hong Kong International Airport.

The deal at US$628 million (HK$4,93 billion) will see Cathay Pacific pay US$286.6 million (HK$2,25 billion) in cash and a further US$341.4 million (HK$2.68 billion) to repay debt held by HKE in the form of promissory notes.

In a stock exchange filing on Wednesday morning, Cathay Pacific said: “Completion is conditional upon certain conditions being fulfilled, including clearances required from relevant competition authorities.” However, opposition from Zhong could prove a major obstacle.

“A firm of solicitors acting for a shareholder of an intermediate holding company of HKE has written to the company indicating an intention to contest the seller’s entry into an agreement for the transaction,” the filing said.

Also, according to the filing, HK Express recorded HK$141 million in losses last year after achieving a net profit of HK$57 million (US$7.7 million) in 2017. Cathay Pacific Group generated a profit
of HK$2.03 billion (US$258.6 million) in 2018, halting two years of back-to-back losses, a very positive turnaround after the implementation of several cost-cutting initiatives.


Jet MS provides 7800 landings inspection for Bombardier CL604

Jet Maintenance Solutions (Jet MS), a part of Avia Solutions Group, became one of the first MRO companies to complete the 7800 landings inspection on a Bombardier Challenger 604 (CL604) type aircraft, as there are only 5-10 CL604s globally that reached such milestone.

To perform 7800 landings inspection, Jet MS engineers had to remove a majority of the main aircraft parts and components: engines, inner and backside fuel tanks, stabilizer and many others, which is not done during usual inspections after 48 and 96 months of aircraft operation.

All construction parts were inspected and a complex of non-destructive tests (NDT) such as x-ray, ultrasonic, eddy current, magnetic were performed.

7800 landings inspection for this aircraft type is quite rare in the market, as most of CL604s have not yet reached that milestone. This particular aircraft was used very intensively on short-haul flights.

SelfPass biometrics solution from Collins Aerospace to connect multiple airlines, airports and countries

Passengers traveling through England’s Bristol Airport and Ireland’s Dublin Airport can look forward to a new streamlined journey with Collins Aerospace’s SelfPass biometric solution. The solution, now being trialed at Bristol Airport and Dublin Airport, will enable passengers to use a single enrollment in multiple countries.

Passengers are already taking advantage of a streamlined journey at Bristol Airport with multiple biometric checkpoints, making the process easier from the time they check-in for their flight to the time they board. When SelfPass launches in Dublin next month, passengers will be the first to take advantage of the multi-country solution.

“Dublin and Bristol Airports are changing the way passengers travel and making the process easier and more efficient. For example, it takes less than one second to capture and process a passenger’s facial image and eliminates the need to repeatedly present travel documents,” said Christopher Forrest, vice president of Global Airport Systems for Collins Aerospace. “We see this as another leap
forward for our biometric technology to play a key role in making the connected aviation ecosystem a reality.”


Lufthansa's A350 will fly daily from Munich to Toronto

On March 31, Lufthansa will touch down for the first time at Toronto’s Pearson Airport with its flagship aircraft Airbus A350-900 from Europe.

Toronto will join an exclusive roster of North American cities Lufthansa connects to Munich with its new long-haul aircraft that includes Boston, Denver, Chicago O’Hare, Newark and Vancouver.

Flight LH494 will depart from Munich at 3:40 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Toronto on March 31, 2019 at 6:35 p.m. local time. The return flight, LH495, will depart from Toronto at 8:25 p.m. and will arrive in Munich at 10 a.m. on the following day. All times are local. This flight between Toronto and Munich will travel daily.

UPS to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones

UPS has announced a groundbreaking new logistics service to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones through a collaboration with Matternet, a leader in autonomous drone technology. The program is taking place at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in the Raleigh, N.C., metropolitan area, with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina Department of Transportation. This marks the beginning of numerous planned daily revenue flights at the WakeMed Raleigh campus.

The UPS and Matternet program represents a major milestone for unmanned aviation in the United States. Currently, the majority of medical samples and specimens are transported across WakeMed’s expanding health system by courier cars. The addition of drone transport provides an option for on-demand and same-day delivery, the ability to avoid roadway delays, increase medical delivery efficiency, lower costs and improve the patient experience with potentially life-saving benefits.

NCDOT, which is working to leverage drones to expand healthcare access for the residents of North Carolina, supported Matternet in conducting first-round test flights using Matternet’s drone technology on WakeMed’s campus in August 2018 as part of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The three-year FAA program aims to test practical applications of drones by partnering local governments with private sector companies to learn more about how
this emerging technology can be safely and usefully integrated into day-to-day activities. The five IPP partners involved are the FAA, NCDOT, UPS, Matternet, and WakeMed.

The program will utilize Matternet’s M2 quadcopter, which is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and can carry medical payloads weighing up to about 5 lbs. over distances of up to 12.5 miles.

TP Aerospace

24 Fokker aircraft transactions in 2018

GKN Fokker Services has reported that 24 Fokker aircraft were placed in 2018. Currently, approximately 400 Fokker aircraft are operational worldwide.

In Europe, Swedish operator Amapola added 6 Fokker 50s to its fleet. It now has 22 Fokker 50s comprising both passenger aircraft as well as freighters. Amapola thus consolidates its position as the largest Fokker 50 operator. Dutch company ATS purchased a couple of Fokker 70s which will become operational in 2019, while it sold one to Cypriot operator TUS Aviation. Avanti Air, based in Germany, added a third Fokker 100 to its fleet to cater for increasing demand for wet leases.

In the Philippines, Leading Edge Air Services Corp. (LEASCOR) purchased 4 Fokker 50s increasing its Fokker 50 fleet size to 6. Also, an undisclosed operator purchased 1 Fokker 100.

In Latin America, Gran Colombia de Aviación (GCA) purchased 5 Fokker 50s from Avior Regional. Air Panamá purchased 1 Fokker 100 to make a total fleet of 5 Fokker 100s. One undisclosed start-up operator also purchased a Fokker 70 which should become operational during 2019.

In Kenya, both Rudufu and Silverstone added 1 Fokker 50 to their respective fleets.

US Bangla Airlines takes delivery of ATR 72-600 from DAE

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has delivered an ATR 72-600 to Bangladesh-based US Bangla Airlines. The aircraft was handed over to the airline during a celebration at the ATR facility in Toulouse, France.

This factory new ATR is the final aircraft of an order of 20 ATR 72-600 aircraft which DAE placed with the manufacturer in 2014.


Elix Aviation Capital delivers DHC8-300 on lease to Silverstone Air

Elix Aviation Capital has delivered DHC-8-300 MSN 375, on lease to Silverstone Air of Kenya.

This is the fifth DHC-8 aircraft delivered by Elix to Silverstone.  With this delivery, Elix deepens its commitment to supporting Silverstone Air’s development and continues to invest into the capabilities and services it brings to its African customers.

AJW Technique appoints Marie Hébert as HR Director

AJW Technique, the maintenance hub for AJW Group's global component repair and overhaul activities, has appointed Marie Hébert as Human Resources Director.

Hébert will be accountable for all HR operations at AJW Technique including labour relations, payroll, benefits and pension plans. She will use her leadership skills to help advance AJW Technique’s wider HR strategy to support the business’ ambitious growth plans.

With over 25 years of experience in the Human Resources industry, Hébert joins the business from McCarthy Tétrault LLP where she most recently held the position of National HR Manager, Compensation and Benefits.

In her new role, she will report to the General Manager of AJW Technique, Gavin Simmonds, and will be based at AJW Technique’s MRO facility in Montreal, Canada.


AeroBase Group receives AS9120 Rev B certification

AeroBase Group, an aircraft and defense part distributor located in the Melbourne area, has received the AS9120 Rev B certification. This certification is based on a standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and is better known as “Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Distributors.”

The AS9120 Rev B certification is designed for companies in the aerospace industry that procure materials, assemblies and parts to sell to an end customer. The standard that the SAE focus on includes items such as traceability, airworthiness certificates and controls of records. Companies who are awarded this certificate are subject to maintaining the standards in order to stay certified, which means they will be subject to annually or regularly scheduled audits.

AeroBase Group serves over 400 customers daily and is one of the most trusted vendors in the aerospace and defense industry. The company strives to locate necessary parts and deliver those parts on time to its wide range of customers. With multiple warehouse locations, they are able to keep over 18 million parts available to their customers, all sourced from a multitude of different manufacturers.

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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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