Tuesday, April 9th, 2019


Boeing shares drop further 4% and suppliers hit as 737 MAX production reduced

With the continued worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX, Boeing has announced that it will be reducing production of the narrow-body jet by 20 percent from 52 units per month to 42 units per month starting in mid April. The news hit the planemaker’s share price even further since the crash of a 737 MAX 8 in Ethiopia on March 10 with a further drop of four percent. Since the 737 MAX was grounded Boeing’s market value has fallen by US$26 billion, according to Reuters.

It is not just Boeing’s share value that has been hit as suppliers have also been greatly affected by production cuts in the 737 MAX program. The share value of Spirit AeroSystems has fallen by five percent, while Triumph Group dropped six percent. European suppliers such as Meggitt, Melrose and Safran are down between 0.4 percent and two percent.

While the Cowen Brokerage noted that “The 737 rate cut to 42/month should help resolve the MAX crisis but with a large 2019 cash hit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts cut Boeing’s rating to “neutral” from “buy” on Monday, saying the 737 delay could last longer than previously expected and estimated six to nine months of disruption versus three to six months previously.”


StandardAero signs multi-year contract with Sky Regional Airlines

StandardAero has signed a new multi-year contract with Sky Regional Airlines Inc. to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the airline’s Pratt & Whitney Canada APS2300 auxiliary power units (APUs). Sky Regional, based in Mississauga, ON, operates flights to destinations across Canada and the U.S. under the Air Canada Express banner.

Under the agreement, StandardAero will provide MRO services for the APS2300 APUs equipping the fleet of Embraer E175 regional aircraft operated by Sky Regional Airlines. StandardAero’s Maryville, Tennessee location, which is an OEM-approved Authorized Repair Facility (ARF) for the APS2300, will provide Sky Regional with customized MRO programs offering maximum support and flexibility to meet the airline’s specific operational needs.

TAP Air Portugal takes delivery of first A321LR

Lisbon-based TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of its first of twelve A321LRs on order, becoming the first airline to operate a combined A330neo and A321LR fleet. Powered by CFM engines, TAP’s A321LR is configured with 171 seats (16 full flat Business, 48 Eco Premium and 107 Ecomomy seats).

The combination of the A321LR and the A330neo within a single fleet provides operators a powerful lever to cover the needs of the medium- to long-haul market. TAP’s A321LR will be operated on the Lisbon-Tel Aviv route at its entry into service.


Delta, Virgin Atlantic to serve London-Gatwick from Boston and New York-JFK in 2020

Delta will launch two new international routes – nonstop service from Boston's Logan International Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to London's Gatwick Airport, beginning next summer in partnership with Virgin Atlantic.

London-Gatwick will be the eighth nonstop trans-Atlantic destination from Boston on Delta and its partners, who together offer up to 13 daily flights between Boston and Europe. In New York, the additional flight adds to Delta and Virgin's combined eight daily flights to London-Heathrow – and three additional daily flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester – from Delta's JFK hub.

Fraport and Deutsche Bahn to test artificial intelligence at FRA

FRAnny is an expert on Frankfurt Airport, and is able to answer a wide range of questions – including the correct gate, the way to a specific restaurant, and how to access the free Wi-Fi.

The robotic concierge is a cooperative project between Fraport AG, the operator of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), and DB Systel GmbH, Deutsche Bahn’s dedicated IT service provider. Travelers at major transportation hubs, such as airports and train stations, are very often in need of guidance. In these scenarios, digital assistants and robots can support human personnel by fielding routineinquiries, thus enhancing the customer service offering. A six-week trial at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s largest aviation hub, will help evaluate FRAnny in terms of functionality, customer acceptance and its practical usefulness in everyday situations

FRAnny is based on an artificial intelligence and a cloud-based voice-user interface (VUI) that can be deployed in a variety of forms – including in chatbots, voice assistants and robots. This digital customer service system was developed by a team of Deutsche Bahn IT experts. Using data drawn from the airport’s information system, FRAnny is able to understand and answer questions relating to travel, airport facilities and more. In addition to providing flight information, FRAnny is well versed in small talk and can communicate in German, English and seven other languages.

Fraport and Deutsche Bahn have been jointly exploring the potential of artificially intelligent, voice-based customer service systems since 2017. The first pilot took place at Frankfurt Airport in spring 2018 using FRAnny’s predecessor: the four-week field trial was very successful. After approximately 4,400 interactions, 75% of passengers rated their exchange positively. Based on the feedback received, both the artificial intelligence (AI) component and the robot’s user interface were further improved. The more recent trial underscores both companies’ commitment to ongoing innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics. Moreover, it puts the implemented improvements through their paces under real-world conditions.


Air France KLM posts Group load factor of 87.6%

Air France KLM Group (incl. Transavia) has reported that March traffic incrased 2.8% compared to the previous year, while capacity was up 3.1%. The Group load factor for March was 87.6%, down 0.3 points compared to March 2018.

BASF and AAR to jointly protect aircraft passengers and crew from ozone levels 

BASF and AAR have signed an agreement to serve the aircraft ozone and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) converter market — providing improved airplane cabin air quality and healthier conditions for passengers and crew. BASF selected AAR as a distributor of BASF Deoxo™ aircraft cabin ozone/VOC converters and converter Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.

The air at high altitude contains significant levels of ozone. If left unchecked, atmospheric ozone enters the aircraft through air conditioning ducts. Ozone exposure is known to cause adverse health effects, including headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. BASF offers technology to reduce both harmful ozone and VOC in aircraft cabin air. This technology improves air quality by removing ozone, as well as reducing certain hydrocarbon compounds responsible for unpleasant odors such as jet fuel smell. Sources of these odors include lubricant leaks and on-ground maintenance activities.


Norwegian Air Shuttle appoints deputy CEO

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Geir Karlsen has been appointed deputy CEO of Norwegian. Karlsen joined Norwegian as CFO in April 2018. He has extensive experience from listed companies within shipping and offshore.

Karlsen has over the last 12 years held various CFO positions with international companies such as Golden Ocean Group and Songa Offshore. Before joining Norwegian, he held the position of Group CFO at London-based Navig8 Group. Geir Karlsen has a degree in Business Administration from BI Norwegian Business School.

Uganda Airlines firms up order for two A330-800 airliners

Uganda Airlines, the national carrier of Uganda, has firmed up its order for two A330-800 airliners, the latest version of the most popular A330 widebody airliner.

Fitted with the new Airspace by Airbus cabin, the A330neo will bring a range of benefits to Uganda Airlines and its customers, offering unrivalled efficiencies combined with the most modern cabin.

Uganda Airlines plans to use the A330-800 to build its medium and long-haul network with the aircraft offering cutting-edge technology along with more efficient operations.


MTU Maintenance launches MTUPlus Intelligent Solutions

MTU Maintenance has launched its redefined services portfolio MTUPlus Intelligent Solutions at the MRO Americas in Atlanta, Georgia.

The portfolio has been conceived to fulfil the exact and specific needs of operators, who increasingly require tailor-made solutions across the lifecycle in order to control and optimize cost, as well as those of asset owners and lessors, for whom residual value and cost of ownership is key. The portfolio has been divided into four highly tailored solutions, PERFORMPlus, SAVEPlus, VALUEPlus, MOVEPlus, and a services cluster SERVICEPlus for single and ad-hoc requests.

“Customers rely on us for world-class engineering, intelligent creativity and dedicated support,” says Martin Friis-Petersen, Senior Vice President MRO Programs, MTU Maintenance. “It is our job to spot market trends and ensure our portfolio is meeting the customer requirements of tomorrow. As an independent service provider, our focus is going that extra mile for customers, and never giving up until the optimal solution has been found for them.”

MTU Maintenance and its 5,000-strong workforce currently perform over 1,000 shop visits a year for more than 200 airline customers and close to 30 engine types. The company is certified by the FAA, EASA and CAAC and has over 50 country-specific certifications throughout its global network. With locations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, capabilities for on-site and near-wing services, as well as representative offices, MTU Maintenance is available wherever and whenever needed.

GA Telesis appoints Kevin Geissler VP of Aviation Lease Solutions

GA Telesis, has appointed Kevin Geissler as Vice President Aviation Lease Solutions. Geissler began his career at Curtiss Wright Accessories, the aftermarket repair business of the OEM, which was subsequently acquired by GA Telesis in 2008. Kevin spent several years post acquisition in the Company’s MRO Services unit as a business unit controller and as Corporate Assistant Controller before being promoted to Vice President and Corporate Controller in 2013. Kevin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Kevin will be responsible for oversight and development of the Company’s inventory leasing business as well as its thriving APU and Landing Gear leasing business. The Company currently has a significant inventory lease portfolio consisting of Boeing 737, 747, 767, 777, 787 as well as Airbus A320, A330 and A350 rotable components.

GA Telesis

AD Software appoints new Sales Director

AD SOFTWARE the France based CAMO and MRO software editor has reinforced its international sales team with the appointment of Christobal Henner as Sales Director in charge of Sales and Marketing strategy and customer relations.

This appointment is in response to AD SOFTWARE growing portfolio of customers and the recent partnership with ATR which led to increased visibility for AD SOFTWARE and additional solutions available to aircraft operators around the world.

AD SOFTWARE has been providing MRO, CAMO and Supply Chain IT solutions for aircraft operators, MRO shops and CAMO organisations for 20 years. It has 60 customers worldwide and enjoys a strong and positive reputation in the industry. The company needed additional resources to face the growth and facilitate interactions with prospects and customers.

WestJet reports March load factor of 87.0%

WestJet has released March 2019 traffic results with a load factor of 87.0%, an increase of 1.4 points year over year. Traffic increased 7.3% year over year, while capacity grew 5.5% over the same period.

WestJet welcomed an additional 104,000 guests in March, a year-over-year increase of 4.8%.

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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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