Sir Richard Branson does U-turn and retains 51% stake in Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic ©AirTeamImages

It was two years ago that Sir Richard Branson struck a deal to sell a 31% stake in the then vulnerable Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM for approximately 220 million pounds (US$284 million) as part of a three-way venture with Delta Air Lines as Delta Air Lines already held a 49% stake in the carrier. At the time, Branson opted to relinquish his majority stake in Virgin Atlantic to protect the long-term viability of the carrier. The three carriers also struck up a potential revenue and cost-sharing joint venture and this joint venture was cleared last month by the U.S. Read more

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Norwegian sells Argentinian subsidiary to JetSMART Airlines

JetSMART Airbus aircraft at Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport ©AirTeamImages

Norwegian Air Shuttle has signed an agreement for the sale of 100% of its Argentinian subsidiary Norwegian Air Argentina (NAA) to JetSMART Airlines. “We’re taking necessary steps to return to profitability,” said acting CEO Geir Karlsen. JetSMART will assume the NAA operation with immediate effect. To minimize the impact on passengers, JetSMART will continue to operate the NAA scheduled flights from Aeroparque airport. The parties expect that the integration process will take several months, and the Norwegian brand will be phased out in the domestic Argentinian network during this period. Over the next six months, the three Boeing 737s currently Read more

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DAE’s AIS reaches milestone in third-party aircraft under management

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has reached a significant milestone in the growth of its managed aircraft portfolio, with current aircraft under management plus mandates to source and manage portfolios for third-party investor customers reaching US$3.5 billion. Since announcing the DAE Aircraft Investor Services (AIS) product in January 2018, DAE has grown its managed fleet to over US$2.5 billion today, managing four aircraft ABS securitizations as well as aircraft for several investor partners. Following the latest portfolio sale agreement announced in October, DAE’s managed fleet has grown to 75 aircraft. DAE will continue to build its managed fleet as it fulfills Read more

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Willis Lease Finance reports quarterly pre-tax profit of US$31.1 million

Willis Lease Finance Corporation has reported quarterly pre-tax profit and total revenues of US$31.1 million and US$120.4 million, respectively. The Company’s third quarter 2019 pre-tax results were driven by strong leasing revenues as well as gains associated with the active management of its portfolio. Aggregate lease rent and maintenance reserve revenues were US$88.3 million for the third quarter of 2019. “Our business had another strong quarter, driven by an in-demand portfolio of high quality lease assets and the further integration of our asset management and surplus parts businesses.” said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. “We also benefited significantly from Read more

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Condor increases profit, passenger numbers and load factor

©Condor

Condor Flugdienst GmbH improved its key figures for the financial year 2018/19 (ending September 30, 2019). The operating profit (EBIT) increased by 32.4% on a year-on-year comparison to €57 million. The number of passengers carried increased by 4.5% to 9.4 million (+6.9%) with increased capacity. Condor achieved a 6.0% increase in revenue to €1.7 billion with stable yields and a stable seat load factor of around 90%. At the end of September, Condor entered into a so-called preliminary protective shield procedure in order to release itself from joint liabilities from the insolvent former parent company Thomas Cook Group plc. This Read more

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Air Lease Corporation announces pricing of offering of CA$400 million of senior unsecured medium-term notes

Air Lease Corporation has CA$400 million, or US$301 million (based on a Canadian dollar/U.S. dollar exchange rate of C$1.00=U.S.$0.7523, as announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board as of November 22, 2019), aggregate principal amount of 2.625% senior unsecured medium-term notes due December 5, 2024 (the Notes). The sale of the Notes is expected to close on December 5, 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The Notes will mature on December 5, 2024 and will bear interest at a rate of 2.625% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on June 5 and December 5 of each year, commencing Read more

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Lufthansa sells catering subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs to Gategroup

Lufthansa Group has confirmed the decision of its Executive Board on the sale of the LSG Group’s European business to Gategroup. The sale is part of the new strategy of Lufthansa Group to focus on the airline business. The sale enables the new owner to further develop the catering business. The potential sale is subject to the approval of additional bodies, in particular the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, as well as clearance by the competition authorities.

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Fly Leasing reprices and extends 2012 term loan

Fly Leasing (FLY) has repriced its US$385 million term loan. The interest rate on the amended loan is LIBOR plus 1.75%, a 0.25% margin reduction. Additionally, the maturity has been extended by more than two years from February 2023 to August 2025. In conjunction with the extension, FLY paid a one-time fee of 0.25% OID to the lenders. “FLY’s strong upward trajectory, combined with its significant deleveraging and recent Standard & Poor’s rating upgrade, created the momentum for the successful repricing of FLY’s largest debt facility. We anticipate annual cash interest savings of nearly US$1 million,” said Colm Barrington, CEO Read more

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Chinese airlines look for growth closer to home after three years of industry losses

China Eastern Airlines ©AirTeamImages

After three years of an aviation industry operating in the red and losses reaching 21.9 billion yuan (US$3.23 billion) according to China Air Transport Association data, Chinese airlines are now looking to add seats to short-and medium-haul routes to Asian destinations rather than loss-making long-haul routes to North America. With over 800 current international routes in operation, the majority of the planned additional 105 international routes for the new spring season 2020 are to East Asia and Southeast Asia. According to John Grant, senior analyst at aviation data firm OAG: “Chinese carriers are now taking a more commercial approach to Read more

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AeroCentury reports third- quarter 2019 results

AeroCentury, an independent aircraft leasing company, has reported a third-quarter 2019 net loss of US$8.2 million, compared to a net loss of US$4.5 million for the third-quarter of 2018.  In the first nine months of 2019, the Company reported a net loss of US$9.6 million, compared to a net loss of US$4.2 million in the first nine months of 2018. Third -quarter and year-to-date 2019 results reflect the combined operations of AeroCentury and its subsidiary, JetFleet Holding (JetFleet), which was acquired by the Company on October 1, 2018. EBITDA was (US$5.2) million compared to US$5.3 million in the preceding quarter Read more

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