Weak pound allows Advent International to win US$5bn battle for U.K.’s Cobham

With the Brexit fiasco primarily responsible for a weak pound, U.S. private equity firm Advent International has taken advantage of the situation and snapped up Cobham, the U.K. firm renowned for its pioneering work on air-to-air refueling, for US$5 billion. The price agreed was at a premium of 50% of the average monthly share price over the last three months prior to the deal’s announcement. Cobham employs around 10,000 staff responsible for making its air-to-air refueling systems as well as communication for military vehicles. Today its technology is used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Eurofighter Typhoon, together Read more

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Cathay Pacific targeting costs cuts and no new hiring

Cathay Pacific Airways ©AirTeamImages

In an internal memo seen by Reuters news agency, Cathay Pacific is in the process of instigating cost-cutting measures to counteract the slump in demand from mainland China as well as the general lack of passenger numbers wishing to travel to the former British colony as a consequence of the civil unrest Hong Kong is currently experiencing. The flag-carrying airline has been hit harder than most major corporations operating in Hong Kong; passenger numbers for this August were 11.3 percent lower than for August 2018. According to the memo issued by the new Chief Executive, Augustus Tang, executives should examine Read more

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Heathrow braces itself for climate change drone protest this Friday

©Heathrow Airport

London’s Heathrow Airport is on high alert as climate change protestors look to fly drones in proximity to the airport’s runways this Friday. The protesters, Heathrow Pause, are an offshoot of the larger Extinction Rebellion climate change group. They are protesting principally against the proposed third runway necessary for Heathrow’s expansion. Extinction Rebellion’s co-founder, Roger Hammond commented on the Heathrow plans, saying it would be the: “biggest carbon-intensive infrastructure project in Europe”. Recent changes to drone flight laws, introduced after the chaos caused by drones at Gatwick Airport prior to Christmas 2108 which saw over 100,000 passengers’ flight affected, now Read more

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Blown cargo door sees Boeing halt 777X load testing

©Boeing 777X

Boeing has announced the suspension of load testing for its 777X aircraft after a cargo door exploded outwards during a high-pressure ground stress test, as reported in the Seattle Times. The ‘aircraft’ in question was a static test model used for ground testing and is not intended for flight. In a statement, Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said: “During final load testing on the 777X static test airplane, the team encountered an issue that required suspension of the test,” adding that “Overall testing is continuing.” The blown cargo door occurred during a final testing phase that has to be passed in Read more

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China Airlines finalizes order for six 777 Freighters

China Airlines has finalized an order for six ©Boeing 777 Freighters

China Airlines has finalized its agreement with Boeing to order six 777 Freighters to modernize its cargo fleet. The carrier, which currently operates one of the world’s largest 747 Freighter fleets, plans to transition to the twin-engine freighters as it launches operations from Taipei to North America, a key market that provides higher yields for the carrier. Valued at US$2.1 billion according to list prices, China Airlines had previously announced its intent to order up to six 777 Freighters at the Paris Air Show in June. Three of the six 777 Freighter orders were confirmed in July and posted to Read more

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Cathay Pacific chief to step down amid Hong Kong turmoil 

Cathay Pacific Airways ©AirTeamImages

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s largest and flag-carrying airline has announced on Wednesday, September 4, that it’s current chairman, John Slosar, is to step down, effective from November 6 at the conclusion of the carrier’s board meeting. According to Cathay Pacific, his relinquishing of his role is due to retirement, though the airline has come under heavy criticism from China during the current period of civil unrest in Hong Kong. He will be succeeded by Patrick Healy from the Swire Group conglomerate which is currently Cathay Pacific’s majority shareholder. Cathay Pacific has found itself, politically, stuck between a rock and a Read more

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France’s Aigle Azur joins growing list of failed airlines

Aigle Azur ©AirTeamImages

Aigle Azur (Blue Eagle), France’s second-largest airline, is set to file for bankruptcy protection next Monday after struggling, and failing, to run profitably for many years. The move follows on from last week’s ‘coup’ which removed Frantz Yvelin form the carrier’s helm as chief executive. Shareholders have accused him of making “strategic mistakes over the past two years” that have ultimately led to the carrier’s demise. Despite transporting 1.9 million passengers and generating revenue of €300 million (US$329 million) last year, last month Aigle Azur looked to offload its Portugal routes to Vueling, a low-cost rival airline. “Aigle Azur is Read more

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Norwegian asks bondholders for two more years to pay back US$380m debt

©Norwegian

Lossmaking Norwegian Air (Norwegian) has asked its bondholders for an additional two years in which to pay back US$380 million of current debt as part of an attempt to shore up its precarious financial position. In return, as security, lucrative take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport would be pledged. As Europe’s third-largest low-cost carrier behind Ryanair and easyJet, Norwegian has struggled with a highly competitive and price-sensitive transatlantic market while it has also taken on a substantial and aggressive expansion program which has left it highly in dept with substantial operating losses. The carrier has already turned to Read more

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Ryanair appoints Eddie Wilson new CEO as low-cost carrier faces turbulent times ahead

Ryanair has announced that Eddie Wilson, the Irish low-cost carrier’s Chief People Officer, is to succeed Michael O’Leary as CEO of Ryanair Holdings’ largest airline, Ryanair DAC. O’Leary will remain as chief executive of the wider-reaching Ryanair Holdings. Wilson has been with the company since 1997 when he joined as head of personnel and is a man who O’Leary stated “has made a huge contribution” to the company’s growth. Previously he had worked at Gateway 2000 as its human resource manager. Confirming the news, Mr. O’Leary told staff in a note that Wilson would take up his new role immediately, Read more

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Norwegian Airline Widerøe to partner with Rolls-Royce on zero-emissions aviation program

©Widerøe Dash8-Q400

With the Norwegian government aiming for zero emissions domestic aviation by 2040 and Scandinavian airline Widerøe, hoping to ‘electrify’ its current regional fleet of approaching forty Dash-8 aircraft by 2030, the announcement of a joint research program between the airline and engine maker Rolls-Royce at a Clean Aerospace event at the British Embassy is a further notable step towards such targets. The aim of the program will be to develop an electrical aircraft concept. Rolls-Royce’s comprehensive electrical and systems design experience will see them able to advise on all aspects of the concept. The first phase, which is already underway, Read more

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