GATX to reduce aircraft portfolio by $450 million

GATX Corporation announced a plan to focus its aircraft leasing portfolio around its newer, more profitable aircraft. As part of this plan, GATX announced its intent to sell up to $450 million of older aircraft assets (including wholly owned and joint venture aircraft), or approximately 23% of its current air portfolio. In conjunction with this plan, GATX anticipates reporting after-tax, non-cash charges in the range of $110-$130 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Sales of targeted aircraft are expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2006. Incremental gains or losses may occur as aircraft sales are completed.

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Finnair to buy 12 Airbus wide-body aircraft

Finnair announced to acquire 12 new Airbus wide-bodied aircraft, as it modernises its long-haul fleet. Of the aircraft, nine are A350s and three are A340s. The A340 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2007-08. The Airbus A350 will join the Finnair fleet in 2011. The value of the order is over one billion euros. The current MD-11 fleet of Finnair will be removed from service by 2012.

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Boeing and Royal Air Maroc complete 787 Dreamliner order

Boeing and Royal Air Maroc announced the firm-order agreement for four 787 Dreamliners with an option for the purchase of one additional airplane. The first 787 is scheduled for delivery in late 2008. The Memorandum of Understanding for the 787s was originally signed in July, 2005. Royal Air Maroc’s order for the 787 Dreamliner brings the total number of announced commitments for the airplane to 309 from 25 airlines worldwide, with 241 firm orders.

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US Airways reaches transition agreement with Customer Service Union

US Airways Group, Inc. has reached a transition agreement with the two unions that represent the airline’s passenger service employees. The Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents US Airways’ passenger service employees, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), which represents America West’s passenger service employees, recently formed an alliance designed to represent the new merged airline’s passenger service employees. Termed the Airline Customer Service Employee Association, this alliance will represent approximately 7,150 passenger service and reservations employees.

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