Author Archives: MS

  • 0

Robinson Sees Softening, Then Rebound in Sales


While 2019 sales went down, 2020 is off to a strong start.

Despite steady sales in the last part of 2019 and into 2020, total deliveries at Robinson Helicopter Company fell to 196 units for the year. This is a decline from 2018 and 2017 sales, which showed strong growth in 2017 and remained there for 2018.

The breakdown of models included 19 R22s, 123 R44s, and 54 R66s. In 2017, Robinson sold a total of 305 aircraft, including 174 of the R44 alone. In 2018, that total ticked up slightly, at 316—including 33 R22s, 209 R44s, and 74 R66s. The company nears the mark of 13,000 units sold.

The decline in 2019 was noted by Kurt Robinson as being across the board worldwide. Robinson, president and CEO of the company since 2010, recently hosted Flying for a visit, which will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine. The company expresses optimism for 2020, as a “strong start” in sales has marked the beginning of the year, according to Robinson spokesperson Loretta Conley.

The company recently delivered two of its Electric News Gathering (ENG) models into key media markets in the United States—one R66 Newscopter and one R44 Newscopter via Sky Helicopters in Garland, Texas. The R66 will serve WTTG Fox, WUSA CBS, and WJLA ABC in the Washington, D.C. area, and the R44 will fly in support of WTVT Fox and WFTS ABS in Tampa, Florida. The platforms feature ENG cameras and broadcast equipment, and allow for the operators to work with several media outlets at the same time. To date, Robinson has delivered 80 ENG platforms in worldwide, including Brazil, Australia, and Canada.

  • 0

Losses Increase for Embraer as EU Halts Boeing Deal Review


The Brazilian company reports $77M net loss in earnings call.

  • 0

Textron Aviation’s Flagship Longitude Receives FAA Type Certification


The Longitude received the most robust testing of a Cessna Citation to date.

  • 0

Carlyle Group completes €1 billion purchase of aerospace manufacturing firm


Global investment firm The Carlyle Group has completed the acquisition of Forgital, for approximately €1 billion.

Forgital is an Italian-based manufacturing company producing large forged and machined components for use in the aerospace and industrial sector.

Equity for the transaction will come from Carlyle Europe Partners V, a European-focused upper-mid market buyout fund and Carlyle Partners VII, a US-focused buyout fund.

Established in 1873 with headquarters in Vicenza, Italy, Forgital is a specialist manufacturer of machine-finished forged and laminated rolled rings, made from several different materials, including steel, aluminium, titanium and nickel-based alloys used in several applications across many industries.

Forgital employs over 1,100 people across nine facilities in Italy, France and United States and through its dedicated global salesforce.

Source: AE

  • 0

Boeing signs near $1 billion contract with US Air Force


Boeing has signed a new contract with the US Air Force (USAF) worth $999 million to maintain A-10 Thunderbolt II sustainment work under an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract award.

The contract will cover the production of a maximum of 112 wing sets and spare kits.

The USAF ordered 27 wing sets immediately at contract award.

“Boeing is honored to be selected to continue as the A-10 Thunderbolt II wing kit contractor,” said Pam Valdez, vice president of Air Force Services for Boeing Global Services. “Our established supply base, experience with the A-10 structures, and our in-depth knowledge of the U.S. Air Force’s requirements will help us deliver high-quality wings to meet the customer’s critical need.”

Boeing will team with Korean Aerospace Industries and other key suppliers to deliver the first wing sets to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah.

Under a previous contract, Boeing delivered 173 enhanced wing assemblies.

  • 0

Gulfstream Delivers First G600


The initial U.S. customer delivery marks a milestone for the jet.

Gulfstream Aerospace delivered its first G600 business jet to a U.S. customer from its facility in Savannah, Georgia, on August 8, 2019. The initial delivery marks an important milestone for the program, just one month after the FAA granted the aircraft’s type and production certification, on June 28.

Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream, called out this team effort dedicated to making the ambitious timeline in his remarks. “We always strive to exceed our customers’ expectations, and our first G600 delivery is a prime example of that,” said Burns in a company release. “The effort put forth by our team enabled this award-winning, technologically advanced aircraft to move from certified to delivered in an extremely short period of time.”

With the ability to travel at an average speed of Mach 0.90 from Paris to Los Angeles, in an award-winning interior, the Gulfstream G600 has already established itself as true top contender in both speed and luxury. In fact, it has notched more than 10 city-pair speed records. The aircraft logged more than 100,000 flight hours in company labs—more than half of that logged in the program before its first flight—and more than 3,200 hours in flight test prior to its entry into service.

Source : Flying

  • 0

Tamarack Aerospace Restarts the Clock on Warranties


Active winglet airplanes returned to flying status.

On July 10, the FAA approved an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) for all Active Winglet equipped Citation jets, which returned CJ1, CJ2, CJ3 and M2 aircraft to flying status. EASA regulators also recently resolved flight restriction issues in Europe created around the recent Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) against Tamarack active winglet installations awaiting a final resolution to the EAD. The AMOC requires aircraft operators to comply with Service Bulletin 1480 prior to flight that calls for replacing or upgrading a small actuator on the trailing edge of the camber surface. Tamarack is providing the product improvements from SB 1480 free of charge to all customers.

Tamarack’s Atlas active winglets came under scrutiny following several upset incidents in which pilots struggled to maintain control of the aircraft. EASA issued its AD on April 19, stating, “Recently, occurrences have been reported in which Atlas appears to have malfunctioned, causing upset events where, in some cases, the pilots had difficulty to recover the aeroplane to safe flight.” In the United States, the FAA issued its corresponding AD on May 24. Company president Jacob Klinginsmith told Flying, “The company has sold three sets of active winglets in just the last month.”

On a topic related to the active winglets, Klinginsmith said reports of his products being investigated by the NTSB following a Citation accident last November in Memphis, Indiana, are not accurate. “Our active winglets are not a focus of the investigation. The upset that caused authorities to look at Tamarack Aerospace winglets took place in April 2019,” fully six months after the Indiana crash.

In order to show the company’s gratitude to customers caught by the grounding, Tamarack Aerospace is restarting the clock on Atlas equipment warranties, no matter when the aircraft was originally modified, providing an additional 24 months of coverage. Tamarack Aerospace filed for bankruptcy in early June.

Source: Flying

  • 0

British Airways facing record £183 million data break fine


British Airways is facing a record fine of £183 million in relation to last year’s breach of its security systems.

“We are surprised and disappointed in this initial finding from the ICO. British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers’ data,” British Airways chairman and chief executive officer Alex Cruz, said.

“We have found no evidence of fraud/fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft.”

The proposed fine relates to a cyber incident notified to the ICO by British Airways in September 2018. This incident in part involved user traffic to the British Airways website being diverted to a fraudulent site.

Through this false site, customer details were harvested by the attackers. Personal data of approximately 500,000 customers were compromised in this incident, which is believed to have begun in June 2018.

The ICO said it was the biggest penalty it had ever handed out and the first to be made public under new rules.

BA has 28 days to appeal. Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, said British Airways would be making representations to the ICO.

“We intend to take all appropriate steps to defend the airline’s position vigorously, including making any necessary appeals,” he said.


  • 0

Garuda Indonesia shares tumble as regulator orders fixing of financial numbers


Indonesia’s financial regulator (OJK) and stock exchange has ordered Garuda Indonesia to “repair and restate” its annual accounts – this has in turn sent the airline’s shares tumbling 7.6%, its lowest level since January.

The news comes just weeks after its two biggest private shareholders alleged it had misrepresented a $240 million transaction.

OJK has ordered Garuda Indonesia to fix unspecified errors in its 2018 annual accounts and submit a corrected version within 14 days. It has subsequently fined each of the airline’s directors Rp100m ($7,083).

According to a report from Reuters, the companies published a letter saying they had taken issue with the way the airline had forward-booked earnings from a deal with a technology provider in October 2018, saying it should have shown an additional $240 million loss.

The allegations were denied at the time by the airline’s chief financial officer Fuad Rizal. Garuda posted $5.02 million net profit on $4.37 billion of revenues in its 2018 annual report.

This figure is now under scrutiny.

  • 0

Lufthansa lowers outlook; IMO 2020; and the lead story from Paris


Lufthansa shares fell by 11.5% this morning at the open after the German flag carrier lowered its profit outlook for 2019 from €2.4-3bn to €2-2.4bn, citing price competition from low-cost rivals. In a statement, Lufthansa said: “Yields in the European short-haul market, in particular in the group’s home markets, Germany and Austria, are affected by sustained overcapacities caused by carriers willing to accept significant losses to expand their market share.”

This is pressure on the Eurowings low-cost arm of Lufthansa, which is being put into retreat by the likes of Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz Air and Norwegian; in the same manner that AirBerlin and Germania were previously.

Indeed, when Ryanair announced that its margin was down by 29% a month or so ago the market should have priced-in the fact that if it is down then every other airline around it will be down. However, it seems most algorithms are slightly misplaced and out of date, choosing to have the European flag carriers as their bellwethers when in Europe at least, when Ryanair is coughing, you can bet all other airlines already have a cold.

Easyjet was trading down today by 3.2% and IAG down by 2.7% at one point with Ryanair down some 4%. Surely if Ryanair competitors are feeling the heat then Ryanair shares should be moving up – there seems to be good value in airline shares across Europe today.

The real demon on the horizon remains Jet-A refining capacity. The market seems to have pushed the looming risk of the IMO2020 global sulphur cap, which will force the majority of the global shipping fleet to switch to use of marine gas oil at the end of this year, way to the back of the priority list. Once IMO202 comes into force, some two million barrels of consumption per day by shipping will switch to refined gas oil, which requires increased use of naphtha/kerosene in fuel oil blending.

That is a huge swathe of global refining capacity and naphtha/kerosene now taken-up by shipping at the expense of other fuel types such as heating oil and Jet-A. This should lead to car fuel, heating oil and Jet-A prices skyrocketing from 2020, because refining capacity across the globe has not increased sufficiently to deal with this looming problem. Indeed, at this time no one can hedge beyond 2020 in any meaningful manner since it was announced that merely expanding hydro-desulfurisation capacity in the refining system will not be enough to meet the new targets.

Add into this mix a bunch of nutcases putting limpet mines onto tankers in the Gulf of Hormuz and you have a toxic mix. Airlines will be hit very hard indeed – all save for Delta which will be slightly insulated due to its refinery, but remember it too still need to source Kerosene for refining, which is now going to be in short supply from the end of this year as the full weight of shipping consumption becomes clear for all to see. Either way Delta will have an edge over competitors and going long on Delta might be a wise move in the here and now.

How many airlines are ready to take onboard a clear hit from IMO 2020 related fuel cost increases? Very few are in a good position outside of the US market, but I would argue that the news from Lufthansa about the pressure on Eurowings is nothing if not good news for Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizz as they need to drive out competitors fast in order to increase prices down the line to subsidise fuel price increases. So right now things do seem to be moving forward to the overall benefit of Ryanair and Easyjet over the mid-term at least.

The mighty IAG also seems to be in a very strong position across the board at the expense of its competitors, and that leads us to one very important final point – IAG avoids competing with Ryanair directly where possible – Lufthansa has been fighting them head-on with Eurowings – and that is why Lufthansa and IAG are where they are today.

Meanwhile in Paris the Goldilocks aircraft has arrived.

The Paris Air Show began this morning with the launch of the Airbus A321XLR. The aircraft is not too big, it is not too small, It is just right for so very many segments in the airline market right now. The aircraft should do very well indeed and even if it does not blow the roof off of air shows in the future with thousands of orders then we can bank on the fact that this aircraft should carry a lease rate premium well into the future, being as it is an aircraft in a mass market segment with no real competitor. It might put pressure on aircraft slightly smaller and slightly larger aircraft offerings in the Airbus range though, but that is worth the risk.

The A321XLR  has 4,700nm range and is said to bring 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft. The aircraft is also a fleet manager’s dream since it combines single-aisle economics with long-haul widebody cabin comfort, thus making the aircraft easy to fill as the market continues to downsize in favour of frequency — something that may be curbed in the future, maybe within a decade, by environmental taxation, which will turn the market on its head in the 2030s. But the more things change the more they stay the same – Air Lease Corp was the launch customer for the A320XLR with 27 orders.

Airbus has launched the very aircraft type that Boeing desperately wanted to bring to market via the NMA. Boeing cannot launch a new type while they have the MAX on the ground and while the 787 is causing so many headaches, with further delays to deliveries with RR engines on wing announced this quarter.

Indeed Tewolde Gebremariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, made very sure this weekend that Boeing could not put the MAX issue to one side for this week when he arranged a round of interviews with the global press broadsiding the Boeing senior management for stating that if US pilots were in the cockpit the crash would not have occurred. Boeing senior management would do well to sit down with airlines at the show and not conduct too many press conferences. They certainly cannot make any big splashes without looking slightly out of touch.

The Air Lease Corp order this morning showed a flight to quality with in addition to the A321XLR 27 some 50 A220-300s and 23 A321neos were ordered. Both aircraft are unquestionably two of the very best aircraft in service anywhere in the world at this moment, both of which are sought after by airlines.

There is no question that this is an Airbus rally today and this is a fine set of orders so far in a tough market.

Your trusted partner

We perform to meet your needs in terms of quality, cost, delivery and support.

Our team is here to support you 24/7 with agents available in USA and Europe.