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Wednesday 24th May 2017
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Apollo prepares fourth ABS issuance – AASET 2017-1
Apollo Aviation is preparing to issue its fourth asset backed securitisation issuance. Apollo Aviation Securitization Equity Trust 2017-1 (AASET 2017-2), which was structured by Goldman Sachs, acting as the global structuring agent, global coordinator and the lead left bookrunner, follows the same single waterfall structure as AASET 2016-2 but this deal has been issued in bond format.

The $612.2million three-tranched deal comprises: $479.456 million of A notes, rated A by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, with an initial loan-to-value ratio of 65%; $88.515 million of BBB-rated B notes, with an LTV of 77%; and $44.257 million of BB-rated C notes.

The notes are secured on a portfolio of 32 aircraft that are initially leased to 23 airlines located in 20 countries with an initial total value of approximately $737.6 million. The top three lessees in the portfolio are Air Europa, AirAsia X and Jet Airways. The portfolio has an initial weighted average age of approximately 12.2 years, with the distribution in assets that are of the mid-life age, typically defined as six to 18 years in age. The portfolio comprises: 14 737-800s, nine A319-100s, four A330-200, three A320-200s, one A330-300 and one 737-700. The portfolio represents approximately 22.2% (by number of aircraft) of Apollo’s managed leased fleet (includes aircraft committed to be purchased).

Apollo Aviation Management will act as servicer for the transaction. DVB is providing the liquidity facility, with Wells Fargo as the trustee and Phoenix American Financial Services as the managing agent.

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Airline News
Ryanair website to sell Air Europa long-haul flights
Ryanair has announced a new flight partnership with Air Europa, which will allow its 130m customers to book Air Europa long haul flights on the Ryanair.com website. From today, customers can browse and book Air Europa flights on 20 long haul routes from Madrid to 16 countries in North, Central and South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the United States.

This new Air Europa partnership is the latest initiative delivered under Year 4 of Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme, and follows the launch of Ryanair’s connecting flight service via Rome Fiumicino last week.

The second phase of this Air Europa partnership will be launched later this year and will allow Ryanair customers to connect onto Air Europa long haul flights through Madrid. Ryanair is continuing its discussions with a number of other long haul airlines on potential feed and connecting flight partnerships.

In Madrid, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We are pleased to announce this exciting partnership with Air Europa, which allows our customers to browse and book flights on 20 long routes from Madrid to exciting cities in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the USA on the Ryanair.com website. Ryanair operates over 50 short haul routes to/from Madrid and now our customers can book flights on Air Europa long haul routes to destinations including Buenos Aires, Havana and New York.

“This partnership is the latest AGB enhancement as we continue our journey to becoming the ‘Amazon of travel.’ We continue to speak to a number of other long haul airlines about potential connecting flight partnerships and we look forward to offering our 130m customers an even greater choice and range of long haul services in 2018.”

Globalia Group CEO, Javier Hidalgo said: “This partnership with Ryanair gives us great satisfaction, and it puts us at the forefront of business and allows us to strengthen our competitiveness. With this agreement Air Europa doubles its connectivity with the European continent adding 53 European cities.

“This agreement consolidates Air Europa, the only regular airline with 100% Spanish capital, as the best price-quality option to fly between Europe and America. I am also happy to announce that in 2020 Air Europa will have the most modern and efficient fleet of the market operating between both continents.”

Germania opens base and introduces new routes to and from Palma de Mallorca
With the opening of a new base at Son Sant Joan Airport, Germania launched its summer season in Palma de Mallorca on May 19.

Throughout the entire summer season daily flights between Palma de Mallorca and Friedrichshafen, Münster/Osnabrück, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg will be available. In addition, Erfurt-Weimar, Rostock-Laage, and Dortmund will be connected with Palma de Mallorca several times per week. Flights to and from Cuxhaven-Nordholz will also be offered in the autumn.

Complementing its routes to and from Germany, Germania has also established new flight connections between Mallorca and the European mainland. Flights are being launched to Maastricht in the Netherlands (as of 20/05), as well as to the French cities of Strasbourg (as of 22/05) and Montpellier (as of 23/05). Passengers can look forward to two weekly flights on each of these routes. The number of flights to Zurich in Switzerland, operated by Germania Flug AG, is also being increased to nine per week.

“Palma de Mallorca is Germania’s largest departure airport. With 73 flights per week, our aircraft take off and land here more frequently than at any other airport in our network,” says Claus Altenburg, Germania’s Director of Sales, responsible for the route development.
“If hoteliers and tour operators contribute to strengthening the low season on the island, we might extend our presence throughout the winter season.” To support the ongoing flight programme, Germania has created 30 new flight crew jobs in Palma.

Brussels Airlines makes considerable investment to renew its long-haul fleet
Over the course of 2018/2019 Brussels Airlines will replace seven of its ten long-haul aircraft. With this investment in its long-haul network, the Belgian airline remains loyal to the Airbus A330, which will be equipped with an entirely reviewed new cabin in three travel classes (Business Class, Economy Privilege and Economy Class).

Leasing News
Avolon delivers one Airbus A320-251N Garuda
Avolon has delivered one Airbus A320-251N aircraft to Garuda. This is the ninth Avolon aircraft on lease to Garuda.

Avolon delivers one Boeing B787-9 to Hainan Airlines
Avolon has delivered one Boeing B787-9 aircraft to Hainan Airlines. This is the sixth Avolon aircraft on lease to Hainan Airlines.

Helicopter News
GECAS, Milestone Aviation open new office in Sydney, Australia
Milestone Aviation Group (Milestone) and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) have opened a new office in Sydney, Australia, effective May 1, 2017. With the opening of the new location, Milestone and GECAS are available locally to better support Australian customers with the company’s full suite of helicopter and commercial aircraft financing products.

“Now that we are on the ground with our Australian customers, we can provide them with better service and the most efficient financial structures,” said Robert Dranitzke, Executive Vice President Commercial for Milestone. “GE has operated in Australia since 1896, and we are proud to join the GE legacy of investing in and finding solutions for customers in the country.”

GECAS’ commitment to the Australian market started in 2001 with an operating lease for Virgin Blue Airlines. Today, GECAS’ combined total investments and assets on lease in Australia are nearly half a billion USD. This investment includes 17 helicopters valued at approximately $345 million on lease to operators such as Babcock, Bristow, CHC and LifeFlight Australia, plus five fixed-wing aircraft with Airnorth and Jetgo Australia; and engine leases with operators such as Virgin Australia and Jetstar.

“With our new office in place and our continued focus on providing customised financing solutions to our Australian customers, we are expecting exponential growth in the next few years,” said Dranitzke.

Antony Snelleman, Senior Vice President Commercial for Milestone Aviation, will head the new office, which is located at 99 Walker Street, North Sydney. “We are excited to grow our footprint in the Australian market, and we look forward to increasing our business with our fixed- and rotor-wing partners, including those in search and rescue, emergency medical services, and offshore oil and gas,” said Snelleman.

The primary sales executives for customers in Australia are Brett Rankin, Milestone’s VP Commercial – South Asia Pacific Region, and Aashish Sonawala, GECAS’ Senior Vice President, Asia Region.

Technology News
Werner Aero Services Acquires an Embraer E-190
Werner Aero Services has acquired an Embraer E-190, MSN367. This jet will be used to support Werner Aero Services recent commitment to expand its E-Jets asset management programs. Werner Aero Services has previously announced the expansion of its E-Jets business to include pooling access, repair management, engine leasing, as well as nacelle and spare support. The company plans to further increase its investment in the regional market in the near future.

“The acquisition of this E-Jet is in line with our strategy to propel Werner Aero Services’ regional business and exemplifies our commitment to the Embraer E-Jet family. I am happy to say that we now offer E-Jets operators complete logistical solutions combined with our outstanding customer support. The E-Jets business is vital to our company’s growth and we intend to continually invest in this product.” said Mike Cazaz, CEO of Werner Aero Services.

Lufthansa Systems develops Lido/mBriefing as a mobile briefing solution for pilots
Lufthansa Systems has announced the development of Lido/mBriefing as an app version based on the existing crew briefing module of Lido/Flight 4D. Lido/mBriefing will support flight deck crews with the briefing process as well as during the flight. This mobile solution is initially being developed for iOS, with support for Windows devices planned at a later date. This development is the aviation IT specialist’s response to increasing digitalization of flight operations processes and the introduction of connectivity on the flight deck, and it also advances the integration of briefing and flight operations solutions.

“We expect the majority of airlines to further digitalize their briefing processes for flight deck crews over the next two to five years. We received plenty of positive feedback from our customers after the presentation of our prototype last fall,” said Philipp Barzen, Head of Product Strategy Lido/Flight at Lufthansa Systems. “Demand for mobile briefing solutions for tablets is growing. We want to start meeting this demand with Lido/mBriefing.”

Pilots will soon be able to use the new app to access briefing information and digitally process it during a flight. Briefing systems are traditionally browser-based or only accessible via special terminals on the ground. With Lido/mBriefing, flight deck crews can carry out briefing steps on their tablet on the move and save relevant information for offline use. If changes are made at short notice, pilots receive the necessary notifications via the app so that the crew can react directly to the changes.

Using Lido/mBriefing, the crew can process all of the information and documentation required during a flight, such as the navigation log. If necessary, documents can be digitally signed after the flight and sent back to the airline’s data warehouse for analysis. The solution also supports retrospective data analysis to ensure, for example, that deviations from the planned route can be used for future route optimization.

“We want to help our customers become digital airlines across all processes. By developing our new Lido/mBriefing app, we are pursuing this strategy and reacting to growing demand for mobile solutions within the market,” said Olivier Krueger, CEO at Lufthansa Systems.

SAS opts for Recaro for new economy seats
The airline Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) is modifying the economy class seats BL3520 from Recaro Aircraft Seating for some 40 aircraft of its fleet. The German aircraft seat manufacturer will supply the parts for SAS‘ modification project as early as fall 2017. Only a few months lie between order and delivery.

SAS has ordered modification kits for approximately 5,000 economy class seats of the model BL3520 from Recaro Aircraft Seating. The aircraft seats will be upgraded with USB power. SAS has already equipped its entire short-range fleet with Recaro seats.

“We appreciate the good collaboration with Recaro Aircraft Seating. With this modification we can offer our passengers outstanding comfort on our short-haul fleet,” explains Per Tidéus, Product Manager Cabin Interior at SAS.

“SAS and Recaro enjoy a longstanding and trusting partnership,“ says Dr. Steffen Weidner, Team Leader Sales, Customer Service at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “We are very pleased to continue our good collaboration with the new order, and we are proud to contribute to the success of SAS with our aircraft seats and our service.“

Shell Aviation begins to supply Brussels Airport
Shell Aviation has started to supply jet fuel to Brussels (BRU) airport, as part of Shell’s ongoing effort to provide more world-class aviation products and services around the world.

“This entry provides genuine value for our customers, allowing them to access a strong and integrated supply chain,” Adam Harrison, General Manager for Shell Aviation Europe and South Africa, said. “We are pleased to be working closely with our new partners as we take an important leap forward in our European growth plan.”

With nearly 21.8 million passengers in 2016, Brussels Airport is the biggest airport in Belgium and one of the largest in Europe. Brussels Airport connects the de facto capital of the European Union to 226 destinations around the globe and is served by 77 airlines.

As part of the new entry, Shell launched into-plane services for all its commercial customers, collaborating with Brussels Airfuels Services (BAS).

“We are delighted to be starting operations with Shell to provide a faster, more efficient service for customers flying into Brussels,” said Luc Janssens, General Manager at BAS. “We look forward to building a successful partnership that will help meet current customer demands while also increasing supply security at the airport.”

Maintenance News
AerFin and SR Technics sign a new long term CFM engine component repair agreement.
AerFin and SR Technics have agreed a new long term engine repair agreement. The agreement will add CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B component coverage to the already existing CFM56-5C agreement for repairs at both the SR Technics’ Zurich and Cork facilities. This further enhances the strong relationship between both companies following on from the announcement of the BeyondFleetServices agreement with Philippine Airlines last December to support the phase out of their Airbus A340 fleet.

AerFin currently have ESN 875310 (purchased from Aero Capital Solutions Inc previously in service with Brazilian Operator GOL) in teardown at SRT in Zurich and this Engine will be held there on consignment to support the material demand for SRT’s increasing shop visit activity. This reinforces AerFin’s commitment to supply cost effective solutions to both MRO’s and operators throughout the industry.

James Bennett, Director of Sales and Marketing, AerFin commented ‘We have established a strong partnership with SR Technics, that is continuing to grow as our business evolves towards being a key strategic partner with operators. This particular agreement, will ensure we have a supply of high-quality, cost effective, narrow-bodied engine solutions for our airline customers globally’

New Location Tracking optimizes resource scheduling
With “GSE 4.0”, Lufthansa Technik AG has developed a system that allows Ground Support Equipment – i.e. all resources with a towbar or an ignition switch – to be found immediately using new localization software. This makes the time-consuming search for available GSE such as ladders, trailers, loaders, tugs, towbars, start-up devices, and air conditioning units a thing of the past.

Lufthansa Technik began the implementation of the pilot project in April. Hardware and software has now been installed, the antennas positioned on hangar roofs, and around 1,500 GSE items have been connected. The system has already gone online in Hamburg and Frankfurt. It will soon be put into operation in Munich and for other users within the Lufthansa Group, for example Lufthansa Cargo.

“With the help of ‘GSE 4.0’, location tracking is now possible at any time and in any place, so that we can locate all networked GSE both outside and in the hangars,” says project leader Gerrit Rexhausen.

Quick and precise locating of equipment improves the availability of all GSE and allows for completely transparent planning. Beyond this, each item of GSE can display relevant information such as the fuel level, outside temperature, or faults.

“GSE 4.0” is possible using special hardware and software. Whilst localization with trackers and gateway uses established hardware, the visualization software was especially developed for the project. All trackers are equipped with on-board sensors. The sensors can be configured flexibly, depending on needs and the specific GSE, and extended using existing external sensors such as fuel level indicators on vehicles.

Air France Airbus performance powering ahead with SITAONAIR’s e-Aircraft® DataCapture
Air France (AF) and SITAONAIR have announced a new deal to deliver seamless aircraft data to AF’s top-flight operations and maintenance optimization programs.

Under the partnership, SITAONAIR’s new e-Aircraft DataCapture solution will capture, dissect and deliver high-quality, immediate aircraft data, significantly bolstering performance monitoring across Air France Airbus aircraft. SITAONAIR’s deployment of DataCapture across AF’s Airbus fleet began in January 2017.

The e-Aircraft DataCapture system works by collecting, compressing and encrypting an aircraft’s Quick Access Recorder (QAR) or Digital ACMS Recorder (DAR) data, and ensures it is automatically and immediately transmitted after landing, using 3G, to a ground server provided by SITAONAIR. The complete data is then sent to Air France’s data analysis system for instant analysis and response.

Many airlines manually collect aircraft post-flight and health data as part of an overnight maintenance regime, meaning a delay of hours after a flight has landed before data is retrieved.

Replacing manual collection with SITAONAIR’s automatic e-Aircraft DataCapture equips airlines with instant detailed insight into their fleets, from how aircraft are operating, to investigating incidents and performing maintenance diagnostics.

This cost- and time-efficient solution also helps airlines optimize staffing resources and supports seamless transitions, which help reduce the time aircraft spend on the ground.

People News
WFS strengthens leadership team as it steps up its global cargo and ground handling ambitions
Craig Smyth, Group CEO of Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), has announced new appointments to further strengthen the company’s leadership team.

WFS’ Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia regions will be divided into two service product regions – Cargo and Ground Handling – to facilitate the execution of the company’s strategic plans. John Batten will lead WFS’ Cargo operations as EVP Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA); and Will Facey, currently Head of Network Operations at EasyJet, will join WFS on 28 August this year as EVP Ground Handling operations for Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA).

Barry Nassberg, formerly Group COO, becomes Group Chief Commercial Officer, reporting to Craig Smyth. He will be responsible for leading and coordinating WFS’ network commercial activities; while Justin Jaques, formerly VP Asia & Middle East, will become SVP Group Commercial, reporting to Barry, to focus on global key accounts and major tenders. The new WFS Commercial function will operate from Roissy, Paris.

WFS has also named Catherine Thomas as General Counsel & Head of Legal. Catherine brings with her 25 years of legal experience acquired in the UK and in France.

In support of its number one priority to be a world class provider of safety and security, in recent months WFS has also appointed David Clark as Global as Head of Safety & Security, Pedro Garcia as Chief Information Officer and Fabienne Bricaud as Global Head of People.

Commenting on the appointments, Craig Smyth said: “We have clear strategic goals for the future of WFS and the leadership team we are building will drive this next phase of our expansion. In putting this team together, we are combining the existing knowledge and extensive expertise already in the company with new blood as we develop our world class suite of aviation services for our customers through our one global network.”

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Airline News
Etihad Airways to launch A380 flights to Paris
Etihad Airways has announced the year-round deployment of its A380 aircraft on the Abu Dhabi to Paris route from July 1.

The additional capacity will provide business and leisure travellers from France with more opportunities to visit Abu Dhabi.

Flight EY31 has a scheduled departure time from Abu Dhabi at 2.15 am which arrives at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 7.50 am local time. The return flight, EY32 takes off from the French capital at 10.40 am and arrives in Abu Dhabi at 7.30 pm.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “We believe that our customers travelling to and from Paris will really enjoy what we see as unparalleled comfort and services on board our A380. Flying our flagship aircraft to France helps fulfil growing demand and offers greater travel experiences for the flying public.

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Airline News
Alaska Airlines and Finnair announce frequent flyer partnership
Alaska Airlines and Finnair are teaming up to give members of their frequent flyer programs the opportunity to earn miles/points on both airlines as Finnair expands its wings with new flights from San Francisco.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with European-favorite Finnair, as they launch their first West Coast service from our San Francisco hub to Helsinki on June 1,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “Our Mileage Plan members will be able to fly Finnair to over 60 destinations in Europe from San Francisco, Chicago and New York’s JFK.”

Alaska Airlines recently announced a major expansion of its San Francisco service. Alaska, along with Virgin America, now has 83 daily departures from San Francisco to 35 destinations.

Members of Alaska Mileage Plan can begin earning miles on Finnair starting today. Award redemption will commence later this year. Finnair Plus members can begin earning and redeeming points on Alaska Airlines starting today.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Alaska Airlines on this new frequent flyer partnership,” said Juha Järvinen, chief commercial officer at Finnair. “Our customers travelling to and from the U.S. will greatly benefit from the extensive network both airlines have to offer.”


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Airline News
Vietjet announces new international route from Da Nang to Seoul
Vietjet has announced a new Danang – Seoul (South Korea) route, which will operate daily from 31 May 2017 with tickets priced from only VND630,000 (US$28). The flight from Danang departs at 11.45pm (local time) and arrives in Seoul at 6.00am (local time). The return flight takes off at 7.00am (local time) and lands in Danang at 9.40am.

Luu Duc Khanh, Managing Director of Vietjet said: “Being the economic and tourist hub of the country, Da Nang strongly attracts investment in economic and tourism development. With the opening of the route connecting Da Nang with South Korea, Vietjet not only provides the local people and international tourists with more travel opportunities via safe, civilized and modern air transportation but also contributes to promoting trade and investment development in the localities.”

Leasing News
Minsheng Financial Leasing finances four A320s
On May 19 2017, Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) closed the commercial financing of four A320-200 bearing the MSNs 5744, 5807, 5893 and 5898. The aircraft are on lease to IndiGo. Crédit Agricole CIB (CACIB) acted as mandated lead arranger, facility agent and security trustee and the Korea Development Bank (KDB) acted as arranger. CACIB and KDB acted as Lenders in the commercial loan. MSFL were advised by King & Wood Mallesons and the lenders were advised by Watson Farley & Williams.”

The WFW team advising CA-CIB was led by Singapore aviation finance Partner Samuel Kolehmainen, assisted by Associates Charlotte Bown and Rachel Tan. WFW Paris Office Head and Finance Partner Laurence Martinez-Bellet advised on the French law aspects of the transaction and New York Counsel Susanne Burstein on US matters.

CALC funds one A320 using a JOLCO
On May 17, China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (CALC) closed the JOLCO financing of one A320-200 bearing MSN 7583. The aircraft is on lease to AirAsia Berhad.

Crédit Agricole CIB (CACIB) acted as overall JOLCO debt and equity arranger. CACIB also acted as facility agent and security trustee. CACIB and Crédit Industriel et Commercial acted as lenders in the commercial loan. CALC were advised by Watson Farley & Williams and the Japanese parties by Nishimura & Asahi. The lenders were advised by Clifford Chance.

Technology News
First Air Mauritius A350 XWB takes shape in Airbus’ Final Assembly Line
Assembly of the first A350 XWB for Air Mauritius is advancing well at Airbus’ Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France.

The wing-fuselage junction, the installation of the tailplane and also the tailcone have been completed. The aircraft is in the next assembly station for structural completion such as the installation of winglets, ground testing of mechanical, electrical and avionics systems. Next steps will include in particular cabin completion, engine installation, painting and flight tests. This will lead to the delivery scheduled in Q4 2017, of the first A350-900 to Air Mauritius.

Air Mauritius will acquire a total of six A350-900 twin engine widebodies comprising four directly purchased from Airbus and two on lease from AerCap. At entry into service, the A350 XWB will be deployed on the carrier’s long-haul, mainly the Mauritius-Paris route. Air Mauritius currently operates a fleet of 13 aircraft of which 10 Airbus aircraft including six A340-300, two A330-200 and two A319 on regional and long haul services.

People News
Aviation Australia and JATC form a strategic training partnership in Indonesia
Aviation Australia has signed a cooperative partnership agreement with the Jakarta Aviation Training Center (JATC) for the delivery of aircraft maintenance engineering training to Indonesian students. Training will be delivered at JATC’s campus, located next to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, as well as Aviation Australia’s campus located next to the Brisbane International Airport.

Students will complete the first six months of their European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved basic training course (B1.1) in Jakarta, before transferring to Brisbane to complete the remaining 12 months. The Brisbane based training is inclusive of practical training and live aircraft maintenance training.

Successful students will graduate with a Diploma of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering and an EASA Part 66 Certificate of Recognition.

“Indonesia is a very important player in the global aviation industry and has experienced massive growth over the past decade,” stated Bill Horrocks, CEO of Aviation Australia.

“Our collaboration with JATC is a very important strategic partnership for our business and we look forward to working closely to develop world class engineers, trained to the very stringent EASA standard, to meet the ever growing needs of the Indonesian aviation industry. Our mission statement is ‘Delivering excellence in training to help shape the future of the aviation industry worldwide’ and this move into the Indonesian market ensures that we are delivering on this goal.”