Merger of leasing companies
The crisis caused by the pandemic has also affected leasing. The two largest players in the market – AerCap and GECAS – have announced a merger report. This means moving more than 2,600 aircraft under “one” roof. By comparison, the third largest provider, Avolon, owns 856 units. AerCap will take over 100% of GECAS, with General Electrics owning 46% and being entitled to nominate two directors to AerCap’s Executive Board. The entire transfer is conditional on several steps, including shareholder approval of the transfer, and should be finalized in the last quarter.
CSA in trouble
The restructuring process of Czech Airlines continues. The Municipal Court in Prague went bankrupt on its own motion. Inskol, which has become the trustee in the process, manages a debt of 1.8 billion Czech crowns – of which about 800 million are debt to suppliers and about one billion to passengers, mainly due to missed flights. CSA advocates maintaining the operation during the recovery process, not only to preserve the brand, but also to generate revenue. If successful, and depending on the development of travel restrictions, CSA plans to maintain routes to Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow and Kiev, which it considers to be the most important.
An interesting concept called PRAGUSA.ONE should connect the Czech capital with the distant world. The name of the airline comes from a combination of city names – Prague and Ragusa, which is the historical name of Dubrovnik. It starts up by deploying A330 and A350 aircraft on routes to New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore. Apparently, it looks like the destinations will be flown from two home bases – in Dubrovnik and in Prague. If you are looking for a direct flight between Prague and Dubrovnik, unfortunately, we will disappoint you. It will be possible only through the destinations flown. The good news is that the configurations of the planned four aircraft should be in a purely premium economy.
Freight version of the A350?
Airbus is playing with the possibility of an expensive version of the A350, judging by market demand and strong orders from “freighters” from rival Boeing. Developments should be preceded by market research, including addressing and identifying potential customer interest.
The first flight of the Falcon 6X
Week number ten in 2021 will commemorate the first flight of the expected Falcon 6X. The F-WSIX aircraft took off from Merignac on March 5th. During the test flight, the flight characteristics of the type, the response of the PW812D engines, as well as the behavior of the aircraft’s key systems were tested. The flight was dedicated in honor of Olivier Dassault, who tragically died during a helicopter crash last Sunday. The first deliveries of the type with a range of 5,500 nautical miles are expected before the end of this year.
MAX and its return to operation
Icelandair became the third European operator to return their MAXs to the skies. TF-ICN on its first flight under the designation FI204 / ICE204 was heading from Keflavik to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Similar reports were reported from flydubai. The airline performed the first certification flight on their MAX with the A6-FMG registration. It happened on Monday. The next MAX, the A6-FMH, is scheduled for March 15th.
US Southwest Airlines made its first commercial flight to MAX on March 11th. At the same time, the mega order of MAXs by Southwest Airlines is outlined. This should cover the order of 130 MAX 7s with an option for another 170 aircraft.
Grounding of A380
While flight tests are underway in Toulouse for the last A380 for Emirates, Etihad will join the airlines, which will ground their A380 fleet due to the effects of the pandemic and reduced flight demand. The company’s CEO said that “we will probably not see the type in Etihad’s operation again”.
Belavia in a special livery
The second Embraer E195-E2 for Belavia – Belarusian Airlines boasts a special livery commemorating the company’s 25th anniversary. The EW-553PO was delivered to Belavia this week.
What we captured this week
The company Condor pleased us on Monday morning with the arrival of D-ABOU from Punta Cana, a plane in the company’s new livery.