ARI acquires UAM

Aircraft Recycling International Limited (ARI), founded by China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC) in 2014, has acquired a 100% equity interest in Universal Asset Management, Inc. (UAM), a global aviation services provider based in Memphis, Tennessee, the company said.

UAM is now a wholly owned US subsidiary of ARI, responsible for ARI´s aircraft recycling business overseas, and a part of its global disassembly and distribution platform. Together, ARI and UAM will form global solutions for aging aircraft, further consolidating CALC´s status as a full value-chain aircraft solutions provider.

UAM has nearly three decades of commercial and technical experience managing customers´ aviation assets, disassembling aircraft, and supplying after-market components to the commercial aviation industry.

Christina Ng, Deputy CEO and COO of ARI, has been appointed as Chairwoman of UAM, while Keri Wright and Shawn Kling will continue to lead UAM´s operations as CEO and President, respectively. UAM will retain its brand name and continue to operate in the same manner with the same management team, while all staff will remain in place across all its business units.

ARI is a member company of CALC and downstream extension of CALC´s aviation value chain, and is mainly engaged in asset management and total aircraft solutions relating to aging aircraft. It is currently constructing an aircraft recycling facility in Harbin, China. With UAM´s Disassembly Center in Tupelo, Mississippi, the combined operations will be capable of meeting global demand.

UAM has nearly three decades of commercial and technical experience and specializes in asset management, leasing, aircraft disassembly, and component sales. UAM´s global headquarters is located in Memphis, Tennessee with disassembly and distribution operations in Tupelo and Verona, Mississippi. Additionally, UAM has global sales offices in London, UK, and Singapore. Along with its affiliates worldwide, UAM offers complete aircraft aftermarket component support in 150 countries globally.

In addition to aircraft operating lease, financial lease, and sale and leaseback, CALC provides customers with aircraft full-life solutions, covering fleet planning consultation, structured financing, fleet replacement package deal, third party aircraft resale as well as aircraft disassembly and recycling business.

Alaska Airlines' frequent flier members can now earn miles on Condor Airlines

Alaska Airlines has announced Condor Airlines as its newest partner, giving members of its award-wining Mileage Plan more opportunities to earn and use miles on flights to Europe, the airline said.

Condor flies nonstop to Frankfurt, Germany from Seattle; San Diego; Las Vegas, Portland, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Starting in June, Condor will add new nonstop Seattle-Munich service. Alaska travelers arriving on Condor flights to Frankfurt and Munich can connect to more than 75 destinations across Europe, Africa and Asia.

Alaska Airlines and Condor have been connecting passengers between the two carriers on flights from Europe and North America, using an airline industry partnership called an “interline agreement”, but until now have not had a mileage partnership. With the new mileage partnership, travelers on Alaska Airlines and Condor will be able to earn miles and exchange it for award travel in Mileage Plan.

Condor is a 100% subsidiary of Thomas Cook GmbH. On an annual basis, more than seven million passengers fly with Condor to about 75 destinations in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. The route network of the holiday airline includes over 230 destinations through cooperation with airlines in the destination areas. Condor was merged with the airlines Thomas Cook Airlines UK, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia in October 2013, to form the Thomas Cook Group Airlines.

The fleet of the Thomas Cook Group is comprised of 95 modern and environmentally friendly aircraft, of which 45 aircraft are from the Condor fleet: nine Airbus A320s, seven Airbus A321s, thirteen Boeing 757-300s and sixteen Boeing 767-300s. The aircraft are maintained by the airlines´ own technical companies.

Alaska Airlines, together with Virgin America and its regional partners, flies 40 million customers a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, customers can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).

Southwest, AirTran rank highest in customer experience according to Temkin Group

Southwest Airlines and AirTran deliver the best customer experience in the airline industry, according to the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 US consumers, the ratings group said.

Southwest Airlines took the top spot out of the 10 airlines included in this year´s ratings, earning a score of 73% and coming in 90th place overall out of 331 companies across 20 industries. Southwest has earned the highest score every year since the Ratings began in 2011, with the exception of 2015 with JetBlue came in first.

AirTran Airways came in second with a score of 70%, followed by Virgin America and JetBlue, both with 69%, Alaska (68%), United (66%), US Airways (65%), American and Delta (62%) and Spirit Airlines (50%).

In these ratings, a score of 70% or above is considered “good,” and a score of 80% or above is considered “excellent,” while a score below 60% is considered “poor.”

To generate these ratings, Temkin Group asked 10,000 US consumers to evaluate their recent experiences with a company across three dimensions: success (can you do what you want to do?), effort (how easy is it to work with the company?), and emotion (how do you feel about the interactions?). Temkin Group then averaged these three scores to produce each company´s Temkin Experience Rating.

The ratings for all airlines increased between 2016 and 2017. US Airways improved the most, gaining 17 points, while Delta Airlines improved the least, gaining only three points.

Now in its seventh year of publication, the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings evaluates 331 companies across 20 industries: airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer & tablet makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, health plans, hotels & rooms, insurance carriers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, rental cars & transport, retailers, software firms, streaming media, supermarket chains, TV & appliance makers, TV/Internet service providers, utilities, and wireless carriers.

Temkin Group is a customer experience research, consulting, and training firm.

Azul initiates public offering

Azul S.A. has commenced an initial public offering pursuant to which Azul is offering 63,000,000 preferred shares and certain selling shareholders are offering 9,000,000 preferred shares, for a total of 72,000,000 preferred shares, the company said.

The global offering consists of (i) an offering of preferred shares in Brazil by the Brazilian underwriters, and (ii) a concurrent international offering of preferred shares, including in the form of American depositary shares, or ADSs, in the United States and elsewhere outside of Brazil by the international underwriters.

Each ADS represents three preferred shares. The selling shareholders intend to grant the international underwriters and Brazilian underwriters an option to purchase for a period of 30 days beginning on the date hereof up to the first day of trading of the preferred shares on the BM&FBOVESPA for 10,800,000 additional preferred shares at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discount to cover options to purchase additional preferred shares.

The total amount of preferred shares offered in the global offering, including preferred shares represented by ADSs (but excluding preferred shares that may be sold pursuant to the underwriters´ option described above), may be increased by up to 20%, representing 14,400,000 additional preferred shares, including in the form of ADSs to be sold by the selling shareholders upon the agreement of the selling shareholders, Brazilian underwriters and the international underwriters.

It is anticipated that the initial public offering price will be between BRL 19.00 and BRL 23.00 per preferred share and between USD 18.02 and USD 21.81 per ADS, calculated at the exchange rate of BRL 3.1636 per USD 1.00 at March 14, 2017.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Itau BBA USA Securities, Inc., Banco do Brasil Securities LLC, Bradesco Securities Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Santander Investment Securities Inc., will collectively act as international underwriters with respect to the offering of the ADSs and, together with Safra Securities LLC, as agents on behalf of the Brazilian underwriters with respect to the offering of preferred shares sold outside of Brazil not in the form of ADSs.

Banco Itaú BBA S.A., Citigroup Global Markets Brasil, Corretora de Câmbio, Títulos e Valores Mobiliários S.A., Deutsche Bank S.A. — Banco Alemão, BB — Banco de Investimento S.A., Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Banco J.P. Morgan S.A., Banco J. Safra S.A. and Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A. will act collectively as Brazilian underwriters with respect to the sale of preferred shares in the public offering in Brazil.

Azul is the largest airline in Brazil in terms of departures and cities served, with 784 daily departures serving 102 destinations, creating a network of 203 non-stop routes as of December 31, 2016.

Republic Airline event to benefit children's health organizations

Republic Airline employees and teams from around Indiana will face off against a 24-ton aircraft in the seventh annual Pulling For Wishes Plane Pull, the airline said.

Scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Republic´s hangar near Indianapolis International Airport, the event primarily benefits the non-profit Indiana Children´s Wish Fund (ICWF), and will feature dozens of teams competing for the fastest time to pull an Embraer 175 aircraft.

In addition to providing support for the ICWF, this year´s event will help benefit programs and initiatives at Riley Children´s Foundation and Peyton Manning Children´s Hospital at St. Vincent, both leading Indianapolis organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of children.

Last year´s event raised more than USD 430,000 to benefit ICWF, which grants wishes to children ages 3-18 suffering life-threatening illnesses. ICWF has granted over 3,200 wishes to Indiana children during the past 33 years. Wishes include trips to Disney World, meeting celebrities, shopping trips, home computers and much more.

Since 2011, Republic´s Plane Pull has raised USD 1.4 million for ICWF.

The Pulling for Wishes Plane Pull is dedicated to the memory of Carmel resident Tyler Frenzel, who suffered from leukemia and passed away in 2004. Tyler´s wish to visit Disney World was granted by Indiana Children´s Wish Fund.

Republic Airline, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, operates a fleet of about 170 Embraer 170/175 aircraft and offers scheduled passenger service with about 900 flights daily to 105 cities in 38 US states, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline provides fixed-fee flights operated under our major airline partner brands of American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express. The airline employs about 5,200 aviation professionals.

NASA confirms biofuels reduce exhaust emissions by 50-70%

Using biofuels to help power jet engines reduces particle emissions in their exhaust by as much as 50 to 70%, in a new study conclusion that bodes well for airline economics and Earth´s environment, the organization said.

The findings are the result of a cooperative international research program led by NASA and involving agencies from Germany and Canada, and are detailed in a study published in the journal Nature.

During flight tests in 2013 and 2014 near NASA´s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, data was collected on the effects of alternative fuels on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitudes flown by commercial airliners. The test series were part of the Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions Study, or ACCESS.

Contrails are produced by hot aircraft engine exhaust mixing with the cold air that is typical at cruise altitudes several miles above Earth´s surface, and are composed primarily of water in the form of ice crystals.

Researchers are most interested in persistent contrails because they create long-lasting, and sometimes extensive, clouds that would not normally form in the atmosphere, and are believed to be a factor in influencing Earth´s environment. Contrails, and the cirrus clouds that evolve from them, have a larger impact on Earth´s atmosphere than all the aviation-related carbon dioxide emissions since the first powered flight by the Wright brothers.

The tests involved flying NASA´s workhorse DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while its four engines burned a 50-50 blend of aviation fuel and a renewable alternative fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids produced from camelina plant oil. A trio of research aircraft took turns flying behind the DC-8 at distances ranging from 300 feet to more than 20 miles to take measurements on emissions and study contrail formation as the different fuels were burned.

The trailing aircraft included NASA´s HU-25C Guardian jet based at Langley, a Falcon 20-E5 jet owned by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and a CT-133 jet provided by the National Research Council of Canada.

Researchers plan on continuing these studies to understand and demonstrate the potential benefits of replacing current fuels in aircraft with biofuels.

IAH ranks 8th in US for on-time performance

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has ranked Houston´s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) number 8 among the top 29 hub airports in the US for on-time performance in 2016 with more than 83% of flights operating on time, the Houston Airport System said.

The Houston Airport System has partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on numerous projects to enhance the efficiency of the Houston airspace, including the Houston Metroplex project. The project introduced changes to airspace design and procedures for airports in the Houston region.

These changes included 49 additions, 11 modifications and 20 removals of various types of arrival and departure procedures. It also included development of new Performance Based Navigation procedures, as well as expanded use of Time Based Flow Management.

IAH climbed up 8 spaces from number 16 in 2015 to number 8 in 2016.

Avcorp increases credit facilities to USD 58m

Avcorp Industries Inc. (TSX: AVP) has entered into an agreement to extend its existing credit facilities with its current lender to USD 58m, up from CAD 21m, the company said.

The credit facility extension supports the company´s recent efforts to re-structure operations, win long-term production contracts, and strengthen its relationships with key customers.

The current credit facilities will be extended in increments through 2017 and 2018, with maturity on June 30, 2020, subject to definitive loan documentation and required consents.

The credit facility expansion will provide working capital for the company´s operations in Delta British Columbia, Burlington Ontario, and Gardena California including the funding of operating expenses in connection with all customer production lines and supplier payables. The extension of the credit facilities will also provide required capital to ensure that Avcorp continues to play a key role in the supply chain of its valued customers.

The Avcorp Group designs and builds major airframe structures for aircraft companies, including BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Lockheed Martin. The company has over 800 skilled employees and 636,000 square feet of facilities.

Avcorp Structures & Integration located in Delta British Columbia, Canada is dedicated to metallic and composite aerostructures assembly and integration; Avcorp Engineered Composites located in Burlington Ontario, Canada is dedicated to design and manufacture of composite aerostructures, and Avcorp Composite Fabrication located in Gardena California, has advanced composite aerostructures fabrication capabilities for composite aerostructures.

Avcorp Composite Fabrication Inc. is wholly owned by Avcorp US Holdings Inc. Both companies are incorporated in The State of Delaware, USA, and are wholly owned subsidiaries of Avcorp Industries Inc. Comtek Advanced Structures Ltd., incorporated in the Province of Ontario, Canada, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Avcorp Industries Inc.

Aerojet Rocketdyne engines support SATCOM spacecraft launch

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. has played a major role in successfully launching and placing the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) spacecraft into orbit for the US military, the company said.

The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket. Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems included the RS-68A booster engine, the RL10B-2 upper-stage engine, 14 helium pressurization tanks, and a 100 lbf bipropellant apogee-raising engine aboard the WGS-9 spacecraft.

Aerojet Rocketdyne´s role in the launch began when a single RS-68A engine ignited to boost the Delta IV off the pad, providing 702,000 pounds of lift-off thrust. The RS-68A is the world´s most powerful liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine. The RS-68 family of engines has now flown 35 commercial and government missions with 100% mission success.

After the upper stage separated from the launch vehicle, a single RL10B-2 upper-stage engine ignited to place the payload into orbit. The RL10B-2 delivers 24,750 pounds of thrust to power the Delta IV upper stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.

Once separated from the launch vehicle, WGS-9 will perform multiple burns on Aerojet Rocketdyne´s High Performance Apogee Thruster (HiPAT) rocket engine to complete the orbit raising from Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit to its final geosynchronous orbital position. The HiPAT rocket engine has a 100% mission success track record spanning over 115 missions, including all WGS spacecraft.

The Boeing-built WGS satellites provide increased military communications capabilities for US and allied forces deployed worldwide. They help support the exchange of information, execution of tactical command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (AJRD) provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets.

Air Methods, FlightSafety open training facility in Colorado

Air Methods (AIRM) and FlightSafety International have announced the new FlightSafety Learning Center, and have welcomed the second of four FlightSafety-built Level-D qualified full motion simulators designated for the training facility located in Denver, Colorado, the companies said.

The installation of the new Airbus AS350 B3 Level-D simulator took place in February 2017, joining the Airbus EC135 simulator, which was previously used by Air Methods at FlightSafety´s Learning Center in Dallas.

Air Methods partnered with FlightSafety to develop and manufacture the newer Level-D qualified simulators — the Airbus AS350 B3, Bell 407GX and Airbus EC130T2 — which will be the first of their kind in the United States. The final two simulators are scheduled to enter service later this year. Together, the four devices will represent training for 75% of Air Methods´ fleet.

Air Methods employs more than 1,300 pilots across the country and provides 1,600 recurrent check rides per year. The Colorado Learning Center, which also offers classrooms and a full complement of customer service areas, will offer four-day training for the vast majority of the company´s aviators.

Air Methods Corporation provides air medical transportation. The Air Medical Services Division is a provider of air medical transport services in the United States. The United Rotorcraft Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Tourism Division is comprised of Sundance Helicopters, Inc. and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, which provide helicopter tours and charter flights in the Las Vegas/Grand Canyon region and Hawaii, respectively. Air Methods´ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features approximately 500 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

FlightSafety International is a professional aviation training company and supplier of flight simulators, visual systems, and displays to commercial, government, and military organizations. The company provides more than a million hours of training each year to pilots, technicians and other aviation professionals from 167 countries and independent territories. FlightSafety operates advanced full flight simulators at learning centers and training locations in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.