Aircraft Finance & Leasing News - North America.

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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Aircraft Finance & Leasing News North America) Jan 1, 2012

AgustaWestland AgustaWestland has completed its acquisition from Bell of the 609 tiltrotor program and is gearing up to bring the much delayed civilian aircraft - now dubbed the AW609 - to market in early 2016. "All legal and regulatory approvals have now been successfully completed," said the Finmeccanica-owned company. Along with the two flying AW609 prototypes, the deal includes all assets and drawings from Bell, but no intellectual property related to the military's Bell-Boeing V22 tiltrotor, on which the 609 is based. "The development of the AW609 tiltrotor programme is now moving forward under full AgustaWestland control, with civil certification expected in late 2015-early 2016 and deliveries following immediately afterwards," said AgustaWestland. Dec 21, 2011

Air Methods Air Methods Completes Restatement of Financial Statements. Air Methods Corporation, the largest air medical transportation company in the world, announced today that it has completed the restatement of its financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2010 and for the first three quarters of 2011, and has filed amended annual and quarterly reports for the applicable periods with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Specifically, the Company has filed a Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010 and Forms 10-Q/A for the quarters ended March 31, June 30 and September 30, 2011. As previously disclosed, the Company restated its financial statements after receiving guidance from the SEC regarding the appropriate GAAP interpretation of ASC 840-10-25-14, which impacted the Company's presentation for aircraft leases. The effects of the financial restatement were within the ranges previously disclosed by the Company. The Company is now current with its SEC filing requirements. The Company expects to regain compliance with the applicable NASDAQ listing rules promptly with these restated filings. Air Methods Corporation, a leader in emergency aeromedical transportation and medical services. The Hospital Based Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services for hospitals. The Community Based Services Division is one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. The Products Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. Air Methods' fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 400 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Dec 22, 2011

Airbus AIA on U.S. challenge of EU non-compliance with WTO subsidies ruling . AIA affirms its support for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative request for consultations on the December 1 European Union compliance report on eliminating aircraft subsidies contrary to World Trade Organization rules. This process should result in the ending of non-compliant launch aid for aircraft productionNloans provided by European governments that substantially reduce the business risk of introducing new-model airplanes. Dec 20, 2011

Airbus, EADS Ever since the Beatles managed it, "cracking the USA" has been an obsession for European musicians. However, it appears that imperative also weighs equally heavily on the European aerospace industry. Although the sector has some small footholds on the other side of the Atlantic, via the likes of BAE Systems and Finmeccanica, no one company has yet surfaced to challenge any of the US aerospace giants on their own turf. EADS has perhaps come the closest. Until 24 February 2011, when the US Air Force awarded the KC-X contest to Boeing, EADS appeared to have a strong chance of parking its tanker on Boeing's lawn. As well as the 179 aircraft up for grabs in the contest, EADS had promised, should it win, to move final assembly of its Airbus A330 Freighter to Mobile, Alabama. Dec 22, 2011

Airbus, EADS Airbus delivers 26 A380s in 2011. Airbus this month delivered four A380s, setting a new monthly delivery record for the aircraft. The manufacturer delivered 26 A380s this year, one more than its goal of 25. Airbus expects to further increase the delivery rate of the A380 and aims to bring the number to around 30 in 2012 and eventually 39-40, A380 product marketing director Keith Stonestreet said. In the first week of December, Airbus handed over an A380 to Emirates and last week it delivered threeNone to Qantas, one more to Emirates and one to China SouthernNbringing the total number of A380s ever delivered to 67 (to seven operators). Emirates has now 20 A380s in its fleet. This year, two aircraft were delivered to Air France, five to Qantas, four to Lufthansa, five to Korean Air, three to Singapore Airlines, five to Emirates and two to China Southern. Stonestreet said A380s are flying on some 50 routes to 28 destinations, and operate to/from 12 of the top 20 airports in total passenger throughput and 14 of world largest international airports. The aircraft is seen daily at nine of the top 10 international airports, but Stonestreet said it was a misconception that the A380 was only a hub-to-hub aircraft. OIt operates also more and more on hub-to-point,O he said, citing Dubai (DXB)-Manchester, UK and DXB-Jeddah services as examples. New A380 operators for 2012 include Malaysian Airlines and Thai Airways International. Dec 21, 2011

Airbus, EADS, Air Lease, Boeing, United Airlines Airbus expands order record, Boeing set to rebound. Airbus is on course to end 2011 with well over 1,600 orders, pushing Boeing to the lowest market share of their 40-year rivalry, but Boeing has stored up momentum for a comeback as both companies put fresh vigor into their most-sold jets. Although Boeing took a year longer than Airbus to revamp a key model to meet demand for lower fuel costs, both enjoy strong demand as Asian growth and the replacement of old aircraft in the United States blot out the euro crisis, at least for now. The dominant jetmakers track each other more closely in deliveries, which drive revenues and are considered a gauge of competition. Airbus is expected to remain ahead for the ninth year running as it meets a record goal for 520-530 deliveries. Airbus has 1,529 firm orders so far this year, including an eight-plane deal announced since its November data. The number already represents a new record for the European planemaker, which outsold Boeing for most of the past decade, sparking trade friction between Europe and the United States. This year's lead is particularly pronounced because of demand for the revamped version of its 150-seat A320 jetliner. The jazzed-up A320neo aims to provide 12-15 percent in fuel savings due to new engines. Boeing has responded with the 737 MAX, a refresh of its most popular model that also involves new engines. Armed with data, both companies say their offering is better. Underlying Airbus orders are higher still at 1,609 including a previously announced 80-plane deal with Republic Airways that did not immediately enter the order book. That leaves 174 provisional A320neo orders still to be confirmed, many of which may trickle through in coming days judging by a pattern of chasing deadlines in previous years. They include provisional orders for a total of 63 airplanes from Mexico's Volaris and Colombian AviancaTaca. The industry will also be watching to see whether U.S. lessor Air Lease Corp completes a draft order for 36 A320neo planes this year after its influential founder Stephen Udvar-Hazy expressed skepticism even while ordering the jet. The California-based company has said it is negotiating with Airbus over its future A350, providing some potential leverage. 2012 REBOUND Boeing, by contrast, has 894 orders so far this year. Business is up since 2010, but Boeing slumped behind Airbus in the 2011 race as it hesitated over whether to match the A320neo or build a more ambitious new aircraft at the expense of near-term sales. It chose the first option by launching the 737 MAX. "For nine months as Boeing hesitated, they left the A320neo almost alone on the market," Louis Gallois, chief executive of Airbus parent EADS (Paris:EAD.PA - News), told analysts in remarks released this week. Boeing has effectively ceded 2011 in volume terms to its arch-rival, but may spring further orders before the end of the year. The only real suspense is over whether Boeing will achieve a 40 percent market share in 2011, the lower end of a 40-60 band that many analysts regard as the framework for a stable duopoly. Currently it has a volume share of 37 percent and would need to sell over 180 aircraft by end-year to get back to 40 percent, with the target moving away from it as Airbus closes more deals. The picture for Boeing may not be as bleak as a single year's figure would suggest. On average the rivals remain close. Boeing has almost 800 provisional contracts for the 737 MAX waiting to be completed, including 462 for which the names of the buyers have not yet been disclosed. Some may come through in coming days, but the bulk are expected to slip beyond the New Year, giving the company a head start for what many analysts expect to be a bounce-back in 2012. The company also stuck close to its rival in value terms after a record slew of more than 200 orders for its 777 mini-jumbo. The USD300 million 1990s long-range jet is enjoying a second honeymoon with airlines after Airbus failed to allay criticism of its competing A350-1000, due out in 2017. While Airbus has been in the driving seat for narrowbodies this year, analysts say Boeing is still setting the pace for many larger jets. The two companies are preparing for a major battle over a USD16 billion order expected to cover approximately 180 aircraft from United Airlines (NYSE:UAL - News) in the first quarter, including possibly 130 of the latest generation of revamped 150-seaters. The aircraft makers are also expected to push hard over the holiday season to complete aircraft deliveries for 2011...

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