Airline Finance News - Europe.

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New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Airline Finance News Europe) Nov 27, 2011

A J Walter Aviation A J Walter Aviation (AJW) was selected by XL Airways France for a five-year power-by-the-hour (PBH) support contract, covering the carrier's Boeing 737NG aircraft fleet at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). It is AJW's first PBH contract in the French aviation market and its first at CDG. Nov 17, 2011

Aeroflot, Airbus, Sukhoi, Rostechnology, Boeing Aeroflot to modernize subsidiariesO fleet with A320s, SSJ100s. Aeroflot plans to modernize the fleet of its subsidiaries with Airbus A320s and Russian regional aircraft Sukhoi Superjet 100s, SU CEO Vitaly Savelyev said. OAeroflot now prefers A320s and in [the] future these aircraft will partly renovate the fleet of our subsidiaries. These aircraft will serve international flights primarily,O said Savelyev, adding that the company is considering using SSJ100s in the Far East. Aeroflot has 30 SSJ100s on order, to be used on its domestic routes. This week the carrier received its third aircraft. In 2010, the Russian government decided the largest Russian carrier would get six airlines belonging to Russian state corporation Rostechnology, in a deal valued at RUB 2.5 billion (USD81 million). Four airlines are based in the European part of Russia: Rossiya Airlines (FV), OrenAir (R2), Saratov Airlines (6W) and Mineralnye vody-based KMV (KV), which ceased operations this summer to become part of Donavia. The other two are Far East-based carriersNVladivostok-Avia (XF) and SAT Airlines (HZ) in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Last year, Rostechnology finalized an order with Boeing for 50 737NGs with purchase rights for an additional 35 aircraft, in a deal valued at USD3.7 billion, to be leased to SU. Aeroflot subsidiaries use different aircraft types. FV operates A320s and 737s but is planning to remove its 737s soon, while R2 operates 737s. XF operates A320s, A330s and Tupolev Tu-204-300.

Nov 14, 2011

Aerostar, Lufthansa Aerostar will open flight school in Middle East. Aerostar Asset Management has acquired a Lufthansa Airbus A300-600/A310 full-flight simulator. Aerostar plans to open a flight training school in the Middle East in either in Sharjah or Oman, the company said. Nov 15, 2011

Air France Air France appoints de Juniac chairman and CEO. Air France has appointed Alexandre de Juniac as chairman and CEO, effective immediately. Jean-Cyril Spinetta, chairman and CEO of Air France KLM Group, has resigned from his position as chairman and CEO of Air France, which he held temporarily from Oct. 17. Juniac, previously chief of staff to the former French finance minister Christine Lagarde until her recent appointment to run the International Monetary Fund, replaces Air France chairman and CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, who stepped down in October. Nov 18, 2011

AirBerlin AirBerlin looks to profit in 2012. AirBerlin believes the carrier will be profitable again in 2012, having battled through this yearOs crises in Europe and the introduction of GermanyOs new aviation taxes. CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said in Vienna that the ecological air travel levy that took effect Jan. 1 has cost the carrier OEUR180 million [USD248 million] annually and we get no benefit out it.O OWithout this burden, we would operate [in the] positive,O Mehdorn said. He added that 2012 would not be not easy but, OIf everything works well next year, we will make a profit again.O Mehdorn said that if necessary AB will extend its cost-cutting program, Shape & Size, which is expected to reduce its fleet size by 10% and improve earnings by EUR200 million. By the summer of 2012, the aim is to cut AirBerlinOs fleet from 170 to 152 aircraft. Mehdorn also said that employee layoffs could be possible at smaller- and medium-sized airports where AB has reduced its operations. AirBerlin is in the final stages of joining oneworld alliance in early 2012. Mehdorn is hopeful that some oneworld members will operate to Berlin. AirBerlinOs main hub will be the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which opens in June 2012. Mehdorn, interim CEO since September when Joachim Hunold stepped down, expects to stay long enough to bring AirBerlin out of its financial crisis. According to Mehdorn, so far the carrier is keeping its order commitment for 15 Boeing 787s and still expects first delivery in 2014, Obut you never know,O he said. Nov 14, 2011

Airbus, EADS MidEast chief says Airbus may top order goal. A senior Airbus executive predicted continued strong demand for the revamped A320neo jet as carriers scramble to save fuel and raised the prospect of quick new sales at the Dubai Air Show. Demand for the jet could push Airbus even higher than the company's newly increased target of 1,500 orders in 2011, Airbus Middle East President Habib Fekih said. "Since the future looks more and more oriented to high fuel costs, the demand for the neo will continue. It started at Paris, it continued during the summer and it'll not stop," Fekih said in interview, referring to June's Paris Air Show. Fekih, the veteran of a quarter century of sales battles between Airbus and Boeing, was speaking to Reuters at the November 13-17 Dubai Air Show. During that time Europe's debt crisis has spiraled and aircraft financing has become harder to find. But Fekih said this would not deter airlines needing to replace inefficient jets or to plan expansion while squeezed by high oil prices. "At this air show we are seeing it again and you'll see it again tomorrow (Tuesday). We'll make more announcements on the same subject," he said on Monday, referring to the A320neo. Executives at the Dubai event said there were expectations that Qatar Airways would buy Airbus and Boeing jets. The airline was expected to place an order for A320neos and A380 superjumbos in Paris in June but delayed any announcement. Airbus has almost 1,300 orders and commitments for the 150-seat aircraft, which aims to deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings starting from 2015 mainly due to new engines. It sold 50 of the planes worth USD4.6 billion to Kuwaiti lessor Alafco on Monday as lessors join in. "This year is for the neo .... Airbus has now already exceeded the 1000th order for the neo and I think it'll be even more before we close the year," Fekih said. "I'm confident totally that Airbus will exceed 1,500-1,600 orders this year. This is doable because we see how much we have in the bag already. If we add what we have today plus a few others in the coming few days, you will be close. Then, a few here and there and the number is easily reachable." Airbus logged 1,372 gross orders in 2011 up to the end of October, dominated by the A320neo surge. Boeing responded by agreeing to launch its own revamped model called the 737 MAX. Airbus parent EADS last week raised the target for Airbus gross orders before cancellations to 1,500 from 1,000, marking a historic year despite the growing debt crisis. "It is the first time in aviation history a manufacturer has exceeded this high number of orders in a year. No manufacturer ever reached 1,500 in a single year," Fekih said. The quiet-spoken former Tunis Air official joined Airbus as North Africa salesman in 1986 shortly after John Leahy, now sales director, joined the sales force in the United States. Although outwardly very different personalities, the two salesmen were given marching orders by then Airbus chief Jean Pierson to "get out and sell" as Airbus battled to break into the U.S. market and extend a growing base in the Middle East. For a while Fekih and Leahy had the only two mobile phones in the company at a time when such devices were clunky and expensive. The bills horrified Pierson who later admitted to checking them each month to see which of his proteges was most productive. Over two decades later, Fekih's Middle East operation has a market share of 60 percent by number of pending deliveries against Boeing. It makes up 10 percent of Airbus' backlog by volume, but a far larger proportion by value because of the telephone number-sized orders for long-range wide-body jets. Fekih negotiated the details of huge Airbus sales to Gulf carriers including 90 A380 superjumbos to Emirates in Dubai. Now, he and others in the company face a new challenge after Emirates placed a record USD18 billion additional order for Boeing's 777 long-range jetliner on day one of the Dubai show. Although Emirates spreads purchases between manufacturers as it accumulates a fleet large enough to support Dubai's aims to be a global hub, analysts say the deal may put pressure on Airbus to further perfect its slow-selling planned A350-1000. Fekih denied the 350-seat plane, with four customers for 75 aircraft, had any problems in gaining market acceptance. Asked about recent criticisms by the chief executive of Qatar Airways of plan to beef up the A350-1000's Rolls-Royce engines, Fekih said, "We discussed with him and we are on track with Qatar Airways. There's no problem at all. "Let's wait and see what the A350 will do. I prefer that the customer and the market judge us on our performance rather than speculation." Nov 14, 2011

Airbus, EADS Airbus did announce the sale of A320neos to lessor Aviation Capital Group for USD2.7 billion on Tuesday. ACG Chief Executive Stephen Hannahs said the Pacific Life unit had access to capital because it was investment grade, but that conditions in the market were tough. "The bank market, and the European bank market in particular, which has been a large supporter of the aviation sector, is undergoing a lot of stress right now," he said. "I suspect for the next six months, you're going to see banks in the euro zone sitting on the sidelines -- they won't be active participants until they sort out their capital structure. So there are going to be challenges." Nov 15, 2011

Airbus, EADS An unexpected morale boost to Canada's Bombardier, which has been suffering headwinds in trying to market a new model for 110-130 seats. It announced a provisional deal...

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