HAZY BID MAY SPLIT ILFC
International Lease Finance chief Steven Udvar-Hazy is in early discussions to purchase about $2 billion of the lessor's portfolio of nearly 1,000 aircraft and use it to start a rival business, according to a Wall Street Journal report. ILFC's parent, the insurance giant AIG, has been trying to sell the lessor for a year to raise cash to repay US government bailout aid, but wants to hold out for a better price than the $4 billion it is thought to have been offered. Some estimates value the business at between $5 billion and $10 billion.
VODOCHODY RESHUFFLE HIGHLIGHTS STRATEGY
Aero Vodochody has replaced president Igor Hulak with strategic vice-president Ladislav Simek as part of a management reshuffle to focus on aerostructures development. The Czech manufacturer is involved in subassembly and component work on programmes including the Airbus A320, Bombardier CSeries and Embraer 170/190.
AIRLINE FIRST-HALF LOSSES EXCEED $6BN
Airline net losses exceeded $6 billion during the first half of 2009, according to an International Air Transport Association sample of 54 carriers. Losses reached $2 billion during the second quarter, when airlines typically make 50% of their yearly profits, following net losses of $4 billion in the first quarter.
CONTINENTAL MOVES TOWARDS CASHLESS CABINS
Following a trial that ran through the summer, Continental Airlines is likely to become the latest carrier to transition to a cashless cabin, following American Airlines and United Airlines in moving toward credit and debit card-only cabins in most markets.
LUFTHANSA CLEARED FOR AUSTRIAN TAKEOVER
The European Commission has conditionally cleared Lufthansa's proposed takeover of Austrian Airlines and has approved a €500 million ($718 million) state aid restructuring package for the carrier. Lufthansa, which answered some EC competition concerns by offering slots on Vienna routes to new or existing rivals, expects integration will take place from September.
SPACE AND DEFENCE FILL RUAG COFFERS
Swiss technology group Ruagdescribesas "solid overall"a 10%first-half sales increase toSFr790 million ($740 million) and a 40%earnings before interest and taxes decline to SFr20.1 million, with space and defence businesses performingwell, but civil aerostructures and business jet maintenance struggling. Much of the sales growth stemmed from Ruag's acquisition of SaabSpace.
CIVIL MARKETS, MILITARY CONTRACT HIT ASTRONICS
US lighting and electronics firm Astronics lowered its full-year revenue expectations to between $190 million and $200 million from earlier guidance of between $200 million and $210 million, citing loss of a US military radio contract it had expected to win and continued weakness in air transport and business jet markets.
AMECO BEIJING OPENING 747 HANGAR NEXT MONTH
Air China-Lufthansa maintenancejoint venture Ameco Beijingwill in Octoberopen its much-awaited Boeing 747 hangar. The firm had planned to open the 270 million yuan ($40 million) hangar in 2008's fourth quarter, but the government ordered work stopped in the run-up to last year's Beijing Olympics.
Source: Flight International