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EXELTECH SEEKS CREDITOR PROTECTION

Montreal repair supplier ExelTech Aerospace has filed for creditor protection, had its credit facility withdrawn and loans called in by its Canadian bank, and laid off most of its workforce. The firm had been searching for new financing after a tentative deal with Canadian investors fell through. In its half year to 30 September, the company made an operating profit of $642,000 on revenue of $30.7 million, but during the same period a year earlier lost $4.3 million on operations and took a $13.2 million goodwill impairment charge.


CESSNA GETS SWIFTFUEL SAMPLE

Swift Enterprises has delivered a barrel of its SwiftFuel biomass-derived avgas substitute to Cessna Aircraft, for component compatibility evaluation. The unleaded high-performance fuel was tested in 2009 by Teledyne Continental and Hawker Beechcraft. Avgas, or 100LL, is the only leaded fuel still in use in the USA but is being phased out.


SPIRIT POSTS A DROP IN FULL-YEAR EARNINGS

Full-year 2009 profits at Spirit AeroSystems fell 28% to $192 million even as shipset deliveries for large commercial aircraft increased to boost revenue 8% to $4 billion. For 2010, Spirit expects revenues of $4-4.2 billion based on Boeing's delivery guidance of 460-465 aircraft, anticipated 787 deliveries and forecast Airbus deliveries of 480-490 aircraft.


GARDNER FINDS BETTER CAPITAL

UK metallic parts and assemblies maker Gardner Aerospace has been acquired from private equity firm The Carlyle Group for an undisclosed sum by investment fund Better Capital. Carlyle had purchased tier 2 supplier Gardner from Dunedin private equity and Rolls-Royce in 2008. Gardner has five manufacturing sites in the UK and one in Poland; customers include Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN and BAE Systems.


BYE BUYS BIOFUEL INNOVATOR

Colorado-headquartered Bye Energy, an integrator of alternative energy and renewable fuel technologies for business and general aviation, has acquired for an undisclosed sum Novare Biofuels and the rights to a thermochemical cellulosic biomass process, initially developed by Novare, to make aviation gasoline and jet fuel.


AUSTRIAN SHARES SET FOR DELISTING

Austrian Airlines' shares are to be delisted "soon" from the Vienna stock exchange as part of Lufthansa's takeover. Minority shareholders have been squeezed out, and their shares transferred to a holding company of which Lufthansa is a stakeholder.


ASTRONICS SWINGS TO LOSS

Lighting, electrical power and automated test systems maker Astronics lost $7.7 million before taxes in 2009 despite posting a 10% revenue rise, to $191 million. The company made a pre-tax profit of $12.3 million the year before.


BANKRUPT JAL STICKS WITH ONEWORLD

Japan Airlines has chosen to stay with the Oneworld alliance and will apply for anti-trust immunity on transpacific routes with alliance member American Airlines. Rival SkyTeam, including Delta Air Lines, had offered $1 billion in aid to lure JAL, whose ¥2.3 trillion ($25.2 billion) debt forced it into bankruptcy protection in January.


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