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Aircraft Finance & Leasing News.

Aug 27, 2007

Growth in aviation may outstrip technological gains. Technological improvements are increasing the fuel efficiency of aviation, and more improvements are in the pipeline. However, the sheer growth of the industry may overtake the benefits. Aug 20, 2007

ACT Airlines, based at Istanbul Ataturk, signed an MOU for two Airbus A330-200 freighters, Airbus announced. ACT currently operates seven A300B4 freighters and will use the new aircraft for flights to Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. Aug 20, 2007

Aeroflot To Buy Boeing 787s, Airbus A350s. Russia's national airline, Aeroflot, will pay USD$5.81 billion for a total of 44 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, a discount of about 17 percent, Vedomosti business daily reported on Monday. Aeroflot has agreed to pay USD$2.906 billion for 22 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and USD$2.904 billion for 22 of Airbus's A350 XWB planes, the paper said, citing a report by Interfax news agency. Aeroflot announced the deals earlier this year but has never said how much it was going to pay for the aircraft in one of the biggest-ever foreign plane orders by a Russian company. Analysts told the paper the discount was so large because Aeroflot had managed to play off both companies against each other. Under the deals, Aeroflot will get its first Airbus in 2014 and the last in 2019, and its first Boeing in 2014 and the last in 2016, the paper said. Aug 20, 2007

Air China will invest CNY5 billion ($657.9 million) to establish the country's largest flight simulator training base. It will be located

in Shunyi District in suburban Beijing. CA reached a deal with district authorities yesterday. The complex will comprise 30 full-motion flight simulators, eight fixed-base simulators, a cabin crew training center, MRO training center, ground-handling service training center and other relevant support facilities that the airline said will help reduce its long-term dependence on foreign training resources. CA's current fleet numbers 207 aircraft and it expects that to rise to 306 by 2010. Aug 23, 2007

AirAsia In Talks For More A320s. Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia is in talks to buy more Airbus A320 planes due to increasing demand, AirAsia Deputy Chief Executive Kamarudin Meranum said. AirAsia, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has 150 firm orders for the single-aisle A320s and options on another 50. AirAsia, Asia's largest budget carrier, introduced its low-fare, no-frills concept in December 2001, and has since embarked on an aggressive expansion. Aug 21, 2007

Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-Sales-Russia/CIS Craig Jones said. "Both domestic and international air traffic has increased in Russia and the CIS by 36% over the last 10 years. Most indicators point toward continued economic growth for the region. . .Liberalization of air traffic regulations, airline consolidation and the reduction or elimination of high tariffs on new airplanes could generate additional demand for new airplanes." Aug 23, 2007

Boeing predicts Russia, former Soviet states to spend $70B on planes. Boeing says airlines in Russia and the 11 other former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States may buy more than 1,000 new passenger planes worth $70 billion over the next two decades. Boeing forecasts that airlines in the region will order 470 planes the size of Boeing's 737, worth $30 billion. Another $20 billion will be spent on twin-aisle jets, with the remainder spent on smaller regional aircraft. Aug 23, 2007

Boeing and Atlant-Soyuz announced today at the 2007 Moscow Air Show that the Moscow-based carrier is the customer for four Next Generation 737-700s. The order, worth $249 million at 2007 list prices, was listed as unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries Web site in 2006 and is accounted for in 2006 order totals. Atlant-Soyuz is one of the largest charter carriers in Russia. Currently the airline offers scheduled domestic and international charter flights from its base airport, Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport. Atlant-Soyuz is an official carrier for the Government of Moscow. Aug 23, 2007

What has changed in the year since Alan Mulally left Boeing to be chief executive at Ford Motor? Everything, and nothing. Since his appointment last September, making him the first outsider in recent memory to run a Detroit automaker, Mulally has brought discipline to a company known for rivalries and infighting. An admirer of the development team that created the Ford Taurus sedan, he revived the famed nameplate, most recently relegated to a rental car. He mortgaged virtually all of Ford's assets to amass the billions the company needs for its restructuring, and has put its British luxury name plates, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, up for sale. Aug 22, 2007

China Southern to buy 55 Boeing planes. China Southern Airlines will buy 55 more Boeing planes to update and expand its fleet. The new Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 planes are scheduled for delivery between May 2011 and October 2013. Details of the deal were not disclosed, although airline officials said they would pay less than list price for the planes. Aug 22, 2007

Dubai Aerospace Enterprises plans to purchase at least 125 aircraft for its DAE Capital leasing segment over the next five years, CEO Robert Genise told Bloomberg News, adding that the company will "probably" need $4-$4.25 billion in debt financing for the acquisitions. DAE Capital is considering a future IPO and will focus principally on sale/leaseback arrangements with airlines, he told the news service. Aug 24, 2007

Embraer yesterday signed a contract with BRA Transportes Aereos for 20 118-seat E-195s plus 20 options, finalizing an order announced at the Paris Air Show. The deal includes 20 "rolling options," which if confirmed constitute purchase rights for an additional 15 aircraft, the manufacturer said. Value of the 20 firm aircraft is $730 million at list prices and the deal could reach $2.7 billion if all options and rights are exercised. BRA said it will become the first Brazilian carrier to operate the E-Jet. The LCC currently flies eight 737s and two 767-300ERs (plus two more on wet-lease for long-haul operations). Aug 23, 2007

Boeing is in discussions with key new potential customers, including Emirates, about 747-8 orders, with the airline understood to be closing on a major deal for the -8 Intercontinental passenger version. According to industry sources, Boeing is confident it is close to securing additional airline orders for the 747-8I in the coming months to add to the sole existing deal from Lufthansa for 20 aircraft. More deals for the 747-8 Freighter are also imminent, say sources. Aug 20, 2007

Emirates, which has orders for 10 Boeing 747-8Fs for its cargo arm, has been in long-running talks with Boeing about a deal for the passenger version. Although the airline is Airbus's largest customer for the ultra-large Airbus A380 with 47 on order, it has a need for a 400 seater for certain long-haul routes. Chances of an early Emirates 747-8I deal were dropped last year when the airframer traded range for capacity and stretched the aircraft slightly, as this prevented it from being able to operate Emirates' planned Dubai-Los Angeles route with a viable payload. However, industry sources say that an Emirates 747-8I deal is back on, with the airline in talks for up to 20 aircraft and November's Dubai air show seen as the likely venue for any announcement. Aug 20, 2007

In Africa, Ethiopian Airlines plans to open its new hub in Lome by October. "We will lease two Boeing 737-300s or -400s for this operation and try to fly from Lome to five stations," he said. Opening further hubs on the continent is under discussion, with Lusaka and Harare among the options. Ethiopian, which operates 24 Boeing jets and five turboprops, will take delivery of its 12th 767-300ER in about two weeks, with a 13th to follow. It introduce its first 787 in September 2008 and will take a second the following month. "By 2010, I expect to have a total fleet of 30 jets," Wake added. Aug 20, 2007

Iran Air Tours signed an MOU with IFC for the purchase of an additional six An-148s and one Il-96-300. Russian Transportation Minister Igor Levitin told the ITAR-TASS news agency that it was "the first contract in Russia to purchase an An-148." The Il-96 is valued at $75 million while an An-148 is worth $22 million, Reuters reported. According to RIA Novosti, state-owned Rossiya currently operates two Il-62s, four Il-86s, 21 Tu-154Ms, two Tu-154Bs, three Tu-214s, nine Tu-134As, four Yak-40s, five 737-500s and two A-319s. Aug 23, 2007

IFC reached agreement with Iran Air Tours for the sale of five Tu-204-120Cs, ITAR-TASS reported, while RIA Novosti said IFC will deliver three An-148s and two Tu-204s to Aviaimport of Cuba under the terms of an MOU signed yesterday. Aug 23, 2007

Malev Hungarian currently has 30 aircraft, but new CEO Lloyd Paxton would like to reduce this to 22 but not necessarily by cutting routes - although a few may go - but by making the carrier more efficient and eliminating bad practices built up over the years. The airline has already agreed to the disposal of one of its three Boeing 767s, but will continue its long haul flights to New York, Toronto and Bangkok, with the same frequencies. Out too are likely to be the four-aircraft Bombardier CRJ fleet, although Paxton believes he has a customer for them. Malev's biggest step forward in recent times was the joining of oneworld. Although this happened before Paxton's arrival, he said he was delighted to be part of the now ten airline worldwide alliance. Aug 21, 2007

PT Linus Airways, an Indonesian startup, signed a lease with BAE Systems Regional Aircraft for two BAe 146-200s for delivery this summer. BAE said the carrier intends "to fill the air transport gap in the country between the existing legacy carriers and the newly formed low-cost airlines." All flights will originate in Jakarta and destinations will include Medan, Palembang, Pekan Baru, Batam, Semarang and Tanjug Padan. Aug 24, 2007

Ilyushin Finance Co. reached several leasing and purchase agreements yesterday at the MAKS air show outside Moscow, according to press reports from Russia. It signed leasing agreements for six Tu-204-100s with Red Wings Airlines (15 years worth $250-$350 million, according to conflicting press reports) and for six An-148s with GTK Rossiya. Deliveries to both carriers are scheduled to start next year. Aug 23, 2007

Swiss International Air Lines is to acquire its Swiss AviationTraining operation in full. Manfred Brennwald has been named as the unit's new CEO. Swiss AviationTraining (SAT), SWISS's flight and aviation training operation, has been run as a 50/50 joint venture with GCAT Flight Academy UK Limited (GCAT), formerly GE Commercial Aviation Training Limited, since SWISS was established in 2002. SWISS is to acquire GCAT's 50% holding in SAT, making the operation a wholly-owned SWISS subsidiary. The acquisition was triggered by the change of control which occurred when GCAT was acquired by STAR Capital Partners Limited in February 2007. The parties agreed not to divulge the further terms of the transaction. Aug 23, 2007

Putin pushes Russian companies to merge with United Aircraft. President Vladimir Putin declared his hopes for Russian manufacturers' future role in the global aviation market at the opening of the Moscow Air Show. Putin wants Russia's aerospace manufacturers and designers to merge into state-controlled Unified Aircraft to better enable them to compete in the global market. Russian companies hope to produce 4,500 civilian and military planes valued at $250 billion over the next 18 years, according to officials. Aug 22, 2007

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Date:Aug 27, 2007
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