Monday, January 9, 2006
VLM Airlines, a regional carrier based in Antwerp, Belgium, recent sold four Fokker 50s to AeroCentury [ACY] and then leased them back. VLM has worked with California-based AeroCentury since 1998 on aircraft deals.
United Kingdom-based bmi recently purchased an Embraer [ERJ] ERJ 145 from Holland's Air Exel. bmi has been leasing the plane. Airstream International arranged the original lease and then brokered the sale.
Caribbean Aircraft Leasing has placed its fourth firm order for a Bombardier [BBD] Q300. The contract is worth an estimated $16.3 million. Two months ago, Caribbean placed an order for three Q300s, all configured for 50 passengers. The planes will be operated by either Caribbean Star Airlines, based in Antigua, or Caribbean Sun Airlines, based in Fort Lauderdale. The affiliated carriers already have 12 Bombardier aircraft, including seven Q300s.
Bombardier has recognized California-based M.C. Gill Corp. as a VIP vendor. With five Gill employees trained as quality control inspectors by Bombardier, the airframe manufacturer will no longer routinely inspect Gill's composite sandwich panels and cargo liners as they arrive at Bombardier's production facilities.
Northwest Airlines [NWACQ] and Independence Air [FLYIQ] - both bankrupt carriers - are returning 42 CRJ 200s to Export Development Canada, which assisted Bombardier in providing the financing for its RJ sales. Northwest has returned 15 planes that were flown by Pinnacle Airlines [PNCL] and were to be flown by Mesaba Aviation [MAIR]. Independence had already returned 15 RJs and should return another 13 as it winds down its operations following its Jan. 5 closing.
Italy's Piaggio Aero Industries delivered its first P Avanti II in late December to a private Swiss customer. The new owner will operate the plane on corporate and charter flights out of Lugano Agno Airport as Fly Wings. It is configured to seat seven passengers. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the new turboprop in October. More than $630 million in orders for the new plane have been placed.
Active Aero Charter
Air Care Aviation Services, based in North Carolina, has selected Michigan-based Active Aero Charter to provide air cargo charter management services throughout North America. Air Care will use Active Aero's Internet suite of programs to match customer need times with aircraft providers in the database.
Landmark Aviation recently completed the purchase of Skyport, the fixed-base operator (FBO) at Westchester Airport in suburban New York. Jet Equity did not disclose the sale price it obtained for Skyport. Landmark will base its mobile service team of technicians at Westchester, who can be dispatched to any site in the Northeast for aircraft repairs. Landmark has 43 FBO locations in North America.
<B>International Communications Group [ICG] has selected Dallas Avionics to distribute its Iridium satellite products in the aviation market.
Aviation Capital Group
Aviation Capital Group last month completed its third aircraft securitization when it created ACG III in a $1.86 billion deal. The trust now holds title to 74 different airplanes leased to 45 airlines in 28 countries. Aviation Capital purchased 72 of the airplanes last June from Boullioun Aviation Services. Aviation Capital is a unit of Pacific Life Insurance. The New York law firm of White & Case represented Aviation Capital in the transaction.