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Monday, June 20, 2005

Supply Side

Embraer

Aircraft lessor GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) placed an order for 20 Embraer [ERJ] 190s with the option to upgrade the orders to the larger Embraer 195. The deal has been valued at $650 million. Embraer will deliver the first plane in mid-2006. The leasing giant did not disclose where it would be placing the aircraft. GECAS now has firm orders for 70 Embraer jets.

Paramount Airways, a new Indian airline, will lease five Embraer jets for operations that are to begin later this year. Paramount will lease two Embraer 170s directly from the airframe builder. It will lease three Embraer 175s from GECAS. GECAS had originally ordered these three planes as the Embraer 170. Paramount will configure the 70-seat 170 in an all business class cabin configuration. The larger 175 will be set up with two cabins carrying 75 passengers.

The first Embraer Legacy Executive jet was delivered last week to Harrod Aviation, an authorized sales representative.

The International Finance Corp., a loan unit of the World Bank, is lending $35 million from its own account to Embraer. The 12-year loan will be used to finance the end-stage launch program of the Embraer 190 and 195 aircraft. The package also includes $145 million in loans from 10 banks or investment firms. The deal marks the first time that Embraer has turned to the International Finance Corp. for financing.

Embraer submitted the only bid to equip the Colombian government with new aircraft. Embraer will sell 22 Tucano T-27 turboprops for $234.5 million. Raytheon Co. [RTN] and Lockheed Martin [LMT] declined to submit proposals claiming the bidding process favored Embraer.

Bombardier

Flybe, a regional airline based in the United Kingdom, is converting four options into firm orders for the Bombardier [BBD] Q400 turboprop. In January, Flybe had placed firm orders for 20 Q400s. The latest deal is worth $100 million.

At the Paris Air Show, Bombardier displayed a full size mockup of its new CSeries jetliner. Pratt & Whitney Canada will develop a new jet engine for the CSeries. This engine will be flexible to handle both regional jets and business aircraft. While Bombardier has put off the official launch of the new aircraft until the fall, it also announced that the final assembly of the plane will be in its Mirabel facility, outside of Montreal.

Bombardier has sold the first of its Challenger 850 corporate jets to an undisclosed customer in Eastern Europe. The new airplane, which can carry 27 passengers, will be used as an employee shuttle throughout Europe.

ATR

Finnish Commuter Airlines placed a firm order for eight ATR 42-500s plus an option for eight more. The total deal would be worth $250 million. The new planes are to be delivered between the end of this year and the end of 2007. The options run through 2009. The carrier supports Sweden's Golden Air. As each new ATR arrives, a Golden Air Saab will be retired and Finnish Commuter Airlines will progressively take over Golden Air's operations in Finland.

CCM Airlines, the Corsican regional airline, placed a firm order for six new ATR 72-500s in a deal worth at least $100 million. The 70-seat planes will arrive later this year through mid-2007. CCM's ATR 72s will be the first of new generation of turboprops to be operated in the Air France-KLM regional alliance. CCM was one of the launch customers of the original ATR 72.

Air Madagascar, the national carrier for Madagascar, signed a contract for two new ATR 72-500s and one ATR 42-500. The deal also includes options for two more planes of either model. The two 70-seaters are to be delivered later this year and the 50-seat model will be delivered in mid-2006. Air Madagascar will use the new aircraft to retire three ATR 42s.

Air Caledonie, which serves the South Pacific, plans to buy three new planes valued at $46 million. Its order includes two ATR 42-500s and one ATR 72-500.

ATR last week delivered the first of 30 new ATR 72-500s to Air Deccan, an Indian low-cost airline. The sale was announced in February. ATR and Air Deccan last week also signed a five-year, $90 million maintenance and spares contract which will cover the carrier's current ATR fleet as well as the new aircraft.

Poland's LOT Airlines signed a $5 million, three-year contract with ATR to maintain its fleet of 10 ATR aircraft.

Russian Regional Jet

Russia's Aeroflot is nearing a deal to purchase 50 of Sukhol's Russian Regional Jet. The bulk of the order will be for the RRJ 75, but it may also include some RRJ 95s. The proposed contract also includes options for 20 additional aircraft. The deal could be worth $1 billion. Sukhol, a combat jet maker, has teamed up with Boeing [BA] on the project. The first flight for the plane is set for 2007.

France is loaning $169.2 million to fund Snecma's development of the SaM-146 engine for the RRJ. Russia's NPO Saturn and Snecma are jointly developing the engine.

Smiths Aerospace has been selected by Aircelle Safran Group to provide the thrust reverser actuation system for the SaM 146 engine, which will power the RRJ models. The RRJ project is the seventh time Aircelle Safran has selected Smiths to provide the thrust reverser actuation system.

CAE

Air Canada [ACE] has awarded a contract to CAE to provide two full-flight simulators for the Embraer 170 and 190. The deal is worth $21.8 million. The Embraer 170 simulator will be installed in Air Canada's Toronto training facility in the first quarter of 2006. The 190 simulator will be installed in the third quarter of 2006. The sales are part of an ongoing 10-year contract with Air Canada to provide the carrier with full-flight simulators.

GE

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently purchase 43 CTX 9000 DSi explosives detection systems from GE Homeland Protection, a unit of General Electric [GE]. This latest TSA contract is worth $50 million. This is the third delivery under a three-year contract with TSA.

Honeywell

Trans State Airlines has retained Honeywell to retrofit its fleet of Embraer 145s with Honeywell's carbon heat sink friction braking material. Honeywell began work on the 33 airplanes earlier this year under the comprehensive wheel and brake service contract it signed last year with Trans States.

Aero Maintenance Group

Air France KLM recently purchased 40 percent of Aero Maintenance Group, a U.S. aircraft component repair and services provider. In the deal, Air France Industries has the option to increase its ownership position. Aero Maintenance employs about 130 in Florida.

Airstream

Airstream International Group has promoted Gary Fitzsimmons as director of aircraft leasing.

AJ Walter Aviation

AJ Walter Aviation entered into three new strategic relationships. It became an authorized distributor for Chelton Radomes to boost its component supply and repair business. AJ Walter has formed a marketing alliance with Nordam to supply propulsion systems. In addition, AJ Walter has extended its agreement with GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems for the Airbus 320 family.

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