First Airbus A350-900 joins Aeroflot fleet

Aeroflot has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the launch operator of the latest generation widebody aircraft in eastern Europe. The plane features a distinctive new livery embracing the carrier’s almost 100-year heritage. The airline has a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 126 aircraft (107 A320 family and 19 A330 family aircraft). Its A350-900 features a brand-new elegant cabin design, offering unrivalled passenger comfort.

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Aviation Technology

Joby Subsidiary H2FLY Completes World’s First Piloted Flight of Liquid Hydrogen Powered Electric Aircraft

Business Wire | September 14, 2023

H2FLY, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Joby Aviation, today announced the successful completion of the world’s first piloted flight of a liquid hydrogen-powered electric aircraft. H2FLY, acquired by Joby in 2021, continues to lead the industry on the development and testing of hydrogen aviation propulsion systems. The company completed a series of piloted flights with its HY4 demonstrator aircraft, including one that lasted more than three hours, fitted with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion system and liquid hydrogen that powered it for the entire flight. The flights demonstrate the viability of using cryogenically-stored liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen, which enables significantly lower tank weights and volume, leading to longer range. The successful installation and demonstration of flight with liquid hydrogen is believed to increase the range of H2FLY’s HY4 demonstrator aircraft from 466 mi (750 km) to 932 mi (1500 km), marking a critical step towards the long-term decarbonization of mid- to long-range aviation. “H2FLY are pioneers in their field, and we’re proud of them achieving this watershed moment in the use of liquid hydrogen to power aircraft,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “In the years to come, battery-electric and hydrogen-electric propulsion systems will enable us to build aircraft that are quieter and make mid- to long-range air travel possible with zero emissions. It’s critical we take action now and invest aggressively in these technologies for the health of our planet and future generations to come.” The successful flights are the culmination of Project HEAVEN, a European-government-supported consortium assembled to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid hydrogen in aircraft. The consortium is led by H2FLY and includes the partners Air Liquide, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, and Fundación Ayesa. Following this test flight milestone, H2FLY will increasingly focus on its path to commercialization. In June, H2FLY announced the development of its new fuel cell systems, which will be capable of providing their full power range at altitudes high enough to enable commercial hydrogen-electric aircraft, demonstrating real-world commercial aircraft applications. About Joby Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxi which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world.

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Aviation Technology

Wheels Up Finalizes New Investment with Delta, Certares, Knighthead and Cox

Wheels Up | September 26, 2023

Wheels Up Experience (NYSE: UP) today announced that it has closed the previously announced investment by Delta Air Lines, Certares Management LLC, Knighthead Capital Management LLC and Cox Enterprises. The new investment structure combines the experience of Delta, the No. 1 premium airline, with the travel and tourism focus of Certares and turnaround and restructuring experience of Knighthead. It includes an agreement for a $500 million credit facility to Wheels Up, with funds contributed by Delta and CK Wheels LLC, which is co-managed by affiliates of Certares and Knighthead, and Cox. The announcement follows last week's selection of George Mattson as the company's new CEO. "This investment represents both an important source of capital for Wheels Up to support our strategy for financial stability, future profitability and long-term growth on behalf of our members and customers, as well as a vote of confidence in our path forward from a group of investors with deep experience in the premium travel space," Mattson said. "We look forward to working closely with Delta and our other investors to deliver best-in-class operating performance and an exceptional customer experience which, as we deepen our commercial partnership, will also enable us to provide a one-of-a-kind seamless connection between private and premium commercial travel." "Wheels Up is an integral part of Delta's portfolio of premium partners, and this deep relationship offers a significant opportunity to deliver compelling benefits to our customers that are unique in the travel space," said Dan Janki, Wheels Up Chairman and Delta's Chief Financial Officer. "This investment and new leadership puts Wheels Up on a strong path to future success." The credit facility is comprised of a $350 million term loan funded at closing from Delta, CK Wheels LLC and Cox and a $100 million revolving credit facility from Delta. The terms of the credit agreement permit a new lender to provide a $50 million term loan after the closing date, as approved by Delta, Certares, Knighthead and Cox, and it is anticipated this additional funding will close in the near term. In connection with the closing of the credit facility, the lenders will initially receive newly issued Wheels Up common stock representing 80% of the company's outstanding equity as of the closing of the credit facility, on a fully diluted basis. After approval by Wheels Up's stockholders of an amendment to its certificate of incorporation, the company will issue to the lenders additional new shares such that the lenders will own 95% of the company's outstanding equity as of the closing of the credit facility, on a fully diluted basis. Wheels Up also announced a new structure for its Board of Directors. Under the new structure, Delta Air Lines will appoint four directors, Certares and Knighthead each will appoint two directors, and Cox will appoint one director. In addition, one company executive will join the Board and two independent directors are expected to remain from the previous Board. The parties were assisted in the transaction by a number of strategic advisors, including: Davis Polk, Jefferies LLC, Kirkland & Ellis and PJT Partners. About Wheels Up Wheels Up is a leading provider of on-demand private aviation in the U.S. and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Wheels Up offers a complete global aviation solution with a large, modern, and diverse fleet, backed by an uncompromising commitment to safety and service. Customers can access membership programs, charter, aircraft management services and whole aircraft sales, as well as unique commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. Wheels Up also offers freight, safety and security solutions and managed services to individuals, industry, government, and civil organizations. Wheels Up is guided by the mission to connect private flyers to aircraft, and one another, through an open platform that seamlessly enables life's most important experiences. Powered by a global private aviation marketplace connecting its base of approximately 12,000 members and customers to a network of approximately 1,500 safety-vetted and verified private aircraft, Wheels Up is widening the aperture of private travel for millions of consumers globally. With the Wheels Up mobile app and website, members and customers have the digital convenience to search, book and fly.

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Business Aviation

Alerion Aviation Expands Fleet, Offering Enhanced Private Jet Charter Services

PR Newswire | October 03, 2023

Alerion Aviation, a leading brand in private aviation management and charter services, is thrilled to announce the addition of several new private jets to its managed aircraft portfolio. With this expansion, Alerion Aviation is now equipped to provide an even greater range of options for private jet charter, ensuring an unparalleled experience for its clients. The newly added aircraft, meticulously selected for their comfort, performance, and safety, include a diverse range of models from Gulfstream GV and G200, Hawker 900, Citation Sovereign and Citation X. Whether for business or leisure, Alerion Aviation's fleet offers a charter solution tailored to each client's requirements. "We are excited to offer our clients an expanded fleet of private jets under our management for charter," said Richard Ziskind, Chief Commercial Officer at Alerion Aviation. "This strategic expansion allows us to continue delivering the highest level of service, flexibility, and luxury in the private aviation industry." Alerion Aviation takes pride in its commitment to safety, ensuring that all aircraft are maintained to the highest industry standards. The company's team of experienced professionals provides a seamless and worry-free travel experience for every client. Whether it is a short domestic flight or a long-haul international journey, Alerion Aviation remains dedicated to delivering unparalleled luxury, convenience, and privacy for its clients. The company's charter services are ideal for business executives, families, and individuals seeking a hassle-free and exclusive travel experience. About Alerion Aviation: Alerion Aviation, with bases in New York, Florida, and California, provides an unmatched level of service, safety, and privacy for private jet charters as well as aircraft management, maintenance, and worldwide aviation consulting. It manages and operates midsize, super-mid, and heavy jets, all available for charter. The company's commitment to safety has garnered prestigious, third-party ratings, including the ARG/US Platinum Elite Rating, Wyvern, and IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aviation Operations) Stage 3 certification.

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Aviation Technology

Eviation announces Letter of Intent with flyVbird for 25 Alice All-Electric commuter aircraft

PR Newswire | October 17, 2023

Eviation Aircraft, a leading manufacturer of all-electric aircraft, today announced that flyVbird, an emerging on-demand regional airline, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 25 Alice aircraft, with options for a further 25. flyVbird is committed to enhancing connectivity in rural areas where it will use smaller, more accessible airports. The airline is driven by unique algorithms to deliver on-demand air travel to routes passengers want to fly. It plans to secure its own Air Operator Certificate to utilize Alice for decentralized and sustainable travel across Europe, connecting unconnected or underserved communities worldwide and delivering carbon-free, cost effective, convenient air travel. Leading the Electric Revolution The nine-seater Alice is the world's first flight-tested all-electric commuter aircraft. Built from a clean-sheet design, the Alice produces zero emissions and costs significantly less to operate per flight hour compared with light jets or regular turboprops. It is powered by two magni650 electric propulsion units developed by magniX, the global industry leader in flight-proven electric propulsion systems. "The European Union is moving forward with ambitious new rules aimed at decarbonizing the aviation industry," said Eddie Jaisaree, Vice President, Commercial Sales at Eviation. "The Alice is the innovative and beautifully designed aircraft needed to lead aerospace's transition to net zero carbon emissions. We are very pleased to partner with flyVbird in the future of flight." "The fact that Alice is a zero-carbon, quiet, low operational cost aircraft makes it the perfect solution for flyVbird to deliver clean, on-demand regional travel across Europe into the next decade and beyond," said Anton Lutz, CEO of flyVbird, at the Routes World 2023 Conference in Istanbul. "Through our unique AI-driven approach, we will offer direct alternatives to typical hub-and-spoke operations and Alice will play a critical role." About Eviation Aircraft Based in Washington State, U.S., Eviation Aircraft Inc. develops and manufactures electric aircraft to delight operators and passengers with green, cost efficient and convenient regional transportation. Its electric propulsion units, high-energy-density batteries, mission-driven energy management, and innovative airframe are designed from the ground up for electric flight. Please visit us at www.eviation.com. About flyVbird flyVbird GmbH (formerly flyvirtual.global UG) is an emerging regional airline headquartered in Germany. In lieu of a traditional hub-and-spoke network, flyVbird's airline model is an AI-backed carrier that will use algorithms to schedule flights based on paid bookings. Its focus will be on serving regional airports to offer a faster and more convenient alternative to traditional transport methods.

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