AELF FlightService | April 28, 2022
AELF FlightService announced today that its fifth Airbus 330-200 (registered as 9H-CFS) is officially on certificate, flying in passenger-to-freighter (PTF) configuration. The aircraft commenced its first commercial flight in PTF configuration on April 23, flying from Vietnam to the U.S.
The addition of 9H-CFS puts the group in a leading position among ACMI widebody charter operators in the world in terms of fleet size. Its five A330s are currently in PTF configuration, in which passenger seats have been removed and cargo nets have been installed to hold parcel freight in the upper deck, in addition to the standard freight capacity in the lower deck. The configuration is reversible in a matter of weeks, which the company plans to exercise this summer.
"As supply chain issues drag on, the addition of 9H-CFS is our commitment to fulfilling the need for capacity in the air cargo market in the short-term, while maximizing our flexibility to return to passenger service later this year."
Joe Cirillo, Chief Operating Officer at AELF FlightService
As AELF FlightService commences passenger flights this summer, it will do so with the addition of its sixth A330-200. This recently acquired aircraft is configured with a brand-new passenger interior accommodating 295 passengers. An additional three of the company's A330s will also be converted back to passenger configuration by August. The A330 fleet will be operated by the company's affiliate Maleth Aero.
"The flexibility of the configuration was a draw for us from the beginning," said Lee Jones, President of Maleth Aero. "Anticipating an inevitable return of passenger demand and a time limit from EASA on the preighter exemption, we looked to the option that would provide a solution for our cargo customers but also allow us to adapt to the regulatory environment and the marketplace."
The company has a history of adapting quickly. At the onset of the pandemic, AELF, Inc. expanded its core business as an aircraft lessor to meet the needs of an overwhelmed cargo market. In 2020, the company, together with European partners, led the acquisition of the controlling interest in Malta-based airline Maleth Aero, expanding the group's offerings to charter and ACMI flights. With the acquisition mentioned above, the group now has a total of nine widebody aircraft in operation.
While the fleet will undergo transformation to passenger configuration this summer, the group is also exploring its options for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that will allow continued operation of the PTF configuration for one or more of its aircraft beyond the EASA preighter exemption deadline.
AELF FlightService offers a full spectrum of air freight and passenger services, including single charter flights and mid-term ACMI/wet and damp leases, as well as more traditional liquidity solutions such as long-term operating leases, sale and leasebacks, sale and wet leasebacks, among other services.
About AELF FlightService
AELF FlightService is a global aircraft leasing company providing finance, leasing and air charter solutions to the aviation industry. The company offers a full spectrum of services ranging from long-term operating leases to single charter flights and mid-term ACMI programs operated by widebody airline Maleth Aero, with which it shares common ownership. The group has offices in Chicago, Miami and Malta.
Wheels Up | April 04, 2022
Wheels Up Experience Inc., the leading brand in private aviation, today announced it has officially closed its acquisition of Air Partner plc, a U.K.-based global aviation services group with operations in 18 locations and four continents. Under the terms of the transaction, and following stockholder and regulatory approval, Wheels Up has acquired the entire issued share capital of Air Partner for 125 pence per share, equivalent to an enterprise value of approximately $109 million.
Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services company providing private jet, group and freight charter and aviation safety & security solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals, across civil and military organizations.
"We are thrilled to welcome the Air Partner team as Wheels Up officially goes global. Air Partner's rich 60-year history in private aviation and complementary services will be an excellent enhancement of our brand as we continue to expand our marketplace and deliver a world-class experience for our members and customers. Bringing these two teams together is a tremendous advantage as we work to reinvent the future of private travel."
Wheels Up Chairman and CEO Kenny Dichter
In addition to expanding Wheels Up's core private travel offering internationally, the acquisition also adds group charter, freight and safety & security services to the Wheels Up portfolio. The Air Partner leadership team – including CEO Mark Briffa – will continue in their roles going forward.
"The response to this acquisition from our stockholders to our employees to our partners has been overwhelmingly positive," Briffa said. "We expect to leverage Wheels Up's investments in brand, technology, operations and service as we continue our strong start to 2022."
Over time, the company expects to operate all of its core private aviation services under a unified, global Wheels Up brand, building on its established equity as a recognized and trusted private aviation provider. The Air Partner group's subsidiaries – Baines Simmons, Redline Assured Security, CHS Engineering Services and Kenyon International Emergency Services – will continue to operate their established brands under the broader Wheels Up umbrella.
Wheels Up expects the integration of Air Partner's historically profitable business to be accretive to contribution margin and adjusted EBITDA in the first year. Air Partner will maintain its Gatwick, U.K., headquarters.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is the leading provider of "on demand" private aviation in the United States and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Powered by a growing marketplace of more than 1,500 safety-vetted and verified aircraft, Wheels Up is the only company in the industry to offer a total private aviation solution that includes a relentless focus on safety and service, with flexibility across all types of aircraft, membership programs, corporate solutions, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales and commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines.
The Wheels Up App enables members and customers to search, book and fly. Wheels Up Connect, Core and Business memberships provide enhancements such as flight sharing, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttle Flights, Shared Flights, signature Wheels Down events and exclusive member benefits from preeminent lifestyle brands. Wheels Up's ongoing Wheels Up Cares program aligns with philanthropic organizations and initiatives that affect and matter to the company and its customers, members, stakeholders, families and friends. The Wheels Up Cares fleet comprises five custom-painted Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft, with each plane serving as a flying symbol for a specific social cause.
About Air Partner:
Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a world-leading international aviation services group providing aircraft charter, aviation safety & security solutions and managed services to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals, across civil and military organizations. The Air Partner Group has two divisions: Air Partner Charter, comprising group charter, private jets, freight and specialist services; and Air Partner Services (previously Safety & Security), which comprises Baines Simmons, an aviation safety management and fatigue risk management consultancy, Redline Assured Security Ltd, a leading provider of global security solutions, Air Partner CHS, a leading international engineering company, Kenyon International Emergency Services, Inc., a world leader in emergency planning and incident response, and managed services. Air Partner has 18 locations across four continents, with its headquarters located alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. The group employs around 450 professionals globally and operates 24/7. It is ISO 9001:2015 compliant for commercial airline and private jet solutions worldwide.
Sabre Corporation | December 20, 2021
Thai airline Nok Air today announced strategic new long-term agreements with both Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and its subsidiary company, Radixx, to support the evolution of the carrier's new business strategy.
Nok Air has selected an extensive suite of products from Sabre and Radixx to expand distribution and revenue generation opportunities. The agreements support the carrier's repositioning to serve its growing customer base of premium travellers and value-based customer segments. The Sabre and Radixx products will power future business model evolution as Nok Air expands its international operation, develops new airline partnerships and explore further technical capabilities and innovations beyond today.
Radixx will provide a fully integrated passenger service system for Nok Air that spans reservations, inventory, pricing, e-commerce, agency distribution, departure control, load control, loyalty and other related capabilities. In parallel, under a new Sabre distribution deal, Nok Air will distribute its airline content across Sabre's global travel marketplace, opening the door to new international markets and growing its Thailand home market on the Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS).
"We have ambitious business expansion plans, including launching new domestic and international routes, restructuring our fleet and adding new jets as we transition selected segments to a premium service to reflect our quality service, So, it was imperative to us that we chose the right technology partner to support us in all of our goals to streamline our operations, improve efficiencies and open new revenue opportunities and new markets while improving the experience for our travellers."
-Wutthiphum Jurangkool Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Nok Air.
The carrier, which operates out of Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, will utilize the following Sabre and Radixx products as Thailand re-opens to vaccinated international travellers:
Radixx Res – Radixx's core passenger system will enable Nok Air to manage all passenger operations and sales channels in order to expand distribution channels and partnerships.
Radixx Go and Radixx Go Touch – new digital capabilities to evolve Nok Air's check-in operation at airports, enhance customer service and enable additional ancillary revenue-generation opportunities across airport touchpoints. Radixx Go Touch enables airline employees to transact full airport departure control capabilities from a mobile device, allowing some flexibility from the constraints of physical airport desks and counters.
Radixx ezyCommerce – an integrated e-commerce and mobile solution to power Nok Air's business-to-consumer for passengers and business-to-business channels for travel agents and corporates.
Radixx Loyalty – new capabilities will enable Nok Air to strengthen the offering of its Nok Air Fan Club, including enhanced online servicing, automation and redemption options for members.
Radixx Insight – valuable business data and analytics to enable better decision-making, while powering the airline's internal back-office systems.
Sabre's Global Distribution System – to enable expansion into new global markets, ensuring its fares have the widest possible distribution.
"We're delighted to further expand our footprint in APAC while opening up access to new global markets and segments for Nok Air as well as providing new digital capabilities for the carrier, creating additional revenue-generation opportunities and, ultimately, enabling Nok to create improved experiences for travellers at all touchpoints."
-Chris Collins, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Radixx
"At Sabre, we are laying out our strategic plans to create our own catalysts for growth, so we are thrilled to be able to support Nok Air on its own transformational journey, Our new dual-deal alliance with Nok Air, incorporating both PSS and GDS solutions, is the perfect example of how Sabre and Radixx are able to combine synergistic technological offerings to create effective, innovative end-to-end solutions for airlines of all sizes and cost models."
-Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions Airline Sales, Sabre.
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.
United Airlines | May 11, 2022
United, which has invested in more sustainable fuel production than any other airline in the world, became the first US airline to sign an international purchase agreement for sustainable aviation fuel.
The airline has signed a new purchase agreement with Neste that provides United the right to buy up to 52.5 million gallons over the next three years for United flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, and potentially other airports as well.
"Reducing carbon emissions from fuel is the fastest way United will reach our 100% green goal by 2050. As the airline that has invested more than any other airline in sustainable aviation fuel production, it makes sense to expand our network of partners internationally with a leading company like Neste. The demand from our customers to limit their emissions from flying is growing exponentially, and this agreement means that United customers flying from Amsterdam, and potentially more airports, will be partners in our sustainability efforts."
Lauren Riley, United's Chief Sustainability Officer
Neste will provide United with 2.5 million gallons of SAF in Amsterdam in the first year. United will also have the right to purchase up to 20 million gallons in the second year, and up to 30 million gallons in the third year, at Amsterdam or other locations that Neste can supply throughout the globe, as Neste increases its SAF production.
This supply agreement is enabled by Neste's ambitious growth strategy, which will see the company producing 515 million gallons of SAF (1.5 million metric tons) per year by the end of 2023. Neste has been producing and delivering SAF since 2011 and has a proven track record of supplying SAF to customers in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
"We're excited to be partnering with United in this milestone purchase agreement and make our SAF available to United, also an industry leader in SAF investments," said Thorsten Lange, Executive Vice President, Renewable Aviation at Neste. "Our global, fast-growing SAF production and supply chain supports airlines and their customers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Neste is committed to helping aviation transition to a more sustainable future, and we look forward to expanding our cooperation with United."
SAF delivers the performance of conventional jet fuel but with a significantly smaller carbon footprint on a lifecycle basis. Neste's SAF reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions ("GHG") by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel and burns cleaner than conventional jet fuel reducing non-CO2 emissions, including particulate matter (PM). Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ is produced from 100% sustainably sourced renewable waste and residue raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal fat waste.
United has aggressively pursued strategic investments in SAF producers and revolutionary technologies including carbon capture, hydrogen-electric engines, electric regional aircraft, and urban air mobility. United has invested in more SAF production than any other airline globally.