ZIM Flugistz HQ

ZIM leaves insolvency as restructuring pays off

By Featured, SeatingNo Comments
ZIM Flugistz HQ

ZIM Flugsitz has exited insolvency proceedings, as the company pursues a restructuring process.

ZIM was affected by the collapse in air travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to temporarily register short-time work.

However, restructuring and the recent new contracts with major airlines have allowed ZIM to revoke its self-administration process.

OneWeb has confirmed the successful launch of all 36 satellites from a Soyuz launch vehicle, which began flight from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

OneWeb rebirth continues with latest investment injection

By Featured, IFECNo Comments
OneWeb has confirmed the successful launch of all 36 satellites from a Soyuz launch vehicle, which began flight from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

OneWeb has secured additional funding from SoftBank Group Corp. and Hughes Network Systems.

According to OneWeb its total capital raised to date, approximately US$1.4 billion, positions it “to be fully funded for its first-generation satellite fleet, totalling 648 satellites, by the end of 2022.”

In December 2020, OneWeb launched 36 new satellites, built at its Airbus Joint Venture assembly plant in Florida, US, bringing the total fleet to 110 satellites, all fully-functioning and benefitting from International Telecommunication Union spectrum priority.

Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank, said, “We are excited to support OneWeb as it increases capacity and accelerates towards commercialisation. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bharti, the UK Government and Hughes to help OneWeb deliver on its mission to transform internet access around the world.”

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, added: “OneWeb’s mission is to connect everyone, everywhere. We have made rapid progress to re-start the business since emerging from Chapter 11 in November. We welcome the investments by SoftBank and Hughes as further proof of progress towards delivering our goal.”

In connection with the investment, SoftBank will gain a seat on the OneWeb Board of Directors. The company previously led an investment round in March 2019, when $1.25 billion of new capital was raised. Hughes is an investor through its parent company EchoStar, and also an ecosystem partner, developing essential ground network technology for the OneWeb system.

This new investment follows the announcement that OneWeb was drastically reducing its constellation size from the 48,000 proposed last year, to just 7,000.

OneWeb has reduced its request for US market access from 47,884 to 6,372 satellites (exclusive of those already licensed).

AirNet enters investment agreement with Unistar Group Holdings

By Featured, IFECNo Comments

AirNet Technology Inc (formerly known as AirMedia Group Inc), an in-flight solution provider on connectivity, entertainment and digital multimedia in China has entered into an investment agreement with Unistar Group Holdings.

The agreement will see Unistar deliver and transfer 500 computer servers specifically designed for mining cryptocurrencies in exchange for 23,876,308 ordinary shares from AirNet with a par value of US$0.001, per share.

Herman Guo, the Chairman and CEO of AirNet commented that AirNet “has recognised the needs to store and analyse data generated from the inflight connectivity business and the boom of the power of the blockchain technology as applied to the company’s use cases. With the acquisition of 500 computer servers specifically designed for mining cryptocurrencies, the agreement epitomises the company’s determination to create values for its investors along with its drive for technological innovations.”

gategroup restructures

By Catering, FeaturedNo Comments

gategroup Holding AG has received the backing of its shareholders and creditors to acomprehensively restructure the Group’s financial indebtedness. The proposed Transaction will provide the Group with significant new liquidity to address short and medium-term needs and will help establish a stable capital structure.

“This Transaction is a key milestone for the Group. It will position gategroup well for a recovery in the aviation sector and also support the Group’s diversification. The agreement signifies the commitment of our shareholders and lenders to the Group, its management and employees,” said gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol.

Rossinyol continued: “The Group will work together with its stakeholders to further improve our cost structure and prepare for the ramping-up of business by our customers.”

MIME Technologies Aiber device screen

MIME Technologies gets Scottish funding boost

By FeaturedNo Comments
MIME Technologies Aiber device screen

MIME Technologies, a med-tech spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, has received £248,000 in funding from the Scottish Government.

Initially focused on the aviation industry, MIME Technologies’ solution communicates detailed on-scene emergency data, such as the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, to professional medical services using secure cloud technology.

Allowing aviation medical providers to see this on-scene data ensures they can make informed decisions about the passenger’s need for immediate medical attention, supporting in-flight diversion decisions and ensuring that the handover into medical care is seamless.

Anne Roberts, Chief Executive at MIME Technologies, said: “It has never been more important for the aviation industry to provide clear guidance and reassurance that every effort is being made to prioritise the health of passengers and employees. As the industry begins to recover following COVID-19, commercial and private airlines can use our technology to do just that. It will also streamline contract costs to help manage decreased budgets and optimise support for cabin crew during medical emergencies.

The company, which received its first investment from Scottish angel syndicate Equity Gap, launched its aviation product earlier this year to support cabin crew first response at 40,000 feet on commercial aircraft or private jets.

flypop rendering

flypop awarded UK Government funding

By FeaturedNo Comments
flypop rendering

flypop, led by (Nino) Navdip Singh Judge, which intends to become the newest and UK’s only international long-haul low-cost airline on launch in 2021, has been awarded funding from the UK Government’s Future Fund.

flypop, now completing its final funding round, will begin negotiating low cost airport deals in both the UK and India. In addition, it will continue discussions with aircraft manufacturers to secure the best deals which will enable the company to offer the lowest possible fares to the public

Judge unveiled plans for POP, People over Profit, in 2016, with plans to offer non-stop flights between the UK and two of India’s key secondary cities – Amritsar in Punjab and Ahmedabad in Gujarat. It was initially hoped for services to begin in Q4, 2016, from Stansted Airport using Airbus 300-300s.

“The funding from the UK Government’s Future Fund will play a key role in putting flypop in a position to start flights, initially between the UK and India, something which will contribute significantly to the economic growth and closer cultural links between these two Commonwealth partners and eventually with all of South Asia,” said Judge, Founder and CEO of flypop.

Astronics post Q3 loss but sees light ahead

By FeaturedNo Comments

Astronics Corporation has reported financial results for the three and nine months ended 26 September 2020.

Third quarter revenue was US$106.5 million, 40% below the comparator period of 2019. The Company incurred a net loss of $5.3 million. Aerospace segment sales decreased $75.2 million, or 47.7%, to $82.5 million. Sales were negatively affected by the continued grounding of the 737 MAX, overall lower build rates for commercial transport and general aviation aircraft and a weak commercial aircraft aftermarket as airlines reduced spending due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Aerospace segment operating loss was $6.3 million compared with operating profit of $8.8 million for the same period last year.

Peter J. Gundermann, the company’s President and CEO, said, “The third quarter was challenging for our Company, as our core aerospace markets continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The indications of airline recovery that were apparent in late summer did not continue into the fall as we had hoped. There are some bright spots, and we think the worst is now behind us. We expect market conditions to steadily improve going forward, beginning in the fourth quarter.”

Viasat remains cautious as IFC revenues stumble

By Featured, IFECNo Comments

Viasat has released its First Quarter Fiscal Year 2020 results.

According to CEO Mark Dankberg, “IFC revenue declined precipitously YoY with about 45% of our installed 1,390 aircraft base inactive at quarter end. Overall passenger activity declined even further. While aircraft in service and passenger counts improved towards the end of the quarter, the outlook remains uncertain. We believe aircraft retirements with our IFC service have been disproportionately low because we are on relatively newer aircraft, and we expect this will lead to market share gains. We still anticipate about 750 additional aircraft to activate IFC services under our existing customer agreements – as well as seeing more of the existing installed fleet being re-activated. New order negotiations are very robust, driven by our reputation for service quality, our new satellites under construction and a stressful environment for our competitors.”

According to Dankberg, the company’s IFC business was “probably a little worse than what we had expected in that first quarter,” however new contract awards are giving the company confidence for the rest of the year.

Speaking to analysts, Dankberg said that airlines were paying significant attention to IFC as being connected while flying has become even more important to passengers.

He also stated his belief that Viasat has been more immune to the effects of aircraft retirements than other IFC providers, as its systems fly on newer planes. The majority of the contracts it had pre-pandemic are still intact, he said adding “we still expect to deploy them once the market picks up again.”

Gogo HQ - external skysline

Gogo mulling sale of commercial aviation division as revenues bottom out

By Featured, IFECNo Comments
Gogo HQ - external skysline

Gogo has announced its financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2020 with contrasting fortunes for its commercial and business aviation segments.

Speaking to analysts, Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s President and CEO said that green shoots were starting to emerge. “We’re seeing a really solid bounce back in our business aviation division, and a slower recovery, but a recovery nonetheless in our commercial aviation business.”

Overall, the company reported a net loss of US$86.0 million, with consolidated revenues down 55% from the same time last year, as air travel demand collapsed around the world.
In pre-COVID times, Gogo was averaging 37 million passengers a month on Gogo equipped aircraft. That fell to 1.9 million (95% reduction) in April. It has since climbed to 7.1 million in June.

Its North American Commercial Aviation market is showing signs of a recovery. Pre-COVID, Gogo was averaging 125,000 sessions a day, which then collapsed 91% to 11,000 sessions a day in April. It started coming back with 15,000 a day in May and is now all the way up to 40,000 a day for 32% of pre-COVID levels in August. Pre-COVID, North American sales averaged just under $1 million per day. So far for August this is now returning more than $300,000 a day.

The quarter ended with 2,455 aircraft online, generating 1,800 active sales per day (73% of its North American fleet). Thorne believes that North American airlines will retire about 230 older Gogo installed fleet over the coming year.

Pre-COVID, its Rest of World (RoW)fleet was running at 11 million passengers per month before collapsing to 480,000 or 95% in the month of April. RoW aircraft online actually grew in the quarter, [up 9] to 842, and up 151 from prior year. Due to retirements and bankruptcies, Gogo expects roughly 100 of its current RoW fleet to be installed over the next year, with 105 of its backlog at risk due to bankruptcies.

Thorne reaffirmed that Gogo was still actively discussing the sale of its Commercial Aviation business, with several parties expressing interest during the quarter. “We are really proud of the commercial aviation team and the tremendous capabilities they’ve built, and think it will have a bright future as part of a larger, more fully integrated entity.”

SES ground satellites

Solid first half performance for SES

By Featured, IFECNo Comments
SES ground satellites

SES has announced financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2020, with CEO Steve Collar calling the performance ‘solid’ in challenging trading times.

In its mobility segment, underlying revenue grew by 22.6% (year-on-year) to €115.1 million with double-digit growth in both Aeronautical and Maritime. Strong growth (year-on-year) in Aeronautical reflected the full year impact of the important new business signed during 2019 and notably utilising SES-15, SES-14 and SES’ Ka-based aero network, as well as connectivity services delivered to the business aviation segment.

As the vast majority of SES’ commercial contracts, including in Mobility, are fixed, the H1 2020 performance was largely unaffected by the impact of COVID-19 on customers and end markets served by SES in the Cruise and Commercial Aviation segments. Nevertheless, it is expected that the development of both existing revenue and pace of new business will be impacted during the second half of the 2020.

The company also announced an investment in four additional O3b mPOWER satellites, expanding the constellation to 11 satellites. The total cost of the additional investment is €480 million including €250 million over the period 2020-2024 and the remaining expenditure thereafter. The investment further de-risks the overall project and will enhance the constellation efficiency, increase total throughput by 90% and expand geographic coverage.

SES-17 is scheduled to launch in Q3 2021and will serve mobility markets in the Americas. The first three satellites of the global O3b mPOWER constellation are due to launch in Q3 2021, with a further three in Q1 2022, and satellites 7-9 in H2 2022. Satellites 10-11 launch in H2 2024.