San Francisco-based Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing (MRL, Booth No. 7802) announced yesterday here at Heli-Expo the purchases of two Sikorsky S-92A twin-engine helicopters for its growing fleet aimed at supporting operators in the oil-and-gas and search-and-rescue markets. The two S-92s will be leased back to Avincis subsidiary Bond Offshore Helicopters and will be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.
William Chiles, who has led global offshore helicopter services company Bristow Group for the last decade, will retire effective July 31 and be replaced by current CFO Jonathan Baliff. Chiles will remain as a consultant to the company through 2016. During Chiles’s tenure, Bristow grew rapidly and posted record profits. Baliff, who held senior positions at NRG Energy and Credit Suisse before joining Bristow in 2010, is a former USAF pilot with degrees in aerospace engineering and international relations.
Last year marked another year of relatively soft rates in the general aviation insurance market, according to aviation insurance broker NationAir’s annual market analysis, released yesterday. “While the market conditions have remained the same for several years, the reasons for that soft market are changing,” noted company president Jeff Bauer.
Initially, increased market competition pushed rates down, he said. “Now, however, rates are being held down by the more long-term forces of structural overcapacity and, thankfully, favorable loss history.”
According to the latest business jet market update from J.P.Morgan, recent data shows further weakness in the pre-owned business jet market. Used inventory rose to its highest level since late last year, while pricing showed another sequential decline, the firm said. Business jet flying bounced back, however, providing a glimmer of hope.
Heading into the homestretch of 2013, the upbeat mood that ushered in the new year has been building into the summer step-climb that gets a catapult shot–courtesy of the NBAA convention–to finish out the year. Someone must have hit the “on” switch after Labor Day weekend in early September, bringing buyers back into the market en masse. While deals have abounded in all model segments for some time, the recent activity is a strong sign of buyer confidence. From top to bottom aircraft are moving, and it’s no wonder considering how low prices have dropped.
Ryanair said it will appeal Wednesday’s ruling by a provincial court in France that imposed fines and damages totaling €8 million ($10.8 million), the majority of which relate to alleged non-payment of French social insurance and state pension contributions for Ryanair crews flying to and from Marseille from 2007 to 2010.
The recent global financial recession notwithstanding, long-term airline traffic growth will average 4.7 percent per year, while cargo traffic grows at a slightly higher annual rate, 4.8 percent, according to the latest 20-year market forecast published by Airbus. However, the company projected a marked disparity between traffic growth in “advanced” and “emerging” markets. COO for customers John Leahy noted a divergence in gross domestic product GDP trends between the groups since 2000.
Airlines may still be struggling with rising costs associated with factors such as fuel and taxes, but they are winners when it comes to insurance premiums. New data released by insurance broker Willis shows that premiums have continued to fall this year. “The balance of power in airline insurance purchasing remains firmly in favor of the buyers,” concludes the London-based group in the second-quarter edition of its Airline Insight report released on July 15.
UBS Investment Research’s latest Business Jet Market Index dropped to 39 from 41 in May. The index measures “total value” in a survey of 131 “U.S. domestic and international broker/dealers, manufacturers, fractional providers, financiers and others,” according to UBS. The majority, 63 percent, are brokers/dealers.
The survey doesn’t assess absolute business conditions but measures changes in respondents’ views. The index is near a four-year low, “and well below the 50 mark that is indicative of sequential improvement.”
Macquarie Group has launched a new helicopter leasing company, Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing, headquartered in San Francisco. The new company is headed by CEO Jeffrey Pino, formerly president of Sikorsky Aircraft. James Clarke, most recently CFO at Air Lease, is COO of Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing. The leadership team also includes chief marketing officer Steve Estill and chief technical officer Greg A’slinger, former owner of Uniflight. The new company specializes in supplying helicopters for oil and gas, medical transport, search-and-rescue and executive transport.
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