Sanction fallout, resumed tests, exiting union boss - Dec 23 Aero News
Russian airlines in talks to buy aircraft from Western leasing firms
Several Russian airlines have engaged in initial talks with at least one major Western leasing firm about buying some of the 400+ leased aircraft stranded in Russia following the implementation of sanctions on Russia related to the country's invasion of Ukraine.
The proposal would require EU approval, but would use Russian state funds to purchase the aircraft. This would decrease a potentially multibillion-dollar bills facing western lessors and insurers, as well as provide Russian airlines with a way to secure ownership of aircraft at steep discounts.
Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russia was a major leasing market for aircraft lessors, who primarily purchased and then leased Boeing $BA and Airbus jets to Russian airlines looking to avoid the up-front cost and inflexibility of making the purchases themselves. Since the invasion, few of the leased aircraft have been returned or otherwise paid for, leaving lessors and insurers liable for billions of dollars.
Sources from Russia say Russian officials are not confident that the deal will receive EU approval.
Eutelsat facing losses while complying with sanctions
French satellite operator Eutelsat claims it may lose up to 15 million euros ($16 million) annually due to restricted broadcasts in Russia and Iran in compliance with sanctions on those countries. This represents about 2.2% of broadcast revenues for its previous fiscal year through June 2022.
The company said it has ended all involvement in broadcasting Russian and Iranian state-run news, including Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and Russia's RT News. On Dec 14, France's TV regulator gave the company one week to stop broadcasting Russia's Rossiya 1, Perviy Kanal, and NTV.
Eutelsat had been broadcasting these channels through leased capacity from three satellites by Russia's RSCC. The company now states it is no longer leasing capacity to any sanctioned channel.
Canada announces two contracts supporting search and rescue aviation
The Canadian government awarded two contracts on Thursday valued at C$1.24 billion ($908.69 million) that will support the nation's search and rescue CH149 Cormorant helicopters. Recipients of the contracts are CAE Inc. ($CAE) and Leonardo U.K. Ltd.
Boeing resumes flight tests of 777X jets
Boeing ($BA) announced Thursday that the company has resumed flight tests of its 777X jets, following engine issues discovered in October related to the jet's GE9X engines from GE ($GE). The 777X is otherwise known as the 777-9 and is a larger version of the 777 wide-body airframe. The 777X has been in development since 2013.
New United Airlines pilot union head resigns following controversial online comments
United Airlines Capt. Neil Swindells resigned from his post as the airline's pilot union head following the revelation of a series of controversial comments on pilot forums over the last several years. The union is currently in negotiations with United over a new pilot contract.