Air Vanuatu liquidators eye funds to resume operations
May 17, 2024
The liquidators of Air Vanuatu are looking to secure funding that would allow it to resume operations as it explores options to recapitalise the business or sell its assets, despite having its sole jet repossessed. Morgan Kelly, Andrew Hanson, and Justin Walsh from Ernst & Young state in a report to creditors that, prior to their appointment on 9 May, the carrier's financial position had deteriorated to a state where its Boeing 737-800, MSN 42052, was repossessed in Melbourne, and it was unable to pay other debts. The liquidators estimate that Air Vanuatu has net liabilities of $65.9 million, not including employee entitlements, which are still being investigated. At the time they were appointed, the airline only had two De Havilland DHC6-300 Twin Otters in "flight ready" status as its sole ATR 72-600 and a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander requiring maintenance. While liquidators withheld the name of the 737 lessor, fleets data shows it is managed by Air Lease Corporation. The airline owns the BN-2 and one of the Twin Otters, while a second Twin Otter is under a finance lease. The third Twin Otter is leased from Air Tuvalu, while the ATR 72 is leased from Falko. The report also notes that the carrier cancelled an order for four Airbus A220s in 2019 for which it had paid a $20 million deposit which has not been released by the manufacturer. Air Vanuatu had loans totalling $21.8 million from the Vanuatu government, which " had been providing continual financial support to assist the airline and its operations through the financial challenges". In its proposal on conducting liquidation, the three consultants state it is their "intention to attempt to continue to trade the operations of the company whilst going concern options for the company's business can be explored", subject to securing adequate funding. However, they warn that the trading option could be a "highly costly strategy" and will only occur if it is "commercially appropriate to do so". "In the absence of funding, or if the liquidators are unable to secure the support of all the company’s key stakeholders to maintain the business, the liquidators will have no other choice but to close the business and wind up the company," they add. No date for the likely end of the liquidation was given, but a meeting of creditors has been called for 22 May, which will be conducted via videoconference. The airline ceased all flights on 9 May shortly before liquidators were appointed by the Vanuatu government.

US DOT to fund centre for climate and transportation research
May 16, 2024
The US Department of Transportation is providing $1.7 million in research funding for a new programme focused on climate change and transportation that will be based at the University of California-Davis. The Center for Emissions Reduction, Resiliency, and Climate Equity in Transportation is being established through a co-operative agreement with the DOT, and will support its Climate Change Center, which was launched in 1999. California State University Long Beach, Texas Southern University, the University of California-Riverside, the University of Southern California and the University of Vermont will collectively execute research activities at the new centre, the DOT says. Research will be focused on technology that could potentially be used to support the USA's clean energy goals; the acceleration of the decarbonisation of the transportation sector; transportation infrastructure improvements; and environmental inequities created by the transportation system. "Tackling the climate crisis and making our infrastructure more resilient has never been more urgent," US Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg states.

Swiss equips 777-300ERs with fuel-saving skin coating
May 16, 2024
Swiss has completed the rollout of fuel-saving AeroShark film on all 12 Boeing 777-300ERs in its fleet. The first aircraft of the airline was fitted with the film in October 2022, while the final 777, registered HB-JNF, was equipped at the beginning of this month, the Lufthansa Group airline says. The AeroShark film is applied to the aircraft's fuselage and engine nacelles and replicates the hydrodynamic properties of a shark's skin to reduce air resistance in flight. AeroShark lowered Swiss's fuel consumption last year by over 2,200t, with concomitant reductions of some 7,100t in the airline's carbon dioxide emissions, the airline adds. The technology has been jointly developed by Lufthansa Technik and coatings manufacturer BASF. Swiss is also considering extending its AeroShark application programme to other types in its long-haul fleet.


SGS Aviation Compliance
ARC Administrator
SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd
54 Maxwell Drive
Woodmead North Office Park
South Africa

Office:   +27 11 100 9100
Direct:   +27 11 100 9108
Email Us

Find SGS offices and labs around the world.
The ARC is a mobile friendly website.