GE spinning off units to focus on aviation
GE announced its plan to form three industry-leading, global public companies focused on the growth sectors of aviation, healthcare, and energy. The conglomerate intends to execute the spin-offs of Healthcare in early 2023 and of the Renewable Energy and Power business in early 2024.
Following these transactions, GE will be an aviation-focused company. Through the transition, GE will be able to monetize its stakes in AerCap and Baker Hughes, prioritizing further debt reduction. Following the spin-off transactions, GE will retain other assets and liabilities of GE today, including run-off insurance operations. Upon closing the Healthcare transaction, GE expects to retain a stake of 19.9 percent in the healthcare company to provide capital allocation flexibility. GE Aviation has an installed base of 37,700 commercial engines and 26,500 military engines. In the business and general aviation space, the division currently offers the CF34, Passport, and—in partnership with Honda—HF120 turbofans, as well as the H-series turboprop. The company is also developing its Catalyst turboprop engine that will power the Beechcraft Denali.
Jetex and JetClub expand HondaJet fractional ownership program
Jetex has announced a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with JetClub, a fractional ownership-based business aviation brand. The MOU signing ceremony between Adel Mardini, Founder & CEO of Jetex, and Vishal Hiremath, Founder & CEO of JetClub, took place at Jetex VIP Terminal ahead of the Dubai Airshow 2021. JetClub and its sister company, Jet It, now operate a fleet of 14 HondaJet aircraft, making the group the largest HondaJet operator in the world. JetClub is based upon a fractional ownership model in which club members purchase a share of the jet in return for a certain number of days and not hours.
Viasat to acquire Inmarsat in $7.3B satellite industry consolidation deal
Viasat will acquire Inmarsat in a $7.3 billion deal that brings together two major satellite operators with businesses in broadband, mobility, and defense. The deal entails $850 million in cash, 46.36 million Viasat shares valued at $3.1 billion, assuming $3.4 billion of net debt.
The combined company will have a spectrum license portfolio across the Ka-, L-, and S-bands and a fleet of 19 satellites in service, with an additional 10 satellites to come in the next three years. Viasat and Inmarsat said this combination will bring a global Ka-band footprint to support bandwidth-intensive applications, augmented by L-band assets that support all-weather resilience and highly reliable, narrowband and IoT connectivity. They plan to integrate the spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of both companies into a global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network. www.viasat.com
First helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel
An Airbus H225 has performed the first ever helicopter flight on November 9th with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powering one of the Safran Makila 2 engines. The flight marks the start of a flight campaign aiming to assess the impact of unblended SAF on the helicopter systems in view of certifying the use of SAF blends that exceed today’s 50% limit.
The flight campaign, which follows earlier unblended SAF bench tests performed by Safran Helicopter Engines, will provide further understanding of the technical challenges associated with the use of 100% SAF. The H225 test helicopter flew with an unblended SAF derived from used cooking oil, provided by TotalEnergies, which offers a net 90% CO2 reduction compared to regular jet fuel. In order to drive the deployment of biofuels, Airbus Helicopters has launched a SAF User Group dedicated to the rotary-wing community.
People: Inmarsat announces Philippe Carette as president of its aviation business unit
Inmarsat has named Philippe Carette the new president of its aviation business unit. Current business unit president Philip Balaam is moving into a new strategy role at Inmarsat, where he will be working with chief strategy officer Fredrik Gustavsson.
Carette joins Inmarsat from Thales, where he held several roles since joining the company in 2013. He was CEO of Thales’ InFlyt Experience Business Line (IFE), where he led a digital transformation of the business. Carette has spent more than 30 years in the aviation industry and previously held several leadership positions within Thales, to include the head of the Electrical Systems business and vice president and managing director of the Commercial Avionics unit. Prior to joining Thales, he was president of Deutsch Aerospace & Transportation – TE Connectivity; managing director at ALTEN; president and managing director at Sogeti High Tech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini; and managing director at Safran Group for Engineering Services and Electrical Systems. He holds a degree in engineering from the Institut polytechnique de Grenoble in France.