Industry Week in Review – May 23, 2014
Airbus confirmed this week it plans to increase seating on its A320 aircraft from 180 to 186 seats, while maximum capacity on A321 aircraft will increase from 220 to 240 seats. Although full details will not be revealed until next month, the European Aviation Safety Agency also confirmed Airbus’ “process for significant modification” has already started. Airbus officials admitted that its A320 aircraft had disadvantages in sales campaigns in competition with other carriers due to seating limits. In comparison, Boeing’s 787-800 aircraft seats a maximum of 189 passengers. Notably, Airbus’ move was triggered by low-cost carrier Vueling’s firm order of 62 A320 aircraft, where a promise to fit 186 seats in the cabin was a key factor in Airbus winning the order. A continuing trend in the industry, Airbus is not the only company that has done significant interior redesign with much more planned. Many airlines, including Boeing, have announced plans to install slim backrest seats that allow airlines to reduce pitch and gain space for several more seat rows.
The General Services Administration announced the 74 full-and-open (“F&O”) awardees for its One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (“OASIS”) vehicle this week. The $60 billion contract vehicle was developed in collaboration with industry partners over the last two years as part of a family of contracts meant to streamline services contracting. No protests have been filed thus far in relation to the F&O portion of this professional services contract; however, 10 protests were filed after the release of the small business awards back in February.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Up 13.5%) – Shares were up this week after the Company announced it won a $9 million award from an undisclosed customer to support prototype development of the railgun fire control system and hypervelocity guided projectile. Additionally, the Company’s Chairman, William Hoglund, acquired 200,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction worth approximately $1.4 million.
The Boeing Company to acquire ETS Aviation Ltd., a provider of fuel-efficiency management and analystics software to commercial airlines and corporate flight departments. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Warburg Pincus LLC to acquire Wencor Group LLC, a designer and manufacturer of aircraft parts for repair stations, operators of general aviation aircraft, and airlines worldwide. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Cobham plc to acquire Aeroflex Holding Corporation, a provider of radio frequency and microwave integrated circuits used in high-performance aerospace equipment for harsh environments and wireless communication systems. The deal is worth an estimated $1.4 billion.