AAV News in Brief 1 March 2021

SITA, Schiebel, Magnetic MRO, Emirates, China Aviation Oil

Qatar Airways suit seeks US$600 million
The days of social distancing in airports are gone as the industry rapidly recovers. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneSITA’s Air Transport IT Insights reveals a sharper focus on safety, automation: The COVID-19 pandemic has refocused IT spending priorities for airlines and airports in 2020 as revenue plunged and the industry faced new health and operational requirements needed to keep flying, according to the latest SITA 2020 Air Transport IT Insights. The study found that there was an accelerated investment in automated passenger processing focusing on touchless and mobile services. There was also a strong focus on virtual and remote IT services that allowed employees to work from home while ramping up communications with passengers. Cybersecurity and cloud services – that helped automate operations and drive new efficiencies – were key. In 2020, SITA data showed that flight volumes plunged 44 percent year-on-year due to the pandemic. As a result of this impact on demand, IATA forecast the airline industry’s full-year loss at US$118 billion. David Lavorel, CEO SITA AT AIRPORTS & BORDERS, said: “The severe slowdown in 2020 forced the air transport industry to focus on driving new cost efficiencies. Adding to the pressure, airlines and airports had to rapidly incorporate new health measures such as touchless passenger processing and the handling of new health information and protocols, including PCR testing in many destinations. These efforts have been made in a market that continues to face rapid changes in air travel regulations that make operational planning volatile and last minute. To solve these challenges, the industry has turned to technology and, in many cases, reprioritized where they invested in 2020. The good news is that airlines and airports were able to capitalize on existing trends to automation and have made significant strides in implementing new solutions that will bring new improvements for the passenger now and into the future.”

Schiebel gets operator certificate for UAS: Schiebel said it is the first Unmanned Aerial  System (UAS) operator in Europe to receive the organisational approval certificate – Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC) for its CAMCOPTER S-100 from Austro Control. Under the new European Union (EU) regulatory framework for civil UAS operators, it is possible to receive a LUC by the National Aviation Authority. Schiebel is the first UAV operator in Europe to successfully demonstrate and meet the requirements for the certification by Austro Control. The requirements are according to (EU) 2019/947 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft. On 25 February, Schiebel was issued the LUC, which enables the company to self-authorise operations, within the defined scope and privileges, in civil airspace without applying for authorisation. For Schiebel these operations include commercial drone flights, test flights as well as training flights for pilots. The LUC, which is also valid in the European Union and EASA member states, is an important step for the UAV market. It opens further opportunities in regards to flying in civil airspace by allowing the operators to carry the responsibility for their operations, making the whole process more efficient and structured. The certification process includes a thorough review of the safety, compliance, and management system. Special focus is put on the qualification of the personnel and the handling of operational aspects.

Magnetic MRO introduces new asset management programme: Magnetic MRO, a global provider of Total Technical Care for aircraft operators and lessors, announced the launch of a new asset management program aimed at both airlines and lessors. Most of the small and midsize airlines are limited in their own resources to follow and to get professionally prepared for APU and Landing Gear scheduled maintenance event. Eventually, hesitation in taking a decision in solving maintenance events and lack of market knowledge leads to service delays and additional costs which affects airlines with even greater force in the midst of the current crisis, brought by the pandemic. With cost-saving and smart management in mind, Magnetic MRO is assisting airlines in such events by introducing total Asset Management Solution affecting on customer’s fleet, ensuring smooth processes maintenance process, as well as aircraft operations and starting from advanced asset evaluation to serviceable unit installation. “We really worked hard on this project and are excited to finally launch it. The newly introduced asset management programme is proof that quality is never an accident. It always the result of hard work and intelligent effort that can be beneficial for customers, especially in trying times like now,” said Eigirdas Keblikas, vice president for asset trading and leasing at Magnetic MRO. Based on the company’s estimates, a full asset management programme not only significantly increase efficiency, but also allows a company to cut down costs by 20-30 percent which can make a sufficient difference for many flight operators.

Emirates, Dubai Health Authority partner on COVID-19 medical records: Emirates and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to position Dubai as one of the first cities in the world to implement digital verification of traveller medical records related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Under the MoU, Emirates and the DHA will work to link the IT systems of DHA-approved laboratories with Emirates’ reservations and check-in systems, in order to enable the efficient sharing, storing and verification of passenger health information related to COVID-19 infection, testing and vaccination, all in a secure and legally compliant manner. The project will commence immediately, with the aim of bringing it to “live” implementation to benefit travellers in the coming months.

China Aviation Oil posts net profit: China Aviation Oil (Singapore) (CAO), the largest physical jet fuel trader in the Asia-Pacific region, announced it earned revenue of US$10.52 billion and a net profit of US$56.19 million for the full year ended 31 December 2020. Wang Yanjun, CEO, said, “in 2020 the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant travel restrictions led to a collapse in global jet fuel demand which had severely impacted CAO’s global jet fuel business. Such adverse circumstances, further exacerbated by the high volatility in oil prices which heightened trading risks during the year, however, forced the group to harness its resilience to exercise its trading and risk management expertise which came into full play during the year through comprehensive risks assessment, trading optimisation and cost curtailment. CAO has delivered a set of creditable results for FY2020, aided by the group’s proactive measures.” The company said revenue fell 48.3 percent to the US$10.52 billion due primarily to the decrease in oil prices and total supply and trading volume. It said gross profit declined 21.53 percent to US$45.87 million due mainly to lower profits from the jet fuel supply business which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic Total supply and trading volume decreased 25.21 percent to 27.62 million tonnes, while volume for middle distillates decreased 35.98 percent to 14.25 million tonnes.

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