AAV News in Brief 12 April 2021

Travelport, Vallair, BAA Training, VINCI Airports, Airbus, Schiebel, Tigerair Taiwan, GEODIS, Tamarack, ASL Aviation, Cebu Pacific

Travelport Asian Aviation
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneTravelport launches new platform: Travelport has launched its next-generation platform, Travelport+, which it considers the centrepiece of Travelport’s new global strategy and is designed to accelerate industry innovation in multi-source content distribution, travel retailing and value generation. Travelport+ is an extensive, next-generation platform that creates a simplified, capability-rich, marketplace for travel retailing. As travel distribution has evolved, retrofitting new types of distribution into existing platforms has led to increased complexity across the industry, slowing progress. Travelport+ is a true multi-source platform offering more dynamic, differentiated, retail-ready content, delivering better choices for retailers and consumers, in a faster, frictionless way. Built as a single, next generation environment, including: a modern, lightweight, highly functional lightweight microservices API, complete with NDC content; enhanced airline ticket exchange tools; a trip container to manage all aspects of the trip; and a sophisticated point of sale solution to address the needs of the professional travel agent.

Vallair widens MRO capabilities: Vallair has increased its MRO offering to include A330 aerostructure repair capabilities. The capability will be offered at its facility in Châteauroux, France where it currently repairs a variety of parts, including nacelles, inlet cowls, fan cowls, thrust reversers and flight controls. Vallair has recently been awarded a ten-year lease for a new state-of-the-art full-service aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul and cargo conversion hangar which is being constructed adjacent to its existing aerostructures repair and logistics facility. This significant project in partnership with the Centre Val de Loire Region and the Chateauroux Airport Establishment further establishes Vallair’s MRO footprint in central France, and further complements its MRO and painting facilities in Montpellier. Vallair will introduce new repair workscopes for A330 aerostructure components in Q2, 2021.

BAA Training Spain starts pilot training with A320 FFS: The first state-of-the-art Airbus A320 FFS is ready for training in a new BAA Training Spain centre located in Barcelona, 10 minutes away from El-Prat airport. Managing Director of BAA Training Spain Aurimas Urbonas, said: “We are delighted to announce that with the first Airbus A320 full flight simulator ready for training we are now all set to offer world-class pilot training. We embark on the next phase of the training centre’s operation and demonstrate our commitment to accommodating various pilot needs in the region. While this is an important breakthrough, we are ambitious and aim to further harness the growth opportunity by adding more flight simulation training devices throughout the upcoming years.“ The Airbus A320 FFS manufactured by CAE is EASA UPRT CS-FSTD (A) issue 2 Level D Approved and Certified. It supports both CFM and IAE ceo engine types.

VINCI Airports wins concession at Manaus and 6 others: VINCI Airports was awarded a 30-year concession for seven airports of the north region of Brazil: Manaus, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, Boa Vista, Cruzeiro do Sul, Tabatinga and Téfé. Gateway to the Amazon region and neighbouring Brazilian states, these airports welcomed 4.7 million passengers in 2019. They are essential for opening up a vast region of 3.8 million km2. In addition to ensuring the operations, maintenance and modernisation of terminals and runways, VINCI Airports will also transform these airports into eco-efficient infrastructures. To do this, VINCI Airports will build on the successful environmental policy it has been successfully implementing since 2018 at Salvador Bahia airport in North East Brazil. VINCI Airports also intends to support Brazil’s post-pandemic economic recovery, by developing the passenger traffic and the cargo activity at Manaus, 3rd largest cargo airport in Brazil. Pillar of the economic and community development of the Amazon region, Manaus plays a key role in the country’s economy, in particular for the high growth electronics industry.

Airbus and TNO to develop aircraft laser communication terminal: Airbus and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) have launched a programme to develop a laser communication terminal demonstrator for aircraft, known as UltraAir. The project, which is co-financed by Airbus, TNO and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), is part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ScyLight (Secure and Laser communication technology) programme. It covers the design, construction and testing of the technology demonstrator. Laser communication technologies are the next revolution in satellite communications (satcom), bringing unprecedented transmission rates, data security and resilience to meet commercial needs in the next decade. The UltraAir terminal will be capable of laser connections between an aircraft and a satellite in geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the Earth, with unparalleled technology including a highly stable and precise optical mechatronic system. The technology demonstrator will pave the way for a future UltraAir product with which data transmission rates could reach several gigabits-per-second while providing anti-jamming and low probability of interception.

Schiebel CAMCOPTER used in Romania for border police: The Romanian Border Police are now operateing the CAMCOPTER S-100 for maritime surveillance purposes. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) service is delivered by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and is also extended to Bulgaria. Stationed in Mangalia, the CAMCOPTER S-100 supports the Romanian authorities in carrying out general Coast Guard functions, conducting day-to-day monitoring and surveillance of all shipping including port security, as well as responding to any search and rescue, accident and disaster needs. The S-100 executes these various tasks equipped with an L3 Wescam Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch, a Becker Avionics BD406 Emergency Beacon Locator and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver. Operations in Romania and Bulgaria are part of the EMSA awarded multi-year maritime surveillance contract for a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) RPAS, awarded to Schiebel in November 2018.

Tigerair Taiwan becomes new A320neo operator: Tigerair Taiwan, the low-cost subsidiary of China Airlines, has taken delivery of its first A320neo. This is the first of 15 A320neo family aircraft to join the airline’s fleet. The aircraft is also the first A320neo to be introduced in Taiwan, and will be the optimal platform for Tigerair Taiwan to increase capacity and open new routes across the Asia region. The A320neo has a range of up to 3,200nm, enabling flights of up seven hours from Taipei. With the A320neo Tigerair Taiwan will benefit from the lowest operating costs and highest comfort levels in the single-aisle segment, while maintaining a high degree of commonality with the A320ceo. Tigerair Taiwan’s A320neos are powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines and configured in a single-class layout with 180 seats.

GEODIS appoints new regional air freight director in Asia-Pacific: Yigit Saricinar has been promoted to regional air freight director, Asia-Pacific (APAC). He will join GEODIS’ regional management board, reporting to Onno Boots, GEODIS’ regional president and CEO, APAC. Previously sub-regional air freight director, ASEAN, Saricinar has 15 years of experience in the air freight industry and has been a valued member of the ASEAN management team at GEODIS over the last three years. During this time he has built a strong foundation for air freight in key ASEAN countries and will now expand his responsibilities to manage an ambitious air freight strategy within the regional as a whole. Boots said “The Head of Air Freight for APAC has a key role to play in the development of GEODIS’ services in the region. We have ambitious goals.  We will continue to be a valued growth partner to our customers, and assurance of delivering reliable and differentiated airfreight solutions to our customers is crucial.  As we expand on our scheduled services, such as AirDirect Mexico which connects Greater China to Mexico twice weekly, Yigit’s leadership will be pivotal.”

Tamarack announces active winglet installations: Tamarack announced that the first three Active Winglet installations at the Aiken, South Carolina Transformation Center have been completed and another CitationJet modification is scheduled. The newest CitationJet Active Winglet sales include a CJ and two CJ2s. “The end result looks great,” says Ted Goodspeed, the pilot of the newly modified CJ (N331GG), “Our entry level CJ now feels like something special, and we really feel a difference. Climbing to FL410 in 30 minutes at max gross weight is routine now. We enjoy ATC delays now – when level, we speed up very quickly, and when they finally give us the climb we zoom right up. The lower drag gives us more excess power.” The East Coast Transformation Center at Aiken provides accessible factory installation of Active Winglets to the eastern United States and South America. These services are already offered at the Tamarack West Coast Transformation Center in Sandpoint, Idaho, and the Tamarack European Transformation Centre in Oxford, England. Tamarack also offers Active Winglet service via more than 20 Authorised Service Centers across the US, South America, and Europe.

ASL Aviation confirms new financing: ASL Aviation Holdings DAC has closed a new debt facility with leading international financial institution, Goldman Sachs. The agreement makes US$125 million available to ASL to be drawn down as required by the Dublin headquartered global aviation services group. Goldman Sachs acted as a lender on the facility. ASL Aviation Holdings Group Chief Financial Officer Mark O’Kelly says the facility will be used through 2021 to partially finance ASL’s ongoing medium-haul fleet replacement programme. Last month ASL announced the confirmation of options for 10 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) slots with Boeing. A total of 20 Boeing 737-800 aircraft will now be converted by the end of 2022, with the first 3 aircraft already delivered and aircraft 4 due later this month.  “With a volatile market due to the impact of the pandemic, this new facility provides ASL with both stability and flexibility,” said O’Kelly. “It builds on our financial infrastructure to facilitate future capital expenditure and also enables us to manage our debt profile in Europe as required as the aviation industry works its way through the enduring effects of the pandemic.”

Cebu Pacific transports COVID-19 vaccines to more destinations: Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ largest carrier, continues to safely fly COVID-19 vaccines to assist in the country’s distribution programme. From 6 to 9 April, CEB flew about 77,800 doses to six cities in the Philippines, specifically to Bacolod on 6 April, to Zamboanga, Tacloban, and Cotabato on 7 April, to Puerto Princesa on 8 April, and to Tuguegarao. CEB delivered around 53,000 doses to Zamboanga and Tuguegarao last month. This week’s batch of consecutive shipments comprises of 7,200 doses to Bacolod, 14,400 doses each to Tacloban and Zamboanga, 34,800 doses to Cotabato, 1,000 doses to Puerto Princesa, and 6,000 doses to Tuguegarao. All vaccines upon receipt at the CEB Cargo Warehouse were kept in a refrigerated storage container, complete with cooling systems to ensure that the condition of the vaccines is preserved up until arrival at the designated destinations. To date, CEB has already flown a total of 130,800 doses across the Philippines since March 2021.

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