AAV News in Brief 17 February 2021

EHang, Lufthansa CityLine, FLYdocs, Shell, PHI, Airbus Helicopters, ExecuJet, SAS, CFM International, LEAP

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Airlines around the world have had to ground thousands of planes in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of international travel. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneEHang joins EU GOF 2.0 research project: China’s EHang announced its participation in the European Union GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace Validation project, which is a follow-up to the SESAR JU GOF U-space project. GOF 2.0 is focused on developing the safe, secure, and sustainable integration of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations in urban airspace. As one of the 13 consortium members and the leading passenger electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company, EHang is expected to ensure safe flight operations in all degrees of airspace in order to provide fair and efficient access to shared airspace. SESAR JU GOF 2.0 was initiated in January 2021 to demonstrate the compatibility of existing Air Traffic Management (ATM) and U-space systems and services. The project intends to show safe integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), eVTOLs, and manned operations in a unified, dense urban airspace. A planned series of demonstrations in next two years will include highly automated real time separation and networks for air-ground communication.

Lufthansa CityLine signs deal with FLYdocs: Lufthansa CityLine, a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group specialised in European feeder services connecting Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs, recently signed a deal with FLYdocs to automate and manage its aircraft records across its fleet of 51 aircraft. The five-year agreement will help the airline adopt a fully paperless approach to its records management. The FLYdocs platform boasts an enhanced integration with leading M&E software, AMOS, which Lufthansa CityLine already uses as its core ERP system. Through the seamless interface, the airline will benefit from full digital aircraft compliance on-demand. Michael Lariviere, Vice President Technical Fleet Management at Lufthansa CityLine said: “Our partnership with FLYdocs will be instrumental in helping us to generate major cost and efficiency savings. To maintain our high technical standards it is imperative that we have the most accurate and compliance-driven processes for managing our assets. FLYdocs has a convincing track record of being a collaborative partner so we look forward to growing this relationship.”

Shell selects H160 for operation by PHI in Gulf of Mexico: International energy group Shell has selected US offshore helicopter operator PHI to operate four Airbus H160s to service a support contract in the Gulf of Mexico. The contract marks the entry into the oil and gas market of the H160 with a wealth of design features promising new levels of safety, comfort and schedule reliability in offshore operations. The three companies – Airbus, PHI and Shell – are cooperating in a unique partnership. In a pioneering move, Airbus will provide one H160 ahead of final deliveries to PHI and Shell for a year-long route-proving programme to enable the operator and the final customer to familiarise themselves with the type’s advanced features and mitigate the normal challenges around entry into service. At PHI it will be based at Houma, Louisiana and join a large company fleet of H125s and H135s deployed in  emergency medical service throughout the United States, as well as two H145s operating for Shell on pipeline survey work in Louisiana, and two H145s flying the world’s longest harbour pilot shuttle in Mackay, Australia.

ExecuJet Africa re-establishes its aircraft sales division: ExecuJet Africa, part of the Luxaviation Group, is announcing the reinstatement of its aircraft sales and acquisitions offering, with an increase in demand from current clients. Gavin Kiggen, vice president Africa at ExecuJet, said, “after a challenging 2020, we’re very excited to be back in the sales business and able to provide our clients with support and expertise in aircraft sales and acquisitions. We had an immediate positive response to our return, and we are already engaged in acquisition conversations with potential new owners from around the world.” ExecuJet’s sales team in Africa has more than 50 years’ combined experience in business aviation. The team supports its clients by identifying aircraft, offering independent and unbiased assessments, market intelligence, negotiating of prices, pre-purchase checks, training, ongoing management and charter options. Leveraging the Luxaviation Group’s global footprint, clients have access to aircraft that have not yet reached the market, enabling a greater array of inventory and prices to select from.

SAS expands LEAP-powered fleet with engine order: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has selected CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 35 additional A320neo family aircraft. The order, which includes eight spare engines and a Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) support agreement, is valued at US$2.9 billion at list prices. The aircraft order had been announced in April 2018. RPFH agreements are part of CFM’s portfolio of flexible aftermarket support offerings. Throughout the term of the agreement, CFM will guarantee maintenance costs for the airlines 160 LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis. SAS currently operates 44 A320neo aircraft and one A321neo LR powered by the fuel-efficient LEAP engine and plans to introduce two additional A321neo LR as part of its strategy to develop International routes, including to the US.

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