AAV News in Brief 19 April 2021

Northrop Grumman, Intelsat, Textron Aviation, FlyArystan, Air Astana, Media Carrier, Affinidi, Commons Project, Satair, China Airlines, Viva Aerobus, FLYdocs, APOC Aviation, INFORM, Vietjet, Airdal, Luxaviation Group, Metrojet, Jetstar Asia, Emirates, Changi

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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 oneNorthrop Grumman, Intelsat successfully add life to satellite: Northrop Grumman and the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics have successfully completed the docking of the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) to the Intelsat 10-02 (IS-10-02) commercial communications satellite to deliver life-extension services. Northrop Grumman is the only provider of flight-proven life extension services for satellites, and this is the second time the two companies have docked commercial spacecraft in orbit. Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 made history when it successfully docked to the Intelsat 901 (IS-901) satellite in February 2020. Unlike MEV-1, which docked above the GEO orbit before moving IS-901 back into service, MEV-2 docked with IS-10-02 directly in its operational GEO orbital location. MEV-2 will provide five years of service to IS-10-02 before undocking and moving on to provide services for a new mission. IS-10-02 delivers broadband and media distribution services to Intelsat customers across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America; it is a key satellite in the Intelsat-Telenor Satellite 1˚ West video neighborhood, which distributes more than 900 channels to some 18 million TV households across Europe. Telenor Satellite own about half of IS-10-02’s Ku band payload, which it markets as THOR 10-02 and contributed to today’s successful mission.

Textron Aviation’s special edition Beechcraft unveiled: Textron Aviation has turned to an aviation legend and founding member of the Beechcraft brand to commemorate a milestone for one of its most iconic aircraft. The company announced a special edition 75th anniversary option for its Beechcraft Bonanza G36 single-engine piston aircraft, distinguished by its custom interior and paint scheme inspired by Olive Ann Beech’s signature blue colour. The order book is open for the limited-edition model that will deliver in 2022 – the 75th year since it first entered the market for the longest continuously produced aircraft in history. The Beechcraft Bonanza continues to be a cornerstone of the company’s leadership in the piston market.  More than 18,000 Bonanza aircraft have entered the market since deliveries began, 15 years after Walter and Olive Ann started Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas.

FlyArystan launches services to Georgia: FlyArystan in Kazakhstan will launch international services from Aktau, Atyrau and Nur-Sultan to Kutaisi in Georgia from 2 May 2021. Twice weekly services using Airbus A320 aircraft will operate from Aktau on Tuesdays and Fridays, from Atyrau on Thursdays and Sundays and from Nur Sultan on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One-way fares start from US$59 (Aktau), US$66 (Atyrau) and US$89 (Nur-Sultan). The historic city of Kutaisi is located equidistantly between Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi and the Black Sea resort of Batumi. FlyArystan was launched as Kazakhstan’s first Low-Cost Carrier in May 2019 and is a division of Air Astana.

Air Astana opts for Media Carrier: Media Carrier announced that Air Astana has awarded it a contract to provide the digital media library Media Box to passengers of Kazakhstan’s national airline. During a three-month test run earlier, Air Astana was already convinced of the functionality and the extensive digital content of the Media Box and confirmed the positive feedback at that time by awarding the contract to Media Carrier. With the Media Box, Media Carrier is providing Air Astana extensive digital content – including a first-class portfolio of international publications with renowned newspapers and magazines such as the Financial Times and the International New York Times. The Media Box can be used with any Internet-capable device, no external apps need to be installed or additional registration is required. Air Astana passengers will be able to access the digital content of the Media Box via various “touch points”, such as the website, a pre-flight e-mail, at mobile/web check-in and in the Air Astana App.

Affinidi, Commons Project partner on digital passes: Affinidi, a Singapore-based company founded by investment firm Temasek, and The Commons Project Foundation announced a new partnership that will leverage Affinidi’s digital credential verification solution to enable the safe reopening of borders around the world as international travel resumes. As the first milestone of this global partnership, travellers arriving at Singapore’s Changi Airport with the CommonPass digital health pass can now digitally verify their health status with Singapore Immigration and streamline border entry using the technology. Affinidi’s digital credential verification solution will be accessible to members of the CommonTrust Network, an inclusive global network launched by The Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to ensure that verifiable lab results and vaccination records from trusted sources are presented to authorities in a privacy-preserving manner. Relevant stakeholders can utilize digital credentials technology provided by Affinidi for cross-border verification of health documents such as vaccination status and COVID-19 test results, which is key to restarting international travel.

Satair, China Airlines sign deal for A320s: Satair and China Airlines of Taiwan have signed a multi-year agreement for Satair’s Integrated Material Services (IMS), a comprehensive material solution that will support China Airlines’ and its wholly-owned subsidiary, TigerAir Taiwan, A320ceo and A320neo fleet, with the first A320neo to be delivered by Airbus beginning of April 2021. The contract follows an extension of the existing IMS agreement between China Airlines and Satair signed in 2017, covering the airline’s Airbus fleet of A330-300s and A350-900s, reaffirming the mutual trust in this partnership. TigerAir Taiwan is China Airlines’ first subsidiary to be included in the IMS program. Satair’s IMS product offering is an end-to-end supply chain solution that includes planning, sourcing, purchasing, logistics, and inventory management; covering all expendables and consumables required in the typical aircraft maintenance lifecycle. The solution is developed in close collaboration with the airline as both a partner and a customer.

Viva Aerobus to digitise records with FLYdocs: Viva Aerobus of Mexico recently signed a deal with FLYdocs to digitise maintenance records for its fleet of 47 aircraft. Through the three-year agreement, Viva Aerobus is expected to benefit from full digital aircraft compliance on-demand by taking advantage of the FLYdocs platform’s enhanced integration with leading M&E software AMOS. Francisco Morgado Morfín, Engineering & Maintenance vice president at Viva Aerobus said: “Last year we committed to becoming the greenest airline in Mexico as sustainability is at the heart of our operational strategy. Our partnership with FLYdocs will undoubtedly add value and strengthen those efforts by allowing us to utilise digital technology to drive a paperless approach to our maintenance records. As the first airline in the Americas to resume 100 percent of its operational capacity in such a challenging climate, we are optimistic that the team at FLYdocs and the platform’s unique integration with AMOS will help us maintain our resilience and adaptability as we continue to propel Mexico’s air travel industry in a safe and responsible way.”

APOC partners with Bonus Tech: APOC Aviation is collaborating with Bonus Tech, part of the Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance network, to disassemble its third engine in recent months. The CFM56-7B engine components will be integrated into APOC’s stock in April, ensuring the leasing, trading and part-out specialist is well positioned to support customers as market recovery ramps up. Jim Nypels, Engine Materials Sales & Trading said, “During the pandemic engine shop visits inevitably decreased as everyone tried to keep hold of as much available cash as possible. This has mainly been achieved through the cannibalisation of existing engines for parts or outright replacement, but with a finite number of assets available, this approach is not sustainable in the long term.” The engine took just one month to disassemble, Nypels adds, “APOC already has a great working relationship with AFI KLM E&M, so it made sense to partner with one of their Group companies on this project, plus Bonus Tech is a known industry leader in engine teardowns. We have been very impressed with the high standard of their work and attention to detail, while maintaining strict turn-around times. The team have been a pleasure to work with.”

INFORM’s resource planning software to be applied by GAT: INFORM, a provider of optimisation software solutions for airlines, airports, and ground handlers, announced it was awarded a contract by GAT Airline Ground Support (Peachtree City, GA), a full-service US ground support service and solution provider, which will employ its GroundStar (GS) Planning Staff & Equipment optimisation solution. “GAT is a well-established ground support services company with a proven track record for performance excellence and high-quality customer service spanning over 40 years. We are proud that the company selected INFORM’s GS Planning Staff & Equipment solution to further advance its ongoing vision and commitment to the highest standards,” said Uschi Schulte-Sasse, senior vice president, INFORM Aviation.

Vietjet chief awarded French Legion of Honour: Vietjet President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has been awarded the Legion of Honour from the French government at the France Embassy in Vietnam. The award ceremony was attended by diplomats, high-ranking dignities from Vietnamese government and business leaders in Hanoi on 14 April. The Legion of Honour, founded by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the most prestigious, long-standing and highest order of merit awarded by the French government to individuals and organisations to acknowledge one’s special contributions. As the chairwoman of Sovico Group, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has made outstanding contributions to promoting economic, cultural, development cooperation, making strong highlights in the strategic partnership, economic cooperation between Vietnam, Europe and France, especially in aerospace industry.

Satair, Airdal sign distribution deal: Satair has signed its first commercial distribution agreement with Airdal, a company offering technical coatings for aircraft cabin components. The agreement covers the exclusive global distribution of AIRDAL Cleaner & Primer wet wipe and spray, and the AIRDAL Coating wet wipe and spray. The AIRDAL Coating is a 100 percent transparent, protective surface coating which is protected by an antimicrobial agent. The solution is approved by Airbus and can be applied to hard surfaces on any aircraft model. The AIRDAL Coating will be added to the Airbus Consumable Material List (CML) and the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) in June 2021 With the inclusion of this new product line, Satair expands its market offering of cabin protection options with a long-lasting solution that has a minimum of 12 months effectiveness and is easy to apply.

Luxaviation Group expands fleet with new Global 7500 and Legacy 650: Luxaviation Group is expanding its global managed fleet with the arrival of a new Bombardier Global 7500 and Embraer Legacy 650. The Bombardier Global 7500, the world’s largest and longest range business jet, is the first aircraft of its model to be available for charter within the UK and will operate under Luxaviation’s UK AOC at London Luton Airport. The Embraer Legacy 650 joins ExecuJet Africa, part of the Luxaviation Group, under Part 91. The aircraft will not be for commercial use. Niclas von Planta, vice president of ExecuJet Europe, says: “There is a really limited number of Global 7500s available for charter within Europe, but the demand is there, and the arrival of this new aircraft will meet the needs of our business and long-haul leisure clients, short- and longer-term. In this current pandemic, aircraft owners have been seeking experienced aircraft management companies, like us, to ensure their aircraft are managed with the upmost safety and hygiene regulations, especially when the aircraft is being used for charter.” The Global 7500 is suitable for up to 17 passengers and is capable of flying 7,700nm, the equivalent of flying from London to Hong Kong and has a top speed of Mach 0.925.

Metrojet welcomes 10th G650ER: Hong Kong-based Metrojet has welcomed its 10th Gulfstream G650ER to the fleet in March 2021. The new aircraft marks Metrojet as the Hong-Kong operator with the most G650ERs within a single fleet. “We are optimistic that the Asia business jet environment will start to recover later this year, in line with the reduction of quarantine requirements,” said Denzil White, managing director, Aircraft Management and Charter. “We congratulate and thank our professional team for delivering this beautiful aircraft from Savannah to Hong Kong, safely and on time during the very challenging circumstances of a global pandemic.” Metrojet’s Hong Kong Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) station is a Gulfstream Authorised Service Centre which has the capability to maintain the Gulfstream series up to 8C inspection. Established in 1997, Metrojet as part of the Kadoorie Group, pioneered business aviation services in Hong Kong and remains one of the foremost safety and customer-focussed business jet operators and maintenance providers in the Asia Pacific region. The company provides all-inclusive aircraft management, charter, maintenance, and aviation consultancy services to our growing business aviation customer base.

Jetstar Asia, Emirates reintroduce transit at Changi: Jetstar Asia and Emirates have reintroduced transit at Singapore’s Changi Airport, enabling passengers of both airlines to connect between Jetstar Asia’s Southeast Asian network and Emirates’ global network. The reciprocal agreement means Emirates’ passengers can arrive in Singapore and transfer to a Jetstar Asia (3K) flight to one of eight destinations including Bangkok, Clark, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Penang, Phnom Penh and Surabaya. Offering a transfer through Changi Airport, Emirates’ customers be checked through at their first international departure point for the onward connecting service. On board the Jetstar Asia flight, customers will enjoy a meal or snack and the same luggage allowance as on their Emirates flight. Available for passengers travelling from 15 April, travellers must book their entire journey on one Emirates’ booking and check with the relevant authorities to ensure they meet all the relevant entry requirements for their final destination as restrictions may apply. While in Singapore, travellers are required to wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing, in line with government regulations and Jetstar Asia’s Fly Well program. Access to all other destinations in the Jetstar Asia’s scheduled network will be subject to regulatory approvals once border restrictions are lifted.

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