AAV News in Brief 20 February 2022

Inmarsat, Harvest Technology, Emirates, Maldivian, Etihad, ACR Electronics, Aergo Capital, Aviator, Eurowings, Primoco UAV, flydocs, SGI Aviation, Bangalore International Airport, NATS, Micro Nav, Hopper, Sabre, American Airlines, Embraer, Vistara, Aergo Capital, Lynx Air, Heston Airlines, NAVBLUE

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(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

https://www.collinsaerospace.com/sustainabilityHarvest joins Inmarsat’s Velaris partner network: Inmarsat has expanded the partner network for its Velaris connectivity solution with the addition of Harvest Technology Group, an Australia-based specialist in ultra-low bandwidth livestreaming technology. The combination of Inmarsat’s Velaris connectivity solution and Harvest’s Network Optimised Livestreaming technology will allow commercial operators of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to securely stream high-definition (HD) video, images, voice and data in real-time to decision makers across the world, while utilising just a fraction of existing bandwidth resources. The ability to stream aerial footage and important sensory data allows UAV operations to be managed remotely, with an 80 percent reduction in data usage on existing networks. In addition to enhancing critical decision-making, this will also limit the risk of placing personnel in dangerous or costly environments, both in industry settings and in supporting emergency rescue, disaster relief and crisis response efforts. With Harvest’s solution, the entire remote inspection or response team, clients and any necessary third-party can securely join live UAV operations. Whether in a control room back at base, in their offices watching on their laptops, or even working from home, the team can see developments happening in real-time to offer resolutions, operational direction, and control like never before. Harvest’s UAV inspection solution enables safe and efficient Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations over Inmarsat’s Velaris satellite connectivity that set new standards for the industry.

Emirates signs MOU with Maldivian: Emirates has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maldivian, the national airline and leading domestic carrier in the Maldives, to explore codeshare, interline, and joint holiday package opportunities. The two carriers are reviewing a codeshare agreement that will enable Emirates’ customers to conveniently book and connect from Male’ to more than 15 domestic destinations and the international destinations served by Maldivian. Emirates and Maldivian will also explore opportunities to cooperate on their respective tour operating arms, to offer customers tailor-made packages including hotel stays at world class resorts and exclusive tours. Emirates launched operations to the Maldives in 1987, and the airline currently serves the island-nation with 28 weekly flights, playing a vital role with supporting the country’s trade and tourism recovery. The airline was recently crowned as top carrier in the Maldives, connecting 265,000 passengers to the island-nation from top markets including, UAE, UK, US, Russia, and Germany.

Etihad to beef up Melbourne, Sydney flights: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will increase its Melbourne and Sydney services from five-per-week to daily from 27 March 2022, offering a total of 14 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia. The new daily services will be operated using a fleet of modern Boeing 787 aircraft in a two-cabin configuration and have been timed to offer travellers a mix of morning and evening departures that provide convenient two-way connectivity to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. With the new flights and through the airline’s codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia, business and leisure travellers will have access to connecting options on a single ticket to over 80 routes on Virgin Australia’s growing domestic network. The additional flights will also increase cargo capacity between Abu Dhabi and Australia to 240 tonnes a week, supporting the flow of international trade to and from the states of Victoria and New South Wales and building on the critical airfreight services that Etihad Airways has provided throughout the pandemic.

ARTEX Distress Tracking ELT secures deals: ACR Electronics has secured key contracts with two of the three largest commercial aircraft manufacturers to supply its new distress tracking ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) with crash survivability. The supply agreements with the world’s industry leaders establishes the next generation Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) as the preferred solution to support production aircraft in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 2023 Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) initiative. The ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) is offered to the market in combination with SKYTRAC’s Autonomous Distress Tracking (ADT) system as a complete GADSS solution. Triggered by a potential distress condition from independent aircraft monitoring, the 406 MHz ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) intelligently activates and will automatically begin transmitting 406 MHz distress messages with the current location in real time while the aircraft is in-flight. The distress tracking provides the precise location of the aircraft to assist the relevant monitoring bodies in order to respond to the alert quickly and effectively using the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite network. Pilots can also trigger the ELT manually from inside the cockpit if necessary. The SKYTRAC ADT 5000 solution interfaces with the ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) to initiate a Distress Tracking transmission relaying high-resolution 4D positions of the aircraft in real-time.

Aergo Capital delivers 737-800 aircraft: Aergo Capital has successfully delivered one 2010 vintage Boeing 737-800 aircraft bearing manufacturer serial number 37247 to Alliance Aviation Group. Fred Browne, Chief Executive Officer of Aergo, commented: “We are pleased to announce the successful delivery of the Boeing 737-800 to Alliance. I would like to commend the team at Alliance those involved for the ease at which this deal was concluded, and we look forward to further developing our relationship with the airline.” Brendan McQuaid, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Aviation Group, commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the Aergo Capital team on the lease of this 737-800 and the onboarding onto our AOC. We have seen stellar growth in the past 18 months, and we hope that this transaction will be the first of many more to come.” Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP acted as lead counsel to Aergo.

Aviator signs new contract with Eurowings: Aviator Airport Alliance, a full-range provider of aviation services at 15 airports across the Nordics and a family member of one of the largest aerospace service groups Avia Solutions Group, has strengthened their partnership with Eurowings by signing a new contract. Under the new partnership agreement, Aviator will provide Eurowings with ground handling and de-icing services at the newly established airline’s base at Stockholm Arlanda airport. The contract will be in effect till 2028. Aviator has been working with Eurowings since 2019, providing them with quality ground handling services among others in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö airports. Eurowings, headquartered at Cologne/Bonn Airport, is the leisure airline of the Lufthansa Group and thus part of the largest aviation group worldwide. The new Stockholm Arlanda base will be their fifth outside the German-speaking region, further strengthening their presence in the Swedish market.

Primoco UAV gains European LUC authorisation: Primoco UAV SE has been granted a Light Unmanned Certificate (LUC) in the Specific category for the Primoco UAV One 150 by the Czech Civil Aviation Authority. This is the first time worldwide that an LUC certificate has been issued for a European unmanned fixed-wing aircraft. Overall, this is the fifth certificate issued in Europe, with the previous ones relating to unmanned rotating wing aircraft. The company’s LUC authorisation allows it to conduct flight operations within the scope of the certificate, based on internal approval of operations at the company level. This is the highest authorisation that can be achieved under existing European rules. The company intends to use the certificate for development, test and training flights, as well as for inspections of the Czech Republic’s critical infrastructure and other activities within the framework of approved operational scenarios. There are nearly 35,000 registered operators of unmanned aircraft systems in the Czech Republic, of which more than 300 fall into the “Specific” category. Primoco UAV SE was the first Czech applicant for the LUC certificate and is the first company to obtain it.

Flydocs and SGI Aviation join forces: Flydocs, the leading asset management solution provider for the aviation industry, announced its strategic alliance with SGI Aviation Services BV (SGI), to develop its financial asset management software solution. The enhanced offering will cater to a diverse range of aviation asset owners through flydocs’ digitised asset management tools. SGI Aviation will continue to benefit from the comprehensive solutions that flydocs provides out of aircraft maintenance data and its digital capabilities to ensure smooth integration with their systems and industry offerings. André Fischer, CEO, flydocs said; “We’re excited to be collaborating with SGI Aviation to disrupt the asset management sector with this new product. At flydocs, we are committed to supporting our clients to maintain the highest value of their assets with the use of advanced technology and providing exceptional support to our clients. In SGI Aviation, we have found a trusted and industry-wide respected partner supporting us in producing the best-in-class asset management software to meet the growing demands of the aviation sector. Digital asset management is an emerging way through which aviation assets can be financially, contractually, and operationally administered effectively and with our innovative approach, we will continue to generate significant efficiency gains with flawless delivery.”

Bangalore International Airport wins PEER Platinum Certification: Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) has been awarded the PEER (Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal) Platinum certification by Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI). The certification makes BIAL the first airport operator in the world to receive an outstanding score of 92/100 for its airport power infrastructure. To ensure that the BLR Airport’s power system continues to support its sustainable development goals, BIAL sought PEER certification to analyse and improve the airport’s power system performance and was awarded the ‘Platinum Rating’ based on GBCI’s rigorous certification and review process. GBCI is the one of the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body and is responsible for administering the LEED green building program. BIAL has demonstrated exceptional performance through its commitment to build sustainably. About 98 percent of the project’s distribution circuit is protected with distribution redundancy and auto restoration. It also has a 6.8 MW onsite solar PV system that supports essential services during grid failure and long-term blackout and 100 percent of its energy mix comes from renewable energy.

NATS renews deal with Micro Nav: The UK’s leading air traffic service provider NATS has renewed its contract for support services with Micro Nav for the ATC simulation installations at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Manchester Airports. Micro Nav’s BEST (Beginning to End for Simulation and Training) ATC simulator has been operational for controller refresher training at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Manchester Airports for the past nine years. In addition, the simulator is used for training for North Sea Heli traffic for the oil rigs at Aberdeen Airport, and for training on the new taxiway on the manoeuvring area at Manchester Airport prior to going to live operations. Contracting for ongoing support provides NATS help and troubleshooting ensuring the simulator use is maximised and downtime minimised. Contracting for ongoing support provides NATS with help and troubleshooting from dedicated support experts and online services, ensuring the simulator use is maximised and downtime minimised. NATS also benefit from ongoing product development, receiving regular new releases including all developed features, and a team of experts on hand to develop new functionalities as requirements evolve. The installations at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Manchester Airports will continue to benefit from Micro Nav’s first class support package, including dedicated support experts and online services, as well as an invitation to attend the annual BEST User Group, a customer event, and an opportunity to network with other users from around the world to share best practices and discuss latest advances in ATC simulation.

Hopper expands strategic technology partnership with Sabre: Sabre and Hopper, one of the world’s fastest-growing online travel agencies, announced the renewal and expansion of their long-term strategic technology partnership. Since 2012, Sabre has been a strategic partner of Hopper’s, helping the company deliver on its promise to save users time and money and make travel planning easier. Given their strong historical performance, today the two companies are committing to further elevate their partnership for the next three years, by making Sabre their primary global GDS and technology partner. Both parties have already defined a joint roadmap and will continue working closely to further evolve the online travel marketplace and customer experience. The number one downloaded travel app in the U.S. in 2021, Hopper utilises a broad spectrum of Sabre’s technology including low fare shopping APIs, post booking automation and shopping data to deliver on their commitment to find the lowest fares for customers and help them save money. As part of Hopper’s technology strategy and building on their long-term partnership, Sabre and Hopper are actively exploring opportunities to continue to co-innovate on the future of travel technology through Hopper Cloud.

American Airlines to expand Embraer Fleet: American Airlines has signed a firm order with Embraer for three new E175s. The aircraft will be operated by American’s wholly owned subsidiary, Envoy Air. With deliveries to be completed this year, Envoy’s fleet of E175s will grow to over 100 aircraft by the end of 2022. The contract value is US$160.2 million at current list prices and will be included in Embraer’s 2021 fourth quarter backlog. “Reaching the century mark of 100 E175s with American Airlines and Envoy is truly a moment to savour. We thank American Airlines and Envoy for their sustained partnership with Embraer, which began back in 1998,” said Mark Neely, Vice President Sales and Marketing for The Americas, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “It’s hard to exaggerate the impact this hardworking aircraft has every day, delivering essential connectivity across the US market. The E175 is the backbone of the US regional network, with over 600 aircraft sold, and 86 percent market share since 2013.”

Vistara plans to restore pre-COVID levels: Vistara, a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, has been gradually resuming services that were halted temporarily due to the pandemic. The airline plans to not only restore pre-COVID standards of customer experience, but to exceed it in the coming months. On its domestic network, Vistara brought back the choice of non-vegetarian meals in Economy Class on all eligible flights, effective 01 January 2022. The airline has also resumed serving tea and coffee, including Starbucks, on select routes and will progressively restart this service on all flights with flying time of 90 minutes and above. Vistara also re-introduced menu cards in Business Class, starting yesterday and will increase the choice of meals for its Premium Economy and Business Class customers soon. On international routes, Vistara has already resumed the service of hot beverages including a range of teas and freshly brewed Starbucks coffee. Effective 1 February 2022, Vistara has enhanced the choice of alcoholic beverages in all three cabin classes. On short to medium haul routes, menu cards are back in the Business Class and the airline has already made the full bar available to all customers. Vistara will be resuming these on the long-haul routes along with increasing the meal options for customers. The airline will also be improving its inflight entertainment (IFE) offerings across its domestic as well as international network by introducing a wider variety of engaging content which will be updated frequently. Since the start of the pandemic, Vistara had taken several measures including altering several processes, truncating many inflight services, intensifying sanitisation efforts etc. to maintain the highest safety and hygiene standards. The airline also, through consistent efforts, managed to get almost 100% of its staff fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Aergo Capital acquires first of three new Boeing 737-8 aircraft on lease to Lynx Air: Aergo Capital has completed a sale and leaseback of the first of three B737-8 aircraft with Lynx Air,  Canada’s newest ultra-affordable carrier.  Each of the three aircraft will be financed with equity provided by CarVal Investment funds and debt arranged by AV AirFinance. Fred Browne, Chief Executive Officer of Aergo, commented: “We are extremely happy to work together with Lynx Air and AV AirFinance on this transaction. With the closing of the first aircraft, Aergo has added a new aircraft type with the Max, a new lessee with Lynx Air, and a new financier, with AV Airfinance. We found all parties to be proactive and highly professional in this transaction which resulted in a smooth closing process. We look forward to further developing our commercial relationship with Lynx Air and AV AirFinance.” Smith, Gambrell & Russell (SGR) acted as lead counsel to Aergo, Clifford Chance acted as lead counsel to AV AirFinance and Vedder Price acted as lead counsel to Lynx Air. Matheson and Blakes advised on Irish & Canadian law respectively.

Heston Airlines chooses NAVBLUE:  Heston Airlines, a newly established airline headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania, has selected a suite of NAVBLUE’s charting solutions to support its flight operations, including Navigation+, Flysmart+, N-Ops & Crew and N-AODB. Thanks to these NAVBLUE state-of-the-art solutions, Heston Airlines’ pilots will now benefit from the most complete and accurate navigation information, enhancing the airline’s efficiency and competitiveness. Gediminas Smilgevicius – COO of Heston Airlines said: “We are impressed with the level of service and quality of support received from NAVBLUE during the implementation and day-to-day operations of NAVBLUE solutions. Being a new airline entering the global market, we came up with our specific needs and requests for the tailored solutions. Together with NAVBLUE we have found the answers to all of our questions and a solid package of various IT tools to satisfy our present and future needs.” Briac Kerihuel, Chief Commercial Officer at NAVBLUE, said: “As a new airline, Heston has again enabled NAVBLUE to prove its extensive experience on understanding airlines unique needs, listening to the customer’s requirements and providing the most efficient and cost-saving solutions for their operations. We look forward to developing our partnership with Heston in the years to come.”

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