AAV News in Brief 22 February 2021

Cathay Pacific, SATS, Aviator Airport Alliance, Antonov, Magnetic Engines, Christchurch Airport, dnata, Vistara, Jetcraft, AeroLab, Aerofutur, ALSIM, Air Côte d’Ivoire, Airbus, Brisbane Airport, Virgin Australia, Qatar Airways, IATA, Skyguide, FREQUENTIS

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Use this oneCathay Pacific delivers vaccines to Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific announced it has flown the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to Hong Kong onboard Flight CX391 from Beijing as the airline continues to support the Hong Kong SAR government’s vaccination programme. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “This is an important milestone in Hong Kong’s fight against COVID-19 and we are immensely proud to be doing our part in this fight. It is a successful effort, which involves close collaboration with the Airport Authority of Hong Kong, and many of our industry partners and business associates. The one million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines were loaded inside six temperature-controlled Envirotainer e2 RAP containers to maintain the vaccine temperature range of 2-8゜C. The shipments were loaded closest to the aircraft doors to allow for priority unloading and upon arrival the aircraft was parked at the South Apron closest to the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport to reduce the towing time between the parking bay and the cargo terminal.

SATS offers off-airport dining: Singapore’s SATS, a provider of Food Solutions and Gateway Services, unveiled a new dining concept for Singapore General Hospital (SGH) that showcases its culinary expertise and digital capabilities in the new food & beverages landscape. Diners are now able to taste SATS’ signature dishes such as its popular laksa even when they are not travelling, through a contactless dining experience at Singapore’s first hospital. The SGH Housemen’s Canteen offers healthcare professionals and members of the public a safe and exciting new dining experience without compromising choice. SATS taps on decades of culinary expertise and its tiered kitchen capabilities to provide a wide-ranging menu that is curated based on data analytics derived from a smart kiosk and online ordering system. A selection of meal components such as SATS’ signature sauces and soups will be cooked in large batches in its central kitchens, before each dish is freshly assembled and prepared in front of diners. Behind the scenes, the contactless operation involves four stations in the kitchen – the hot kitchen, regeneration station, assembly station, and packing station – manned by just five kitchen staff who work with precision.

Aviator Airport Alliance expands operations: Following a previously secured agreement with Scandinavian Airlines in late July 2020, Aviator Airport Alliance AB successfully launched the start-up of ground handling operations for the airline across multiple airports in Norway. Over the next five-year period, commencing February 1st, 2021, Aviator will be the provider of ground handling and de-icing services for SAS at the airports in Bergen, Tromso and Kristiansand. These 3 new collaborations come as a valuable addition to the previously established SAS/Aviator partnership at Bardufoss airport. As a full-range provider of aviation services across 15 airports in the Nordic region, the operational start-up of ground handling services provision by Aviator was initiated simultaneously at the three airports. The extensive preparation from Aviator to position its teams and equipment to meet the demand and relative size of SAS’ operations has resulted in the profound success of the start-up.

Antonov delivers power generation rotor: Antonov Airlines and Rhenus Projects Logistics USA completed the urgent transport from Ghana to India of a 54-tonne rotor used to generate power requiring immediate repairs. Fellow members of The Heavy Lift Group (THLG), Rhenus Project Logistics USA, chartered the flight to carry the 10.50 m long, 3.89 m wide, 4.13 m high rotor from Accra, Ghana, to Mumbai, India, and back. Antonov Airlines used loading equipment designed by its in-house engineering team, while the external cranes for loading and unloading at airport were arranged by Rhenus Project Logistics USA to ensure the highest levels of safety for the teams and cargo. Antonov Airlines developed technical instructions and Rhenus Project Logistics USA assisted the client in redesigning the skid to ensure the bladed rotor fitted inside the fuselage. “This transport operation required well-coordinated preparation and actions from both partners to fly such outsized and heavy cargo safely,” said Vladyslav Ishchuk, commercial executive, Antonov Airlines.

Magnetic Engines performs combustion chamber replacement: Magnetic Engines, a subsidiary of Magnetic MRO Total Technical Care provider for aircraft operators and lessors, has performed its first combustion chamber replacement on a CFM56-7B engine. Combustion chamber replacement is one of the new services added to the company’s capabilities list after the purchase of new tooling last year and one of the first projects since the new brand launch last month, performed by the team under Magnetic Engines name. “This was a historical event for the engine shop, a small step for mankind but a big change for us. We strongly believe that demand for light and hospital repairs will grow even higher as the airlines and asset owners would be trying to optimise its cash flow and perform lighter repairs or modular replacements where possible postponing overhauls for the future. And our newly extended capabilities when we can offer hospital repair in the engine hot section, replacement of LPT Major module and partial repair of LPT Major module, replacement of Fan modules, and so on will allow us to support the majority of hospital repairs on CFM56-3, CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B engine types and provide airlines and asset owners with fast and efficient repair solutions,” said Alexey Ivanov, executive sales director at Magnetic Engines.

Pandemic, not panic, reflected in Christchurch Airport financial results: Christchurch Airport is citing lessons learned from the quakes, extensive changes it made to its business across 2015-2019 and its preparation for events like a pandemic, for its ability to pivot to a domestic operating model that can essentially break even while the pandemic’s impact on the borders evolves. Net Profit after Tax (NPAT) for the first half of financial year 2021 (FY21) – July to December 2020 – was NZ$1.2 million. Total operating revenue was NZ$66 million, down 31 percent compared to the same period last year. Rates and insurances rose by 12 percent (or NZ$680,000), all other core operating costs were compressed. EBITDAF was NZ$34.3 million. Passenger numbers were down 51 percent. There was strong growth in dedicated freight flights from Christchurch during the six months (up 22 percent) and ecommerce driven parcel freight volumes increased circa 25 percent.  Noting the same period last year had no COVID-19 impact with open borders and essentially no contribution from the Novotel Christchurch Airport.

dnata stays ahead in keeping cargo cool in Australia: dnata continues to invest in equipment to further enhance its pharma handling capabilities globally. The company has added four high-tech ‘cool dollies’ to its Australian cargo fleet, becoming the first air services provider to offer a fully integrated, temperature-controlled cool chain for pharma and perishable shipments in this important market. Offering a closed, temperature-controlled system, the specialised containers will ensure safe and seamless delivery of temperature-sensitive goods, including pharmaceuticals and vaccines, between aircraft and dnata’s state-of-the-art cargo facilities. dnata will operate two cool dollies each at Sydney Airport (SYD) and Melbourne Airport (MEL), providing maximum safety to airline partners and their customers at every stage of the handling process.

Vistara starts services to Frankfurt: Indian carrier Vistara, a joint venture of Tata  Group and Singapore Airlines, has inaugurated its non-stop flights between Delhi and Frankfurt, under the travel bubble agreement between India and Germany. The airline will fly between the two cities twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. Vistara Chief Executive Officer Leslie Thng said, “the launch of our services to Frankfurt is another important step ahead in our commitment towards growing our global network and strengthening our presence in Europe. As one of world’s busiest aviation hubs, Frankfurt promises great opportunities for India’s best airline to grow in the global market. We are sure that travellers will appreciate having the choice of flying India’s favourite airline on this route.”

Jetcraft starts 2021 strong with Praetor 600 sale: Jetcraft is celebrating the completion of the world’s first transaction of a pre-owned Embraer Praetor 600. The sale of the super-midsize jet completes a landmark triple crown for Jetcraft, after the company facilitated transactions for the first pre-owned Gulfstream G500, and one of the first pre-owned Bombardier Global 7500s not long after certification. Chad Anderson, President at Jetcraft, says: “The Praetor 600 is one of the world’s newest, and most disruptive private jets, capable of flying further than any other super-midsize with non-stop travel between London to New York, or Oslo to Dubai. As we continue to see fresh innovations from OEMs, we’re witnessing a step-change in ownership patterns. Some buyers are seeking to quickly upgrade their aircraft to the latest model, meaning a pre-owned jet can now be available a year or two after its original certification.” The Praetor 600 transaction builds upon positive momentum for the company. Jetcraft’s 2020 sales were consistent with previous years despite the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw an essential halt in aircraft sales during Q2.

Aeroplay Entertainment’s AeroLab joins Trusted Partner Network: Aeroplay Entertainment’s Mumbai-based Lab facility, AeroLab, has joined the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) for global content security. TPN is a joint venture between two major entertainment industry associations, the Motion Pictures of America (MPA) and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) for conformance with the MPA content security best practices. Aeroplay Entertainment reviewed and made the necessary changes to its policies, infrastructure, and security system to obtain the TPN certification. These changes will enable Aeroplay Entertainment to provide the highest level of security required to keep all data protected and private for its clients and partners (studios and distributors).

Aerofutur in France chooses the ALSIM ALX: The ATO Aerofutur, located at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, has recently purchased an ALSIM ALX simulator to enhance its training. The ALSIM ALX provides up to four classes of aircraft–from single engine piston, twin engine piston, twin turbine up to medium category twin jets (generic B737/A320). The device is designed and approved for ATPL, CPL, APS/MCC in compliance with all current regulatory standards. The ALX offers advanced technology simulation equipment tailored to all specific training requirements. In addition, it has a proven track record for cost- effectiveness and helps save numerous aircraft hours. “We were impressed by the great reactivity of Alsim’s teams, which came and visit us to understand our needs. Their extensive experience with more than 400 simulators worldwide comforted us in our choice.” according to Lionel Marti, manager and head of training of Aerofutur.

Air Côte d’Ivoire receives its first Airbus A320neo: Air Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast’s flagship carrier based in Abidjan, has taken delivery of its first A320neo, becoming the first operator of the type in the West-African region. This latest generation aircraft will join Air Côte d’Ivoire’s existing Airbus fleet of six aircraft. With improved levels of efficiency, the new aircraft will be deployed on Air Côte d’Ivoire’s regional network to serve Senegal, Gabon and Cameroon. Destinations like South Africa will be added at a later stage, highlighting the operational flexibility of the A320neo. Powered by CFM Leap-1A engines, the aircraft is configured in a comfortable two-class layout with 16 seats in Business and 132 seats in Economy Class. Passengers will benefit from the widest cabin of any single aisle aircraft, high-speed Internet connectivity and latest generation in-flight entertainment system. Air Cote d’Ivoire’s first A320neo took off from Toulouse carrying 1 ton of humanitarian goods including medical equipment and toys. In partnership with Aviation sans Frontières and the Airbus Foundation, the mission is part of Air Côte d’Ivoire’s corporate social responsibility initiative. The transported goods will serve local NGOs in Abidjan, thus supporting the education and health sector in the country.

BAC welcomes new Virgin Australia services: Brisbane residents will have more opportunities to travel from Brisbane Airport (BNE) following Virgin Australia’s commitment to bolster its domestic network over the Easter holidays. There will be an additional 25 domestic flights each week across five destinations – Cairns, Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine), Launceston, and Hobart. Gert-Jan de Graaff, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) Chief Executive Officer, welcomed Virgin Australia’s commitment to tourism recovery and says it was good news not only for Brisbane Airport, but for the entire domestic network. “Expanding services to meet pent up travel demand and ever-increasing consumer confidence is a positive sign that we are moving in the right direction,” de Graaff said.

Qatar Airways offers ‘Zero-Touch’ IFEC: Passengers travelling on board the airline’s Airbus A350 fleet will soon be able to access the award-winning Oryx One in-flight entertainment system through their own personal electronic devices, minimising the risk of COVID-19. The award-winning airline will also become the first airline in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to offer passengers the option to pair their personal Bluetooth headphones with the seatback IFE system in all cabins on the Boeing 787-9 fleet. The Zero-Touch technology, introduced in partnership with the Thales AVANT IFE system, will enable A350 passengers to pair their personal electronic devices (PEDs) with their seat-back IFE screen by connecting to ‘Oryxcomms’ Wi-Fi and simply scanning a QR code displayed on the screen. They can then use their PEDs to navigate and enjoy more than 4,000 options on offer through the airline’s award-winning Oryx One in-flight entertainment system, limiting the frequency of on board surface contact and providing greater peace of mind throughout the duration of their journey.

IATA’s chief economist to retire: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that its chief economist, Brian Pearce, will retire from the organisation in July 2021. A recruitment process has been launched to find a successor in time for a smooth transition. Pearce joined IATA in 2004. Since then he has built IATA’s evidence-based economic analysis capabilities into the most authoritative source of insight on aviation’s global performance. He also serves on the Association’s Strategic Leadership team. “Brian has been an amazing asset for IATA and for the entire industry. His team’s research and analysis have been powerful tools impacting how governments develop policies to realize the economic and social benefits of a successful aviation sector. And he has become the go-to commentator on economic developments in air transport. Most notable is his personal contribution to promoting the airline sector’s progressive economic liberalization, achieving an historic agreement to manage aviation’s climate change impact, and helping the world understand the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis on aviation. Brian will leave IATA having set a very high bar for its trusted economic analysis. We wish him the best for a well-deserved retirement that will no doubt include endeavors that keep him close to aviation developments,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Frequentis FVCX-IPSkyguide expands collaboration with FREQUENTIS: Skyguide, a member of FABEC, is evaluating the Frequentis next generation IT voice communication system, VCS3020X, and its ability to support the next phases of implementing its virtual centre strategy, within its One Voice Programme. With its Virtual Centre Program Skyguide is a pioneer and innovation leader in the ATM industry. The Frequentis solution is the first ATM-grade IT VCS on the market and considered to be a good fit for the program. Skyguide’s Virtual Centre strategy will renew and transform its communications infrastructure, moving away from individual, siloed systems to a fully software driven IT system. This strategy is fully in line with the needs of future ATM operations. The IT approach will harmonise the technology and leverage the implementation of data centres, whilst creating more resiliency and flexibility for Virtual Centre operations.

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