AAV News in Brief 25 February 2022

Vietjet, Etihad Cargo, IAMA, Emirates, Vistara, AviaAM Leasing, Gazprom Neft, Qatar Airways Cargo, Air Cargo Belgium, PayCargo, TruTrip, Collinson, Satair, Joramco, Pegasus, IATA, FL Technics, Dassault Aviation


Vietjet to double flight frequency on Ho Chi Minh City-Bangkok route: Vietjet will operate up to six round flights per week between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi International Airport) starting this March, doubling its current frequency to diversify flight time and aviation services. Vietjet provides the largest flight capacity between Vietnam and Thailand following its flight frequency increase on Ho Chi Minh City – Bangkok route. The airline is ready to resume its entire international network following Vietnam’s fully re-opening for international travels from February 15, 2022. Previously, Vietjet has resumed commercial services connecting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City with Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok. In addition, the airlines provide complimentary COVID-19 tests for its flyers on international services boarding from Ho Chi Minh City at its appointed testing sites. Vietnamese tourists can benefit from Thailand Test & Go scheme to enter Thailand without quarantine. It is required that passengers must be fully vaccinated and has negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before departure.

Etihad Cargo launches ‘forever home’ for animal rescues: Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has launched Forever Home, to support not-for-profit live animal at risk transportation. The new policy enables the UAE’s national carrier to consider requests from bona fide rescue and animal welfare organisations for not-for-profit transportation of animals at risk. “Forever Home reflects Etihad Cargo’s desire to assist in the relocation of live animal rescue missions, which may involve animals which have been abandoned, seized by authorities, or neglected, and can range from domestic animals to endangered species under CITES and the IUCN Red List– the multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group. “This policy will ensure any rescue mission is conducted by an approved and reputable organisation in line with Etihad Aviation Group’s own ethics and compliance.” Forever Home significantly expands Etihad Cargo’s existing animal welfare and conservation policy, which commits to identifying and implementing actions to help prevent the illegal wildlife trade and encourage responsible sustainable tourism.

IAMA member passes audit: IAMA, the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, announced that its first member has passed the audit. This has been a significant milestone for the alliance and the aircraft retrofit market participants. IAMA’s primary goal has been to assure that independent aircraft retrofit members modifying aircraft through Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) projects sustain a first-rate standard. The first official audit occurred in Paris at one of IAMA’s founding members, Eclipse Technics. It was the first member to be audited by IAMA’s independent partner, Quali-audit. Now that they positively passed the audit, they have acquired the right to use an IAMA endorsement label on their modifications. Eclipse Technics is the first of many more members to be audited and helps the alliance bring the aircraft retrofit market to a higher level.

Emirates A380 set to return to Brisbane from 1 March: Emirates continues to ramp up its services to Australia to meet travel demand. In its latest expansion of services in the country, passengers travelling to Brisbane will soon be able to enjoy daily flights to the destination from 1 March. Emirates’ flagship A380 will make a comeback to the Queensland capital, also planned from 1 March. The daily flight between Brisbane and Dubai will operate as EK430/431, and will offer 14 First Class suites, 76 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 426 ergonomically designed seats in Economy Class. Barry Brown, Emirates Divisional Vice President for Australasia said: “As an international airline that has been serving Australia for over 25 years, we are especially delighted to boost our services to Brisbane, adding more seats and frequency on flights to Dubai and bringing back our signature aircraft to the Queensland capital. Since late last year, we have been busy quickly adapting our operations and boosting capacity in response to demand arising from the re-opening of our borders. As part of our unrelenting commitment to the country we have been determined to return to normalcy, where possible, as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic.”

Vistara to provide insurance to passengers: Vistara has entered into an association with Allianz Partners to provide insurance services to its customers. Vistara customers have the option to buy travel insurance while booking their domestic or international flights. The option is currently available to Indian citizens residing in India, and will be extended to other global markets, including Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Europe, in the second phase over the course of the year 2022. The optional travel insurance coverage will provide protection in various cases such as trip cancellations and interruptions, significant travel delays, missed connections, medical emergencies abroad, baggage issues etc. Insured customers will be covered for medical emergencies including COVID-related illnesses, mandatory personal quarantine, and denial of boarding due to a suspected illness.  For added convenience, Allianz Partners offers a 24/7 travel assistance hotline and concierge service for customers.

AviaAM Leasing delivers B737-800 converted freighter: AviaAM Leasing announced the delivery of a second B737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter to Bluebird Nordic, a rapidly growing Iceland-based cargo airline, offering ACMI and aull-service cargo services. As both companies are part of Avia Solutions Group, a leading global aerospace services group, the strategic synergy between AviaAM Leasing and Bluebird Nordic allows the lessee to continue accomplishing ambitious expansion plans. The B737-800BCF aircraft was converted to freighter configuration by Boeing at the Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company (GAMECO) facility in Guangzhou, China. AviaAM Leasing plans to have 25 converted aircraft of different types in the upcoming four years.

Gazprom Neft boosts jet fuel sales: Gazpromneft-Aero, the aviation fuel operator of Gazprom Neft, saw jet fuel sales increase by a third last year exceeding sales in 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic driven by innovation and strong performance in Russian airports. Total sales rose by nearly 28 percent in 2021 – around 3.7 million tonnes – with the volume of wholesale “wing” refuelling rising by 29 percent which is equivalent to 2.4 million tonnes. The company achieved strong performance at the largest Russian airports with jet fuel sales rising by 30 percent at the Moscow air hub and by 90 percent in St Petersburg. Sales rose by 27 percent and 69 percent in Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg respectively. Gazprom Neft’s blockchain platform Smart Fuel, which has been launched in 15 Russian airports, was another contributor. It increases the efficiency of financial operations and cuts payment settlement times between fuel providers and airline companies from four to five days to 15 seconds. The blockchain platform has been successfully registered in the Russian Software Register of the Ministry of Digital Development of the Russian Federation.

Qatar Airways Cargo welcomes Envirotainer’s newest innovation: Qatar Airways Cargo approved Envirotainer’s latest innovation, the Releye RAP container. Officially launched on 9 February 2022, and able to accommodate five pallets, the Releye RAP is the largest and most technically advanced product in Envirotainer’s new generation container series. Its unique features are now available to Qatar Airways Cargo customers wherever and whenever required, complementing the airline’s existing range of pharmaceutical transport solutions. Qatar Airways Cargo has offered its customers Envirotainer’s RAP and RKN active pharma containers since 2014 and was an early adopter of the first Releye RLP, launched last summer. Envirotainer’s Releye series is based on five pillars: Control, Monitoring, Autonomy, Value, and Sustainability. Similar to the smaller three-pallet Releye RLP, the Releye RAP’s unique air flow technology controls and maintains maximum temperature stability in the cargo bay. Monitoring is carried out by the Envirotainer Control Tower – a unique, dedicated service team that monitors each Releye shipment 24/7 and is immediately on hand in the case of any deviation. Extended battery life ensures greater container autonomy, while value is generated by the optimum use of cargo space within the container.

Air Cargo Belgium adopts PayCargo platform: Air Cargo Belgium (ACB) has implemented PayCargo to collect membership and event delegate fees online from its 155 members. The PayCargo solution will provide ACB members with cost-effective payment options, rapid movement of funds, heightened transparency, and improved security. “Across the globe, take up of digitalization is rapidly accelerating, and by supporting ACB with our tailored platform, we are helping them help their members to adopt a solution that is dynamic and can evolve with their industry demands,” said Christian Dornhaus, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), PayCargo. As a next step, ACB members will have the option to use PayCargo for their financial transactions within the community once the planned integration to ACB’s BRUcloud BEEhive applications has been implemented. The PayCargo solution is part of the ongoing digitalisation drive across Brussels Airport, which has seen an expansion of its Air Cargo Community capabilities and increased collaboration among industry stakeholders.

Pilots from Kazakhstan improved their skills with Mi-171A2: The crew of the Berkut State Airlines from Kazakhstan underwent annual retraining under the supplemental professional training programs for the Mi-171A2 helicopter. It was held at the aviation training centre of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant of the Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of the Rostec State Corporation). The training program included 60 hours of theoretical classes. “Such training allows us to improve our skills and knowledge gained during initial Mi-171A2 helicopter crew trainings held as part of the supply contract. The authorised body of civil aviation of the Republic of Kazakhstan has validated the enterprise’s aviation training center. According to the Kazakhstan aviation rules, pilots from this country should annually improve their skills in order to ensure flight safety,” said Nikolay Kolesov, Director General of the Russian Helicopters Holding. During the training, special attention was paid to the design and flight operation of the Mi-171A2 helicopter, its systems and units as well as the rotorcraft’s flight characteristics. The training program included study of aviation and radio-electronic equipment, practical aerodynamics, navigation, aviation meteorology, aviation communications and radiotelephony, and flight safety management systems.

TruTrip, Collinson, partner on COVID tests: TruTrip, a Southeast Asian business travel management solution company, and Collinson, the global end-to-end travel experiences, airport services and travel medical company, have announced a partnership that will enable TruTrip’s corporate customers to book a range of pre-departure COVID-19 travel tests including RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests. The partnership makes COVID-19 travel testing even more accessible for business travellers using TruTrip services from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and the UK. Available with immediate effect, the partnership enables TruTrip customers to book a COVID-19 test seamlessly and securely through Collinson’s website using a unique promotional code at their preferred in-city clinic from a given list of testing facilities. Upon completion of their test, customers will automatically receive notification of their PCR test results within 36 hours, and usually within an hour for Rapid Antigen tests, which if negative, can then be used for travel.

Satair and Joramco sign MRO deal: Satair and Joramco have extended an agreement covering the supply of consumables and expendables for the support of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The contract secures solid regional spares availabilities for Joramco and brings the benefits of costs savings, relieving the supply chain and minimising the risk of AOGs. The agreement has global coverage and is set to go into effect from 22 February 2022. Fraser Currie, Joramco’s Chief Executive Officer stated: “We are delighted to extend our long-term cooperation with Satair who will continue to be a reliable partner in our sourcing and procurement activities by ensuring and sustaining our access to parts and reducing our lead times.” Terry Stone, Satair’s Managing Director and Head of Sales and Support, EMEA, added: “This is an important step in further developing our support to MROs in the Middle East and to increase material availability for our long-trusted partner.”

Pegasus launches IATA Travel Pass: After signing an agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to be the first airline in Turkey to trial IATA’s Travel Pass, Pegasus Airlines has now successfully completed the app’s trial period and signed a commercial agreement with IATA to go live with the launch of the app on international routes. IATA’s Travel Pass, which allows guests to digitally store and manage their health-related documents required for international travel, such as their COVID-19 test results and vaccine certificates, can be used while travelling to many countries on Pegasus’ international flight network. Pegasus guests can download the app free of charge and continue safely with their travels. The IATA Travel pass combines the verification of health information in a single digital app, while allowing guests to securely and easily verify that they meet the COVID-19-related country entry requirements that have been changing throughout the pandemic. Within the scope of the app, that has been designed to protect the privacy of its users due to the sensitive nature of health-related data, the data is stored on the mobile phones of the guests instead of any central database. This gives users full control over the sharing of their personal information.

FL Technics adds two new extensions to MRO capabilities: FL Technics received two extensions within current Part-145 approval. First – to provide line maintenance services for Boeing B787 aircraft, and the second expansion of capabilities – for borescope inspections of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM series engines. The capability to service Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner opens new opportunities within the global market for wide-body aircraft in perfect synergy with our global, largest independent line maintenance network. At the same time, our team will now leverage certified services of borescope inspection of one of the most popular engines currently in the market, typically mounted on the Airbus A320 aircraft family. Each of these two developments significantly boosts FL Technics’ flexibility and open new opportunities to provide services that are in high demand across the aviation industry.

Dassault Aviation announces new Falcon service location: Dassault Aviation has announced the opening of a new company-owned service centre at New York’s Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip. The facility will initially accommodate up to five or six aircraft and provide scheduled maintenance, AOG support and pre-purchase evaluations. The service centre will be less than one hour’s flight time to 20 percent of the U.S.-based Falcon fleet and will have quick access to technical staff and parts supply at Dassault Falcon Jet’s Teterboro headquarters. Dassault has also been adding service capacity in other locations in the U.S., including Little Rock, Arkansas; St. Louis, Missouri; Stuart, Florida; and Reno, Nevada.  New enhancements in Reno include an additional maintenance bay as well, improved customer amenities, more efficient work areas and new staff additions. Heather Mirra was appointed Reno’s new General Manager, bringing exceptional knowledge of the entire service network due to her previous position as Director of Network Supply Chain, Planning and Scheduling.

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