China aviation market headed for slump: China’s domestic aviation market appears to be entering a renewed slump as the 12 February Lunar New Year approaches, raising the prospect of sharply curtailed travel demand over the holiday period, according to Cirium, an aviation data and analytics company. The seven-day rolling average for daily domestic passenger jet services flown fell to just over 8,600 on 25 January. This was down almost a third from the peak of over 12,600 flights recorded in early October 2020 – which marked the pinnacle of the dramatic recovery from the downturn caused by the first wave of Covid-19 infections at the start of the year – and was higher than the pre-pandemic peak of 2019. The latest reduction in activity was spread across all major operator groups. Many hundreds of millions of people who would normally travel to visit relatives to celebrate the Lunar New Year have reportedly been told by officials to stay at home. An increase in coronavirus cases in Hebei province around Beijing, together with other isolated outbreaks in the country, meant that holiday travel overall is expected to be 40 percent down on 2019, according to China’s transport ministry. As of 25 January, Cirium classified just under 300 passenger jets with Chinese operators as being in storage, with nearly 3,500 remaining in service. On this date, just over 2,400 aircraft were tracked operating at least one domestic flight – 15 percent down on the equivalent day last year – while average flight hours per active aircraft were down 14% year-over-year at just over 6.1.
Governments should standardise travel requirements GBTA says: As the governments of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union broaden or impose quarantine periods for international travellers, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) said, “the business travel industry and its millions of jobs globally continue to support all necessary and practical measures to make travel safe again. These measures, put in place to mitigate risk, protect travellers and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, should continue to be science-based and to strike the appropriate balance between public health and protecting the global economy. However, the move toward quarantines, despite multiple studies that question their effectiveness, is a real problem. The science suggests that quarantines rank far down the list of effective COVID-19 mitigation measures. Pre-departure testing can help ensure the safety of travellers and residents, while allowing essential international travel to take place without compromising public health. At a time when the business travel industry continues to fight for its existence, a comprehensive approach that does not embrace quarantines can help stop the pandemic and stop the further proliferation of job losses and financial ruin.”
Boeing 787 VIP delivered by SR Technics: SR Technics VIP Consultancy Services Team announced the delivery of a Boeing 787 VIP aircraft from a VIP completion centre. The aircraft was handed over to the customer in December 2020 with the assistance of the SR Technics program management team and in close cooperation with the customer and the completion centre. The services and work rendered as part of the B787 interior completion ran the full gamut, starting with the project concept and tender all the way to the redelivery acceptance. They included interior design oversight, daily program management together with cost management and scope of work compliance supervision as well as change management, monument inspections, and aircraft redelivery support.
APOC Aviation signs landing gear exchange deal: APOC Aviation’s specialist landing gear division has concluded its first landing gear deal with Avion Express Malta, the Maltese-based ACMI and aircraft leasing operator. An overhauled A321-200 from stock replaced the old gear which APOC took in exchange. With several A320 family and B737NG assets already out on lease, or in active exchange programmes, the company worked closely with Avion Express Malta to finalise the deal. Karolis Jurkevicius, vice president for Landing Gear Trading – APOC Aviation said: “Avion Express Malta has been a significant customer for APOC’s comprehensive narrow body parts service, so we’re particularly pleased to see them join a growing number of discreet LDG customers across leading airlines and MROs worldwide that are using our specialist service. Finding ways to support operators at this time is vital and if, through our investments, we can help them turn their opportunities into sustainable business for the future, then we’ve done our job.”
Leonardo signs JB for composites: Leonardo and Solvay announced the launch of a joint research lab dedicated to the development of novel composite materials and production processes critical for the future of the aerospace industry. This collaboration represents an important milestone in enabling a step-change in composite part manufacture and in reducing environmental impacts. The Leonardo Solvay Joint Lab will focus on thermoplastic “engineered materials” and in particular on welding and automatic lamination (in-situ consolidation) of complex and large aerospace structures with the goal of maximising product properties, increasing part production efficiency and extending the product life cycle. The focus is on thermoplastic composites as they offer unique benefits to users such as lightweighting for more fuel efficient aircraft and they do not require autoclave for part consolidation thus enabling the development of much more sustainable production lines. Leonardo and Solvay believe that this agreement will be the foundation for further platform collaboration on short and mid-term applications in aerospace and beyond.
Singapore Airlines launches Kris+ in India: Singapore Airlines has rolled out its recently launched lifestyle app Kris+ in India. The app is a platform that brings payment, lifestyle and rewards services together under one umbrella for its customers. In India, Kris+ combines the best in dining, retail and entertainment discounts, which will allow KrisFlyer members to get the most out of their membership even without flying. Kris+ launches with 32 local partners across more than 1,500 outlets in the country, providing customised deals with privileges especially curated for our customers. More partners will be progressively added in the coming months. In addition, customers who travel to Singapore from India can also enjoy special offers and rewards at over 750 merchant outlets. Kris+ is also progressively adding more partners and merchants in Singapore and overseas in selected destinations to the platform.
Vision-Box and Airside announce strategic partnership: Vision-Box, a provider of biometric recognition, digital identity, and travel management solutions, announced a strategic partnership with US-based digital identity company Airside Mobile, best known for the Mobile Passport App. The partnership offers an enhanced safe, secure, and touchless platform for all stakeholders along the travel experience involved in managing verified identity credentials, including trusted health data. Integrating Airside’s Digital Identity & Health Passport App with Vision-Box’s Identity Management Platform, Orchestra, allows travellers to safely and securely move along their entire journey using their mobile device.
CPaT awarded new contract with Royal Air Maroc: CPaT Global announced it has been awarded a new contract by Royal Air Maroc (RAM) for initial and recurrent training spanning a variety of fleets, including the B737-MAX-8, B737NG, B787, E190, B747-400, 747-8, and B767-300. RAM will be implementing CPaT’s Aircraft Systems Courses, Interactive Diagrams, and Aviation Specialty Courses (General Subjects) for their training curriculum. “CPaT is excited to partner with RAM, Morocco’s largest and national carrier, as well as one of the largest carriers in the continent of Africa,” said Greg Darrow, CPaT’s vice president of sales. “This strategic contract highlights that RAM is dedicated to providing its pilots with the very best training on the market.”
Air New Zealand opens new cargo route to Guangzhou: Air New Zealand has opened a new cargo route to Guangzhou, China, a first for the airline. Air New Zealand is operating three return services to Guangzhou this week to support the export and import of premium goods over the Chinese New Year peak. From next week, the airline will operate two multi-stop services a week using its Boeing 787-9 fleet to pick up goods in Auckland and Christchurch to carry to Guangzhou. Flights to Guangzhou will carry local premium export goods including seafood and milk powder, and flights to New Zealand will carry PPE, electronics and other general cargo.
Diehl wins contract extension for Dreamliner lights: Diehl Aerospace, a unit of Diehl Aviation, has secured a contract extension from Boeing for the delivery of the interior lighting system for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The initial contract for the development and serial production of LED interior lighting for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner had been agreed in 2005. Diehl has continuously improved its interior lighting product on the aircraft type and is now in the position to provide a new generation of LED solutions, offering significant cost reductions while maintaining its outstanding quality performance and optical appearance. The cabin lighting system for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been the first all-LED mood-lighting system for the civil aviation market, designed and developed back about two decades ago by Diehl. The current contract expires by end of 2022. The two companies agreed on a prolongation into the next decade.
Thales promotes SBAS African trials for Australia and New Zealand: Thales Alenia Space recently carried out tests in Africa of the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) with partners including the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, ASECNA, and Nigerian Communications Satellite. Following the successful broadcast of a SBAS (Satellite-Based Augmentation System) signal over Africa & the Indian Ocean (AFI) region, including receipt of a SBAS signal at the Optus Satellite teleport in Western Australia in October 2020, the first SBAS opened in Africa. The goal of the flight demos was to show in real configuration the efficiency of the technology developed in the frame of the early open service as part of the SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean programme which pursues the autonomous provision of SBAS services over the continent, to augment the performances of the satellite navigation constellations GPS and Galileo. These advances in SBAS Safety of Life services demonstrate the significant benefits for regional aviation in Australia and New Zealand from an aviation certified SBAS. Many small and medium-sized airports are unable to afford ground-based navigation aids such as an instrument landing system (ILS). By utilising SBAS Services, these airports have the potential to make landing in remote locations much safer, increasing the opportunity to grow future travel to the regions.