AAV News in Brief 5 July 2021

AAR, AirAsia, ST Engineering, StandardAero, Signature Aviation, Etihad, OQ Technology, Travelport, Emirates, flypop

global air traffic
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AAR signs agreement with Druck: AAR has signed an agreement with Druck, a Baker Hughes business, to offer global aircraft-on-ground (AOG) support for a range of engine pressure sensors. This service will be performed through AAR´s customer support team and worldwide warehouses network. Complementing existing solutions provided to AAR’s client base, this multi-year agreement will prevent parts supply delays and provide customers with immediate access to pressure measurement technology. Druck sensors will be used to support applications such as: hydraulics; environmental control systems; fuel monitoring; auxiliary power unit operations; engine measurement; air data measurement; and cabin pressure. “We are excited to add Druck´s pressure sensors to our portfolio to enhance our existing AOG solutions for customers,” said Darren Spiegel, AAR vice president and general manager OEM Solutions. “The AAR AOG team already supports a global customer base with parts supply and the addition of Druck’s industry leading pressure sensors will complement our existing sensor and LEAP product offering.”

AirAsia’s BigPay applies for banking licence: AirAsia unit BigPay has officially submitted its application for a digital banking licence to Bank Negara Malaysia. With its experience of launching various regulated financial products, the homegrown fintech wants to further its reach. BigPay has put together a strong consortium of strategic partners to support its application including Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF), Ikhlas Capital and a foreign conglomerate with fintech expertise. Each of the consortium partners is contributing something unique for the success of BigPay Bank. In addition to the consortium partners, BigPay is part of the AirAsia Group and has access to a broad ecosystem that includes e-commerce merchants and consumers, insurance and telecoms. Over the past four years, BigPay has added a number of regulated financial products to its offerings, from e-money and international remittance to micro insurance and budgeting, with the goal of being a one-stop solution for Malaysians’ financial needs. In the coming months, BigPay will launch a number of new services – including responsible credit, micro savings and an offering for mSMEs and freelancers.

ST Engineering breaks ground on new US hanger: ST Engineering celebrated the groundbreaking for a new aircraft maintenance hangar at the Pensacola International Airport. The construction of the new hangar is the first phase in the development of a 655,000 sq. ft airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) complex that was originally announced in October 2018. The project expands on an existing two-bay widebody hangar operated by ST Engineering. When fully completed, the expansion will add three large state-of-the-art hangars and associated support shops, and around 1.5 million labour hours to ST Engineering’s annual capacity in Pensacola. The total development cost for the airframe MRO complex is budgeted at $210 million, funding for which comes from ST Engineering, Triumph Gulf Coast, the City of Pensacola, Escambia county, the state of Florida and other state and federal organisations. The complex is expected to bring about 1,300 jobs to Pensacola. When combined with the first hangar, the total number of jobs at the facility will reach about 1,700. To meet the future demand for talent expected at the facility, ST Engineering is evaluating the creation of an Aviation Training Academy that would add an additional 150 graduates a year to the local aviation maintenance programmes.

StandardAero buys Signature Aviation’s engine repair business: StandardAero announced that it has received all required regulatory approvals and officially completed its acquisition of Signature Aviation’s engine repair and overhaul (ERO) business. Signature’s ERO business is an engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider made up of the following five entities: Dallas Airmotive, H+S Aviation, W.H. Barrett Turbine Engine Company, International Governor Services (IGS) and International Turbine Service (ITS).  ERO is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with two overhaul facilities, (one in Dallas and the other in Portsmouth, England), 10 regional turbine centres, one component MRO site and two parts/distribution facilities. Like StandardAero, ERO is an OEM-aligned engine MRO services provider. ERO employs approximately 1,100 people with annual revenues approaching $500 million.  Its customers include regional airlines, commercial transportation providers, corporate flight departments, private operators, government agencies and defence departments. The newly combined company now has nearly 6,600 employees in 55 locations across six continents.

Etihad lands at reopened Phuket: Etihad Airways was the first international flight to land in Phuket to mark the reopening of tourism to Thailand. The airline will operate three weekly flights to the island of Phuket, helping to support the recovery and bring tourism back to Thailand. Martin Drew, senior vice president Global Sales and Cargo, said: “Etihad’s return to Phuket is a fantastic step forward as we reopen a very popular holiday destination for travellers from the UAE, and we’re proud to be the first international flight to arrive since the pandemic halted travel last year. Holiday makers from Europe and further afield can also easily connect through Abu Dhabi and on to Phuket and can enjoy the benefits of flying in safety and comfort on Etihad’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.” To further support the return to travel, Etihad has extended its ‘Verified To Fly’ travel document initiative, enabling travellers to validate their COVID-19 travel documents before arriving at the airport, to routes across its global network.

OQ Technology expands its business: OQ Technology has announced several milestones that will bring the 5G IoT satellite operator closer to its goal of providing commercial Internet-of-things and machine-to-machine services using 5G connectivity across the globe. Among its recent steps to expand its business are the successful launch of its Tiger-2 satellite aboard the SpaceX Transporter-2 rideshare mission organised by Spaceflight Inc., a fourth ESA contract for a 5G agile network configuration via satellite, the installation of a new ground station in Luxembourg and its newly established LEO Constellation Control Centre. Tiger-2 s the company’s first commercial 5G IoT nanosatellite to provide basic commercial IoT and M2M services, using 5G connectivity. OQ Technology’s planned constellation will consist of more than 60 spacecraft to offer 5G IoT services in remote and rural areas. Tiger-2 will be followed by MACSAT, an ESA-supported agile nanosatellite mission dedicated to 5G Internet-of-Things (IoT) in low Earth orbit (LEO). The MACSAT satellite will be able to process a high capacity of 5G enabled devices. MACSAT is led by OQ Technology and funded by the Luxembourg Government through an ESA contract in the Luxembourg National Space programme (LuxIMPULSE).

Travelport and Emirates reach agreements on content: Travelport and Emirates announced they have reached a commercial agreement that will allow Travelport-connected travel agencies to avoid the airline’s surcharge on bookings via Global Distribution Systems (GDS) that will be introduced from 01 July 2021. Furthermore, the companies announced a new long-term agreement to enable the distribution of Emirates NDC content via Travelport’s next-generation platform, Travelport+, and an extension to its longstanding IT agreement. As of 1 July 2021, Travelport’s global network of travel agency partners will automatically be upgraded to a dedicated channel that provides access to un-surcharged content. These agencies will also continue to benefit from a graphically rich experience when searching for and booking Emirates branded fares, as well as greater access to its ancillary offers, thanks to a long-term extension of the airline’s existing agreement to use Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising tool. As part of the deal, Travelport-connected agencies will be able to gain simplified access to Emirates’ NDC content and services via Travelport Smartpoint and the company’s enhanced RESTful / JSON APIs once the agencies sign new NDC specific agreements with both companies. Travelport and Emirates continue to progress the NDC technical solution for travel retailers worldwide and are now in the process of developing enhanced features and functionality that will, when complete, be gradually rolled out.

flypop confirms London Stansted as UK airport base: flypop has confirmed that London Stansted Airport will be its first UK airport base. The flypop team see strong long-term demand for direct flights between the UK (STN) and key ‘secondary cities’ of India. London Stansted offers excellent connectivity, especially with its rail links into both London and the Midlands. Navdip Singh Judge, CEO of flypop, said, “During the pandemic we have been in talks with a number of UK airports and we can now confirm London Stansted as our first UK base. London Stansted Airport has a history of being the base for low-cost carriers and we feel it is the perfect fit for our passengers. flypop is focused on serving the Indian and South Asian diaspora communities living in the UK and their visiting friends and relatives, for whom London Stansted is the most convenient airport location.”

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