AAV News in Brief 5 May 2021

Air New Zealand, Air China, Vietjet, Lufthansa Cargo, Orthogon, Frequentis Group, StandardAero, Air Seychelles, Topcast Aviation Supplies, Darchem Engineering

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(PHOTO: GE Aviation)

Use this onechinas-air-traffic-plunged-in-februaryAir New Zealand and Air China extend alliance: Air New Zealand and Air China have extended their strategic alliance partnership on services between New Zealand and China for a further five years. The announcement was made by Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran at the China Business Summit. Foran welcomed the extension, saying it will help New Zealand rebuild together. “China is an incredibly important market for Aotearoa, and for Air New Zealand. The renewal of our strategic cooperation with Air China will be a vital boost for our tourism industry as it recovers from the severe impact of COVID-19. Our alliance with Air China has delivered, and will continue to deliver, real benefit to New Zealand – including greater choice, extra seats and more flights into New Zealand. It’s a great example of how we can build sustainable air connectivity to and from New Zealand.” Pre-pandemic, China was New Zealand’s second-largest international visitor market (450,000 in 2019) and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend (NZ$1.5 billion). The alliance agreement was first put in place in 2015 and will be extended to March 2026, having been approved by regulators in New Zealand and China. Through the strategic alliance, services can be easily booked through either airline. Air New Zealand and Air China customers enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, such as earning and spending loyalty points and lounge access. Air New Zealand customers also receive better access to Air China’s comprehensive domestic network. For Air China customers the alliance enhances their customers’ access to New Zealand’s regions.

Vietjet reports positive performance in 2020: Vietjet Aviation has released its audited annual financial statements for the year 2020. The audited revenue of Vietjet’s parent company in 2020 was reported at VND15,203 billion (approx. US$657.9 million). Its consolidated revenue and post-tax profit after audit were VND18,220 billion (approx. US$788.4 million) and VND69 billion (approx. US$2.99 million) respectively. Vietjet recorded a loss of VND 1,453 billion (approx. US$62.9 million) in air transport, remarkably lower by 31 percent than those previously reported in its own financial statements. It has made Vietjet among few airlines in the world being able to keep their core business afloat and turning a profit in 2020. Vietjet’s total assets reached VND45,197 billion (approx. US$ 1.96 billion) while its owner equity was at VND17,325 billion (approx. US$749.7 million) including treasury shares. Its debt-to-equity ratio stayed as low as 0.66 while the liquidity ratio remained at 1.28, which is considered a good performance in aviation industry. Vietjet has made drastic cuts to operating expenses by optimizing fleet operations with a 50 percent cost reduction, negotiating a 20-25 percent discounts with suppliers while bringing down at least 10 percent of daily operating costs. The airline also successfully hedged jet fuel which helped save 25 percent of fuel costs compared to buying at market price.

Lufthansa Cargo deploys new surface on fleet: AeroSHARK, a surface film that mimics the fine structure of a shark’s skin, is to be rolled out on Lufthansa Cargo’s entire freighter fleet from the beginning of 2022, making the aircraft more economical and reducing emissions. The surface structure consisting of riblets measuring around 50 micrometres imitates the properties of sharkskin and therefore optimises the aerodynamics on flow-related parts of the aircraft. This means that less fuel is needed overall. For Lufthansa Cargo’s Boeing 777F freighters, Lufthansa Technik estimates a drag reduction of more than one percent. For the entire fleet of ten aircraft, this translates to annual savings of around 3,700 tons of kerosene and just under 11,700 tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of 48 individual freight flights from Frankfurt to Shanghai. “Responsibility for the environment and society is a key strategic topic for us,” said Christina Foerster, a member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG with responsibility for sustainability. “We have always played a leading role in introducing environmentally friendly technologies. The new sharkskin technology for aircraft shows what strong and highly innovative partners can achieve collectively for the environment. This will help us to achieve our goal of climate neutrality by 2050.” The new film was developed by BASF.

Orthogon joins Frequentis Group: Air traffic optimisation company Orthogon has joined Frequentis Group in the first step of the L3Harris acquisition. The former L3Harris Orthogon, based in Bremen, Germany, will now operate as Frequentis Orthogon. The company’s software benefits today’s crowded air traffic environment through the flexible use of resources to reduce controller workload and manage air traffic queues safely and efficiently. “We are pleased that we able to complete the takeover of Orthogon faster than expected. The solutions from Orthogon expand our range of services in relation to integrated total solutions in the area of air traffic management”, said Frequentis CEO Norbert Haslacher. “Together we can now offer our customers an even more comprehensive product portfolio with higher performance and a greater proportion of digitalisation.” The company, founded in 1987, has led advancements in air traffic queue optimisation, demand capacity management, traffic flow management, and visualisation solutions for the air traffic management (ATM) and airport industries for over 30 years. Notable are the impacts solutions have on reducing air traffic carbon emissions. Together, the products will be further marketed within the Frequentis Group and included in the range of remote digital towers and air traffic control centres.

StandardAero awarded multi-year MRO deal for Air Seychelles: Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has awarded StandardAero a multi-year contract to support the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 turboprop engines powering its fleet of DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.  StandardAero will support Air Seychelles with a range of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services from its OEM-authorised PT6A Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF) in Johannesburg, South Africa. StandardAero has a long history of providing Air Seychelles with PT6A engine MRO services, including engine overhauls, hot section inspections (HSIs), repairs and field service rep (FSR) support. StandardAero’s Johannesburg facility, which is located at Lanseria International Airport, is well known as a center of excellence for the PT6A engine family, supporting 41 variants of the engine up to and including the PT6A-140. Air Seychelles was established in 1978 and began long-haul service in 1983. As the main driver of tourism in Seychelles, it is a core pillar of the national economy. The airline offers international flights to Johannesburg, Mauritius, Mumbai and Tel Aviv as well as daily domestic flights and charter services on demand.

Topcast Aviation Supplies signs deal with Darchem Engineering: Hong Kong-based TOPCAST and Darchem Engineering have signed a three-year distributor agreement for advanced lightweight thermal and fire protection insulation systems. This agreement named TOPCAST as the exclusive distributor in Asia-Pacific region and the authorised distributor covering all regions globally. The lightweight, advanced fire-resistant insulation systems play a vital role for aviation safety for both Engine and Airframe. By using computer-aided design techniques alongside its onsite fire testing facilities, Darchem Engineering’s thermal solutions are manufactured for a range of industries including Aerospace, Motorsport, Nuclear, Oil & Gas and Defence Industries. Products are tested by a UKAS accredited and CAA approved fire test facility.

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