AAV News in Brief 8 November 2021

IFS, Viva Air, Riga Airport, Air Astana, TAE Aviation Academy, ALSIM, Rex, Vertis Aviation, Embraer, Sabre, Airbus

(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Viva Air opts for IFS software: IFS announced Viva Air has selected IFS to support its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and fleet planning operations. As one of Latin America’s leading low-cost carriers with ambitious expansion plans across South and North America, Viva Air will deploy IFS software to support maintenance planning and execution across its growing fleet of aircraft. Over the last decade Viva Air has grown rapidly across Latin America and now serves 20+ routes within Colombia and Peru, as well as international routes to Mexico and a growing number of daily flights to the US. The company has a vision to establish itself as the leading low-cost airline in Latin America, with planned international expansion into Brazil, Argentina, Chile and more countries in the region. The airline currently operates 21 Airbus A320-200 and A320neo aircraft, with fleet size expected to more than double over the next five years. Advanced maintenance software was required to match these aggressive expansion plans. Following an extensive evaluation, the decision was made to move to a cloud-based maintenance management system provided by IFS. IFS MRO and fleet planning software will provide visibility across the entire Viva Air network, bringing multiple disparate systems to a single view in order to more effectively scale the organisation. The cloud solution will be implemented and hosted by IFS partner Tsunami Tsolutions. Viva Air is the latest commercial airline customer to select IFS, joining other airline operators across the Americas including LATAM, Copa Airlines, Cape Air, PSA Airlines and more.

Riga Airport sees flights increase: Operational data on Airport performance show that in October, almost 4,800 aircraft were handled at Riga Airport, carrying 351,000 passengers or half of the number handled in October 2019, and 2,500 tonnes of cargo, which is 7 percent more than in October 2019. The number of both passenger and cargo flights increased by several percentage points in October as compared to the previous months. Despite the autumn season, when the number of passengers traditionally decreases, October has been the second most successful month for the Airport this year in terms of the number of passengers. A larger number of passengers in one month was served only in August (390,000). The total number of passengers at Riga Airport this year has reached 1.78 million, which is a drop of 73 percent as compared to the pre-pandemic year. More than half or 199,000 of the passengers served in October were carried by the national airline airBaltic, followed by Ryanair with 67,000 passengers (19 percent).

Air Astana resumes flights to Baku: Air Astana will resume scheduled flights from Almaty to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on 7 November 2021. The twice weekly service will be operated by Embraer E190 E2 aircraft on Thursdays and Sundays. The departure from Almaty on Thursdays will be at 11:05 and arrival in Baku at 12.55, with the return flight departing at 13:55 and arriving at 19:05. Departure from Almaty on Sundays will be at 18:55 and arrival in Baku at 20.50, with the return flight departing at 21:50 and arriving next day at 03:05. All times local. Flight times are 3 hours 50 minutes outbound and 3 hours 10 minutes inbound. Return airfares in economy class start at US$332, including airport, fuel and other charges. Non-Azerbaijan residents need to provide a full vaccination and a negative PCR test certificate, with the latter document obtained within 72 hours prior to departure. Citizens of Azerbaijan, employees of diplomatic missions and consulates based in Azerbaijan, together with their families, all children aged 1-18 and other categories of citizens are required to have a negative PCR test certificate obtained within 72 hours prior to departure. On arrival in Kazakhstan, passengers vaccinated outside of Kazakhstan must provide a negative PCR certificate obtained within three days prior to arrival.

Greek flight school TAE Aviation Academy buys ALSIM AL250: ALSIM announced the sale of an ALSIM AL250 to TAE Aviation Academy, an Approved Training Organisation in Megara-Athens, Greece. The AL250 simulator addresses initial phase training needs (PPL, CPL, IR/ME) and is SEP/MEP re-configurable simulator certified as an EASA FNPT II. In addition, it offers both classic and glass cockpit instrumentation for each flight model at the simple flick of a switch. This device has been extremely well received since its creation and more than 65 of these have already been installed (4 devices installed in Greece) and are in successful operation worldwide. The TAE Aviation Academy has chosen the ALSIM AL250 flight simulator (FSTD) for its IR training after nine years of serious research and comparison of the FSTD manufacturers. Captain Spyridos Gkinis, Head of training of TAE Aviation Academy said: “We received many proposals from other providers, but we knew that ALSIM is a trustful company that systematically monitor the training requirements for new pilots and the evolution of aviation in general. Besides, the after-sales support was an important part of the final decision-making process to go with ALSIM. We are always looking to provide the best practices and training to our students, and with the AL250, we can provide high-quality training for the next generation of professional pilots.”

Rex sends 737 to Singapore MRO: Australian regional carrier Rex said one of the airline’s Boeing 737-800NGs had been sent to Singapore for scheduled maintenance work at ST Engineering. The aircraft, VH-RYU, is one of six 737s in the Rex fleet and flew from Melbourne to Singapore via Darwin. The 737 is undergoing a scheduled replacement of the entire landing gear assembly in accordance with the Boeing maintenance programme. The work is being conducted by a specialist team from ST Engineering at its MRO facility in Seletar Aerospace Park. Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 60 Saab 340 and six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 61 destinations throughout all states in Australia. In addition to the airline Rex, the Rex Group comprises wholly owned subsidiaries Pel-Air Aviation (air freight, aeromedical and charter operator) and the two pilot academies, Australian Airline Pilot Academy in Wagga Wagga and Ballarat.

Vertis Aviation ramps up sales capacity: Vertis Aviation, the Switzerland-headquartered charter specialist has appointed Daniella Dawson to the newly created Head of Sales position. Vertis is also bolstering its commercial team with the addition of two charter sales executives, located in two new European offices, Paris, France and Ljubljana, Slovenia. The strategic growth reflects the rise in demand for charter from European, African, and Central European customers. Daniella is an experienced Vertis team member and has been integral in shaping the company’s growth by successfully developing and managing government, head-of-state and high-net-worth individual charters. In her new role she will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the international charter sales team, development of the Vertis Charter Management Program and supporting new recruits Margaux Laplaine in Paris, and Karmen Bukvic in Ljubljana. The creation of the Head of Sales role frees up the executive team to increase focus on global strategic development.

Embraer earnings: Brazilian planemaker Embraer said on 5 November that it was forecasting positive annual cash flow for the first time since 2017 despite a third-quarter loss. Embraer reported a net loss of US$45 million in the third quarter, improving from a loss of US$121 million a year earlier. Adjusting for non-cash currency effects and other one-time items, the company booked a net loss of US$34 million. “We are very happy that only one year after the worst downturn in the aerospace history, Embraer will generate positive free cash flow,” Embraer CFO Antonio Carlos Garcia said on a conference call. The firm reported quarterly net revenue of US$958 million, up 26 percent from a year earlier, supported by double-digit growth across all of its business segments.

Sabre releases new products: Sabre Corporation announced the release of the first two products in the company’s Retail Intelligence suite: Sabre Air Price IQ and Sabre Ancillary IQ for the dynamic pricing of airfare and ancillaries, respectively. Sabre Air Price IQ increases airlines’ pricing agility and precision by allowing airlines to adapt quickly to changing marketplace conditions. Considering traveller segment and trip intent from the shopping request, the product supports an airline’s efforts to maximise revenue opportunities while providing a seamless experience to travellers. Sabre Ancillary IQ uses machine learning to present ancillary offers based on multiple factors, including real-time shopping data and purchase probability to increase incremental revenue opportunities and traveller satisfaction. As a result, airlines can deliver increased value and more choice to their travellers.

airbus-posts-loss-in-q1-as-company-faces-gravest-crisis-the-aerospace-industry-has-ever-knownAirbus introduces Airbus Scale: Airbus has launched Airbus Scale, a new unit that brings together corporate innovation, start-up engagement and company building activities. This will support Airbus’ recovery and future growth, contributing to the development of future programmes and businesses as part of the company’s zero-emissions ambition. This new unit strengthens the overall innovation landscape in Airbus and complements other Airbus innovation centres such as Acubed in Silicon Valley, the Airbus China Innovation Centre (ACIC) in Shenzhen and the Airbus UpNext technology demonstrator entity. The new innovation unit is an evolution on how Airbus approaches its internal and external innovation activities. Building on the experience gained over the past seven years with BizLab, Airbus Scale will build and grow co-funded, profitable, fully-fledged businesses and  further extend Airbus’ competitive advantage. In this approach, Airbus Scale will promote and identify internal corporate innovation opportunities that can be developed into solutions for the external world, bringing them to market and attracting external investments that could result in spin-offs, in order to generate value for Airbus. In parallel, Airbus Scale will source and partner with external later stage start-ups to mature and develop technological innovations and products, coupling in-house concepts and outside start-up intelligence for mutually-beneficial collaborations. In both cases Airbus Scale facilitates and enables a more effective innovation ecosystem.

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