Aviation News in Brief 1 June 2020

Metrojet, Western Sydney International Airport, Congo Airways, Embraer, AAR, Leonardo, Air Charter Association, Avion Express Malta, Qatar Airways, UNHCR, UPS, World Environment Day

(IMAGE: Shutterstock)

Hong Kong’s Metrojet completes Gulfstream work: The MRO station of Hong Kong-based Metrojet has completed a 4C inspection on a Gulfstream G650ER while working within all of the unprecedented aviation safety constrains and measures of COVID-19. “Although the COVID-19 pandemic has taken us all by surprise by its severity and resiliency, the Metrojet staff maintained their composure and continued to respond professionally and expeditiously to all of our clients’ maintenance and operational requests,” said Gary Dolski, CEO of Metrojet. “I am very proud of our team for their continued high level of service and support throughout these challenging times.” Metrojet’s HK MRO maintains a wide range of Gulfstream aircraft and are currently in the process of investing in the future G500/600 product lines, under approvals from the Hong Kong CAD, U.S. FAA, Bermuda BCAA, Canada TCCA, Cayman Island CAACI, Isle of Man IoMAR, San Marino SMAR, Thailand CAAT, Aruba DCA and Qatar QCAA.

Western Sydney International welcomes new Metro connection: Western Sydney International has welcomed the announcement by the Australian and NSW Governments that work will start this year to ensure the Airport is connected by rail. Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will be connected to Sydney’s rail network via the new Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport, set to open in time for the Airport’s first flight. Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport will have two stations on the airport site, with a station at the airport’s integrated international and domestic terminal as well as the on-airport business park, connecting passengers to St Marys in the north, as well as Orchard Hills, Luddenham and the Aerotropolis.

Congo Airways converts Embraer order: Congo Airways has converted the firm order made in December 2019 for two E175 aircraft, with purchase rights for two more, into a firm order for two E190-E2 jets, with purchase rights for a further two. The new deal has a total value of US$256 million at current list prices with all purchase rights exercised, and will be included in Embraer’s second quarter backlog. The aircraft will be configured in a dual-class layout seating 96 passengers in total, with 12 staggered Business Class seats. Deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022. This is second E2 order received from an African customer. There are currently 189 Embraer aircraft operating in Africa with 54 airlines in 27 countries.

AAR named friend of veterans: AAR has been named to the “Best of the Best 2020 – Top Veteran-Friendly Companies” list by US Veterans Magazine (USVM). USVM polled hundreds of Fortune 1,000 companies for this year’s Best of the Best evaluations. The award recognises the top US companies actively recruiting and providing a rewarding work culture for veterans, transitioning service members, disabled veterans and military spouses. “AAR is honoured to be recognised as a Top Veteran-Friendly Company,” said John Cooper, AAR senior vice president for Global Government & Defence. “Our military veterans, who comprise 24 percent of AAR’s US-based workforce, are an integral part of what makes AAR strong. We are very proud of our team and committed to supporting our veterans in hiring practices, corporate social responsibility and employee recognition.”

Leonardo awarded a contract for FAA’s distance measuring equipment system: Leonardo’s US subsidiary, Selex ES, developer of surveillance, en route navigation, and precision approach and landing systems, was recently awarded a contract by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to continue to build USA’s Distance Measuring Equipment (DME). The contract has a one-year base period and two one-year option periods. Along with the previous FAA Selex ES DME contract, Selex ES expects to provide more than 200 DMEs to the National Airspace (NAS). Work will be performed in Overland Park, Kansas. The scope of the contract includes programme management, systems engineering, design and development, system test and evaluation, training, production, Interim Contractor Depot Logistics Support (ICDLS), and site implementation. The DME system will help the FAA increase operational availability and performance of the NAS, supporting common and consistent interface requirements, and providing a modern system that complies with current FAA security standards.

Air Charter Association criticises UK quarantine measures: The Air Charter Association issued a statement saying it is “both surprised and disappointed” that the UK Government has introduced a new quarantine policy that will make arriving passengers in the UK isolate for 14 days. The resulting blanket quarantine policy reveals a limited understanding of all sectors of the aviation industry, features inconsistencies that discriminate against aviation professionals, and, in the case of the global air charter industry, prevents high-priority travel by decision makers that is vital to the UK’s recovery and future prosperity. This is particularly poignant as we now head towards an inevitable recession and the end of the Brexit transition period, the association said. At a time when other European nations are beginning to relax their travel restrictions, it is disappointing that the government has disregarded the safe working practices and testing regimes proposed by the Association’s members and other industry bodies which could easily be implemented to allow small numbers of passengers to travel safely across borders. If business leaders, who generate many millions of pounds of investment in the UK economy, and employ many millions of people in the UK, are unable to travel for short periods to the country, we believe this will materially worsen the economic harm for the UK economy and aviation industry and further delay their recovery, it added.

Avion Express Malta obtained FAA approval to fly to and from the US: Avion Express Malta has obtained Part 129 Operation Specification approval, issued by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to conduct passenger flights to and from the United States. The Maltese company will now be able to make wet-lease agreements with companies throughout North America. “Obtaining a Part 129 Ops Specs approval from the FAA serves as one of the most important achievements for Avion Express Malta. In November 2019 the company landed a Foreign Air Carrier Certificate from Transport Canada. We are discussing business opportunities in both of these markets with our potential clients,” said Darius Kajokas, CEO of Avion Express Malta. Avion Express Malta is a sister company of Avion Express, the leading narrow-body ACMI operator. Established in May 2019, Avion Express Malta provides ACMI and charter services to regular and charter airlines. Avion Express Malta operates Airbus A320 aircraft fleet.

Qatar Airways and UNHCR partner on aid for displaced: Qatar Airways has signed a two-year partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to provide humanitarian relief and assistance to the displaced globally. The partnership, which is a first between both organisations, will involve a strategic collaboration whereby Qatar Airways will support with the delivery of crucial aid supplies to those most in need during these unprecedented times. The agreement, which was signed in Doha on 19 May 2020 is an important synergy between Qatar Airways and UNHCR and a clear response to the current challenges that are presented by COVID-19. The partnership, which will be effective through to May 2022 will see UNHCR work closely with Qatar Airways to utilise the airline’s hub-and spoke network out of Hamad International Airport in Doha. By having access to a fleet of more than 200 aircraft, UNHCR will be able to deliver lifesaving support including water, medical care and hygiene materials to keep refugees, internally displaced people and host community members safe around the world.

UPS to match carbon offsets on World Environment Day: UPS announced the company will commemorate World Environment Day on 5 June by matching the carbon offsets of all packages shipped via its carbon neutral programme during the month of June. UPS carbon neutral counterbalances the estimated carbon impact of each shipment by purchasing certified carbon offsets. To participate, shippers pay a fee as little as the local currency equivalent of US$0.75 per package, then UPS will match these offsets throughout June. This is essentially doubling the shipper’s impact thereby allowing the shipper to potentially net out “carbon negative” in June. The optional service is available on shipments using UPS Express Plus, Express, Express Saver, Expedited, and Worldwide Express Freight services.

For Editorial Inquiries Contact:
Editor Matt Driskill at matt.driskill@asianaviation.com
For Advertising Inquiries Contact
Head of Sales Kay Rolland at kay.rolland@asianaviation.com

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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