Aviation News in Brief 1 Nov 2019

VietJet, Airbus, Mitsubishi Aircraft, AirCarbon, United Airlines, ACI APAC, Malaysia airports, AAV Sri Lanka, IFS, Ideagen, Airwork, Vistara, Korean Air, TrueNoord, ATPCO

The addition of the aircraft to its fleet will allow Vietjet to expand further its network, flying longer routes across Asia, as well as to destinations as far afield as Australia and Russia.

VietJet orders A321XLR and signs Airbus training services agreement: Vietnamese carrier VietJet has announced that it will add the A321XLR to its fleet, with a firm order for 15 aircraft and the conversion of five A321neo aircraft from its existing backlog. The airline also signed a new training agreement with Airbus Services. This will see Airbus position two new A320 family full flight simulators at the carrier’s training centre in Ho Chi Minh City. Airbus will also provide a range of training services to the airline and its instructors. VietJet will be among the first airlines to receive the A321XLR. The addition of the aircraft to its fleet will allow VietJet to expand further its network, flying longer routes across Asia, as well as to destinations as far afield as Australia and Russia. Including the most recent announcement, VietJet has now ordered a total of 186 A320 family aircraft, of which 60 have been delivered. The airline’s outstanding Airbus backlog is entirely composed of A321neo aircraft.

Mitsubishi Aircraft says Trans States cancels order: Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft said Trans States Holdings (TSH), has cancelled an order for 50 of its SpaceJet M90s because the aircraft are not compliant with US “scope clauses” in pilot union contracts. Scope clauses govern what planes pilots can fly, restricting planes heavier than 86,000 pounds (39,000kg) and with more than 76 seats from being flown on regional routes. The TSH cancellation leaves the Japanese plane maker with 163 firm orders. With an order for 100 SpaceJet M90s with options for 100 more, SkyWest Inc is the biggest customer that Mitsubishi needs to switch over. In September, regional US airline operator Mesa Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Aircraft to begin talks on purchase of 50 SpaceJet M100 aircraft from 2024 and an option for 50 additional aircraft.

Singapore aviation carbon exchange headed online: A global blockchain-based carbon exchange has been launched in Singapore to offer a market for airlines and others to trade securitised carbon emissions. The new AirCarbon Exchange, by Singapore-based AirCarbon, will provide a supply of credits, also called EEUs (eligible emission units), for those in the transportation industry to acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) offsets for compliance and voluntary purposes. The carbon credits will be securitised into tokens using blockchain technology, making them highly liquid, fungible and tradable. Each tradable token is backed by one equivalent tonne of carbon credits. AirCarbon is applying for the recognised market operator (RMO) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and aims for the exchange to be fully operational in 2020.

United Airlines names sales head for SE Asia: United Airlines has named Joanna Patterson as sales director for Southeast Asia. She will lead sales activities of United’s online markets for Singapore and the Philippines, as well as the offline sales territory in the Southeast Asia region and will be in charge of United’s strategic growth in the market. Patterson brings with her over 20 years’ rich experience in the airline and business travel industries. Her career spans senior management and sales positions in China, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Singapore.She most recently served as director of account management in Asia at FCM Travel Solutions in Singapore. Prior to that, she was a key player in growing global sales for major Chinese and European airlines.

ACI Asia-Pacific calls for Malaysian reforms on airport charges: Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific considers it a matter of urgency to finalise the reform of the aeronautical charges regulatory framework in Malaysia to provide a stable perspective to the airport operator, who will incur significant infrastructure investments over the next years. Applauding the transparent consultation process led by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM), ACI Asia-Pacific hopes the model will provide adequate incentives in infrastructure investments that are aligned with government objectives, especially in view of the critical transfer of risk of capital investment from the government to the airport operator. In response to earlier consultations with MAVCOM, ACI Asia-Pacific stressed the importance of including some critical features in tailoring the new regulatory framework to the needs of the country, the aviation stakeholders and the communities they serve. In particular, the competitiveness of airports should be measured not only in terms of level of charges, but also in terms of quality of customer service. Any charging scheme should ensure recovery of all costs at the airport network level while providing for long-term economic sustainability within the network. Lastly, after nurturing a culture of dialogue and transparency between the parties involved, a gradual transition to a dual-till system should be contemplated from the second regulatory period.

Airport Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) selects IFS applications: IFS said that Airport Aviation (Sri Lanka) (AASL), a government-owned company with statutory powers to manage and develop civil airports in Sri Lanka, will deploy IFS Applications 10 as its ERP backbone for business processes such as finance, supply chain, payroll, and maintenance across its airports. Following a comprehensive evaluation process which included a number of major ERP vendors, AASL chose IFS Applications 10 due to its versatile product features and ability to manage all core processes in a single, integrated platform. The solution will provide the company with complete process visibility in real time as well as improved information accuracy across its operations. IFS Applications 10 will be deployed at the company’s two main international airports, Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), along with the Colombo International Airport Ratmalana, Batticaloa International Airport, and Jaffna International Airport.

VietJetIdeagen secures software contract with New Zealand’s Airwork Group: The Airwork Group, New Zealand’s largest general aviation organisation, is working with software firm, Ideagen, in a project that will enhance safety management – particularly safety reporting. Ideagen’s Coruson is being rolled out to help modernise overall safety and risk management processes to replace a number of Airwork’s current systems. Coruson will be used by around 500 members of staff across New Zealand, Australia and around the world as a modern software solution for safety management, specifically to record safety issues and simplify operational performance reports for management. The software will also be adopted as a central system for the continuous monitoring of operational risk. Introducing Coruson was a logical decision for Airwork following the requirement by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand for all aviation businesses to have an approved safety management system (SMS). Following on from the successful implementation of their NZ industry-leading SMS system, Airwork identified the need for improved SMS monitoring and risk elevation became essential.

VietJetVistara receives A320neos with enhanced features: Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has received three new Airbus A320neo from its latest order of 50 aircraft from the Airbus A320neo family, placed last year in July. The new aircraft come with enhanced operational performance and cabin features including in-seat AC Power Outlet, USB Charging Ports and PED (Personal Electronic Device) holders. These aircraft also come with higher range capability, enabling the airline to fly them on longer regional international routes. A majority of Vistara’s new A320neo aircraft that will be subsequently inducted will feature enhanced performance, and all of them will offer the enhanced cabin features. One of the new aircraft is already in service. As Vistara continues to receive new aircraft in the next few weeks, it will deploy them on the Delhi-Singapore and Mumbai-Singapore routes.

VietJetKorean Air to launch facial recognition in Atlanta: Korean Air will implement facial recognition boarding in Atlanta starting 1 November. Passengers taking flight KE036 in Atlanta will be able to board after a facial recognition scan without scanning their boarding pass. Facial recognition boarding is made possible with technology that takes a photograph of the passenger’s face and automatically checks whether it matches the passenger’s passport and boarding pass information. The service is expected to enhance efficiency of identification checks and strengthen security while reducing boarding time for passengers. Korean Air is currently using airport facial recognition services in Singapore and Los Angeles, and will begin to provide facial recognition boarding services in Atlanta from November through a technological cooperation with its joint venture partner Delta Air Lines. Korean Air will also expand facial recognition boarding to New York (JFK) in December. Korean Air is also preparing for the installation of facial recognition services in line with the Incheon International Airport Corporation’s Smart Airport Plan.

VietJetTrueNoord adds US$360 million financing facility: TrueNoord has closed a new revolving warehouse finance facility of US$360 million with an uncommitted US$150 million accordion feature. This will be used by the specialist regional aircraft lessor to finance business development and expand its portfolio of 50-150 seat aircraft which includes regional jets and turboprops from Embraer, ATR and deHavilland Canada. The new facility is underwritten by Citibank, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and Royal Bank of Canada – and it supports TrueNoord’s targeted growth strategy which is endorsed by its cornerstone investors Bregal Freshstream, BlackRock and Aberdeen Standard. Citibank will act as agent and security trustee under the facility. Legal advisers Milbank acted for TrueNoord and Clifford Chance represented the banks. “These three banks further augment the strong group of financiers and investors that are supporting TrueNoord’s dynamic growth trajectory” comments Anne-Bart Tieleman, CEO. “This revolving warehouse facility provides us with additional flexibility as we source and supply new and used regional aircraft for our customers.”

VietJetATPCO signs retailing deal with KAYAK: ATPCO announced that KAYAK has signed a multi-year retailing deal with the company to integrate all three Routehappy Rich Content types: Amenities, Universal Ticket Attributes (UTA), and Universal Product Attributes (UPA) for KAYAK’s portfolio of travel brands. The content integration will help KAYAK further enhance its flight shopping displays so its customers better understand the available choices when looking for a flight. KAYAK will integrate Amenities and UTAs across its travel brands to display amenities like Wi-Fi, USB outlets, in-flight entertainment and food in its flight search results. Additionally, the UTA integration will result in an updated display that will help travellers better understand the benefits and restrictions that typically come with the purchase of a ticket. This may include seat selection, cancellations and flight changes and a more visual display with a UPA integration including photos, videos and 360 tours of the aircraft.

AAV Media Kit
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Asian Aviation
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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