Aviation News in Brief 14 January 2021

Jeju Air, Sabre, Emirates, MedAire, ATS, Wencor, PacSim, IAANZ, Singapore Airlines, BOC Aviation, Metrojet, Leonardo, Meggitt, Sichuan Services Aero-Engine, APOC Aviation, Magnetic MRO, Rex, Korean Air, Brisbane Airport

Sydney Airport
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneJeju Air, Sabre renew deal: Sabre has announced the renewal of its long-term distribution partnership with Korea’s largest low-cost Carrier (LCC), Jeju Air. The renewed agreement means that Sabre will continue to distribute Jeju Air’s content to hundreds of thousands of travel agents, and the travellers they serve, through its extensive, worldwide travel marketplace. Jeju Air typically operates scheduled domestic services between cities across South Korea as well as between Seoul and international destinations including Japan, China, Russia, the Mariana Islands, and a number of key destinations across Southeast Asia. Distributing its air content through Sabre’s Global Distribution System (GDS) will remain an important part of the carrier’s distribution strategy as the travel industry continues to strategise for recovery and growth amid the current pandemic.

Emirates Group Security appoints MedAire as a partner: Emirates Group Security – a multi-faceted organisation and part of the Emirates Group – has appointed MedAire to handle threat-prevention systems. MedAire has been appointed to provide timely, accurate and actionable information that will enhance Emirates Group Security’s (EGS) arsenal of leading-edge systems. The partnership between the companies to create a comprehensive security solution will allow for increased accuracy and decreased incidents. MedAire’s aviation security solution for Emirates Group Security will include airspace and airport assessments, 24/7 access to security/operational assistance, and security intelligence via an Aviation App and Travel Security Online Portal. MedAire’s Aviation Security services help airlines receive timely, accurate, actionable information and provide them with thorough security assessments of crew hotels and ground transport at outstations. These additional security precautions will allow Emirates Group Security – solely responsible for handling security services and its implementation across the entire Emirates Group – to leverage and deploy a safer environment in all the moving facets of the operational chain.

ATS names Wencor as distributor: ATS (Aviation Technical Services) announced an agreement with Wencor as sole distributor of its Part Manufacturer Approval (PMA) product line, approved by the FAA under ATSMRO part number references. Included in the agreement is the ATS-patented EverLatch Cargo Door Latch, a cost-effective solution designed to enhance reliability of Boeing 737NG aircraft. The arrangement targets the worldwide commercial aviation aftermarket and extends through December 2025. Engineered utilising data from airframe maintenance and component repair workscopes, ATS PMAs replace high cost, long lead time, and high failure parts. “Our PMA Program started through collaboration with one of our heavy maintenance customers and has been successful in identifying millions of dollars in savings for Boeing 737 operators,” said Brian Olsen, ATS president of Component and Engineering Solutions. “We are looking forward to increasing the program’s exposure to airlines and MROs through Wencor’s established channels.”

PacSim to provide NextGen EuroJet FTD to IAANZ: Two New Zealand aviation companies have started 2021 in a positive way by signing an agreement on a new Flight Training Device (FTD). Pacific Simulators (PacSim) will manufacture and deliver a NextGen EuroJet PS4.5 FTD to the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand (IAANZ) later this year. Both companies are based in Christchurch and see the obvious benefits of working together to strengthen the aviation sector in New Zealand. The PacSim EuroJet PS4.5 FTD is a fully enclosed, generic trainer based on the Airbus A320 and will be used for Jet Transition, Jet Orientation Training and Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) to prepare recently graduated CPL cadets for their transition to jet type ratings.

Singapore Airlines December operating results: Demand for air travel continued to gradually return, although passenger numbers remained severely constrained by border controls and the travel restrictions that are still in place in most countries, as well as further waves of the Covid-19 infection that continued into the Northern winter season, according to Singapore Airlines. The group’s passenger airlines added approximately 46 percent more capacity (measured in available seat kilometres) in December compared to a month before. Year-on-year, however, the group’s passenger capacity for December was down by 81.3 percent. Overall passenger carriage (measured in revenue passenger-kilometres) was lower by 97.1 percent, resulting in a group passenger load factor of 13.7 percent, a decline of 73.9 percentage points year-on-year. SIA’s capacity was 78 percent lower compared to last year, with the airline’s network connecting Singapore to 39 metro cities – up from 36 in November – with the addition of Colombo, Nagoya and San Francisco. Passenger carriage declined 96.5 percent. Based on current schedules, as of end-March 2021, the SIA group’s total passenger capacity is expected to be at around 25 percent of pre-COVID levels.

BOC Aviation reports operational data: BOC Aviation announced its operational transactions for the fourth quarter and year ended 31 December 2020 and as at 31 December 2020. Robert Martin, managing director and CEO, said, “we are pleased to record a robust operational performance in 2020, executed in a challenging environment. We supported our airline customers and added high quality assets to our portfolio, including taking delivery of our 300th Boeing aircraft. During the year, we took delivery of 54 aircraft, 16 of which were delivered in December, and we sold 12 aircraft. We ended the year as the most valuable listed aircraft operating leasing company with a market capitalisation of US$6.0 billion.” At the end of 2020, BOC Aviation had available liquidity of over US$5 billion comprising cash and undrawn credit facilities. The company reported it had a total fleet of 553 aircraft owned, managed and on order; an average aircraft age of 3.5 years and an average remaining lease term of 8.6 years for the 358 owned aircraft fleet, weighted by net book value; an order book of 155 aircraft; it took delivery of 25 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2020, and 54 in 2020 (including one acquired by an airline customer on delivery) and signed 12 lease commitments and extensions in the fourth quarter of 2020, bringing the total for 2020 to 102.

Metrojet completes mobile system installation: The maintenance, repair and overhaul station of Hong Kong-based Metrojet said it is the first MRO to have completed the installation of the Bizjet Mobile System on a Bombardier Global 5000 aircraft. The Bizjet Mobile System provides a platform for the passengers and crew members to communicate via mobile devices while on board, without the need of setting up a broadband system and network for the aircraft. On-site support from Bombardier was not possible due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but the Metrojet team persevered on the first of its kind installation on a Global 5000. The Metrojet Avionics team managed to complete the project from scratch in just two weeks, from coordinating draft and design with the design house online, wire routing, installation, through to obtaining final authority approval. Established in 1997, Metrojet as part of the Kadoorie Group, pioneered business aviation services in Hong Kong and remains one of the foremost safety- and customer-focussed business jet operators and maintenance providers in the Asia Pacific region. The company provides all-inclusive aircraft management, maintenance and aviation consultancy services to our growing business aviation customer base.

Leonardo VIP chopper for Mexico: Leonardo announced that the AW169 new generation light intermediate twin engine helicopter is set to enter the Mexican VIP/Corporate market, further expanding the success of the type among operators across Latin America and the globe and strengthening the role of Leonardo in the world’s multiengine VIP helicopter segment which already accounts for an approximately 40 percent share. A Mexican private operator will introduce into service an AW169 this year, featuring a highly customised configuration combining the highest standards of quality and comfort and leveraging the outstanding cabin space of the model. Popular types like the AW109 light twin series and the AW139 intermediate twin have also proven extremely successful in Latin America and Mexico for various applications, including VIP/Corporate transport, over the years and the AW169 is now one more option to meet evolving regional market requirements.

Meggitt secures contract with Sichuan Services Aero-Engine: Meggitt has secured a three-year contract with Sichuan Services Aero-Engine Maintenance Company (SSAMC) to supply components for the CFM56 engine. The contract has a lifetime value of approximately US$1million. SSAMC is a 60/40 joint venture between Air China and CFM, and is based at the Chengdu-Shuangliu airport. Adrian Bunn, senior vice president and general manager Asia for Meggitt’s Services and Support division said, “Expanding our MRO and aftermarket activities to support our growing customer base in China is one of our strategic priorities. We are proud to work with the Sichuan Services Aero-Engine Maintenance Company to support engine maintenance for Air China, the nation’s flag carrier.”

APOC Aviation acquires A320 airframe for part-out: APOC Aviation is collaborating with Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) and Switzerland based Eco-FLY in the first part-out project to take place in Rothenburg (EDBR) airport in Germany. The A320 airframe (MSN 1823) was acquired by APOC from a leading US-based investment company and last operated by SmartLynx. EFW will undertake the part-out for APOC and, together with Eco-FLY, build best practice for fuselage disassembly to evaluate recycling concepts for aircraft on an industrial scale at the airport in Rothenburg to establish a blue-print for future programmes.

Magnetic MRO signs deal with Australia’s Rex: Magnetic MRO, a Total Technical Care and Asset Management organization, has announced that it has recently signed a CAMO service agreement with the Australian operator REX Airlines (RAL) which will be in operation in the first quarter in 2021. “This is one more great example of Magnetic MRO and the aviation industry in general connecting across different continents. We are very interwoven with REX CAMO and operations, however, we are doing this from across 8 time zones, over about 15,000km. This is made possible by the great match of REX and Magnetic MRO company DNAs, as we both are flexible and strive for efficiency but not at the expense of safety and quality. I am sure I speak for all the Magnetic MRO CAMO personnel when I say we are extremely excited to enter into such a close partnership with a company that shares our high standards and strive for excellence in doing our part in keeping the skies safe,” said Talvar Tari, Senior Airworthiness Engineer at Magnetic MRO.

Brisbane achieves ACI AHA accreditation: Brisbane Airport (BNE) has received international endorsement for its COVID Safe practices with Airports Council International (ACI) awarding it Airport Health Accreditation (AHA). The ACI AHA is a global benchmark, independently assessing an airport’s alignment with ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery Guidelines, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council Aviation Restart Task Force recommendations, and industry best practice in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The accreditation assesses an airport’s facilities and hygiene protocols across all areas of the passenger journey (from the carpark to the physical boarding of an aircraft), in adherence to international aviation recommendations. Brisbane Airport’s COVIDSafe Plan was developed in collaboration with Queensland’s Chief Health Officer to ensure practical and effective measures were implemented to ensure the safety of everyone at the airport.

Korean Air receives APEX 5-star global airlines status: Korean Air has received the highest 5-star global airlines status in the APEX Official Airline Ratings, for the fourth consecutive year. Headquartered in New York and established in 1979, APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) is a global non-profit association, which has 482 airline industry members, including airlines and aircraft manufacturers. Since 2018, APEX has compiled an airline rating program, based solely on certified passenger feedback, via the application “TripIt.” APEX collects passenger feedback from more than one million flights and 600 airlines from around the world in areas including seating, in-flight services, in-flight meals and in-flight entertainment. Based on the feedback, the APEX Official Airline Ratings are compiled and certified by a professional external auditing company. The 5-star award reflects Korean Air’s excellent service qualities. The airline’s service rating is based on its comfortable seating, such as first class Kosmo Suites 2.0 and an in-flight entertainment system that offers a huge variety of content. The airline also offers in-flight menus using seasonal ingredients and has a selected wine list. In addition, the airline was recently identified as a 5-star airline by SkyTrax, one of the world’s most prestigious air transport rating organisations.

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