Aviation News in Brief 14 Oct 2019

Russian Helicopters; Jet Aviation; AirAsia; BOC Aviation & Spring Airlines; Vietnam Airlines & Sabre; IBA on 737NG repairs

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Russian Helicopters

Rotor design teams united at Russian Helicopters: The board of directors of Russian Helicopters (part of Rostec State Corporation) has decided to unite the JSC (Mil Moscow Helicopter plant) and JSC (Kamov) to establish the JSC National Helicopter Centre named after Mikhail Mil and Nikolay Kamov (NHC). The National Helicopter Centre will combine the “potential of two helicopter design schools for more efficient and higher-quality rotorcraft design and upgrade”, the company said in announcing the change. The consolidation is aimed at growing the two design bureaus while at the same time preserving the separate brands and streamlining operations. “Among the expected benefits are reduced labour costs, improved managerial and production efficiency, enhanced quality of design and less time before release for serial production,” the company said. The first stage when two design bureaus are scheduled to become one company is set to be completed by mid-2020 with full integration by 2022.

Jet Aviation names new VP: Jet Aviation has announced that Heinz Aebi is retiring from his role as vice president for marketing and communications at the end of January 2020 after 29 years with the company. Taking his place will be Elouisa Dalli, currently senior director for global communications. She will join the company’s Leadership Team. In her new role, Dalli will be accountable for developing, shaping and implementing a cohesive and differentiated marketing strategy to increase brand awareness. She will lead and develop a global team of marketing and communication professionals directly responsible for brand creation and development, our digital platforms and advertising, event management, internal communications and media and social media engagement. Aebi began his career with Jet Aviation in November 1990 as marketing and communications manager and was the only employee in the department at the time.

AirAsia named top LCC: AirAsia emerged ahead of regional players such as Scoot, Jetstar, SpiceJet, Nok Air and Firefly to win the top low-cost carrier awards, Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline and Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew at the World Travel Awards Asia and Oceania 2019. AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said: “It is an honour to receive these awards. Being recognised by guests and industry colleagues as Asia’s best is a testament to our ongoing efforts to develop new and innovative guest-obsessed products and services. We would like to thank our Allstars, especially our award-winning cabin crew, for their hard work and commitment to delivering and providing the best experience for our guests.”

Rotor design teams united at Russian HelicoptersBOC Aviation delivers new Airbus A320neo: BOC Aviation announced it has delivered a new Airbus A320NEO aircraft to Spring Airlines, China’s largest low-cost carrier. The aircraft is powered by CFM Leap 1A engines. Spring Airlines’ president, Wang Zhijie, said: “Spring Airlines has been growing profitably since we began operations in 2005. We are pleased to work with our long-term partner BOC Aviation which has once again demonstrated its excellent professionalism and customer service in meeting our needs for modern aircraft.”

Rotor design teams united at Russian HelicoptersVietnam Airlines signs for Sabre Dynamic Rewards: Technology provider Sabre announced that Vietnam Airlines is the first carrier in Asia-Pacific region to sign up for the Sabre Dynamic Rewards loyalty redemption solution. Vietnam Airlines is upscaling its Lotusmiles loyalty programme and delivering an optimised offering to its customers. Equipped with new ways to redeem rewards across digital and offline channels, the Sabre solution, fuelled by the Sabre Commercial Platform, is providing an enhanced redemption experience for the carrier’s most frequent travellers.

Rotor design teams united at Russian HelicoptersIBA details costs for 737NG pickle fork problems: Aviation consultancy IBA said a recent Air Worthiness Directive affecting Boeing 737NG variants -600, 700, 800, 900 and 900ER and the potential impact from the remedial works if the pickle forks are found to be cracked will cost airlines at least US$25,000 per replacement kit. “It’s been reported that numerous aircraft have been grounded following inspections that revealed cracks on the pickle fork; these aircraft will remain on the ground until either the work is done or depending on the age and value, they may be considered for other mid-life options”, IBA said. “IBA’s technical team has estimated the cost of repair outside of a planned heavy check to be US$25,000 per replacement kit and 1,800 labour hours for one side of the aircraft. If both sides need attention an additional premium will apply. With this level of cost, it’s possible that cost sharing clauses could be triggered in some lease agreements, thresholds vary from US$50,000 to US$250,000, so airlines and lessors will be blowing the dust of the lease contracts to see if they will be impacted,” the company added. The directive will impact all 737NG aircraft with 22,600 cycles-plus, which based on extrapolated IBA.iQ data. IBA estimated this to affect most 737NG aircraft aged 11 years and upwards. From this calculation, the number of aircraft currently requiring inspections will be in the region of 2,500 – some will have been inspected already if they have 30,000 cycles and the remaining aircraft will be checked within 1,000 cycles. Southwest, United Airlines, Ryanair, American Airlines and Delta will be most affected. Operating the largest fleets, these operators are therefore potentially more exposed now and in the future when inspections are needed, but of course only if cracks in the pickle forks are found.

Rotor design teams united at Russian Helicopters

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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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