Aviation News in Brief 16 July 2020

Boeing, International Space Station, Virgin Galactic, Redline, Air Partner, Virgin Atlantic, AiRXOS, UAS

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(PHOTO: Virgin Galactic)

Boeing to support ISS ops through 2024: Boeing, NASA’s lead industry partner for the International Space Station (ISS) since 1993, will continue supporting the celebrated orbiting laboratory through September of 2024 under a US$916 million contract extension. Boeing will provide engineering support services, resources, and personnel for activities aboard the ISS and manage many of the station’s systems. Work will be done at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston; the John F. Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida; and Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, as well as other locations around the world. The contract is valued at about US$225 million annually. Congress, NASA and its international partners have agreed to extend ISS operations to at least 2024. Recent structural analysis shows that the spacecraft continues to be safe and mission-capable. NASA selected Boeing as the ISS prime contractor in 1993. Throughout development, assembly, habitation and daily operations aboard ISS, Boeing has partnered closely with NASA to help the agency and its international partners safely host astronauts and cosmonauts for months at a time. The astronauts conduct microgravity experiments that help treat disease, increase food production, and manufacture technology impossible to produce on Earth’s surface.

Virgin Galactic names new CEO: Virgin Galactic Holdings announced the appointments of Michael Colglazier as Virgin Galactic’s new CEO and George Whitesides as chief space officer. Colglazier assumes the CEO role as the company progresses through its test flight programme and prepares for commercial service. He will also join the company’s board of directors. Colglazier joins Virgin Galactic after working at the Walt Disney Company. Most recently he was president and managing director for Disney Parks International, where he was responsible for operations, strategy, and commercial and experiential development of Disney’s international parks and resorts. Whitesides will assume the role of chief space officer, focused on developing the company’s future business opportunities, including point-to-point hypersonic travel and orbital space travel. He will also chair the company’s Space Advisory Board and in conjunction with his new role will step down from the company’s board of directors.

Air Partner enters Australian market with Redline contract win: Air Partner announced it has entered the Australian market through its security business Redline, which has been appointed to develop and deliver a Security Management System (SeMS) for ISS Australia and New Zealand (ISS). ISS is one of Australia’s largest facility services providers, delivering security, screening and facility services across airports and ports in every Australian state. Redline’s SeMS focuses on all aspects of security activity, supporting management at all levels within an organisation. All security tasks, such as quality assurance activity, training performance and audits, are fed into the system, instantly highlighting any exposed vulnerabilities. This allows managers to maintain control of risk in an ever-changing threat environment.

Recapitalisation of Virgin Atlantic moves ahead: Virgin Atlantic has reached a major milestone toward securing its future by announcing plans for a private-only solvent recapitalisation of the airline. The restructuring plan is based on a five-year business plan, and with the support of shareholders Virgin Group and Delta, new private investors and existing creditors, it paves the way for the airline to rebuild its balance sheet and return to profitability from 2022. The recapitalisation will deliver a refinancing package worth £1.2 billion over the next 18 months in addition to the self-help measures already taken that include: cost savings of £280 million per year and £880 million re-phasing and financing of aircraft deliveries over the next five years; shareholders are providing £600 million in support over the life of the plan including a £200 million investment from Virgin Group, and the deferral of £400 million of shareholder deferrals and waivers; Virgin Atlantic welcomes new partner Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, a global institutional investment management firm which is providing £170 million of secured financing; Creditors will support the airline with over £450 million of deferrals; The airline continues to have the support of credit card acquirers (Merchant Service Providers).

AiRXOS launches UAS for energy industry: AiRXOS announced a comprehensive Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) solution for energy organisations to plan, schedule, operate and monitor all facets of their UAS operations from a single platform. AiRXOS’ new Enterprise Energy Solution provides digital compliance, full Situational Awareness of airspace and assets, inspection, emergency response/disaster recovery capabilities, analytics, and asset performance tools all in one, connected platform. The Enterprise Energy Solution runs on AiRXOS’ Air Mobility Platform – a secure, cloud-based, extensible platform that enables easy integration of an energy organisations current applications and other UAS Service Suppliers (USS), as well as supports the full lifecycle of UAS energy operations.


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