Aviation News in Brief 17 June 2020

MRO Asia-Pacific, Crystal Cabin Awards, Honeywell, Avalon Airport, Accelya, Farelogix, ST Engineering, Air New Zealand, GEODIS, Ruili Airlines

Korean Air ground crew disinfecting a plane. (PHOTO: Korean Air)

MRO Asia-Pacific cancels in-person event: Aviation Week Network, producers of the MRO Asia-Pacific Conference & Exhibition have decided not to host a live event in Singapore this year and have moved the MRO conference to a “virtual” setting. “We also understand the importance of this forum to network, educate and grow the MRO industry- perhaps now more than ever,” the organisers said. “With this in mind we are excited to announce that MRO Asia-Pacific will go forward as a virtual event and be held on the same dates as the original live conference/exhibition was planned, 22-24 September. The decision to go virtual was not reached easily, however, with the health and safety of our community in mind, as well as government and businesses restrictions on travel and gatherings, we made the proactive decision to act now, allowing our industry partners enough time to adjust their plans”. Singapore’s restrictions on foreign travellers coming into the city-state have caused other shows to cancel their live, in-person events or defer them to later in the year or 2021.

Crystal Cabin Awards deferred to 2021: The awards ceremony for the 14th Crystal Cabin Awards in Hamburg, originally planned for 1 April 2020, has been rescheduled for 13 April 2021. This has been decided by the Crystal Cabin Award Association in close consultation with the independent 27-person expert jury. The Crystal Cabin Award, presented in eight categories to aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, airlines and universities, is the most coveted quality seal in the international aviation industry. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony for the global prize for aircraft cabin innovation could not take place this year, along with the trade show for the industry, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, which would normally have been held in Hamburg at the same time. Some 105 shortlisted entries were viewed and evaluated by the jury of international experts, a record in the 14-year history of the Crystal Cabin Award. The Crystal Cabin Award ceremony will now take place in Hamburg on 13 April 2021 with all 24 finalists still in the running and a special trophy in 2021 for concepts related to hygiene in the aircraft cabin.

asia-pacific-airlines-traffic-results-may-2019Honeywell to provide flight management services for Sichuan Airlines: Honeywell has signed an agreement with Sichuan Airlines to provide its Flight Management System Datalink service to meet the needs of Sichuan Airlines’ fleet. The new access to the FMS Winds service allows airline dispatchers to upload and monitor their flight plans and weather/temperature data directly via Honeywell’s datalink network. This capability makes it easier for airlines to enhance real-time flight operation, improve fuel efficiency and optimise their flight plans and trajectory. Honeywell’s FMS datalink service provides seamless, worldwide, two-way communication between an aircraft and the ground. The service helps pilots stay connected to air traffic control wherever they are, while also making life easier for operators and maintenance teams. More than that, the latest technologies adopted by this service could allow airlines to enjoy optimised flight planning so that the shortest routes can be flown to save time, fuel and ensure a safe landing at the airport.

Avalon Airport upgrades terminal security systems: Australian domestic travellers can move swiftly and safely in and out of Avalon Airport with minimal contact with other passengers, thanks to new security upgrades and the installation of state-of-the-art touch-less technology. The airport, just 50 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, is one of the first in Australia to transition its security systems to 100 percent Computed Tomography technology, with the installation of a new Rapiscan CT scanner, body scanner and checked baggage screening (CBS) machine for greater efficiency within the airport’s domestic terminal. In just moments, the new zero-contact millimetre-wave security body scanners automatically detect potentially dangerous items carried on the body or in clothing, while the CBS machine and the CT scanner create three-dimensional images of a passenger’s baggage, providing security personnel with a clearer view of the contents. For passengers the relief will be in finally being able to leave their laptops in their bags. Avalon Airport is also about to install six new check-in kiosks by Elenium Automation.

Accelya to acquire Farelogix: Accelya announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Farelogix, a provider of SaaS solutions for airline retailing and New Distribution Capability (NDC)-enabled commerce. The acquisition will advance Accelya’s vision to provide a next-generation, end-to-end platform that enables airline commerce, providing a full suite of innovative retailing, distribution, and fulfilment solutions. Once part of Accelya, Farelogix will be well positioned to expand its operations, better support its airline customers, and leverage Accelya’s industry expertise to better interconnect airline systems. Farelogix has played an instrumental role in defining innovative retailing for the airline industry, providing passenger service system (PSS)-agnostic technology that enables airlines to dynamically create, control, optimise, and deliver personalised and differentiated offers across sales channels. Farelogix has more than 25 airline customers worldwide that use its technology to grow revenue per passenger, achieve greater efficiency, and reduce costs. Integration with Accelya’s complementary mission-critical airline solutions will optimise the entire airline commerce lifecycle by allowing greater control and flexibility over commercial offers, orders, and downstream processes, and benefiting airline customers and their passengers through accelerated digital transformation.

ST Engineering receives OK for inspection drones: ST Engineering will be using its in-house developed drone solution, DroScan, to carry out General Visual Inspection (GVI) during aircraft maintenance at its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in Singapore after its aerospace sector received authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). This is the first-ever authorisation granted by CAAS for the use of unmanned aerial systems to perform GVI on Singapore-registered aircraft.  With this authorisation, ST Engineering can apply its DroScan solution on approved aircraft models such as the Airbus A320 family. An end-to-end aircraft external general inspection solution, DroScan leverages automation and smart analytics capabilities to bring about higher efficiency and greater workplace safety during aircraft maintenance work. The Group had over the past one year demonstrated the solution’s capabilities and benefits through a number of successful trials with participating airline customers including Air New Zealand. By using drones to physically carry out visual inspections, DroScan eliminates the need to set up bulky ground equipment such as boom-lifts and work stands for inspectors to climb up and down during manual inspections. Inspectors can instead conduct indirect GVI using live video feed and post-flight images captured by the drones. Captured images can be fed through algorithms that detect and classify defects to assist the inspectors in the review process.

Air New Zealand to resume Auckland-Shanghai service: Air New Zealand will resume passenger flights between Auckland and Shanghai next week, with passengers subject to government border controls in each direction. Pre-COVID-19 Air New Zealand operated seven services per week on its Auckland-Shanghai route, however the route has been suspended since early February due to the outbreak. Air New Zealand General Manager Networks Scott Carr says the airline will operate one return service per week on its Auckland-Shanghai route with the first flight departing Auckland on 22 June.

GEODIS names new MD for Indonesia: Global logistics provider GEODIS has announced the appointment of Tomy Sofhian as the managing director of Indonesia from May 2020. Tomy reports to Rene Bach-Larsen, sub-regional managing director ASEAN. GEODIS professionals in Indonesia are also extensively involved in supporting customers in the oil and gas industry, providing specialized logistics services in the remote region in the vicinity of Balikpapan, a seaport city in East Kalimantan.  GEODIS has a regular air cargo service to Balikpapan with connections from Singapore four times a week.

Ruili Airlines names APG as Vietnam agent: Ruili Airlines has appointed APG as their GSA in Vietnam and the agreement started at the beginning of June. Under the agreement, APG Vietnam will be providing nationwide sales and marketing services as well as reservations and ticketing support for passengers and travel agents. Set up in Yunnan province in 2013, Ruili Airlines now has a fleet of 20 aircraft and operates 66 domestic routes to over 40 major cities in China as well as 10 International routes. The airline’s international destinations include Sihanouk Port in Cambodia, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in Thailand, Mandalay and Rangoon in Myanmar, and Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. In addition to its main base in Kunming, Ruili Airlines also operates three overnight bases in Shenyang, Lanzhou and Mangshi.

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