Aviation News in Brief 18 April 2020

Rolls-Royce, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, IBM, Google Cloud, The Data City, Truata, ODI Leeds, HAECO Composite Structures, FlightSafety, Airbus, Alas Group, Teleport, AirAsia

Aviation News
An artist's rendering of once bustling airline routes in Asia-Pacific. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Rolls-Royce creates COVID-19 data alliance: Rolls-Royce has invited a group of companies to collaborate on Emer2gent, a new alliance of data analytics experts challenged with finding new, faster ways of supporting businesses and governments globally as they recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Early alliance members are Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, IBM, Google Cloud, The Data City, Truata, Rolls-Royce and ODI Leeds. The alliance will be facilitated and co-ordinated by innovation specialists, Whitespace. Emer2gent will combine traditional economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behaviour and sentiment data, to provide new insights into – and practical applications to support – the global recovery from COVID-19. This work will be done with a sharp focus on privacy and security, using industry best practices for data sharing and robust governance. Emer2gent models will help get people and businesses back to work as soon as possible by identifying lead indicators of economic recovery cycles. Businesses, both small and large, around the world, as well as governments, can use these insights to build the confidence they need to take early decisions, such as investments or policies, that could shorten or limit the recessionary impacts from the pandemic. The alliance is voluntary and insights will be published for free.

HAECO Composite Structures adds GE90 fan case capability: HAECO Composite Structures (Jinjiang), a member of the HAECO Group, has added capability for preventive maintenance inspections and associated repairs on fan stator modules for GE90 engines on Boeing 777 aircraft. Established in 2009 and located in Jinjiang, Fujian province, mainland China, HAECO Composite Services is a dedicated composite maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for aircraft nacelles, radomes, and aerostructures. GE Aviation is the GE90 engine’s original equipment manufacturer. The scope of work includes ultrasonic inspections of composite panels and other metallic components of the fan stator module. Preventive maintenance inspections of the fan stator modules for GE90-100/115 engines are mandated by the OEM to be performed upon specified engines once they reach 50,000 flight hours. This new capability has been deployed by HAECO Composite Services on a number of Asian customers’ fan cases.

FlightSafety’s FlightSmart tool gains acceptance: FlightSafety International announced that FlightSmart, the company’s new integrated pilot performance evaluation and training tool, has successfully completed acceptance testing at the Columbus Air Force Base. FlightSafety developed FlightSmart in conjunction with IBM. FlightSafety received a contract in November 2019 for FlightSmart from the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC). It is for implementation of FlightSmart at Columbus AFB on 16 T-6A training devices, including Initial and Operational Flight Trainers.

airbus-raises-forecast-for-demandAirbus shareholders approve 2020 AGM resolutions: Airbus shareholders approved all resolutions on the agenda for its 2020 annual general meeting, including the election of two new directors, while René Obermann formally succeeded Denis Ranque as chairman at a board meeting immediately afterwards. Owing to the global coronavirus outbreak, shareholders were encouraged to vote by proxy instead of attending the AGM physically in Amsterdam, in line with public health and safety measures. Shareholders showed a very high level of voting and strong engagement despite the COVID-19 situation, with 575 million votes expressed, up 5 percent compared to the 2019 AGM and representing around 74 percent of the outstanding share capital. Following shareholder approval, Mark Dunkerley and Stephan Gemkow each joined the board as non-executive directors for a period of three years. Dunkerley has extensive experience of the commercial airline and aviation industry and is currently a Member of the Board of Spirit Airlines, Inc., while Gemkow is a Member of the Board of Amadeus IT Group and a former airline executive with 22 years at Deutsche Lufthansa. The mandates of non-executive directors Ralph Crosby, Jr. and Lord Drayson (Paul) were each renewed for three years. Denis Ranque and Hermann-Josef Lamberti both stepped down as planned from the Board and its committees at the close of the AGM.

Alas Group reports on 2020 Q1: As the coronavirus continues its global invasion, paralysing both global movement and the aviation industry, ALAS Group, which provides leasing and MRO support among a number of other services, reported “stable activity” for Q1 2020. The company said its passenger services saw a “serious decline” from Q4 2019 but a “significant increase for cargo services”. The company interest in its services was especially strong in Asia and the Middle East. The company said the second quarter will “remain dormant in our pax division, however, we expect to see a slight increase in our cargo activities compared to Q1. In Q3 we hope to see all our business units align their global activities as the fight against the pandemic wears off and the situation begins to stabilise itself”. The company said it was holding off on its plans for expansion in Nepal. “We can already predict that 2020 will be a difficult year, however, we still remain optimistic even though the industry is bleeding,” said Dustin Paul Widen, chairman. “The sudden shift in global demands has required a more flexible transformation in some of our business units, without compromising our long-term strategy and goals.”

Teleport launches blockchain product: AirAsia’s logistics arm, Teleport, announced the launch of Freightchain, a digital air cargo network run on blockchain. This will allow a shipper or freight forwarder to instantly book and confirm any of AirAsia’s 247 aircraft to carry cargo through Freightchain, without the need to go through traditional sales or email channels. Freightchain will assist shippers and their freight forwarders to discover all available cargo network connections owned by airlines for their supply chain needs. It then facilitates on-demand bookings in real-time through bids submitted and validated on blockchain. Especially during this unprecedented period, air cargo is vital in the global fight against COVID-19. A software to transparently bid and confirm urgent air cargo capacity in real-time is vital to keep global supply chains for life-saving medical supplies and equipment moving. The first pilot booking on Freightchain was successfully conducted to ship pharmaceutical cargo from Bengaluru, India to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. An instant itinerary via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Seoul, South Korea was confirmed in real-time with flights from three different carriers through a smart contract on blockchain.

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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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