Aviation News in Brief 20 July 2020

Routes Asia, NAVBLUE, SR Technics, Western Sydney Airport

Empty airport
Empty check-in counters at Singapore's Changi Airport. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Routes Asia pushed to 2021: Routes, Airports of Thailand and SEA Milan Airports announced that Routes Asia, scheduled for 8-10 October 2020 in Chiang Mai, Thailand and World Routes, scheduled for 14-16 November 2020 in Milan, Italy, will now be postponed until next year. Both World Routes and Routes Asia will now take place in 2021. Routes Asia will now take place on 2-4 June 2021 and World Routes on 5-7 September 2021. For both Routes Asia and World Routes any exhibitor contract and delegate attendance fees (and payments) already made for both events will now carry over to the revised dates next year.

NAVBLUE launches RunwaySense: NAVBLUE announced the launch of the RunwaySense service, allowing airlines and airports to accurately assess and report runway conditions by using Airbus aircraft as sensors. Airports can use the aircraft data to inform their runway clearing operations, better timing runway clearing activities or targeting application of de-icing chemicals. Furthermore, with the mandatory ICAO Global Reporting Format (GRF), due to come into effect in November 2020, this data contributes to airports reporting requirements with accurate, near real-time runway performance information. Airlines can use this data to better monitor their operations as they share the data their aircraft have generated internally, or access data generated by other operators. RunwaySense is based on BACF+ (Braking Action Computation Function), software released by NAVBLUE in 2019 on the Airbus single-aisle family. BACF+ generates a message on the aircraft accurately reporting the condition of the runway it’s just landed on, against the FAA’s Take-off and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM). This data, already available to the pilot through the MCDU (Multi Function Control and Display Unit), will now be accessible from NAVBLUE via dedicated channels which can be selected to best fit the user’s operational requirements.

SR Technics announces successful financing and new strategy: SR Technics announced the successful financing and new company strategy to reposition the brand with a focused services portfolio to better serve its customers in the changing market environment. After a successful turnaround and solid financial results in the last years, SR Technics started the first quarter of 2020 strongly with results ahead of expectations. The growth has collapsed in April 2020 following a significant decline in customer demand as a result of the industry-wide COVID-19 crisis. To secure the necessary liquidity to absorb these adversities, SR Technics acted decisively with immediate cash preservation measures and short-time work. SR Technics has now agreed upon an additional credit line of about US$127 million with its existing consortium of lending banks, supported by a 60 percent surety by the Swiss Confederation, which improves the liquidity situation of SR Technics and ensures its long-term future. The agreements between the banks, the Swiss Confederation and SR Technics have been signed and completed on 15 July. To preserve the long-term financial health of the company in a changed market environment, the SR Technics management team has also critically reviewed the wide array of services offered and their future competitiveness. It has been decided to strategically reposition the company with a clear focus on engine services and line maintenance, as both have demonstrated consistent profitable growth prior to the crisis and are relevant to the aviation supply network in Switzerland. This main business will be complemented with a range of additional services provided by independent subsidiaries, ensuring a stronger and sustainable company ready to support its customers. In turn, SR Technics will cease to provide design engineering solutions by the end of this year. SR Technics will also restructure the flight-hour based component services, which will be progressively reduced, while maintaining the transactional component business with a stronger focus on component repairs and trading activities.

New CEO appointed to lead Western Sydney Airport: Former Qantas International chief executive officer and Lendlease chief financial officer Simon Hickey has been appointed as the new CEO of Western Sydney Airport. WSA chair Paul O’Sullivan said Hickey will draw on his more than 30 years of commercial, infrastructure and aviation experience to lead the organisation through the airport’s construction and into operation. “Western Sydney Airport has a very positive profile in local and overseas aviation markets, which led to a very high level of interest in the CEO role from candidates across the world,” O’Sullivan said. Hickey has held senior executive roles at Lendlease and was chief executive officer of Qantas International and Freight and Qantas Frequent Flyer. For more than a decade he has served on the board of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and is currently its deputy chair.

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