Aviation News in Brief 20 Nov 2019

Mactan-Cebu Airport, Air Busad, Sanad, Etihad, Hawker Pacific, Royal Jordanian Airlines, SAFAIR, GE Aviation, Tunisair, ATR, Panasonic Avionics, Air New Zealand, GMF Aeroasia, ALG.

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Mactan-Cebu welcomes Air Busan’s Cebu-Incheon service: GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), in partnership with the airport authority, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), welcomed the inaugural flight of Air Busan from Incheon International Airport on 13 November. The flight arrived at 03:10 p.m. with a total of 194 passengers. The aircraft was hailed with a water cannon salute. Air Busan also started the operation of its direct service from MCIA to Incheon on the same day. The carrier will operate the Cebu-Incheon route daily using Airbus 321-200 with a 195-passenger capacity and Mono class service. “Air Busan has been a strong airline partner of MCIA through the years and we are glad to welcome their newest service to Incheon. Korea remains the top international market in Cebu, and we proudly partner with Air Busan, one of the top carriers in Korea, in sustaining the growth that we achieved over the past years,” said Louie Ferrer, GMCAC president.

Sanad delivers 12th engine to Etihad: Sanad Capital has completed delivery of its 12th engine to Etihad Airways. The delivery marks the final tranche of a US$280 million, 12-engine deal signed between the two Abu Dhabi aerospace companies in 2016. The 12-year sale and lease-back agreement between Etihad Airways and Sanad provides the UAE carrier with seven additional spare GEnx engines, four additional spare GP7270E engines and one V2527-A5 spare engine. Troy Lambeth, CEO of Sanad Capital, said: “Our long-standing relationship with Etihad Airways is testament to Sanad’s position as a leasing partner of choice that can provide effective long-term lease financing solutions. The completion of this landmark agreement with Etihad Airways builds on our recent successes and demonstrates Sanad’s commitment to support our customers in their long-term growth.” The financing facility in support of the US$280 million was provided by First Abu Dhabi Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

Hawker Pacific provides Royal Jordanian’s Embraer fleet with landing gear services: Royal Jordanian Airlines has recently entrusted Hawker Pacific Aerospace, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, with landing gear services for the airline’s regional aircraft fleet of Embraer E-Jets. The three-year contract encompasses landing gear overhauls for one Embraer 195 and two Embraer 175s. In addition, Hawker Pacific will support Royal Jordanian with landing gear spares on a loan- and exchange-basis. The first overhaul of the aircraft’s landing gears in Hawker Pacific’s Sun Valley facility is scheduled for November 2019.

SAFAIR expands GE’s TrueChoice overhaul agreement: SAFAIR extended and expanded its TrueChoice overhaul agreement with GE Aviation for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of its CFM56-7B engines that power its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The new agreement is valued at more than US$70 million over the life of the agreement. “GE Aviation has proven itself as the right maintenance provider for our CFM56 engines. The new agreement covers maintenance for our entire CFM56-7B engine fleet until 2024,” said Elmar Conradie, CEO of SAFAIR. The TrueChoice suite of engine maintenance offerings incorporates an array of GE capabilities and customisation across an engine’s lifecycle. All TrueChoice offerings are underpinned by GE Aviation’s data and analytic capabilities and experience to help reduce maintenance burden and service disruptions for customers.

Mactan-CebuTunisair Express Receives First ATR 72-600: ATR has delivered the first of three ATR 72-600 aircraft to Tunisair Express. The Tunisian airline will use these aircraft to renew its regional fleet providing passengers with connectivity both domestically and internationally. Tunisair Express director general, Yosr Chouari, said: “We are looking forward to introducing this new ATR aircraft with the latest comfort and technology to our passengers, with this first delivery marking an important step in our fleet renewal. Regional aviation provides essential connectivity for Tunisia and the unbeatable economics of the ATR 72-600, together with the best cabin, make it perfect for both our domestic and international operations.” ATR’s Market Forecast sees a demand for 350 new turboprops over the next 20 years for the Africa and Middle-East region. Regional aviation provides essential connectivity around the world.

Republic of Ghana eyes GEnx engines for Boeing 787-9 aircraft: The Republic of Ghana announced its intent to purchase GEnx-1B engines for its three Boeing 787 Dreamliners that will be used to re-launch an airline in the African nation. The engine order is valued at more than US$150 million at list prices. “GE Aviation is honoured to provide GEnx engines for the new 787 Dreamliners that Ghana will acquire to re-launch a national carrier,” said Mahendra Nair, general manager of the GEnx program. “The GEnx engine has proven itself with the highest reliability and utilization rates that benefit our customers, and we look forward to working with Ghana as the country progresses on its strategy to re-enter the aviation industry.”

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Panasonic Avionics names new CEO: Panasonic Avionics said it has named Ken Sain as its new chief executive officer. He succeeds Hideo Nakano, who has served as Panasonic Avionics CEO since 2017 and as deputy CEO prior to that. Nakano will now serve as special advisor for Panasonic Avionics. Sain, who most recently served as vice president of Digital Solutions and Analytics for Boeing Global Services and as CEO of Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, will join Panasonic Avionics in December. “We are excited to welcome Ken to the Panasonic team,” said Michael Moskowitz, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the parent company of Panasonic Avionics. “His entrepreneurial spirit and proven track record in aviation will undoubtedly accelerate Panasonic’s customer-centric innovation and the digital transformation journeys of its airline customers.”

Mactan-CebuEngine issues force Air New Zealand to cut flights: Air New Zealand is making some changes to its international schedule over the summer high season as a result of ongoing global issues impacting some Rolls-Royce engines on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The airline said that because Rolls-Royce requires operators of its Trent 1000 TEN model engines to carry out more frequent maintenance due to an issue with the engine’s high-pressure turbine blades and because Rolls-Royce does not have any replacement engines available while maintenance work is undertaken, the airline will be forced to cut flights during the busy season. Air New Zealand has 10 Trent 1000 TEN engines fitted to its 787-9 fleet and has been working to minimise disruption but schedule changes are now unavoidable, the airline said, and further changes may also be required as the airline progresses the engine checks. The most substantive of changes announced today is the suspension of its twice-weekly seasonal Christchurch-Perth service, resulting in the cancellation of 62 flights.

Mactan-CebuGMF and ALG sign agreement for expansion into Australia: ALG, specialists in aviation talent, said it has signed an agreement with GMF Aeroasia to support GMF with the servicing of Garuda Indonesia aircraft in Melbourne, Australia. ALG will provide qualified licensed aircraft engineers, aircraft maintenance engineers, and a dual branded vehicle to ensure efficient turnaround of Garuda Indonesia’s flights arriving from Bali and Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia currently serve Melbourne with A330-300 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The initial agreement is for support into Melbourne and it is expected that the cooperation will also extend to Sydney and Perth ports in 2020. ALG currently supports airlines, MROs, and other aviation and aerospace providers with permanent, contract, and temporary personnel across all levels, including engineering and maintenance, flight crew, operations, commercial, and executive positions. The partnership is expected to be operational for its first aircraft arrival on 7 January 2020.

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