Aviation News in Brief 20 November 2020

Qantas, Accor, Recaro, KLM, GEODIS, APOC Aviation, Qatar Airways, Air Canada, GE Aviation, Thai Vietjet, Singapore Airlines, IBS Software, Collins Aerospace, Boom Supersonic, Vietnam Airlines

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Use this oneQantas, Accord sign partnership deal: Qantas and Accor have announced a deeper partnership that will see mutual members of their loyalty programmes be rewarded at every stage of their travel journey. Scheduled to launch mid-2021, it will be the first partnership of its kind between an airline and hospitality group in the Asia-Pacific region. The new partnership will give eligible members of both programmes the opportunity to boost their rewards by simultaneously earning both Qantas Points and ALL – Accor Live Limitless Reward Points on Accor hotel bookings and Qantas Points and ALL – Accor Live Limitless Reward Points on Qantas flight bookings. Members will also enjoy more opportunities to redeem points as well as a suite of exclusive benefits for top-tier members. The partnership will apply for hotel stays across the Asia Pacific region and across Qantas’ domestic and international flights.

Recaro Aircraft Seating says KLM is launch customer for SL3710 seat: Recaro Aircraft Seating has revealed KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) as the launch customer for the SL3710 Economy Class seat on Embraer and Boeing aircraft. KLM ordered more than 5,500 seat pax of the SL3710 and nearly 2,000 seat pax of the BL3710, which are slated for delivery starting in February 2021. The Recaro seats will be retrofitted on a number of Embraer E190 and Boeing B737-800, and will be line-fitted on the Embraer E195. The newest addition to the Recaro Economy Class portfolio is the SL3710, which combines a lightweight design and durable parts to create a comfortable seat with a reduced total cost of ownership for airlines. Dubbed the “efficiency performer,” the SL3710 weighs in at 8 kilograms and can potentially save an aircraft up to several thousand euros in fuel costs per year. Ergonomically optimised for comfort, the BL3710 is a lightweight seat designed for short and medium-haul flights. The 2019 Red Dot Design Award winner not only offers a six-way adjustable headrest and additional back support, but the modular seat design also ensures a streamlined cabin layout and minimal maintenance.

GEODIS pledges commitment to gender diversity: GEODIS announced an agreement with Bureau Veritas to recognise its commitment to gender equality in the workplace. The aim is to achieve a recognised standard across 12 countries over the next three years. By obtaining the GEEIS (Gender Equality European & International Standard) designation, GEODIS would establish common gender equality and diversity in the workplace standards within its various lines of business. These standards include pay, the advancement of women, skills development and diversity. Under the agreement with Bureau Veritas, which is expected to be signed before the end of the year, GEODIS will have its practices audited for a three-month period across 12 of the countries in which the group operates, starting in 2021 with France, England, Germany and Italy. GEODIS will continue this process in 2022 in Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Australia and then Morocco, the United States, Poland and Singapore in 2023. Management, the Human Resources department and staff representatives within each country will be interviewed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of gender equality initiatives. Once obtained, the label will remain valid for four years.

APOC Aviation acquires five CFM56-7B engines: In a move to increase its engine asset base, APOC Aviation has purchased five CFM56-7B engines from a leading North American carrier as part of a multi-million dollar transaction. Three of the engines have already been delivered and the other two will be integrated into APOC’s portfolio soon. Already this year APOC has acquired one CFM56-3C1 and three CFM56-5As, two of which are now ready for lease.  The arrival of a further CFM56-3C1 for lease or sale is imminent. Anca Mihalache,  vice president for Engine Trading at APOC said the company is actively pursuing a range of opportunities supported by ample financing to complete deals. “Having access to flexible and immediate funding gives us a real advantage, this was a key factor in closing this sizable deal. As an organisation, we are continually looking for opportunities to enhance our business offering, these acquisitions will significantly increase our portfolio of engines for sale, lease or exchange as well as our inventory of available engine components.”

Qatar Airways and Air Canada sign codeshare: Qatar Airways announced it has finalised a codeshare agreement with Air Canada applicable for travel between Doha and Toronto. Sales have started with the first codeshare flight to operate from 15 December 2020. The agreement reinforces Qatar Airways’ long-term commitment to Canadian passengers, and to boosting Canada’s global connectivity to support the recovery of tourism and trade. Qatar Airways’ passengers can now enjoy seamless, one-stop connections to and from Toronto via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport. Air Canada passengers will benefit from being able to book travel on Qatar Airways’ flights between Toronto and Doha and onwards to more than 75 destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Qatar Airways began flying to Canada in June 2011 with three weekly flights to Montreal that expanded to four weekly in December 2018. The airline has worked closely with the government of Canada and its embassies around the world throughout the pandemic, temporarily operating three weekly services to Toronto in addition to charter flights to Vancouver to help bring more than 40,000 passengers home to Canada.

GE90 engine celebrates 25 years of service: On 17 November 1995, the GE90 entered service on the Boeing 777, powering a British Airways flight between London and Dubai. The GE90 engine has been among the most reliable in the industry with a world class dispatch reliability rate of 99.97 percent. In July, the engine family surpassed 100 million flight hours. “We are excited to celebrate another GE90 milestone and would like to congratulate everyone involved in the engine’s success,” said Mike Kauffman, GE Aviation’s GE90 program general manager. “We continue to deliver these extremely reliable engines and our dedicated product support team will maintain the GE90 for many years to come, providing maximum value throughout its lifecycle.” GE has delivered more than 2,800 GE90 -94B and upgraded -115B engines to 70 operators around the world. The engine family powers all Boeing 777 models and is the exclusive powerplant on the 777-300ER, -200LR, and 777F.

Thai Vietjet adds two aircraft to fleet: Thai Vietjet has received two 180-seat A320 aircraft, increasing its current fleet to 13. The airline expects to receive two more planes in December, resulting a total fleet of 15 aircraft by the end of 2020. The delivery is in line with the fleet and route expansion plans. Vietjet is operating a young, modern fleet with an average age of only 2.7 years, and as one of the leading airlines in the world in terms of safety, quality and technical reliability. The carrier is constantly expanding its flight network and fleet to meet the recovering travel demand. Thai Vietjet operates 14 routes connecting many attractive destinations across Thailand from Bangkok to Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai/Phuket/Krabi/Udon Thani/Hat Yai/Khon Kaen/Nakhon Si Thammarat/Ubon Ratchathani/Surat Thani, from Chiang Rai to Phuket/Hat Yai/ Udon Thani, and the new route Chiang Mai –  Nakhon Si Thammarat, which will be operated from 30 November 2020.

Singapore Airlines appoints IBS Software for cargo ops: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has appointed IBS Software to bring its global cargo operations onto a single integrated digital cargo platform to improve operational insight across its entire network. This will be achieved through the deployment of IBS Software’s iCargo SaaS-based cargo management solution. The implementation will see SIA transitioning from its existing air cargo systems to iCargo to support its cargo business units, which include sales, import and export operations, air mail handling and revenue accounting. This will serve to strengthen its ability to better manage cargo capacity, gain enhanced visibility of shipment yields and revenues, optimise network performance and seamlessly collaborate with partners’ systems, as well as drive efficiencies and improve operational resilience. iCargo is an integrated solution that supports the end-to-end business functions such as cargo reservations, rating, manifesting, import & export operations, warehouse management, revenue accounting, air mail handling and revenue management of cargo-carrying airlines and ground handling service providers. iCargo follows air cargo industry best practices and is fully compliant with global industry standards and initiatives such as Cargo iQ, C-XML, OneRecord, e-AWB and e-Freight in general.

Collins Aerospace and Boom Supersonic collaborate: Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies, has signed a collaboration agreement with Boom Supersonic, the aerospace company building the world’s fastest airliner, to advance nacelle technology on Boom’s forthcoming flagship supersonic airliner, Overture. Overture will be the world’s fastest airliner and is designed and committed to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability. Collins Aerospace engineers will work in concert with Boom to develop inlet, nacelle and exhaust system technologies that enable fuel-burn reduction and cutting-edge acoustics for cleaner and quieter supersonic flight. They will do this via lightweight aerostructures and variable nacelle geometry. Collins Aerospace has been providing innovative nacelle technology for more than 70 years, including development of the first commercial variable fan nozzle for high-bypass-ratio geared turbofan (GTF) engines.

vietnam-airlines-to-lease-six-new-a321neo-from-aviation-capital-groupVietnam Airlines to get bailout funds: Vietnam’s National Assembly has approved several measures to help national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines overcome the financial impacts of COVID-19. A parliamentary resolution passed recently allows the State Bank of Vietnam to refinance and offer loan extensions to banks that would lend Vietnam Airlines additional capital for the company to continue its operations. The carrier will also be allowed to sell more shares to existing shareholders to increase its charter capital in accordance with the Law on Securities, but is exempt from the condition that its business being profitable in the year prior to the offering. The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), a state-owned holding company, will act on behalf of the government to purchase Vietnam Airlines shares. The carrier has suggested the government grants it a relief package of US$518.53 million.

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