Aviation News in Brief 21 March 2020

Boeing, Longview Aviation, AirAsia, Air Astana, HAECO, EHang, DARTeC.

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

Boeing announces actions to navigate COVID-19 crisisBoeing announces actions to navigate COVID-19 crisis: Boeing announced several decisions to support the company as it navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring the company is positioned for the industry’s recovery. The company said CEO Dave Calhoun and board Chairman Larry Kellner will forgo all pay until the end of the year. The company will suspend its dividend until further notice. Boeing will extend its pause of any share repurchasing until further notice. The company previously suspended its stock buyback program in April of 2019. Boeing is drawing on all of its resources to sustain operations, support its workforce and customers, and maintain supply chain continuity through the COVID-19 crisis and for the long term.

Boeing announces actions to navigate COVID-19 crisisLongview Aviation Capital announces temporary suspension of production: Longview Aviation Capital, parent company of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada and Viking Air,  announced the immediate suspension of manufacturing operations for new production Dash 8-400 aircraft at De Havilland’s Downsview facility in Toronto, and new production Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft at Viking’s facilities in Victoria, BC and Calgary, Alberta. Production on these aircraft will be paused until further notice. Approximately 800 employees or 65 percent of De Havilland’s current workforce, and 180 employees or 40 percent of Viking current workforce will be affected. The suspension applies only to new aircraft production. Both De Havilland and Viking will continue to provide full product support and technical services to all in-service De Havilland and Viking aircraft. All other Longview business activities will continue as usual.

AirAsia says Fernandes back in after report on bribery allegations: Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia said it has conducted a full investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by founder Tony Fernandes and said the charges that aircraft procurement by AirAsia from Aibus were incorrect and all plane purchases were within the company’s guidelines. “The process was complied with and AirAsia’s aircraft acquisition was justifiable and at prices favourable to AirAsia”, the company said.

Air Astana suspends most flights: Most of Air Astana and FlyArystan’s scheduled flights are now being suspended until 15 April 2020 following the lockdown of Almaty and Nur-Sultan as a result of progressive government restrictions intended to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. International flights will now only be carried out for the purpose of repatriating the citizens of Kazakhstan and providing foreign citizens with the opportunity to leave the country. The Air Astana Group of airlines will continue to operate domestic flights as long as it is possible with the intention of returning passengers to their place of permanent residence.

HAECO attains 787 landing gear overhaul capability: HAECO Landing Gear Services, a member of the HAECO Group, announced the company has attained Boeing 787 landing gear overhaul capability, providing timely support for the fast-approaching landing gear overhauls due on regional and international Boeing 787 fleets.

EHang Partners with Llíria of Spain: EHang Holdings announced that it has established a strategic partnership with Llíria in Spain as its fourth urban air mobility (UAM) pilot city globally following Seville in Spain, Linz in Austria and Guangzhou in China. EHang will collaborate with the Llíria City Council to develop a 3D air mobility solution for smart cities and launch a pilot operation programme of passenger-grade AAVs designed to explore different application scenarios including tourism. In addition, EHang and Llíria City Council will work together with the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency to establish relevant systems and standards to support this new transportation ecosystem.

boeingBoeing joins UK digital aviation research project: Boeing has joined the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC), due to become operational this summer at Cranfield University. The centre is spearheading the UK’s research into digital aviation technology and will include an experimental airport terminal and a ‘hangar of the future’, fully instrumented for advanced digital maintenance repair and operations.

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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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