Aviation News in Brief 22 May 2020

Alton Aviation Consultancy, Textron Aviation, Vertis, Embraer, Corporate Travel, IATA, Astral Aviation, Ampaire, Embry-Riddle, Avalon Airshow, Intrinsic Aviation, Arena Investors, Leonardo

(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Alton Aviation ConsultancyAlton Aviation Consultancy’s Jian Zhu accredited as Certified Appraiser by ISTAT: Alton Aviation Consultancy announced that engagement manager Jian Zhu has earned her credentials as an International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Certified Appraiser. Based in Alton’s Hong Kong office, Zhu adds to Alton’s roster of certified appraisers and becomes Asia’s first female ISTAT Certified Appraiser. Laetitia Achille, managing director in Alton’s New York office, says: “ISTAT accreditation is the gold standard for valuing aviation-related assets and this achievement demonstrates Jian’s commitment to aviation and the industry best practices we adhere to at Alton. Jian has clearly set a precedent for diversity in the industry and we hope to see her example followed by many more.” There are currently a total of 80 ISTAT certified appraisers worldwide, of which fewer than 10 are women. Zhu joined Alton Aviation Consultancy in 2019 with nearly a decade of advisory experience in aircraft leasing and financing advisory, with strong expertise in finance, aviation asset valuation, and cash flow modelling.

Textron Aviation awarded contract for two Beechcraft King Air 350CERs: Textron Aviation was awarded a contract for two additional Beechcraft King Air 350CER turboprop aircraft for the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO). After mission modifications by Sierra Nevada Corporation, these two Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) aircraft will join a fleet of 23 other King Air 350 aircraft at CBP. CBP MEA is equipped with a sophisticated array of active and passive sensors, technical collection equipment and satellite communications capabilities that can be deployed for ground interdiction operations, air-to-air intercept operations and medium-range maritime patrols. The aircraft is operated by a crew of four, including two highly trained sensor operators who employ the mission equipment and coordinate the information flow to the ground.

Alton Aviation ConsultancyVertis adds first multi-mission Embraer ERJ145 to portfolio: Charter specialist Vertis Aviation has added an Embraer ERJ145 to its Vertis Charter Management Programme, VCMP.  The aircraft is available for on demand passenger or cargo charters. The first of its kind in the Vertis portfolio, it supports the Vertis goal of deploying the right aircraft for the right mission in the right location to meet changing market trends. Based in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the privately owned ERJ145 has a range of some four hours and is strategically positioned to serve increasing demand from customers requiring group passenger transportation or cargo lift within Western and sub-Saharan African regions. The cabin seats up to 50 passengers or holds up to four tonnes of cargo.

GBTA study says companies plan to resume corporate travel: There continues to be small signs of optimism in the travel sector according to new research issued by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Health and safety measures have always been a cornerstone of travel and are now of significant importance as the industry tries to gain momentum for recovery. “People aren’t going to travel until they feel safe. Our member companies want to see several health and safety steps taken at every stage of the travel process, from ground transportation to airlines, to hotels. As restrictions across the globe begin to lift, small green shoots of optimism are sprouting in the industry with more than half (54 percent) of companies considering resuming all travel in the near future. That is a positive, albeit small, sign that we are finally headed in the right direction,” said GBTA CEO Scott Solombrino. To understand the coronavirus’s effects on business travel, GBTA conducted its seventh poll among membership on 13-15 May.  GBTA received responses from 1,705 member companies throughout the world.

  • Most GBTA member companies who report cancelling or suspending most or all trips to a specific region/country plan to resume business travel in the new future or are considering resuming travel.
  • One in four GBTA member companies report their company plans to resume travel to the United States (28 percent) and/or Canada (24 percent) in the near future.
  • Four in 10 report their company is considering resuming travel to the United States (44 percent), Europe (43 percent) and Canada (41 percent) in the near future, but currently do not have definitive plans about when travel will resume.
  • Half (54 percent) of GBTA member companies are considering resuming all travel (regardless of country or region) in the near future, although they do not currently have definitive plans for when it will resume. In addition, only one in 10 (14 percent) GBTA member companies report they do not plan to resume all travel in the near future.

covid-19-iata-calls-for-relief-for-african-middle-eastern-airlinesIATA welcomes new European guidelines: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the release by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of the COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol guidelines for the safe restart of air transport in Europe. The EASA and ECDC guidelines are aligned with recommendations provided by both the airline and airport sector for a layered approach of temporary measures to protect public health while allowing viable air services to help drive the European economic recovery. But the guidelines will only be effective if all European states deliver harmonized implementation and mutually recognise each other’s efforts. Failure to do so would harm public confidence in the aviation system, with negative consequences for the economy, and jobs.

Astral Aviation increases flights: Astral Aviation said it will increase its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 Destinations in Africa, which include South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia, according to Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation. Effective 25 May, Astral will operate to Lilongwe in Malawi and Lusaka in Zambia with a weekly frequency, and also to Kismayo and Bosaso in Somalia, which brings the number of destinations it serves on schedule to 13.

Alton Aviation ConsultancyAmpaire hires Doug Shane as GM: Ampaire, which is developing applications for electric power for aviation, announced that Doug Shane is joining the company as general manager, positioning Ampaire for growth in the emerging electric aircraft segment. “Ampaire is developing scalable electric technologies that can help lead aviation out of the environmental, economic, and public health challenges that have hobbled the industry,” said company co-founder and CEO Kevin Noertker. “Doug Shane is the personification of the pioneering spirit we, as an industry, need now.” Shane, an engineer and test pilot with a successful track record in managing novel high-tech aerospace ventures, began his career as the first employee at Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites, an incubator for innovative aircraft designs. He succeeded Rutan as president of the company and led the negotiations culminating in the sale of Scaled Composites to Northrop Grumman in 2007. He later served as president and then chairman of The Spaceship Company, leading the development of spacecraft for Virgin Galactic.

Alton Aviation ConsultancyEmbry-Riddle to resume face-to-face instruction on 30 June: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s board of trustees voted unanimously to reopen the institution’s residential campuses in Florida and Arizona for face-to-face instruction on 30 June. With health precautions in place, Embry-Riddle will resume face-to-face instruction, in keeping with its Path Forward strategy, President P. Barry Butler announced. “We are excited about the return of students to Embry-Riddle’s residential campuses,” said Mori Hosseini, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees. “We continue to review all progress and monitor every phase of the strategy. We believe that a structured, cautious return to normal operations will provide a platform for our institution’s long-term success and better prepare us for the fall semester. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is well positioned for this next step. Our safety focus is unparalleled and our board is unanimous in supporting this decision.”

Alton Aviation ConsultancyNew date set for Avalon Airshow: After earlier announcing the Avalon Airshow would be delayed, organisers AMDA Foundation Limited announced that the 2021 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (AVALON 2021) will now be held from Tuesday 23 November to Sunday 28 November 2021.

Alton Aviation ConsultancyIntrinsic Aviation announces JV with Arena Investors: Intrinsic Aviation, founded by industry veteran Ed Washecka, has launched a joint venture with Arena Investors to invest in helicopter assets. The joint venture will lease, trade and part-out mid-life to end of life helicopters. The joint venture’s first transactions involve three S76C++s owned by different lenders. One of the helicopters will continue on lease with an oil and gas operator. The other two will be parted-out immediately. “The helicopter industry has suffered massive dislocation as a result of the prolonged oil and gas downturn, with asset prices falling dramatically for some aircraft types. In an oversupplied market, it sometimes makes more sense to scrap the helicopter and to sell the constituent parts as a means to recover any remaining value ,” said Washecka. “In addition, we will support operators by trading and leasing helicopters.”

Alton Aviation ConsultancyUK Maritime and Coastguard Agency signs radar deal with Leonardo: The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will upgrade to Leonardo’s latest Osprey radar to support missions such as search and rescue, border protection, fishery and pollution patrols. The Osprey 30 radar will be installed on-board the two customised Beechcraft King Air aircraft provided to the UK MCA by UK-based aviation services company 2Excel. Currently, the UK MCA is operating Leonardo’s Seaspray 7300E radar, which has been employed to great effect in support of regular fishery and pollution patrols around the UK. The radar comes equipped with Leonardo’s patented small target detection capability, allowing it to spot shipwrecked individuals in the water at long range, even in the most difficult environmental conditions and sea states. Additionally, the radar provides the ability for MCA crews to identify oil spills and rogue polluters at very long range, day or night.

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