Aviation News in Brief 23 Oct 2019

Drukair, ATR, TrueNoord, US-Bangla, Etihad, Saudia, Bombardier, GE Aviation, Jet Aviation, L3Harris Technologies, CAE, JetSuite, Silver Air, Solairus, TAG Aviation, Vulcan Flight Management, Airnmar, JetBlue, Tigers, Airbus Corporate Jets

Drukair takes delivery of ATR 42-600
The latest-generation turboprop aircraft, which will be used on Drukair's domestic and international routes, was chosen for its operational performance in challenging conditions.

Drukair takes delivery of ATR 42-600: Bhutanese national flag-carrier Drukair has taken  delivery of a new ATR 42-600 aircraft. The latest-generation turboprop aircraft, which will be used on the airline’s domestic and international routes, was chosen for its operational performance in challenging conditions. The airline’s ATR serves small airports in the Himalayan mountains and links Bhutan with Kathmandu, Kolkata and Dhaka. Through the introduction of the -600 series’ latest generation Standard 3 avionics suite, Drukair will benefit from RNP AR 0.3/0.3 which further enhances airfield accessibility and operational performance. Drukair’s ATR is equipped with the ClearVision system, which will provide pilots with outstanding vision and situational awareness. The aircraft will feature a  comfortable 40-seat cabin with generous pitch and stowage. Tandi Wangchuk, CEO of Drukair said: “We have been flying an ATR aircraft since 2011. Its versatility and operational reliability have made it the ideal aircraft. When evaluating how to improve on this performance, it makes sense to upgrade to the latest-generation and we look forward to introducing these evolutions to our passengers. Particularly the modern Armonia cabin which will provide even more comfort to everyone on board.” ATR’s market estimates forecast that 1,200 30-50 seat aircraft will soon need to be replaced as older and inefficient aircraft come to the end of their lives.

TrueNoord re-markets ATR 72-600 and leases to US-Bangla: TrueNoord has placed an ATR 72-600 aircraft from its fleet on a new lease programme for six years with expanding Bangladeshi domestic and international operator, US-Bangla. Previously under a running lease agreement with HOP!, the aircraft supplements US-Bangla’s recent acquisition of new ATR 72-600s which now form the backbone of the airline’s modern regional fleet. TrueNoord agreed on an early retirement of the aircraft at HOP! to assist them in the phase-out of their ATR fleet after HOP! decided to cease operations of the type earlier in 2019. TrueNoord is seeing significant growth across all parts of Asia and as air travel becomes more affordable and the regional airport infrastructure expands, this increase is set to continue.

Etihad and Saudia expand partnership: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Saudia, the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have marked the first anniversary of their commercial partnership by announcing 12 new codeshare routes to destinations in Asia and Europe. Since signing their agreement in October, 2018, the two airlines have placed their flight codes on each other’s services between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi Arabian cities of Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh and Medina. Saudia has also added its ‘SV’ code to Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and 12 more destinations – Ahmedabad, Belgrade, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Lagos, Melbourne, Moscow-Domodedovo, Rabat, Seychelles and Sydney – while Etihad has placed its ‘EY’ code on Saudia flights to Peshawar, Multan, Port Sudan and Vienna. Under the expanded deal, and subject to regulatory approvals, Saudia will progressively add its code to Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 more destinations in nine countries Amsterdam, Baku, Brussels, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Phuket, Nagoya, Tokyo and Seoul, significantly extending Saudia’s reach.

Bombardier connects with GE Aviation to go big on Big Data: Bombardier has announced a Preferred Service Provider (PSP) agreement with GE Aviation. GE will power Bombardier’s cockpit and cabin connectivity solutions – including new, curated, service bundles that will simplify the selection of cockpit and cabin services with tip-to-tail solutions for new and in-service aircraft. This agreement is a first step toward the launch of Bombardier’s comprehensive Smart Link Plus connected aircraft programme. Launching in the second half of 2020, Smart Link Plus will help Bombardier customers drive operations and maintenance decisions by leveraging fleet-wide data. GE Aviation is also working closely with Bombardier on the development of the Smart Link Plus box – a Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) “smart” box capable of generating key data for customers, enabling them to increase operational efficiency, and minimize return-to-service times through data-driven decisions. The smart box combines GE’s joint venture, Avionica’s, lightweight, highly functional and open architecture hardware with GE’s health and data management software.

Jet Aviation signs deal with GE on safety: Jet Aviation and GE Aviation have signed a long-term agreement for a comprehensive safety and fleet modernisation project including C-FOQA. The programme covers Jet Aviation’s global fleet of some 300 aircraft including Airbus, Boeing BBJ, Bombardier, Dassault, Gulfstream and more. “The partnership with GE Aviation and their C-FOQA Flight Efficiency Services data analytics marks a continued commitment Jet Aviation has in the support of our flight operations, our flight crews and, most importantly, our customers,” Don Haloburdo, vice president, Flight Services, Jet Aviation, said. “Because safety will always be our top priority, we’ve chosen to work with the industry leader.” FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance), also commonly referred to as FDM (Flight Data Monitoring), is the process of analyzing and reviewing routinely recorded flight data. Airlines and operators that adopt FOQA are better able to identify and eliminate potential safety hazards in flight operations. Launched in 2015 in partnership with the Flight Safety Foundation and now used by more than 300 operators globally, C-FOQA is GE Aviation’s premier service for helping business jet operators understand and improve safety. GE’s patented analytics software fuses meteorological information, navigation data, and terrain mapping to identify safety events and measurements on thousands of flights every day. Since its introduction in the airline industry more than 20 years ago, FOQA has been widely credited with reducing incident and accident rates at airlines where it has been adopted. In its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Enhancements, the NTSB encourages aircraft operators to improve safety oversight of their aircraft by routinely reviewing recorded flight data in a structured program such as C-FOQA.

L3Harris Technologies integrates data analysis tools into commercial portfolio: L3Harris Technologies has integrated data analysis services into its avionics, training and security portfolio to provide operators and manufacturers instant insight across their operations. The advanced data analysis tools, added following the acquisition of Flight Data Services, allow operators to quickly identify, quantify and assess safety management system risk factors and performance of equipment. Using a state-of-the-art, secure web platform, flight operations can search, track and undertake performance trend analysis by downloading data points directly from the flight data recorder, including safety and maintenance events. Operators can immediately determine inefficiencies and preventative maintenance needs to reduce operational delays and increase safety. Enhanced data analysis supports the transition to evidence-based pilot training. It supports training teams to develop tailored training programs based on key trends and safety issues identified from the data of real flights and captured from L3Harris’ simulators. This will support an airlines holistic approach to training across its pilot population as well as allowing specific deviations from its standard operating procedures to be identified and addressed.

CAE wins training contracts with five business jet operators valued at US$38 million: CAE announced at the 2019 National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the signing of business aviation training contracts with five business aircraft operators worldwide valued at approximately C$50 million (US$38 million), including JetSuite and its sister company JSX, Silver Air, Solairus Aviation, TAG Aviation Holdings and Vulcan Flight Management. “Over the next 10 years, our industry will need more than 50,000 new business jet pilots. This soaring demand requires fleet operators and training providers like CAE to work more closely together to accelerate the deployment of new training solutions,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s group president for Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “As the leader in pilot training, we are working on developing better pilots, faster. With better digital tools and recurrent training systems, we are elevating the training experience of pilots. These partnerships are testament to the value that we bring to business jets operators worldwide.’’

  • JetSuite, a leading innovator in private jet aviation and its sister company JSX, have renewed their exclusive pilot training agreements with CAE for an additional six years for the Embraer Phenom 300 & 100 and Embraer Legacy Jet E145 platforms. Pilots will continue initial type-rating and recurrent training at CAE Dallas. CAE has been JetSuite’s training partner for the provision of multiple training programs since 2009.
  • Silver Air, a leading private aircraft management company and direct charter operator, has renewed its exclusive pilot training agreement with CAE for an additional four years. Training will span across CAE’s global training network of large, super mid-size, mid-size and small, including Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault, Gulfstream, Embraer and Hawker platforms. Pilots will continue training at CAE New Jersey Morristown and CAE Dallas. CAE has been Silver Air’s training partner for more than 10 years.
  • Solairus, a private aviation services company whose core business is to assist aircraft owners with the safe, reliable, and efficient management and operation of their aircraft, has renewed its pilot training agreement with CAE for an additional four years on multiple aircraft platforms, including Bombardier, Dassault and Gulfstream. Solairus pilots will continue training at CAE New Jersey Morristown and CAE Dallas. CAE and Solairus Aviation share a long-standing training partnership of more than 10 years.
  • TAG Aviation Holdings, one of Europe’s premier management companies, has again selected CAE as its training partner for an additional 3 years. TAG Aviation Holdings’ pilots training will span across CAE’s global training network of small, mid-size, super mid-size, large cabin, and transport category. CAE has been TAG Aviation Holdings training partner for the provision of multiple training programs for more than 5 years.
  • Vulcan Flight Management, a part 91 corporate flight department, has extended its partnership with CAE by entering in a new four-year pilot-training contract for Gulfstream G650 and Bombardier Global Express training programmes. Its pilots will continue initial type-rating and recurrent training at CAE Dallas and CAE Dubai. CAE has been Vulcan Flight Management’s training partner of choice for more than five years.

CAE also said it has expanded its training capabilities and its network for business aviation pilot training, including the expansion, renewal and launch of new training programmes for Bombardier, Dassault, Gulfstream and Embraer aircraft platforms and the signing of the agreement with SIMCOM  for the purchase of training equipment from CAE’s latest product offering. CAE currently provides business aviation pilot training in eight locations worldwide, including CAE Abu Dhabi Aviation Training Centre, CAE Amsterdam, CAE Dallas, CAE Dubai Al Garhood – Emirates CAE Flight Training (ECFT), CAE London Burgess Hill, CAE Montreal, CAE New Jersey Morristown and in CAE Shanghai.

Airinmar secures contract with JetBlue: AAR subsidiary Airinmar, a provider of component repair cycle management and aircraft warranty solutions, signed a three-year agreement with JetBlue to provide component value engineering cost oversight services for the airline’s Airbus and Embraer fleets. The agreement covers the provision of Airinmar’s value engineering knowledge and expertise, along with in-house support systems across a wide range of JetBlue’s aircraft components. Under the scope of the services, Airinmar will assess repair costs to assure compliance with JetBlue’s contracted pricing terms, under either component flight-hour or fixed-pricing terms, as well as the cost evaluation of time and material quoted repairs.

ATR-42-600-DrukairJet Aviation’s Van Nuys FBO on track for Q4 opening: Jet Aviation is winding up construction of its new FBO and hangar complex at Van Nuys Airport and expects to be operational in Q4 2019. The brand-new 10,000 sq. ft. FBO terminal and 43,000 sq. ft. hangar was built with a view to sustainability. The hangar can accommodate all the newer generation, large-body aircraft currently entering the market. As the latest step in the company’s commitment to expand its footprint in the United States and broaden its global FBO network offering for customers worldwide, the much-anticipated FBO and hangar project includes a brand-new 10,000 sq. ft. FBO terminal; a 43,000 sq. ft. hangar with 8,000 sq. ft. of office space; long, unobstructed ramp space; and a 42,000 sq. ft. Gulfstream operations centre with more than 20,000 sq. ft. of office and shop space. The hangar has a 30 ft. clearance, which can accommodate larger aircraft of any size, including the Gulfstream G500/G600/G650 series and the Global 7500.

ATR-42-600-DrukairCargo carrier Tigers building facility in Rotterdam: Hong Kong-based Tigers is building a new hub facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as global customer demand and the e-commerce sector continue to grow. The multi-million-Euro mega hub is currently under construction and is scheduled to be officially opened in April 2020, providing another flagship location for Tigers in Europe. The new mega hub will replace Tigers’ existing Rotterdam facility and will be more than 550,000 sq ft, have 60,000 pallet positions, and 550,000 bin locations. The hub is also being built with solar panels on the roof to create a sustainable structure and will be equipped with Tigers’ Cloud-based SmartHub:Connect technology.

ATR-42-600-DrukairAirbus Corporate Jets launches iflyACJ website: Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) launched the iflyACJ.com website, allowing VIP travellers to easily plan their world above the world travel with ACJ charter operators. The new website will appeal to VIP travellers because it groups together in a single place information about the Airbus corporate jet offerings of 12 operators – such as details of their spacious cabins, characteristics and tailored on-board services. Its simplicity enables users to find details about each ACJ VIP charter offering in a single click. Customers can then select the desired ACJ operator and be taken seamlessly to the website of their chosen ACJ charter provider, allowing them to book securely and with confidence at no extra cost. ACJ operators supported the development of the website.

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Asian Aviation
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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