Aviation News in Brief 23 October 2020

AJW Group, VALLAIR, GlobalX, Inmarsat, Hughes Network Systems, Air Astana, IATA, Embraer

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Use this oneAJW Group buys A330s for teardown: AJW Group has purchased three Airbus A330-200 aircraft for teardown. The three ex-Thomas Cook UK aircraft, which were manufactured in 1999, are all powered by RB211 Trent 700 engines with GTCP331-350 Auxiliary Power Units. The aircraft will be disassembled on-site at Manchester Airport. AJW will manage the disassembly remotely coordinated by an experienced technical team and engine specialists, negating the need to ferry the aircraft to a teardown facility. Once removed from the fuselage the A330 components will be recertified at AJW Group’s maintenance hub in Montreal (AJW Technique), OEMs and other strategic vendors. The inventory will be held at AJW Group’s headquarters in Sussex, England, as well as at strategic global hubs, ready for sale to support AJW Group’s ad-hoc and contracted airline customers. Interested parties are now able to make enquiries to their account managers.

VALLAIR signs LOI with GlobalX: VALLAIR, the mature aircraft and asset specialist, and launch lessor for the Airbus A321 freighter conversion (A321F), has signed an LOI (Letter of Intent) with US-based Global Crossing Airlines to lease 10 converted A321 freighter aircraft. The first GlobalX A321 will be delivered by the third quarter of 2021. GlobalX expects all 10 A321F aircraft to be delivered and in revenue operation by the second quarter of 2023. Vallair signed its first LOI for the A321F in August 2019 with Qantas Freight and saw the maiden flight of its prototype A321F take to the skies in February 2020.

Inmarsat and Hughes offer connectivity: Inmarsat has unveiled a strategic collaboration with Hughes Network Systems for North American commercial airlines and their passengers. GX+ North America is a transformational aviation connectivity solution, which has been specifically designed for North American commercial airlines and is available now. It integrates the capacity of the Hughes JUPITER High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) constellation across North America with the extensive worldwide coverage and resilience of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) HTS satellite network, bringing a unique combination of unprecedented capacity, speed and reliability to the region. The ultra-high capacity of GX+ North America will, for the first time, make it possible for North American airlines to meet increasing passenger demand, including the surge in traffic expected from free-of-charge inflight Wi-Fi. Today, satellite networks are trying to serve thousands of commercial aircraft in the world’s busiest airspace, and as they reach capacity, airlines will struggle to meet the demands of data-hungry passengers who want reliable, affordable, high-speed Wi-Fi while on board.

Air Astana announces flight plans: Air Astana will continue to operate flights to international destinations with some changes during the autumn-winter season. From 21 October, the airline, in accordance with the order from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will reduce the number of international flights to Turkey, the UAE, Ukraine and Germany. The weekly frequency of flights to Istanbul will decrease from 16 to 12 flights, to Dubai – from 12 to 8 flights, to Kiev – from 3 to 1 flight, to Frankfurt – from 6 to 4 flights. At the same time, the company intends to supplement these with charter flights to Sharm El Sheikh on the Egyptian Red Sea coast, and The Maldives. The domestic flight schedule remains unchanged.

IATA downgrades forecasts for Middle and Africa: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has downgraded its traffic forecast for the Middle East for 2020 to reflect a weaker-than-expected recovery and also downgraded its forecast for Africa. Full-year 2020 passenger numbers in the Middle East (to/from/within) are forecast to reach only 30 percent of 2019 levels, down significantly from the 45 percent that was projected in July. In absolute numbers, the Middle East is expected to see 60 million travellers in 2020 compared to the 203 million in 2019. In 2021, demand in the Middle East is expected to strengthen to 45 percent of 2019 levels to reach 90 million travellers to/from/within the region. A full return to 2019 levels is not expected until late 2024. IATA now expects full-year 2020 passenger numbers in Africa (to/from/within) to reach only 30 percent of 2019 levels, down significantly from the 45 percent that was projected in July. In absolute numbers, the region is expected to see around 45 million travellers in 2020 compared to the 155 million in 2019. In 2021, demand is expected to strengthen to 45 percent of 2019 levels to reach close to 70 million travellers to/from/within the region. A full return to 2019 levels is not expected until late 2023

Embraer delivers 7 commercial and 21 executive jets in 3Q20: Embraer said it delivered a total of 28 jets in the third quarter of 2020, of which seven were commercial aircraft and 21 were executive jets (19 light and two large). As of 30 September, the firm order backlog totalled US$15.1 billion. During 3Q, Embraer Executive Jets reached the milestone of the 250th business jet in operation in Latin America with the delivery of a Phenom 100EV and a Phenom 300E to two separate Brazilian customers. In the same period, Embraer Executive Jets delivered the first Phenom 300E with the new Bossa Nova interior to Joe Howley, co-founder of Patient Airlift Services (PALS). Also in the third quarter, Helvetic Airways signed a commitment to convert four of their remaining firm orders to the larger E195-E2 aircraft. The original order, for 12 E190-E2s with purchase rights for a further 12, and conversion rights to E195-E2, was announced in September 2018. Embraer has so far delivered five E190-E2s to Helvetic Airways, and all deliveries of the remaining seven aircraft, including the four E195-E2s, will be completed before the end of 2021. In addition, during the period Bamboo Airways, from Vietnam, received and started operations with two first generation used E195 aircraft.

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