Aviation News in Brief 26 August 2020

Scoot, Jet Aviation, FAAC, Bombardier, GKN Fokker, Emirates, AirAsia, Agoda, PacSim

Travel technology company Amadeus has launched travel audience in Asia Pacific.
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneScoot modifies A320 to boost cargo capacity: With stringent border control measures in place due to COVID-19 causing a reduction in passenger flights, there has been a severe decline in the volume of bellyhold space available for cargo. To make up the shortfall and maintain global supply chains during the pandemic, Scoot has operated hundreds of cargo flights using passenger aircraft, including many where cargo was placed on passenger seats. Now, to better serve cities with smaller airports, Scoot has modified one of its A320ceo aircraft (9V-TAZ) to carry cargo in the cabin by removing all seats, doubling its cargo-carrying capacity to nearly 20 tonnes. The four-day modification of the aircraft included the removal of passenger seats, installation of placards to demarcate areas where cargo can be placed, and the uplift of additional fire extinguishers. For flights operated with this aircraft, there will be a minimum of two pilots and two cabin crew on board to ensure safety and smooth operations, as well as manage any inflight emergencies. All pilots and cabin crew are trained regularly to identify hazards and handle various emergencies, including situations involving smoke, fumes or fire. The first cargo charter flight by the modified 9V-TAZ took off on 22 August 2020 from Fuzhou to Singapore, making Scoot one of the first airlines in Southeast Asia to operate cargo  charters with such modified aircraft. The aircraft transported a total of 13 tonnes of cargo in both the bellyhold and cabin, comprising mainly goods for daily use, and has four more flights scheduled for the rest of August. Another A320ceo aircraft is scheduled to undergo similar modification works this week.

Jet Aviation opens new hanger, FBO: Jet Aviation announced it has opened a new hangar and FBO complex at Palm Beach International Airport. The facility extension features a brand-new 11,270 sq. ft. FBO terminal, a 42,000 sq. ft. hangar and a near-65,000 sq. ft. ramp. Designed to accommodate the newer generation, large-body aircraft currently entering the market, the company’s new 42,000 sq.ft. hangar has a hangar door clearance of 30 feet, a dedicated ramp area of 64,188 sq.ft. and approximately 10,000 sq.ft. of dedicated office and storage space. The new West Palm Beach FBO facility is situated alongside a new Gulfstream maintenance facility with which it shares over 9,000 sq. ft. of the passenger terminal on the first floor. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and minimising its environmental footprint, the facility features low-flow water fixtures, a white roof and heat-reducing tarmac as well as local drought resistant plants. The complex further features 200,000 sq.ft. of shared tarmac space. In related news, Jet Aviation is currently constructing a new FBO and hangar terminal in Scottsdale, Arizona, slated for completion in early 2021, while working to replace its storm-damaged hangar in Houston, Texas.

FACC receives Diamond Supplier Certification from Bombardier: FACC has received the 2019 Diamond Supplier certification from Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier for the development and production of the wing-to-body fairings for the Bombardier Global 7500 and Challenger 350 programmes. Over the years, FACC has become a strong technology partner to Bombardier as regards the development and manufacture of components and system solutions. There are several fields of cooperation: FACC manufactures wing-to-body fairings, rudders, and fan cowls, up to complete interiors including galleys and crew recreation rooms. FACC has also delivered a number of light, weight-optimized composite products for the Bombardier Global 7500 and Challenger 350 programmes. Now, for its work in 2019, the company has been honoured with the coveted Bombardier Diamond Supplier certification for its wing-to-body fairings.

GKN Fokker Services obtains CAAC supplemental type certificate: CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China Aircraft Airworthiness Department) has issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to GKN Fokker Services for ADS-B Out modification for Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. STC can be used to install all compliant transponder types in combination with every compliant GPS source offering a unique and valuable solution to operators with mixed configurations in their fleet. Multiple customers of GKN Fokker Services have already ordered the Boeing Next-Generation 737 ADS-B Out modification enabling them comply with the global ADS-B out mandates while securing early adopter advantages. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have issued the STC for ADS-B Out modification on Boeing Next-Generation 737 in 2018 and 2019. ADS-B Out (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) is a common system on-board many aircraft that automatically broadcasts relevant data from the aircraft towards air traffic management organizations. ADS-B Out data includes the identity of the aircraft, the GPS location and direction of flight. A new, so-called Version 2 (DO260B), ADS-B Out system will become mandatory in 2020 in the USA, Europe, UAE and various other countries. The new ADS-B Out mandate involves an upgrade or replacement of the ATC Transponder and the GPS receiver. This will enable optimization of the airspace and minimize the use of ground radar stations. In the next decade, most of the airspace throughout the globe will be using ADS-B as the primary means of surveillance, replacing radar. This will include the oceanic environment (Satellite ADS-B).

Emirates operating repatriation flights to India: Emirates will operate repatriation flights to Bengaluru, Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram from 20 August until 31 August. The special flights will facilitate travel for Indian citizens in the UAE wishing to return home and for residents of UAE currently in India to return to the UAE. The airline will operate repatriation flights to India on the following dates: Bengaluru: 21, 23, 25, 28, and 30 August; Kochi: 20, 22, 24, 27, 29 and 31 August; Delhi: daily flights until 31 August; Mumbai: daily flights until 31 August; Thiruvananthapuram: 26 August; All flights will be operated with the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER and can be booked on emirates.com or via travel agents. Passengers must meet all the entry requirements of the destination to be allowed to board the flights. Emirates has also revised its flight timings to/from Sialkot, Pakistan to offer customers better connections via Dubai with seven weekly flights – providing greater access to its current network of 75 cities across six continents. Effective 22 August, Emirates flight EK 618 will depart Dubai at 20:55 hrs and arrive in Sialkot at 1:10 hrs. The return flight, EK 619 will depart Sialkot at 2:40 hrs and arrive in Dubai at 5:00 hrs. In addition to Sialkot, Emirates offers customers direct flights to four other cities in Pakistan including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar.

AirAsia.com and Agoda announce strategic partnership: AirAsia.com and Agoda announced a strategic partnership to spur travel activity in Southeast Asia and strengthen AirAsia’s super app offering. The partnership between the two major online travel service providers in the region harnesses the strengths of both digital platforms. Through the sharing of flight and hotel inventories, travellers will gain access to a more extensive multi-product selection, enjoy greater convenience and benefit from superior value. Initiatives from the collaboration include travel bundles, membership privileges as well as joint product marketing. Customers of AirAsia.com can now enjoy more variety with over 600,000 Agoda properties, combined with AirAsia’s great value fares by booking through SNAP –  offering flight and hotel packages with the best price guaranteed.

University of Southern Queensland installs PacSim NextGen FTD: Australian’s University of Southern Queensland recently took delivery of the latest PacSim NextGen EuroJet PS4.5 Flight Training Device (FTD). The EuroJet is a fully functional FTD based on the Airbus A320. The device was commissioned at USQ’s Toowoomba Campus and was delivered in spite of strict country border travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Toowoomba is the site of the new Qantas Group Pilot Academy, which is located at nearby Wellcamp Airport. USQ is the only university in the world where students have the opportunity to undertake their flight training with the academy. It is the second device supplied by PacSim and complements the ProJet PS4.5 delivered to the Springfield Campus in Brisbane in 2017. The ProJet is based on the Boeing 737NG.

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