Aviation News in Brief 28 Feb 2020

Vistara, Qatar Airways, Changi Airport, Magnetic MRO, OSM Aviation, Travelport, Mitsubishi Aircraft, Gazpromneft-Aero, Russian Helicopters, BAA Training Vietnam, Japan Airlines

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Vistara
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Vistara takes delivery of 787 Dreamliner: Indian airline Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, took delivery of its first widebody Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The new aircraft is scheduled to arrive in India on 29 February and with the delivery means Vistara becomes India’s first airline to fly Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Vistara’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner comes with 299 seats in three-class cabin configuration, giving customers a choice of Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. Vistara’s Dreamliners feature lie-flat Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration that gives direct aisle access to each Business Class passenger, and a separate Premium Economy cabin will offer seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.

Qatar Airways opens new lounge in Singapore: Qatar Airways said it has officially opened its new Premium Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport at Terminal 1. The new Singapore lounge serves as the benchmark and blueprint for Qatar Airways’ future Premium Lounges worldwide and aims to narrow the gap between Business and First Class lounges. Spanning approximately 700 square metres to accommodate over 85 passengers at once, the Premium Lounge operates daily from 7:30am to 2:00am for Qatar Airways Business Class passengers. Qatar Airways has a growing portfolio of Premium Lounges in key markets. These exclusive Arabic-inspired lounges are located in London, United Kingdom, Paris, France, Beirut, Lebanon, and Bangkok, Thailand.

VistaraMagnetic MRO and OSM Aviation develop apprenticeship programme: Magnetic MRO and OSM Aviation (OSM) signed a memorandum of understanding to engage in a strategic partnership by generating an apprenticeship programme aimed at OSM recruits and employees. The first group of qualified technical apprentices from Norway and Sweden has been selected and will start their 24-month practical studies programme at Magnetic MRO in Tallinn, Estonia, from early September 2020. “We are delighted to enter to the partnership to alleviate the deficiency of the aircraft technicians globally. We consider this pilot programme to be our small step for help the industry to train and develop young people to future aircraft technicians. We also value the call for such cooperation as the proof of our well-established reputation and positive outlook towards the highest standards of our services and professionals,” shared Ene Krinpus, human resource manager at Magnetic MRO.

Travelport achieves Level 4 NDC Aggregator Certification: Travelport has achieved Level 4 NDC certification as an aggregator from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This certification confirms Travelport is able to provide full offer and order management and servicing of an NDC booking, complementing the current capabilities of voiding tickets and cancellations with new capabilities to modify and exchange tickets as well as processing refunds.

VistaraMitsubishi celebrates first flight made-in-Japan GTF: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, an MHI Group company, announced that it has completed its maiden flight with the first Pratt & Whitney GTF PW1200G engine assembled in Japan. The flight was completed in the United States at the company’s Flight Test Centre and was performed by the company’s Flight Test Aircraft 1 (FTA1). “This is the first flight with an engine completed in Japan, and represents an important milestone for Mitsubishi Aircraft, our SpaceJet family of aircraft, and the further development of the aerospace cluster in Japan,” said Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hisakazu Mizutani. The first flight took place on 14 February. The Mitsubishi Aircraft flight test team validated the basic functions of the engine in normal flight. In subsequent flights, the performance of both the engine and the aircraft were confirmed, and the engine has been cleared. It is scheduled to join the flight test fleet in the coming weeks.

VistaraGazpromneft-Aero expands distribution network in Russia: Gazpromneft-Aero, the aviation fuel operator of Gazprom Neft, has signed a new agreement with Baikal International Airport, to provide wing-tip refuelling services. Located in Ulan-Ude, in the Republic of Buryatia, it is the 61st airport to join Gazpromneft-Aero’s distribution network in Russia, bringing the total number of airports to 284, across 67 countries. The retail sale of jet fuel at Baikal International Airport is carried out by the marketing division of Slavneft-Tunoshna, a joint venture of Gazpromneft-Aero and Rosneft Aero. The first aircraft fuelled in Ulan-Ude as part of the strategic partnership was a SmartAvia-operated flight to Moscow.

VistaraRostec delivers the first serial produced Mi-38: Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec State Corporation) delivered the first serial produced Mi-38 helicopter to its client, Gazprombank Leasing company. The helicopter, built by Kazan Helicopters, will be operated by Russian Helicopter Systems (RHS). The first serial Mi-38 helicopter was introduced to the general public at MAKS-2019 Moscow Air Show.

BAA Training Vietnam introduces second A320 FFS: BAA Training Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh said it has added an Airbus A320neo full flight simulator approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) to provide pilot training in Vietnam. In addition to the second full flight simulator, BAA Training Vietnam has installed a new training device for the firefighting training purposes – the V9000 Commander. The device imitates fire and smoke and is used to train cabin crew members to act in case of emergency to fight fire and safely evacuate the passengers. The new SIM International manufactured Airbus A320 full flight simulator is a high fidelity Level D certified simulator, which  through a modular design, long life COTS products and a standardised product baseline, ensures minimal training interruptions.

Japan Airlines and Vistara expand codeshare network: Japan Airlines (JAL) and Vistara announced the expansion of their codeshare partnership, providing customers additional options when traveling between Japan and India. Effective 15 March 2020, the two carriers will provide codeshare service on JAL’s international routes to India as well as on connecting flights to major cities in their respective countries. Through this agreement, JAL will add 13 new destinations to its international network in India, such as Goa and Amritsar, while Vistara will add five major cities in Japan in its virtual network, which are Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

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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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