Aviation News in Brief 3 Feb 2020

Airline statements on coronavirus, Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, Suzuyo, ST Engineering, Boeing, Embraer.

NZ regional airports
An empty airport shows the current state of the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

coronavirusAirline statements on Wuhan coronavirus: Global travel and data analytics company Cirium says nearly 10,000 flights have been suspended since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China. Cirium statistics show that 9,807 scheduled flights within, to and from mainland China did not fly from January 23. The data spans the period from the day before the first reported flight cancelation to 28 January – the latest day for which figures are available. Cirium analysis reveals 92% of all scheduled flights to and from Wuhan – the city at the epicentre of the latest outbreak – did not fly between January 23 and 28. Of the 2,606 flights that were set to fly in and out of the city, which is home to 11 million people, a total of 2,406 services did not take place over this period. According to Cirium, a total of 90,607 domestic and international flights were scheduled to operate across mainland China over the six-day period, between January 23 and January 28, out of which 9,807 did not fly. This represents a sizeable 10.8 percent of the country’s overall scheduled flights. The routes with the largest number of unoperated flights were all domestic, with the Beijing to Shanghai service topping the list. This was closely followed by routes to and from Wuhan, particularly the highly-popular Wuhan to Beijing route. Qatar Airways has taken the decision to suspend flights to mainland China from 3 February until further notice due to significant operational challenges caused by entry restrictions imposed by several countries. An ongoing review of operations will be conducted weekly with the intention to reinstate the flights as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Jetstar Asia will suspend all remaining services from Singapore to mainland China – Shantou and Haikou – until 31 March 2020, when the situation will be reviewed again. All scheduled services from Haikou to Singapore will operate from 1 Feb with the final flight scheduled for 8 February 2020. A reduced number of services from Shantou to Singapore will operate on 1, 5 and 7 February with the final flight on 7 February 2020. Qantas will suspend its two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) from 9 February until 29 March 2020. This follows entry restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States, which impact the movement of crew who work across the Qantas International network. There is no change to Qantas services to Hong Kong as it’s exempt from current travel restrictions. Vietjet has already planned to suspend all of its flights to China mainland. The suspension is effective from 1 February. British Airways was the first carrier to announce its China flights’ cut off. Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Austria Airlines, Finnair, Air Canada, United Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Lion Air, Air Seoul, and others are among the other airlines having suspended their flights to most populated cities in China. Korean Air has also suspended its flights between Incheon and Wuhan from 24 January to 27 March and will suspend or reduce the frequency of some of its routes to China in consideration of the falling demand due to the new coronavirus.

coronavirusAirbus Helicopters announces 38 orders at Heli-Expo 2020: Airbus Helicopters concluded Heli-Expo 2020 with 38 orders, as well as 20 retrofits for the new five-bladed H145. German air rescue and ambulance provider DRF Luftrettung placed an order for 15 H145s, making them the largest operator of the H145. Show highlights included the increased power of the H125 that will enable operators to lift up to an additional 190 kg (419 lbs), Shell Aircraft confirming their interest in using the H160 for offshore transportation missions, and Metro Aviation ordering an additional 12 new EC145e helicopters. Customs and Border Protection will add 16 new H125 helicopters to their fleet, with deliveries beginning later this year from Airbus’ production facility in Columbus, Miss. Another H125 order was signed with Ascent Helicopters in Western Canada. Maverick Helicopters announced it will retrofit its entire fleet of 34 EC130 B4 helicopters with the Airbus Crash Resistant Fuel System. On the support and services side, Airbus secured numerous global support contracts, including Papillon, Heliportugal, and DRF Luftrettung who extended its HCare Smart contract for another eight years. Airbus Helicopters added 250 helicopters to HCare Smart and Infinite contracts in 2019, increasing to 2,250 the number of aircraft now covered by a global HCare material management contract. This means 19 percent of Airbus Helicopters’ worldwide fleet is now covered by HCare.

coronavirusLeonardo signs deal with Japan’s Suzuyo: Leonardo announced the purchase of an AW139 Level D Full Flight Simulator (FFS) by Suzuyo & Co of Japan. The AW139 FFS will be manufactured by Leonardo in collaboration with CAE and installed at Suzuyo & Co facilities located in Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport and will be operated by its subsidiary Shizuoka Air Commuter Corporation (SACC). The contract marks the introduction of the first AW139 FFS in Japan. Leonardo will also provide Suzuyo with briefing and debriefing capabilities and additional training aids developed by Leonardo such as E-Learning to support ground training delivery and the ETD Lite-5 advanced procedural trainer capable of being reconfigurable to support both AW139 and AW109 GrandNew helicopters.

ST Engineering secures new contracts: Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that for the fourth quarter of 2019, its business sectors secured more than US$1 billion of new contracts, bringing the full year 2019 contract value to US$5 billion. About US$800 million of new contracts were secured by the group’s aerospace sector, across its spectrum of aviation manufacturing and MRO service businesses including nacelle component, floor panel manufacturing, as well as airframe and engine maintenance services. This brings its total contract wins in 2019 to about US$3 billion compared to US$1.5 billion the year before.

Boeing and Embraer welcome Brazilian approval: Boeing and Embraer welcomed the unconditional approval of their strategic partnership by the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE)’s General-Superintendence (SG) in Brazil. The decision will become final within the next 15 days unless a review is requested by CADE Commissioners. The partnership has now received unconditional clearance from every regulatory jurisdiction with the exception of the European Commission, which continues to assess the deal. Unconditional clearance has now been granted in Brazil, United States, China, Japan, South Africa, Montenegro, Colombia, and Kenya. Boeing and Embraer have been in discussion with the European Commission since late 2018 and continue to engage with the Commission as it proceeds through its assessment of the transaction. The planned strategic partnership between Embraer and Boeing comprises two joint ventures: one joint venture made up of the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer (Boeing Brasil – Commercial) in which Boeing will own 80 percent and Embraer will hold 20 percent; and another joint venture to promote and develop markets for the multi-mission medium airlift C-390 Millennium (Boeing Embraer – Defence) in which Embraer will own a 51 percent stake and Boeing will own the remaining 49 percent.

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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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