Aviation News in Brief 30 Oct 2019

IndiGo, Airbus, Air Premia, Boeing, Sydney Airport, Mitsubishi SpaceJet, ACI Asia, Volotea, Hahn Air, L3Harris Technologies, United Airlines, Safran Landing Systems, Emirates, Embry-Riddle, GE Aviation, Hybrid Project, SIA, Antonov Airlines, HAECO, Air Hong Kong, ATR, BAA Training, Jet Aviation, Spairliners, CAE, Ontic.


IndiGo signs for 300 A320neo family aircraft: India’s IndiGo has placed a firm order for 300 A320neo family aircraft in a deal worth US$33 billion at list prices and before customary discounts. This marks one of Airbus’ largest aircraft orders ever with a single airline operator. This latest IndiGo order comprises a mix of A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR aircraft. This will take IndiGo’s total number of A320neo Family aircraft orders to 730. “This order is an important milestone, as it reiterates our mission of strengthening air connectivity in India, which will in turn boost economic growth and mobility. India is expected to continue with its strong aviation growth and we are well on our way to build the world’s best air transportation system, to serve more customers and deliver on our promise of providing low fares and a courteous, hassle free experience to them,” said Ronojoy Dutta, CEO of IndiGo. IndiGo is among the fastest growing carriers in the world. Since its first A320neo aircraft was delivered in March 2016, its fleet of A320neo Family aircraft has grown into the world’s largest with 97 A320neo aircraft, operating alongside 128 A320ceos. At the end of September 2019, the A320neo family had received more than 6,650 firm orders from nearly 110 customers worldwide.

Air Premia announces commitment for five Boeing 787 Dreamliners: Boeing and Air Premia announced the Korean start-up airline plans to buy five 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes, following an agreement to lease three 787-9 jets from Air Lease Corporation earlier this year. Air Premia, which plans to launch operations in 2020 is poised to become South Korea’s second Dreamliner operator. The commitment, valued at US$1.4 billion at list prices, will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website when it is finalised. “This is an exciting decision for Air Premia as we look to deliver a world-class experience to our customers, while also operating the most fuel efficient fleet,” said Peter Sim, CEO of Air Premia. “With the 787-9’s superior fuel efficiency and range capabilities, this investment fits perfectly with our unique business model and will position Air Premia for sustainable long-term growth.” With its base at Seoul Incheon International Airport, Air Premia announced its plan to launch operations in September 2020. The carrier will initially operate regionally in Asia before expanding its network to Los Angeles and San Jose by 2021.

Sydney’s new airport terminal design revealed: The first preview of Sydney’s new airport has been unveiled with architects appointed to design the terminal precinct at Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport. Western Sydney Airport CEO Graham Millett said an architectural team consisting of London-based Zaha Hadid Architects and Cox Architecture in Sydney was selected from more than 40 entrants as the winners of the terminal precinct design competition. “The brief was to design an airport that the people of Western Sydney can be proud of and provide a real sense of place with a focus on the customer journey and efficiencies for airlines,” Millett said. Sustainability was another key criterion and the winning design stood out for its expansive use of passive design, taking advantage of natural airflows and lighting and efficient solar shading. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the new Beijing Daxing International Airport and the Navi Mumbai International Airport. Cox Architecture are designing the Victoria Cross Station in Sydney and Western Sydney’s new Sydney Coliseum Theatre. Western Sydney International will cater for up to 10 million passengers per year on opening, growing in stages and over decades to eventually become the largest gateway to Australia at 82 million per year.

IndiGo-signsMitsubishi’s SpaceJet looks to be delayed again: News reports from Japan show Mitsubishi Aircraft is seeking a sixth postponement on delivering its rebranded SpaceJet regional passenger plane. Setbacks in developing the body of the aircraft, formerly known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, have slowed the process of obtaining type certification, a prerequisite for commercial flight. Parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has sought a review from outside experts to help set a delivery date beyond the standing mid-2020 target for the 90-seat-class jet. Mitsubishi Heavy launched the aircraft project in March 2008 with much fanfare, aiming to develop Japan’s first homegrown commercial jetliner. The country’s once-vibrant aerospace industry was virtually shut down by a ban on aircraft production by American occupiers in the aftermath in World War II. The industry has slowly made a comeback through parts production, and the SpaceJet will mark a full-fledged re-entry into the aircraft business. But the project has been plagued with problems stemming from the inexperience and lack of knowledge that arose from Japan’s long absence from developing entire aircraft.

BAA Training breaks ground on China centre: BAA Training China has started work on a six full-flight simulator aviation training centre as part of its joint venture Avia Solutions Group and Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company (HNCA) signed in July, 2019. The facility is located in Zhengzhou city in Henan province. The training centre is set to open its door in the second half of 2020 and as stated previously will be designed to provide the capacity of 40,000 flight hours per year and train approximately 4,000 pilots. As aviation experts predict, Asia Pacific area demand for new commercial pilots will account for 38 percent of the global demand with more than half of it to fulfil China’s market. Boeing has just recently updated their forecast for the upcoming 20 years, stating that Chinese carriers will need 8,090 new planes until 2038, which exceeds the previously predicted figure by 5.2 percent.

Safran Landing Systems in Malaysia adds solar carpark: A 350 kWp carport solar PV system at the Safran Landing Systems plant in Sendayan Techvalley, Malaysia, has been commissioned by Cleantech Solar under a long-term agreement where Cleantech Solar has funded and built, and will operate and maintain the system throughout its life. The car park is only the first step of Safran’s vision and commitment to go “green” in Malaysia, the second step will be to fully cover the large building’s roof of the site with solar panels, allowing Safran to further replace the use of electricity from fossil fuels to renewable sources to power their internal plant operations. Cleantech Solar is a leading provider of renewable energy to corporations in Southeast Asia and India. Headquartered in Singapore, Cleantech Solar owns and operates more than 160 solar power plants across the region, representing over 300 MW of projects, with the majority being in operation and the rest under construction and development.


Emirates Flight Catering reduces packaging waste: Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) has introduced a new packaging solution to further reduce waste across its food manufacturing operations. The company has replaced cardboard packaging with reusable crates to store and transport an average of 100,000 in-flight meals daily. As a result of its newest environmental initiative, EKFC will save 750 tonnes of cardboard waste, the equivalent of 260,000 square metres (65 acres) of mature woodland, annually. Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, said: “We are committed to operating with a mindset of efficiency and environmental sustainability. In addition to our vertical farming and solar power projects, our new packaging solution is already the third key initiative we have launched in a year to reduce our environmental footprint and deliver more value for our stakeholders. We continue to challenge our processes and work practices to ensure the highest possible level of environmental efficiency across our operations.”

IndiGo-signsSingapore Airlines completes Cargo IQ audit: Singapore Airlines has successfully completed its most recent Cargo iQ audit by external auditing company SGS, and retains its certification as an accredited member. All members are audited every three years to ensure they are aligned with Cargo iQ standards and specifications. “Our audit is an essential part of being a Cargo iQ member and a useful tool to evaluate their quality management system,” said Ariaen Zimmerman, executive director, Cargo iQ. The audit is conducted in three-year cycles, and its standards are continuously evaluated to stay up-to-date and reflect the best practices in the air cargo industry, as well as provide full end-to-end transparency on the planning and progress of air cargo shipments. At Cargo iQ we are committed to continuous processes improvement in air cargo and the audits are a way to regularly review our members, as well as help us stay aligned with our latest quality standards, to ensure Cargo iQ delivers true value to its members and their air freight customers.”

Antonov Airlines named ‘Air Business of the Year’: Antonov Airlines has scooped the Air Business of the Year Award at the FTA Logistics Awards 2019 which took place at Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, London. Antonov Airlines was shortlisted with two other finalists for the prize that is awarded to an air business that has generated exceptional results and has an impact on the industry that is truly class leading. The Air Business of the Year Award is open to any business involved in air freight, including airlines, airports and ground service providers. The FTA Awards are the only awards for the industry, by the industry, and celebrate entries from road, rail, sea and air including operators, manufacturers, retail, logistics and supporting industries.

HAECO ITM extends support to Air Hong Kong’s A330-300F: HAECO ITM, a member of the HAECO Group, announced an agreement signed with Air Hong Kong to provide its Airbus A330-300 freighter fleet with inventory technical management support. The contract covers component MRO, repair management, component pooling, component engineering support services and AOG support. In addition to the Airbus A330-300F, HAECO ITM also provides inventory technical management support for AHK’s A300-600 freighter fleet.

ACI Asia-Pacific board announces new director general: The board of Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific announced it has appointed Stefano Baronci as director general for Asia-Pacific. Baronci currently serves as director of economics at ACI World in Montreal, Canada. He will take up his new position in Hong Kong in December 2019. Baronci, a native of Italy, has almost 20 years of analytical and representational experience at national and international level in the aviation sector, in both airport and airline industries. He started his career at ACI Europe in Brussels, Belgium as a senior policy manager and also served as Secretary General of Assaeroporti, an Association of 37 Airport Operators in Italy, where he contributed to the approval of a new economic regulation extending a dual till system for all Italian airports.

Airports Council International World’s director general, Angela Gittens.

ACI finds airport industry in a ‘high wire balancing act’ in meeting demand: Airports Council International (ACI) World’s annual World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) reveal the airport industry is engaged in a high wire balancing act as it prepares to meet surging global demand for air services. Having reached 8.8 billion in 2018, global traffic is forecast to double by 2037. Over the long term, it is projected to grow at an annualised rate of 3.7 percent, reaching 19.7 billion by 2040. China is projected to become the largest passenger market in 2031 and then to dominate passenger rankings in 2040, with more than 3.5 billion passengers which equates to an 18 percent share of the global passenger traffic market.

The US and India will follow, with 2.9 and 1.3 billion passengers respectively. Together, the three countries will handle almost 40 percent of global passenger traffic. Indonesia, currently the tenth largest market in terms of total passenger traffic worldwide, is expected to rapidly climb in the country rankings, reaching the fourth position by 2036.


In meeting this strong demand, the airport industry faces a balancing act. Airport operators already face capacity constraints and the predicament of surging air transport demand outstripping available airport infrastructure. At the same time, the industry must contend with increased protectionism, isolationism, and risks associated with climate change that could stifle this growth. “There is no doubt that the future of the industry is positive with ACI’s forecasts showing passenger traffic worldwide is expected to double to more than 17 billion by 2037,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said. “In the short term, however isolationist policies have fuelled a retraction from decades of progress toward greater global economic integration which will inevitably restrain the efficient flow of people, goods and services.

“While it is evident air transport very much relies on open markets to grow, it is also evident that, in markets with strong air transport demand, airport operators already face capacity constraints that could limit growth. Action must be taken to address this growing infrastructure gap. Given that more than 200 airports already require slot coordination because they have insufficient capacity to meet demand, government regulators must come together with the aviation industry to ensure that existing capacity can be better utilized while facilitating new and improved infrastructure to improve efficiency and the passenger experience. The consequences of inaction are stark. We see for example that EUROCONTROL projects that 1.5 million flights – the equivalent of 160 million passengers – will be unable to fly by 2040. An estimated 470,000 passengers will be delayed one to two hours per day in 2040, compared to 50,000 delayed passengers per day in 2016.”

IndiGo-signsVolotea selects Airbus Services as long-term partner for A319 pilot training: Volotea, the Barcelona-based airline, has chosen Airbus to train all its pilots following the signature of an exclusive five-year contract. The training, which will commence in January 2020, includes Type-Rating as well as long-term Recurrent training linked to Volotea’s growing fleet of Airbus A319s – which will exceed 50 aircraft in 2023. The organisation of the training plan is currently on-going, paving the way for the go-live next year.

Hahn Air Group launches Hahn Air Technologies: The Hahn Air Group announced the launch of a new company, Hahn Air Technologies. It will provide distribution services to airlines which are looking to expand their indirect ticket sales. In addition, it will serve as an innovation centre and think tank for the Hahn Air Group by exploring and developing the potential of new distribution channels such as NDC, blockchain-based providers and mobile solutions. The first product of Hahn Air Technologies is X1-Air. By using X1-Air, airlines that have limited or no indirect distribution connectivity can immediately make their flights available in various sales channels. Aside from interfaces with major GDS, such as Amadeus and Sabre and soon Travelport, the service package of Hahn Air Technologies and X1-Air includes scheduling, fare filing, messaging, inventory management as well as booking, ticketing and settlement. More GDSs will be added to the service in the near future.

IndiGo-signsL3Harris Technologies awards 10 Pilot Pathways female scholarships: L3Harris Technologies has offered 10 L3Harris Pilot Pathways Female Scholarships for 2019 towards the cost of the company’s Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License (APTL) training. “We congratulate the successful candidates and wish them long and exciting careers as pilots,” said Geoff van Klaveren, vice president, L3Harris’ Airline Academy. “We are passionate about encouraging more women onto the flight deck. It’s a significant issue for the industry and we are committed to showcasing the career among a wider group of people.” “This scholarship has provided women with the motivation to consider becoming a pilot, as well as the means,” said scholarship-recipient Olivia Clarke. “I can’t wait to advance my dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot.” Miryam Ley, another scholarship recipient, added, “Until I came across a female pilot’s social media profile, I had not considered a career as a pilot because you never think of yourself in a role unless you see someone you can relate to in it. I now hope to be a role model that can inspire other young women to consider it as an exciting and viable career opportunity.”

United Airlines pledges US$40 million to decarbonise commercial air travel: United Airlines has further strengthened its reputation as an aviation industry leader in environmental sustainability by committing US$40 million toward a new investment vehicle focused on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonisation technologies. The carrier, which earlier this year agreed to purchase up to 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over the next two years, will look to collaborate with other environmentally conscious partners on this initiative. Among all airlines around the world, United holds more than 50 percent of all publicly announced purchase commitments to using sustainable aviation fuels and is the only US carrier to currently use this fuel on a continuous basis.

Embry-Riddle president calls for moves to increase number of women in aviation, STEM: Increasing the ranks and stature of women across the aviation industry as well as all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields should be considered an urgent top priority requiring innovative solutions, including university initiatives with industry and private collaborators, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s president, P. Barry Butler wrote Oct. 23 in Aviation Week & Space Technology. Today’s aviation industry leaders and STEM educators clearly recognise the need to recruit and retain more female aviation executives, pilots and aircraft maintenance professionals, Butler said, but finding effective solutions to the problem will require a sharper focus. “Equal representation is so much more than a goal,” he wrote. “If we are to sustain and grow the economic vitality and innovation of the industry we serve, it is non-negotiable.” The search for solutions could be informed by lessons learned in other fields that have managed to widen the talent pipeline, Butler said. While professional programs such as law, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry have made great strides toward achieving equal gender representation, only 4.4 percent of airline pilots are women. Access to education and licensing needed for success has helped women break into many traditionally male fields, he added, yet the first female pilots for US passenger airlines – Emily Howell Warner and Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo – were not hired until 1973. In aviation and STEM, Butler said, “Progress has been slow and inconsistent … The word `professional’ remained synonymous with men for decades, but that changed in other industries. It’s time for it to change in our industry, too. We don’t have 50 years to catch up.”

GE Aviation and Hybrid Project team to provide commercial high-endurance UAV: GE Aviation announced a teaming agreement with Hybrid Project to provide a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV designed for high endurance commercial applications at scale. Flight testing will commence in Q4 this year with commercial availability targeted for Q1 2020. The agreement enables Hybrid Project’s 35-pound hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV with a full stack airborne computing hardware platform, flight and safety management, and integration from GE Aviation and Auterion. GE Aviation’s computing platform enables flight control and airborne computing power at the edge while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller. Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 operating system resides on the vehicle, in the cloud, and the ground station. This integration is the result of an agreement announced earlier this year between GE Aviation and Auterion to provide all-in-one hardware and software platform for commercial drones. Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo has been designed from the ground up with an emphasis on endurance flight, ease of maintenance, and being modular. The combined system is comprised of technologies and services which have the capability to enable commercial operations in complex environments while meeting regulatory and mission outcomes.

IndiGo-signsJohn and Martha King Inducted in to Organisation of Black Aerospace Professionals Hall of Fame: John and Martha King, co-chairmen of King Schools, have been inducted into the Organisation of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Founders and Pioneers Hall of Fame, in recognition of their life-long dedication to making aviation learning accessible to all. John and Martha started their aviation training careers by teaching private pilot and instrument rating accelerated ground school courses all over the country.  They had a barnstormer’s schedule, flying their own airplane to destinations around the country to teach weekend ground schools and returning to San Diego to handle their business during the week.  They estimate that they taught about 500 of these live courses to audiences of 20 to 400 people.  In the late 1980’s they put their classes on videotape, selling them first directly to flight instructors and then to pilots, revolutionising the aviation training industry.  Since they started King Schools in 1974, over 500,000 individual pilots have taken their courses. Founded in 1976, the Organisation of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers.

Boeing announces new board member: The Boeing Company board of directors has elected retired Adm. John Richardson as its newest member. Richardson, 59, served as the 31st chief of Naval Operations from September 2015 until August 2019, when he retired from the US Navy after 37 years of service. Richardson will join the Aerospace Safety Committee, which was formed in August following a rigorous five-month review of the company’s policies and processes for airplane design and development by the board’s temporary Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes. He also will serve on the board’s Special Programs Committee. “Admiral Richardson has distinguished himself as an exceptional leader with broad operational capabilities and deep expertise in developing and implementing rigorous safety policies and procedures in mission-critical environments,” said Boeing chairman David Calhoun. “Among other things, he served in four submarines, commanding one of them. He was later responsible for the full life-cycle safety and regulatory compliance requirements for more than 90 reactors around the world on nuclear-powered warships and in land-based facilities. His credentials in safety and instilling a safety-first culture are unparalleled.”

Airbus opens propulsion facility: Airbus chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini and Airbus Defence and Space CEO Dirk Hoke have officially opened the E-Aircraft Systems House test facility at Airbus’s Taufkirchen/Ottobrunn site. The test centre will provide a space to research technologies for alternative propulsion systems and energy sources – such as electric motors for unmanned aerial vehicles, hybrid propulsion systems and hydrogen for combustion or synthetic fuel use. The building, which allows complete systems to be integrated and tested, is the first test centre of its kind worldwide.

IndiGo-signsAurigny launch customer for ClearVision with company’s first ATR 72-600: ATR delivered the first of three ATR 72-600 aircraft to Aurigny. By replacing its fleet of three ATR 72-500 aircraft with the -600 Series, Aurigny will optimise its operations by acquiring the most efficient regional aircraft. An ATR 72-600 burns up to 40 percent less fuel and emits 40 percent less CO2 compared to a regional jet. The Guernsey-based airline will also further benefit from -600 Series’ latest generation Standard 3 avionics suite and is the launch customer for the ClearVision Enhanced Vision System (EVS). The EVS will provide pilots with outstanding vision and situational awareness during conditions of reduced visibility. In the cabin, Aurigny’s passengers will also benefit from the -600 Series’ modern Armonia cabin which will introduce the latest standards of comfort, offering more space for luggage in overhead bins and providing passengers 18-inch wide seats.

IndiGo-signsJet Aviation named Fixed Base Operator of the Year at Aviation Business Awards: Jet Aviation received the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) of the Year Award at the 2019 Aviation Business Awards ceremony held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With approximately 220 executives and professionals from every part of the Middle East’s aviation supply chain in attendance, the award event took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel. The Aviation Business Awards are held annually to recognise and celebrate aviation and aerospace industry achievements within the Middle East during the past year. This year’s gala event supported 14 award categories in total, including the airline, airport and cargo sectors, as well as the support services industry. In the Fixed Base Operator of the Year category, Jet Aviation’s Dubai FBO was selected by a panel of industry judges for its outstanding ability to support customers through its services, innovation, design, investments and demonstrable customer satisfaction. Jet Aviation established its award-winning FBO at Dubai International Airport (DXB) in May 2005. To offer greater flexibility to customers in Dubai, it opened a second FBO at Dubai World Central (DWC) in November 2017. The company currently operates the largest FBO network in the Middle East and continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to the region, the industry and its global customers through its unique ability to support comprehensive business aviation services.

IndiGo-signsSpairliners strengthens its supplier and MRO network: Spairliners agreed to expand its MRO with new partners including: Inflite MRO Services Ltd, based in Southend/ UK and Ateliers Bigata, a specialist in the maintenance of pressurised safety components, headquartered in Bordeaux/ France, will extend Spairliners’ repair capabilities and add more flexibility and agility to Spairliners existing supplier network over the next years.

IndiGo-signsCAE and Loganair renew pilot training agreement: CAE announced the launch of the Loganair Graduate Pilot Programme and the signing of a new three-year pilot training contract with Loganair. “The launch of Loganair’s Graduate Pilot Program is a great opportunity for aspiring professional airline pilots” said Maurice Boyle, Chief Operations Officer at Loganair. “Quality training is extremely important for Loganair and we are setting up this program to further build on our strong foundation of service excellence and aviation safety. Through our partnership with CAE, we are giving pilots access to the highest standard of training from the very beginning of their flying career.”

IndiGo-signsOntic partners with Proponent: Ontic, a BBA Aviation company, has appointed Proponent as its exclusive distributor to support the commercial aftermarket for its Pressure Transmitter, Chip Detector and Fuel Flow Transmitter product lines. Mark Gobin, site director North America, stated, “We believe that our partnership with Proponent will add value to our customers. With Proponent’s excellent customer support and their expertise and knowledge of commercial aircraft parts, I am confident that Proponent will continue Ontic’s high calibre of service.” Ontic’s global legacy focus is supported by manufacturing and MRO facilities in Chatsworth, California; Creedmoor, North Carolina; Plainview, New York; Cheltenham in the United Kingdom and in Singapore.

IndiGo-signsATR appoints Eric Segura as SVP Procurement & Supply Chain: Eric Segura has been nominated as senior vice president for Procurement and Supply Chain of ATR. Segura will be reporting to the CEO, Stefano Bortoli, and joins the ATR Executive Committee. He succeeds  David Brigante, who was nominated senior vice president for Programmes and Customer Services earlier in the year. Bortoli, ATR’s CEO, stated: “We are very proud to have Eric joining the ATR team. His in-depth industry knowledge and strong expertise in procurement and the supply chain combined with a leadership style that fits the agile ATR culture and values, will help us put in place ATR’s strategy of continuous product improvement and innovation and contribute to preparing the future”.

AAV Media Kit
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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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