Aviation News in Brief 5 August 2020

Korean Air, Emirates, Sabre, Air New Zealand, Airinmar, Air Methods, MD Helicopters, Lufthansa Technik, Vision-Box, Kansai International Airport, Magnetic MRO Training, Etihad Airways

(PHOTO: Lufthansa Technik)

Korean Air rolls out ‘CARE FIRST’ programme: Korean Air has rolled out a ‘CARE FIRST’ informational programme – emphasising its multiple layers of protection throughout the passenger journey – to enhance travel safety and awareness with its customers and employees. The airline has established a ‘CARE FIRST’ page on its website, koreanair.com, where customers can check specific measures to ensure safety in all stages of air travel: cabin disinfection, self-check-in options, temperature checks at the gate, social distancing between passengers, boarding and deplaning, and strengthened cleanliness safeguards for inflight catering. The programme’s informative video is being introduced on Korean Air’s in-flight AVOD as well as website and SNS channels. For a minute and a half, the video introduces the airline’s activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with an interview of Korean Air’s chief of safety and security. The airline also is screening a short video on its website and SNS channels, demonstrating specific steps of disinfection that customers go through at the airport. Korean Air also has created a ‘CARE FIRST KIT’ that consists of a surgical mask, a hand sanitizer and an information sheet. The kit will be distributed to all passengers at the boarding gates of international flights at Incheon International Airport for a week from August 1 to celebrate the program’s first week.

Emirates to deploy A380 to Guangzhou: Emirates has announced that it will deploy its A380 aircraft to Guangzhou from 8 August 2020. The airline has also restarted its A380 operations to Amsterdam and Cairo this week, and introduced a second daily A380 service to London Heathrow, serving market demand and offering customers more travel options. Emirates has so far resumed A380 services to five cities and it will gradually expand the deployment of this popular aircraft in line with demand and operational approvals. Customers can currently fly the Emirates A380 daily to Amsterdam, four times a week to Cairo, twice daily to London Heathrow, once daily to Paris, and once weekly to Guangzhou (from 8 August). Over the past week, Emirates has also resumed flights from Dubai to Addis Ababa, Clark, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Prague, São Paulo, Stockholm and Seychelles. With safety as a priority, the airline is gradually expanding its passenger services to 68 cities in August, returning to 50 percent of its pre-pandemic destination network.

Sabre renews distribution agreement with Air New Zealand: Sabre has renewed its long-term, worldwide distribution agreement with Air New Zealand. Under the renewed agreement, Sabre will continue to distribute global Air New Zealand content to hundreds of thousands of travel agents and thousands of corporations globally through its extensive travel marketplace. The agreement also includes an opt-in content programme in New Zealand and Australia, which provides agencies with access to Air New Zealand’s preferential content through the Sabre marketplace.

Airinmar selected by Air Methods: AAR subsidiary Airinmar, a provider of component repair cycle management and aircraft warranty solutions, signed a new services agreement with the world’s largest civilian helicopter operator, Air Methods. Airinmar’s services will include the identification, claim, recovery and reporting of rotorcraft/aircraft component warranty. Airinmar will complement Air Methods’ existing processes and apply its proven procedures, support systems and skilled technical staff. With this partnership, Air Methods will also benefit from Airinmar’s value engineering of costs associated with the repair process, including price quotes from suppliers and service vendors. Based on the data analyses and findings, Airinmar identifies cost reductions, as well as process improvements.

Wilson Construction modernises MD500 helos: MD Helicopters (MDHI) announced delivery of newly certified MD 530F to Wilson Construction. Wilson Construction, headquartered in Aurora, Oregon, upgraded one of its four MD 500E helicopters to an FAA-certified MD 530F model aircraft. An operator of MDHI-brand helicopters since 2005, Wilson Construction has delivered their hardworking E-model aircraft to be overhauled and recertified as an F-model (Type Certificate 369FF) at MD Helicopters’ Mesa-Arizona manufacturing and completions centre. For over 20 years, Wilson Construction has been a leader in delivering safe and efficient helicopter operations in the electric utility construction industry. With a fleet of seven helicopters, including six MDHI-brand aircraft, Wilson’s veteran pilots complete complex jobs safely and efficiently in sometimes extreme and harsh conditions. Upon completion of this conversion, the Wilson Construction rotorcraft fleet will include three (3) MD 500E and three (3) MD 530F helicopters. MD Helicopters’ exclusive E-to-F conversion program allows for the maintenance of essential safety margins while delivering increased hot-and-high performance capability. Enhancements to the Wilson Construction aircraft include: an engine upgrade from the Rolls Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30; replacement of the main rotor and tail rotor blades; upgraded F model main rotor gearbox; an Onboard Systems Dual Cargo Hook.

Lufthansa Technik inducts new trainees: Despite the current biggest crisis in the company’s history, Lufthansa Technik has inducted some 240 young people into the company’s apprentice programme. Out of the total of 240 new apprenticeships and places to study, 192 are directly attributable to Lufthansa Technik, the remainder to companies in the Lufthansa Technik Group or joint ventures. In total, more than 750 young people are currently undergoing training or studying in the Lufthansa Technik Group on their way to a career in aircraft engineering, industry or logistics. The proportion of women in 2020 is 14 percent. Compared with the previous year, this figure represents a slight increase, but it is still too low. Lufthansa Technik will therefore continue its efforts to attract women in particular to technical professions. The inclusion of people with physical disabilities also remains a declared goal of the company: this year in Hamburg, two hearing impaired people will start their training as tool mechanics. Originally Lufthansa Technik had planned a higher number of new apprentices for this year. However, the outbreak of the pandemic as well as the resulting massive decline in global air traffic and the workload in many parts of the company made it necessary to adjust the number of trainees accordingly.

Vision-Box implements automated gates at Kansai: Vision-Box announced the launch of automated pre-security gates at the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, the second largest airport in the Vinci Group, handling over 30 million passengers annually. Vision-Box has successfully implemented five banks of 12 pre-security gates (GT11) at Terminal 1 of the Kansai International Airport, operational from Monday, 27 July 2020. The partnership supports Kansai Airports’ wider efforts to promote a ‘Fast Travel’ experience for passengers, allowing for a smoother departure procedure. By automating the boarding pass confirmation procedure at the departure gate, the self-scan will replace the need for inspectors to manually check and scan passenger boarding passes, speeding up the overall travel experience. The launch of the automated gates comes at a pivotal moment for Kansai International Airport, allowing for fast contactless operation, helping prevent the spread of infectious diseases especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Opening in 1994, Kansai International Airport is situated just 50km from the city centre of Osaka. It is Japan’s first 24-hour operated airport and it has established itself as one of Japan’s and Asia’s most important airports in which it serves as an important base for key airlines such as All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

Magnetic MRO Training receives Part-147 online training approval: Magnetic MRO Training, an international EASA Part-147 approved type training organisation, has received Part-147 online training approval from ECAA and is already performing its first Synchronous Distance Learning in Airbus A320 Type Training. Synchronous Distance Learning means that the theoretical part is done virtually; meanwhile, examination and practical training will be done on location at Part-147 approved facility. As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought in many changes in the aviation industry, in response to the demand for Synchronous Distance Learning has increased drastically. Such course types allow trainees to virtually participate in the theoretical training program and complete course online as well as can be taken even when the travel restrictions are in place. “Since the very beginning of the pandemic we have noticed the increase in demand for online training, and since our main goal is to respond to the needs of the industry, we started working right away to receive this approval. As the whole process took several months, we are happy to finally receive it and already start with the first training,” shared Kristiin Koll, a training coordinator at Magnetic MRO Training.

NZ Airports welcomes funding for Chatham Islands runway: The NZ Airports Association (NZ Airports) has welcomed the governments’ announcement that the Chatham Islands will receive NZ$40 million in COVID-19 recovery funding, the great majority of which will go to upgrading the runway at Tuuta Airport, allowing larger aircraft to land. NZ Airports Chief Executive Kevin Ward said the government’s investment will be a real and permanent shot in the arm for the Chatham’s economy and will benefit all its residents. “The Chathams produces fantastic seafood but the problem has always been getting it to customers.  The runway upgrade will allow bigger and faster aircraft to be used. Larger aircraft will also allow easier travel for tourists, so opening up growth in passenger numbers and supporting many other kinds of Chatham businesses.  Securing reliable social connections for probably our most isolated population is hugely valuable.” The upgraded runway will be Boeing 737 capable – more than three times the weight of the current Convair aircraft – and will set the airport up for the next 50 years. The project also includes safety and security enhancements and an extension to the passenger terminal.

Etihad Airways introduces face shields for premium passengers: Etihad Airways has launched new protective wear for First and Business Class guests. As part of its new health and hygiene programme, Etihad Wellness, premium passengers will receive a snood style facemask for use throughout their journey and beyond. The soft reusable snood has been treated with MicrobeBARRIER fabric treatment, a broad spectrum antimicrobial treatment, laboratory tested and proven to reduce the presence of germs in fabrics. With this long-lasting protective layer, the snoods are washable and reusable, making them environmentally friendly. Travellers can choose to wear the snood around their neck like a scarf and when in close proximity to others, pull it up over their mouth and nose to protect themselves and those around them. Made out of lightweight, breathable and stretchy jersey fabric, the snood is comfortable and ideal for travel because it can be easily slipped on and off as needed.

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