Aviation News in Brief 6 July 2020

Brisbane Airport, ICAO, Vietjet, FACC, ATR layoffs, ITP Aero, Rolls-Royce

Planes taking off at sunset
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Virgin Australia will christen Brisbane’s new runway: Virgin Australia will be the first airline to depart on Brisbane’s new runway when it officially opens on 12 July 2020. After eight years of construction and five decades of planning, the new runway system will provide Brisbane Airport with the greatest runway capacity of any capital city airport in the country. The A$1.1 billion privately funded project is the largest in the history of Brisbane Airport since its opening in 1988 and worth nearly as much as the initial cost of the airport when Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) bought it in 1997 for A$1.38 billion. BAC Chief Executive Gert-Jan de Graaff said the first departure by Virgin Australia would be a fitting way to mark Brisbane’s new runway as open for business. “As our airport’s home carrier and an airline that has always shown great confidence in Brisbane and Queensland as a place to do business, I am delighted to have Virgin Australia fly the first departure from Brisbane’s new runway. COVID may have hampered some of our plans to mark this historic moment but, it certainly has not detracted from our pride and sense of accomplishment.” To mark the anniversary of the very first flight between Brisbane and Tropical North Queensland by Barrier Reef Airways which took off 73 years to the day on 12 July 1947, Virgin Australia will operate a Boeing 737 aircraft between Brisbane and Cairns.

ICAO says new PNR data standards to improve counter-terrorism efforts: A detailed set of international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) to assist states in establishing their capabilities to collect, use, process and protect Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to help detect and counter terrorist offenses and mobility was endorsed recently by the ICAO governing body. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2396 prescribed that countries should develop the capability to collect, process and analyse, in furtherance of ICAO SARPs, airline PNR data for the purpose of countering, detecting and investigating terrorist offenses and related travel. The resolution also “urges ICAO to work with its Member States to establish a standard for the collection, use, processing and protection of PNR data.” “The exchange of PNR data helps to prevent the flight of foreign terrorist fighters while enhancing the efficiency and convenience of the travel experience of legitimate travellers,” said the president of the ICAO Council, Salvatore Sciacchitano. “The adoption of Amendment 28 to Annex 9 – Facilitation to the Convention on International Civil Aviation by the Council provides not only pivotal technical guidance, but also an important legal mechanism to support the exchange of this data by States.” Pending any further and substantial national feedback on the PNR standards, Amendment 28 will become effective in October 2020 and applicable in February 2021.

Vietjet named top company to work for: Vietjet has been named to the list of “Top 50 Best Companies to Work for in Asia” for two consecutive years. The ceremony of the HR Asia Awards 2020, organised by Asia’s leading human resource magazine HR Asia Magazine, took place recently in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The event also honoured many other leading enterprises with the best working environment throughout Asia such as Coca Cola, Shinhan Bank and Techcombank. Vietjet Managing Director Luu Duc Khanh, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition. Vietjet has always been proud of our experienced leaders, high-quality, professional and enthusiastic human resources as well as fair working environment, good HR policies, equal and unlimited promotional opportunities for all employees. They are the key to Vietjet’s success today and the solid foundation for the company’s strong and sustainable development in the future. I would like to thank more than 6,000 employees of Vietjet and appreciate their solidarity and efforts as well as the cooperation of Vietjet’s business partners around the world”. In recent years, Vietjet has been honoured with many prestigious international awards such as “Asia’s Best Employer Brand”, top 500 “Asia’s Leading Brand”, and the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by AirFinance Journal.

FACC joins Boeing premier programme: The international aerospace group FACC announced it has earned a spot in the Boeing Premier Bidder Programme. The programme recognises and rewards consistently high performing Boeing Commercial Airplanes suppliers and gives them an opportunity to increase their business with Boeing. FACC is a leading technology group in the aerospace industry providing major structural assemblies to Boeing. “Being accepted into Boeing’s Premier Bidder Programme is both a sigh of recognition and a mission for us,” said Robert Machtlinger, FACC CEO. “This shows that we are on the right track with our best-in-class approach. At the same time, we are aware of the great responsibility involved. We will continue to strive toward continuously improving our efficiency to fulfill customer requirements. This is especially important during challenging times such as the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Machtlinger. FACC joins approximately 100 suppliers that have met and/or sustained the high quality and delivery criteria required for inclusion in the Premier Bidder Programme.

ATR cutting jobs: Regional aircraft manufacturer ATR has announced plans to “right-size” its organisation in response to the COVID-19 crisis, consistent with the reduction of its activity in the coming years due to the phenomenal loss of commercial aviation activity in recent months. As the industry faces an unprecedented crisis, this reduction will have impact on ATR’s worldwide workforce, with an expected resizing of employees by 204 positions, including 186 in France. The information and consultation process with social partners has begun with a view to reaching agreements by autumn 2020. Decreases in air travel since the outbreak of the pandemic have strongly affected the demand for aviation and despite government support that has enabled the company to limit necessary adaptation measures, ATR has accepted that recovery, although faster in the segment of regional air traffic, will be slow. As other major aircraft manufacturers, in order to survive and ensure the future of the business, ATR has had to consider, along with other measures such as cost containment and financial levers, adapting its workforce to this new and unexpected situation. ATR in France will work together with its social partners to limit the impact of this plan by relying on all measures that will be made available by government limiting layoffs as much as possible.

ITP Aero produces first IPT casing for Rolls-Royce UltraFan: ITP Aero is carrying out the final manufacturing phase of the first IPT (Intermediate Pressure Turbine) casing of the future Rolls-Royce UltraFan, a new aircraft engine demonstrator that will define a new era in jet engines, delivering noise and fuel burn reductions, and will be 25 percent more efficient than a first-generation Trent engine. The casing manufacturing project is part of the CDTI and the European Union’s Clean Sky 2 programme, which has been carried out over five years with the collaboration of three technology centres. The casing, which covers the IPT of UltraFan, houses the turbine blades and connects the IPT to the rest of the engine. The IPT is a key module of UltraFan, designed to operate at very high speeds to optimize the engine’s fuel consumption and minimize CO2 emissions. Erlantz Cristobal, chief technology officer of ITP Aero said: “At ITP Aero, we continue to have our long-term vision focused on a future in which sustainability will play a fundamental role in our sector. That is why, despite the difficult situation the aeronautic industry is going through, we continue to work towards an increasingly sustainable aviation industry, committed to developing proprietary technology and more efficient aeronautical products and services. This milestone has been achieved thanks to new manufacturing technology, which is a result of our solid network of collaboration with strategic technology centres and joint R&D centres with universities.”

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