Aviation News in Brief 8 June 2020

IATA cargo report, Airbus orders, Scott, Nordic Aviation Capital, ALSIM, Pegasus, Systems Interface, Frequentis, Etihad, Honeywell, Hong Kong Airlines, APG, Avia, AVIAGE SYSTEMS, Korean Air, INFORM, IndiGo, Bye Aerospace


covid-19-iata-calls-for-relief-for-african-middle-eastern-airlinesIATA says cargo demand dropped in April: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in April showing that demand dropped 27.7 percent compared to the same period in 2019 – the sharpest fall ever recorded. Still, there was insufficient capacity to meet demand as a result of the loss of belly cargo operations on passenger aircraft. Global demand, measured in cargo tonne kilometres (CTKs), fell by 27.7 percent in April compared to the previous year (-29.5 percent for international markets). Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (ACTKs), shrank by 42 percent in April compared to the previous year (-40.9 percent for international markets).

Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 75 percent in April compared to the previous year. This was partially offset by a 15 percent increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft. The cargo load factor (CLF) rose 11.5 percentage points in April, the largest increase since tracking began. The magnitude of the rise suggests that there is significant demand for air cargo which cannot be met owing to the cessation of most passenger flights. “There is a severe capacity crunch in air cargo…the result is damaging global supply chains with longer shipping times and higher costs. Airlines are deploying as much capacity as possible, including special charter operations and the temporary use of passenger cabins for cargo. Governments need to continue to ensure that vital supply lines remain open and efficient,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO. Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo fall by 28.1 percent in April 2020, compared to the same period a year earlier. However, the large Asia-North America market recorded less of a decline (7.3 percent) due to the rise in movement of personal protective equipment (PPE).  International capacity decreased 42.5 percent.

airbus-posts-loss-in-q1-as-company-faces-gravest-crisis-the-aerospace-industry-has-ever-knownAirbus gets no orders in May: Airbus Group said that it did not receive a single new order in May as the global aviation crisis fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic throttled demand for new commercial jets. The plane maker delivered 24 aircraft to customers during the month of May, including A220, A320 and A350 XWB planes. No orders were cancelled, Airbus said. In May, Airbus delivered two A220-300 to Air Canada and 18 A320 aircraft including the first A320neo to Wizz Air. For Airbus widebody aircraft, four A350 XWBs were provided in both A350-900 and A350-1000 configurations. Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of 31st May stood at 7,621

Scoot adds new health measures: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Scoot has implemented several measures to safeguard the health of customers and crew. With the resumption of more flights and re-commencement of transit operations at Singapore Changi Airport from June 2020, Scoot will be further enhancing its operational procedures and introducing additional precautionary measures to allow customers to travel with even greater confidence. Scoot will be suspending certain products and services to minimise contact between crew and customers, and to facilitate effective contact tracing. Customers are required to complete a health declaration form prior to check-in. Forms may be completed at Scoot check-in kiosks or via an online form accessible through an SMS notification 24 hours prior to flight departure. All customers are required to bring and wear a mask to board their flight, which must be worn throughout the flight. With effect from 1 June 2020, Scoot will allow each customer one small piece of carry-on baggage of up to 3kg that must fit under the seat in front of them, so as to facilitate safe distancing for passengers during security clearance, boarding and disembarkation. The remaining cabin baggage (up to 7kg) will be checked in at no cost. To minimise physical interactions, Scoot strongly encourages customers to check in online on FlyScoot.com or via our mobile app. Alternatively, they can use the self-service check-in kiosks and automated bag-drop facilities at Changi Airport. ​

Nordic Aviation Capital raises funds: Shareholders of Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), the world’s largest regional aircraft lessor, agreed to inject US$60 million of new equity into the company. Separately, the company has had constructive discussions with its largest lenders over a possible debt standstill and deferral to counteract the negative impact that COVID-19 has had on the business and to ensure stability as the aviation market gradually recovers. In light of these discussions with lenders, the company applied to the High Court in Dublin, launching a Scheme of Arrangement (the Scheme) under the Irish Companies Act. If approved, the Scheme would be an agreement between NAC and its lenders to standstill and defer the payments of interest and principal on its borrowings, covering the next 6-12 months. It is a mechanism available under Irish law that allows solvent companies to implement arrangements with lenders. It requires court approval and the agreement of lenders voting in classes representing 75 percent by value and more than 50 percent by number. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak the company has encountered a large number of lessees deferring lease payments. The long-term equity shareholders in NAC, EQT Partners, KIRKBI Invest, GIC (the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore) and Martin Moller, its founder and chairman, have committed US$60 million of new equity as a signal of their confidence in the prospects for the business and their support for its strategy, the company said.

ALSIM ALX for EuroPilot centre in Belgium: EuroPilot Centre (EPC), now part of the International Pilot Centre Alliance (ICPA), has chosen ALSIM to deliver an ALX simulator at their soon-to-be upgraded, fully solar powered premises in Antwerp, Belgium. The device will be used during phase 6 of the future Integrated Airline Career Programme, covering the EASA APS/MCC. During 2-3 weeks of training, students will be immersed in a true airline environment. This will ensure EPC graduates obtain the necessary technical and non-technical skills to transition smoothly into any future Type Rating. The ALSIM ALX FSTD provides up to four classes of aircraft–from single engine piston, twin engine piston, twin turbine up to medium category twin jets (generic B737/A320). The device is designed and approved for ATPL, CPL, APS/MCC in compliance with all current regulatory standards.

Pegasus Airlines relaunches domestic flights: Pegasus Airlines relaunched its domestic flights on 1 June with its first flight taking place between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport following the initial lifting of restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. From 4 June 2020 Pegasus Airlines will be operating 39 domestic routes to 27 destinations in Turkey. Pegasus Airlines CEO Mehmet T. Nane said: “We are really pleased to be relaunching our flights following their temporary suspension as part of the restrictions put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It has only been our flights, not us, which have stopped during this uncertain time, which has seemed to us like years rather than months. We have continued to receive delivery of our new aircraft, enhanced our processes, and prepared for the new period ahead. We have worked continuously for the days when we would be reunited with our guests.  We are therefore delighted to have relaunched our domestic flights after this period of restrictions, with a schedule of 39 routes to 27 destinations as of 4 June.  In the next phase we will also gradually increase our schedule to include further domestic routes, as well as restarting international flights.”

Systems Interface and Frequentis awarded contract at UK airport: Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) in the United Kingdom has commissioned the installation of a voice communication system (VCS) to replace the airports legacy system. UK-based aviation systems integrator Systems Interface will project manage, supply, install and commission the Frequentis VCS 3020X that will provide flexible integration of existing analogue and digital radio. “This is a complex project in terms of integration and transition requirements, and we are confident that Systems Interface and Frequentis have the experience needed to ensure the process will be completed successfully.”, said LBA Senior Air Traffic Engineer, Ian Alty.

Etihad to offer transfer flights connecting Australia: Effective 10 June, Etihad Airways will link 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia via Abu Dhabi. The new transfer services will make it possible for those travelling on the airline’s current network of special flights to connect easily through the UAE capital onwards to key global destinations. Etihad recently launched links from Melbourne and Sydney to London Heathrow, allowing direct transfer connections to and from the UK capital via Abu Dhabi.

Honeywell survey shows pax want PPE: An informal Honeywell survey taken by more than 700 frequent business and personal air travel passengers indicates the types of guidelines and health-related equipment passengers may be looking for while flying during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The anonymous online survey showed that a majority of travellers (72 percent) were more concerned with the environment on an airplane than in an airport (28 percent). Nearly 60 percent of respondents cited social distancing as their top priority during travel, while about half of respondents cited air quality (51 percent) and personal protection equipment such as masks (47 percent) as top priorities. Passengers’ most-desired safety items during travel were masks, hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes. Cleanliness validation via technology was by far (60 percent) the most important way to provide confidence in seating-area-related cleanliness, according to the informal survey. Other considerations included providing cleaning supplies directly to the passenger (23 percent), followed by being informed and updated by the cabin crew (12 percent). From an airport perspective, survey respondents were most concerned with the cleanliness of common areas, followed by the ability to social distance and fellow travellers’ use of protective equipment.

Hong Kong Airlines appoints APG as GSA: Hong Kong Airlines has extended its longstanding relationship with APG with the appointment of APG as its general sales agent (GSA) in the USA and Canada. The APG offices across North America will be providing wide-ranging sales and marketing activities for Hong Kong Airlines as well as full customer and agent support. “We are delighted to be expanding our cooperating with Hong Kong Airlines and in spite of these challenging times we plan to immediately initiate services in the USA and Canada in order to maximise opportunities as the travel industry rebounds” commented Richard Burgess, President, APG Network.

Avia sells Baltic Ground Services: Avia Solutions Group, the largest aerospace business group from Central & Eastern Europe, has come to a decision to sell Baltic Ground Services Poland, a subsidiary of the group’s family member, Baltic Ground Services (BGS). Under the circumstances of flights being grounded under COVID-19 impact and the competition with the Poland‘s state-owned service providers being high, Avia Solutions Group believes that the sale of Baltic Ground Service Poland is an optimal solution. Baltic Ground Services Poland constituted only 2.2 percent from total pro forma consolidated revenues of Avia Solutions Group. BGS PL offers passenger and aircraft handling, into-plane fuelling and de-icing/anti-icing services. The company has been providing the highest quality solutions to the international customers.

AVIAGE SYSTEMS launches first China-made Boeing 787 QACVR: AVIAGE SYSTEMS and Shenzhen Donica Electronic Technology recently signed an exclusive cooperation agreement and jointly launched the first QACVR (Quick Access to Cockpit Voice Recorder) for the Boeing 787. In future AVIAGE SYSTEMS and Donica will work together to develop the global QACVR market. The Quick Access Cockpit Voice Recorder (QACVR) is an on-board device that records cockpit voice data for a long period of time. It can easily access and store cockpit audio information with synchronized clock information. Once the aircraft has landed, it can quickly on ground playback and export audio data to provide timely and reliable support for flight management. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has suggested airlines in China to use QACVR equipment for audio data management to enhance fleets operation and flight safety management. But for 787, there was no QACVR product available in China market because it uses ARINC 664 network rather than the traditional analogue audio interface. As an integrator of C919 core avionics and the only CAAC certified 787 IMA MRO shop in China, AVIAGE SYSTEMS is with the full knowledge of ARINC664 data bus and network configuration. Donica is one of the first domestic companies introduced QACVR product to the market and now their products have been installed on more than 1,000 aircraft of 21 airlines.

Korean Air launches baggage loading notification system: Korean Air has launched a new service that notifies passengers when their checked baggage has been safely loaded on their flights. The system is available for all international flights departing Incheon International Airport. Korean Air’s mobile app sends out push notifications to inform passengers that their baggage is safely loaded. The service gathers information from the baggage reconciliation system (BRS) that matches barcode information scanned from the check-in and loading processes. The BRS ensures that the bags are on the right flight and provides baggage tracking. The service is available to Skypass members with Korean Air’s mobile app who have enabled push notifications. The airline plans to expand the service to other global airports.

INFORM GroundStar software headed to IndiGo: INFORM, a global provider of advanced optimisation software for the aviation industry, announced that it has entered into an agreement with InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) to provide its comprehensive optimisation software suite, GroundStar (GS) to IndiGo, to enhance the airline’s workforce management processes. With a fleet of over 250 aircraft, IndiGo is India’s largest passenger airline and holds approximately 47.5 percent of the market share in India as of December 2019. The airline offers over 1,500 daily flights and connects 63 destinations in India and 24 destinations outside India. Specifically, IndiGo will be using INFORM’s GS Planning, GS WorkforcePlus and GS RealTime modules, which provide a strong value proposition by supporting aviation companies to optimally plan, schedule and allocate its manpower and equipment resources.

Bye Aerospace approaches critical design phase: Bye Aerospace announced it is nearing completion of the eFlyer 2 critical design phase and that several new purchase deposits have been added to reserve future eFlyer purchase positions. As Bye Aerospace manages its way through the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, the company said it is making eFlyer 2 engineering progress, soon to achieve the high-level critical design phase completion. A critical design review (CDR) is a multi-disciplined technical review to ensure that each eFlyer 2 primary system can proceed into fabrication, demonstration and test. The CDR review also meets the FAA 14 CFR 23 Amendment 64 certification standards and performance requirements within the eFlyer 2 cost, schedule and safety criteria. A major industry and program milestone, a successful CDR is predicated upon a determination that the eFlyer 2 design is ready to achieve these goals.

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