Aviation News in Brief 9 October 2020

APOC Aviation, Textron Aviation, Becker Avionics, Piaggio, THAI Smile, Sabre, Emirates, Bluebox, dnata, ACI World, Etihad, AVIC Cabin Systems, VistaJet, Elenium Automation

ACI Asia-Pacific
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneAPOC Aviation acquires three CFM56-5A engines: As part of a strategic programme to expand its engines asset platform, APOC Aviation has purchased three CFM56-5A engines from PTS Aviation in Florida in a multi-million dollar transaction. One of the engines was acquired with a lease attached to German charter airline, Condor. The other two are currently in Miami and will shortly be integrated into APOC’s portfolio awaiting transition to customers. APOC’s engine programme allows for another five inductions before year-end and these will soon come on-stream, not only feeding the lease pool, but also supplementing the new engine parts division which will complement APOC’s broader narrow body aircraft component sales, exchange and consignment facility.

Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER achieves FAA type certification: Textron Aviation announced it has achieved Type Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its twin turboprop Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER aircraft, paving the way for customer deliveries to commence in the coming weeks. Announced in August 2020, the Beechcraft King Air 360 demonstrates the company’s commitment to ongoing product development, bringing the latest innovations to the legendary aircraft and providing added value for customers. “The new era of the industry-leading Beechcraft King Air begins today,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering and Programmes. “The King Air 360 is a perfect combination of customer input, innovative technology and next-generation capabilities. By incorporating superior features and engineering advancements into an aircraft that is renowned for its versatility and reliability, we have elevated the King Air to the next level. With certification now in hand, we are thrilled to soon get these aircraft into the hands of our eager customers.”

Becker Avionics awarded STC for Piaggio P.180: Becker Avionics said it has been awarded a Part 23 Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the installation of the AMU6500 Audio Panel. The STC covers the Piaggio P.180 Series aircraft (Avanti II and Avanti EVO). This STC was designed with simplicity and ease of installation in mind. The whole modification can be performed quickly and during a planned maintenance event. The obsolete Baker Electronics M1035/M1045 audio panels are removed from the instrument panel. By adding a new audio panel mounting bracket and a small harness adapter, the new AMU is installed. This STC was made possible with the collaboration of Intercontinental Jet Services Corp. (IJSC) based in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the US. IJSC is an authorized Piaggio Service Centre and the only authorised sales channel for this STC.

THAI Smile selects Sabre as distribution partner: Sabre announced a new distribution agreement with regional hybrid airline THAI Smile as the airline looks to boost traveller confidence amid a ramped up domestic tourism drive. This new partnership means that content from THAI Smile, which operates to more than 30 domestic and regional destinations as well as seamlessly connecting to dozens more destinations through its parent company THAI Airways International, will be available through the Sabre GDS. The announcement comes after THAI Smile, together with THAI Airways, became the first airlines in Thailand to receive the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certificate, which is designed to build traveller confidence through an official recognition of strong preventive measures.

Emirates launches connectivity options for trade partners: Developed using IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standards, the Emirates Gateway is available via the recently launched Emirates Partners Portal. Offering improved access to Emirates’ products and services with an intuitive and easy to ease interface, the Emirates Gateway offers the airline’s trade partners the ability to enhance travellers’ journeys with customised products and services. Trade partners can connect to the Emirates Gateway via three flexible access solutions – Emirates Booking Portal: a user-friendly web booking portal available in 12 languages, connected directly to Emirates’ reservation systems that simplifies the booking, ticketing and post-ticketing servicing of Emirates orders; Emirates Gateway Direct, which provides access to Emirates content through IATA NDC APIs, allowing trade partners to build applications that meet their needs with expert support from Emirates’ IT teams; Emirates Gateway Sync: a facilitated link into the Emirates reservation system provided by industry leading, IATA registered, Emirates certified technology partners.

Bluebox and dnata catering announce partnership: Bluebox Aviation Systems and dnata catering Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and market offerings based on the deployment of Bluebox wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) solutions across Australia, New Zealand and a number of other Pacific Ocean territories. The companies will support each other in product customisation and processes for delivering joint solutions to customers in the region.

ACI World urges UK to reverse decision on duty free: Airports Council International (ACI) World has joined with the Duty Free World Council and the Tax Free World Association to urge the UK government to reverse its decision to end airport tax free sales to international passengers for all goods other than alcohol and tobacco. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought UK and world airports to a standstill – ACI recently revealed that the airport industry is anticipating global passenger numbers to decrease by 5.6 billion with an unprecedented $104.5 billion reduction in revenue. Sixty percent of global aviation jobs – including the duty free workforce – are at airports. As the industry seeks to sustain a restart of operations and plan for a long term recovery, airport tax free sales will form an integral part of airports’ non-aeronautical revenues, contributing to the vitality of the airport business and the development of infrastructure. Earlier this month, however, the UK government confirmed that tax free sales on airside products (except for alcohol and tobacco) will end for all travellers from 1 January 2021.

Etihad rolls out electronic tech logs: Etihad Airways has implemented electronic technical logs (eTech logs) for airline operations. The approval from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for implementation on Etihad’s freighter fleet accelerates the journey towards paperless airline operations which is a key initiative for Etihad Airways and the GCAA. The implementation on Etihad’s Boeing 777 freighter fleet follows three months of trials in partnership with the GCAA, where eTech logs replaced paper logbooks currently used by flight crew and engineers to document all flight and maintenance information. Although modern aircraft are technologically advanced, most airlines continue to use paper-based logbooks. By replacing paper documentation, eTech logs provide real-time data capture that can be shared with multiple stakeholders, from the air to the ground – increasing operational efficiency, reducing delays and costs.

AVIC Cabin Systems announces global sales organisation: In line with the strategy for further integration of its company structure, AVIC Cabin Systems is setting up a Global Sales Management team. Customers will benefit from the full group portfolio of products and services covering all areas of the cabin from a single source. The new sales team will be globally situated and will be well positioned to bring customers an integrated ACS offering. Each of the ACS sales team members will be promoting the full portfolio of ACS products and services and proactively identifying innovative opportunities to grow the business moving forward. A lean and agile structure will provide higher flexibility, cost efficiency and a one-stop-shop to the market in the future. Phase 1 of the integration will combine the current sales teams from Thompson Aero Seating and AIM Altitude under the leadership of Andy Morris, vice president Commercial AVIC Cabin Systems. The new ACS sales team will service the market based not only on location but also specific customer requirements ensuring that the relevant expertise for the entire AIM and Thompson product and services portfolio is available to all customers. The existing sales teams in FACC, Fesher and Jiatai are not affected and remain in place.

VistaJet says corporate demand rising: VistaJet launched its new Dynamic Corporate Membership for corporations recently, offering a full suite of flexible travel solutions for businesses and executives around the world. At the same, the company said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is redefining the global aviation landscape and accelerating several trends: Corporates are increasingly flying entire teams to multiple locations around the world to ensure business continuity — industry research reports that 31 percent of US  companies are expanding their use of private aviation for business trips, the company said. VistaJet has seen a surge of 49 percent in corporate interest globally since the start of the pandemic.

Elenium Automation attracts NRMA as cornerstone investor: Australian self-service and automation technology provider, Elenium Automation, announced NRMA as a cornerstone investor for its B series capital raise. NRMA, one of Australia’s most trusted brands, is backing Elenium’s strategy to deliver technology that assists in keeping the public safe, encouraging confidence and supporting ‘COVID Normal’ to open Australia once again. The funds will be used for Elenium’s global growth strategy and continued investment into research and development for new technologies that move people faster and safer. Launching in 2015 with a focus on creating a seamless airport experience, Elenium has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with new touchless technology designed to keep the public safe and build confidence across aviation, health, aged care, workplaces,  event venues and more. Financial details were not disclosed.

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