Dubai Airshow News in Brief Day 3

Piper Aircraft, GE Aerospace, Royal Air Maroc, Safran, Saudia, Boeing, Oman Air, Dubai Airports, Airbus, Mubadala, Dronamics, UAE Strategic Development Fund, Pratt & Whitney Canada, flydubai, Emirates, Safran, flydocs, Etihad

(PHOTO: Dubai Airshow)

Singapore SA2024Piper Aircraft signs fleet deal with AeroGuard Flight Training Centre: Piper Aircraft announced today that AeroGuard Flight Training has placed an order for 90 new Archer TX aircraft. The addition of these new Piper trainers will almost double AeroGuard’s fleet size, bringing it to over 200 aircraft. AeroGuard Flight Training Centre has four campus locations, three in the U.S and one in Saudi Arabia. These locations train more than 2,000 student pilots, preparing them for their careers at the world’s leading airlines such as Cathay Pacific, SkyWest and Korea Aerospace University. AeroGuard also has partnerships with many other airline and university partners across the Middle East, India and the rest of Asia. “We are thrilled to sign this agreement with Piper Aircraft to bring 90 new Piper Archers to AeroGuard’s fleet,” said Joel Davidson, CEO of AeroGuard Flight Training Centre. “This investment represents our commitment to providing our airline partners’ student pilots with every resource they need to succeed while experiencing the highest quality flight training in the world. With these additional aircraft, AeroGuard has the capacity to welcome hundreds of new airline cadets to our pilot training programs.”

Royal Air Maroc orders GEnx-1B engines: GE Aerospace announced an order from Royal Air Maroc (RAM) for 4 GEnx-1B engines to power their new order of Boeing 787 aircraft. This order adds to RAM’s current fleet of nine GEnx-powered Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners. “This agreement is part of our continuing efforts to grow our fleet and expand our long-haul routes to North and South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe,” said Abdelhamid Addou, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Air Maroc. “We welcome these new aircraft and engines into our growing Dreamliner fleet.” The GEnx engine family has more than 50 million flight hours since entry into service in 2011 and is the fastest-selling, high-thrust engine in GE history with nearly 3,000 engines in service and on backlog, including spares. The GEnx-1B powers two out of every three 787 aircraft in service. The engine also provides a 1.4% fuel burn savings for the typical 787 mission compared to its competition. The added fuel savings enables more than 2 million fewer pounds of CO2 per aircraft annually. Like all GE Aerospace engines, the GEnx can operate on approved Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blends today.

Safran signs a Nacellelife service agreement with Saudia: Saudia, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with Safran Nacelles at the Dubai Airshow 2023. The agreement focused on the comprehensive support of nacelles for Saudias 35 Airbus aircraft from the A320neo family, powered by the CFM International1 LEAP-1A turbofan engines. Under this collaboration, Saudia will have access to Safran Nacelles shared pool of nacelles end-items at any time, ensuring the availability of critical components whenever needed. Furthermore, Saudia will benefit from Safran Nacelles Original Equipment Manufacturer guaranteed Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) solutions at the AMES2 repair station in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Vincent Caro, CEO of Safran Nacelles, said: “We are very proud to be Saudia’s partner. Safran Nacelles is committed to supporting the continuously growing A320neo fleet of the airline, with efficient nacelles and tailor-made service solutions.” Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia, said: “We are delighted to embark on this pivotal technical support agreement with Safran for our A320neo fleets nacelles. This collaboration is instrumental in driving operational efficiency and enabling us to swiftly adapt to our fleets evolving needs. It exemplifies our commitment to delivering world-class services to our guests and sustaining excellent aviation operations.”

Oman Air orders Boeing converted freighter: Boeing and Oman Air announced an order and delivery of the operator’s first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF). The order is the first dedicated cargo aircraft for the Muscat-based carrier. Oman Air Cargo saw its cargo volume increase 42 percent during the first half of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, driven primarily by capacity expansion across its passenger airplane fleet. With the ability to carry up to 23.9 tonnes of freight at a range of 3,750 km, the 737-800BCF will contribute to continued capacity growth. “The freighter will contribute to the growth of the air cargo logistics sector in Oman and beyond, will be based at our strategically located Muscat hub and will enhance our ability to connect East and West,” said Oman Air. Built on one of the industry’s most efficient and reliable platforms, the 737-800BCF is designed for customers who are responding to increased cargo demand, optimizing fleets, or replacing older freighters. Compared to the previous generation of standard-body freighters, the fuel efficient 737-800BCF has up to 20 percent lower fuel use and CO2 emissions per tonne. Touch labor for the freighter conversion was completed at Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. (STAECO).

Dubai Airports’ 2023 forecast sees DXB traffic hitting 86.8 million: Propelled by strong growth throughout the first three quarters of the year and anticipation of an exceptional surge in guest numbers in the final quarter, Dubai Airports is forecasting annual passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) to reach 86.8 million – surpassing 2019 traffic. DXB commenced the second half of 2023 with its growth story continuing unabated, with average monthly traffic reaching 7.6 million, tracking pre-pandemic levels throughout the third quarter. The world’s largest hub recorded 22.9 million passengers in Q3 – the highest quarterly traffic since 2019, taking the total year-to-date traffic for the first nine months of the year to 64.5 million passengers, up 39.3% compared to the same period in 2022 and 1% above 2019. “We’re thrilled but not entirely surprised that DXB is all set to surpass the pre-pandemic milestone well ahead of our initial projections by almost a year. Our outlook for the remainder of this year and the next remains optimistic. Teaming up with our strategic partners, we’re ready for the challenge to continue to exceed guest satisfaction amidst the continuous surge in traffic,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. Dubai Airports is expecting record-breaking numbers to continue in Q4 and 2024. To accommodate growth and to achieve the company’s ambition of revolutionising the guest journey at DXB, Dubai Airports is undertaking a strategic project to expand infrastructure capacity while enhancing operational efficiency. With a current capacity of 100 million passengers annually at DXB, the deployment of innovative technology, expansion and refurbishment of existing infrastructures and more efficient use of its space and resources is expected to propel the airport’s capacity to 120 million.

Airbus, Mubadala sign deal for engineering students: Airbus and Mubadala Investment Company have signed an agreement to provide internship opportunities for Emirati senior university students in engineering. Fatima Al Marzooqi, Director of Portfolio Emiratisation from Mubadala and Mikail Houari, President, Airbus, Africa and Middle East, signed the agreement at Dubai Airshow 2023. Over the next three years, 12 Emirati engineering students will be hosted at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, where they will perform their internship under the supervision of Airbus experts and specialists. Fatima Al Marzooqi, Director of Portfolio Emiratisation at Mubadala said: “Mubadala is delighted to support this important initiative which will not only bolster our future-focused knowledge-based economy in the UAE but provide an exceptional opportunity for Emirati students.” Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa and Middle East, commented: “For many decades, Airbus has worked closely with local and regional organisations to nurture, develop and inspire young talent. Ensuring youth have the right skills and knowledge supports the future growth and progress of the aviation and aerospace sectors. The industry is vital for long-term economic diversification and sustainable development of the region. We are proud to have signed this new partnership with Mubadala and we look forward to many years of collaboration to drive localization of our global expertise and support Emiratisation efforts.”

Strategic Development Fund and Dronamics sign deal for manufacturing JV: The UAE’s Strategic Development Fund (SDF) and Dronamics, a pioneering cargo drone airline,  announced that they signed a term sheet to set-up a joint venture (JV) to produce the Black Swan cargo drones to fulfil the global demand and requirements for Dronamics’ international and local customers. The JV will constitute the first serial production plant for the Dronamics Black Swan aircraft. In late 2022, SDF through its Venture Capital division invested in Dronamics and is its largest investor to date. The JV term sheet signed at the Dubai Airshow 2023, builds on the Venture Capital investment and the MoU signed between SDF and Dronamics at last month’s SAVI Cluster launch event at Masdar City by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. Abdulla Naser Al Jaabari, Managing Director and CEO of SDF, said: “SDF is committed to investing in financially sustainable partnerships that contribute towards building manufacturing and technological capabilities in the UAE.” This innovative, remotely-piloted aircraft developed by Dronamics, is capable of transporting up to 350 kgs (770 lbs) for 2,500 kms (1,550 miles) and represents a leap in long-range, high-payload aerial logistics.

Pratt & Whitney Canada to maintain PW980 auxiliary power units for Emirates: Pratt & Whitney has signed a 10-year agreement with Emirates to maintain and support the airline’s 116 PW980 auxiliary power units (APUs) on its Airbus A380 aircraft. “The PW980 is the largest APU in commercial airline service, and we understand its importance to the dispatch availability of the Emirates’ fleet of A380 aircraft,” said Irene Makris, vice president of Customer Service at Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Our maintenance and support program for APUs is instrumental in providing timely and effective maintenance planning and support. This support agreement will help ensure the continued success of Emirates’ A380 operation for years to come.” The PW980 APU is a two-shaft gas turbine engine specifically designed for the Airbus A380 wide-body jet liner. Pratt & Whitney Canada manufactures a comprehensive portfolio of APUs for both military and civil/commercial aircraft applications. Operated by more than 700 different operators worldwide, Pratt & Whitney Canada APUs help power over 7,000 aircraft in operation.

Flydubai plans US$190 million MRO facility in Dubai South: Flydubai announced at the Dubai Airshow, its plans for a purpose-built US$190 million MRO facility in Dubai South by 2026. The signing ceremony with the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) was attended by His Excellency Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South; Tahnoon Saif, CEO of MBRAH; and Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai. The construction of the new hangar and workshop will commence next year and is expected to conclude by the last quarter of 2026. Flydubai has been further expanding its in-house capabilities over the years and in 2022 received its CAR-145 Base Maintenance Approval from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). This has enabled the airline to perform C Checks and Entry-into-Service for its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft; bringing the airline added operational and cost efficiencies. The carrier has built a team of 455 skilled engineers working in Line Maintenance, Technical Services, Materials and Workshops who are responsible for ensuring the airworthiness and safety of our growing fleet. More than 230 engineers will join flydubai’s growing workforce over the next 12 months. This ongoing recruitment drive will ensure the airline is well-positioned for the opening of its MRO facility by 2026.

Emirates signs agreements with Safran worth US$1.2 billion combined: Emirates announced a series of contracts awarded to Safran, worth over US$1.2 billion combined. This includes a US $1 billion deal* for the latest generation Safran Seats for Emirates’ new fleet of Airbus A350, Boeing 777X-9 and existing Boeing 777-300 aircraft. The agreement includes Business, Premium Economy and Economy class seats for the Emirates Airbus A350, and Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class seats for the Boeing 777X-9. The new seats will offer a host of enhancements that set a new standard for comfort, privacy and convenience, including generous space and a bolder roster of luxurious features, stylish interior finishes and next level-technology in every cabin class. In addition to seats, Safran Cabin will be providing Emirates’ A350 fleet with Galley shipsets in line with the airline’s high standards when it comes to quality and design. The Galleys, both for Emirates’ A350 and B777-9 fleet will be equipped with GEMini and the new high-end type NUVO galley inserts with advanced features, efficiency, and technology. Safran Landing Systems will be supplying high performance wheels and carbon brakes for the Emirates A350 fleet. These brakes offer significant weight savings and feature a unique design that provides better cooling for shorter turnaround times (TAT) and increased fleet availability. Safran Passenger Innovations will be providing its RAVE AeroConnect Ka solution to Emirates, allowing connectivity across multiple providers and frequencies. This end-to-end solution will disrupt the inflight connectivity status quo by offering Emirates unrivaled flexibility in entertainment and provider choice. 50 Airbus A350, 60 Airbus A380 and 50 Boeing 777X-9 will be equipped with Safran’s agnostic satcom connectivity solution. In addition to providing equipment for Emirates’ new fleet, Safran is also working closely with the airline on its current retrofit programme, which includes providing new seats for the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. Emirates has signed a 10-year service agreement with Safran Aerosystems covering repair and maintenance for Boeing 777 safety and cabin systems components. Safran Aerosystems’ Middle East facility is located near Al-Maktoum Airport in Dubai, and will deliver maintenance services that will further enhance Emirates’ operational efficiency.

Flydocs announces strategic partnership with Etihad Airways: Flydocs announced the signing of a five-year deal with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, to digitise the records and asset management of its fleet. In addition to providing Etihad Airways with the market-leading digital records management solution, flydocs will implement its latest digital solution Lifecycle Asset Management (LAM) and support the technical records department with outsourced services. With LAM, Etihad will have the capability to track the live technical status of its assets against lease conditions, predict maintenance events, cost, and exposure under various flight profile scenarios, and manage maintenance reserves. Savas Toplama, Chief Commercial Officer at flydocs said; “We are pleased to serve our customers in the Middle East and provide them with the best-in-class digital infrastructure. It is an absolute honour to collaborate with UAE’s national airline, Etihad Airways. To be chosen as their customer partner of choice demonstrates the value digitally driven aircraft transitions can create in aircraft maintenance, and we look forward to supporting them with our digital records management software solutions. Since we’ve been managing their redeliveries for the last two years, they recognised the value of our partnership which further advanced to opting for our software offerings of digital records management and our latest digital solution Lifecycle Asset Management. Our newest software solution would meet the requirements for simplified and automated fleet planning for leased or owned assets. They have yet again shown trust and commitment in us, and we look forward to adhering to the highest standards of quality excellence.”


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