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The event welcomed more than 104,000 attendees and witnessed a 50% increase in trade visitors which included global senior executives from 148 countries. The Airshow was bigger than the pre-pandemic 2019 edition in terms of visitor numbers and deals announced. It was also a significant milestone for the defence and space sectors which saw a range of deals and agreements declared.

Some of the notable deals which took place during the event included Airbus who announced orders and commitments totalling 408 aircraft (269 firm orders and 139 commitments). The agreements covered the full range of commercial aircraft families, including a first commitment for the A350F freighter derivative. Airbus launched its latest global market forecast outlining progressively shifting demand from fleet growth to accelerated retirement of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft resulting in a need for some 39,000 new-build passenger and freighter aircraft. Of these,15,250 aircraft (around 40%) are for replacements.

On the opening day of the show alone, Indigo Partners portfolio airlines placed a firm order for 255 A321neo Family aircraft, including 29 XLR. This included Wizz Air ordering 102 aircraft (75 A321neo + 27 A321XLR); Frontier 91 aircraft (A321neo); Volaris 39 aircraft (A321neo) and JetSMART 23 aircraft (21 A321neo + 2 A321XLR).

Boeing announced an order of 72 of its 737 Max from new Indian airline Akasa Air. It also announced orders for 11 of its 737-800BCF cargo planes from aircraft leasing company Icelease, nine converted 767-300BCF freighters from DHL, and orders for two of its long-range 777F freighters from Emirates SkyCargo. Boeing received four orders of passenger planes and freighters from Air Tanzania and three of its widebody 777-300 passenger jets from UAE-based aviation services provider Sky One FZE.

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FAA Issues SAIB on 5G Radio Altimeter Interference


The FAA has published a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin—AIR-21-18—that highlights potential radio altimeter interference issues by new 5G cellular networks. The 5G network deployment in the U.S. starting on December 5 is in the 3700 to 3800-MHz bands then later in the 3700 to 3980-MHz bands. Radio altimeters use the 4200 to 4400-MHz band.

In other countries, bands from 3300 to 4200 MHz are already deployed, according to the FAA, and some “have implemented temporary technical, regulatory, and operational mitigations, including temporary proximity and power restrictions.” The FAA added, “There have not yet been proven reports of harmful interference due to wireless broadband operations internationally, although this issue is continuing to be studied.”

The SAIB contains many recommendations for aircraft and avionics manufacturers and aircraft operators, ranging from reporting any problems to the FAA to documenting and reporting on the types of radio altimeters installed in aircraft.

by Matt Thurber

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Citing pandemic uncertainty, Air New Zealand delays proposed capital raise

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Air New Zealand has postponed a planned capital raise by three months, to give it more time “to assess market conditions” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The carrier now expects to complete its equity capital raise by 30 September, instead of 30 June, as earlier indicated.

The New Zealand government, which earlier disclosed its commitment to remaining the carrier’s majority shareholder after the capital raise, will extend a previously-announced loan facility to support the airline through the fundraising.

The loan facility, also known as the Crown Standby Facility, will be increased by NZ$600 million ($423 million) to NZ$1.5 billion. The facility term has also been extended through September 2023, with interest rates adjusted to reflect market conditions.

The three-month delay in fundraising will allow the Star Alliance carrier “more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery”.

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Bombardier to stop the production of Learjet by end of 2021

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Struck by heavy financial losses, Canadian Bombardier announced this Thursday that it will discontinue the production of the iconic Learjet models. This would result in cutting off 1,600 jobs.

After struggling prior to the pandemic, Bombardier is facing a transitional year and attempting to restructure the company. After announcing severe lay offs in November last year, the Montreal-based manufacturer is taking further steps in order to generate a $400 million in recurring savings by 2023 and to increase earnings this year with expanding their aftermarket business. In the 1,600 jobs cut are included reductions related to improvements in manufacturing its flagship Global 7500 jet.

Ever since the very first Learjet back in 1963, the company has delivered over 3000 units – the remarkable aircraft has made a deep impact and has revolutionized the business aviation. Passengers all over the world have loved flying with it, due to it’s unmatched performance and reliability. CEO Eric Martell has said that this decision has been extremely difficult to make, but considering the increasing challenges in the market these days, it had to be done. Mr. Martel also addressed the devastation they feel towards the cutting down of the jobs and that it’s never easy to see talented and dedicated employees leave the company for any reason. Sadly those changes felt absolutely necessary in order for them to rebuilt the company and help navigate it through the pandemic, he says.

Considering the horrible economical impact of Covid19, revenues from business aviation activities have reached $5.6 billions, which is 3% higher compared to 2019. This was partially ramped up by the record of 16 deliveries of Global 7500 units in the fourth quarter only. This gives hopes of the Canadian manufacturer that with recent changes, restructuring and focus on their Global and Challenger series, they are moving forward towards better times.

Despite pulling the plug on the Learjet family, Bombardier will continue to fully support the fleet in the future. They have also launched a remanufacturing program for Learjet 40 and Learjet 45 models. The RACER program will include a wide set of enhancements, such as newer avionics, interior and exterior updates, engine boosts and improved maintenance costs, among others. The remanufacturing program will be exclusively offered through their Wichita’s service center.

In spite of the sad news for the end of this trend-setting jet, we believe that this year would be brighter for aviation industry, both business and commercial. Being a valuable partner to many airlines and MROs, we would continue to support Learjet models in the efficient and quick way we have done so far.

Stay tuned for more updates like this & keep healthy.

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Are Covid vaccines going to resume international travel?

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It has been a year since the first reported case of Covid19 and resent news of vaccines progress has brought up positive outlook on upcoming months. Some of the major Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca among others, have announced major break-throughs in their developments.

These news bring a lot of joy for many sectors, especially for the aviation industry, which has been severely damaged by worldwide lockdowns and prohibitions on travelling. However, in the past few days a questions has be brought up to everybody’s attention – what is the correlation between resuming air travel and the expected Covid vaccine? This wondering was quickly address by some of the major airlines in Asia Pacific.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said he has been talking to his counterparts at other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for international travellers.
“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers, that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce told Australia’s Network Nine television.

Korean Air, the country’s largest operator has issued a similar statement, saying that there is in fact a real possibility that airlines will require passengers to be vaccinated. That outlooks is based on the fact that governments are likely to require vaccinations as a condition for lifting quarantine requirements for new arrivals. Korean Air is also considering several other options for screening, but it is quite certain that any new changes that might be adopted would be a result of coordination with governments.

Air New Zealand shared quite the same opinion and has said that in the end it’s up to the governments to determine when and how it is safe to reopen borders and that they will continue to work closely with authorities on this matter.

Further more The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced on Monday that it is “in the final development phase” of a “digital passport” mobile app that would receive COVID-19 test and vaccination certificates. According to IATA’s vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security Nick Careen the app would get people back to travelling safely, which right now is essential for the seeking to recover industry.

Many more airlines are expected to comment on this hot topic in the coming weeks, but one thing is quite sure – everybody is hoping that air travelling is soon restored and the encouraging early results of the vaccines are only paving the way of achieving that soon.

Stay tuned and visit us for more updates on this.

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Trans States Airlines Will Shut Down By The End Of 2020


CEO cites pilot shortage as one of the airline’s problems.

The 350 pilots and other employees of St. Louis-based Trans States Airlines have been on the edge of their seats following announcements last year, such as the cancellation of the company’s order for 50 Mitsubishi regional jets because of scope-clause concerns, or that sister company Compass Airlines last year lost a major contract for flying with Delta Airlines. However, they were probably not prepared for Monday’s employee letter from Trans States Holding CEO Rick Leach. In that document, from February 24, obtained by Flying, Leach announced that Trans States Airlines flying “…will be concluded by the end of 2020.” Trans States Holding also operates Compass and GoJet Airlines.

Leach cited, among other concerns, the regional segment’s razor-thin profit margins and, specifically, Trans States Airlines inability to attract enough pilots to staff its aircraft—in particular, enough captains to balance out the current first officer ranks. Earlier in February, the company cancelled a new-hire first officer class that was already in progress as well as delaying others. The pilot shortage has prevented Trans States from utilizing its Embraer 145 regional jet fleet as much as it needs to in order to remain profitable. ExpressJet Airlines is expected to absorb the EMB-145 fleet from Trans States, although it is unclear how that carrier will hire enough pilots to staff the new aircraft. In any case, the future for the pilot

population at Trans States will change day by day.

A former Compass Airlines pilot said he doubted many Trans States pilots would end up at Compass, although “there are a lot of rumors but nothing specific.” In an email, the pilot said, “When Compass lost the Delta contract, they lost 3/4 of their flying, so they are already over staffed and losing more flying as the year goes on. I don’t see how they can bring anyone on.”

Louis Smith, a retired DC-10 captain and president of Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA) told Flying, “I think it will be five days or more before the two ALPA groups reach an agreement. Trans States’ pilots may need incentives to cooperate with their management to provide an orderly transition of aircraft and flying over to ExpressJet. The incentives [to keep Trans States pilots] could be retention bonuses in combination with a structured process for pilots to move with the aircraft. It’s uncertain whether the Trans States pilots would receive any ‘labor equity’ as part of the transition.”

The Air Line Pilots Association’s Master Executive Council for Trans States said yesterday in an email to Flying that, “We are disappointed in the news that Trans States will be winding down its operation by the end of 2020. Since learning about the ceasing of operations, ALPA has been working on creating ways to help mitigate the direct impact this will have on pilots and will be meeting with management soon to discuss next steps. In addition, ALPA pilots at ExpressJet have been working on plans that will provide protections to Trans States pilot who choose to transition.”

Source: Flying

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Robinson Sees Softening, Then Rebound in Sales


While 2019 sales went down, 2020 is off to a strong start.

Despite steady sales in the last part of 2019 and into 2020, total deliveries at Robinson Helicopter Company fell to 196 units for the year. This is a decline from 2018 and 2017 sales, which showed strong growth in 2017 and remained there for 2018.

The breakdown of models included 19 R22s, 123 R44s, and 54 R66s. In 2017, Robinson sold a total of 305 aircraft, including 174 of the R44 alone. In 2018, that total ticked up slightly, at 316—including 33 R22s, 209 R44s, and 74 R66s. The company nears the mark of 13,000 units sold.

The decline in 2019 was noted by Kurt Robinson as being across the board worldwide. Robinson, president and CEO of the company since 2010, recently hosted Flying for a visit, which will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine. The company expresses optimism for 2020, as a “strong start” in sales has marked the beginning of the year, according to Robinson spokesperson Loretta Conley.

The company recently delivered two of its Electric News Gathering (ENG) models into key media markets in the United States—one R66 Newscopter and one R44 Newscopter via Sky Helicopters in Garland, Texas. The R66 will serve WTTG Fox, WUSA CBS, and WJLA ABC in the Washington, D.C. area, and the R44 will fly in support of WTVT Fox and WFTS ABS in Tampa, Florida. The platforms feature ENG cameras and broadcast equipment, and allow for the operators to work with several media outlets at the same time. To date, Robinson has delivered 80 ENG platforms in worldwide, including Brazil, Australia, and Canada.

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Losses Increase for Embraer as EU Halts Boeing Deal Review


The Brazilian company reports $77M net loss in earnings call.

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Textron Aviation’s Flagship Longitude Receives FAA Type Certification


The Longitude received the most robust testing of a Cessna Citation to date.

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Carlyle Group completes €1 billion purchase of aerospace manufacturing firm


Global investment firm The Carlyle Group has completed the acquisition of Forgital, for approximately €1 billion.

Forgital is an Italian-based manufacturing company producing large forged and machined components for use in the aerospace and industrial sector.

Equity for the transaction will come from Carlyle Europe Partners V, a European-focused upper-mid market buyout fund and Carlyle Partners VII, a US-focused buyout fund.

Established in 1873 with headquarters in Vicenza, Italy, Forgital is a specialist manufacturer of machine-finished forged and laminated rolled rings, made from several different materials, including steel, aluminium, titanium and nickel-based alloys used in several applications across many industries.

Forgital employs over 1,100 people across nine facilities in Italy, France and United States and through its dedicated global salesforce.

Source: AE

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