Monthly Archives: June 2024

  • 0

FAA Removes Check Pilot Medical Requirement

Category:News Tags : 

Rule also eliminates FAA regulatory inconsistencies

The FAA has finalized the substantive relief proposed five years ago that removes a requirement for check pilots, check flight engineers, and flight instructors to Part 135 and 121 operations to hold an FAA medical certificate when performing in-flight duties. This move also eliminates Part 135 and 121 regulatory inconsistencies.

“Removing the conflicting medical certificate requirement enables the utilization of pilots who are otherwise qualified to function as check pilots, check flight engineers, and flight instructors in aircraft,” according to the agency. This relief “would increase the number of experienced pilots who would be able to qualify as Part 135 check pilots on aircraft.” Similar clarifying changes were also made to Part 121.

Comments received to the NPRM noted that the originally proposed revisions were insufficient to achieve the goal of the rulemaking: elimination of medical certificate requirement confusion. Therefore, the FAA is adopting different language than proposed for further clarification.

“The substantive relief remains unchanged from that proposed in the 2019 NPRM and historical practice—elimination of medical certificate requirements if not serving as a required flight crewmember,” the agency said. The new rule becomes effective on July 18.

  • 0

Qatar Airways voted World’s Best Airline for 2024

Category:News Tags : 

Qatar Airways has been voted World’s Best Airline in the 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards along with best Middle-East airline, World’s Best Business Class and World’s Best Business Class Seat.

The Qatari state owned airline took the top spot for its high level of service and overall performance.

Singapore Airlines gained the runner up spot coming in 2nd place to Qatar Airways but picked up the World’s Best Cabin crew gong.

3rd place went to Middle-eastern rival, Emirates Airlines.

Worlds Top 10 Airlines according to Skytrax

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirates Airlines
  4. All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  5. Cathay Pacific
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Turkish Airlines
  8. Eva Air
  9. Air France
  10. Swiss International Airlines

The best European Airline award went to rapidly growing Turkish Airlines which also picked up an award for Best Economy class in Europe.

British Airlines also picked up awards with Virgin Atlantic being awarded Europes Best Premium Economy while British Airways picked up awards for being the World’s Friendliest Airline and the most family-friendly in Europe.

In the low cost categories easyJet scooped the Best Low Cost airline in Europe and TUI Airways UK picked up the Best Leisure Airline in the United Kingdom award.

  • 0

Sirius Aviation and BMW Group Designworks unveil hydrogen-powered business jets

Category:News Tags : 

Sirius Aviation has unveiled two hydrogen-powered luxury business jets, the Sirius CEO-JET and the Sirius Adventure Jet.

Developed in collaboration with BMW Group Designworks, the aircrafts aim to transform private air travel with eco-friendly alternatives, substantially reducing CO2 emissions.

“The launch of the Sirius CEO-JET and Adventure Jet represents a major milestone in our mission to revolutionize air travel with sustainable solutions,” said Alexey Popov, Sirius Aviation AG CEO. “The CEO-JET offers an eco-friendly option for business travel, while the Adventure Jet opens new horizons for global tourism and exploration.

“We’re bridging the gap for individuals who aspire to own a business jet with pride in a future that values eco-consciousness,” said Popov. “Our customers will inspire admiration and respect, fostering a culture of positivity rather than judgment or criticism.”

  • 0

Vertical Aerospace Close to Flight Testing New eVTOL Prototype

Category:News Tags : 

The UK start-up aims to demonstrate the four-passenger aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow

Vertical Aerospace has almost completed manufacturing of its second VX4 eVTOL prototype and expects to start test flights in the next few weeks. The UK company is still determining whether it will be able to display the four-passenger aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow in late July, but its higher priority remains accelerating progress towards type certification and entry into service targeted for 2026.

While Vertical’s public profile would be greatly boosted by flying the VX4 during the Farnborough event, its new CEO Stuart Simpson has told his team to prioritize development work aimed at achieving a piloted transition flight by the end of this year. On July 31, the company is set to receive the second of two $25 million tranches of funding provided by its founder Stephen Fitzpatrick, which will be sufficient cash to sustain work through the second half of 2025.

The almost complete second prototype features more hardware provided by key partners Honeywell, Leonardo, and GKN Aerospace. It also has new propellers that Vertical has redesigned since the Aug. 9, 2023 crash that destroyed its first prototype. It also uses new batteries produced in the company’s in-house Vertical Energy Centre at its Bristol headquarters.

In April, Vertical held a “Pioneers Event” for launch customers for an interactive discussion of the VX4 and the use cases that operators including American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Japan Air Lines, and Bristow have in mind. Chief technology officer Michael Cervenka said that for part of the session, his team left the room to allow the customers to freely exchange feedback on the product, which he said had yielded some actionable input to “tailor the aircraft to achieve its sweet spot in performance.” The manufacturer has also been working with flight training group CAE to refine the pilot interface.

Acknowledging that two or more rival eVTOL aircraft developers seem likely to launch commercial operations earlier than Vertical, Cervenka maintained that the nascent advanced air mobility sector will not be a case of “winner takes all.” He said the company is taking a deliberately systematic approach to its certification process, which will start with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and lead to an EASA validation. “As our chief engineer David King says, we are going slowly now so that we can go faster later,” Cervenka said.

For instance, before flight testing with the new second prototype gets underway at Kemble Airport in the west of England, the Vertical team will complete what it refers to internally as “a mini certification process” that serves as a dry run to ensure all the technology and processes are ready. The lessons learned from flying the second prototype will be applied in construction of a third prototype, which will be designated as the aircraft to be used for formal certification testing.

In Cervenka’s view, recent moves to fast-track early use cases for eVTOL aircraft in Gulf states are somewhat concerning from a safety perspective. He questioned whether rapid validation of certifications from other jurisdictions that could bypass standard ICAO processes and accelerated operational permits are appropriate for a new segment of air transport.

  • 0

IndiGo and Garuda Aviation Academy to enhance Cadet Pilot Programme

Category:News Tags : 

IndiGo has partnered with Garuda Aviation Academy to train fresh pilots as future junior first officers, under the airline’s Cadet Pilot Programme.

This is the eighth partnership for cadet pilot program by IndiGo in the last 13 years.

The 21-month course also includes three-month ground schooling at Garuda Aviation Academy training center in Gurugram, followed by 12-months of training at 43 Air School in South Africa, which has a track record of training 6000+ ab-initio pilots over the years. 

Over the past 13 years, IndiGo has inducted over 1000 pilots through these full training programmes, which include commercial pilot license and A320 type rating. These courses start right from cadet selection to induction into the airline as a pilot. 

Captain Ashim Mittra, senior vice president- flight operations, IndiGo said: “We are proud to announce our partnership with Garuda Aviation Academy to bolster our Cadet Pilot Programme. We believe that this 21-month duration course will successfully foster the next generation of skilled pilots who will continue to uphold IndiGo’s commitment to providing safe, affordable, and hassle-free travel, for everyone. At IndiGo, we focus on the personal and professional growth of our pilots. This partnership will provide our people with unique learning opportunities and foster leadership skills, paving the way for a robust cadre of leaders within IndiGo.”

  • 0

Textron Aviation Goes Big Down Under

Category:News Tags : 

The airframer is upgrading its service network in Australia with expanded, modernized facilities

Looking to improve its service business aviation capabilities in Australia, Textron Aviation will expand its facilities at two sites. The airframer also has rebranded Premiair Aviation Services—the Australian MRO chain it acquired in 2020—to Textron Aviation Australia to fully integrate its locations in Perth, Melbourne, and the Gold Coast into its global service network.

In Perth, Textron will relocate its Jandakot Airport operation to a larger facility on the field, providing increased space for servicing aircraft and improving scheduling to lessen customer aircraft downtime. The new service center is expected to be running at full capacity by the end of next month.

At Essendon Fields Airport in Melbourne, Textron is adding 5,000 sq ft of parts storage, quadrupling its spares inventory in the region. The company is also adding a customer support and warranty team there to handle all Cessna, Beechcraft, and Hawker parts requirements. It said the expanded facility should be fully operational by month’s end.

“Increasing parts inventory and team members in Australia allows us to respond even faster to customers when they need support,” explained Brad White, the Wichita-based group’s senior v-p of global parts and distribution. “With more than 1,400 aircraft operating in the region, we’re making this investment in direct response to customer feedback and an increasing demand for parts availability globally.”

  • 0

Saudia places big additional Airbus A320neo family order

Category:News Tags : 

Saudia Group, which operates Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier Saudi as well as budget airline flyadeal, has placed an order for an additional 105 singe-aisle A320neo family airliners with European airframer Airbus.

Announced at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, the deal adds to the 144 aircraft already on the books as part of the delivery backlog for Airbus.

The 105 aircraft order consists of 12 A320neo and 93 A321neo airliners which will help Saudia meet its ambitious expansion and sustainability goals.

His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, said: “Saudia has ambitious operational objectives to meet growing demand. We are increasing flights and seat capacity across our existing 100+ destinations on four continents, with plans for further expansion. The progress of Saudi Vision 2030 is attracting more visits, tourists, entrepreneurs, and pilgrims each year. This motivated our decision to secure this significant deal, which will create jobs, increase local content, and contribute to the national economy.”

Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, Executive Vice President Sales of the Commercial Aircraft business said: “The new additions of the A320neo family aircraft will play a vital role in contributing to Saudi Arabia’ ambitious Vision 2030 plan,” adding “It will enable Saudia Group’s strategy to advance the Kingdom’s aviation capabilities while enabling both airlines to benefit from the A320neo Family’s exceptional efficiency, superior economics, highest level of passenger comfort as well as lower fuel-burn and emissions.”

As well as having the widest single-aisle cabin in the skies, the A320neo family aircraft can currently operate on 50% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mix making it attractive to airlines looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Airbus aims to be able to operate A320neos on 100% SAF by 2030.

The wings for the A320neo family, and all other A3XX family aircraft, are built at Airbus’ Broughton, North Wales facility meaning that Airbus orders are always good news for the local and UK economy.

  • 0

Gulfstream G700 To Make Catarina Aviation Show Debut

Category:News Tags : 

Flagship will be on display alongside the super-midsize G280 and large-cabin G600

Gulfstream’s G700 flagship will make its Catarina Aviation Show debut when the three-day event opens on Thursday at São Paulo Catarina International Executive Airport. The G700 will be on display at the show alongside Gulfstream’s super-midsize G280 and ultra-long-range G600.

“Gulfstream is experiencing significant interest and demand throughout Latin America, and the region is an important market for us,” said Gulfstream Aerospace senior v-p of worldwide sales Scott Neal. “The company has had a strong presence in Latin America for many years, including Brazil, and there are currently more than 230 Gulfstream aircraft based in the region.”

According to Neal, the Gulfstream fleet in Latin America has grown by more than 35% in the last 10 years. “Gulfstream’s product line—from the G280 to the G400, G500, G600, G650ER, G700, and G800—offer a compelling mix of size and range to suit a wide variety of operators’ needs, whether they are flying domestically or taking trips halfway around the world,” he added. “The G650 and G650ER have been popular in the region since the G650 was introduced in 2008, and we are seeing great interest in the G500, G600, G700, and G800 [there].”

Gulfstream has chosen the Catarina show over LABACE 2024 at São Paulo–Congonhas Airport; the aircraft manufacturer said that it will not be exhibiting in August at that event.

  • 0

Lilium Reveals eVTOL to Business Aviation Launch Market

Category:News Tags : 

The German manufacturer brought a full-scale model of the Lilium Jet to EBACE

Lilium yesterday at EBACE 2024 unveiled the first full-scale model of the eVTOL aircraft it plans to bring to market in 2026. The German manufacturer is targeting business aviation companies as early adopters of the Lilium Jet, which it is offering in a four-passenger Pioneer Edition for corporate and private charter applications, as well as with a six-seat cabin for commercial regional air services.

The most eye-catching feature of the mockup revealed at Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition center is the array of 30 ducted electric vectored thrust engines integrated into the Lilium Jet’s wing and canard. Factoring in anticipated energy reserve requirements for the all-electric vehicle, Lilium anticipates an initial maximum range of around 95 nm, but this is expected to increase as battery technology improves.

At its headquarters near Munich, Lilium is now assembling the first production-conforming examples of the aircraft as it prepares to start flight testing later this year. It has started building a certification test facility to support its work to achieve EASA approval by the end of 2025.

Earlier this month, German federal and state officials launched the due diligence process that Lilium hopes will unlock up to around €100 million (about $109 million) in loan guarantees to fund the program. At the same time, the company is negotiating with the French government to secure financing for a planned high-volume production facility it wants to build in France.

Several private flight providers are among the early prospective customers for the Lilium Jet. These include Volara, EMCJet, Air-Dynamic, Globe Air, Bristow, and NetJets. Key suppliers include Garmin and Honeywell.

On the Innovation Stage at EBACE 2024, Lilium’s head of flight operations and crew training, Andreas Pfisterer, will address how the company’s design team is factoring in human factors in a session, dubbed “Future of Flight—the Balance Between Technology and the Human Touch,” today at 1 p.m. The company’s chief commercial officer, Sebastien Borel, is scheduled to discuss the integration of sustainable aviation in a Thursday 11:30 a.m. session entitled “Going the Extra Mile—Will Intermodal Transportation Expand Business Aviation?”

  • 0

Mexicana orders 20 Embraer E2 aircraft

Category:News Tags : 

Mexicana de Aviacion, Mexico’s new government-run carrier, has placed an order for 20 Embraer E2 narrowbody aircraft, making it the first customer of the type in that country.

The San Jose dos Campos-headquartered airframer said on 3 June that the Mexican airline, which launched almost six months ago, has ordered 10 E190-E2 and 10 of the larger E195-E2 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in the second quarter of 2025.

The aircraft will be configured with 108 seats in the E190, and 132 seats in the E195, in a single-class layout.

“Seeing the success and rapid growth Mexicana has achieved since it restarted operations in December 2023 has been remarkable,” says Priscilla Doro Solymossy, vice-president sales and marketing and head of Latin America and the Caribbean for Embraer Commercial Aviation.

“The airline is already flying to 18 destinations, and has transported more than 115,000 passengers, accumulating more than 3,280 flight hours in this short period, reflecting Mexicana’s commitment to operational excellence and customer service,” she adds. 

After Mexicana went out of business in August 2010, the government resuscitated the brand last year, with plans for the carrier to be overseen by the country’s defence ministry. After numerous delays dogged the project, the new airline launched operations on 26 December. According to Cirium fleets data, it now operates three older-generation Boeing 737 NG jets.

The airline had initially outlined a proposed route network of 20 domestic destinations it planned to serve out of Mexico City’s new Felipe Angeles airport, with an envisioned fleet of 10 jets. According to a route map on its website on 3 June, the airline now shows 19 destinations, nine of which appear to be operated by a partner, Link Conexion Aerea.

”With this strategic decision, the Mexican state airline will grow and modernise its fleet, strengthening domestic and international connectivity to offer affordable and comfortable air travel, with the highest standards of safety and service,” Embraer says.