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LATEST NEWS

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Thai Airways get government OK for bankruptcy court-led restructuring

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic had any effect on Thai Airways International Plc’s finances, the Southeast Asian Carrier was already in trouble, having failed to post a profit in all but one year since 2012 and reported losses of 12.04 billion baht (US$377.3 million) in 2019.

The state-controlled airline has struggled to deal with bloated costs and stiff competition from low-cost carriers in the region. However, the dramatic effect the pandemic is having on airlines, globally, now sees Thai Airways forced to seek a restructuring of the airline through a bankruptcy court. However, “Thai Airways will not be dissolved or go into liquidation or be declared bankrupt,” Thai Airways Acting President Chakkrit Parapuntakul said in a statement. "The government has reviewed all dimensions ... we have decided to petition for restructuring and not let Thai Airways go bankrupt. The airline will continue to operate," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters at a news briefing. "Thai Airways will be protected by the courts .... and a professional will be appointed to oversee the restructuring," Prayuth said, adding the airline’s workers will continue to have jobs.

The airline will continue to operate as normal during the restructuring with passenger and cargo transportation continuing in parallel with the plan.

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C&L Aerospace signs distributor agreement with ACR ARTEX

C&L Aerospace has signed a multi-year worldwide distribution agreement with ACR ARTEX for the company’s entire aviation product line. This agreement, which includes over 50 different line items available for all aircraft types, encompasses survival products such as ELT replacement batteries, emergency locator transmitters (ELT), personal locator beacons, antennas, and more.

C&L specializes in supplying aircraft parts for regional aircraft such as ATR, ERJ, Saab, and Beech 1900D, and corporate aircraft such as Challenger, Global Express, Hawker, and BeechJet.

Iberia Maintenance returning to higher levels of productivity from May onwards

Since the COVID19 pandemic began, Iberia Maintenance has retained a level of productivity, with a clear priority on protecting the health of their employees, customers and suppliers whilst adapting to the new market norm and different challenges.

Iberia Maintenance is focused on the needs of its customers and is prepared to increase its activity from May with a ramp up of its productivity to support the new norm of market demand. Therefore, all Iberia Maintenance business areas are ready to deliver the services and support the tailored needs of their customers in these complicated times, including engine, component and aircraft checks (both scheduled and unscheduled), lease return activity as well as parking and preservation tasks.

In the words of André Wall, Iberia Maintenance Chief Technical Officer: “now more than ever, we want to be close to airlines, lessors, manufacturers, suppliers and passengers. Together, we will overcome this crisis as soon as possible.”

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Vx Capital Partners appoints Bashir Agah as General Counsel

Vx Capital Partners (Vx) has promoted Bashir Agah to General Counsel. Agah will oversee and hold responsibility for all Vx Capital’s legal affairs.

Before joining Vx, Agah served as Corporate Attorney for ORIX Aviation Systems, Corporate Attorney at Mesa Air Group, and Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Airbus inaugurates A220 commercial aircraft final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama

Airbus’ U.S. production capabilities has begun with inauguration of the completed A220 commercial aircraft final assembly line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama. The 270,000-ft² facility – which can produce both the A220-100 and A220-300 versions – houses five primary assembly stations where major airframe component assemblies come together for a completed aircraft.

Airbus’ production team in Mobile, Alabama also marked another milestone, welcoming the first component assemblies destined to become an A220 for JetBlue. This low-cost carrier will be the second airline customer receiving U.S.-built A220s when the aircraft is delivered in late 2020.

Airbus announced plans in October 2017 for the addition of A220 manufacturing at Mobile – which is situated on the edge of Mobile Bay along the Gulf of Mexico. The company began producing A220s at Mobile in August 2019 using space in an existing Final Assembly Line hangar for U.S.-built A320 Family aircraft, and in newly-constructed support hangars. With the start of operations in the dedicated A220 final assembly line, Airbus’ production site in Alabama has now officially doubled in size.

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AKKA and Avianor join forces to offer EASA-approved Passenger-to-Freighter solution

AKKA Technologies and Avianor, the majority-owned affiliates of DRAKKAR’s Aerospace & Ground Transportation Division, have signed a collaboration agreement for Avianor’s Passenger-to-Freighter conversion solution, certified by the Canadian civil aviation authority (TCCA), and already embodied on several wide body aircraft.

In order to promote this solution to international markets, AKKA Technologies and Avianor have signed a framework agreement to certify the solution with the widely adopted European Union Aviation & Safety standards. As a leading global aerospace MRO & Cabin Modification player, AKKA Technologies is among the few companies able to provide comprehensive certification services by delegation to support the aerospace industry and its operators.

Avianor, an aircraft maintenance and cabin integration specialist, developed an engineering solution and associated kits to remove passenger seats from an airline’s aircraft and designate cargo loading zones for light weight boxes restrained with cargo nets. For a Boeing 777 or Airbus A330 type aircraft, such modifications can be embodied within four days, providing the aircraft with additional cargo capacity of up to 19 tons. This modification can be easily extended to other aircraft types providing most airlines and operators with an easy and comprehensive solution.

The agreement between AKKA & Avianor will also give AKKA the ‘rights to use’ this engineering solution, in order to respond to the urgent cargo conversion demand worldwide. While AKKA will support airlines requiring EASA certification, Avianor will continue to support airlines requiring TCCA certification and supply conversion kits for both EASA and TCCA customers.

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Delta to fly final MD-88, MD-90 flights June 2

Delta's MD-88s and MD-90s will depart on their last scheduled revenue flights on June 2, as Delta officially retires the "Mad Dog" jets from the fleet.

In a nod to the T-tail jet's name, Delta Flight 88, a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, will depart on its last scheduled revenue flight on the morning of Tuesday, June 2, from Washington-Dulles International Airport to Delta's hub in Atlanta. Earlier that same morning, Delta Flight 90, operated by an MD-90 aircraft, will fly from Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to ATL.

Once on the ground in Atlanta, the aircraft will join several other MD-88s and MD-90s as they fly to Blytheville, Ark., where they will be officially retired from the fleet. One MD-88 will remain in Atlanta and is scheduled to depart to Blytheville on June 3, to mark the official end of the MD-series jets at Delta.

Last month Delta announced its plans to retire the MD-88 and MD-90 fleet earlier than previously planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on travel demand. Delta has been able to react quickly to the COVID-19 crisis by parking aircraft and considering early retirements of older, less efficient airplanes. Delta continues to evaluate its broader fleet plan and will consider additional aircraft retirements to focus on a modern, simpler fleet going forward.

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Lockheed Martin to temporary alternate work schedule for F-35 production

In response to previously reported COVID-19 F-35 supplier delays, Lockheed Martin is taking proactive measures to mitigate impacts and position the program for the fastest possible recovery by adjusting work schedules, maintaining specialized employee skillsets, and accelerating payments to small and vulnerable suppliers, to continue meeting customer commitments.

Lockheed Martin and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) agreed to a temporary alternate work schedule for F-35 production line employees in Fort Worth to maintain its skilled workforce.

The alternate schedule allows Lockheed Martin to staff the production line to meet a slower workflow resulting from supplier delays. In addition, it provides a work rhythm that retains the expertise of the talented workforce and provides opportunities to adjust work to better support production.
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