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LATEST NEWS

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Delta decides to shelve 777 fleet in bid to reduce costs

Delta Air Lines (Delta) has announced that it is retiring its fleet of 18 wide-body 777 jets as part of a necessary strategy to simplify and modernize its fleet of aircraft through the operation of more streamlined and cost-efficient aircraft.

As an example, the long-haul next-generation Airbus A350-900 burns 21% less fuel per seat than the 777 it is replacing. It was in December 2017 that the North American carrier announced an order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets with an option for a further 100, followed up with multiple orders for the new A220-200 and A220 -300 variants.

“We’re making strategic, cost-effective changes to our fleet to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while also ensuring Delta is well-positioned for the recovery on the backside of the crisis,” said Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer. “The 777 has been a reliable part of Delta’s success since it joined the fleet in 1999 and because of its unique operating characteristics, opened new non-stop, ultra-long-haul markets that only it could fly at that time.”

Delta has been ultra-responsive to the challenges faced by a virtual 95% global drop in demand for air travel, having already parked up to 650 mainline and regional aircraft. It has already brought forward the retirement of its McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and MD-90 fleets. Currently the Delta fleet comprised 58% Boeing jets, 34% Airbus jets and 8% McDonnell Douglas planes. The Boeing 777 first entered into service with Delta in 1999

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Cathay Pacific releases traffic figures for April 2020

Cathay Pacific Group has released combined Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon traffic figures for April 2020 that reflected the airlines’ substantial 97% capacity reductions in response to significantly reduced demand as well as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place in Hong Kong and other markets amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 13,729 passengers last month, a decrease of 99.6% compared to April 2019. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres fell 99.3% year-on-year. Passenger load factor plummeted by 62.3 points to 21.7%, while capacity decreased by 97.3%.

In the first four months of 2020, the number of passengers carried dropped by 64.4% against a 49.9% decrease in capacity and a 59.1% decrease in RPKs, as compared to the same period for 2019.

Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said: “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact us in an unprecedented way. Year-todate up to April, we made an unaudited loss of HK$4.5 billion at the full-service airline level (Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon) and the financial outlook continues to be very bleak for the coming few months at least.

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Boeing names Mike Delaney to lead Confident Travel Initiative

Boeing has appointed Mike Delaney to lead the company's Confident Travel Initiative, effective immediately. Working across the industry, Delaney's team will work to develop new solutions to help minimize air travel health risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and drive awareness of health safeguards already in place. Delaney brings 31 years of Boeing experience to the role, including previous executive leadership positions in airplane development and engineering, and currently serves as vice president of Digital Transformation at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The Confident Travel Initiative team will work with airlines, global regulators, industry stakeholders, flying passengers, infectious disease experts and behavioral specialists to establish industry-recognized safety recommendations. The team is also advising operators on existing, approved disinfectants that are compatible with the airplane flight decks and cabins and testing other sanitizers.

SWISS partially restart flight operations in June

SWISS International Airlines will partially restart its flight operations in June and plans to operate up to 190 flights from Zurich and Geneva to 41 European destinations. The ramp-up will follow in stages, and the range of flights available will gradually be increased over the weeks ahead.

SWISS will resume services to various Mediterranean destinations, including Malaga, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia in Spain and Brindisi, Florence, Naples and Rome in Italy. Connections to Scandinavia are also being increased with flights to Gothenburg in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark. SWISS will also be adding further major European destinations to its programme, such as Paris (France), Brussels (Belgium) and Moscow (Russia). The existing services to Amsterdam (Netherlands), Athens (Greece), Berlin (Germany), Lisbon (Portugal), London (UK), Porto (Portugal) and Stockholm (Sweden) will be expanded.

SWISS will also be offering its long-haul customers new intercontinental direct connections in June, in addition to its three weekly services to New York / Newark (USA). The airline of Switzerland plans to offer flights from Zurich to New York JFK (4 times weekly), Chicago (twice weekly), Singapore (once weekly), Bangkok (once weekly), Tokyo (twice weekly), Mumbai (three times weekly), Hong Kong (twice weekly) and Johannesburg (once weekly).

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Rolls-Royce launches first immersive virtual reality training

As part of Rolls-Royce’s IntelligentEngine vision, the company is further expanding the use of immersive Virtual Reality technology for customer training.

The latest addition to the remote training programme is an instructor-led distance learning course, providing a comprehensive overview of the construction, design and operation of the Rolls-Royce BR725 engine that powers Gulfstream’s current flagship G650 business aircraft family. After completion of this comprehensive two-day training course, participants will be able to service the engine and undertake non-routine maintenance.

While not intended to completely replace practical training, Rolls-Royce see the value Virtual Reality adds for customers, such as higher flexibility and the elimination of the need to ship a full-size training engine. The user finds themself as part of two realistic scenarios – the engine installed on the aircraft in a virtual hangar and the BR725 engine alone, just like it would be in our in-person training courses. The immersive environment allows them not only to watch the process steps to get familiar with the respective task, but to interact with the engine and the tools, and actually accomplish the task under the constant supervision of the instructor.

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Chorus Aviation reports first-quarter 2020 net loss of CA$17.3 million

Chorus Aviation has reported a net loss of CA$17.3 million for the first quarter of 2020, a period-over-period decrease of CA$50.7 million due to the change in unrealized foreign exchange of CA$55.1 million. Adjusted net income of CA$25.0 million, an increase of CA$6.0 million quarter-over-quarter due to the growth in the Regional Aircraft Leasing segment offset by a reduction in the Regional Aviation Services segment. The company reported adjusted EBITDA of CA$88.7 million, an increase of CA$14.0 million over first quarter of2019.

Chorus reported increased cash and committed facilities to over CA$265 million through securing a two-year US$100.0 million unsecured revolving credit facility along with principal and interest payment deferrals for certain aircraft loans until September 30, 2020.

The company is planning to commence operation of a Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter under the Air Canada Express banner, allowing Chorus to transport loose load cargo like medical supplies, personal protective equipment and other goods needed to support the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

Boeing delivers 100th P-8A Poseidon built for U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy has received its 100th P-8A aircraft from Boeing as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and U.K. air forces, approaches 300,000 flight hours of hunting submarines and providing aerial reconnaissance capabilities around the world.

The P-8 is a proven long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and coastal operations. A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.

This is the 94th mission-capable airplane to enter the U.S. Navy fleet, with six additional jets used as Engineering Manufacturing Development test aircraft. The 100th fully-operational delivery is scheduled for later this year. Boeing has also delivered 12 jets to the Royal Australian Air Force, two to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and eight P-8Is to the Indian Navy. Multiple U.S. Navy squadrons have deployed with the P-8A Poseidon, and the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force are conducting missions with the P-8 as well.


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MTU Maintenance and Aerologic extend GE90-110B contract

MTU Maintenance and its long-term customer Aerologic have renewed their exclusive GE90-110B contract by a further twelve years. The contract encompasses multiple aspects of MTU Maintenance’s PERFORMPlus offering, including engine trend monitoring, fleet management and on-site support as well as spare engine provision.

Aerologic is a 50/50 joint venture between DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo based at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany. The cargo expert boasts the most modern freighter fleet in Europe, made up of solely Boeing 777F aircraft capable of carrying full cargo loads of over 100 tons to a range of around 9,000 kilometres.
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