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LATEST NEWS

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

6,700 forced job losses follow on from Boeing’s VLO program

Having laid off over 5,520 workers through its Voluntary Lay Off program, Boeing has announced that the company’s current financial plight will require the shedding of many thousands more jobs over the coming months, starting with an initial tranche of 6,700 compulsory redundancies.

The world’s second-largest planemaker has been struggling with the financial fallout from the 737 MAX program which has seen that jet grounded since March 2019 and unlikely to take to the skies until August 2020 at the earliest, a problem now exacerbated by the affect of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on global air travel and, consequently, demand for new aircraft.

In April Boeing announced that it would be cutting its 160,000-strong workforce by 10% but the end of this year.  Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told employees via email that the: “pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices. ... I wish there were some other way.”

April saw a second month where there were no aircraft sales and the order book showed a negative balance after orders for 108 of the 737 MAX were canceled. In April, Boeing raised US$25 billion in a bond offering, enabling it to avoid taking government aid. 

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Michael Boddenberg elected as new Chairman of Fraport’s Supervisory Board

Fraport AG’s Supervisory Board, in an extraordinary meeting has elected Hessian finance minister Michael Boddenberg as new chairman. Boddenberg succeeds Karlheinz Weimar, who stepped down at the close of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 27, after leading the Supervisory Board for more than 16 years.

Michael Boddenberg: “Frankfurt Airport is a leading international hub of great importance not only for the Frankfurt region, but Germany as a whole. As chairman of Fraport’s Supervisory Board, I am very pleased to accompany and support Fraport’s ongoing development. I am convinced – despite the major challenges facing us – that together we will be able to continue FraportAG's success story over the long term. By responding quickly and decisively to the current global aviation crisis, we will be able to ensure the company's future competitiveness. At the same time, we will also keep a watchful eye on the legitimate interests of employees, customers, shareholders and residents alike."

Avion Express Malta obtained FAA approval to fly to and from the U.S.

Avion Express Malta has reached another landmark in its development – the company obtained the Part 129 Operation Specification approval, issued by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to conduct passenger flights to and from the United States.

The Maltese company will now be able to make wet-lease agreements with companies throughout
North America.

In order to attain the approval, Avion Express Malta had to pass various checks and procedures of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States. The whole approval process took more than half a year.

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Air Canada expands cargo-only flight schedule

Air Canada's freight division, Air Canada Cargo has announced a new expansion of its cargo-only network with the addition of five new destinations in Europe and South America beginning June 1.

"Beginning June 1, five new destinations will be added to an already robust cargo-only network: Bogota, Lima, Amsterdam, Dublin and Madrid. These nonstop flights originating from Montreal to Europe and South America will enhance our global connectivity, allowing us to continue supporting the global supply chain and our freight forwarding customers," said Tim Strauss, Vice President – Cargo at Air Canada.

Air Canada Cargo has operated more than 1,200 cargo-only flights since the end of March. Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo will continue to evaluate the opportunity to add additional all-cargo flights.

Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG postpones decision on government aid in connection with EU conditions

The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG has discussed the acceptance of the stabilization package offered by the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany, including the necessary convocation of a General Meeting.

The Supervisory Board has taken note of the conditions currently indicated by the EU Commission. They would lead to a weakening of the hub function at Lufthansa's home airports in Frankfurt and Munich. The resulting economic impact on the company and on the planned repayment of the stabilization measures, as well as possible alternative scenarios, must be analyzed intensively.

Against this background, the Supervisory Board was unable to approve the stabilization package in connection with the EU conditions. However, the Supervisory Board continues to regard WSF stabilization measures as the only viable alternative for maintaining solvency.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG will not convene an Extraordinary General Meeting for the implementation of the stabilization measures for the time being.

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West Star Aviation completes first G650 inspection

West Star Aviation is completing its first 12-, 24- and 48-month inspection on a Gulfstream G650 jet at its East Alton, IL (ALN) facility.

The inspections will take a total of 1200 hours and will be completed within a 4-5-week timeframe. The aircraft is only four years old and is under full warranty, however the customer chose West Star because of its specialized Gulfstream expertise and talented technical team.

Aero Controls expands repair and overhaul capabilities

Aero Controls continues to expand its repair and overhaul capabilities with the addition of its Emergency Equipment Shop which has the capability to service and test charged cylinder assemblies, evacuation slides and rafts, aspirators and survival kits.

The company has delivered its first A320 and 737NG evacuation slide hip-sets to customers.  Aero Controls continues to invest in new capabilities to better support their customers.

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Boeing resumes 737 MAX production at Renton, Washington factory

Boeing has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory. The 737 program began building airplanes at a low rate as it implements more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality.

“We’ve been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger,” said Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. “These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”

During the temporary suspension of production that began in January, mechanics and engineers collaborated to refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory. New kitting processes will also ensure that employees have everything they need at their fingertips to build the airplane.

“The steps we’ve taken in the factory will help drive our goal of 100 percent quality for our customers while supporting our ongoing commitment to workplace safety,” said Scott Stocker, vice president of 737 Manufacturing.

The 737 program will gradually ramp up production this year.
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