Thursday, December 12th, 2019

First all-electric commercial aircraft makes maiden flight

Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline and magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, have announced the successful flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.

The successful flight of the ePlane, a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver magnified by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, took place on the Fraser River at Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal in Richmond (YVR South), Vancouver, Canada, December 10. The plane was piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall. This historic flight signifies the start of the third era in aviation – the electric age.

Earlier this year, Harbour Air announced its partnership with magniX and the company’s intention to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. The magni500, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June, 2019, is a high-power-density electric propulsion system that provides a clean and efficient way to power airplanes.

magniX and Harbour Air will now begin the certification and approval process for the propulsion system and the retrofitting of aircraft. Once the certification is complete, the rest of the fleet can be magnified with magniX’s all-electric propulsion technology.


IATA urges greater vigilance over rogue lithium battery shipments

With a 17 percent year-on-year growth in demand for lithium batteries, the number of mis-declared or undeclared shipments is also on the increase. As a consequence, the International Air Transportation, in conjunction with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), is stepping up its efforts to ensure that lithium batteries are being shipped safely. According to Nick Careen, IATA's Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security: "Dangerous goods, including lithium batteries, are safe to transport if managed according to international regulations and standards. But we are seeing an increase in the number of incidents in which rogue shippers are not complying. The industry is uniting to raise awareness of the need to comply. This includes the launching of an incident reporting tool so that information on rogue shippers is shared. And we are asking governments to get much tougher with fines and penalties."

This new campaign is targeting three specific areas. First, a new incident and reporting alert system for airlines now enables incidents involving dangerous goods to be reported in real time in an attempt to cut out acts of deliberate concealment or mis-declaration of lithium batteries. Second, these is to be a worldwide series of awareness seminars which will target countries where compliance has proved problematic, while an education and awareness program for customs authorities has been developed in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO). Third, the aviation industry has put its support behind the adoption of a cross-domain approach to include aviation security, manufacturing standards, customs and consumer protection agencies. Currently air cargo is scanned for items that pose a risk to security such as explosives, but not safety such as lithium batteries.


ACC Aviation Group expands into Africa

Aviation service provider, ACC Aviation Group, has announced the opening of a new regional office in Addis Ababa.

This latest development follows recent expansions into Asia and North America, and the acquisition of Dubai-based aviation consultancy, Aerotask, with the new office being headed up by Regional VP – Africa, Daniel Huggins.

CEO Phil Mathews comments: “I am delighted to announce the launch of our new regional office in Africa, extending our global presence across four continents and rounding off this current phase of strategic geographic expansion."


Air France-KLM orders additional ten Airbus A350-900s for Air France

The Air France and Air France-KLM Boards of Directors have reached a decision concerning the replacement of Air France’s Airbus A380s and approved an order of ten Airbus A350-900s. With this decision, Air France-KLM is pursuing its fleet rationalization and simplification strategy.

KLM is already well on its way to simplifying its long-haul fleet which will ultimately consist of only Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft, sharing a common pilot type rating.

At Air France, this upcoming order will bring the total number of A350 aircraft to 38, including three that have already been delivered. This is the next step for Air France as it pursues the same fleet simplification strategy. As a result, in 2023, the Air France long-haul fleet will consist of 116 aircraft split among only four families: Airbus A330s and A350s, and Boeing 787s and 777s. As at KLM, this will bring Air France greater operational flexibility, as well as the opportunity to make significant economies of scale, thanks in particular to reducing the number of pilot qualifications to three by 2023 – Airbus A330/A350, Boeing 787, and Boeing 777.

These new-generation aircraft will replace the Airbus A380s currently in operation at Air France and which are to be retired between now and the end of 2022. The arrival of these new aircraft will also allow the company to accelerate the departure of the Airbus A340s during the first quarter of 2021.


Precision Aircraft Solutions redelivers 26th conversion to SF Airlines

Precision Aircraft Solutions has redelivered one 757-200PCF aircraft, MSN 29944, to SF Airlines, a subsidiary of SF Express. The conversion is the 26th Precision passenger-to-freighter 757 aircraft to join the SF air operation.

SF Airlines was converted at the AMECO facility in Chengdu, China. 


Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG appoints new CEOs for Eurowings and Brussels Airlines

The Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG has appointed new CEOs for Eurowings and Brussels Airlines. Jens Bischof, currently CEO of SunExpress, will take over as chairman of Eurowings on March 1, 2020. As of January 1, 2020, Dieter Vranckx will become CEO of Brussels Airlines, succeeding Christina Foerster. The Belgian native has been Chief Financial Officer and deputy CEO of the airline's Management Board since May 1, 2018.

Furthermore it has been announced that Patrick Staudacher will join Lufthansa Group on May 1, 2020. He will take over the reoriented position of CFO & Head of Business Development for the Lufthansa core brand. The appointment also takes place with a view towards the planned legal independence of the Lufthansa airline. Staudacher has been with Boston Consulting Group since 2008. Most recently, he was a senior partner there and an expert for the areas airlines, aerospace and post-merger integration.

Southeast Aerospace receives PMA for Garmin G5000 harness

Southeast Aerospace, the aerospace solutions company, was granted an FAA PMA to manufacture and distribute complex harnesses required for the Garmin G5000 installations.

The Garmin G5000 is an Advanced Flight Deck with 3 wide high-resolution displays with integrated engine indicators and crew alerting system. With full WAAS FMS integration and dual channel digital control system, the package provides the latest in satellite based navigation capabilities and digital flight management tools.

Harnesses for the G5000 are an intricate component of the installation for Citation 560XL/XLS or the Beechjet 400A. Due to the complexity of the harness, every harness is tested using automated harness test equipment. Each wire is laser marked and connectors are tagged to facilitate straightforward installation.

easyJet adds 25 new routes for Summer 2020

easyJet will operate 25 new routes next summer including two new destinations from the U.K. New services to Enfidia, Tunisia and Tirana in Albania are among the collection of new routes.

From summer 2020 easyJet will fly to Tirana, the capital of Albania from the U.K. for the first time. The cultural, entertainment and political center of Albania is an ever-increasingly popular city, having been off limits for much of the 20th century and is now enjoying a rise in prominence. easyJet will fly to Tirana three times a week from London Gatwick with the first flight taking off on May 1, 2020.

easyJet will also be flying to Tunisia for the first time since 2015 with two flights a week from Gatwick to Enfidha.


JetBlue posts November traffic increase of 3.7%

JetBlue Airways has reported its preliminary traffic results for November 2019. Traffic in November 2019 increased 3.7% from November 2018, on a capacity increase of 7.1%. Load factor for November 2019 was 80.8%, a decrease of 2.7 points from November 2018.


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