Thursday, December 19th, 2019

Air France-KLM signs order for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft

The Air France–KLM Group has firmed up an order for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft to modernise its single-aisle fleet. The aircraft are intended to be operated by Air France. 

“We are glad to see that Air France is endorsing the A220 as a great step towards fleet optimisation for large network carriers. The largest Airbus A220 order from a European carrier to date speaks volumes on Air France’s ambitious sustainability drive. The modern and fuel efficient Airbus A220 will contribute to lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions significantly compared to older generation aircraft,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

Air France-KLM currently operates a fleet of 159 Airbus aircraft.


ver.di launches Aircrew Alliance

The Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di) has consolidated its work for the approximately 45,000 flying employees in civil aviation into a new, independent, professional group-specific, international alliance. The Aircrew Alliance organizational unit will, in future, include all flight attendants and pilots of airlines operating in Germany.

“Competitive pressure is constantly on the rise. The aviation industry is becoming ever more fast-moving and international. With the Aircrew Alliance, flight attendants and pilots in ver.di are positioning themselves internationally, ready for the future. In the coming months, this alliance will create the basis for future-proofing and good living and working conditions for all airline employees operating in Germany. Our motto for this is: unity strength diversity,” explains Mira Neumaier, ver.di’s national aviation group leader.

In addition to the classic collective bargaining work, the Aircrew Alliance will also focus on job-specific topics such as occupational safety, health (keyword: aerotoxic syndrome), further training and strengthening co-determination rights. To this end, it forms its own commissions, which are represented nationally and internationally in the area of the European and International Transport Workers Federation (ETF / ITF), for example vis-à-vis the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In the future, the Aircrew Alliance will form a strong international and national lobby for aircrews. The Aircrew Alliance will draw on the expertise and networking of all ver.di employees in the aviation sector. “We are creating a strong independent platform that represents cabins and cockpits. We need cross-airline networking and cooperation in order to defend existing standards and enforce better regulations for international competition between airlines,” says Neumaier.


Joramco adds Boeing 777 and Airbus A320neo to GCAA approval

Joramco, the Amman-based MRO and the engineering arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), has extended its United Arab Emirates approval, the GCAA, to include the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A320neo aircraft types.

Jeff Wilkinson, Joramco‘s Chief Executive Officer commented: “The addition of these aircraft types to our GCAA approval is part of our strategic roadmap to enrich our capabilities and is completely
in line with the vision of our majority owner, DAE. This shall enable Joramco to work with more customers falling under this authority who are operating these types of aircraft.”


Airbus sees strong Asia demand as driver for successful year of sales

2019 should be an excellent year for Airbus as it looks to achieve more sales than deliveries for large jets which it attributes to strong demand from Asia. The results are better than were anticipated, thanks to the launch of a new long-range variant of the A321, with new CCO Christian Scherer suggesting that Airbus could well top the 1,000-plane gross order level, an increase of 20% compared to 2018. However, Scherer also warned that while results have shown strong performance despite U.S. tariffs on Airbus’ jets, these tariffs still pose a “very serious problem” for the clients of airlines.

Scherer added that Airbus would show a book-to-bill ratio above one for every aircraft program, i.e. net orders after cancellations would be greater than the number of aircraft delivered. After cancellations, the European planemaker achieved 940 gross sales and 718 net orders in the 11 months up to the end of November. Owing to delays with A321neo production, Airbus expects to deliver 760 units this year and is giving serious consideration to the establishment of a new production line for the A321 neo.

According to Reuters news agency, Boeing sold 243 jets or an unadjusted net total of 56 after cancellations between January and November. That excludes a tentative deal from British Airways owner IAG for 200 of its grounded 737 MAX jets that remains unconfirmed. Though 737 MAX production is now on hold, Boeing has sold 75 of its 787 Dreamliners. Scherer also denied that Airbus stood to benefit from rival Boeing’s decision to suspend production the 737 MAX, emphasizing that the disruption would hurt the sector at large. “We’re in a growth industry,” Scherer said on a conference call with French aerospace journalists. “When you have one player that isn’t playing its part, it’s extremely destructive,” he added, referring to the balance of the aircraft market rather than Boeing’s efforts to get changes to the jet approved.


GKN Aerospace to design and develop electrical wiring interconnection systems and empennage for AS2

Aerion Supersonic, a leader in supersonic technology, has selected GKN Aerospace as a supplier for the AS2 supersonic business jet. GKN Aerospace will design the empennage and the electrical wiring and interconnection systems (EWIS) for the AS2. Design activities have already started on-site at Aerion in Reno, Nevada and in GKN Aerospace’s engineering centers in the Netherlands and Romania.

GKN Aerospace is a leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier company, specializing in developing, building and supplying an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies.

Aerion’s AS2 is the first-ever privately built supersonic commercial aircraft. The 12 passenger business jet is scheduled to begin flight testing in 2024.


PPG completes US$15.5 million investment in Burbank, California, research and technology center

PPG has completed a US$15.5 million investment at its aerospace research and technology (R&T) center in Burbank, California.

Upgrades to the 39,524-ft² (3,672-m²) facility include increased laboratory and testing space with climate-control capabilities, updated equipment to enhance PPG’s resources for the development of aerospace sealants and coatings, as well as an open floor plan with dedicated areas to promote collaboration.

The facility currently accommodates more than 90 employees in various R&T, manufacturing, customer support and related service and administrative positions. PPG’s global aerospace business offers coatings, sealants, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armor, as well as chemical management and other services.

HAC takes delivery of first ATR 42-600

ATR has delivered the first of two ATR 42-600 aircraft to Hokkaido Air System Co. (HAC), a JAL Group Company. This delivery marks the first step in HAC’s replacement of its Saab 340 fleet. The delivery of this aircraft will ensure that essential regional air connectivity in Hokkaido can continue.

The ATR 42-600 will offer HAC increased capacity for the same operating costs – generating opportunities for the airline to increase revenues. It will also provide HAC’s passengers with a
modern, comfortable cabin featuring latest generation 18”-wide seats as well as more space for luggage in the overhead bins.

AeroGround granted license for aircraft handling services at Hamburg Airport

AeroGround Flughafen München GmbH, Munich Airport’s subsidiary responsible for aircraft and baggage handling, has been awarded one of the two licenses to provide ground handling services at Hamburg Airport. As a result, AeroGround can begin providing ramp-side ground handling services at Hamburg Airport starting in August 2020. The license has been granted for a seven-year term.

Christian Stoschek, the managing director of AeroGround, said: "We are delighted to be accredited at Hamburg Airport. We see this as an affirmation of the work we do at our other locations in Munich and Berlin. Expanding our business activities to Hamburg Airport is a key step toward positioning AeroGround as one of the leading ground handling providers in the German-speaking countries."

Field Aerospace delivers Sherpa avionics upgrade ahead of schedule

Field Aerospace has completed the U.S. Forest Service SD3-60 avionics upgrade on the sixth of 10 aircraft 17 days ahead of schedule.

Implementing efficiencies and lessons learned from the previous Sherpa flight deck integrations shaved off 17 days from the planned integration schedule, garnering kudos from the U.S. Forest Service. Field Aerospace expects the next four Sherpa modernizations to follow the compressed modification schedule as well.

Field Aerospace obtained the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for this avionics upgrade, which modernizes the aging smokejumper’s flight deck and improves its mission capabilities, in September 2018. Field Aerospace developed and integrated the modernized flight deck, conducted FAA witnessed ground and flight tests, and completed the STC certification. Field’s FAA-authorized Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) issued the STC for the first Sherpa.

The next aircraft is currently in work at Field’s Oklahoma City facility. Field Aerospace previously completed five Sherpa upgrades, four as part of the original base contract and one for the current
option contract. Three additional aircraft will be modified, for a total of 10 on the base and option contracts.

Amedeo announces new executive appointments

Amedeo, an aircraft asset manager and principal investor in leasing transactions to airlines globally, will be making the following appointments, effective January 1, 2020:

Gabriella Lapidus will be appointed to the role of Executive Vice President and Head of Sales, Trading and Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Lapidus will lead the management of aircraft sales and trading activity and will lead the management of stakeholder relationships, including the development of existing and new investment and equity channels across the business.

Angeliki Vourlioti will be appointed to the role of Executive Vice President and Head of Pricing, Analytics and Strategic Finance. In this role, Vourlioti will lead the management and oversight of all pricing and analytical functions as well as be responsible for the development of existing and new strategic financing channels, with a particular focus on banks and senior financing sources.


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January 22 - 23, 2020 – Cartagena, Columbia

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February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan