Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

U.K. aviation industry reveals plans for net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050

Even with the building of Heathrow’s proposed third runway which will substantially increase the volume of traffic at London’s principal airport, the British aviation industry has published its plans to hit its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Sustainable Aviation coalition, which includes industry giants such as Rolls-Royce, easyJet, AirBP (the aviation offshoot of BP) and European planemaker Airbus, published the plans on Tuesday of this week (February 4).

To achieve its goals, several major changes will require adoption by the aviation industry, including greater use of sustainable aviation biofuels and use of more fuel-efficient aircraft. The aviation industry, which is responsible for 7% of the U.K.s carbon emissions, expects passenger numbers to grow by 70% between now and 2050, which means many more flights. As a consequence, it sees that funding carbon offsets elsewhere could well be the solution.

Carbon offset projects can involve planting trees or helping to fund renewable power projects such as wind or solar in developing countries. However, some campaigners see carbon offsetting as a way to reduce incentives to cut actual carbon emissions. The UK was the first of the G7 countries to also set a 2050 target of net-zero carbon emissions, which will ultimately require a major public rethink on the way people consume electricity and choose to travel.

2019 saw easyJet, Europe’s second-largest low-cost carrier, become the first recognized airline worldwide to hit a target of net-zero carbon emissions through extensive use of carbon offsets.


Willis Lease Finance and key industry partners launch MRO Blockchain Alliance

Key industry partners have come together to launch the MRO Blockchain Alliance, the air transport sector’s first industry-wide investigation into the use of blockchain to trace, track and record aircraft parts.

The new alliance is made up of leading organizations covering every aspect of the commercial aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) chain, from parts manufacturing and repairs to logistics and smart contracts. The alliance members so far include Bolloré Logistics, Cathay Pacific, FLYdocs, HAECO Group, Ramco Systems, SAFRAN, SITA and Willis Lease Finance Corporation, all supported by Clyde & Co.

“In order to build a valuable product utilizing blockchain technology, we will need the industry leaders, represented in this alliance, to lend their respective expertise and to build upon the work already completed by Willis Lease Finance Corporation and FLYdocs in this field,” explained Austin Willis, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Willis Lease Finance Corporation.”

In the coming months, the alliance will launch a proof of concept to explore how they can use blockchain to digitally track and record the movement and maintenance history of parts across a wide number of players. These include airlines, lessors, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), logistics suppliers and maintenance providers.

The MRO industry processes 25 billion parts every year, while adding three billion new parts each year. There are 20,000 suppliers, covering 144,000 flights every day for an overall industry market representing around $100 billion per year.

The alliance will spend the next six months in a continued planning phase, with the aim of going live with the first proof of concept in the third quarter of 2020.

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Honeywell's new line of actuation systems to bring safety, maneuverability to Urban Air Mobility vehicles

Honeywell is developing a line of lighter-weight, electro-mechanical flight controls to bring agility and safety to a new breed of urban air vehicles that can take off and land vertically.

These actuators use small amounts of electricity to move control
surfaces on the aircraft and are specially designed to withstand the
vibrations and power requirements of urban air mobility vehicles, many
of which will use multiple propellers or fans to stay aloft. The
Honeywell actuators can accept hundreds of tiny adjustments and commands
per second from fly-by-wire computers, enabling precise navigation and
allowing aircraft designers to challenge the limits of aerodynamics.

“Nearly 200 companies worldwide are developing urban air mobility vehicles, which are very different from anything that’s flown before and will navigate in pretty challenging urban environments,” said Becky Sidelinger, president, Mechanical Systems & Components business unit, Honeywell. “These vehicles will have a significant number of takeoffs and landings in lower-altitude urban environments, where they may encounter things like unusual winds and updrafts from thermals. When navigating these challenges in a busy city, precision control is key.”

The Honeywell actuators use electricity to move control surfaces, eliminating the need for heavy hydraulics, cables or pushrods typically found in larger, more traditional models of aircraft. They are small but mighty — able to withstand harsh weather and the vibrations caused by multiple rotors operating together.


American Airlines and GOL announce codeshare agreement

American Airlines and GOL, Brazil’s largest airline, have announced a new reciprocal codeshare agreement, giving customers access to 20 new destinations in South America. American will also increase service from Miami (MIA) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG), adding a second daily flight this winter. The airline also plans to provide more opportunities to bring customers to Latin America through MIA by adding 12 flights from six U.S. cities.

After it is approved by authorities in the United States and Brazil, American and GOL’s new codeshare will allow customers to connect seamlessly to 53 GOL flights beyond GIG, Sao Paulo (GRU), Brasilia (BSB), Manaus (MAO) and Fortaleza (FOR).

The new codeshare destinations in South America not currently served by American include Asuncion, Paraguay (ASU); Curitiba, Brazil (CWB) and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (IGU), pending government approvals. American anticipates GOL’s code to be placed on select flights. The relationship will allow for future frequent flyer redemption and accrual during the first half of 2020.

Gulf Helicopters of Qatar becomes launch customer of AW189K helicopter

Leonardo has named the launch customer for the all new AW189K helicopter variant. Gulf Helicopters of Qatar, a major force in the offshore transport sector and an established AW139 and AW189 operator, will introduce the AW189K into service in the second half of 2020. The AW189 has already demonstrated it is one of the Company’s most successful models through its sales, deliveries and flight hours.

Powered by a pair of latest generation Safran Helicopter Engines’ Aneto-1K 2,500 shp class turboshafts, the AW189K offers the market a further option for efficient long range, high endurance and large capacity operations with lower operating costs compared to larger, heavier types.


AEI receives order for two MD-83SF freighter conversions from Aeronaves TSM

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has signed a contract to provide Saltillo, Mexico-based Aeronaves T.S.M. S.A. de C.V. (TSM) with two additional AEI MD-83SF freighter conversions. The first MD-83 (MSN 49945) will commence modification in March 2020, followed by the second MD-83modification beginning in November 2020. Touch labor for both modifications will be performed by Commercial Jet’s Miami, Florida facility, which is an authorized AEI Conversion Center.

These two additional MD-83SF freighters will represent the 13th and 14th AEI MD-80SF series freighters in the TSM fleet. TSM currently operates 11 AEI MD-80SF series freighters and is AEI’s largest operator of the platform. The 12th conversion commenced modification at the end of November 2019 and is scheduled to be re-delivered by the end of March of this year.

Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic launch expanded joint venture

Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic have launched their expanded joint venture offering a greater choice of routes and loyalty options when travelling between Europe, the U.K. and North America.

The new partnership provides customers with more convenient flight schedules and a shared goal of ensuring a smooth and consistent travel experience, whichever airline people fly. The partnership also provides the flexibility to book flights on any of the four carriers through their respective mobile apps, websites, or via travel agents. Customers will enjoy award-winning service, top-tier premium cabin products and complimentary food, drink and seatback in-flight entertainment in all cabins on all trans-Atlantic flights.

Enhanced customer benefits starting Feb. 13, mean that loyalty program members will be able to earn and use miles or enjoy elite benefits for flights on any of the four airlines’ worldwide operations, including a trans-Atlantic trip, intra-Europe hops, or domestic U.S. journey, offering more opportunities to quickly move through loyalty tiers and reach a higher status. Eligible Elite loyalty program members can also enjoy priority boarding and relax in over 100 airport lounges when travelling internationally.


Ascent Aviation Services names Alexander Kocksch Director of Purchasing and Materials

Ascent Aviation Services has announced that Alexander Kocksch has joined the company as Director of Purchasing and Materials. In his new position, Kocksch reports directly to Dave Querio, President, assuming responsibility for the development, direction and coordination of the Purchasing and Materials departments.

Kocksch and his team are also coordinating with the company's Operations group to ensure that all opportunities are thoroughly evaluated in order to ensure the continued efficient and productive growth of Ascent operations.

FAA selects TRAX eMRO software for its fleet

FAA Flight Program Operations operate a fleet of aircraft to provide Aviation Safety Training; Flight Inspection; Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E); Critical Event Response and Transportation Services.

TRAX eMRO was selected to replace the existing MRO and fleet operations software as the FAA has its eyes on incorporating advanced technology and providing web-based and mobile solutions to its users.


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MRO Latin America
January 22 - 23, 2020 – Cartagena, Columbia

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

Operating Lease & Aviation Finance Seminar
March 24 - 26, 2020 - London, UK