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Thursday, February 27th, 2020

Air New Zealand considering use of “Skynest” sleeping pods for economy class passengers

Air New Zealand has announced it is investigating the potential use of “Skynest” sleeping pods for economy-class travelers on some of its longest routes. The carrier has applied for a patent for what it is calling “Economy Skynest” which will contain six full-length sleep pods at 200cm long and 58cm wide each. There will be three levels of beds and two beds on each level. Each bed will include a pillow, sheets, blankets and possibly a USB charging point and reading light. Flights being considered suitable for the Skynest include the Auckland to New York service which will begin next year, a flight lasting 17 hours and 40 minutes.

The carrier has yet to give an indication of cost, but it will be in addition to the cost of an economy-class seat. Passengers will be able to book slots in the Skynest as opposed to booking one for the full flight, with cabin crew refreshing them with clean sheets, pillows, etc. on each changeover. As the Skynest is an optional extra for passengers, they will still retain their economy-class seat throughout the flight, even when using the Skynest. The airline would need to get it certified with regulators before passengers can expect to climb into the in-air beds. “But it was a prize worth chasing and one that we think has the potential to be a game-changer for economy class travelers on all airlines around the world,” said Kerry Reeves, Air New Zealand’s head of airline programs.

If the product proves popular, Air New Zealand has said it will consider licensing the Skynest to other airlines.


Airbus Helicopters appoints Thomas Hundt Executive Vice-President Finance

Airbus Helicopters has appointed Thomas Hundt Executive Vice-President Finance and Member of the Executive Committee of Airbus Helicopters, effective March 1, 2020.

Previously, he served as Senior Vice-President of Performance Management and Costing for Airbus Helicopters and Managing Director for Airbus Helicopters Germany. Hundt succeeds Linda Honold, who wiII retire after more than three decades with Airbus and its predecessor companies.

Before joining Airbus Helicopters in 2016, Thomas Hundt was Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice-President of Arianespace, based in Evry, France.

Coronavirus forces Lufthansa to new cost cutting course

In order to counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus at an early stage, Lufthansa is implementing several measures to lower costs: among other things, all new hires planned for the airline will be reassessed, suspended or deferred to a later date. Lufthansa is also offering employees unpaid leave effective immediately. An expansion of part-time work options in the context of collective bargaining agreements is currently being examined.

All planned flight attendant and station personnel training courses as of April 2020 will not be carried out. For the time being, the participants of courses that are already in progress will not be hired. However, the aim remains to be able to offer the participants employment contracts in the long-term. In the administrative areas, the core brand Lufthansa will reduce its project volume by ten percent and the budget for material costs by 20 percent.

Following a thorough assessment of all available information on the effects of the novel coronavirus, Lufthansa Group had already cancelled all flights by Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines to/from mainland China until the end of the winter flight schedule on March 28. Currently 13 Lufthansa Group aircraft are on the ground.


SalamAir selects Commsoft’s OASES

SalamAir has chosen Communication Software’s OASES engineering and maintenance platform
for its growing regional airline. The deal will see the Oman-based airline using several OASES modules, all of which will be implemented on Commsoft’s private cloud. These include its core, airworthiness, planning, materials, line maintenance control and warranty modules.

The first low-cost carrier based in Oman, SalamAir was established in 2016 and now serves 27 destinations. Its current fleet comprises three Airbus A320-214 (CFM56 engines) and five Airbus A320-251Neo with a further A320neo aircraft being planned. Implementation will start with the materials module in the next month and CAMO implementation will commence as new aircraft arrive. The OASES implementation will start immediately with onsite implementation likely to
commence in March 2020.

Lufthansa Group to offer direct flights from Calgary to Frankfurt

Lufthansa Group's subsidiary Eurowings, will connect Calgary, Canada, to Frankfurt, Germany, on a seasonal basis.

Service will commence on June 1, 2020 and operate through October 24, 2020. Calgary will join other Canadian gateways of the Lufthansa Group like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, as well as the upcoming route to Ottawa. Eurowings is the second Lufthansa Group airline to serve Calgary. Currently SWISS' subsidiary, Edelweiss, offers seasonal flights from Calgary to Zurich.

The new Calgary route will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 offering a seat configuration of 22 Business Class seats and 248 Premium Economy and Economy Class seats with the option of more legroom on selected seats. The flight will operate four times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. As the summer travel period concludes, the service will alternate to three weekly flights (Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays) as of October 24, 2020.

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Astronics Corporation reports 2019 fourth-quarter and full-year financial results

Fourth-quarter consolidated GAAP sales were down US$4.5 million, reflecting a US$10.3 million decline related to the divestiture of the semiconductor business. The Acquired Businesses contributed US$9.9 million in sales.

As a result of the increase in the legal reserve and the impairment and restructuring charges associated with the antenna business, consolidated operating loss was US$36.9 million, compared with operating income of US$18.6 million in the prior-year period. The effective tax rate for the quarter was 21.3%, compared with 19.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Net loss was US$34.1 million, compared with net income of US$12.5 million in the prior year. Adjusted consolidated sales were up 3% to US$196.5 million in the fourth-quarter of 2019. Adjusted Test System sales were up US$8.9 million due to incremental sales from the Acquired Businesses, while Aerospace segment sales were down US$3.1 million.

Consolidated GAAP sales for the full-year of 2019 decreased US$30.6 million to US$772.7 million, primarily because of the divested semiconductor business which had sales of US$9.7 million in 2019 and US$84.3 million in 2018. Consolidated operating income declined to US$1.7 million compared with US$63.7 million the prior-year period. The effective tax rate for 2019 was 23.8%, compared with 10.5% in 2018. The 2018 tax rate was favorably impacted by a revised state tax filing position. Net income was US$52.0 million, compared with US$46.8 million in the prior year. The US$80.1 million pre-tax gain on the sale of the semiconductor test business contributed US$60.4 million to net income after taxes.


BAA Training Vietnam introduces second A320 FFS

BAA Training Vietnam, a brand new aviation training center located in Ho Chi Minh, has expanded its training equipment. A state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo full flight simulator has been assembled and approved by Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) to provide pilot training in Vietnam.

A modern 3000-m² training center opened doors in September of 2019 and with its first Airbus A320ceo full flight simulator started to provide pilot training for both airlines and independent pilots. As the first training device has already reached its full utilization, the second, this time Airbus A320neo full flight simulator, is being introduced to the market.

In addition to the second full flight simulator, BAA Training Vietnam has installed a brand new training device for the firefighting training purposes – V9000 Commander. The device imitating fire and smoke is used to train cabin crew members to act in case of emergency: to fight fire and safely evacuate the passengers.

The new SIM International manufactured Airbus A320 full flight simulator is a high fidelity Level D certified simulator, which  through a modular design, long life COTS products and a standardized product baseline, ensures minimal training interruptions. More importantly, new technological solutions allow to put a greater focus on the competency-based training.


Malaysia Airlines collaborates with REVIMA to provide landing gear services

Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) will be collaborating with Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) solutions provider REVIMA, specalized in APU and landing gear solutions. REVIMA has over 60 years expertise in MRO with major industry players and has recently extended its footprint in the Asia Pacific region via their newly-constructed state-of-the-art landing gear overhaul facility in Chonburi, Thailand.

Both companies will work together in providing a one-stop-service center on landing gear replacement and overhaul solutions to third-party customers. This will enable Malaysia Airlines to provide landing gear replacement services for REVIMA customers at its KUL Hangar.

Likewise, REVIMA will be supporting landing gear overhauls for MAB customers at any one of its facilities, in addition to offering its customers landing gear replacement packages with Malaysia Airlines. REVIMA will also provide technical and training support for fleet landing gear replacements, including knowledge sharing on best practices and facility benchmarking for Malaysia Airlines, allowing competencies and capabilities enhancements.

Both parties will also have a role in marketing and promoting their joint services to IATA 3 operators, within the Asia Pacific region. Through this, Malaysia Airlines hopes to grow its share in the Asia Pacific MRO market, as well as promote the services to fellow operators. REVIMA, on the other hand, will be able to leverage on Malaysia Airlines’ experience in airframe maintenance, as well as landing gear replacement experience for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft.


MTU Maintenance Canada becomes F138 engine depot for the United States Air Force

MTU Maintenance Canada, MTU’s competence center for military engine maintenance, will support the United States Air Force’s (USAF) F138 engines and components with depot maintenance, repair and overhaul. The contract is currently valued at US$225 million, awarded via the Canadian Commercial Corporation and runs for ten-years to February 2030.

The F138 is the military variant of the CF6-80C2 engine and powers the C-5M Super Galaxy – the largest aircraft in the USAF inventory with four of these engines. The CF6-80C2 program was recently introduced at MTU Maintenance Canada, with the first engine inducted in early 2020 and test cell correlation currently underway.

“The CF6-80C2, and its military variant the F138, is a logical introduction into the MTU Maintenance Canada portfolio, as we have already serviced CF6-50 and KC-10 engines in the past,” adds Helmut
Neuper, CEO and President, MTU Maintenance Canada. “We had a great track record of 100 percent on time delivery within the KC-10 program, a military derivative of the CF6-50 engine, and are delighted to have become prime contractor in this case.” The first F138 USAF delivery order is expected in April this year.


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

Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset 2020
April 21, 2020 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Maintenance Reserves Seminar 2020
April 22, 2020 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

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