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Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Greek holiday industry hit by Qatar Airlines flight which had 12 passengers who tested positive for COVID-19

Greece has been forced to decide from which countries it will allow holidaymakers to arrive from. The decision to create a shortlist of acceptable countries from where it would allow flights to arrive has been made more prescient after a Qatar Airways flight with 91 passengers on board arrived, after which 12 of the passengers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

All 91 passengers have now been forced into isolation with the infected passengers being held for 14 days, while the civil protection ministry has suspended all flights from the Arab state until June 15. The remaining passengers will be tested in seven days’ time and providing they do not test positive for the coronavirus; they will be released from forced isolation. 

“We knew there would be such cases. We’ve seen what can happen this summer,” said Prof Nikolaos Sipsas, an expert in infectious diseases. He told ANT1 TV that the incident highlighted the degree to which opening up to tourism was a calculated risk. “The safest would be not to open up to tourism but that would mean huge economic destruction,” said Sipsas, who sits on the specialist committee advising the Greek government on management of the pandemic. “The first thing we have to do is divide countries of origin into safe and unsafe . That creates certain diplomatic pressure, but for us the first priority is public health.”

Strict and early enforcement of pandemic measures has resulted in Greece recording fewer than 3,000 cases and a death toll of 179, which is one of the lowest in Europe. However, the pandemic has wrought havoc on Greece’s fragile economy just as it was starting to show signs of recovery after almost ten years of financial crises.

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TUI and Boeing reach agreement to resolve 737 MAX grounding impacts

TUI and Boeing have agreed on a comprehensive package of measures to offset the consequences of the grounding of the 737 MAX. While the details of the agreement are confidential, it provides compensation which covers a significant portion of the financial impact, as well as credits for future aircraft orders. The compensation will be realised over the next two years.

In addition, both parties have agreed to a revised delivery schedule for the 61 737 MAX aircraft on order, meaning that TUI will get fewer 737 MAX deliveries from Boeing than previously planned in the next several years. The associated payment schedules have been adapted accordingly. As a result less than half of the originally planned 737 MAX aircraft will be delivered to TUI in the next two years. On average, compared with the original scheduling, the 737 MAX deliveries will be delayed by approximately two years.

This will significantly reduce TUI's capital and financing requirements for aircraft in the coming years and supports TUI's plan to reduce the size of fleet of its five European airlines in the wake of the Corona crisis. It was agreed not to disclose the financial details of the agreement.

GA Telesis announces expansion and branding of newly created Flight Solutions Group

GA Telesis' Component Solutions Group (CSG) has recently completed a five-year expansion and transformation, becoming a global leader in integrated aviation aftermarket solutions including aircraft and engine teardown, parts sales, distribution, flight hour services, inventory leasing, APU management, and repair management. With the business growing nearly 300% over the recent span, CSG has become an integral part of the global airline and MRO supply chain.

"Our product line growth, customer growth, job creation, and subsequent revenue and margin growth have been outstanding over the last five years," said Jason Reed, President of CSG. "Much credit goes to this entire team for the hard work and talent growth we have exhibited over the period. The best part is that we have only just begun, and I am excited to announce the creation of the newly branded Flight Solutions Group (FSG). "

FSG will encompass all of the Component Solutions Group, as well as two newly created divisions. The integration and product line expansions are being demanded by CSG's customers around the world. These two new business units will manage both logistics and warehousing solutions, as well as all tooling and ground support equipment (GSE). The new groups will be branded as GAT Logistics Solutions Group (LSG) and Tarmac Solutions Group (TSG), respectively. They will initially be based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The newly created Flight Solutions Group will be able to leverage GA Telesis' global presence, customers, access to capital, experience, and range of aftermarket services to more than double revenues of the newly created FSG group size by 2023. FSG's customers will now have the option to manage all aspects of their supply chain and maintenance needs ensuring the highest level of operational efficiency available in the market.

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GKN Aerospace’s thermoplastic components flight tested on Bell V-280 Valor

GKN Aerospace has delivered a pair of thermoplastic composite, induction-welded Ruddervators and two compression-moulded Access Panels manufactured from reused thermoplastic waste material to Bell in June 2019. The newly installed components have now flown more than 12 hours on V-280 test flights, including during the recently completed autonomous flight testing.

The Bell test pilots were happy with the seamless integration of the newly installed parts, noting that the V-280 continued to exhibit excellent responsiveness through test manoeuvers. This has made the V-280, which recently celebrated completion of its second full year of flight tests, one of the first military aircraft flying successfully with thermoplastic components.

Ruddervators are the control surfaces for an aircraft with a V-tail configuration. As a partner in Bell’s Team Valor, GKN Aerospace has designed and manufactured the complete thermoset composite V-Tail for the aircraft. The Bell V-280 Valor is competing for selection as the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). The advanced thermoplastic Ruddervators significantly reduce weight, cost and parts count.

IndiGo to implement INFORM's GroundStar optimization software

INFORM GmbH (INFORM), a global provider of advanced optimization software for the aviation industry, has entered into an agreement with Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Limited) to provide its comprehensive optimization software suite GroundStar (GS), to enhance the airline’s workforce management processes.

With a fleet of over 250 aircraft, IndiGo is India’s largest passenger airline and holds approximately 47.5% of the market share in India as of December 2019. The airline offers over 1,500 daily flights and connects 63 destinations in India and 24 destinations outside India.

Specifically, IndiGo will be using INFORM’s GS Planning, GS WorkforcePlus and GS RealTime modules, which provide a strong value proposition by supporting aviation companies to optimally plan, schedule and allocate its manpower and equipment resources.

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Helitrans accepts first helicopters under e-delivery process

Helitrans of Norway has become the first customer to take delivery of a new Airbus helicopter, using the e-delivery process devised to enable deliveries while ensuring compliance with COVID-19 health and safety restrictions.

Trondheim-based Helitrans formally accepted the latest two H125s into its fleet following a series of actions that allowed all the requirements of the normal process to be met without the need for
physical meetings or travel.

The system relies on the customer accepting flight-test and inspection findings conducted by authorized Airbus staff in place of their own employees who usually perform those tasks.

Key elements include an expanded test flight including the customer acceptance tests, a video inspection of the helicopter and loose object check, disinfection of all items, and the aircraft documentation verification.

The summary information was presented via an online video conference with representatives of Airbus Helicopters, authorized dealer Østnes and Helitrans enabling the formal transfer of title to take place. Finally the helicopters were transported by road to Norway to be received by the customer at Trondheim.

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SMBC Aviation Capital posts full year results - defers 68 MAX aircraft deliveries

Aircraft leasing company SMBC Aviation has reported its results for the financial year ended March 31, 2020.

The company reported profit before tax of US$364.5 million, an increase of almost 5.8% y/y. Total aircraft operating lease assets grew by 3.7% to US$10.6 billion - a lower than anticipated level of asset growth due to the grounding of the B737 MAX aircraft and Airbus A320neo delays.

Core lease rentals increased by US$55.8 million to US$1.1 billion - a 5.5% increase. The company reported EBITDA of US$1.1 billion with EBITDA to interest coverage remaining strong at 3.6 times.

SMBC will defer deliveries of 68 Boeing 737 Max aircraft until 2025-2027.

At the end of the fiscal year the company had available liquidity of US$6.3 billion due to diversified funding sources and unrestricted cash balance.

Trump administration denies Chinese airlines entry into U.S.

The administration of US President Donald Trump wants to ban Chinese airlines from flying passengers to the United States until further notice. The regulation is to take effect on June 16, the US Department of Transportation announced. The retaliatory measure applies to Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines Holding.

The US accuses China of preventing American airlines from resuming air traffic to the People's Republic. The airlines had suspended all passenger flights to China of their own accord in February because of the Corona pandemic.

Meanwhile, companies such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are pressing for the resumption of connections, based on fundamental agreements between the two countries and pointing out that Chinese airlines have continued their flights to the U.S. even during the corona crisis.

The pandemic has led to increased tension between the United States and the People's Republic. US President Trump accuses China of a cover-up tactic in the outbreak of the corona virus.

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Acumen receives Bermudan CAMO-approval

Aircraft Asset Management Services Company Acumen Aviation, has received a further expansion of its CAMO approval with the addition of VP – Registration CAMO-approval from the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA).

This latest addition is a direct response to the company's customer requirements and further bolsters Acumen’s comprehensive CAMO suite. Acumen also holds approvals for Bombardier Dash 8 / Q400 series aircraft, ATR 42/72 series aircraft, Airbus 320 Family and Airbus A330 Family aircraft, Boeing 737 Classic and NG series aircraft.
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