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Friday, June 12th, 2020

Despite financial bailout, Lufthansa warns 22,000 jobs could still go

Despite agreeing a US$10 billion bailout plan which would give a German government stabilization fund a 20% stake in the beleaguered carrier, Lufthansa has confirmed that continued pandemic-related reductions in worldwide travel demand may lead to the shedding of up to 22,000 of its 135,9000 full-time staff.

The flag-carrying airline, which also includes Swiss, Australian Airlines and Brussels Airlines also confirmed that post the pandemic, it will likely be operating 100 less aircraft which, combined with projected job losses, saw its share price fall 8% on Thursday, June 11.

In a statement UFO, a union representing cabin crew, made it clear that its members would be prepared to make concessions, though they expected job guarantees from Lufthansa.


Pipistrel obtains first ever type certificate for electric airplane from EASA

After years of intensive research and several successful award-winning electric aircraft models developed since 2007, Pipistrel has achieved a breakthrough feat in aviation history, having type certified the battery powered Velis Electro. Working in tight collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), whose engagement was essential to reaching this unprecedented milestone, Pipistrel demonstrated that its new Velis Electro achieves the highest levels of safety.

Conceived as a fundamental part of the ‘Velis Training System’, the Velis Electro was designed to be simple to operate and maintain, without compromising safety. Employing Pipistrel’s type certified electric engine, the Velis Electro delivers power instantly and without hesitation – using a simplified user interface in a cockpit that maintains the same look-and-feel of its conventionally powered siblings. The reduced number of moving parts dramatically decreases maintenance costs and the risk of malfunctions is further minimized thanks to its built-in continuous health-monitoring system.

This enhanced reliability allows the Velis Electro to have more than double the lifespan of powertrain elements in comparison to the previous generation of electric airplanes.

The revolutionary powertrain is entirely liquid-cooled, including the batteries, and demonstrated the ability to withstand faults, battery thermal runaway events, and crash loads as part of the certification process.

The overall result of all these breakthrough innovations is a drastic reduction in the operating costs, significantly contributing to the affordability of pilot training.

Boeing anticipates critical 737 MAX certification flight at end of June

While Boeing has made no formal announcement, according to Reuters news agency two people briefed on the matter have confirmed the planemaker’s intent to conduct a key certification test flight for the 737 MAX at the end of this month. The company did confirm that it had won approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for a service bulletin that details the modifications required for 737 MAX wiring.

“Boeing has already begun modifying airplanes that have not yet been delivered and is coordinating modification efforts with the airlines,” the company said. “New airplanes being built will include this update,” it added. The FAA said on Wednesday it was “in regular contact with Boeing as the company continues its work on the 737 MAX. ... The aircraft will be cleared for return to passenger service only after the FAA is satisfied that all safety-related issues are addressed.”


IATA introduces online interactive world map with COVID-19 entry regulations by country

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has introduced a free online interactive world map to provide travelers with the latest COVID-19 entry regulations by country. The map relies on IATA’s Timatic database which contains comprehensive information on documentation required for international travel. To keep pace with the dynamic situation with respect to COVID-19, Timatic is updated more than 200 times per day to provide accurate travel restrictions specific to the current pandemic, based on one’s citizenship and country of residence.

‘’As the aviation industry prepares to safely restart, travelers will need to know which countries’ borders are open and what health restrictions exist. Travelers can rely on Timatic for comprehensive and accurate information on travel during the pandemic,’’ said Anish Chand, IATA’s Assistant Director, Timatic.

In a recent survey commissioned by IATA regarding concerns people had about air travel post-crisis, more than 80% of travelers said they are as concerned about potential quarantine restrictions as they are about actually catching the virus during travel. With the uncertainties and
quickly changing health restrictions from one country to the next during the pandemic, this new resource for travel planning is timely and important.

‘’We support the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines to harmonize the measures to keep people safe while traveling and provide the confidence to open borders without quarantine measures. And this Timatic offering will be a vital tool for travelers who need easy access to accurate information on entry requirements,” said Chand.

HAECO Cabin Solutions launches lavatory upgrades for hands-free operation

HAECO Cabin Solutions, a business unit of the HAECO Group with headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A., has launched three devices to upgrade aircraft lavatories to hands-free operation.

The pre-certified devices include an electric foot-controlled switch for flushing toilets, an infrared sensor-based waste basket lid for disposal of toilet waste and a refillable hand sanitiser dispenser, eliminating the need for disposable sanitising wipes and paper towels. The dispenser may also be used in other areas of aircraft interiors.


Leonardo signs contract to provide baggage handling system at Frankfurt Airport

Leonardo has signed a contract to provide a baggage handling system (BHS) at Frankfurt Airport, the busiest hub in Germany and ranked fourth in Europe with about 70 million travellers passing through the airport in 2019.

Leonardo will take on overall management of the project to create a new baggage sorting system at Terminal 3’s, under-construction Pier G, providing an end-to-end service from the design to the integration of the system. Once fully operational, Pier G will initially serve approximately 5 million passengers per year.

The new baggage handling solution, which will incorporate safety and sorting functions, will be implemented in two phases. In 2021 the BHS will be delivered and installed as a stand-alone system. In a second phase the system will be expanded and integrated with the airport’s wider baggage handling system.

Two MBHS® (Multi-Sorting Baggage Handling System) cross-belt sorters, which feature state-of-the-art technology and low energy consumption while remaining easy to maintain, will form the heart of the new BHS. They will be joined by approximately 40 check-in stations, baggage arrival carousels and all related baggage transportation and security check subsystems, in accordance with international standards. Leonardo will also provide software which will allow operators to monitor the system and manage baggage as it is sorted and processed towards boarding.

Spirit AeroSystems receives US$80 million Defense Production Act Title III funding

Spirit AeroSystems has released that the Department of Defense (DoD) allocated US$80 million to Spirit to expand domestic production capability for advanced tooling, composite fabrication and metallic fabrication. These funds are part of the national response to COVID-19 in support of the Defense Industrial Base.

Spirit will utilize the funds to build tooling, fabricate composite parts and machine complex metallic parts at its Wichita, Kan., facility. Spirit designs and manufactures both composite and metallic structures for commercial and defense customers. With long-standing machining capabilities, Spirit crafts more than 3 million detailed parts annually for original equipment manufacturers at peak production.

The 5-axis center of excellence in Wichita focuses on large, complex, soft metal parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures, all built on high-tech, high-speed, latest-generation equipment.

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