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Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Iranian delegation to meet with Ukraine to discuss downed flight compensation

A Ukrainian delegation is to visit the Ukraine on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to discuss the matter of compensation in relation to the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet at the beginning of the year.

It was at 06.12 local time on January 8 this year that Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 took off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport with 176 passengers and crew on board. The Boeing 737-8KV was destined for Boryspil International Airport in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. At the time, Iran was on the highest state of defensive alert subsequent to its retaliation against America’s killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani through missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq. After the Ukrainian jet was shot down, and after many weeks of pressure from external actors, Iranian officials ultimately admitted that the jet had been mistaken for an American missile and was shot down with a surface-to-air missile, killing all on board.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has confirmed that Ukraine will represent all countries and groups affected by the crash. Of the 167 passengers, 82 were confirmed to be Iranian, 63 were Canadian, three were British, four were Afghan, 10 were Swedish, and three were Afghan nationals who lived in Germany as asylum seekers. Eleven Ukrainians were also onboard, nine of them being the crew.

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ANA posts net loss of 108.8 billion yen

ANA Holdings (ANAHD) has reported its financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2020.

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 the global economy was characterized by widespread economic challenges due to the impact of COVID-19. Under these conditions, operating revenues decreased to 121.6 billion yen due to the severe impact across all segments, and net loss attributable to owners of the parent was 108.8 billion yen.

Passenger demand for both international and domestic flights declined significantly, due to worldwide government travel restrictions and the Declaration of the State of Emergency from the Japanese government. Against this backdrop, AHAHD has raised its efforts to minimize both variable and fixed expenses by scaling down operations and personnel costs. As a result, expenses for the Group were reduced by more than 200 billion yen from the previous year. While ANAHD aggressively worked to offset lost revenue by catering to the increased demand for international cargo transportation by arranging many non-scheduled flights and utilizing large freighter aircrafts, it was unable to offset the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and ended with a large quarterly loss.

Hawaiian Airlines launches offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates

Hawaiian Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, has announced its offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates which will be used to obtain financing secured by eight Airbus aircraft.

The offering is comprised of approximately US$216,976,000 of Class A certificates, and approximately US$45,010,000 of Class B certificates.  Each class of certificates represents an interest in its respective pass through trust. The trusts will use the proceeds from the offering to acquire equipment notes that will be secured by eight Airbus aircraft.

Hawaiian Holdings will fully and unconditionally guarantee the payment obligations of the Company under the equipment notes.

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AJW Group renews seven-year complete supply chain solution contract with easyJet

AJW Group has been selected by easyJet as its supply chain management provider, following a successful partnership since 2015.

AJW will continue to be responsible for the 24/7 planning and delivery of the airline’s demand and supply requirements from inventory management across easyJet’s extensive network; full component repair and overhaul services as well as the provision, storage and distribution of all rotable, consumable and expendable material.

A key operational enhancement will be the introduction of an EU-hub in Malpensa, Italy, which will serve to further enhance operational efficiency across Europe. The EU-hub will supplement the current UK-hub to maximise up-time, availability and dispatch reliability.

The new seven-year contract introduces innovative solutions that will provide step-change improvements for the airline. AJW is developing and investing in process re-engineering and automation tools to drive superior performance, cost reduction and operational excellence across the board. AJW Technique, the Group’s Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility, will continue to play a significant role in the new contract as it repairs and overhauls easyJet components.

Gulfstream advances G700 flight-test program

Gulfstream Aerospace announced the all-new, industry flagship Gulfstream G700™ flight-test program is making progress with a number of accomplishments in testing and performance.

The G700 has flown more than 100 test flights, recently completed company flutter testing and expanded the flight envelope at both high and low speeds. As part of Gulfstream’s testing efforts, the aircraft also flew beyond its maximum operating speed and cruise altitude, reaching Mach 0.99 and an altitude of 54,000 feet/16,459 meters. In typical operations, the G700 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 ft/15,545 m.

The G700 is powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and can fly at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm/13,890 km.

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Airbus Helicopters' VSR700 prototype performs first autonomous free flight

The prototype of Airbus Helicopters’ VSR700 unmanned aerial system (UAS) has performed its first free flight. The VSR700 performed a ten minute flight at a drone test centre near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.

This is a significant step in the program following the first flight in November 2019 when the prototype was tethered to comply with regulatory requirements.

To enable this free flight, Airbus Helicopters implemented geofencing, a virtual perimeter, which enabled and justified a flight clearance from airworthiness authorities for free flight. The flight test programme will now evolve to progressively open the flight envelope.

The VSR700, derived from Hélicoptères Guimbal’s Cabri G2, is an unmanned aerial system in the 500-1000 kg maximum take-off weight range. It is capable of carrying multiple full-size naval sensors for extended periods and can operate from existing ships, alongside a helicopter, with a low logistical footprint.

Pacific Airlines enters strategic partnership with Sabre

Low cost carrier Pacific Airlines and Sabre, the software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, have announced a strategic new agreement in a deal which further cements Sabre’s strength in the Vietnamese aviation market as well as its long-standing and valued relationship with Vietnam Airlines Group. 

Under the new deal, Pacific Airlines will adopt the Sabre Passenger Service System (PSS) as it moves forward with ambitious plans to play a key role, along with national carrier parent company Vietnam Airlines Group, in the recovery and future growth of APAC’s travel and tourism industry post Covid-19.

Vietnam Airlines has been a Sabre PSS user for more than a decade and, with this new agreement, both airlines will benefit from a single, integrated passenger platform to enable improved operational efficiencies and a frictionless experience for travellers, as Pacific Airlines prepares to resume regular scheduled services with Sabre’s PSS. Combined teams expect to complete the transition quickly from the legacy third party system to the Sabre PSS.

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Tim Spihlman appointed CFO for West Star Aviation

Timothy Spihlman has been appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer for West Star Aviation.  Spihlman will oversee all aspects of the company's finance functions, including accounting, financial planning and analysis, tax and corporate strategy. He has over 25 years of financial and operational leadership experience in a variety of industries with a focus on long-term growth strategy for companies such as Vi-Jon and Solutia.

As a business leader with significant experience as a Board Member, CEO, President, CFO and other financially related roles, he has provided C-Level leadership to private equity backed, publicly traded and venture capital backed organizations.

GA Telesis signs order for 737-800 conversion with AEI

GA Telesis has signed a firm order with Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) to convert a 737-800 passenger aircraft to a freighter configuration with an option for a second aircraft.

This commitment marks GA Telesis’ expansion into the 737NG Passenger-to-Freighter (“P2F”) market. The first 737-800 (MSN 32903) will begin P2F conversion in August 2020 with completion scheduled for December 2020.

If exercised, conversion of the option aircraft will follow in early 2021 for May completion. The freighter conversions will be performed by the authorized AEI Conversion Center, Commercial Jet, in Miami.

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Virgin Galactic reveals SpaceShipTwo cabin interior

Virgin Galactic Holdings, a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, has revealed the cabin interior of its first SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity.

Aspiring astronauts and space enthusiasts around the world, now have the opportunity to explore the Virgin Galactic cabin design and spaceflight experience through an augmented reality enabled mobile app.

Virgin Galactic, in collaboration with London design agency, Seymourpowell, have developed an elegant but progressive, experience-focused concept for the cabin of its spaceship. While it has been created to integrate seamlessly with every other aspect of the Virgin Galactic astronaut journey – the cabin is also the design centrepiece; providing safety without distraction, quietly absorbing periods of sensory intensity and offering each astronaut a level of intimacy required for personal discovery and transformation.

Each seat has been engineered to match the dynamism of the flight. A pilot-controlled recline mechanism, optimally positions astronauts to manage G- forces on boost and re-entry and frees up cabin space to maximize an unrestricted astronaut float zone when in zero gravity.

Seatback screens provide digital flight data to connect each astronaut to the flight deck. Personal, integrated communication systems complement the screens with a direct connection for each astronaut to the two space pilots.

To further elevate the experience of floating in zero-gravity, the cabin includes a first for space travel, a large, circular mirror on the aft bulkhead which, by adding a tint to the reflective surface, allows astronauts to view themselves weightless while illuminated by the natural brightness of the Earth.

Virgin Galactic’s current community of 600 Future Astronauts has always been clear that having photos and videos of their spaceflight experience to share, is of paramount importance. The output from 16 cabin cameras, plus those in the cockpit and mounted externally, will generate high definition output to provide everything from the first Instagram posts, to a beautifully edited and historically significant personal movie.
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