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Monday, August 10th, 2020

Repatriation flight ends in tragedy as Air India 737 crashes killing 18 passengers and crew

An Air India Express Boeing 737 repatriation flight carrying 190 passengers and crew has crashed at Calicut International airport, killing 18 passengers and crew, including both pilots. The plane, arriving from Dubai, was making its second attempt to land in poor conditions on the ‘table-top’ runway on August 7, when it shot off the end of the runway and broke into two sections.

A table-top runway is a term used to describe a runway which has a relatively steep drop at either one, or both ends. In this instance, the plane sheared in two as it slid off the runway into a 35-foot valley below. The plane had aborted an initial approach to the runway in heavy rain and a strong headwind, while its second approach was made from the opposite direction and, consequently, with a tail wind.

“Because of the weather conditions, he could not land the first time, so he did a turnaround and tried to approach it from a different direction,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri explained to the Indian national broadcaster DD News, while also stating that only an investigation will be able to reveal the true cause of the crash. He added that “The good news is that the plane broke up and we were able to access the passengers,” adding that rescue operations had been completed.

Boeing is currently gathering as much information on the crash as it can, closely monitoring the operation while offering assistance to Air India.


Austrian Airlines calls for comprehensive COVID-19 testing to replace landing and entry bans

On Friday, August 8, the Austrian Federal Government allowed landing bans for flights from 18 countries to expire. These bans did not apply in other EU member states. Nevertheless, the many different travel regulations in the European Union make it more difficult for people to travel freely and for airlines to reliably plan flight schedules.

At a press conference, Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech called for comprehensive COVID-19 tests to be carried out on all passengers from high-risk countries as a means of alleviating this situation.

“The freedom to travel is an important cornerstone of our modern-day society which should not be curtailed in the long-term. Whoever is healthy and not infected should also be allowed to travel”, Austrian Airlines CEO von Hoensbroech stated.

Because of the duration of the coronavirus-crisis and the increasing uncertainty on the part of passengers, it makes good sense to introduce health checks on a global basis for people travelling by air. This can only be ensured by carrying out comprehensive COVID-19 tests on travelers from high risk countries. “We are advocating an international solution”, von Hoensbroech emphasizes. “No other means of transport offers as good an opportunity for health checks as the aviation sector. This possibility is exactly what we should leverage in order to facilitate travelling in times of the coronavirus without compromising health protection. This approach is also in the interests of passengers because a further step towards ensuring freedom of travel is also a further step towards returning to normalcy”, he adds.

According to Austrian Airlines experts, public authorities and governments are now called upon to collaborate with the airlines in order to introduce safe, practical and cost-effective testing methods and to coordinate them on an international level.

Recently Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr joined other airline CEOs from Europe and the U.S. in a letter sent to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Ylva Johansson, EU Home Affairs Commissioner, demanding a U.S.-EU testing program to once again enable airlines to operate transatlantic flights. The testing program should replace entry bans and quarantine regulations.


AviaAM Leasing purchases Boeing 747-400F nose-loader aircraft

AviaAM Leasing, part of the Avia Solutions Group, has announced the purchase of a Boeing 747-400F nose-loader aircraft which has already started commercial operations on behalf of Magma Aviation.

The aircraft – which is a part of the Magma Aviation fleet – has been recently painted in the Magma Aviation livery with the new addition of the Avia Solutions Group logo. The aircraft has already accomplished its first commercial cargo flight on August 4, 2020.

Magma believes the new aircraft, with a capacity of 570 cubic meters for cargo, will help to attract new clients, opening opportunities for new routes and aid long-term expansion plans.

Barfield enters unmanned aircraft maintenance repair market in new agreement with Robotic Skies

Barfield, a subsidiary of Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) in the Americas, is now a Robotic Skies authorized repair station for unmanned aircraft component repair at its Louisville, KY facility. Robotic Skies capitalizes on Barfield’s 75 years of experience in manned aircraft component repairs to adapt to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) commercial industry with the same high-performance level.

With the rapidly growing UAS market, Barfield is well positioned and ready to adjust its highly trained technicians, engineers and know-how to meet this emerging industry. Robotic Skies has partnered with Barfield to establish custom made support programs locally for commercial UAS operators to support the rapid growth of this technology.


Atlas Air Worldwide revenue and earnings exceed expectations in second-quarter 2020

Atlas Air Worldwide has reported second-quarter 2020 net income of US$78.9 million compared with net income of US$86.9 million in the second quarter of 2019.

On an adjusted basis, EBITDA totaled US$247.0 million in the second quarter this year compared with US$84.1 million in the second quarter of 2019. Adjusted net income in the second quarter of 2020 totaled US$123.2 million compared with US$4.5 million in the second quarter of 2019.

“Revenue and earnings in the second quarter continued to exceed our expectations,” said Chief Executive Officer John W. Dietrich. “These positive results were primarily driven by the team capitalizing on strong demand and higher yields in our commercial charter and South America businesses. We also continued to provide the U.S. military with essential services and our ACMI customers flew well above their minimum guarantees."

“To serve the increased demand, we reactivated three of our 747-400 converted freighters and operationalized a 777 freighter from our Dry Leasing business. This enabled us to serve the strong and profitable shorter-term demand, while also entering into numerous new long-term charter programs at attractive yields. We expanded our long-term charter business to include new agreements with manufacturers such as HP, and large freight forwarders like DHL Global Forwarding, APEX Logistics, DB Schenker, Flexport and Geodis, all that wanted to secure committed capacity from us.”


Textron Aviation introduces Beechcraft King Air 360

Textron Aviation ushers in the next generation of its legendary King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER. The updated flagship turboprop offers the latest technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin, and enhancements to passenger comfort. The aircraft is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin in the Fall of 2020.

“The Beechcraft King Air 360 builds on decades of renowned versatility and reliability in the King Air family, and this upgrade further elevates it with the aircraft’s superior features and engineering advancements designed to create an enhanced flying experience for passengers and crew alike,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “The aircraft is a result of our extensive conversations with our turboprop customers worldwide as we continually increase innovation and next-generation capability to help them achieve their varied missions with greater comfort, technology and ease.”

HEICO Repair Group is the world’s largest independent component MRO with capability for over 26,000 unique aircraft parts, servicing over 60,000 components annually. www.heico.com

SAS reports slightly increased traffic figures for July 2020

SAS Scandinavian Airlines' capacity in July was down by 76% and total number of passengers were 75% lower compared to the same period last year. The number of passengers remains low due to limited demand in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

SAS continues to resume flights to its destinations as demand returns and travel restrictions are easing. Compared to June, the number of passengers increased by nearly 300 thousand but showed a decrease of 2.5 million compared to the same period last year. Domestic routes are showing the strongest recovery, whereas demand for Intercontinental and European travel remains weak.


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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
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