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Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Qatar renegotiates Airbus deliveries while negotiations with Boeing remain ongoing

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker has confirmed that the flag-carrying Gulf airline has successfully postponed delivery of Airbus jets it has on order with the world’s largest planemaker. The deal is yet another consequence of the downturn in demand for air travel owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have the ability to bring forward the deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said of the Airbus deal at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit. However, he has failed to reach a similar agreement with America’s Boeing. “As far as Boeing is concerned, we are still in negotiations with them, but regardless of what they feel an aircraft manufacturer needs to oblige customers in difficult times,” he confirmed. “People who will not oblige and stand with us in this difficult time will not see us again.”

This latest agreement with Airbus comes on the back of comments made by al-Baker back in June when he advised that Qatar Airways would not take delivery of any Airbus or Boeing jets during 2020 and 2021, and that there would be a consequential knock-on effect as a result where future deliveries were concerned. Currently the airline has 27 27 A350-1000s and 50 A321neos on order with Airbus, and 60 777X planes, five 777 freighters and 23 787-9s from Boeing, according to the manufacturers’ respective websites. Qatar Airways also had an order in place for 737 MAX jets for Air Italy, which it partly owned prior to its collapse. Mr. al-Baker confirmed that these planes were also part of the ongoing discussions he is having with Boeing.


Stratos adds senior industry executives

Stratos Aero, the aircraft investment specialist, has added three senior industry professionals to its team: David Goring-Thomas joins as Senior Advisor on various strategic initiatives, Paul Goodfellow as Head of Risk & Restructuring and Jamie Carter as Marketing Director.

Goring-Thomas has more than 30 years’ experience in Aviation Finance, including over 20 years at DVB Bank, for the larger part as Global Head of Aviation.

Goodfellow has over 12 years’ experience in the aviation sector across banks, airlines and lessors: most recently, he held risk and restructuring roles covering repossession and debt/arrears management at AerCap and ALAFCO.

Carter is an airline professional with over 30 years of experience with top-tier airlines in both Europe and Asia. Immediately prior to joining Stratos, he was Head of Aircraft Procurement and Trading at Cathay Pacific Airways.

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Otto Aviation officially introduces Celera 500L aircraft

Otto Aviation has officially introduced the Celera 500L, its commercial passenger aircraft. The full-scale prototype has completed 31 successful test flights that validate its operating performance goals. Otto Aviation
currently holds seven patents, further contributing to the credibility and potential of the aircraft.

The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 450 miles per hour, a range of over 4,500 miles, a large stand-up cabin and an astounding fuel economy of only 18 to 25 miles per gallon. According to the company, the dramatic reduction in fuel consumption makes the Celera 500L the most environmentally friendly airplane in its class and presents a major leap forward in the effort to develop a zero-emission air transportation system.

The Celera 500L utilizes extensive laminar flow over the fuselage, wings, and tail surfaces to reduce drag and achieve superior aerodynamics, speed, and fuel efficiency. The manufacturing detail delivers cruise efficiencies unmatched by conventional aircraft while offering a clean-sheet design that will completely alter the way people and parcels travel.

“Innovation at its core is solving a problem without conventional bias. Our goal was to create a private aircraft that would allow for direct flights between any city pair in the U.S. at speeds and cost comparable to commercial air travel,” said William Otto Sr., Chairman and Chief Scientist of Otto Aviation. “In many cases, individuals and families will be able to charter the Celera 500L at prices comparable to commercial airfares, but with the added convenience of private aviation. We believe when the price of private air travel is competitive with commercial air travel, an enormous market opportunity will result.”


Lufthansa Cargo welcomes eighth Boeing 777F aircraft in Frankfurt

Lufthansa Cargo has welcomed its eighth brand-new Boeing 777F aircraft at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). The cargo aircraft with registration D-ALFH was in flight for 9 hours and 24 minutes as LH8145 after its take-off from Everett Airport (PAE) in Washington State, U.S.A. It is the eighth aircraft of this type in Lufthansa Cargo's freighter fleet.

Lufthansa Cargo had announced the purchase of two brand-new cargo aircraft in November 2019. The second aircraft is expected in a few weeks. The new arrivals are part of a fleet modernization program that began in 2014 and will be completed next year. The twin-engine Boeing 777F is around 20% more efficient and emits less CO2 than the previously used three-engine MD-11F. The new model also meets the strict noise protection requirements of ICAO Annex 16, Volume I, Chapter 14.

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Cathay Pacific Group and GE Aviation expand digital partnership

GE Aviation and Cathay Pacific Group have signed a five-year agreement to implement GE’s Event Measurement System (EMS) for flight analytics and the FlightPulse® pilot app. The digital technologies will be deployed across various fleet types in Cathay Pacific Group in September as well as the pilot community later in 2020. The agreement includes Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Air Hong Kong.

FlightPulse is a mobile app that uses aircraft data and advanced flight data analytics to enable pilots to securely access their own flying metrics and trends. FlightPulse can be used to optimize efficiency, reduce operational risk and improve pilot awareness.

GE Aviation’s flight analytics service uses flight data generated by the aircraft and merges it with the airline’s operational data. It applies proprietary data management and analytics technology to help Cathay Pacific better manage their aircraft operations and assets, providing previously unavailable insight into efficiency, flight safety, engineering and maintenance.  


ARGO MRT signs lease return services deal with FLYdocs

Argo MRT, having recently acquired FAO Services, the EASA Part 145-approved company, has appointed FLYdocs to support its end-of-lease (EOL) return services to be used in conjunction with Argo MRT teams globally. FLYdocs will be Argo MRT’s records platform of choice for all future projects.

Through the services provided by FLYdocs, Argo MRT will benefit from more efficient aircraft transitions powered by FLYdocs Records Management Platform.

Michael Pilbrow, Head of Powerplant at Argo MRT said: “This important partnership with FLYdocs will deliver a wide range of benefits, helping to enhance both the inspection and records review part of our business model. We selected FLYdocs because they have a spotless track record of managing and meeting end-of-lease requirements. Even under the current global pandemic, they have demonstrated their commitment to supporting clients adapt to challenging market conditions. This ethos supports our own as we are prioritising efficiencies for our clients, so we are confident that this collaboration will yield significant savings in both cost and time for all stakeholders.


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Tamar Jorssen
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