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LATEST NEWS

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

European airlines and airports agree to further suspend ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ slots agreement

With the threat of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, European carriers are still trying to deal with the disastrous effects of the continued downturn in passenger demand. As a consequence, airport slot coordinators have agreed with airports and airlines to further suspend the ‘use it or lose it’ rule for the whole of the 2020-2021 winter season.

According to the International Air Travel Association (IATA), to facilitate a prompt decision by the European Commission, ACI EUROPE, Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the European Association of Slot Coordinators (EUACA) have agreed on specific conditions to ensure a timely return of slots not planned for use this winter. This represents a significant achievement given the extraordinary circumstances airports and airlines find themselves in. However, the rules for how extension of the waiver will be implemented have yet to be determined with regard to the winter season.

“Decisions must be made now to enable the timely return of slots for the winter season once the waiver is granted. This will give airports and airlines certainty in planning their schedules and operations and ensure that passengers know what to expect in the tough months ahead. Further delays will paralyze the winter planning process and add millions in costs for all parties,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE. “Only a full-season slots waiver will ensure that the flying of empty planes is avoided and enable flights to be operated in the most sustainable way possible.

Airlines and airports in Europe stand ready to apply the agreed conditions as soon as the full-season waiver is granted and call on the European Commission to endorse this agreement and authorise the waiver immediately,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA Regional Vice President for Europe.

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Air bp renews contract at France's Cannes Mandelieu Airport

Air bp, the international aviation fuel products and services supplier, has renewed its contract with Cannes Mandelieu Airport (CQE/LFMD) in France, following six-years of successful collaboration.  It will continue to be the sole supplier of Jet A-1 and Avgas at the airport. Cannes Mandelieu is the country’s second most important general aviation hub and one of Air bp’s 47 locations in France among its 390 strong European network of supplied sites.

Air bp will work with Cannes Mandelieu Airport and the Aéroports Côtes de Azur (ACA) team to continue to provide safe and efficient operations. Plans include upgrading facilities with the relocation of fuel storage tanks, pending requisite approvals, to enable increased parking capacity and an improved customer experience.

AeroLogic and LHT sign ten-year TCS® contract for AeroLogic's Boeing 777F fleet

AeroLogic, the joint freight carrier of DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo, is continuing its partnership with Lufthansa Technik through a multi-year agreement covering extensive component services (Total Component Support - TCS®). This new contract governs supply for AeroLogic's entire fleet of currently 16 Boeing 777F aircraft over a period of ten years.

In conjunction with component supply, Lufthansa Technik is also providing AeroLogic with predictors via its digital platform AVIATAR to optimize both component supply and AeroLogic's operational planning.

With this Total Component Support TCS® agreement, the carrier benefits from an individual supply concept that enables short and rapid transport paths. The services covered by the contract are customized to fulfill the requirements of AeroLogic, which operates two hubs in Leipzig and Frankfurt.

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Emirates returns US$ 1.4 billion to customers in refunds

Emirates has returned over AED 5 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) in COVID-19 related travel refunds to date, making strong and steady progress on its commitment to customers to complete pending refunds.

More than 1.4 million refunds requests have been completed since March, representing 90% of the airline’s backlog. This includes all requests received from customers around the world up until the end of June, save for a few cases which require further manual review.

Since the pandemic hit, Emirates has invested additional resources to ramp up its processing capability. The airline also continues to work with industry partners to facilitate refunds for those who have booked their Emirates flights through travel agents, this includes enabling direct refunds processing via global booking systems (GDS).

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EASA and China’s CAAC start new era of cooperation

The EU-China Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) went into effect last week, giving a boost to the regions’ aviation manufacturers by simplifying the process of gaining product approvals from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), while also ensuring high safety and environment standards will continue to be met. 

The agreement is the result of several years of successful efforts by experts from the European Commission, EASA and the CAAC.

“I am confident that, thanks to this bilateral agreement, the relations between Europe and China in aviation will be taken to the next level,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “This further strengthens EASA’s commitment to work closely with international partners on building a safe and environmentally sustainable industry.”

The entry into force of the BASA was marked by EASA and CAAC holding the first joint Certification Oversight Board (COB) on September 3rd. During the meeting, the parties adopted the Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) which will support the BASA and its Annex on Airworthiness. These administrative and technical procedures describe in detail how EASA and CAAC will conduct the validation and reciprocal acceptance of civil aeronautical product approvals. 

The entry into force of the BASA will require some previous arrangements to be revised and the two parties have agreed to make this transition as smooth as possible.

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Honeywell unveils next-generation avionics lab for Unmanned Aerial Systems and Urban Air Mobility

A new research and development lab built byHoneywell is demonstrating the company’s technological capabilities in both hardware and software for the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) markets.

The lab, which resembles a conceptual UAM vehicle flight deck with real hardware, is the first of its kind to demonstrate actual fly-by-wire controls and vehicle avionics integrated in a lab setting. It will be used to develop, test and demonstrate Honeywell’s technology aimed at simplifying the operations of future vehicles.

The concept of Simplified Vehicle Operations, or SVO, combines automation and human factors best practices with the goal of reducing the amount of knowledge an operator must have to safely fly an aircraft.

The new lab is located at Honeywell’s Deer Valley avionics facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Configured to look like the front end of an aircraft, the new lab has one seat situated in front of a primary display with three additional large wraparound displays to view the simulated outside environment around the aircraft. It has hardware typically seen in a traditional aircraft cockpit and Honeywell’s Compact Fly-by-Wire System acts as the brains of the operation, with flight routes and actual control laws built into the software, so the simulated vehicle will operate the same way it would in the real world.

Customers can use a control stick to fly a digital version of their aircraft through a high-resolution model of a city. Honeywell computers and actuators mounted on nearby workbenches adapt in real time to pilot inputs, winds and thermals, and simulated hazards.

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Finnair carries 32.9% more passengers in August than in July

In August, Finnair carried 193,000 passengers, which is 85.8% less than in the corresponding period of 2019 but 32.9% more than in July 2020.

The overall capacity (ASK) decreased in August by 84.1% year-on-year. Finnair operated 116 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average, which was 31.8% compared to August 2019. The differences between capacity figures are explained by the shorter operated flights on average and by smaller operated aircraft compared to August 2019. Finnair's traffic decreased by 92.4%. The passenger load factor decreased by 45.1% points to 41.7%. The COVID-19 impact, including the strict travel restrictions imposed by Finland, still affected all passenger traffic figures and was visible especially in the North Atlantic figures as there were no related scheduled flights in August.

The ASK decline in Asian traffic was 86.6%. The North Atlantic ASK decreased by 100.0%. In European traffic, the ASKs were down by 78.7%. The ASKs in domestic traffic decreased by 62.5%.

Traffic decreased in Asian traffic by 96.4%, in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 86.4% and in domestic traffic by 64.6%.

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ASQS expands global presence with opening of Calgary Office

ASQS (Advanced Safety and Quality Solutions), a leading provider of high-class aviation safety and quality management software solutions has announced the opening of a new office in Calgary, Canada. This will accelerate growth and strengthen the company’s customer support and partnerships in North and Latin America.

In addition to the corporate headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and a subsidiary in Thailand, the new office in Canada will enable the company to continue the expansion of its global network and significantly improve customer support services for partners and clients in North and Latin America. The Calgary office will open by the end of 2020 and will be represented by senior customer support agent, Christine Schramm, who will be in charge of building up an IQSMS customer support team on site.
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