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Thursday, September 10th, 2020

More safety problems found with 787 Dreamliner – 900 jets may need inspecting

Boeing has announced the likely delay in deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after confirming that it has identified three production flaws. This could be a major problem for Boeing as it has pinned its hopes on the Dreamliner as a source of cash revenue to offset the financial crisis originally created by safety problems with the 737 MAX and which has been exacerbated by the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The massive drop in demand for air travel has seen many carriers either cancel or postpone deliveries of the MAX. This year alone, allowing for conversion of MAX orders to different models, has seen 445 cancelations so far. The problem with the Dreamliner identified in February involves the fabrication of the horizontal stabilizer where certain components were clamped with greater force than specified, resulting in shimming and improper gap verification.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed September 8, it “is investigating manufacturing flaws affecting certain Boeing 787 jetliners. The agency continues to engage with Boeing.” According to Reuters news agency, a person briefed on the matter said the horizontal stabilizer issue could require the inspection of up to 900 airplanes.

Boeing is currently carrying out an analysis to establish if action was required on the in-service fleet. The FAA confirmed on Monday that it is investigating two additional manufacturing flaws, but it is unsure if new inspections will be merited. Boeing advised that some airplanes have shims that are not the proper size, while some have areas that do not meet skin flatness specifications, an issue that was identified back in August 2019.

“Individually these issues, while not up to specifications, still meet limit load conditions. When combined in the same location however, they result in a condition that does not meet limit load requirements,” Boeing said.

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Icelandair becomes easyJet Worldwide partner

Icelandair is set to become a new airline partner in easyJet's unique connections service, Worldwide by easyJet. The partnership with Icelandair is expected to be live in the coming weeks including at its major European airports Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol, with the service due to go live at other airports in the coming months.

From then easyJet customers will be able to seamlessly connect between easyJet flights across its European network and onwards on Icelandair flights to destinations across Icelandair's extensive network in Europe and North America.

This latest addition to the Worldwide by easyJet service follows confirmation last week that existing partner Emirates will commence connections through Worldwide by easyJet at Milan Malpensa airport, following its initial launch at London Gatwick.

Worldwide by easyJet has been consistently growing, with more than 5,000 unique origins and destinations which have been booked in combination with partner airlines.

Worldwide by easyJet is now live with 17 partners: Air Transat, Aurigny, Blue air, Corsair, La Compagnie, Emirates, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Loganair, Norwegian, Neos, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet and now Icelandair.


Boeing appoints Ed Dandridge to lead communications

Boeing has named Ed Dandridge as the company's Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, effective September 28. Dandridge succeeds Greg Smith, who has served as interim Chief Communications Officer since July in addition to his role as Executive Vice President of Enterprise Operations and Chief Financial Officer.

Dandridge will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on the company's Executive Council. In this role, Dandridge will oversee all aspects of Boeing's communications, including business unit communications, corporate communications, media relations, public affairs, leadership communications, employee engagement and corporate branding, as well as channel and content marketing.

Nakanihon Air orders new H215 helicopter

Nakanihon Air, one of Japan’s largest helicopter operators, has ordered one H215 heavy helicopter to shore up its capabilities for utility and aerial work.

Currently operating 45 Airbus helicopters, Nakanihon Air specializes in activities covering emergency medical services, electronic news gathering, as well as passenger and goods transportation in Japan. The air services company also runs an Airbus-approved maintenance centre for H135 helicopters, while major inspections of the operator’s existing Super Puma fleet are performed at the manufacturer’s Kobe maintenance facility.


Air Astana launches direct flights from Frankfurt to Almaty

Kazakhstan carrier Air Astana will introduce direct flights from Frankfurt to Almaty on October 2., with departure times optimized to meet connections from the U.K. cities of London Heathrow, Birmingham, and Manchester by partner Lufthansa.  Both airlines operate from Frankfurt Terminal 1 providing seamless connections in both directions. Frankfurt to Almaty joins Air Astana’s network twice weekly initially, increasing to three a week from October 26, operated by its newest fleet addition – the Airbus A321LR (long range). 

An early morning arrival from Almaty to Frankfurt also enables convenient connections across European and North American destinations operated by Lufthansa.

The new service from Almaty follows the resumption of services from Nur-Sultan to Frankfurt in August.  It also complements additional services from Frankfurt to Uralsk, taking the number of flights from Kazakhstan to Germany’s premier commercial centre to eight per week.


Mumbai Airport introduces mobile-enabled kiosks to meet COVID-19 requirements

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport has introduced nearly 50 of SITA’s mobile-enabled kiosks, becoming one of the first airports in India to deliver a completely contactless way for passengers to check-in for their flight.

The technology allows passengers to use their mobile device to interact with kiosks. This significantly reduces the need to touch surfaces in the airport and meets the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s (MoCA’s) new passenger processing guidelines aimed at reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections.

Developed in response to rapidly changing passenger requirements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the application is a cost-effective alternative to significant investment in new low-touch infrastructure. The solution leverages existing common-use kiosks and does not require changes or modifications to airlines’ existing IATA CUSS standard check-in applications.

Mumbai Airport handles more than 47 million passengers a year. With this technology, travelers passing through Terminal 2 of the airport can now simply scan a QR code on their mobile phone or tablet to operate the kiosks. After scanning the QR code, they can then use their mobile device as a trackpad to control check-in and self-bag drop kiosks to print their boarding passes and bag tags.


C&L Aviation Group completes first Bongiovi speaker-less sound system installation in Embraer 135

C&L Aviation Services (C&L) has successfully installed a Bongiovi speaker less cabin audio system into an Embraer 135 aircraft. The system, which uses Bongiovi’s patented Digital Power Station (DPS) signal processing technology, coupled with transducers attached to the backside of aircraft interior panels, is the first such system installed into an Embraer 135 aircraft. The resulting sound is an immersive audio experience that produces a high-fidelity sound that remains consistent throughout the entire aircraft cabin.

“C&L are experts in modifying and improving regional aircraft like ERJ 135/145 making them the ideal choice for a project like this one,” said Rob Hamelink, Managing Partner at Bongiovi Aviation. C&L has been a great partner of ours for several years and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

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