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Friday, September 11th, 2020

Singapore Airlines becomes latest carrier to shed staff over COVID-related financial woes

Singapore Airlines has announced that it is to pare back staffing levels by approximately 20%, shedding 4,300 jobs as it struggles to deal with the drop in demand for air travel as a consequence of the COVID-109 pandemic. Taking into account voluntary departure schemes, standard attrition and a freeze on recruitment, the actual number of staff who will lose their jobs is expected to be nearer the 2,400 mark.

However, the Far-Eastern carrier offered a note of optimism that passenger levels could well return to 50% of pre-pandemic levels by year end, even though it is currently operating at 8% capacity. One of the major reasons Singapore has been hit so hard by the pandemic is that it has no domestic schedule to shore up long-haul routes which are severely limited owing to the number of countries who have closed their borders.

The job losses at Singapore Airlines are the first COVID-related cuts, the carrier having remained in operation thanks to its raising of S$11 billion (US$8 billion) of equity. Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong said: “When the battle against Covid-19 began early this year, none of us could have predicted its devastating impact on the global aviation industry. From the outset, our priorities were to ensure our survival and save as many jobs as possible. Given that the road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty, we have to unfortunately implement involuntary staff reduction measures. Having to let go of our valuable and dedicated people is the hardest and most agonizing decision that I have had to make in my 30 years with SIA. This is not a reflection of the strengths and capabilities of those who will be affected, but the result of an unprecedented global crisis that has engulfed the airline industry.”

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West Star Aviation completes structural FOD-repair on Embraer Legacy 650E

West Star Aviation has completed a major structural repair to an Embraer Legacy 650E fuselage. The project also included a new exterior paint scheme.

The FOD incident occurred as a result of metal objects being launched by a military helicopter landing next to the aircraft while in Peru.  The aircraft was evaluated and subsequently ferried to West Star’s full-service MRO facility in East Alton, IL (ALN) for repairs.  West Star is an authorized Embraer base maintenance service and warranty provider for most models at its ALN, GJT, and CHA locations.

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Engineering training new niche for TAM

Partnering with well renowned U.K.-based Part 147 approved Angel Training Systems, Täby Air Maintenance, TAM, now offers qualified on-site training at Örebro Airport for Saab 2000 aircraft with the same service for the Saab 340 aircraft coming soon. This is a new niche for TAM, fully in line with the company’s vision to be a full-service provider for operators of Saab regional airliners as well as the ATR 72 aircraft, the latter included in the service portfolio this spring.

Aiming to meet the needs for start-ups as well as more established airlines, expanding the range of services will enhance the company’s ability to be a “one-stop-shop” for operators of the Saab and ATR 72 regional airliners. The B1 and B2 training course includes both the theoretical and practical part.

"We have seen an increasing need for a high-quality technical training course on the Saab 2000 and Saab 340 aircraft, says Pär Gulle, TAM Managing Director. "I am very pleased that we have been able to partner with Angel Training Systems, as they have decades of training experience, and we have close connections to a vast customer base," Pär Gulle states.
"Being able to offer qualified technical training is a way for us to simplify for the operators, as we can assist with covering all their needs for technical support; from line maintenance and AOG-services to advanced modifications and rebuilds," Pär Gulle summarizes.

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Ryanair closes its base in Düsseldorf

Ryanair is closing its base in Düsseldorf. This was announced by the management on September 10, according to Handelsblatt. Seven jets swill be withdrawn, 200 employees are affected.

Ryanair management says the closure is a direct result of Düsseldorf Airport's refusal to reduce its extremely high charges due to the Covid-19-crisis and a recent demand by handling company Acciona for an immediate price increase of 30%.

The airline has demanded drastic discounts in the payment of its airport fees, according to Düsseldorf Airport. "We were not able to comply with this request because these are not freely negotiable prices, but fees set by the authorities which are applied by all airlines operating in Düsseldorf".

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Spirit AeroSystems and Belcan International enter into strategic partnership

Spirit AeroSystems has announced that Belcan International will be onsite as a strategic partner in Spirit's Aerospace Innovation Centre (AIC) in Prestwick, Scotland.  Belcan will work directly alongside Spirit engineers when the facility opens.

The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enter into a strategic partnership. Belcan, a global supplier of engineering, supply chain, technical recruiting and information technology services, will provide Spirit with broad-based engineering capabilities and specific skills, primarily focused on supporting Spirit's wing engineering activities in Prestwick. This includes multi-disciplinary engineering skills, program management and manufacturing engineering resources.

The AIC is an 85,000 ft² center to house Spirit's engineering design and manufacturing expertise alongside advanced development and pre-production equipment in a collaborative environment with key partners.

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Tamar