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Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

EU looks to persuade U.S. to drop trade tariffs surrounding Airbus-Boeing dispute

Valdis Dombrovskis, the new EU trade chief has warned the U.S that it needs to withdraw its US$7 billion tariffs it has recently placed on EU products or it will have to deal with a retaliatory US$4 billion in tariffs on exports to Europe.

For 16 years there has been a dispute between Europe’s Airbus and U.S planemaker Boeing over what have been seen as unfair subsidies. Last October the U.S was awarded the right to impose tariffs by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which includes a 25% duty on products such as olives, cheese and single-malt whisky, together with a 10% tariff on European-made Airbus jets.

In February this year the U.S. warned that it would be increasing the Airbus tariff to 15% in an attempt to get Brussels to end the dispute over subsidies. Last month the EU was cleared by the WTO to impose its own tariffs on the U.S. to a total value of US$4 billion. The involvement of Dombrovskis was reported by the FT.

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STS Mod Center kicks off Thales Wi-Fi installation program in Melbourne, FL

STS Mod Center, a division of STS Aviation Group, kicks off a major aircraft connectivity project in Melbourne, Florida, that will call upon the team to install Thales Wi-Fi systems on more than 100 commercial aircraft over the next 12 months.

“The first aircraft to be a part of this program, an A321, arrived a few days ago and installation work is already underway.” said Mark Smith, President of STS Aviation Group. “In the coming months, the STS Mod Center team in Melbourne will install Thales Wi-Fi systems on more than 100 aircraft; aircraft that includes models from both Boeing and Airbus.”

It takes the STS Mod Center team about three days to complete the nose-to-tail installation of a Thales Wi-Fi system on narrowbody aircraft and about four-to-six days when working on widebody aircraft.

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Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and Chief Executive, to step down

Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and Chief Executive, is to step down as Chief Executive and remain the airline’s non-executive Chairman. Sean Doyle, Aer Lingus Chairman and Chief Executive, will become the new Chief Executive of British Airways and take over as Chairman after a transition period.

Fernando Candela, LEVEL Chief Executive, is joining the Group’s management committee in a new role of Chief Transformation Officer.

At Aer Lingus, Donal Moriarty, currently the airline’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, will become interim Chief Executive. A permanent appointment will be announced in due course.

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Fraport traffic figures still low in September

In September 2020, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) served some 1.1 million passengers – an 82.9% decline compared to the same month last year. Cumulative traffic at FRA during the January-to-September 2020 period fell by 70.2%. The low passenger demand resulted from persisting travel restrictions and the uncertainties for travel planning in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Aircraft movements at Frankfurt Airport decreased by 63.7% year-on-year to 16,940 takeoffs and landings in September 2020. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) contracted by 61.7% to about 1.1 million metric tons. Cargo throughput, comprising airfreight and airmail, dipped by only 5.0% year-on-year to 165,967 metric tons – despite the lack of capacity for belly freight (transported on passenger aircraft).

Fraport’s Group airports worldwide also continued to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit to varying extent. While some airports in Fraport’s international portfolio benefited from a slight rebound in holiday traffic, others were still subject to comprehensive travel restrictions during the reporting month.

Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia welcomed 21,686 passengers in September 2020, down 87.4% year-on-year. In Brazil, the airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA) registered a combined traffic drop of 68.0% to 402,427 passengers. At Peru’s Lima Airport (LIM), traffic plunged by 92.1% to 158,786 passengers because of widespread restrictions on international air traffic.

Fraport’s 14 Greek regional airports served some 1.7 million passengers in September 2020, representing a 61.3% decline compared to the same month last year. The Bulgarian Twin Star airports of Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) saw combined traffic slide by 75.6% to 171,690 passengers.

Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey received about 2.3 million passengers – a decrease of 53.4%. Traffic at Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg, Russia, shrank by 29.1 percent to around 1.4 million passengers. With some 3.6 million passengers registered in September 2020, China’s Xi’an Airport (XIY) maintained its recovery path – and further reduced the rate of decline to  just 9.5% year-on-year.

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easyJet partner Wright Electric selected for U.S. Department of Energy electric aircraft program

Easyjet partner Wright Electric has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for a grant program that supports the development of innovative and ultra-efficient electric propulsion systems for use in commercial aircraft.

easyJet has been working with Wright Electric in its mission to support the development of an all-electric aircraft program as part of a shared ambition to de-carbonise aviation. Earlier this year Wright Electric unveiled concepts for a 186-seater electric plane engine development program, named Wright 1. Work continues on this single-aisle airliner designed for flights up to 800 miles, which would cover around 50% of easyJet’s current network.

The foundation of Wright’s ground-breaking Wright 1 aircraft is its innovative high efficiency electric propulsion system. As part of the Department of Energy program (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)), Wright will design propulsion systems that use cutting-edge innovations in integrated cooling, power electronics, and structural design. The unique innovations across the electric propulsion system will aid the development of aircraft flying entirely on electric power.

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New operator concession for El Salvador Airport Cargo Terminal

Munich Airport International (MAI), the German based airport management and consulting firm, and EMCO, a Honduran construction company, have been awarded a concession to develop and operate the El Salvador Airport Cargo Terminal for a period of 40 years. The decision was announced on October 9, by the El Salvador Government, through the Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma (CEPA).

As partner to EMCO, MAI will provide management and advisory services for the cargo terminal during all stages, including asset transition and takeover, operations management, service level and standard procedures setup and implementation, cargo business development, cargo related trainings as well as expertise across various areas of airport development and management to maximize productivity and efficiency levels.

With the announcement of CEPA, the project is now entering into a new phase and EMCO and MAI are actively working and mobilizing the teams for a successful future of El Salvador’s Air Cargo Development. “We are honored to be part of this exciting project with our partner company EMCO. We will work closely with all stakeholders to implement our best practices to develop and enhance the cargo business and its positive impact to the country of El Salvador,” states Dr. Ralf Gaffal, Managing Director at MAI.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar