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Monday, November 2nd, 2020

MHI puts SpaceJet on ice as it looks to cut costs

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has announced that it is halting its SpaceJet program which would have seen Japan produce its firs commercial aircraft for over 50 years. The result will see a 50% drop in staff numbers within its commercial aviation sector, while enabling the company to reduce annual costs by 120 billion yen (US$1.15 billion). Staffing changes will include the reduction of 2,000 jobs overseas, 3,000 employees moved internally, and a further 1,000 employees moved to outside companies.

“We will work to review where we stand, make improvements and assess possible program restart,” MHI said in its business plan for its regional jet. MHI has posted a 62.5% decline in second-quarter operating profit to 12.7 billion yen, while it expects a 50 billion yen ($478 million) operating profit, appreciably better than an earlier forecast of no profit.

The Spicejet was originally scheduled to launch in 2013, but the project has been continually beset by design and technical problems, which has seen that schedule delayed six separate times. Japan’s ANA holdings had ordered 23 of the SpaceJets, but like so many airlines it has seen profitability challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and is now looking to reduce its fleet by 10% instead.

There was good news for MIH though as it also announced that Japan had chosen the company to develop a new stealth fighter, which should be ready by the mid-2030s and which has a current budget of US$40 billion.


New chapter at BER: easyJet takes off with inaugural flight

As the largest airline based in Berlin-Brandenburg, easyJet has opened a new chapter with the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt". The first easyJet aircraft, special flight EJU 3110, was the first to land on time at 2pm on October 31, at the new airport.

The Airbus 320neo was ceremonially welcomed with a water salute and by representatives from politics, industry and media. On November 1, easyJet has again achieved a first, as its flight to Gatwick has started commercial operations at BER.  

easyJet also announced a new cooperation between easyJet and Deutsche Bahn as part of the "Worldwide by easyJet" program. The tie up will ensure convenient transfers between flights and trains in future. The airline's unique connection will soon be available and easyJet customers will be able to seamlessly connect to Deutsche Bahn trains, initially via Berlin, by combining plane and train tickets into one single booking. They will thus benefit from security in the event of missed connections and smooth transfers. Plans to extend the cooperation to other destinations are underway. 

The easyJet Worldwide program enables customers to connect easyJet flights with other flights across its own network as well as with flights operated by partner airlines. The network of more than 5,000 departure and destination points booked in combination with partner airlines is growing continuously.


AerCap delivers new Airbus A321neo to Sichuan Airlines

AerCap has announced the delivery of a new Airbus A321-200neo aircraft, powered by Pratt and Whitney engines, to Chengdu-based Sichuan Airlines. The aircraft is on a long-term operating lease from AerCap’s order book with Airbus.

Sichuan Airlines’ Chairman Li Haiying said, “This delivery clearly demonstrates the strong relationship between our two companies, and I would like to extend my gratitude to AerCap for enabling Sichuan to meet its growth targets, even during such global challenges”.

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Xenex awards contract to Astronics for manufacturing support of LightStrike disinfecting robots

Xenex® Disinfection Services (Xenex) has awarded a US$20 million contract to Astronics to assist in the manufacturing of Xenex’s unique LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots. Xenex’s patented pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection technology is proven to achieve a 99.99% level of disinfection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in two minutes.

Michael Kuehn, president of Astronics’ Connectivity Systems and Certification operation (CSC), said, “We have had the honor of knowing Xenex for over a decade and were in an ideal situation to support the rapid expansion of its cost-effective, reliable and durable disinfecting robots. Our manufacturing expertise and capacity have put us in a position to support Xenex’s efforts to ramp up their business in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

LightStrike robots emit bursts of high energy UV light to quickly destroy harmful viruses, bacteria, and spores, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. The high intensity UV light spans the entire germicidal spectrum (200-315 nm), deactivating the pathogens at the wavelengths where they are most vulnerable. Over 40 published peer reviewed studies support the efficacy of the LightStrike technology, and unlike continuous single spectrum UV light generated by mercury bulbs, the pulsed UV light produced by LightStrike does not damage expensive materials present in hospitals, hotels and other environments.


Boeing receives new order for third and fourth KC-46 from Japan Ministry of Defense

The U.S. Air Force has exercised the option for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) third and fourth Boeing KC-46 tanker through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process.

 Boeing’s KC-46 will be a force multiplier in the U.S.-Japanese defense alliance. It can refuel U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, any time, on any mission, and can carry passengers, cargo and patients whenever and wherever needed.

Boeing was awarded the initial FMS contract for Japan’s first KC-46 aircraft and logistics services in December 2017 following the Japan Ministry of Defense’s KC-X aerial refueling competition. A contract for a second KC-46 was awarded to Boeing in December 2018.

Boeing assembles KC-46A aircraft for both the U.S. Air Force and the JASDF on its 767 production line in Everett. Japan’s first KC-46 is scheduled for delivery in 2021.


NAC delivers one De Havilland Dash 8-400 to Cobham Aviation

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has confirmed that it has delivered one De Havilland Dash 8-400, MSN 4231, to Cobham Aviation Services on lease.

Cobham Aviation Services provides specialist aviation solutions to government, defence and commercial customers. Its portfolio of services includes: aerial border surveillance and search-and-rescue operations spanning the country’s exclusive economic zone and search-and-rescue region under contract with the Australian Government; closed charter (fly-in, fly-out) passenger and freight services to remote sites in support of mining, oil and gas projects; and outsourced freight services for Qantas.

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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543