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LATEST NEWS

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

EASA to give 737 MAX the go-ahead to fly in January

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed that, independent of the U.S.’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it anticipates lifting the grounding order on the troubled Boeing 737 MAX and certifying it as safe to take to the skies again by mid-January 2021.

“We wanted to carry out a totally independent analysis of the safety of this aircraft, so we performed our own checks and flight tests,” EASA’s Executive Director Patrick Ky told the Paris Air Forum, an online aviation conference. “All these studies tell us that the 737 MAX can return to service. We have started to put in place all the measures,” he said. “It is likely that in our case we will adopt the decisions, allowing it to return to service, sometime in January.”

The EASA will publish a draft directive proposing the lifting of the grounding order next week, after which there will be a 30-day period for comments. The result should see the official lifting of the grounding order in mid-January 2021. Together with Norway and the U.K., the EASA represents 27 countries of the European Union.

The FAA’s certification process came in for a high degree of criticism and the EASA’s certification process is seen as carrying significant influence in the aviation industry. “It is clear that there were a number of dysfunctions in (FAA) actions and their relations with Boeing,” Ky said, according to Reuters news agency. “I won’t go into details as it is not up to me to do that. The FAA is in the process of putting in place corrective measures.”

Ky also said that the EASA would change some of its own methods and take a more detailed role in analyzing critical features in foreign jets. It would also be “more intransigent” about ensuring that key safety reviews are completed before moving on to the next steps.

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Precision Aviation Group acquires EFIX Aviation Support

Precision Aviation Group (PAG), a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry, has announced the acquisition of São José dos Campos, Brazil based EFIX Aviation Support (EFIX).

EFIX specializes in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for the South American Aerospace and Defense market, with a diverse capabilities list that includes – Landing Gear, Hydraulic/Pneumatic, Electrical Accessories, Starter Generators, Batteries, and Avionics. EFIX’ Repair Station holds both ANAC and EASA certifications.

David Mast, President and CEO of PAG stated, “We are excited about the acquisition of EFIX and look forward to working with the EFIX Team as we continue to expand our MRO and Supply Chain Services in Latin America. The addition of EFIX gives PAG its 11th Repair Station Globally and further diversifies PAG’s MRO capabilities by expanding our services into Landing Gear, Hydraulic and Pneumatic component services. Additionally, EFIX expands PAG’s footprint in Brazil -where we’ve had a presence since 2015 – enabling our customers to benefit from in-country MRO support and expanded local inventory levels, quicker turnaround times, and expanded AOG support.”

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Air Arabia and CFM International sign services agreement for LEAP-1A engines

Air Arabia and CFM International have signed a comprehensive nine-year agreement under the terms of which CFM will provide time and material support for the airline’s fleet of six LEAP-1A-powered A321neo aircraft.

Air Arabia (PJSC) is the first and largest leading low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa. Air Arabia commenced operations in October 2003 and currently operates a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, serving routes from five hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt.

The agreement builds on a successful relationship with CFM that includes a fleet of 52 CFM56-powered A320ceo aircraft and six A321neos-LR. Air Arabia is the first LEAP-powered A321neo operator in the Middle East.

Airbus inaugurates new Singapore campus

Airbus has officially opened its new integrated campus in Singapore. Located at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park, the new campus covers an area of 51,000 m². It is an expansion of an existing site, housing the Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC), a joint venture between Airbus and Singapore Airlines, and the company’s Asia-Pacific spare parts distribution facility, operated by Airbus subsidiary Satair.  

New facilities at the campus include offices serving as the company’s regional hub for its commercial aircraft, defense, space and helicopter businesses. In addition a second Satair warehouse has increased storage volume and capacity by over 70%.     

Also located at the campus is the new South East Asia operation for the Airbus digital services platform Skywise. In addition to supporting Skywise customers, the team based in Singapore will be involved in exploring potential partnerships with start-ups and other technology providers in the region.

Additionally, the campus will be home to a branch of the global Airbus Leadership University, providing training and tailored development programs for company employees. When operational, the Singapore facility will be second in Asia, complementing an existing center in Beijing, and will offer courses to employees based at Airbus offices across the region.

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Vaclav Rehor, CEO of Prague Airport, elected Board Member of ACI Europe

Vaclav Rehor, Chief Executive Officer of Prague Airport, has been elected a member of the Board of Directors of the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), a worldwide airport association.

During his three-year term, he will represent the region of Eastern Europe and thus gain the opportunity to positively influence the shape of air transport in Europe. The election of new members to the Board of Directors, the supreme body of ACI Europe, took place on November 17, 2020. In total, ACI Europe associates over 500 airports and heliports from 45 European countries.

Embraer and EDP sign partnership agreement for joint efforts in electric aircraft research

Embraer and EDP, a company that operates in all segments of the Brazilian energy sector, have signed a partnership agreement for electric aircraft research. Through its EDP Smart division, the Portuguese-based multinational announced a financial contribution for the acquisition of energy storage and battery charging technologies for Embraer’s all-electric demonstrator aircraft project, utilizing the EMB-203 Ipanema as its test bed. The prototype, which is already in development, is scheduled to complete its inaugural flight in 2021.

The investment is part of the cooperation agreement signed by both companies to advance their shared knowledge of energy storage and battery charging technologies for aviation - one of the main challenges of the project. The partnership aims to investigate the applicability of high voltage batteries for the electric propulsion systems of small aircraft, in addition to evaluating the main operating characteristics, such as weight, efficiency and power quality, thermal control and management, cycling loading and unloading, and operational safety.

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WestJet and Delta Air Lines withdraw joint application

WestJet and Delta Air Lines have announced that they withdrew their joint application before the U.S. Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity. As a result, the airlines will not implement the proposed U.S. – Canada joint venture at this time.

WestJet and Delta remain committed to developing a U.S. – Canada joint venture but in the meantime will explore deepening the alliance for the benefit of its mutual guests.
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