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Thursday, December 10th, 2020

Britain looks to renegotiate trade deal with U.S. by dropping Airbus-Boeing retaliatory tariffs

With the U.K. leaving Europe on January 1, 2021, Liz Truss, the U.K. Trade Secretary, is looking to negotiate an independent deal with the U.S over trade tariffs the U.S. imposed on Europe (including the U.K.) after the World Trade Organization (WTO) gave the go ahead for penalties to be applied after it was revealed that Airbus, Boeing’s principal rival, had been in receipt of financial aid at favorable terms which broke international regulations. In addition, citing national security issues, a fact that is hotly disputed in its accuracy (Britain’s trade department says: “any claim that U.K. steel and aluminum imports harm U.S. national security is false and without foundation.”), the U.S has also imposed substantial tariffs on U.K. steel and aluminum imports to the U.S. 

“Ultimately, we want to de-escalate the conflict and come to a negotiated settlement so we can deepen our trading relationship with the U.S. and draw a line under all this,” Truss said. Britain will reserve the right to reimpose the tariffs. Truss meanwhile said the rollover of the EU’s tariffs on steel and aluminum shows “we are protecting our steel industry against illegal and unfair tariffs — and will continue to do so.” Yet within that, she said, Britain is “also showing the U.S. we are serious about ending a dispute that benefits neither country.”

Europe had now been granted the right to impose up to US$4 billion in tariffs on U.S. exports after it was revealed that Boeing had also been in receipt of funding, the favorable terms of which broke WTO regulations. While Britain looks to use that right to de-escalate the current ‘trade war’ between the U.S. and European countries, Donald Trump, the outgoing U.S. president, has instead threatened to greatly increase any tariffs on Europe if they began imposing tariffs the WTO have agreed it can. The U.K.’s problem, from a legal standpoint, is that when the WTO granted Europe the right to impose retaliatory sanctions on the U.S., it did not name specific countries and, as of January 1, 2021, the U.K. will no longer be part of Europe and therefore the WTO’s decision on European tariffs will no longer apply to it.

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First A220 for JetBlue completes inaugural test flight

The first Airbus A220-300 for JetBlue Airways has completed its inaugural test flight from the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley in Mobile, Alabama. The aircraft performed its test sequences and landed safely. The first of 70 A220 aircraft for JetBlue is scheduled to be delivered to the New York-based airline before year end.

The airline’s first A220 aircraft debuted this fall featuring a brand new tailfin livery called “Hops”, designed by JetBlue. The aircraft will be outfitted with a modern single-class cabin configuration and carry passengers on many short trips together as part of a larger journey, commonly referred to as “hopping.”

The A220 aircraft’s combined range and seating capacity add flexibility to JetBlue’s network strategy, including the possibility to schedule the aircraft on transcontinental flights. The A220 aircraft’s unequaled economics also open new route possibilities that were not feasible with previous generation aircraft.

Emirates welcomes first of three Airbus A380s to be delivered in December

Emirates has welcomed MSN A6-EVL, its 116th A380 as the first of three A380s to join its fleet in 2020. The aircraft arrived in Dubai on December 5, powered by a blend of conventional jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel.

Emirates is scheduled to receive two more A380 aircraft later this month, one of which will feature its long-awaited signature Premium Economy product.

Since its entry into the Emirates fleet 12 years ago, the A380 has been the airline’s flagship and a customer favourite, captivating the imagination of travellers by providing an unmatched travel experience.

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Lilium partners with Lufthansa Aviation Training

Lilium, the Munich-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) for regional air mobility, announced an industry-first partnership with Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT, member of the Lufthansa Group). Together, Lilium and Lufthansa Aviation Training will develop a tailor made Pilot Sourcing and Training program to qualify pilots to fly the Lilium Jet.

The first phase of this innovative program consists of bespoke Lilium type rating training certification for qualified commercial pilots. It will harness technologies including Mixed and Virtual Reality (MR/VR) opening possibilities to recreate the program worldwide and enabling a stable pipeline of qualified pilots to support the growth of the company and the industry.

Lilium and Lufthansa Aviation Training will also jointly work together with EASA (EU) and FAA (USA) regulatory authorities on certification.

Airforwarders Association elects Seko's Shawn Richard to Board of Directors

Shawn Richard, Vice President Global Air Freight at SEKO Logistics, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Airforwarders Association (AfA), the voice of the airforwarding industry in the United States.

He joins other newly elected BOD members for the upcoming 2021-2024 term of office and will be officially sworn into office at the AfA’s virtual Board meeting on January 5, 2021. The new recruits will join eight existing AfA Directors in continuing the success of the Association and guiding its future growth and development.

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Ampaire conducts first airline flight trials for hybrid-electric aircraft

Los Angeles-based Ampaire, a global leader in electric aviation, has completed a demonstration flight of a hybrid-electric aircraft along an actual airline route. The company flew its Electric EEL aircraft on November 22nd on a 20-minute flight from Maui’s Kahului Airport across the island to Hana and back on a single charge.

Ampaire is now flying the route regularly in a one-month demonstration program with Hawai‘i-based Mokulele Airlines, one of 15 airlines to have signed a Letter of Interest with the company. It is the first use of a hybrid-electric aircraft under the FAA’s Experimental-Market Survey category, allowing Ampaire to fly with its crew and essential personnel for crew training and other exploratory market activity. The flight trials are supported by Elemental Excelerator, a global climate-tech accelerator.

The Electric EEL technology demonstrator used in the Mokulele trials is an upgrade of the popular six-seat Cessna 337 twin-engine piston aircraft. The aircraft has a 300-horsepower piston engine in the rear and a 160 kW-capable electric power unit in front, plus a battery pack carried in an under-fuselage aero-optimized shell. Due to the contribution of the electric power unit, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by approximately 40-50%.

Max Knagge appointed new CEO of SAS Cargo

Max Knagge, SAS’ Head of Sales for the US market, has been appointed as CEO of SAS Cargo following Leif Rasmussen, who is leaving his position as CEO of SAS Cargo Group A/S after 38 years of service with SAS. The transition starts immediately, with Max Knagge formally assuming the role on January 1, 2021.

“I am confident Max will build on SAS Cargo’s history and continue developing its role as an important provider of critical transport infrastructure, globally as well as within Scandinavia. His strong track record at SAS and international experience makes him an ideal candidate to successfully take over the reins at SAS Cargo,” says Kjetil Håbjørg, EVP & Chief Services Officer, SAS.

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IBC wins US$9.7 million in new orders from Lockheed Martin

IBC Advanced Alloys Corp., a leading beryllium and copper advanced alloys company, has reported that Lockheed Martin has awarded IBC new purchase orders totaling approximately US$9.7 million to produce two aerospace-qualified beryllium-aluminum components for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft over the next 26 months.

One purchase order involves production of the azimuth gimbal housing unit used in the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). IBC has manufactured this part for Lockheed Martin since 2015 using the Company’s high-performance Beralcast® beryllium-aluminum investment cast alloy.

In a new development, Lockheed Martin also awarded IBC an order to produce a second part for the F-35 – the gimbal mounting ring – which is also used in the EOTS. IBC worked in close partnership with Lockheed Martin in developing a process for producing the ring using IBC’s innovative investment casting technology.

The total value of the new purchase order is approximately US$9.7 million over 26 months, which represents a 24% increase over previous three-year purchase order from Lockheed Martin.

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Boeing’s autonomous MQ-25 completes first test flight with Aerial Refueling Store

Boeing and the U.S. Navy have for the first time flown the MQ-25 T1 test asset with an aerial refueling store (ARS), a significant milestone informing development of the unmanned aerial refueler.

The successful 2.5-hour flight with the Cobham ARS – the same ARS currently used by F/A-18s for air-to-air refueling – was designed to test the aircraft’s aerodynamics with the ARS mounted under the wing. The flight was conducted by Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill.

Future flights will continue to test the aerodynamics of the aircraft and the ARS at various points of the flight envelope, eventually progressing to extension and retraction of the hose and drogue used for refueling.

Earlier this year the Navy exercised an option for three additional MQ-25 air vehicles, bringing the total aircraft Boeing is initially producing to seven. The Navy intends to procure more than 70 aircraft, which will assume the tanking role currently performed by F/A-18s, allowing for better use of the combat strike fighters.

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