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Thursday, January 21th, 2021

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Eve to lead consortium to develop Urban Air Mobility Concept of Operations with U.K.’s CAA

EmbraerX-graduated company Eve is to lead a consortium of aviation companies to work on a concept of operations for integrating air taxis and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) into the U.K. airspace. The consortium will work with the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in what will be part of Eve’s Future Air Mobility Regulatory Sandbox.

The consortium will include Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, NATS, Skyports, Atech, Volocopter, and Vertical Aerospace. David Tait, Head of Innovation at the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority, said: “The Regulatory Sandbox was established to create an environment where innovation in aviation can be explored in line with the Civil Aviation Authority’s core principles of safety, security, and consumer protection. This project was selected to join the Sandbox as it will help us to develop a strategic framework for harmonizing the low-level airspace, which will support the development of urban and regional air mobility operations across the U.K.”

To begin with and working alongside local authorities, the consortium will explore how eVTOLs can transport passengers from London City Airport to Heathrow Airport, with stops in between. The introduction of eVTOLs can offer greener and faster modes of transportation for passengers and cargo, improve urban and regional connectivity, create new jobs, and spur innovation. The concept of operations will help make eVTOL operations in the U.K. possible, allowing the industry to scale and deliver environmental and economic benefits to the U.K.

“Today, flights between London City Airport and Heathrow Airport are limited, and the routes are designed specifically for helicopters. By collaborating with the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority, we aim to demonstrate to the public why regulatory support is required to build eVTOL-specific routes,” said David Rottblatt, Vice President of Business Development and leader of the Urban Air Traffic Management project for Eve.

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CAE partners with The LOSA Collaborative to enhance pilot training

CAE has partnered with The LOSA Collaborative to enhance its evidence-based training offering. Through an exclusive service agreement, The LOSA Collaborative will perform Line Operations Safety Audits (LOSA) of CAE customer-operators. The insights and data gleaned from the safety audits, combined with CAE’s training data, will allow CAE to offer tailored pilot training programs and benchmarked operational and training performance insights to operators.  

“We are thrilled to continue to shape the future of pilot training with partnerships like the one we now have with The LOSA Collaborative. This partnership brings safety auditing expertise to our customers and will also reinforce our CAE Rise Training System™,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “Collecting data and insights from line operations and training is key to the development and assessment of pilot competencies. We are bringing pilot training full circle by closing the loop between operations and training data. This enables us to further build a robust data-driven training ecosystem that will support continuous improvement, provide a true measure of the effectiveness of training, and have a positive impact on aviation safety worldwide.”

“The LOSA Collaborative’s audit findings from 85 airlines, helicopter, and military operators around the world combined with CAE’s training data will allow operators, instructional systems designers, safety and quality practitioners to focus their work on data driven threats to aviation safety,” said Dr. James Klinect, the Founder and CEO of The LOSA Collaborative. “With our partnership with CAE, we are formally bridging the gap between proactive safety data and training solutions. There is nothing else like it in the aviation industry.”

thyssenkrupp Aerospace extends partnership with Korean Aerospace Industry

thyssenkrupp Aerospace has signed a three-year contract with the South Korean aircraft manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI). From early 2021 thyssenkrupp Aerospace will supply materials for KAI's civil and military programs and will also manage supply chains. This will allow thyssenkrupp Aerospace to further expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The long-term agreement at fixed prices will allow us to realize cost savings for our partner and contribute to increased efficiency in the supply chain," said Hyun Soo Jee, Country Manager, describing the advantages for the customer. The new agreement expands the business volume and strengthens the partnership between KAI and thyssenkrupp Aerospace. "In addition to price stability, KAI can call up selected materials just-in-time. This helps KAI to reduce the capital tied up in inventory and to concentrate mainly on its core business of machining and assembling," said Jee.

Founded in 1999, KAI, which emerged from a joint venture between Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Industry, is a manufacturer of aircraft and helicopters for civil and military purposes and is now also involved in the development of satellites and launch vehicles. Since 2015, KAI has been developing the first prototype of a South Korean stealth fighter aircraft (KF-X), one of South Korea's most important national defense projects. The system development, which is to be completed by 2026, involves 16 universities, 11 laboratories and 553 suppliers.

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United post full-year 2020 net loss of US$7.1 billion

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, United has raised over US$26 billion in liquidity and made important progress in reducing core cash burn to ensure the company's survival. Over the last three quarters, the company has identified US$1.4 billion of annual cost savings and has a path to achieve at least US$2.0 billion in structural reductions moving forward. United ended 2020 with US$19.7 billion in available liquidity, including an undrawn revolver capacity and funds available under the CARES Act loan program from the U.S. Treasury.

Having stabilized its financial foundation, the company expects 2021 to be a transition year that's focused on preparing for a recovery. United has resumed heavy maintenance and engine overhauls, investments that are essential to recovery when demand returns. The combination of structural cost reduction and timely investments will help set up United to exceed its 2019 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin in 2023. The company expressed high confidence that it would achieve this target by 2023 – and said its ongoing recovery planning would help ensure the company was equipped to reach this level even sooner, if demand returns more quickly.

United reported fourth-quarter net loss of US$1.9 billion, US$7.1 billion for the full-year 2020, and fourth quarter adjusted net loss of US$2.1 billion, US$7.7 billion for the full-year 2020. The airline reported fourth-quarter total operating revenue of US$3.4 billion, down 69% versus fourth-quarter 2019. Fourth-quarter operating expenses was down 45% versus fourth-quarter 2019, down 42% excluding special charges.

Planet 9 bolsters managed aircraft fleet

Planet 9, the Van Nuys, California-based private charter operator and aircraft management company, added a Bombardier Global Express BD-700 (N551SW) ​to its managed fleet at the end of December, the third aircraft to go onto its Part 135 Air Operator's Certificate since the pandemic took hold in March 2020.   

Two more aircraft - a Global Express and Dassault Falcon 7X - are currently being readied to join the managed fleet by the end of February. Both will be available for charter, boosting the Planet 9 family of owned and managed aircraft to 14.

Planet 9, which has operations bases in Teterboro, New York, London and Lisbon, has seen more clients turn to the safe cabin environment of its private aircraft to keep their families protected during the pandemic.  Much of its flying over the recent holiday season has been to the Caribbean Islands, especially The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos - from both U.S. and European airports. 

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Prague Airport ready for 2021 traffic enhancement

Throughout the course of 2020, a total of 3,665,871 passengers passed through the gates of Václav Havel Airport Prague. The operation of the airport was unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the related restrictions on travel and the worldwide decline in demand for flying. As a result, 79% fewer passengers were handled in Prague compared to 2019. In January and February 2020, there were direct flights serviced from Prague to a total of 111 destinations around the world. In the following months, the offer was limited and continued changing based on the epidemiological situation. Passengers were offered flights to up to 87 destinations on an ongoing basis. Last year, the routes to the United Kingdom were, traditionally, the most popular, with the greatest number of passengers flying to/from London. The airport is ready to resume its operations this year and continues to focus to the measures aimed at protecting the health of both passengers and airport employees.

"The airport has prepared a strategy for the fastest possible re-launch of direct routes from Prague Airport. It primarily aims to support demand, on the basis of which airlines decide to resume operations of their routes. We cooperate with our partners and tourist boards, such as the CzechTourism, Prague City Tourism and the Central Bohemian Tourist Board, to support the incoming tourism sector. We negotiate with carriers the options of re-launching and launching air connections and provide them with up-to-date information on developments on the Czech market alongside other information. In addition, we have expanded our incentive program to motivate airlines to resume their routes and implemented a range of health-protective measures to ensure employee and passenger safety and their regaining of confidence in flying. With respect to demand for flying and the strategies of individual airlines, our 2021 priority is to resume flights to key European destinations," Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.

According to the published operating results, a total of 54,163 take-offs and landings (i.e. movements) were performed at Václav Havel Airport Prague last year. Compared to 2019, the number of movements decreased by 65%. Due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, January was the busiest month of 2020, during which a total of 1,051,028 passengers were handled, representing a historical record for the first month of the year. Most people passed through the gates of Prague Airport on Friday, January 3, 2020, when a total of 49,387 people travelled via Prague. For the first time in the airport’s history, the milestone of one million handled passengers was exceeded in the month of February.

A partial recovery of operations took place in the summer months in connection with the improving epidemiological situation and relaxed travel conditions. In July and August 2020, Prague Airport handled approximately 600,000 passengers, confirming the rapid resumption of travel demand.

Voyageur Aviation boosts risk and safety management with Ideagen

Ideagen, a global provider of software products to companies operating in highly regulated industries, has announced that Voyageur Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation, has become the latest customer of its Coruson product.

Coruson is an enterprise risk and safety management software that delivers powerful and integrated functionality to give complete control of operational risks. It is used by market leaders in the aviation and rail industries.

Steven Cespedes, Enterprise Director at Ideagen, said: “Coruson is really well suited to Voyageur's needs and I am very confident that it will help to take some of the administrative burden of safety and risk management off its shoulders and remove the potential for human error.”

AVIATAR to optimize maintenance operations at United Airlines

Lufthansa Technik AG has welcome United Airlines as the newest user of its AVIATAR platform. The airline signed a contract in late 2020 for digital support through AVIATAR for its Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 fleet, with plans to work with Lufthansa Technik to develop new predictive maintenance solutions for its Boeing 737 fleet.

Combining the strengths of the world's third largest Boeing 737 fleet operator, engineering know-how and data expertise will lead to unique predictive maintenance solutions for United's different fleet types. United has already begun integrating AVIATAR into its existing processes and training procedures.

Launched in 2017, AVIATAR is the independent platform for digital products and services developed by Lufthansa Technik.

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