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Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

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British Airways turning to sustainable fuel for transatlantic flights – invests in new U.S. LanzaJet plant

British Airways (BA) has announced that it is to start introducing blended fuel into its transatlantic flights from 2022. BA will be investing in a new Georgia-based LanzaJet U.S. plant which will produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at a commercial-scale volume, which will be made from ethanol which has been derived from agricultural and other waste products. According to BA the fuel has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 70% when compared to conventional aviation fuel. However, the SAV-to-conventional fuel mix will only be partial, despite the fact that SAF can be used up to a 50% substitution level.

To date, demonstration flights – such as one conducted in 2018 by Virgin Atlantic with LanzaTech (from which LanzaJet was subsequently spun off) – was with a blend which included only 5% of the greener fuel. IAG, the owner of British Airways, intends to invest £300m (US$414m) in SAV as part of its commitment to decarbonize by 2050, while it will also be looking to build a refinery with LanzaTech in the U.K., in addition to a waste-to-fuel plant in partnership with Velocys.

BA said it expects the LanzaJet fuel to “be available to power a number of its flights by the end of 2022”. Its chief executive, Sean Doyle, said: “Following the successful startup of the Georgia plant, we hope to then deploy the technology and SAF production capacity in the U.K.” However, Doyle added that: “We need government support to drive decarbonisation and accelerate the realisation of this vision.”

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First Japan KC-46 Tanker takes flight

The first Boeing KC-46 tanker destined for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) took to the skies on its maiden flight on February 8. This successful flight highlights an important milestone as the aircraft now transitions into the certification phase of development. Japan is the KC-46 program’s first international customer and is scheduled to receive its first jet this year.

The KC-46 refueling certification encompasses U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and JASDF aircraft. The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a US$279 million contract for the JASDF’s first KC-46A tanker in December 2017. The agreement was completed through the Foreign Military Sale process between the U.S. government and Japan. Japan is now on contract for a total of four KC-46 tankers.

Boeing is assembling KC-46A aircraft for both the U.S. Air Force and Japan on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. Boeing’s Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46 airframe structure.

Warwick Brady takes the helm at Swissport

Swissport International has appointed Warwick Brady as President and CEO. He will succeed Christoph Mueller, who has been acting as the interim CEO since January 1, 2021. Mueller will become Chairman of the Board of Directors once Brady assumes the CEO role in Spring 2021.

Brady is currently the CEO of Esken Limited, formerly Stobart Group, a British infrastructure, aviation and energy company with operations in the U.K. and Ireland. He has transformed Esken from a conglomerate into a business focused on aviation (airports, aviation services, regional airline) and renewable energy. As part of the restructuring, he successfully executed on M&A, operational turnarounds, complex financing and the strategic re-focusing of the business. Prior to his CEO role at Esken, he was Chief Operating Officer at EasyJet for nearly eight years and was part of the leadership team that transformed the airline into a FTSE 100 business.


Airbus hands over first completed cockpit upgrade for UPS Airlines’ fleet of 52 A300-600 freighters

Airbus has handed over the first completed cockpit upgrade for UPS Airlines’ fleet of 52 A300-600 Freighters. The aircraft (MSN868), revitalized with state-of-the-art Honeywell cockpit avionics, was redelivered to UPS on February 3, at Airbus’ U.S. facility in Mobile Alabama following the certification by EASA on December 22, 2020 and by the FAA on January 5, 2021. This is the first time that such a complex upgrade has been performed on the A300. UPS expects to have the entire fleet converted by peak season of 2022.

The enhancements transform the A300-600 cockpit to confer the maximum operational flexibility and capabilities – bringing it close to current generation of aircraft. Key to achieving this is the advanced new integrated avionics system supplied by Honeywell, which is based on its Primus Epic suite.

The four large 10x8-inch LCD main displays and the new color multi-function control and display unit (MCDU), which replace several analog instruments, are the most immediately visible changes to grace the A300-600’s upgraded instrument panel. Other new ‘under the hood’ items include: a new flight management system (FMS); support for a worldwide navigation database; a new multi-mode receiver (MMR) incorporating the latest GPS-based satellite navigation systems; a digital datalink for communications with air traffic control (ATC); a central maintenance computer; and a digital weather radar system with turbulence detection and windshear prediction – among numerous other capabilities.


Seabury Solutions’ Alkym® platform continues to deliver critical end-to-end capabilities for Ravn Alaska’s MRO operations

Seabury Solutions, a subsidiary of New York-based Seabury Capital Group and one of the market leaders in delivering aircraft M&E and MRO software solutions for the aviation industry, has announced that the U.S. regional airline, Ravn Alaska, reiterated its ongoing commitment to Alkym®, the company’s end-to-end enterprise MRO IT platform.

Bruce Gowling, Seabury Solutions’ Senior Vice President, emphasized that “Alkym’s end-to-end capabilities for managing aircraft maintenance, compliance, and material logistics provide the Ravn Alaska team with the right features to drive operational enhancements,” in the areas of:

Gaining up-to-the-minute key performance indicators via Executive Dashboards, which optimize the airline’s overall performance and adaptability to the demands of day-to-day operations;

Empowering the leadership team to focus on the most pressing management and operational issues via Trend Monitoring & Alerting; and 

Streamlining the information flow and eliminating email-based information silos via a Fleet Management Console that serves as a central hub for cross-departmental communication.

“These advantages, combined with other Alkym capabilities, enable Ravn Alaska to meet and exceed its financial and operational objectives, specifically increasing revenues, reducing and controlling costs while improving its industry reputation and goodwill in responding to daily operational requirements,” expanded Gowling.


Nasmyth Group appoints Tony Sexton as Group Sales Director

Nasmyth Group has appointed Tony Sexton as Group Sales Director. Sexton joined Nasmyth Group in 2007 as Managing Director of IEC and has more recently held the position of Director of Systems and Defense for both the Nasmyth IEC and Nasmyth CE businesses.

In his new position, he will develop a new integrated, global sales and marketing focus for the Nasmyth Group’s U.K. engineering businesses and those in the U.S.A., India and the Philippines. The group has exciting opportunities for new and more established business across a range of customers and programs in sectors including Aerospace, Space, Defense, Energy etc.

Sexton will lead Nasmyth’s sales, business development and strategic teams to ensure the group successfully interfaces with global customers and partners  and secures this business as it returns to a sustained growth phase. He will also lead the development of the group’s digital sales and marketing tools as the world rebuilds from COVID-19 .

GAMECO expands 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter capacity to meet strong demand

GAMECO (Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited) announced the addition of a third conversion line for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) at its Guangzhou facility.

Concurrently, GAMECO also is inducting the first aircraft into its second BCF line, which was announced in September 2020.With the addition of the third line, GAMECO also will take steps to implement a new takted production system.

Based on the popular Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF is meeting customer demand for a newer-generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per trip compared to other standard body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tons (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 3,750 kilometers (2,025 nautical miles). To date, the airplane has won more than 150 orders and commitments.

According to the most recent Boeing Commercial Market Outlook, 2,430 freighters will enter the global fleet over the next 20 years to meet market demand, including 1,080 standard-body passenger-to-freighter conversions Asia will account for approximately 40% of the standard body freighter market demand.


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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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