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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

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U.K. bans all Boeing 777s with PW4000 engines after Denver engine blowout

After an incident over Denver at the weekend where one of the Pratt & Whitney engines on a Boeing 777 caught fire, the U.K has banned all other 777s with this engine type from entering its airspace. In turn, Boeing has advised all airlines which operate this older model of aircraft, the 777-200 and 777-300, to ground them until further notice.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued an emergency directive to require immediate or enhanced inspections of similar 777 models to the one involved in the Denver incident, before Boeing recommended their grounding. U.K. Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said he would “continue to work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority to monitor the situation.”

Shortly after takeoff from Denver on Saturday, flight 328, en route to Honolulu, suffered a catastrophic failure of its starboard engine, which caught fire after an explosion which scattered debris across a residential area in Denver. Despite the volume of debris, remarkably, nobody on the ground was killed or injured. An entire engine front casing landed in the front yard of a house in the suburb of Broomfield.

United Airlines said it was temporarily grounding all 24 of its Boeing 777s in current service. Japan’s aviation regulator told Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, which between them operate 32 planes of the affected model, to ground their planes. Boeing confirmed that 69 of the model were in service, with 59 in storage owing to lack of demand during the pandemic. According to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, an initial examination of the Denver 777 engine revealed that two fan blades had fractured. Flight data recorders have been taken to Washington for detailed analysis.

The incident also appears very similar to when a 777 operated by United three years ago had the right-hand engine cowling blown off 45 minutes before landing in Honolulu. Investigators found two fan blades had fractured, with the fragments flying out of the engine and puncturing the fuselage.

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British Airways reaches financing agreements for £2.45 billion

International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed two financing agreements that British Airways has reached that will increase total liquidity by £2.45 billion.

On December 31, 2020, IAG announced that British Airways had received commitments for a five-year Export Development Guarantee term-loan of £2.0 billion underwritten by a syndicate of banks, partially guaranteed by U.K. Export Finance (UKEF). British Airways has now reached final agreement with UKEF and the lenders and expects to drawdown the facility before the end of February 2021.

Furthermore, British Airways has reached agreement with the Trustee of New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) to defer £450 million of pension deficit contributions due between October 2020 and September 2021. The agreement includes the deferral of monthly contributions of £37.5 million from October 2020 to September 2021 for a total value of £450 million. During negotiations, the NAPS Trustee agreed to temporary deferrals of the contributions due in October, November, December and January. Repayment of £450 million accumulated contributions plus interest will be added to the end of the existing Recovery Plan as monthly payments under a revised Recovery Plan, which is currently March 2023. British Airways has agreed to provide property assets as security, which will remain in place until the airline has repaid the deferred contributions. No dividends will be paid by British Airways to IAG before the end of 2023. From 2024, any dividends paid will be matched by contributions to NAPS of 50% of the value of dividends paid.

Regional One chooses SPARTA Enterprise Asset Management software

Regional One, a purchaser, lessor, and seller of aircraft, aircraft parts, engines and engine parts, has chosen Acumen Aviation's (Acumen) SPARTA Enterprise Asset Management software solution to support its entire fleet, comprising of more than 170 aircraft, engines and other major assemblies.

SPARTA is a cloud-based integrated platform designed, based on an in-depth understanding of aircraft asset management, to provide clients with a seamless, connected and intuitive way of organizing and controlling a vast array of data spanning the complete life cycle of multiple assets. Regional One is unique in its business model and provides some unconventional leasing solutions to its customers.

Regional One has chosen Acumen for a long-term deal and its SPARTA solution as a platform of choice for its Asset Management functions. Owing to SPARTA’s open source, new age technology architecture and an experienced product development team, Acumen was able to easily interpret and understand the requirements and therefore deliver well executed tailor-made solutions to Regional One.

Examples of some specific solutions developed by the Acumen team for Regional One include Hybrid (Fixed and PBH combination) Rentals, Maintenance Reserve management, automation for setting up banking and
lessor details, flexibility in generating invoices on demand, cashflow management / analysis and customized management reports. This SPARTA implementation project also provided Acumen with deep insights which will be used to drive further product improvements.

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DAE signs lease agreement with IndiGo for seven A321neo aircraft

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has signed long-term lease agreements for seven Airbus A321neo aircraft with IndiGo, India’s largest passenger airline. All seven aircraft will be powered by CFM International’s Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion (LEAP) engines and are scheduled to be delivered in 2021.

Firoz Tarapore, Chief Executive Officer of DAE said: “We are delighted to add this fuel-efficient aircraft and popular aircraft type to our leased aircraft portfolio. This investment reiterates our commitment to invest in new, fuel-efficient aircraft to minimize carbon and nitrogen emissions as well as noise while at the same time increase performance, reliability and environmental sustainability.”

Revima reaches agreement with Pratt & Whitney as global authorized repair facility for several APU models

Revima, a leading independent APU and landing gear MRO specialist, has reached an agreement with Pratt & Whitney to renew and expand its authorized repair facility agreement on a worldwide basis for a variety of APU models (APS500, APS1000, APS2000 and APS2100) for both commercial and military applications, and for the remaining life of the programs for the specific models covered in the agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Revima will be expanding its customer coverage and existing capabilities to include most of Pratt & Whitney’s radial APUs, with aircraft applications such as the B717, Dash 7, Dash 8 series, Embraer 135/145, Fokker 50, as well as numerous military applications.

As a leading independent APU expert with over 60 years of MRO experience and a Pratt & Whitney authorized repair facility, the addition of these product lines will make Revima capable of repairing virtually the entire line of Pratt & Whitney radial APUs.

Pratt & Whitney will support Revima in training engineers and technicians, transferring inventory, tooling and performing test cell calibrations at Revima’s APU center of excellence, in Normandy, France. Following the transition period, Revima will manage APU radial overhaul services work that had been previously completed at Pratt & Whitney’s West Palm Beach facility. On the military side, Revima will act as a subcontractor to Pratt & Whitney.

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Air bp installs start-stop technology on all fuel hydrant dispensers in Portugal

Air bp, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, announces that all its fuel hydrant dispenser vehicles in Portugal now have stop-start technology. This is the first country in Air bp’s operated network to achieve the milestone and forms one element of the business’s carbon management plan.

Effective immediately, Air bp will have start-stop technology installed on all its newly procured hydrant dispensers. The aim is that all existing hydrant dispensers across its global operated network, that are less than ten years old, will be retrofitted with the technology by the end of the year.

Start-stop technology automatically shuts down and restarts the vehicle engine to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Air bp’s hydrant refueling vehicles equipped with start-stop technology have seen, on average, a 25% reduction in carbon emissions. This saving is estimated to be 3.5 tons of CO² per vehicle per year.

Since 2016 all Air bp’s global operated airport into-plane fuel facilities have been carbon neutral. An important part of maintaining carbon neutral status is having an effective carbon management plan.

HAECO appoints new Chief Commercial Officer

HAECO Group is establishing a new centralized commercial
organization, which will more effectively project the Group’s expanding capabilities, service and product offerings to a worldwide customer base, improving customer focus and advocacy. This development will supplement the existing network that HAECO maintains in supporting service levels to its customers globally.

The company has named Richard Kendall, currently its Group Director Airframe Services, to lead this organization as Chief Commercial Officer, effective February 22, 2021. James Ginns will succeed Kendall as Group Director Airframe Services from the same date. Ginns has recently joined HAECO Group from Cathay Pacific Airways, where his recent roles included those of Chief Risk Officer, Director Service Delivery and Regional General Manager in Europe and Japan.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar