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Friday, April 9th, 2021

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Air cargo demand bucks the trend with 9% February increase on pre-pandemic levels

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released figures for the global air cargo markets for February 2021, clearly showing that demand continues to exceed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. Strong month-on-month growth compared to January 2021, February’s demand exceeded February 2019 levels by 9%. Current demand has now reached the same level seen in 2018, prior to the US-China trade war. Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons to follow are to February 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.

Global demand, measured in cargo ton-kilometers (CTKs), was up 9% compared to February 2019 and +1.5% compared to January 2021. All regions except for Latin America saw an improvement in air cargo demand compared to pre-COVID levels and North America and Africa were the strongest performers. The recovery in global capacity, measured in available cargo ton-kilometers (ACTKs), stalled owing to new capacity cuts on the passenger side as governments tightened travel restrictions due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Capacity shrank 14.9% compared to February 2019.

“Air cargo demand is not just recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, it is growing. With demand at 9% above pre-crisis levels (Feb 2019), one of the main challenges for air cargo is finding sufficient capacity. This makes cargo yields a bright spot in an otherwise bleak industry situation. It also highlights the need for clarity on government plans for a safe industry restart. Understanding how passenger demand could recover will indicate how much belly capacity will be available for air cargo. Being able to efficiently plan that into air cargo operations will be a key element for overall recovery,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

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Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will launch first flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the newest national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will start the operation of the Tel Aviv - Abu Dhabi route on April 18, 2021, following the announcement that Israel has been added to the green list, meaning travelers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi.

The connection between Tel Aviv and the capital of United Arab Emirates will open new opportunities for Israeli travelers and will strengthen connections between the two Middle Eastern countries. The new route will carry three weekly flights in April 2021. Starting from May 2021, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will operate flights between the two destinations on a daily basis.

Qatar Airways opens new state-of-the-art engine facility

Qatar Airways has opened a new state-of-the-art engine facility as part of the vision to streamline the cost of its technical maintenance operations by more than US$2.2 million per year, further supporting the airline’s growth despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Located in the Qatar Airways Technical Maintenance complex, the new 9,000 ft² engine facility was officially opened on April 7, 2021. It is estimated the new facility will enable the airline to improve workflow by over 1,800-man hours per month, or 23,400-man hours per year, by centralising its engine production and engine parts storage processes, increasing the number of its engine production lines from four to eight covering a variety of aircraft engine types. In addition to this, the ultramodern facility is able to house a total of 80 engines of varying sizes in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, with two special ‘dust control’ rooms to limit the presence of dust and harmful particles, as well as a dedicated supply chain area to minimise waiting times for the ordering and transportation of spare parts.

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Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 "Erfurt" to become climate research aircraft

Predicting the weather even more accurately, analyzing climate changes even more precisely, researching even better how the world is developing. This is the goal of a globally unique cooperation between Lufthansa and several research institutes.

Converting an aircraft into a climate research plane poses major challenges. Lufthansa has chosen the most modern and economical long-haul jet in its fleet - an Airbus A350-900 named "Erfurt" (registration D-AIXJ). In three stages, the "Erfurt" will now become a flying research laboratory.

In Lufthansa Technik's hangar in Malta, the first and most extensive conversion work was carried out. Preparations were made for a complex air intake system below the belly. This was followed by a series of test insertions, at the end of which came the certification of a climate research laboratory weighing around 1.6 tons, the so-called CARIBIC measurement laboratory. The acronym CARIBIC stands for "Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container" is part of a comprehensive European research consortium.

The "Erfurt" is expected to take off from Munich at the end of 2021 for its first flight in the service of climate research, measuring around 100 different trace gases, aerosol and cloud parameters in the tropopause region (at an altitude of nine to twelve kilometers). Lufthansa is thus making a valuable contribution to climate research, which can use these unique data to assess the performance of current atmospheric and climate models and thus their predictive power for the Earth's future climate. The special feature: Climate-relevant parameters can be recorded at this altitude with much greater accuracy and temporal resolution on board the aircraft than with satellite-based or ground-based systems. 

The A350 conversion, which has now been launched, was preceded by an extremely elaborate planning and development phase of about four years involving more than ten companies (in particular Lufthansa, Lufthansa Technik, Airbus, Safran, enviscope, and Dynatec) as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as representative of a larger scientific consortium.

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TrueAero Asset Management partners with Air Lease Corporation

TrueAero Asset Management (TAAM) has announced the commencement of a leasing and part-out consignment relationship with Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The inaugural aircraft is a CFM56-5B powered A320-200 owned by Air Lease's Thunderbolt managed aircraft platform. One engine will join TAAM’s diverse and sizeable fleet of managed lease assets, while the other engine will be dismantled alongside the airframe. TrueAero’s materials division will manage the teardown and consignment of ALC’s material.

TrueAero is a global aviation investment platform offering investors, lessors, and operators a suite of solutions across capital deployment, asset management, technical services, and material consignment. Its corporate headquarters is located in Sebastian, Florida, with sales, marketing, and finance hubs across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

BAA Training Spain starts pilot training with an Airbus A320 FFS

The first state-of-the-art Airbus A320 FFS is ready for training in a brand-new pilot training centre BAA Training Spain located in Barcelona, 10 minutes away from El-Prat airport. The Airbus A320 operational readiness, in fact, signifies that pilot training operations are ready to begin.

The Airbus A320 FFS manufactured by CAE is EASA UPRT CS-FSTD (A) issue 2 Level D approved and certified. It supports both CFM and IAE ceo engine types. It has the latest innovative Tropos 6000XR visual system, offering pilots an authentic visual feel. Many customized and generic scenes are available and tailored to airport characteristics. The FFS has been given a C Level airports certificate. The equipment is fully suited for completing the upset prevention recovery training, a mandatory part of type rating training, checking, and recurrent training.

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AJW Technique secures 10-year lease renewal

AJW Technique, the maintenance hub for AJW Group’s component repair and overhaul services has signed a 10-year lease renewal for its state-of-the-art facility at the Technoparc, situated next to Montreal’s International Airport.

As part of AJW Group, established in 1932, with a reputation for high quality, efficient and cost-effective repair solutions, AJW Technique boasts a wide range of capabilities across Avionics, Electrical, Electro-Mechanical, Fuel Systems, Galley Equipment, Hydraulics, Instruments, Oxygen, Pneumatics, Power Generation and is a renowned centre of excellence for Safety Slide repair and fulfilment since 2012.

The state-of-the-art facility provides repair and overhaul services to over 1000 customers across 100 countries, with 6000 capabilities in commercial and business aircraft.

The 10-year lease renewal secures AJW Technique’s commitment to the continued growth and acceleration of its renowned repair business.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543
Tamar