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Monday, April 12th, 2021

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16 airlines warned to check certain 737 MAX jets for electrical grounding fault

With the Boeing 737 MAX only recently cleared to take to the skies again in the U.S. Boeing has now announced that there is a potential electrical problem with a certain number of the jets. "Boeing has recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX airplanes prior to further operations," the company said.

Before returning to operational status airlines will need to verify that one of the components of the 737 MAX’s electrical system has been properly grounded. Boeing is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in relation to the problem. The system in question has been likened to functioning like a circuit breaker panel in a residential property and it is understood that the issue specifically involves a backup to the main power system that powers all of the aircraft's electrical parts; the fault has the potential to cause an onboard fire. The planes in question are the more recent, more fuel-efficient versions which have lower maintenance costs than older models.

Southwest Airlines has confirmed the issue affects 30 jets in its fleet. United Airlines has confirmed that the problem affects 16 of its 30 MAX planes. "We are working to swap out aircraft to minimize the impact to our customers," it said. "We are in communication with Boeing to understand the timeline for returning the aircraft safely to our fleet. We do not have an estimate right now." American Airlines said the issue does not affect the MAX jets it had in its fleet before the original grounding but involves 17 jets that were built during or after that grounding and which have delivered to the airline since November. Meanwhile China has still not lifted its original grounding order for the 737 MAX.


Derazona Helicopters, Indonesia, orders one Airbus H160 helicopter

Airbus Helicopters has secured an H160 order from Derazona Helicopters in Indonesia, launching this new rotorcraft in the country’s oil and gas sector. The multi-mission H160 will play an important role in the expansion plans of the Indonesian operator for oil and gas, off-shore, utility and commercial passenger transportation.

The aircraft has been designed from the very beginning to comply with the demanding conditions of oil and gas operations. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms. Powered by Safran Helicopter Engines’ latest Arrano engines, the H160 enjoys a 15% reduction in fuel burn, contributing immediately to reducing emissions. The Blue Edge blades and the largest shrouded Fenestron tail rotor ensure low sounds levels and deliver high-end performance at the same time.

“This new order is a timely welcome as our company embarks on a transformation journey to grow our business. We are very impressed by the performance of the H160, and excited at the opportunities that this state-of-the-art helicopter will bring to our operations,” said Ramadi Widyardiono, Business Development Manager of Derazona Helicopters.

Skyworld arranges sale of ERJ 145 to XE Jet of Nigeria

On behalf of a U.S.-based regional aircraft specialist, Skyworld Aviation has sold an Embraer ERJ 145 LR aircraft, serial number 14500842, to a new private operator of the type - XE Jet. The aircraft will ferry to South Africa for base maintenance prior to entering domestic service in Nigeria during late May under its new registration 5N-BZM.  XE Jet plans to put three ERJ 145 aircraft into service during the first half of 2021.

This is the 9th aircraft/major component transaction Skyworld has carried out for the previous owner who specializes in trading / leasing of aircraft and component support in the regional aircraft sector.


ACCC gives green light for Virgin Australia - Alliance partnership

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) decided in favour of the partnership between Virgin Australia and Alliance Airlines. The partnership will give Virgin Australia and Alliance Airlines the ability to explore options to coordinate operations in relation to services on several regional and short-haul international routes.  

Virgin Australia General Manager Network and Alliances Jim Fuoco said the final determination provides a platform for Virgin and Alliance to support regional air services and communities with access to more affordable air travel.

Under the partnership, Virgin Australia will work with Alliance on opportunities to expand its regional footprint which will enable the potential redeployment of B737 aircraft to higher-density routes across the airline’s domestic network.

The ACCC has granted the authorisation until March 31, 2023.

Farsound signs lease on new facility in Toronto, Canada

As part of its international growth program, Farsound’s Canadian team have signed a lease on a larger facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The company will lease close to 20.000 ft² of premises starting in the fourth quarter of 2021 that will better serve and represent Farsound in the Americas. The new facility is nearer to the airport, has more public transport accessibility, closer access to ancillary operations and is better purposed to meet Farsound’s corporate and environmental objectives.

Curtis Pump, President of Farsound, commented: “After spending close to thirty years in our current facility with expansions that were not really fit for purpose, this new facility is a much better fit for us, both in terms of layout and scale. It will help provide a breath of fresh air and invigorate our team, which is an added bonus given the current global landscape. Even during the pandemic however, we have been growing our customer base and this new facility will set us up to better serve our customers.”


Tigerair Taiwan takes delivery of first Airbus A320neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines

Tigerair Taiwan has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. The airline placed the initial engine order in 2019 and has a mixed fleet of 15 purchased and leased aircraft.

Tigerair Taiwan, a low-cost carrier established in 2014 and headquartered in Taiwan, is a subsidiary of China Airlines and currently operates 11 A320ceo aircraft powered by the V2500® engine. The airline believes that Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engines will help it become more environmentally sustainable, while also becoming more competitive as a low-cost carrier (LCC).

“We are thrilled to receive our first A320neo and experience those benefits first-hand for years to come,” said Dennis Lai, chief operations officer at Tigerair Taiwan.

Lockheed Martin debuts first Royal Danish Air Force's F-35 aircraft

The first F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) has been rolled out at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. This major F-35 program milestone strengthens national defense and global partnerships between the United States, Denmark and other F-35 partner and buying nations.

Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 is spearheading NATO's air power and ensuring strategic integration of allied combat airpower. The vital interoperability of the 5th Generation F-35 binds 13 allies and partners with the United States in air dominance and enabling critical joint capabilities. The F-35 will serve as a force multiplier for Denmark, allowing the Royal Danish Air Force to train and fight alongside NATO allies and create a strong deterrent.

Danish industry serves as a critical partner with the F-35 Lightning II program through high technology work, ensuring competitiveness and defense industry viability in Denmark. Two Danish companies, Terma A/S and Multicut A/S, are currently making parts such as pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges for every F-35 delivered.

Denmark's F-35 program of record calls for 27 F-35A aircraft, each of which will be built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. The first aircraft will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, later this month where Danish pilots and maintainers will begin training.


Causeway Aero Group acquires Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems

Causeway Aero Group has acquired Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems for an undisclosed sum. This follows the award, in March 2019, of a contract for Causeway to certify, manufacture, and assemble the Pitch PF3000 lightweight, fixed back economy class seat, at its facility in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

The Pitch brand completes Causeway’s ‘nose to tail’ aero interiors capability and represents a unique opportunity for Causeway to have an important role in the recovery of the commercial aviation industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as low-cost carriers will be a key element in re-generating travel. While Causeway will continue to provide integration, engineering and production support to major interior manufacturers by providing high quality bespoke components, the well-established Pitch brand will continue and be marketed separately as it has become synonymous with aesthetic appeal, high quality and high durability in the high density cabin environment.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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