Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018



Gatwick to Become ‘World’s First’ as it Trials Driverless Buses

This summer, staff at London’s Gatwich airport will make automotive and aviation history when they travel on driverless buses in an initial six-month trial of autonomous vehicles, a world’s first trial of this nature.

The aim of the trial is to see the widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles which access the airfield, also referred to as ‘airside’. The hope is that with a successful trial, the results will see a substantial reduction in the number of vehicles airside, and related reduction in emissions and costs.

Last year Gatwick dealt with 45.6 million passengers and hosted 56 different airlines, operating 300 individual airside vehicles. However, for 90% of the time, these vehicles stand idle. This summer, the trial will begin with the use of autonomous electric-powered buses which will be used for ferrying staff between Gatwick’s North and South Terminals. Airline passengers will not be included in the trial, and vehicles will have no contact with aircraft.

According to Cathal Corcoran, Gatwick’s chief information officer: “If this trial proves successful then in the future we could have an Uber-like service operating across the airfield which staff can hail as and when they need to travel.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is also anticipating the Gatwick trial and has identified over 40 potential uses for self-driving vehicles at airports, including aircraft pushback tugs, passenger loading bridges, and baggage vehicles.

The buses will be managed by autonomous control software from Oxbotica. The software company is also involved in developing autonomous vehicles which will travel between Oxford and London, as well as in trials on other U.K. roads.


AFI KLM E&M and Vietnam Airlines sign GEnx support contract

AFI KLM E&M and Vietnam Airlines have signed a long term flight hour support contract covering the GEnx engines equipping the Vietnamese flag carrier's fleet of Boeing 787s, which will grow to 19 Aircraft by 2021.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and President of the National Assembly of France Francois de Rugy.

Under this contract, AFM KLM E&M will handle maintenance of Vietnam Airlines' 787 GEnx engines for 12 years. AFI KLM E&M also provides spare engine access for Vietnam Airlines to guarantee seamless continuity of its operations.


Chilean helicopter fleet grows stronger with first AW109 Trekker sale in the country

Leonardo has released that two additional civil helicopters will be delivered to Chilean private operators by early 2019, adding to a fleet of more than 20 aircraft currently in service.

The deliveries will mark the entry of the new AW109 Trekker light twin, in a utility configuration, into the Chilean market in 1Q2019 as well as an AW119Kx single engine for VIP transport in 4Q2018.

The AW109 Trekker maintains the AW109 Grand airframe, large cabin and top class performance while offering greater payload at a competitive cost, thus proving perfectly suited to meet the stringent requirements of Chilean operators in terms of capabilities, cost/effectiveness and environment, particularly in high altitude conditions.


Jeppesen teams with Bad Elf to integrate wireless flight data transfers for general and business aviation pilots

Boeing, through its subsidiary Jeppesen, has introduced a new mobile version of its Jeppesen Distribution Manager (JDM) flight data update technology and announced a new strategic alliance with Bad Elf, a leading provider of aviation hardware and software solutions.

Together, Jeppesen and Bad Elf have now established a wireless data transfer system for aircraft owners and operators, using JDM Mobile and the Bad Elf Wombat portable device to update avionics data cards.

"Previously, many aircraft operators needed to update data cards offsite, which often meant working a long distance from their aircraft due to a dependency on traditional landline PC technology," said Mike Abbott, director, Jeppesen Data Solutions, Product & Portfolio Management. "Through our relationship with Bad Elf, most of our general and business aviation customers will now be able to use JDM Mobile and the Wombat device to wirelessly update essential charts and data, right in the cockpit. This capability also extends to tens of thousands of customers operating legacy avionics that are not designed for wireless navigation data update capabilities."

Initially, Garmin and Avidyne avionics systems will be supported by the JDM Mobile and Bad Elf Wombat integrated technology, representing a majority of Jeppesen's general aviation pilot customer base. In the coming months, additional avionics systems will be supported across general and business aviation, in total reaching more than 80% of JDM customers.


Willis Lease Finance Corporation reports 50% growth in annual pre-tax profit to US$36.0m

Willis Lease Finance Corporation has reported 50.4% growth in annual pre-tax income to US$36.0m, from US$23.9m in 2016, and recorded total revenues of US$274.8m. The Company’s 2017 pretax results were driven by solid revenue growth in the core leasing business and a significant increase in spare parts and equipment sales.

Aggregate lease rent and maintenance reserve revenues of US$210.6m were driven by a 90% average utilization of a lease portfolio that grew 18.1% to US$1.34bn at year-end. Spare parts and equipment sales grew 189% on a year over year basis.

Net income attributable to common shareholders grew 338% toUS$60.3m for the year or to US$9.69 of diluted weighted average earnings per common share. The positive tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contributed US$43.6m to its 2017 after tax income.

“2017 was our most profitable year on a pre-tax basis since 2008, with record revenues” said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. “Utilization of our lease portfolio remains high due in part to robust maintenance activity on engine types we support, including some older engine types many thought would have been retired long ago. Last year was also important for us from a capital perspective as we were successful in closing our WEST III asset backed securitization and a second round of preferred equity.”


Saudi Arabian Military Industries and Boeing form joint venture partnership targeting 55% localization

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Boeing have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to develop a new joint venture (JV) aiming to localize more than 55% of the MRO services for fixed and rotary-wing military aircraft in Saudi Arabia. The agreement will also transfer technology to install weaponry on these aircraft as well as localize the supply chain for spare parts in the Kingdom.

The signing ceremony came in conjunction with HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crowne Prince's, visit to Seattle, which included an official visit and tour of Boeing's aircraft manufacturing facilities. The agreement was signed by H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of SAMI, and Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman, President, and CEO of Boeing, at Boeing's commercial manufacturing facility in Everett, Wash. The ceremony also included a comprehensive visit to the manufacturing facilities of Boeing, featuring a detailed explanation of the company's operations.

The joint venture agreement will provide sustainment services for fixed- and rotary-wing military aircraft of the KSA ‎military fleet and will be the sole provider of these ‎services for all military aviation platforms of ‎the KSA military fleet, strengthening the Kingdom's defense capabilities and enhancing its deterrent potential.

JC International Airlines and Lanmei Airlines partner with Sabre

Sabre Corporation has signed new agreements with Lanmei Airlines and JC International Airlines, two rapidly expanding carriers based in Cambodia, who will now offer their content to travel agencies across the globe.

The announcement of this new partnership is timely, as data reveals that inbound tourism reached an all-time high in Cambodia last year, and the growth of these figures is not expected to slow down any time soon. A recent report from CAPA – Centre for Aviation indicates that the rise in tourism throughout Cambodia is driving an important shift in the aviation industry. With seven airlines now in operation across the country, in comparison to just two only four years ago, start-up airlines such as Lanmei and JC International are shaping the future of Cambodia’s air travel infrastructure.

Sabre announces these new partnerships with Lanmei Airlines and JC International Airlines as they take on more aircrafts and establish new routes across the Asia Pacific region, and to further anchor itself as a trusted technology partner for Cambodia’s travel industry.



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The Road Ahead for Asset Management 2018
April 18, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset 2018
June 5, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Maintenance Reserves Seminar 2018
June 6, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Engine Leasing Seminar
September 18, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

Transactional Support & Risk Management Seminar, London
September 19, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

Aircraft Economic Life Summit 2018
November 20, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
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