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Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

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Volocopter unveils new urban air mobility aircraft design for connecting suburbs to cities

Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), has unveiled its newest aircraft, VoloConnect, at EBACE Connect. This electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) is designed to connect suburbs to cities and complements the company’s existing family of aircraft for the intra-city mission. VoloConnect’s distinctive hybrid lift and push design is expected to achieve certification within the next five years. 

With the capacity to travel longer distances, VoloConnect joins Volocopter’s aircraft family and extends the company’s UAM ecosystem coverage to the suburbs. The new aircraft will be seamlessly integrated into Volocopter’s existing portfolio of UAM ecosystem solutions: VoloDrone, VoloCity, VoloPort, and the digital platform, VoloIQ.  

Volocopter takes a holistic approach to UAM by developing a full ecosystem that connects the necessary components to offer electric flight in cities. This ecosystem includes partnerships with global leaders such as Aéroports de Paris, Microsoft Azure, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, and many more. Additionally, Volocopter is the only eVTOL developer with a product portfolio of multicopter and fixed wing designs that can be used for passenger and cargo transportation.

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StandardAero continues to support Austrian Airlines’ APS 2300 APUs

StandardAero has been selected by Austrian Airlines, the national flag carrier airline of Austria, to continue providing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the airline’s Pratt & Whitney Canada APS 2300 auxiliary power units (APUs). This exclusive multi-year contract extends a long-running relationship between the two companies since StandardAero signed its initial APS 2300 support agreement with Austrian in 2007.

Under the agreement, StandardAero will continue to provide MRO services for the APS 2300 APUs equipping the fleet of Embraer E195 regional aircraft operated by Austrian. StandardAero’s Maryville, Tennessee location, which is an OEM-approved Authorized Repair Facility (ARF) for the APS 2300, provides Austrian with customized MRO programs offering maximum support and flexibility to meet the airline’s specific operational needs.

Honeywell and SR Technics Malaysia sign five-year authorized repair and overhaul license agreement

SR Technics Malaysia has signed a five-year authorized repair and overhaul license agreement on April 1, 2021, with Honeywell International, as an authorized  licensee for both mechanical and avionics components. SR Technics Malaysia will support worldwide air transport and commercial  airline customers and engine shops.

Since opening in April 2014, SR Technics Malaysia has significantly grown their capabilities and their expertise. From initially focusing on the Airbus A320 family, the A330 and A340, and the Boeing 737NG, the company also focuses on engine components for CFM56 and PW4000 to support its engine shop in Zurich as well as other engine shops. The company operates an 8000 m² facility in Shah Alam, Selangor, employing over 50 highly skilled technicians and engineers. With an average 12-day turnaround, the company offers services on more than 750 different part numbers.

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easyJet awards Berlin ground service business to Swissport

Swissport and easyJet have signed a new five-year contract covering airport ground services for 30 daily flights at easyJet’s hub at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. In addition, the British carrier renewed its contracts with Swissport in Basel and Geneva until 2025. In 2020, the two companies worked together at some 20 airports across Europe.

From October 1, 2021, Swissport will provide full ground handling services for easyJet passengers at check-in and gate, and will also be responsible for aircraft handling on the apron, including baggage loading and pushback services.

Since starting operations at the new BER Airport in late October 2020, Swissport Berlin has steadily added international airline customers. With around 200 employees, Swissport currently serves 17 airlines at Berlin Airport.

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IBC Advanced Alloys swings to profitability in the quarter ended March 31, 2021

IBC Advanced Alloys has reported income of US$139,000 in the quarter, reversing a loss posted in the preceding quarter, and as compared to income of US$171,000 in the prior-year period. The Copper Alloys division posted income of US$205,000 in the quarter, a 109% jump over the prior-year period, and the Engineered Materials (EM) division’s income in the quarter of US$490,000 was 84.9% higher than the prior-year period.

IBC’s Engineered Materials (EM) division sales of precision beryllium-aluminum products rose 14.8% year over year, fueled largely by sharply higher demand from semiconductor chips used in the ongoing build-out of 5G networks and in vehicles, data centers, appliances, and other components of the Internet of Things (IOT).  In the nine months ended March 31, 2021, the division posted sharply higher income of US$579,000, a 916% increase over income of US$57,000 in the prior-year period.

In the quarter, IBC swung to profitability as compared to the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020, with consolidated revenue increasing 110% and Adjusted EBITDA rising by 151%, both as compared to the preceding quarter.  

Consolidated gross margin improved to 30.5% in the quarter, as compared to 17.0% in the preceding quarter and 19.9% in the prior-year period, with fixed costs being spread over higher sales volumes. Gross margin in the Copper Alloys division rose to 20.5%, as compared to 10.6% and 14.1% in the preceding and prior-year periods, respectively.  EM gross margin expanded to 45.6% in the quarter, as compared to 26% and 32.1% in the preceding and prior-year periods, respectively.

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London Oxford Airport embarks on major development program

As part of a new strategic plan, London Oxford Airport has commenced construction work on a new development phase, which will, when complete this autumn, be its most significant step forward to date. Central to the work is a 63,000 ft² (6,000 m²) 140 m long hangar with two bays including rear offices, stores and workshops, capable of accommodating up to six Bombardier Global, Gulfstream or Dassault Falcon Jet models, simultaneously. The new hangar, the airport’s 15th, is the first facility in a new zone of the airport to the north of the original site.

The hangar will be used predominantly by established tenants, many of whom reside in some of the older WWII facilities, along with a number of larger business aircraft for which there has been limited capacity at Oxford. The airport will progressively replace 80-year-old hangars with new, bespoke facilities, providing turnkey solutions for clients.

With demand for space consistently outpacing supply within the London region, the airport is committed to invest in infrastructure to accommodate more business and allow established companies, such as Airbus Helicopters, Volare Aviation and Jet Maintenance International (JMI) to expand. The airport is home to a number of aviation support businesses (MRO) that cover maintenance, engineering, modification, design, and operational support services. The new environmentally-efficient facilities will support existing aircraft and future next-gen aircraft, including eVTOL and hybrid/electric models.

Additional infrastructure has included the feeding-in of significantly more power onto the site. The projects have been overseen these past 12 months by Will Curtis, who joined London Oxford Airport as Managing Director in 2020.

A large area of new aircraft parking apron has been created but also seven new ICAO/EASA/CAA-compliant helipads supporting Airbus Helicopters and the growing number of commercial AOC helicopter businesses at the airport like MyHeli. These complement operations with the co-owned Edmiston London Heliport, London’s only CAA-licensed heliport, which supports up to 12,000 movements year and the capital’s essential police and air ambulance flights.

London Oxford Airport will also commence work on a new fire station to be established in a central position on the airport. This will allow for fulfilling the need for the highest fire categories at all times having also just ordered three new Angloco Scania 26 tonne fire tenders.

A new fuel farm will enable a quadrupling of the capacity of the original facility, whilst also providing valuable space for additional future static tankage for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The industry is progressively introducing SAF with up to 80% reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions.

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Embraer appoints JETS (Bournemouth) as authorized service center for Phenom-family

Embraer has appointed JETS (Bournemouth), located in the United Kingdom, as the new Embraer Authorized Service Center (EASC) for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 family of executive jets. Strategically located in southern England at the Bournemouth International Airport, JETS (Bournemouth) will support customers from the EMEA region.

“We are pleased to announce this new partnership with JETS, which will help to bolster the network of the ever-increasing fleet in the Western European region, offering an additional option for maintenance of the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 aircraft,” said Frank Stevens, Embraer's MRO Global Vice President Services and Support.

The new EASC will perform scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance, component and part exchange, and inspections at different levels of complexity for those aircraft platforms.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar