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Thursday, June 24th, 2021

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Boeing facing multiple hurdles as China refuses to approve return to service of 737 MAX

Boeing is facing multiple hurdles as China makes it clear that it does not intend to approve, in the near future, alterations made to the Boeing 737 MAX, despite its return to service in the West in April this year. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) was the first agency to ground the 737 MAX and has a reputation for being the most conservative among the world’s aviation regulators.

The CAAC has issued three requirements that require satisfying before it will consider granting approval for the jet’s return to service: certified design changes, sufficient pilot training, and definitive findings from crash investigations from the two fatal flights that led to the original grounding of the 737 MAX worldwide. The current situation is not helped by political tensions between China and the U.S., especially over trade between the two nations and the U.S. probe into the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Boeing has also become frustrated with a distinct lack of cooperation over its efforts to help with approval of the jet.

It is believed that Boeing’s engineers travelled to China last year to answer the CAAC’s technical queries relating to the 737 MAX, but Boeing’s invitation for Chinese representatives to visit Boeing’s premises in Seattle to witness test flights has been declined. Six months after Boeing suggested that test pilots travel to Beijing, the U.S. planemaker has heard nothing.

China is seen as the fastest-growing market for plane manufacturers, yet Boeing has not received any orders for its jets since 2017, which has consequently resulted in its cutting production of the 787 model. With such uncertainty ahead, Boeing does not plan to increase production of the 737 MAX beyond its early 2022 monthly target of 31 units.

In addition, state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) is progressing with the development and certification of its home-produced C919, a direct narrow-body competitor to the 737 MAX and the Airbus A320. Certification is anticipated by the end of 2021, though an interesting situation will arise when it seeks Western certification if the 737 MAX has still not been approved.


flydocs awarded lease return services contract by easyJet

flydocs has announced European low-cost airline easyJet, as its latest client for end of lease (EoL) services.  

flydocs is a global leader in aircraft transition management, meaning the move puts easyJet at the forefront of innovation when it comes to streamlined aircraft transitions.

The contract includes digital migration, build and audit as well as a records project manager to facilitate the on-time return of aircraft to its respective lessors. The flydocs' team has already completed a number of successful re-deliveries for easyJet including a re-delivery of three aircraft back to their lessors within an 18-hour period. 

Southwest Airlines' Gary Kelly to pass the reins to Robert Jordan

Southwest Airlines' Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly has announced that he will transition roles in early 2022, becoming the carrier's Executive Chairman with the desire to serve in that role through at least 2026 at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Executive Vice President Corporate Services Robert Jordan will become Kelly's successor as CEO effective Feb. 1, 2022. Jordan also will join the Board at that time.

Serving as CEO since 2004, Kelly has led Southwest through some of the airline industry's most turbulent times. Kelly is a 35-year Southwest veteran who began his career at Southwest Airlines as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. He assumed the roles of Chairman and President in 2008. In January 2017, Kelly relinquished the title of President and named former Southwest Board Member and Executive Tom Nealon to the executive team as President.

Kelly has often said his biggest source of pride is the fact that Southwest Airlines has never had a single layoff or furlough in the airline's 50-year history. As CEO, he has guided the airline's transformation through several major initiatives, including the acquisition of AirTran Airways, the repeal of the Wright Amendment, the launch of international destinations for the first time in Southwest's history, the installment of a new reservation system, introduction of a new frequent flyer program, debut of the new Heart brand and livery, initiation of the long-awaited service to Hawaii, and the introduction of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 into the airline's fleet —all while staying true to the company's core values and People-centric Culture.


Nayak and Vueling create joint venture maintenance company in Barcelona

From September 2021, Nayak will provide Vueling with line maintenance services at its main Barcelona base through Yellow Technic by Nayak, an innovative Part 145 joint venture established by Nayak Spain and Vueling.

Supplying maintenance on the home base to the Airbus A320-family narro-body aircraft commits Nayak to ambitious levels. To provide line maintenance and scheduled overnight maintenance for Vueling’s fleet, Yellow Technic will employ about 200 staff.

EIC air operators select StandardAero to Provide PW100, PT6A and JT15D support services

StandardAero has been selected by a number of Exchange Income Corporation’s (EIC) air operators to provide support services for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100, PT6A and JT15D engines. Under the multi-year agreement, StandardAero will provide responsive engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to the following EIC’s air operators: Air Borealis, Calm Air International, Canlink Aviation (dba MFC Training), Keewatin Air, Perimeter Aviation, PAL Aerospace, PAL Airlines and Wasaya Airways.

This agreement extends a long-standing relationship between EIC’s air operators and StandardAero, which has supported certain of EIC’s air operators from its Canadian overhaul and service center locations for several decades. Under the new agreement, StandardAero will support EIC’s air operators from its location in Summerside, PE, Canada, which is a OEM-authorized PW100 Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF), an OEM-authorized PT6A DOF with Distribution rights on certain engine models and an OEM-authorized JT15D DOF. StandardAero will also provide additional support from its network of service centers.


Helvetic Airways takes delivery of first Embraer E195-E2 jet

Helvetic Airways of Switzerland has taken delivery of the first of four new E195-E2 aircraft at Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos. Helvetic will receive three further E195-E2s by the end of next month, July 2021.

Helvetic ordered 12 E-Jet E2s in 2018 to support its fleet renewal initiative: eight E190-E2s (already in service) and four E195-E2s (converted from the original E190-E2 order). The airline also holds purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft. The Helvetic fleet also includes four first-generation E190s. When the three remaining E195-E2s are delivered, the carrier will have a fleet of 16 E-Jets.

With Embraer, the airline has developed a fleet providing maximum flexibility to deploy its 134-seat E195-E2s, 110-seat E190-E2s, and 112-seat E190s across its European network. Thanks to the common crew type rating for all E-Jets, Helvetic can seamlessly schedule the three different E-Jet models to satisfy variations in demand, maximizing operating economics.

Zela Aviation and Fly2Sky sign strategic cooperation boosting tourism

During a challenging period for tourism in Cyprus, Zela Aviation is announcing its cooperation with Bulgarian Airline, Fly2Sky.

The strategic agreement will actively revitalize tourist traffic, providing a state-of-the-art Airbus A320 (180 seats) for charter flights, five days a week, to and from Larnaca and Paphos airports, serving as the aircraft’s bases.

More specifically, as of June 15, 2021, the Airbus A320 will be flying to all EU Member States, the United Kingdom, and other countries that have signed the Open Skies Agreement, strengthening the aerial connection between Cyprus and abroad.

Expressing his satisfaction with this important agreement, Andreas Christodoulides (President of Zela Aviation) stressed that the strategic cooperation of the two companies – taking into consideration the recession and the crisis caused by the pandemic – confirms the credibility and prestige of Zela Aviation in the field of air transport, among other major international airlines.

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