Follow Linkedin
Follow Twitter


Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

brought to you by

China opens new US$11 billion mega-airport in Chengdu, Sichuan

At 11.10 a.m. local time on Sunday, June 27, a Sichuan Airlines jet took off from Chengdu Tianfu International Airport bound for Beijing. This inaugural flight marked the opening of the first phase of a current five-year-long project to build Chengdu’s second international airport, making the city China’s third to operate two international airports. This phase of the project comprises three runways and two terminals costing approximately 70 billion Chinese yuan (US$10.8 billion), which cover approximately 710,000 square meters, and which are capable of handling up to 60 million passengers per annum.

When completed, the airport will have terminals covering 1.4 million square meters and will be capable of handling up to 120 million passengers per annum. Today, the new airport will only be catering for the domestic market as China remains closed to most international travellers. According to the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) data, China's domestic traffic was up 6.8% in April 2021, compared to April 2019. "The new airport in Chengdu was needed to accommodate continued rapid growth," said aviation analyst Brendan Sobie. "China's domestic market has already fully recovered from the pandemic and will continue to grow rapidly. Given the size of the city and its central location in China, Chengdu is very well-positioned to benefit."

Chengdu Tianfu International Airport was designed by a consortium made up of the China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute, China Airport Construction Group Corporation and French architectural firm ADP Ingenierie. The new airport is located some 50km to the south-west of the city and by 2023 a metro line will be completed whereby passengers will be able to make the journey from the city to the airport in 37 to 44 minutes, traveling at speeds of up to 140kph. The airport is also part of a major aviation-based infrastructure plan, with China aiming to have 400 airports in use by 2035, a major increase from the current 241, according to the Transportation Network Planning Outline issued by the government in early 2021.


GECAS increases commitments to 777-300ERSF “Big Twin Program”

GECAS has announced the exercise of three options to firm order with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert an additional three of the lessor’s 777-300ER passenger planes to freighters. This brings GECAS total commitment since the launch of the “Big Twin Program” in July 2019 to 18 firm (including the prototype aircraft from GECAS’ owned portfolio) with IAI and a remaining 12 options.

Additionally, while Kalitta Air is the launch airline and already leasing three of the first Big Twin freighters to be converted, the scheduled and on-demand charter operator has contracted to lease two additional 777-300ERSF from GECAS.

These commitments illustrate the growing industry demand for dedicated cargo planes. “We view the 777-300ERSF as the next generation of long-haul, large-capacity widebody freighters.  We’re seeing immense interest in this new product from seasoned operators like Kalitta to new start-ups who are seeing clear advantages with the affordability of the aircraft, best in class economics and the expanded capacity of the 777-300ERSF,” shared Rich Greener, SVP & Manager of GECAS Cargo.

Embraer selects StandardAero to support E-Jet E1 APUs enrolled in pool program

StandardAero has been selected by Embraer to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for Pratt & Whitney Canada APS 2300 auxiliary power units (APUs) enrolled in the aircraft manufacturer’s pool program.  The agreement also covers support of associated APS 2300 line replaceable units (LRUs) enrolled in Embraer’s pool program.  The APS 2300 APU equips Embraer’s family of E-Jet E1 regional aircraft, including the E170, E175, E190 and E195.

Under the agreement, StandardAero will provide MRO services for the APS 2300 APUs and LRUs enrolled in Embraer’s pool program from its Maryville, Tennessee location, which is an OEM-approved Authorized Repair Facility (ARF) for the APS 2300.  


IAG Cargo partners with Kuehne+Nagel and Neste to launch first net zero carbon charter chain with Neste MY sustainable aviation fuel

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group, has completed its first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) charter chain of 16 flights from Stuttgart to Atlanta last week. Working with its partner Kuehne+Nagel, IAG Cargo sourced 1.2 million liters of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ from Neste. This collaboration marks the first time that passenger -freighter charter flights are operated with net-zero carbon emissions*.

The last of the British Airways B787-900 flights left Stuttgart on June 26 collecting on average 45 tons of automotive spares and other industrial goods destined for Atlanta via London Heathrow. The business has now completed more than 300 (328) automotive charters since it began its charter service last year.

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials. In its neat form and over the life cycle, its use can reduce up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil jet fuel use. The SAF, sourced by IAG, was blended with fossil jet fuel to comply with aviation fuel certification standards, shipped to the U.K. from Europe and then transported by underground pipelines into Heathrow.


Lion Air Group and Sabre sign long-term partnership renewal

Sabre Corporation , a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has signed an extended and enhanced agreement with Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, to enable its airlines to make the most of every seat by increasing its ancillary revenue capabilities, and to improve its performance with new technology.  

Lion Air Group and Sabre have a valued and long-standing relationship, with the carrier already using Sabre’s SabreSonic Customer Sales and Service (CSS) as well as a suite of crew management, operations, and scheduling solutions to help optimize daily functions, reduce costs and plan strategically across the Lion Air group, which also includes Batik Air Indonesia, Wings, Malindo Air and Thai Lion Mentari. The group also distributes its inventory globally through Sabre’s GDS platform. 

The Jakarta-headquartered airline group, which flies to destinations across Asia Pacific, is adding to its technological toolkit with an extra set of omni-channel tools from Sabre.  

Additional ancillary revenue optimization solutions will provide end-to-end capabilities to easily create, and market ancillary offers across all channels, including differentiated seat price, and facilitating the payment and delivery of ancillary services across the airline group. This will provide significant opportunities to increase revenues through the sale of ancillary services via partner carriers, as well as enabling Lion Air Group to sell supplementary ancillaries at check in. The Group will also be able to create unique ancillary inclusions, selling and price points for each of its brands. Sabre technology will provide Advance Shopping capabilities, for more accurate shopping results, and enable self-service features complementing the Automated Exchange and Refund capabilities, as well as the automation required to reaccommodate ancillaries to the new flights after a disruption.  


Rex secures two additional Boeing 737-800NGs

Australian carrier Rex has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with a lessor for the lease of two Boeing 737-800NGs.
The two aircraft are expected to arrive in late August, increasing the 737 fleet to eight, and are scheduled to enter service on Rex’s domestic network in September.

Rex’s Deputy Chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM, said, “It was only in November last year that we confirmed financing for Rex’s foray into the domestic market and within six months we have already obtained approval for the jet operations on our Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), recruited and trained crews and engineers, procured six aircraft and started operations on five domestic routes, with the first services commencing on March 1, 2021.

MRO Insider adds 76 locations to network in June

MRO Insider has announced that it has added 76 locations to the network in the month of June. There are now 235 locations available on the platform that provide scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, aircraft cleaning and detailing, parts procurement or overhaul, and ground service equipment rental.

Andy Nixon, Co-founder of MRO Insider stated, “We are beyond excited that our network location count has grown 46% in the last 30 days. By providing one space for operators to obtain quotes for such a variety of service needs from such a large number of providers, we increase the value our platform provides to both our operators and our service providers. As always, we couldn’t do it without the support of our users!”

Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems accounted for 29 of the 41 mobile service maintenance technicians the network added in the United States in June. Brent Wiggins, AOG Manager at Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems stated, "After using the MRO Insider app from the operator side, I knew when I returned to the Stevens' AOG team that we would benefit from joining the network as a service provider. As an aircraft operator, time is of the essence, and you need to get someone out to the plane as soon as possible. The MRO Insider app provides operators a quote and an ETA within minutes. At Stevens, we strive to provide superior customer service, and felt that joining the MRO Insider network was a great way to prove we are responsive to our customer's needs.”

In addition to mobile service teams to assist AOG aircraft, in June the network also added 29 aircraft cleaning and detailing locations supported by Prime Appearance, for a total of 52 aircraft cleaning locations. This allows operators to receive aircraft cleaning and detailing quotes within the MRO Insider app, saving hours of scheduling time that would normally be spent on the phone getting quotes from various providers. Using the app, operators can schedule aircraft turnover between charter trips, or to take care of unplanned cleanliness or cosmetic issues identified in flight.

click here to download the latest PDF edition

MRO-2021-06 cover

click here to download the latest PDF edition

click here to subscribe to our other free publications


click here to view in PDF aircraft and engines available for sale and lease

Follow Twitter
Follow Linkedin
Interested in advertising with AviTrader?

Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543