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Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

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Shares in airlines hammered as U.K. implements another last-minute travel rule change

Shares in airlines have been hit hard as a result of yet another last-minute U.K. travel rule change. This time the British government announced on Friday that it was no longer considering allowing fully vaccinated arrivals from France without going into quarantine owing to the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus in France. As this is not the first time Britain has made last minute changes to travel regulations during the pandemic, there is now concern there will be even more changes and as a consequence people are being discouraged from booking flights to and from the U.K. This is despite fully vaccinated people now being able to travel throughout Europe, of which the U.K. is no longer a member state.

easyJet shares, whose largest market is the U.K., were down almost 6% in midday trading Monday, while IAG was down 4%, and TUI and Jet2 down more than 3%. Over the last three months, stocks in those airlines have fallen 20% with the emergence of new variants of the COVID-19 coronavirus and continual changes to travel rules that killed off any chance of a bumper summer for airlines. There is also concern that the U.K. could treat Spain and Greece in a similar manner, both extremely popular travel destinations for U.K. holidaymakers.

EasyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said Britain’s traffic light system, which classifies countries as green, amber or red depending on their COVID-19 risk level, was “falling apart”, resulting in confusion and uncertainty.

The U.K.s travel industry recovery is lagging behind that of its European counterparts as U.K. flight numbers are down 65% on pre-pandemic levels for July 12, 2019. Figures for France, Germany, Spain and Italy are currently between 30% and 45% lower when compared to the same period in 2019. June passenger numbers for Heathrow Airport show that it is operating at 90% of its pre-pandemic numbers.

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Pratt & Whitney Canada advances sustainable hybrid-electric propulsion technology

Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), a business unit of Pratt & Whitney, has announced plans to advance its hybrid-electric propulsion technology and flight demonstrator program as part of a CA$163 million investment, supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec.

"Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be a leader toward ever more sustainable aircraft propulsion technologies and be an integral part of Canada's green recovery plan," said Maria Della Posta, president, Pratt & Whitney Canada. "With a long-time commitment to sustainability and as Canada's top aerospace investor in research and development, having invested CA$500 million annually, we are driving economic growth, innovation and workforce expertise to benefit the environment. Hybrid-electric technology has an important role to play in enabling the next step-change in efficiency for aircraft engines, and we are uniquely positioned to demonstrate this potential."

The new hybrid-electric propulsion technology will drive significant improvements in aircraft efficiency by optimizing performance across the different phases of flight, allowing the demonstrator to target a 30% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop airliner. P&WC is working with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (De Havilland Canada) to integrate this hybrid-electric technology into a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator. This demonstrator will include an advanced electric motor and controller from Collins Aerospace, also a Raytheon Technologies business.

Combining advanced technologies developed by P&WC and Collins, this project is a successor to Project 804, launched in 2019 as a joint development program between the two companies and provides a solid foundation for this new demonstrator program to build upon. P&WC will target ground testing in 2022, leading to flight testing of the Dash 8-100 demonstrator in 2024.

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Cessna Citation Longitude achieves EASA certification

Textron Aviation's flagship Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet has achieved certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), clearing the way for customer deliveries to begin in the region.

“In the second half of last year we saw a substantial increase in super-midsize flight activity across Europe as individuals relied on these products as a transportation solution,” said Tom Perry, vice president of Sales, EMEA, Textron Aviation. “The introduction of the Longitude to the European market will fulfil the international travel needs of many of our customers, while providing them peace of mind and convenience for both their business and personal travel.”

The largest jet in the Cessna Citation lineup, the Longitude was designed with business and return on investment at the forefront, with the lowest direct operating cost of any super-midsize jet. Capable of flying from Geneva to Dubai or Rome to New Delhi, the Longitude offers class-leading comfort, the quietest cabin in class, and advanced connectivity for those focused on staying productive in the air.

The Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet is designed, produced and delivered by Textron Aviation.

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AviaAM Leasing adds first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter to its fleet

AviaAM Leasing, a global aviation holding company engaged in tailored aircraft leasing and trading services, has welcomed the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to its fleet.

The Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion project was the first of its kind for the company. Having acquired the aircraft in March 2021, AviaAM Leasing used the opportunity to begin strengthening its position in the freighter aircraft market. With a commitment to having ten 737-800 Converted Freighters by mid-2022, the completed conversion on the company’s first Boeing 737-800 aircraft is a major step forward for the aircraft lessor.

The 737-800 Boeing BCF underwent the P2F conversion works at the Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (STAECO) facility in Jinan (TNA), China.

The converted freighter has already been ferried to Kaunas, Lithuania, where a C Check is being performed, with further aim of repainting the airframe into the future lessee’s paint scheme. Following final touch-ups, the aircraft will be ready for delivery in mid-August 2021.  

A second 737-800BCF has already begun undergoing P2F conversion work at GAMECO, Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, and after successful completion of the conversion process will be delivered to its ultimate tenant in the later stages of 2021.

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Draken Europe and Collins Aerospace collaborate on next generation air combat training systems

Draken Europe and Collins Aerospace have signed an agreement that will introduce Collins Aerospace’s Joint Secure Air combat training System (JSAS) for use with Draken’s Falcon 20 fleet in support of operational readiness training for the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

The solution is comprized of aircraft-mounted JSAS pods plus a ground station, built in cooperation with Leonardo DRS, and offers advanced, high capacity, low latency, and multi-hop mesh networking using a software defined radio hosting multiple waveforms providing key enablers to achieve secure, LVC, multi domain collective training.

With the first systems delivered to Draken Europe’s headquarters, these pods based on CRIIS (Common Range Integrated Instrumentation System), already extensively used by the USAF and USN for training and analysis, will be cleared for flight on the Falcon 20 fleet, with first trials by the end of 2021. As part of Draken’s current operational readiness training contract with the MOD, JSAS pods will enable near real time combat training information to be viewed at the aircraft base, and be ready for de-brief immediately after landing. This interoperability is made possible by the Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) architecture that ensures that classified data is protected while it is shared across platforms with the same security levels.

The system will be upgraded in time with a variant of the next generation Tactical Combat Training System – Increment II (TCTS II) pods enabling fully encrypted interoperability with all coalition platforms across legacy P5 and future P6 Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) waveforms.

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Air Canada ready to reconnect Canada and U.S. travel with up to 220 daily flights

Air Canada has posted its current summer transborder schedule including 55 routes and 34 destinations in the U.S., with up to 220 daily flights between the U.S. and Canada. The new schedule coincides with the loosening of restrictions on travel between the two countries as of August 9, 2021, enabling fully vaccinated Americans to enter Canada for non-essential travel and the removal of quarantine hotel requirements, relaxed testing requirements allowing Canadians taking short transborder trips for less than 72 hours to do their pre-entry tests in Canada, among other measures to ease restrictions. 

Air Canada has developed a new digital solution via the Air Canada App, enabling customers flying from the U.S. to Canada and between Canada and select European destinations to conveniently and securely scan and upload COVID-19 test results to validate compliance with government travel requirements prior to arriving at the airport.

American Airlines Cargo names new Vice President Operations

American Airlines Cargo has announced the appointment of Sam Mendenhall to Vice President, Operations. The appointment follows the retirement of former Operations leader David Vance after an impressive 34-year career at American Airlines.

Mendenhall joins the cargo team with 22 years of experience at American, where he most recently led the organization responsible for all crew scheduling at the American Integrated Operations Center. In his more than five years leading crew scheduling, Mendenhall and his team worked constantly to ensure American’s crew members were in the right place at the right time, as well as ensuring these crew members were taken care of while away from home.

From working quickly to adjust during irregular operations to putting in place programs and tools to provide the best experience, Mendenhall is known for his ability to balance the varying needs of customers, team members, and operations. Before leading the Crew Scheduling team, Mendenhall worked many years as a leader in Finance for the airline.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar