Friday, June 7th, 2019

Rolls-Royce transfers £4.8 billion of assets to Legal & General

In what is seen as the U.K.’s largest-ever transfer of corporate pension risk, Rolls-Royce announced today (Thursday) that it is to shift £4.8 billion of assets to the insurer Legal & General. This is becoming a more frequent occurrence as companies look to remove pension scheme risks from their balance sheets with consultants predicting the U.K. will see roughly €30 billion in pension transfer deals in 2019 alone.

Where Rolls-Royce is concerned, the transaction equates to the assets and liabilities of approximately 33,000 out of 76,000 pensioners in its U.K. pension fund. It is estimated the engine maker for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 XWB will be able to reduce its post-retirement obligations by £4.1 billion, thus reducing liabilities and risk. Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay Legal & General roughly £30 million in cash. “This agreement will result in increased security for Rolls-Royce pensioners and reduced risk for our business,” said Joel Griffin, Rolls-Royce
head of pensions.

The move by Rolls-Royce is yet another part of the company’s simplification, as instigated by its CEO, Warren East, four years ago, where it is aiming to simplify production processes and tackle
finances to bolster the company for the future. According to Reuters, shares in Rolls-Royce, which have risen 9% in the last 12 months, were trading up 1% at £8.91 at 0730 GMT.

Werner Aero Services

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with optionally Piloted Vehicle Technology

A technology kit developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, was used for the first time to operate a Black Hawk helicopter with full-authority, fly-by-wire flight controls. The May 29 flight marked the official start to the flight test program for the soon-to-be optionally piloted aircraft. Follow-on flight testing aims to include envelope expansion throughout the summer leading to fully autonomous flight (zero pilots) in 2020.

This is the first full authority fly-by-wire retrofit kit developed by Sikorsky that has completely removed mechanical flight controls from the aircraft.

Through DARPA's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy to give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program aims to improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations.

Sikorsky has been demonstrating its MATRIX™ Technology on a modified S-76B™ called the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA). The aircraft, which has been in test since 2013, has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight.

Sikorsky announced in March that its S-92® helicopter fleet update will include the introduction of phase one MATRIX Technology that will bring advanced computing power to the platform. This foundation enables adoption of autonomous landing technology.


ARGUS International names Doug Schwartz Vice President and leader of OEP

ARGUS International has named Doug Schwartz as Vice President and he has been selected to lead the Operational Excellence Program (OEP), a new position within ARGUS International. Schwartz recently retired from Conoco Phillips as general manager of global aviation services.

Schwartz will be responsible for all activities related to growing and developing ARGUS’ OEP. Members of the program include industry-leading corporate flight departments that have achieved their stage three ISBAO certification. These departments operate at an exceptional level and are committed to continuous improvement.

Helvetic Airways takes delivery of one Embraer E190 on lease from NAC

Swiss airline Helvetic Airways, based at Zurich Airport, has taken delivery of one Embraer E190 aircraft, MSN 19000071, on lease from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) .

Established in 2003, the Swiss airline offers European destinations in the short and medium-haul sectors and operates from Zurich and Bern-Belp airports. Helvetic Airways currently operates a fleet of seven Embraer E190-E1 and five Fokker 100 aircraft. The latter will be withdrawn in the first half of 2019 and replaced with a further four Embraer E190-E1 aircraft. Additionally new Embraer E190-E2 aircraft will enter into service from September 2019 onwards.

Up to eight of the company’s Embraer E190s will be operated in 2019 on behalf of Swiss International Air Lines under a long-term ACMI lease agreement. The remaining aircraft in the Helvetic Airways fleet are operated under other ACMI leases or perform the company’s own scheduled and charter flights.


ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm sets up MRO JV with Vietnam Airlines

ST Engineering's Aerospace arm and Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company (VAECO), have set up a new joint venture company, Vietnam Singapore Technologies Engineering Aerospace Co. Ltd. (JVCo), in Vietnam.

The setting up of the JVCo, which establishes the Group’s first presence in Vietnam, follows a Memorandum of Understanding announced on April 26, 2018. The JVCo was set up with a paid up capital of US$3.9m (approximately S$5.3m) to provide component Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) solutions. ST Engineering has a 49% stake in the JVCo, with the remaining 51% held by VAECO.

The JVCo will leverage Vietnam Airlines’ existing maintenance facilities at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City by investing in new infrastructure for carrying out component MRO work at these facilities. The new component MRO facilities are expected to begin operations in mid-2019 to cater to Vietnam Airlines’ requirements and the region’s rising needs for aircraft component MRO services. These facilities will be equipped to support aircraft types including but not limited to the A320 Family, A350, Boeing 787 and ATR72, and carry out MRO work on pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical components, wheels and brakes as well as safety equipment.

TP Aerospace

La Compagnie commences transatlantic services with new A321neo

The first single-aisle A321neo destined for La Compagnie, an exclusively business-class French airline operating scheduled transatlantic flights, has commenced transatlantic services on June 6, from Paris Orly Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.

On lease from GECAS, La Compagnie’s A321neo is powered by CFM International LEAP 1A new generation engines and features a business class only cabin with 76 full flat seats, offering passengers unmatched comfort. The cabin also includes a high level of connectivity onboard.

With this brand new A321neo, La Compagnie becomes the latest A321neo operator. The airline has two new A321neo aircraft on order.

Honeywell and Vertical Aerospace sign LOI to develop Urban Air Mobility Segment

Honeywell and Vertical Aerospace have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address the technical, regulatory and business challenges of the emerging urban air mobility segment. The companies plan to integrate Honeywell avionics, navigation, fly-by-wire and other products and advanced technologies that leverage the company's technologies into future Vertical Aerospace vehicles for use in urban environments.

The agreement will provide Vertical Aerospace's vehicles with Honeywell's latest flight systems for urban air mobility. These include Honeywell's new compact fly-by-wire system, which offers the critical redundancy needed to meet the safety and certification requirements for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, all in a package the size of a paperback book. Urban air mobility vehicles promise to reduce urban congestion and provide new ways for people to travel around cities and rural areas.

ASI Aero recently acquired two ex-TAME A319’s for continued support of their used serviceable material business. MSN 0946 and MSN 0949 are ASI’s second and third A319 acquisition in 2019 and are currently undergoing tear down in the US. A wide range of A320-family serviceable material will be available in Q3-2019. Please contact their sales team at [email protected] for more information.

Swissport wins easyJet business at Zurich Airport

Swissport wins easyJet business at Zurich Airport as of September 1, 2019. The five-year contract complements Swissport’s existing business with the airline in Geneva and at Basel‘s EuroAirport. Swissport will service some 120 daily easyJet flights at the three Swiss airports combined. On a global level easyJet relies on Swissport’s ground services at 19 airports.

In addition to their long-standing and successful cooperation at the Geneva and Basel airports, Swissport and easyJet will also work together in Zurich. The contract, which comes into effect on 1 September 2019, has a five year term. It initially covers passenger services (like check-in, gate and ticketing) and ramp handling (like aircraft movement/push-back and cleaning).

CAS awarded Maintenance Approval Certificate from the Republic of Indonesia

Certified Aviation Services (CAS) has been awarded the Maintenance Approval Certificate from the Republic of Indonesia, Ministry of Transportation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The scope of this certificate covers work for CAS’ component repair shop in Fairhope, Alabama.

The DGCA requires its candidates to assemble a safety management system (SMS). While the SMS is suggested by the FAA, it is a mandatory requirement in order to receive the DGCA. The completion of CAS’ SMS not only enhances the safety of its employees and customers but also shows its commitment that safety and quality standards are continuously met.

The certification authorizes CAS’ component shop to not only complete component repair and overhaul services for airlines of Indonesia, but also with aircraft part brokers that work in company with the particular airlines.

VAS Aero Services

ACI World, IATA and WWACG agree on new industry-wide governance

Airports Council International (ACI) World, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) announced the agreement of a new governance structure for the WSG that puts the interests of the traveling public at the center of the process. Airport operators, airlines, and slot coordinators will now play an equal role in determining the global guidelines for the allocation of airport slots.

More than 200 airports require slot coordination because they have insufficient capacity to meet demand at all times of the day. Coordination based on global standards helps to maximize utilization of existing capacity, avoid delays and improve the passenger experience.

The new industry-wide governance was signed in Seoul, South Korea by ACI World Director General Angela Gittens, IATA Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, and WWACG Chairman, Mr. Eric Herbane. All parties agreed that new governance and increased collaboration provides an opportunity to further modernize slot allocation mechanisms to the benefit of the travelling public and the aviation community at large.

“This new agreement on airport slots will have a transformative effect on a crucial component of the air transport industry and is a result of close collaboration between ACI and its global partners, IATA and the WWACG,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.

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Managing Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset & Maintenance Reserves Seminar Training Seminar
June 11 - 12, 2019 – Novotel Barcelona City Hotel, Barcelona, Spain

Paris Air Show 2019
June 17 - 23, 2019 – Le Bourget, Paris, France

Advanced Engineering 2019
October 30 - 31, 2019 – NEC, Birmingham, UK