Monday, July 1st, 2019

Embraer delivers first new Praetor 600 to undisclosed customer

Embraer has delivered the first of its new Praetor 600 super-midsize business jet to an undisclosed European customer. The delivery ceremony was held at the company’s production facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, where the first Praetor 600 rolled off the hybrid assembly line that also produces the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500. Assembly of the Praetor 600 will soon also occur at Embraer’s production facility in Melbourne, Florida, where the company has produced more than 360 Phenom and Legacy aircraft since 2011.

Announced at NBAA-BACE in October 2018, where it also made its debut, the Praetor 600 was certified in April 2019, just six months after its announcement, becoming the only super-midsize business jet to be certified since 2014.

GA Telesis

Investigators blame pilot error for German Eurofighter crash

An initial report from investigators has placed the likelihood of the fatal collision between two German Eurofighter Typhoons (Eurofighters) on June 24 on pilot error, having ruled out mechanical failure, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel. The collision between the two fighter jets occurred during a training exercise in Northern Germany, with one of the pilots being killed and
the other successfully ejecting from his plane before it crashed.

Germany has a 130+-strong fleet of Eurofighters, which has been cleared by investigators to
resume normal flight duties. Focus of the investigation into the crash is understood to be on whether one of the pilots failed to see the other plane during a high-risk pursuit drill, or that positioning messages were misheard over the radio, according to Reuters news agency.

The concept for the Eurofighter began as the Future European Fighter Aircraft program in 1893 and the fighter jet is manufactured by a European consortium comprising Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, conducting the majority of the project under the holding company Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. Its first flight was in March 1994 and it was introduced into service in 2003. It is currently flown by national air forces in Europe and the Middle East, including Germany, Italy,
Oman, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the U.K., while Kuwait and Qatar have both placed orders for the jet.

Up until this most recent incident, the Eurofighter has been involved in seven crashes, of which five were fatal, in a total of 240,000 flying hours of a combined 406 aircraft.


ATR donates flight simulator to ENAC

ATR officially presented ENAC with an FFT-500 flight simulator, in the presence of ENAC director, Olivier Chansou, ATR’s General Secretary, Frédéric Torrea, the Managing Director of the ATR Training Center, Christian Commissaire, and the teams that worked on this project. This donation consolidates the close relationships between ATR and this training school for pilots, air traffic controllers and engineers in the various domains of civil aviation.

The simulator will complement ENAC’s training and research tools. It will initially be used to study human factors, and particularly to improve interactions between air traffic controllers and pilots, then in the long term to improve human-machine interactions.

After its installation in the ATR training center in 2005, this simulator was used to help train hundreds of ATR pilots before being replaced by Full Flight Simulators (FFS), the latest generation of dynamic flight simulators. This donation will give the simulator a second life. Its role is now to promote ATR turboprops to ENAC students, thereby ensuring the representation of the company and its products. It will give future generations of pilots a glimpse of the great career opportunities open to them if they choose to fly using an ATR aircraft.

S7 Technics preps aircraft for Kazakhstan’s first LCC FlyArystan

Air Astana has sent two of its A320s to S7 Technics’ southernmost base, under a long-term contract for maintenance support the companies signed in 2018. Mineralnye Vody aircraft painting shop painted the aircraft into FlyArystan’s livery.

At the Mineralnye Vody base, the S7 Technics team also reconfigured the cabins of both A320s, to fit FlyArystan’s business model. Each aircraft was configured with 180 passenger seats in single economy class, increasing the seating capacity by more than 20%.

FlyArystan launched operations on May 1, 2019. Today the carrier operates two A320s on six routes across Kazakhstan. By 2022 the airline’s fleet is expected to expand to at least 15 airplanes. The aircraft will be based at different airports around Kazakhstan.

Beach Aviation Group

Vueling Airlines and GE Aviation implement fleet-wide Network Operations Suite

GE Aviation and Vueling Airlines have signed a digital Network Operations agreement and implementation to help reduce disruptions across the fleet. GE Aviation's Network suite -- Network Operations Insights, Network Operations Optimization and Network Crew Optimization products will be hosted in the cloud on Microsoft Azure.

"Network Operations helps airlines recover from disruptions faster and more efficiently and enables them to recoup substantial costs in the process, said John Mansfield, chief digital officer for GE
Aviation. "The Network suite of products delivers powerful software applications that collect and analyze data streams in real time across multiple airline systems."

In parallel, Vueling and GE Aviation have a data science services engagement where GE is delivering a tool to help analyze the flight schedule and predict flights at high risk of disruption on Vueling's fleet of 120 A319, A320, A321 airplanes.

Air Canada gets approval to acquire Air Transat parent for CA$520 million

Air Canada and Transat A.T. have concluded a definitive Arrangement Agreement that provides for Air Canada's acquisition of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat and its combination with Air Canada. Under the terms of the binding agreement, unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Transat, Air Canada will acquire all outstanding shares of Transat for CA$13 per share. The value of the all-cash transaction is approximately CA$520 million.

"We are delighted to have reached this definitive agreement to combine Transat with Air Canada to achieve the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. For shareholders of Transat and Air Canada, this combination delivers excellent value, while also providing increased job security for both companies' employees through greater growth prospects. Air Canada intends to preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and maintain the Transat head office and its key functions in Montreal. Both companies have demonstrated excellence as evidenced by the 2019 Skytrax Awards. Travelers will benefit from the merged companies' enhanced capabilities in the highly competitive, global leisure travel market and from access to new destinations, more connecting traffic and
increased frequencies. The Quebec economy will derive maximum advantage of having a Montreal-based, growth-oriented global champion in aviation, the world's most international business," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada.

Component Control

United Technologies appoints Christopher T. Calio President for Pratt & Whitney

United Technologies has appointed Christopher T. Calio as president of Pratt & Whitney, effective upon the retirement of Bob Leduc in early 2020.

Chris Calio will assume leadership of Pratt & Whitney after serving as president of its commercial engines business since 2017.

As president of Pratt & Whitney's commercial engines business, Calio is responsible for the development, program management, sales, customer support and aftermarket services of the company's portfolio of large commercial engines, including the P&W GTF engine family.

Previously, Calio served as chief of staff to UTC Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes. He joined United Technologies in 2005 and served in positions of increasing responsibility across the corporation. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Trinity College, and MBA and law degrees from the University of Connecticut.

Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines step up cooperation

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to significantly step up co-operative ties.

Under the terms of the MOU, the two airline groups will explore a wide-ranging strategic partnership to build on their existing codeshare agreement that covers flights between Singapore and Malaysia. Enhanced ties could include a significant expansion of codeshare flights beyond Singapore-Malaysia routes, as well as enhancements on the frequent flyer programme front.

Other potential co-operation could involve cargo as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul services. All these are subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. A formal agreement is intended to be finalised in the coming months and will also include SIA subsidiaries SilkAir and Scoot, as well as Firefly, the sister airline of MAB.


Alcoa to divest minority interest in rolling mill to Ma’aden

Alcoa Corporation, a global leader in bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products, has amended its joint venture with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) in which Alcoa holds a minority, 25.1%.

The joint venture was created in 2009 as a fully integrated aluminum complex in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, comprised of three entities: the Ma’aden Bauxite and Alumina Company (MBAC; the bauxite mine and alumina refinery), the Ma’aden Aluminium Company (MAC; the aluminum smelter and cast house), and the Ma’aden Rolling Company (MRC; the can and auto sheet mill).

As a result of the amended joint venture agreements, signed June 26, 2019, and expected to close by month end: Alcoa will transfer its 25.1% interest in MRC to Ma’aden. Alcoa will make a contribution to MRC in the amount of US$100 million paid in two installments: 1) US$34 million paid on June 17, 2019 to fund its 25.1% share of MRC’s current cash requirements, and 2) US$66 million paid at closing. Alcoa is released from all future MRC obligations, including Alcoa’s sponsor support of approximately US$295 million of MRC debt and its share of any future MRC cash requirements Alcoa will avoid future capital contributions in any MRC debt restructuring and recapitalization. Alcoa and Ma’aden further defined MBAC and MAC shareholder rights, including the dividend policy.

The parties will maintain their commercial relationship, which includes Alcoa providing sales, logistics and customer technical services support for MRC products for the North American can sheet market.

The Company will retain its 25.1% minority interest in MBAC and MAC, and Ma’aden will continue to own a 74.9% interest.


China Southern takes delivery of first of 20 A350-900s

China Southern Airlines has taken delivery of its first of 20 A350-900s, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation and highly efficient twin-engine, long-range wide-body aircraft. The Guangzhou-based carrier operates an Airbus fleet of 335 aircraft, including 282 A320 Family aircraft, 48 A330 Family aircraft and five A380 aircraft (figures at the end of May 2019).

China Southern’s A350-900 aircraft features a modern and comfortable three-class cabin layout of 314 seats: 28 business, 24 premium economy and 262 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes from Guangzhou to Shanghai and Beijing, followed by flights to international destinations.

Magellan Group

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