Friday, July 5th, 2019

Eva Air strike extended - now Taiwan’s longest strike in aviation history

Eva Air Corporation (Eva Air) has been forced to cancel a further 550 flights after negotiations to end the cabin crew strike, which began on June 20, broke down. Including the latest cancelations, it is estimated the strike will have cost the carrier in the region of US$56 million and will have affected 2,000 flights and roughly 405,000 passengers.

The current strike involves the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union and approximately 6,000 flight attendants operating in the region, of which 2,949 work for Eva Air. The strike relates primarily to improved working conditions and an increase in pay. Currently flight attendants working for other carriers, like Taiwan’s China Airlines, earn US$1.70 an hour more than those working for Eva Air. While the union has come to agreement with the carrier over most points and has shown a willingness to call off the strike, the major stumbling block would now appear to be Eva Air’s refusal to confirm it will no longer take penalising action against striking staff after they return to work. The airline has confirmed that it would not: “punish any grassroots employees for going on strike if their action abided by the law.” However there seems to be a dispute concerning those flight attendants Eva Air feel have not abided by the law.

Eva Air has threatened to freeze annual wages, suspend bonus payments and withdraw the offer of discounted flights to anyone involved in the strike. The carrier has also filed several lawsuits against the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union since the strike began, including one demanding daily compensation of US$1 million for what it deems an “illegal strike”. “The company is still delaying. We urge them to put down their prejudices and sign an agreement with us as soon as possible,” Judy Hsiao, a union media liaison officer said after the 11-hour long talk with Eva Air broke down on Tuesday.

TP Aerospace

Falko Regional Aircraft raises US$650m for second fund

Falko Regional Aircraft, an aircraft operating leasing and asset management company, has reached a final close on Falko Regional Aircraft Opportunities Fund II with total commitments of US$650 million. The Fund will make investments in regional aircraft leased globally.

Falko significantly surpassed its original target of US$600 million and received commitments from a diverse group of institutional investors, including public and private pension plans, insurance companies, wealth managers, endowments, family offices, a fund of funds and a sovereign wealth fund from across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The hard cap for the Fund was set at US$650 million.

Falko has already made its first investment from the Fund with the purchase of a portfolio of 19 current generation Embraer and Bombardier regional jet aircraft with leases attached, representing an equity investment in excess of US$100 million.

Air France appoints Steven Zaat as EVP Finance

Steven Zaat has been appointed EVP Finance at Air France, as of July 3, 2019. He will report directly to Anne Rigail and will be a member of the Executive Committee. Zaat takes over from Marc Verspyck who stepped down from his position as EVP Finance of Air France on July 3, before leaving the company.

In 2014, Zaat joined the Air France-KLM group, as VP Finance & Control Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance. In 2015, he became Senior Vice President Corporate Control Air
France-KLM, in charge of shared financial services, Corporate Control and joint ventures. He was part of the teams involved in negotiating the joint venture between Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic.


SIA to launch S$50 million upgrade of Changi Airport T3 lounges

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be investing more than S$50 million in a major revamp of its SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold Lounges at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Renovations are due to commence in August 2019 and are expected to be completed by mid-2021.

The redevelopment project will see an overall 30% increase in space and total customer capacity for the Terminal 3 lounges. The new lounges will offer more generous open spaces, upgraded facilities and a wide array of F&B selections, all tailored to the needs and preferences of its customers.

SIA has engaged renowned hospitality designers Hirsch Bedner Associates to inject a fresh look and feel to each lounge that is modern yet homely, while inspiring a sense of timeless elegance.

Norwegian reports June load factor of 91.5%

Norwegian carried almost 3.5 million passengers in June. The company’s unit revenue improved by 10% compared to the same month in the previous year. Total traffic increased by 7% and capacity growth was 5%, compared to June 2018. The load factor improved 1.0 point to 91.5%.


HEICO acquires French interconnect business BERNIER

HEICO Corporation has released that its Buc, France-based 3D PLUS subsidiary has acquired substantially all of the assets and business of Bretigny-sur-Orge, France-based BERNIER, SAS in an all cash transaction. 3D PLUS is part of HEICO’s Electronic Technologies Group.

No further financial details were disclosed, but HEICO expects the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings within the first 12 months after closing.

Founded in 1933, BERNIER is a French designer and manufacturer of interconnect products used in demanding defense, aerospace and industrial applications, primarily for communications-related purposes. BERNIER’s products are sold mostly within France, the European Community, Asia, the Middle East and the USA.

The business will continue to operate under the BERNIER name and in its current engineering and production facility located in Bretigny-sur-Orge. Further, BERNIER, 3D PLUS and HEICO stated that they do not expect any staff turnover from among BERNIER’s approximately 40 talented Team Members to result from the acquisition.

Geisinger Life Flight implement WinAir Digital Signatures

Geisinger Life Flight has successfully implemented digital signatures for its aviation management software, WinAir Version 7, and is now live with this new feature. Digital signatures provide Geisinger with the ability to have mechanics and inspectors electronically sign -off on maintenance tasks and job completion. As a result of this implementation, Geisinger has become the first aviation operation to receive Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approval to utilize WinAir’s digital signatures functionality.

Geisinger Life Flight, an air ambulance service owned and operated by Geisinger, is comprised of nine helicopters operating out of six bases and includes a critical care ground transport unit. Geisinger Life Flight began operations with a single aircraft based at Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) in 1981. It now commands a rotary-wing fleet of MBB/Kawasaki BK-117, BK117-C1, and Eurocopter EC-145 medical helicopters, and is the second-largest air ambulance operator in Pennsylvania. At any given time, six of these helicopters are in a mission-ready state. The company averages 2,800 flights per year, has flown more than 66,000 patients, and is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).


AFG Aviation Ireland delivers one A320-214 to Sirius Opportunities No.1 DAC

On June 27, 2019, AFG Aviation Ireland has successfully delivered one Airbus A320-214, MSN 2764, to Sirius Opportunities No.1 DAC, managed by World Star Aviation (UK).

Boeing pledges US$100 million support to families, communities affected by 737 MAX crashes

Boeing has announced US$100 million in funds to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years.

"We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort," said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.

"We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead."


Thales joins forces with Micro-X to revolutionize airport checkpoint technologies

From airport checkpoints to counter terrorism to future medical imaging devices, the use of x-ray 3D imaging is the cornerstone of many of the applications that are critical to security and medical markets.  Notably, airport checkpoint technology is facing an immediate challenge, with global passenger numbers on track to double by 2030 (source: IATA). The evolving technology requirement for checkpoints is to process far more passengers per hour than the current industry average of 200. Faster screening with improved threat detection are the holy grail. Similarly, compact and agile systems with 3D imaging are major technology advancements the medical market can use to deliver improved patient diagnosis and outcomes. To anticipate these needs, Australian-based Micro-X, a global leader in cold-cathode x-ray technology, and Thales, leader in security and medical imaging, have combined forces in a multi-faceted collaboration to develop X-ray imaging systems based on X-ray sources that use Carbon NanoTubes (CNT) cathodes at their heart.

CNT is a crystalline variety of carbon with properties that improve the efficiency of x-ray imaging by orders of magnitude. By combining this revolutionary technology, developed by Micro-X with Thales’s 60 years’ experience in x-ray devices, the two organisations will initially collaborate on the design of novel, miniaturized X-ray sources. These sources will be produced by Thales and manufactured in Moirans, France, and will power both Thales and Micro-X’s future roadmap of innovative x-ray products for medical and security markets.


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