Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Worldwide air freight still negative due to trade conflicts

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 4.8% in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This marks the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes.
Signs of a modest recovery in recent months appear to have been premature, with the June contraction broad-based across all regions with the exception of Africa. Capacity growth remains subdued and the cargo load factor continues to fall. Globally, trade growth is languishing, and business uncertainty is compounded by the latest tariff increases in the US-China trade dispute.

"Global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions—particularly between the US and China—deepen. As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract. Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That's what our political leaders must focus on," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

Airlines in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East once again suffered the sharpest declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in June 2019. Africa was the only region to show any growth. Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5.4% in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. North American airlines' freight demand decreased by 4.6% in June 2019, compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 1.9% over the past year. European airlines posted a 3.6% decrease in freight demand in June 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. Comparatively strong cargo volumes within Europe are helping to minimize the impact of weaker German exports. Capacity increased by 2.8% year-on-year. Middle Eastern airlines' freight volumes decreased 7.0% in June 2019 compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased by 2.7%. Latin American airlines experienced a decrease in freight demand in June 2019 of 1.0% compared to the same period last year and capacity increased by 4.6%. African carriers were the only ones to report growth in June 2019, with an increase in demand of 3.8% compared to the same period a year earlier. This makes Africa the strongest performer for the fourth consecutive month. Capacity grew 16.6%.


Pilots at Ryanair vote for strike action

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has announced two impending strikes by Ryanair’s pilots, the first for 48 hours between August 22 and August 23, and a second scheduled for 60 hours between September 2 and September 4. The walkouts relate to ongoing disagreements the Irish low-cost carrier has had with the pilots’ union BALPA over pensions, loss of license insurance, maternity benefits, allowances and pay structure, stating that the strike was as a result of “…decades of Ryanair refusing to deal with unions.” “We have had no formal offer from Ryanair, and it is imperative that we resolve this dispute urgently to avoid strike action," said BALPA's general secretary Brian Strutton. "No pilot wants to spoil the public's travel plans but at the moment it seems we have no choice." With Ryanair having reported a 21% drop in quarterly profits in July which it blamed on fuel and staff costs as well as a reduction in ticket prices, on July 31 the boss of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, announced that there would likely be up to 900 jobs cut, including pilots and cabin crew, at the end of the summer schedule.

Rolls-Royce selects IFS to unlock new data insights on aircraft engines

IFS, the global enterprise applications company, has released that Rolls-Royce has chosen IFS Maintenix™ for exchanging engine data with airlines operating Rolls-Royce Trent engines, including the Trent 1000, Trent XWB and Trent 7000. With a long list of world-leading airlines operating with its engines, the IFS Maintenix solution will help Rolls-Royce and its customers share data.
The IFS Maintenix Aviation Analytics capability enables the automated provision of field data, which ensures that Rolls-Royce receives timely and accurate information. IFS Maintenix then acts as a gateway to automatically push maintenance programme changes from Rolls-Royce back to the airline operator. As a result, life-limited engine part maintenance deadlines can be updated based on actual operating conditions and life consumed by each engine in use.

Rolls-Royce helps transport thousands of air passengers and tons of cargo across the world on a daily basis, and maximising the safety, efficiency and insights gained on each trip is paramount. With the support of IFS Maintenix and its Aviation Analytics capability, Rolls-Royce is able to offer a systematic method of exchanging and accurately updating airline engine life data to optimise the interval between engines being removed and sent for overhaul. This will provide new streams of data for Rolls-Royce to analyse the performance of fleets with Trent engines and refine the aftermarket offerings it can provide its customers, from service-based contracts to analytics insights and more.

Component Control

Mike Ward joins DAS/Flite as VP Sales, Parts and Component Repair

Mike Ward has joined DAS/Flite as the Vice President of Sales, Parts and Component Repair. Eli DaSilva will assume a Director of Business Development role and report to Mike, along with the sales team.

Ward brings over 25 years of aviation experience to the team. He most recently worked for Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, as the Senior General Manager for its Aftermarket MRO operation. He has spent the majority of his career in the VIP interior modifications business for wide body head of state aircraft. Mike also formerly served as Director/GM for Hawker Beechcraft Services and Textron Aviation Services’ MRO service center in Houston, Texas.

Bii signs agreement with Chromalloy to repair/overhaul and inspect all CFM56-3 engine material

Specialist aircraft component support provider Bii.aero has chosen Chromalloy to repair, overhaul and inspect all CFM56-3 engine material. Bii recently teamed with Dublin-based aircraft and engine leasing firm Rostrum Leasing to market a suite of engine piece parts resulting from the phased tear-down programme of selected B737-300 Classics and CFM56 spare engines formerly operated by Southwest Airlines. The overhauls, repairs and inspections will primarily take place within Chromalloy facilities in the US (Nevada and Texas), Holland and Thailand.

Chromalloy has a worldwide presence, spanning a customer base across commercial, cargo and military sectors. Bii aims to increase its intake of CMF56 material and Chromalloy’s depth of experience across all engine types will be very beneficial to Bii as it builds exposure to a wider customer base.

Royal Aero

Airfoil repair specialist ASSB expands facility in Malaysia

Airfoil Services Sdn Bhd (ASSB), a 50/50 joint venture between MTU Aero Engines and Lufthansa Technik, has broken ground on its facility extension. This expansion grows facility space by 5,200 m² and will increase current repair capacity from 650,000 to 900,000 parts per year by 2020. This development underlines the shareholders' commitment to increasing its footprint and investing in Malaysia.

ASSB has seen great success since the company was founded in 1991. It boasts over 80 customers worldwide and provides a comprehensive range of airfoil repair services for high-pressure compressor (HPC) and low-pressure turbine (LPT) airfoils - for widebody and narrowbody engines such as the CF6-80C, GP7000 and the CFM56 and V2500 engine families. In the past two years alone, ASSB has seen 50% growth compared to 2016. The company is highly focused on research and development and has recently initiated several repair development projects for new generation airfoils to increase its product portfolio in the near future.

MTU and Lufthansa Technik entered into the joint venture with the aim of providing their customers with the best possible airfoil services in the industry. Alongside repair development and baseload volume, the partners contribute knowledge, training and improved quality standards to the location

IT glitch forces BA to cancel more than 120 flights

British Airways was forced to cancel at least 117 flights on Wednesday August 7, at Heathrow Airport and a further 10 at nearby Gatwick airport after a computer glitch affected both online check ins and flight departures. The problem had been resolver by 1700 GMT but not before an additional 200-or-so flights had also been delayed by up to five hours, with further delays anticipated. During the day, staff had to resort to using back-up and manual systems to try and cope with the issues.

TP Aerospace

Embraer and SkyWest sign agreement for seven E175 jets

Embraer has signed a contract with SkyWest for a firm order of seven E175 jets in a 70-seat configuration. SkyWest will operate the aircraft for Delta.

The order has a value of USD 340 million, based on 2019 list prices, and was already included in Embraer’s 2019 second-quarter backlog as customer “undisclosed.” Deliveries are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Finnair traffic performance for July 2019

In July, Finnair carried 1,447,400 passengers, 12.4% more than in the corresponding period of 2018. The overall capacity increased in July by 10.7% while Finnair's traffic increased by 12.2%, The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased year-on-year by 1.2% points to 89.6%.


Philippine National Police chooses R44s for training

Robinson Helicopter Company has delivered two R44 Raven IIs to the Philippine National Police (PNP) on July 25. The aircraft were purchased through Robinson’s longtime dealer Lionair (Manilla, Philippines), marking the first acquisition of Robinson helicopters by the Philippine government. 

The PNP is the armed civilian national police force tasked with law enforcement throughout the Southeast Asian country’s 7,000+ islands. The acquisition is part of an overall effort by the government to strengthen and expand its law enforcement. Upon their arrival in Manila, the R44s will be turned over to the Special Action Force Aviation Unit (SAF-AU) to be used for training.


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