Thursday, September 5th, 2019


Cathay Pacific chief to step down amid Hong Kong turmoil 

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s largest and flag-carrying airline has announced on Wednesday, September 4, that it’s current chairman, John Slosar, is to step down, effective from November 6 at the conclusion of the carrier’s board meeting.

According to Cathay Pacific, his relinquishing of his role is due to retirement, though the airline has come under heavy criticism from China during the current period of civil unrest in Hong Kong. He will be succeeded by Patrick Healy from the Swire Group conglomerate which is currently Cathay Pacific’s majority shareholder. Cathay Pacific has found itself, politically, stuck between a rock and a hard place in relation to recent unrest, having to walk a delicate line between Chinese authorities, passengers, and its employees. A number of employees were fired over involvement in the protests which began some 14 weeks ago in opposition to a bill allowing authorities to extradite locals to mainland China. Cathay Pacific operating profits have subsequently been hit as a consequence of the drop in numbers of inbound passengers from China and boycotting of the carrier by travelers on China’s mainland.

On August 7, John Slosar said the company could not dictate the political activities of its employees, explaining, “We employ 27,000 staff in Hong Kong doing all sorts of different jobs…we certainly wouldn’t dream of telling them what they have to think.” The South China Morning Post subsequently commented that Slosar’s words may well have backfired and that instead they had become a prompt for the Chinese aviation authority to clamp down on the airline with sanctions. On August 10, Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg announced that the Civil Aviation Administration of China had just issued new requirements of the company, including suspending employees who “support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overtly radical behavior” from participating in flights involving mainland China. Cathay Pacific now have to submit information about crew members who do participate in such flights and will have to report back to the Chinese authority about what steps it has taken internally to “improve flight safety and security.”


Pattonair expands portfolio with acquisition of aircraft spares company Adams Aviation

Global aerospace and defence industry expert Pattonair has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of aircraft spares company Adams Aviation.

The agreement is the second move in the aerospace industry in the space of a month by Pattonair, the Derby-based provider of innovative supply chain solutions to the global aerospace market.

It follows the company’s US$1.9bn merger with Wesco Aircraft Holdings, significantly expanding its U.S. presence and reinforcing its operations elsewhere in the world.

Both Pattonair and Croydon-based Adams have nearly 50 years of experience in each of their respective industries, with Adams developing into a successful airframe, avionic parts and accessories distributor in Europe.

The acquisition will see the aircraft spares specialist introduce its large network of more than 2,000 private air customers to the Pattonair portfolio.

Embraer delivers first Multi-mission Airlift KC-390 to the Brazilian Air Force

Embraer has delivered the first multi-mission airlift KC-390 to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). at a ceremony held at Anápolis Air Base, in the mid-western state of Goiás, starting preparations for the aircraft’s entry into service by FAB’s First Troop Transport Group (1st GTT). Embraer has been conducting theoretical and practical training with the Air Force teams to start operations.

The KC-390 was developed as a joint project between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer to set new standards for efficiency and productivity in its class, while presenting the lowest life-cycle cost in the market. The program represents a significant advance in terms of technology and innovation
for the Brazilian aeronautics industry and an operational improvement for FAB's transport aviation. In 2014, FAB signed a firm order for 28 units of the KC-390 aircraft and initial logistical support. The aircraft are produced at the Gavião Peixoto factory, in São Paulo state.

The KC-390 was granted the Type Certificate by the Brazilian civil aviation authority ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) in 2018, when it achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC), which ensures that the necessary conditions have been met for the aircraft to start operations.

TP Aerospace

Jet Parts Engineering adds two new members to its sales team

Jet Parts Engineering (JPE) has added two new members to its Sales team: Daniel Taylor, Sales Manager, and Yu Chin Teo, Sales Director for Asia-Pacific.

Daniel Taylor has extensive experience in the aviation industry, having roles as technician, inside sales, project line manager, and outside sales. Prior to joining Jet Parts Engineering, Taylor worked for Zodiac Aerospace and Wencor. He is based in Atlanta, GA.

Yu Chin Teo comes to Jet Parts Engineering with a broad background, having previously worked in PMA sales, supply chain/production planning with TP Aerospace, and material planning with Singapore Aero Engine Services. He is based in Singapore and will be responsible for developing and growing customer accounts in the Asia-Pacific region.

TRU Simulation + Training signs agreements with Cathay Pacific Airways

TRU Simulation + Training has signed an agreement with Cathay Pacific Airways, flag carrier of Hong Kong, to provide three new flight simulation training devices. As part of the agreement, TRU will provide a Boeing 777-9 full flight simulator, a 777-9 flight training device, and an A320neo FFS. The 777-9 FFS will be one of the first in the world provided to an airline.

TRU was selected in 2016 by Boeing as the exclusive simulator supplier on the 777-9 program, which is the world’s largest and most fuel-efficient twin-engine jet. Shortly after Boeing’s selection of TRU, two 777-9 full flight training suites were placed on order for Boeing’s training centers in Gatwick and Singapore, and are currently in development at TRU’s Montreal, Canada facility. TRU’s flight training simulator development program is actively being completed in parallel and close collaboration with Boeing as it works towards the 777-9 aircraft’s entry into service.

Cathay Pacific Head of Simulator John McCormick said: “More than 60 new aircraft will be joining our fleet over the next five years and having Full Flight Simulators that are capable of fully replicating the actual aircraft on the ground will be essential in training and qualifying pilots to fly them. TRU Simulation’s FFS devices are state-of-the-art and we are confident this partnership will allow us to maintain our dedication to aviation excellence and continue to deliver the highest standard of training to our pilots.”


Lufthansa Group continues to expand service from Montreal offering direct flights to Brussels

Brussels Airlines, Belgium's home carrier and a member of the Lufthansa Group, will launch its new, non-stop seasonal service between Montréal, Quebec and Brussels, Belgium beginning in March 2020. Service will be offered five times per week between Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Brussels Airport, offering new travel opportunities between Canada and Brussels Airlines' 17 African destinations, as well as additional connections to Europe and Israel.

With Brussels' new gateway in Montreal, Lufthansa Group’s passenger airlines will be fully represented in this region, joining Austrian, which was successfully introduced to Montreal in April 2019, as well as Lufthansa and SWISS. Passengers in the region now have even more options when choosing to travel internationally to Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

Permira to acquire Topcast Aviation Supplies Company

Global investment firm Permira has released that a company backed by the Permira Funds will acquire the majority of the shares of Topcast Aviation Supplies Company Limited and its affiliates, the largest independent aircraft parts distributor in the Asia Pacific region, from its founders. The founders and current management team, including Managing Director Thomas Hung and Director of Marketing & Sales Calvin Li, will remain shareholders and continue to play an important role in the continued development of the Company.

Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Hong Kong, Topcast has nineteen offices across Asia, the Americas and the UK. Topcast connects suppliers with customers in all segments of aviation including airlines, Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) service providers and Original
Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). As a value-added partner, Topcast operates as an extension of the suppliers offering not only aftermarket support, but also the development of new businesses for its principals. In addition to the core aircraft parts distribution business, Topcast also provides technical support and maintenance services and distribution of industrial cables and wires. It
has a repair station in Hong Kong that operates as a service centre for many of the products it sells and can provide warranty repairs for customers on behalf of its suppliers. The Company’s largest market is Greater China, the fastest growing aviation region of the world.


Heston MRO adds ANA for Perth station, gains JCAB approval

Heston MRO, the independent MRO organisation in Australasia, gained Japan JCAB approval for Perth line station and extended cooperation with ANA airlines.

In addition to the successful daily flight between Tokyo (Haneda) and Sydney which has been operating for almost four years, ANA have launched daily flights to Perth.

As part of its drive to become a regional independent MRO of choice for international airlines flying into Australia, Heston MRO successfully passed a series of stringent quality audits from Japanese Regulator, adding its Western Australian Line station to its existing Sydney JCAB approval.

Heston MRO Perth is the second technical handling agent for ANA worldwide to be awarded full certification (CS) privileges from the commencement of ANA services at a new station.

Iridium and Thales expand partnership to deliver Aircraft Connectivity Services

Iridium Communications has named Thales as the newest Iridium Certus aviation service provider. While already developing the Iridium Certus-based FlytLINK terminal and antenna, Thales will now be able to offer both Iridium Certus terminals and Iridium Certus connectivity services to business jets, commercial aircraft, rotorcraft, general aviation and UAVs. Iridium Certus is a L-band broadband platform providing truly global connectivity and upon aviation terminal availability, will provide a state-of-the-art solution for two-way flight deck and business cabin communications.

Iridium Certus will turbocharge the company’s existing suite of aircraft safety services, including providing Iridium Future Air Navigation System (FANS) applications such as standard and
“enhanced” ADS-C, controller-pilot data link communications and ATS Safety Voice, once certifications are complete. Beyond safety services, Iridium Certus will deliver flight deck and business cabin-friendly internet capabilities such as electronic flight bag services, graphical weather,
blackbox streaming, email, credit card processing, VPN access and social media posting and monitoring.


France’s Aigle Azur joins growing list of failed airlines

Aigle Azur (Blue Eagle), France’s second-largest airline, is set to file for bankruptcy protection next Monday after struggling, and failing, to run profitably for many years. The move follows on from last week’s ‘coup’ which removed Frantz Yvelin form the carrier’s helm as chief executive.

Shareholders have accused him of making “strategic mistakes over the past two years” that have ultimately led to the carrier’s demise. Despite transporting 1.9 million passengers and generating revenue of €300 million (US$329 million) last year, last month Aigle Azur looked to offload its Portugal routes to Vueling, a low-cost rival airline. "Aigle Azur is in cession of payments after several years of drifting because of numerous improper strategic decisions, and must ask for commercial court protection," employees said in a statement after a meeting with management.

As a still operational airline there should be a certain level of interest, with a deadline for bids likely to be set for September 15. Whether bids will be for all or parts of Aigle Azur remains to be seen but currently some 1,150 jobs are at stake, including 350 based in Algeria. The carrier has a strong foothold in the North Africa market. Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which also owns Hainan Airlines, is the largest stakeholder with 49%. David Neeleman, an American airline entrepreneur whose companies include JetBlue and TAP Air Portugal, owns 32%t, and Gerard Houa, a French businessman, holds a 19% stake.

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

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November 26 - 27, 2019 – Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, NL