Friday, September 20th, 2019


SAS presents new livery for first time in 21 years

For the first time in 21 years, SAS has launched a brand new visual identity and revealed a new design for its aircraft exterior. The new livery is a modern take on classic Scandinavian design, and to highlight the future of SAS, the new Airbus A350 and A320neo, one the market’s most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft, will be the first to feature the new design.

The roll-out of the new SAS livery will follow the normal maintenance program of the aircraft, meaning the existing fleet will be updated with the new livery in accordance to an already scheduled repaint process each 5-6 years. All SAS aircraft will feature the new livery by 2024.

SAS has chosen an advanced coating material, provided by AkzoNobel, allowing fewer layers of color to be added. This reduces the weight of the aircraft significantly and translates into fuel savings as well as reduced CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the paint contains less toxins than conventional paint systems, while the increased durability allows for longer intervals between complete repaints.


Fleet of four modified Bombardier Global business jets reaches 100,000-flight-hour milestone

Bombardier’s Global aircraft platform has achieved a significant in-service milestone with the U.S. Air Force in special-mission configuration. A fleet of four modified Global aircraft has collectively flown 100,000 hours since entering service. These aircraft are an integral part of the Air Force’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) program, an airborne communications relay that extends communication ranges, bridges between radio frequencies and “translates” among incompatible communications systems.

Over the course of their mission, BACN aircraft have regularly flown over 18 hours a day for months at a time, demonstrating dispatch reliability of the Global platform.

Starting with one Global Express aircraft in 2007, the BACN fleet today also includes two Global Express XRS variants and one Global 6000 aircraft. The four jets are known in the Air Force as the E-11A.

Romanian Ministry of Interior orders three Airbus H135s

Airbus Helicopters and the Romanian Ministry of Interior have signed a contract for the purchase of three H135 helicopters and associated support and services for air medical services and search and rescue (SAR) missions in the country, following a four-year framework agreement signed at the end of July 2019 that foresees the procurement of up to ten H135s.

Airbus Helicopters has delivered more than 1,300 H135s to customers around the globe who are logging more than 400,000 flight hours per year. The H135’s operational scope includes law enforcement, air medical services, private and business aviation, the maintenance of industrial wind parks, and military training. The H135 is the main reference in air medical services, available in a wide range of dedicated interiors that maximize operators’ choice in configurations, providing ample room for single-patient or dual-patient transport.


Aegean posts first half 2019 financial results

Aegean has announced its first half 2019 results with consolidated revenue at €519.4 million, 14% higher compared to 2018 and net losses narrowing to €13.0 million from €13.8 million in 2018, including the effect of implementation of IFRS 16 for the first time. The adoption of IFRS 16 has a negative impact on results of €3.8 million. Therefore, net losses on a comparable basis, excluding IFRS 16 would have been €9.2 million from €13.8 million in 2018.

Total traffic in the first half of the year reached 6.5 million passengers, 9% higher than 2018. Passengers carried on domestic flights increased by 4% to 2.8 million. International network traffic which accounts for 76% of consolidated revenue, increased by 12% to 3.7 million passengers. Load factor improved to 82.2% from 81.7%.

Wizz Air expands in Bucharest

Wizz Air has announced further expansion of its Romanian operations, basing 1 new aircraft in Bucharest. The new Airbus A321 aircraft will join the fleet in June 2020, which will grow the local Bucharest fleet to a total of 12 aircraft. From June 2020, Wizz Air also announced a new attractive route from Bucharest to Lyon, France as well as increase weekly frequencies on the most popular services to Milan and Turin in Italy and Tel Aviv in Israel.

Wizz Air’s commitment to Romanian customers is underlined by the strong growth at its other 9 Romanian airports as well. With a network of 148 services from Romania, WIZZ will have almost 11 million seats on sale on its Romanian routes in 2020, which represents a 10% growth year over year.


Honeywell makes aviation history with new production milestones

Honeywell has reached two major milestones in the production of auxiliary power units (APUs) for aircraft — rolling out its 100,000th overall and the 15,000th of its most popular variant flying today, the 131-9 model.

APUs provide power to tens of thousands of aircraft in the skies today. Numerous commercial and military platforms have relied on Honeywell APUs to start their main engines and provide additional power to other important systems.

Honeywell’s first APU took to the skies in 1950, and the company has built more than 100,000 since. More than 36,000 are in service today across more than 150 regional, executive, commercial and military applications, including both fixed wing and rotary wing.

Lufthansa Technik Component Services further expands capabilities

Lufthansa Technik Component Services (LTCS) in Tulsa / Oklahoma recently received the approval of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Additionally, LTCS has become the 33rd design department of Lufthansa Technik's EASA 21/J Design Organization (DO) and the first one in the Americas.

The DO status allows LTCS to create their own approved data which differentiates the company from many other repair stations. This is a big step forward in developing further repair methods to improve the component services of the company. Customers can benefit from shorter turnaround times, reliability improvements and from overcoming material obsolescence.

LTCS is now certified by the FAA, the EASA and the CAAC. Today, more than 680 employees are working at its 11 locations throughout North, Central and South America. The company offers a comprehensive bandwidth of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul services for aircraft components. The maintenance of commercial aircraft components encompasses a wide range of services from repairs of single components all the way to a complete material management system with access to Lufthansa Technik's comprehensive component pool.


New BAA aviation training centre in Vietnam ready to train pilots

BAA Training Vietnam's brand new aviation training centre has announced it being officially ready for training, as the training centre receives Approved Training Organization (ATO) status and the first Airbus A320 full flight simulator is fully assembled and approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

BAA Training Vietnam currently offers an Airbus A320 type rating training as it is one of the first training providers in the region to add competency-based training and assessment system into its program. The training and assessment system is based on 9 competencies. Developing pilot competencies are needed to demonstrate a good performance against realistic threats and errors which cannot be rehearsed.

Newly built 3000-m² and strategically located 18 km from the airport training centre is designed to operate four full flight simulators in total. With the first Airbus A320 full flight simulator as well as modern Airbus Procedure Trainer already being ready for training, and the second full flight simulator scheduled to be added by the end of 2019, BAA Training Vietnam estimates being able to provide the region with up to 400 pilots with type rating training and up to 1,000 pilots with recurrent training yearly.

With the planned Flame V9000 Commander Fire Fighting Trainer and the Door and Slide Trainer for cabin crew training BAA Training Vietnam will be able to accommodate training need for up to 2,000 cabin crew members yearly.

Qatar Airways and China Southern sign codeshare agreement

Qatar Airways has signed a codeshare cooperation with China Southern Airlines starting from January 2020. This codeshare agreement is the first step in the strengthening of cooperation between both airlines, since Qatar Airways acquired 5% of China Southern Airlines in December 2018.

This agreement will enable China Southern Airlines’ passengers to book travel on Qatar Airways’ flights between Guangzhou and Doha and Beijing and Doha, allowing one stop connections to more than 80 destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.


Qatar plunges further into debt – blames blockade and fuel prices

Having posted a net loss for the financial year 2018 of US$69 million, Gulf carrier Qatar Airways has posted a net loss of US$639 for the full year 2019. The explanation provided for such a financially disastrous performance involved high fuel costs, foreign exchange fluctuations, and the airspace blockade involving neighboring countries.

The United Arab Emirates, which was a key market for the Gulf carrier, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, have enforced an economic boycott of Qatar since June 2017. This means that Qatar airways has to fly further on many routes to avoid certain airspace, impacting heavily on its fuel bill. The blockade also means it has had to forego previously profitable and popular markets, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

It has not all been bad news for the carrier; it has managed to increase passenger revenue by 14.3% with a capacity (ATK) growth of 13.5%.  Cargo revenue saw growth of 16.8% with cargo capacity (available ton kilometers) growing 11.8% annually. Executive jet revenue also witnessed substantial growth of 18.4% compared to 2018.


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