Monday, September 30th, 2019

Aigle Azur, France’s second largest airline, closes down

Having ceased all commercial operations and filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, leaving 19,000 travelers stranded, Aigle Azur, France’s second-largest carrier, has now closed down.

Having immediately been put up for sale, those carriers who expressed interest in Aigle Azur included easyJet and Vueling, while confirmed bids to take over assets were received from Air France, Groupe Dubreuil (owners of Air Caraïbes and French Bee) and Lu Azur. While a joint bid between Air France and Groupe Dubreuil looked the most promising, legal problems relating to the conditions on which personnel would be transferred to a new owner were proving problematic. Ultimately, French courts decided that none of the rescue offers were acceptable and the bankrupt carrier closed down at midnight on Friday, September 27.

This also put an end to the French government’s attempts to sell off parts of the carrier in order to save approximately 1,150 jobs. Based out of Paris Orly Airport, Aigle Azur’s 9,800 take-off and landing slots would have been highly prized, but these could not have been sold directly and only acquired through taking over the company. Aigle Azur flew 1.9 million passengers last year to 21 destinations, predominantly between France and Algeria, but also Brazil, Russia and China. The closing down follows hot on the heels of another French carrier, XL Airways, which was forced to suspend all ticket sales last week.


Airbus and Alibaba Cloud to develop skywise data centre in China

Airbus has signed a cooperation agreement with Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, to cooperate on developing a Skywise Data Centre in China.

Skywise is Airbus’ open data integration platform driving digital collaboration across the aerospace value chain. Skywise helps airlines to better optimise their internal operations, to save on costs and to support safety.

By partnering with Alibaba Cloud, and utilising the local data centre, Skywise will provide tailored services for Chinese domestic airlines, as well as features and tools for data compliance required for Chinese airlines to join the platform.

Since the beginning of 2019, Airbus has begun to provide advanced analytics services to Chinese domestic airlines through Skywise. To date, Spring Airlines, Yunnan Hongtu Airlines and Zhejiang Loong Airlines have connected to Skywise. Some 1,800 Airbus aircraft are operated by Chinese airlines today.

The first A350-900 for Air France

Air France has taken delivery of its first A350-900, the world’s most efficient all new design wide-body aircraft.

Air France will deploy the A350-900 fleet on its transatlantic and Asia routes. The Xtra WideBody aircraft features a comfortable three-class layout with 324 seats including 34 full-flat business, 24
premium economy and 266 economy class seats. Fully in line with Air France’s commitment to the environment, the all-new A350-900 will provide a 25% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions.
Additionally, the aircraft’s delivery flight from Toulouse to Paris will be powered with a blend of conventional and synthetic biofuel.

Air France operates an Airbus fleet of 143 aircraft. It includes 114 single-aisle and 29 wide-body planes. The airline recently opted to purchase Airbus’ newest aircraft family member, the A220, which will join the fleet over the next years.

GA Telesis

DAE signs new US$300 million 7-year unsecured term loan

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has signed a US$300 million 7-year unsecured term loan with a group of six banks. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank served as Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, Bookrunner and Underwriter. The loan will be used to repay secured debt and support the future financing needs of the business.

Firoz Tarapore, Chief Executive Officer of DAE said: “We are pleased to enter into this loan led and arranged by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. This incremental unsecured loan further underpins our ambition to structure our funding and liquidity predominantly around unsecured debt. This transaction brings the total liquidity we have raised in the last 18 months to US$3.5 billion. This gives us considerable funding certainty to pursue our aggressive growth agenda.”

BOC Aviation delivers third Boeing 787-9 to Air Europa

BOC Aviation has delivered the third of seven new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners committed for lease to Air Europa under a purchase and leaseback transaction. One more aircraft will be delivered in the fourth quarter 2019 with the remaining three aircraft scheduled for delivery by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. All seven aircraft are to be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines.

Component Control

Fraport and AeroGround Flughafen München develop virtual reality training tool for ground operations

Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, and AeroGround Flughafen München, a wholly-owned ground handling subsidiary of Flughafen München (the operator of Munich Airport), have developed a joint virtual reality (VR) training tool for ground handling operations.

New digital training content was created for the joint VR tool. One training module, for example, serves to practice the ground handling processes required right after an aircraft has assumed its parking position. Other planned modules include apron safety training or a dedicated training course for baggage sorting. The training modules, which are available in German and English, can be used by both new staff and employees who have already received training. The aim is to allow ground handling staff to practice the processes in a safe space before performing them in a real environment.

The training content can be shared and used via an online platform – the “Innoactive Hub” – developed by Munich-based startup company Innoactive.

Iberia changes corporate structure to focus on sustainability

Iberia is incorporating sustainability as a key part of its business strategy in keeping with its support of the UN’s sustainable development goals under the world body’s 2030 UN Agenda.

Iberia’s commitment to environmental protection and to social welfare in general has moved sustainability to the forefront of its list of priorities, leading to the decision to establish a
Sustainability Department to develop a general strategy and specific project to promote environmental and social sustainability in the airline.

Formerly, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management activities of Iberia’s, airline, airport handling, and MRO businesses were dispersed across the company. Under the new management structure, they will be the responsibility of the new Sustainability Department, which will be charged with developing a sustainability vision and strategy geared to the fulfilment of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The new department will be headed by Teresa Parejo, with broad experience in matters relating to the environment, the climate change and sustainability. It will report to the new Corporate Division headed by Juan Cierco, which will encompass Corporate Communications, Corporate Affairs, People Development, and Corporate Social Responsibility

Parejo holds a PhD in Law by the University Carlos III in Madrid and a Master in Law by the European Union. She has been a professor of Law in Spain and abroad. She has served as a senior advisor to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and is a member of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.


StandardAero and Thales sign agreement for certification and distribution of new wearable Head-Up Display

StandardAero and Thales have signed a long-term partnership agreement for the certification and distribution of the Thales TopMax wearable Head-Up Display (HUD) for use in business aviation aircraft.

TopMax is an industry first, resulting from Thales' decades-long experience in military Helmet Mounted Display Systems (HMDS) and civilian Head-Up Display (HUD). It is the only wearable HUD system whose ergonomics and functionalities are specifically adapted to the needs of civil pilots, whose missions are longer and therefore need a light weight wearable HUD. At a glance, pilots with
TopMax have instant and intuitive access to critical flight information for navigation and safety. TopMax is unique in the industry as its Synthetic Vision System (SVS) provides a full color, unlimited 360° field-of-regard. The SVS system also allows for off-axis symbology including cross wind, synthetic runway, extended navigational centerline and 3D traffic display for advanced situational awareness and safety.

Utilizing its in-house Organizational Delegation Authorization (ODA), StandardAero anticipates the approval of several Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for TopMax systems in multiple business aviation aircraft. Once certified, Thales and StandardAero will collaborate in delivering this new technology to market that is easily installed for minimal aircraft downtime.

American Airlines to serve Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport from Dallas-Fort Worth

Next year American Airlines will launch a new service to Tokyo's Haneda International Airport (HND) from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Beginning March 29, American and its Pacific Joint Business partner Japan Airlines will offer a total of five daily flights to HND from four U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York and San Francisco.

“Our flights to Haneda will provide access to downtown Tokyo with nonstop service from our Asia gateways — LAX and DFW,” said Vasu Raja, American's Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning. “Haneda is just ten miles outside of Tokyo's city center, which is convenient for our customers traveling to business meetings downtown or for those who value access to fast and efficient public transportation.”

HAECO Group selects Revima’s Flightwatching predictive maintenance tool

HAECO Group has selected Revima’s Flightwatching predictive maintenance tool to power its inflight component and aircraft monitoring solution, INSIGHT.

INSIGHT is an online platform that provides real-time monitoring and analysis of critical airline data which, together with remote troubleshooting, will bring operational value to airlines. In the next phase, INSIGHT will also provide key component reliability data for HAECO ITM’s customers, facilitating preventive action against component defects.

Revima’s Flightwatching solution includes significantly enhanced data analytics to accurately predict impending failures and deteriorated performance of components, making it possible to take preventive action prior to aircraft or system operational defects. Flightwatching introduced this software in 2013, taking advantage of webbased tools, advanced graphic interfaces, big data analytics and patented aircraft remote diagnosis procedure.


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