Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Boeing dismisses Southwest pilots claim for lost wages over 737 MAX grounding 

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), representing approximately 10,000 Southwest Airlines’ pilots, has filed a lawsuit against Boeing Co alleging that the grounding of the 737 MAX has cost its pilots over US$100 million in lost wages. In a statement, SWAPA said the lawsuit states that its pilots had agreed to fly 737 MAX jets based on Boeing’s representations they were airworthy and similar to previous, “time-tested” 737 models they had been flying for many years, adding: “These representations were false.” Chaz Bickers, a Boeing spokesman, commented that: “While we value our long relationship with SWAPA, we believe this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it.”

Southwest Airlines has a current fleet of 34 of the grounded 737 MAX jets and has a further 41 on order. The consequence has seen the airline cancel up to 100 flights per day and reduce flying hours for pilots. “It is critical that Boeing takes whatever time is necessary to safely return the MAX to service,” said SWAPA president, Captain Jon Weaks. He added that pilots “should not be expected to take a significant and ever-expanding financial loss as a result of Boeing’s negligence.”

SWAPA has estimated that the 737 MAX grounding has seen more than 30,000 scheduled Southwest flights cancelled, which will result in the carrier’s passenger service reduced by 8% by the end of 2019. Southwest pilots are not the only ones looking for compensation for lost flying hours as American Airlines Group pilots have also demanded compensation from Boeing, though as yet have not filed any lawsuit.


United Airlines launches new pilot recruitment program

United Airlines has launched "Aviate", its new pilot recruitment program and career website, offering aspiring and established pilots more opportunities and the fastest paths to achieving their dreams and becoming a United First Officer and, ultimately, Captain. The program's signature, structured career pathways offer pilots at all stages of their journey – from college training to regional airline flying – the most direct path to flying for United, as well as the quickest progression from college to the rank of first officer of any major airline program in the industry. Due to retirements, attrition and projected growth, the company anticipates hiring more than 10,000 pilots by 2029.

"With nearly half of our 12,500 pilots retiring in the next decade, combined with a period of strong growth at our airline, United is uniquely positioned to offer pilots the opportunity to get where they want to go in their careers faster than ever," said Bryan Quigley, United's senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot. "With the most comprehensive global route network in the
industry, and the most widebodies of any North American airline, United offers unparalleled opportunity for an exceptional and exciting career as we begin to welcome hundreds of new pilots every year."

Launch of China Aviation Valuation Advisors (CAVA)

At the 8th China Air Finance Development Summit in Tianjin, Lili Zhou, General Manager, and David Yu, Chairman, of China Aviation Valuation Advisors announced the founding and launch of the first specialist aviation valuation onshore firm in China and the official aviation valuation partner of Tianjin Dongjiang FTP (DJFTP) government.

Leveraging upon the highest level of international expertise, ISTAT and ASA certified appraisers, and fully localized management team, the company provides the missing link for China’s growing aviation finance industry. Uniquely incorporated within Tianjin DJFTP, the firm is expected to support a fleet of over 1,500 aircrafts in Tianjin DJFTP and over 3,500 in China. The newly established expert firm will deliver full-fledged services including asset and enterprise valuation reports, transaction and asset advisory, market intelligence, and support services to investors, lessors and airlines across the Greater China region.

The company currently has offices in Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai and has local sister companies in Hong Kong (Asia Aviation Valuation Advisors) and Seoul, Korea (Korea Aviation Valuation Advisors) and others in Asia to support local clients with seamless localized communication and greater efficiency.


Boeing to invest in Virgin Galactic

Boeing is investing US$20 million in Virgin Galactic. The companies will work together to broaden commercial space access and transform global travel technologies.

To date, Virgin Galactic has invested US$1 billion of capital to build reusable human spaceflight systems designed to enable significantly more people to experience and utilize space. In July, the company announced its intent to become a publicly-listed entity via a business combination with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. The Boeing investment will be in return for new shares in Virgin Galactic and is therefore contingent on the closing of that transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, and any such investment will be in the post-business combination company.

This investment brings together two companies with extensive experience in the space industry. Virgin Galactic is a pioneer of commercial human space flight and is the first and only company to have put humans into space in a vehicle built for commercial service, having built and flown a Mach 3 passenger vehicle. Through its manufacturing and development capabilities, Virgin Galactic can design, build, test, and operate a fleet of advanced aerospace vehicles. Boeing has unsurpassed experience transporting people to orbit and building and operating large structures in that challenging environment. A part of every U.S. manned space program, Boeing serves as NASA's prime contractor for the International Space Station (ISS) and is preparing the new, reusable, Starliner space capsule for launch to the ISS.

Beach Aviation Group

Embraer and Ufes conduct first autonomous aircraft test in Brazil

A scientific and technological cooperation between Embraer and the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (Ufes), in the areas of autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence resulted in the first test of an autonomous aircraft in Brazil.

The successful initiative made it possible for a prototype to perform the taxiing operation on its own, moving along a previously established path without human interference. The sensor and image navigation set led the autonomous systems technology demonstration aircraft through the runway, taxi area and patio independently, without outside assistance. A pilot followed the cockpit operation in case of any interference.

The test took place in the last week of August, at Embraer unit in Gavião Peixoto, in São Paulo state. For the past six months, researchers from Embraer and Ufes have worked together on mathematical and computational models of automation, software development, hardware, laser sensor kit, GPS and cameras, as well as systems integration into the aeronautical platform. The autonomous land navigation system was tested in a simulator during preliminary assessments prior to actual operation.

The integrated artificial intelligence system monitored the aircraft’s external and internal conditions, which acts independently on the acceleration, steering and braking commands, and accurately performed the movement along the indicated path. The test aircraft platform - the same one used for the development of the modern executive jets Legacy 500 and Praetor 600 - integrated features of the Intelligent Autonomous Robotic Automobile (IARA) system, result of an autonomous cars’ research that began in 2009, at the Ufes High Performance Computing Laboratory (LCAD).

Component Control

First Royal Canadian Air Force's Airbus C295 rolls out of the paint shop

The first Airbus C295, purchased by the Government of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) programme, rolled out of the paint shop showing off its final livery at Airbus facility in Seville, Spain. The aircraft will now go through the final preparation phase before its delivery to the customer, planned to take place in Spain before the end of the year.

The aircraft adopts the yellow paint scheme following the tradition defined in the 1970s for Search and Rescue aircraft, giving high visibility for those in the air and on the ground.

The contract, awarded in December 2016, includes 16 C295 aircraft and all In-Service Support elements including, training and engineering services, the construction of a new Training Centre in Comox, British Columbia, and maintenance and support services.

The aircraft will be based where search and rescue squadrons are currently located: Comox, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Trenton, Ontario; and Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Air Lease Corporation activity update for third quarter of 2019

As of September 30, 2019, ALC’s fleet was comprised of 307 owned aircraft and 64 managed aircraft. As of today, ALC has commitments to acquire a total of 318 new aircraft for delivery from Boeing and Airbus through 2024.

ALC has delivered 15 new aircraft including 2 Airbus A320neos, 6 Airbus A321neos, 1 Airbus A330-900neo, 1 Airbus A350-900, 2 Boeing 787-9s and 3 Boeing 787-10s. Aircraft investments in the quarter totaled approximately US$1.5 billion.

The company completed the sale of five aircraft to a third-party buyer for sales proceeds of approximately US$184 million.

ALC has issued US$1.1 billion in senior unsecured medium-term notes comprised of US$600 million due 2023 at a fixed rate of 2.25% and US$500 million due 2029 at a fixed rate of 3.25%.


Hawaiian Airlines posts September traffic increase of 3%

Hawaiian Airlines has posted its system-wide traffic statistics for September 2019.  Hawaiian welcomed more than 931,000 guests in September 2019. Total traffic increased 3.0% on an increase of 0.7% in capacity compared to September 2018. Load factor increased 1.9 points to 85.5%.

Joramco first MRO in MENA region to obtain EN 9110:2018 certification

Joramco, the Amman based MRO and the engineering arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), has obtained the EN 9110 certification. Joramco is the first independent MRO in the MENA region to receive the EN 9110:2018 certification and becomes part of an elite group of MROs certified to this standard.

An MRO in compliance with the EN9110 standard demonstrates that it can meet the requirements of its customers and any applicable regulatory bodies through the documented implementation of a QMS that specifically addresses the needs of the industry.

With more than 50 years of experience, Joramco has built a sound track record as a leading commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility serving a wide range of customers in the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, Africa, Russia and the CIS countries, offering services on several aircraft models from the Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer fleets.


Everette Mash joins C&L Aerospace

Everette Mash has joined C&L Aerospace as Senior Vice President of Aircraft Sales, focusing on expanding business in the regional aircraft sales and brokering division.

Before joining C&L, Mash headed Twin Otter Holdings, LLC. for 13 years where he purchased, refurbished, sold, and leased Twin Otter aircraft worldwide. He also previously worked at Jet Aviation as Director of Aircraft Sales and Embraer as the Director of preowned aircraft sales handling all the preowned trade in aircraft for the new ERJ145 family of regional jet aircraft.


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