Thursday, October 10th, 2019

IATA blames U.S.-China trade war for continued contraction of freight market demand

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released global air freight market data for August, revealing that there has been a further retraction for the tenth consecutive month of year-on-year decline, something not witnessed since the 2008 financial crisis.

Freight ton kilometres (FTKs) dropped 3.9% for the month, available freight ton kilometers (AFTKs) rose 2% year-on-year and capacity growth outstripped demand growth for the 16th consecutive month, though global trade volumes are 1% down. According to IATA’s release: “Global export orders continue to fall. The global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remains in contraction territory. Its tracking of new manufacturing export orders has pointed to falling orders since September 2018. And for the second month in a row, all major trading nations reported falling orders.” Commenting on the August results, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO said: "The impact of the US-China trade war on air freight volumes was the clearest yet in August. Year-on-year demand fell by 3.9%. Not since the global financial crisis in 2008 has demand fallen for 10 consecutive months. This is deeply concerning. And with no signs of a détente on trade, we can expect the tough business environment for air cargo to continue. Trade generates prosperity. Trade wars don't. That's something governments should not forget."

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5% compared to August 2018. The US-China trade war, the slowdown in the Chinese economy, the temporary shutdown of Hong Kong International Airport combined have had a massive impact on global figures with the region accounting for more than 35% of total FTKs. Air freight capacity increased by 2.3% over the past year. North American airlines saw demand decrease by 2.4% in August 2019, compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 1.3%. Freight demand has contracted for the largest routes between Asia and North America, where seasonally adjusted volumes are down almost 5% compared to their level in July 2018. European airlines posted a 3.3% decrease in freight demand in August 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 3.3% year-on-year. Middle Eastern airlines' freight volumes decreased 6.7% in August compared to the year-ago period. This was the sharpest drop in freight demand of any region. Capacity decreased by 0.8%. Latin American airlines experienced an increase in freight demand in August 2019 of 0.1% compared to the same period last year and a capacity decrease of 2.9%. African carriers posted the fastest growth of any region in August 2019, with an increase in demand of 8% compared to August 2018. Capacity grew 17.1% year-on-year.

TP Aerospace

ATR launches short take-off and landing 42-600S

Regional aircraft manufacturer ATR has received authorisation from its board of directors for the launch of the ATR 42-600S. With the ‘S’ representing STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing), this new version of the ATR 42-600 offers take-off and landing capabilities on runways as short as 800m with 40 passengers on board in standard flight conditions (*).

To-date, ATR has recorded 20 commitments from operators and lessors for this ATR 42-600S variant. This includes Elix Aviation Capital as the launch lessor and Air Tahiti as the launch operator, as announced on the occasion of the Paris Air Show 2019.

The 42-600S is a brand new addition to the company’s aircraft family, alongside the founding members ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600, and the forthcoming ATR 72-600F cargo variant. The ATR 42-600S’ certification, is expected for the second half of 2022, with the first delivery expected immediately after.

*15°C airfield temperature, sea level, dry paved runway and a route of 200NM.

Gulfstream appoints Peter Vasconcelos Regional Senior Vice President of Sales

Gulfstream Aerospace has appointed Peter Vasconcelos, an industry veteran, to Regional Senior Vice President of Sales for the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada. He is based at Gulfstream’s Manhattan Sales and Design Center and reports to Scott Neal, Gulfstream’s senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales.

Vasconcelos comes to Gulfstream with more than 20 years of aircraft sales and sales leadership experience with a business-aircraft original equipment manufacturer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Bryant University in Rhode Island and studied international business at Richmond, The American International University in London. He is also a licensed private pilot.


FAA approves AerTrak for Boeing 777-200 series aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) No. ST04184NY for installation of AerSale®’s AerTrak® system on Boeing 777-200 series aircraft to comply with the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Operations rule, a critical part of the agency’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

Beginning January 1, 2020, the FAA has mandated that aircraft operating in airspace defined by 14 CFR § 91.225 must be equipped with an ADS-B Out system that meets the minimum performance requirements of 14 CFR § 91.227. The FAA previously approved AerTrak for Boeing 737 Classic and NG series aircraft (ST04009NY) and Boeing 757-200 series aircraft (ST04011NY).

Airbase wins contract to manufacture seat covers for Acro

Airbase, part of Trenchard Aviation Group, has won the contract to manufacture Ultra- Leather™ seat covers for Acro, a leading innovator in aircraft seating.

This contract has resulted from Acro’s commission to provide new seats for Spirit Airlines, an American ultra-low-cost carrier headquartered in Miramar, Florida. Spirit Airlines is the seventh largest commercial airline in the United States, operating scheduled flights throughout the United States and in the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America, and South America.

Airbase, located close to London Gatwick Airport, has over 20 years’ experience of managing aircraft cabin interiors, including soft furnishings, carpets and dry cleaning. With its own cut and sew facilities on-site, the company’s expertise covers the manufacture of all types of seat covers and curtains as well as flight deck seat covers, fire containment sacks and other cabin bags and warning streamers.


Munich launches new connection to Tashkent, Uzbekistan

From the start of the 2020 summer timetable period, Uzbekistan Airways will offer two weekly services from Munich to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Situated on the legendary Silk Road, Tashkent has a 2,200 year history. Today's Uzbekistan is located almost in the middle of this former 6,000 km long trade route. For centuries the country was a link between China and Europe. Impressive buildings of particular beauty were erected. Even today, one can encounter the magic of 1001 Nights in the Uzbek cities along the route. Uzbekistan is home to a number of key Silk Road cities including Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand, and four UNESCEO World Heritage sites. Travelers will be captivated by the country’s wealth of majestic architecture, rich culture and unique traditions.

The new flights will also provide access to a wide range of connecting services to the CIS countries and to southern, eastern and south-eastern Asia.

VAS Aero

Thales and Airbus join forces to detect cyber threats

Airbus CyberSecurity and Thales, two European leaders in cybersecurity, have signed a partnership agreement to offer a unique solution against cyber-attacks.  The solution will combine the file analysis system Orion Malware from Airbus CyberSecurity with Thales’s intrusion detection system Cybels Sensor, which obtained Security Visa from the French national cybersecurity agency (ANSSI) in April 2019.

This cooperation will enable the two companies to offer the best detection solution, increasing the overall level of cyber defense for businesses and organizations. The partnership for the French market aims to help operators of essential services (OESs) reinforce cyber protection measures required by ANSSI with the Military Programming Law (LPM) -which is similar to the European Network and Information Systems (NIS) directive.


AAR expands component repair services with BAE Systems

AAR, a leading provider of aviation services to commercial airlines and governments worldwide, has expanded its component repair and overhaul services with BAE Systems Regional Aircraft to include a wider range of components for its regional jet support programs.

AAR began executing on the component repair contract in January 2019, and following strong operational performance, signed a service expansion agreement in September to cover additional components. The scope of services focuses on BAE Systems’ out-of-production regional aircraft, utilizing AAR’s proven expertise in legacy platform component repair.

The services for the BAE Systems agreement are performed out of AAR’s component repair facility in Amsterdam.


Air Astana presents first Airbus A321LG aircraft

Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s leading carrier, presented its first Airbus A321 Long Range (LR) aircraft on October 9th. The airline is the first operator of the aircraft in the CIS and is scheduled to take a further six Airbus A321LR aircraft on lease from global aircraft leasing company AerCap. The new aircraft will gradually replace the fleet of Boeing 757s, which have been in operation since 2003.

Air Astana now has 19 Airbus aircraft in its fleet, including eight A320, four A321, three A320neo, three A321neo and one A321LR.The average age of Air Astana’s fleet is now 7.1 years, one of the lowest in the industry.

The lie-flat business class seats are equipped with individual 16-inch screens, with four of 16 seats
offering additional personal space. In the economy class, the Recaro seats provide increased comfort for long flights and are equipped with individual 10-inch screens. The design of the interior trim, curtains and seat covers for both business and economy classes have been specially developed for Air Astana, with a combination of elegance and sophistication that embraces a clear
national identity.

The A321LR cabin is equipped with a Zodiac (RAVE) in-flight entertainment system, which is in common with all other Airbus and Boeing aircraft in the fleet and is equipped with the latest generation Pratt & Whitney engines.

GA Telesis

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 wide-bodies 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."


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