Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Virgin Galactic shares jump on NYSE debut

Monday, October 28, saw Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (Virgin Galactic) become the first space-tourism enterprise to go public as it traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The listing was the result of a merger with a currently trading shell investment company, Social Capital Hedosophia, and has now secured critical funding for the future of the company’s participation in what is being referred to as the “new space race”, which includes Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaxeX) and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Sri Lanka-born Chamath Palihapitiya, Social Capital’s Hedosophia’s founder, will contribute US$100 million to the venture and become its chairman. According to Virgin Galactic, the public offering, which involves approximately 40% of total stock, values the company at US$2.4 billion. The remainder of the company is owned by Branson and backers from Abu Dhabi.

The new entity climbed 5.1% to US$12.40 at 12:34 p.m. in New York on Monday, its first day trading under the ticker SPCE. The shares rose 11% Friday after the combination was completed, handing Virgin Galactic more than US$450 million in primary proceeds. While SpaceX has focused on transporting satellites, Virgin Galactic has chased the tourism market, with a first commercial flight planned for next year. Blue Origin intends to take payloads and tourists to the edge of space on an 11-minute flight. Branson said last week that Virgin Galactic is also interested in developing hypersonic airline flights after Boeing Co.’s future-technologies arm pledged US$20 million for a minority stake. The consequence could mean inter-city travel in the U.S. that would take only minutes and long-haul flights to Australia taking only a few hours.


StandardAero to provide PT6A MRO services for Cape Air

Cape Air, a U.S. regional airline based in Hyannis, MA, has selected StandardAero to provide engine support services for its fleet of Cessna Caravan aircraft.  Under the agreement, StandardAero will provide Cape Air with Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services from its network of overhaul facilities and service centers in North America. 

StandardAero is an independent Pratt & Whitney authorized PT6A Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF) with distribution rights on certain engine models. The company supports the global PT6A operator community from four DOFs located in North America, Europe, Africa and Australasia, backed up by a global network of seven service centers and over twenty dedicated mobile repair technicians. 

GE Aviation and Hybrid Project team to provide commercial high-endurance vertical take-off and landing UAV

GE Aviation has teamed up with Hybrid Project to provide a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV designed for high endurance commercial applications at scale. Flight testing will commence in Q4 this year with commercial availability targeted for Q1 2020.

The agreement enables Hybrid Project's 35-pound hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV with a full stack airborne computing hardware platform, flight and safety management, and integration from GE Aviation and Auterion. GE Aviation's computing platform enables flight control and airborne computing power at the edge while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller. Auterion's Enterprise PX4 operating system resides on the vehicle, in the cloud, and the ground station. This integration is the result of an agreement announced earlier this year between GE Aviation and Auterion to provide all-in-one hardware and software platform for commercial drones.

Hybrid Project's SuperVolo has been designed from the ground up with an emphasis on endurance flight, ease of maintenance, and being modular. The combined system is comprised of technologies and services which have the capability to enable commercial operations in complex environments while meeting regulatory and mission outcomes.


PPG AEROCRON aerospace electrocoat primer qualified by U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force has qualified PPG AEROCRON™ aerospace electrocoat (e-coat) primer to provide corrosion resistance and enhanced topcoat adhesion for aircraft parts. The Air Force initially will coat test parts on a PPG e-coat system that it installed at its Advanced Technology and Training Center in Middle Georgia.

The Air Force has issued Airworthiness Circular AC-19-02 to announce the primer’s qualification for coating parts used on the outer surface of aircraft. The PPG e-coat primer will be added to Air Force
Technical Order 1-1-8 – “Application and Removal of Organic Coatings, Aerospace and Non-Aerospace Equipment” – which will provide more detailed guidance when it is published.

“The U.S. Air Force, in collaboration with PPG, is conducting field evaluations at multiple base locations of aircraft parts coated with PPG Aerocron primer,” said Terry Gabbert, U.S. Air Force government lead for the project. “We are seeing firsthand that PPG e-coated parts are performing as well as or better than spray-primed control parts. With that knowledge and our experience, the Air Force made the decision to qualify PPG Aerocron primer and install the first U.S. Department of Defense e-coat system.”

During the e-coat process, aircraft parts are immersed into a PPG Aerocron primer bath after pretreating. An electric charge is applied to attract the non-chrome, water-based primer to the charged parts, which are then rinsed and cured.

Alaska Air Group reports third quarter 2019 results

Alaska Air Group has reported net income for the third quarter of 2019 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of US$322 million compared to net income of US$217 millionin the third quarter of 2018.

Alaska has reported net income for the third quarter of 2019, excluding merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of US$326 million, compared to US$237 million in the third quarter of 2018. This quarter's adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of US$2.52 per share.

The Group generated US$1.4 billion of operating cash flow in the first nine months of 2019.


Moscow Domodedovo Airport features new destinations in the autumn-winter period

On October 27, Moscow Domodedovo Airport launched its autumn-winter schedule, offering new opportunities and routes for passengers. On the first day of the autumn-winter period, Air Astana transferred its Moscow flights to Domodedovo Airport. The airline is carrying out 11 weekly flights to Nur-Sultan and 2 weekly flights to Almaty. Starting October 28, Ural Airlines is resuming direct flights to Surgut. In the upcoming winter, the carrier is opening four weekly flights to London.
Red Wings Airlines and Smartavia are launching services to Vladikavkaz, Kaliningrad, Orenburg, Rostov-on-Don, and Ulan-Ude. The carriers are increasing the number of flights to Yerevan, Namangan, and Samarkand. On November 1, the airline is opening charter flights to Istanbul.
Etihad Airways is adding a second daily flight to Abu-Dhabi in the autumn-winter period.

On December 25, S7 Airlines will start offering flights to Milan. During the New Year holidays, the carrier is performing daily flights to Milan. Since January 15, the airline is performing three weekly flights to Milan. On December 17, S7 Airlines is launching four weekly flights to Geneva. Moreover, the carrier is resuming its traditional winter services to Turin, Plovdiv, Chambery, Innsbruck, and Salzburg. The airline is also resuming domestic flights to Belgorod, Murmansk, Mineralnye Vody, Krasnodar, and Sochi, as well as increasing flight frequency on the destinations.
IrAero is performing services to Novy Urengoy, and Kokshetau.

EDM complete state-of-the-art Airbus A350 cabin trainer project with Japan Airlines

EDM, one of the leading global providers of training simulators to the civil aviation and defense sectors, has announced that the installation of Japan Airlines’ Airbus A350 Cabin Emergency Evacuation Trainer (CEET) has been completed in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan Airlines’ new simulator is one of the most advanced that EDM have produced to date. This CEET has been designed and manufactured to represent the Airbus A350, which the airline has recently taken delivery of.

The A350 CEET build was extensive both externally and internally, whereby all interior panels for the Cabin Trainer were replicated to truly increase the fidelity of the simulator. This included operable overhead bins, rated to hold a weight of up to 45kg.


HAECO ITM expands technical management support to Air Hong Kong's A330-300F

HAECO ITM, a member of the HAECO Group, has signed an agreement with Air Hong Kong (AHK) to provide its Airbus A330-300 freighter fleet with inventory technical management support. The contract covers component MRO, repair management, component pooling, component engineering support services and AOG support.

In addition to the Airbus A330-300F, HAECO ITM also provides inventory technical management support for AHK’s A300-600 freighter fleet.

Finnair and Air Serbia establish new codeshare partnership

Finnair and Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, have signed a codeshare agreement in order to provide its passengers enhanced travel opportunities within its networks in Europe. In addition, the new codeshares will also offer good connectivity between Serbia and key destinations in the USA and Asia.

According to the new agreement, starting from October 27, Air Serbia’s “JU” code will be added on flights operated by Finnair between Helsinki and Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, Riga, Tartu, Vilnius and Tallinn.

Air Serbia’s code is also added on a large number of flights operated by Finnair within Finland, such as flights between Helsinki and Turku, Tampere, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Kajaani, Kokkola, Pietarsaari, Vaasa, Kemi Tornio, Oulu, Ivalo, Kuusamo and Rovaniemi.  


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