Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Colorful Guizhou Airlines concludes US$1 billion agreement with CFM

Colorful Guizhou Airlines has finalized a 12-year Rate-Per-Flight-Hour (RPFH) agreement for the LEAP-1A engines that will power the airline’s future fleet of up to 35 Airbus A320neo aircraft, along with five spare engines. The agreement is valued at approximately US$1.0 billion at list price. The contract was signed in conjunction with French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China.

RPFH agreements are part of CFM’s portfolio of flexible aftermarket support offerings. Under the terms of the agreement, CFM Services guarantees maintenance costs for the airlines LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

Established in June 2015, Colorful Guizhou Airlines is one of the fastest-growing airlines among the newly established airlines. Since its inception on December 31, 2015, it has developed routes covering 31 cities in the provinces, North China, East China, South China, Central China and West China, and initially built a "Guizhou-based, nationwide-oriented" route network.


Boeing to invest over US$1 billion in new safety initiative

While yet to be officially announced, Boeing would appear to be about to launch a major PR exercise in the form of a billion-dollar worldwide safety initiative. The revelation comes hot on the heels of accusations made by U.S. lawmakers during recent hearings relating to the two fatal 737 MAX crashes that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg had put profit before safety standards.

Muilenburg would not provide much detail but confirmed that Boeing would help “build a talent pipeline” of pilots and invest heavily in the pilot-machine interface or flight deck for the next generation. For the time being, focus at Boeing is more on getting the beleaguered 737 MAX back in the air and the global initiative will likely be rolled out next year once changes to the MAX software and pilot training have been approved by regulators. This approval is anticipated to be by the end of 2019 in the U.S. but not until the first quarter of 2020 in Europe.

According to someone who is familiar with Boeing’s new initiative, “It will involve significant funds to raise standards around the world and requires Boeing putting its own money in.” According to Reuters news agency, it is understood that part of Boeing’s investment will include improving aviation infrastructure, such as air traffic and flight simulation systems, while it is also considering whether to develop new training materials or methods for various career stages, and to fund training centers or recruitment efforts. There is also potential for Boeing to also create a data-sharing network on aircraft design with global regulators to improve outside knowledge of its aircraft technology and operations. Recently, the head of the EASA told Reuters that it would demand more data when deciding whether or not to certify future jets.

SR Technics

UPS and CVS make first residential drone deliveries of prescription medicines

UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) and CVS Health Corporation subsidiary CVS Pharmacy have successful completed the first revenue-generating drone delivery of a medical prescription from a CVS pharmacy directly to a consumer’s home. This was followed by another delivery of a medical prescription to a second customer in a nearby retirement community. Both flights occurred on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, using the M2 drone system by UPS partner and drone systems developer Matternet.

The deliveries mark another milestone in a recently announced collaboration between UPS and CVS to develop a variety of drone delivery use cases, including business-to-consumer operating models. The companies plan ongoing drone delivery program development in the coming months in order to bring to market the speed and convenience advantages of UAVs. The recent prescription delivery flights occurred with FAA approval to conduct a residential drone delivery and according to FAA regulations.

The flights launched from a CVS store in Cary, NC and flew to CVS customers’ homes. The drones flew autonomously but were monitored by a remote operator who could intervene if necessary. The drone hovered about 20 feet over the properties and slowly lowered the packages by a cable and a winch to the ground. One of the packages was delivered to a CVS customer whose limited mobility makes it difficult to travel to a store to pick up a prescription.


Airbus and China reinforce long-standing partnership

Airbus and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the further development of industrial cooperation.

According to the MoU, both sides have agreed to take practical and effective measures for new initiatives regarding both Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft. As part of Airbus’ objective to reach a global A320 Family production rate of 63 aircraft per month in 2021, the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line (FAL Asia) remains on track to ramp up its production to six aircraft per month by the end of 2019, which is a 50% increase compared to its original design. A350 XWB capabilities will be extended into the Airbus Tianjin wide-body Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) from the second half of 2020. The C&DC is scheduled to deliver its first A350 aircraft by 2021 from Tianjin.

The potential of China’s aviation market is huge: while China domestic is set to become the world’s largest market, international traffic to and from China has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. According to the Airbus Global Market Forecast, China is expected to require some 7,560 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

GA Telesis to open new Taiwan-based sales and customer care center

GA Telesis (GAT) is opening a new sales and customer care center based in Taipei, Taiwan. The newly established “GA Telesis Taiwan” office will provide localized aircraft and engine parts, services, and support to GAT’s growing customer base in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lynda Cheng, Vice President of Asia Pacific Sales, will be responsible for developing business opportunities and growing sales, repairs, leasing, and MRO operations for commercial aircraft operators in the region. Her ability to navigate the unique multicultural aviation landscape throughout the Asia Pacific region has resulted in rapid sales growth for GA Telesis.


Greg Conlon appointed President and CEO of GECAS

Greg Conlon has been promoted to the role of President and CEO of GECAS, effective immediately. Alec Burger will continue as President and CEO of GE Capital and will also serve as the Chairman of GECAS.

This change in leadership is being done to ensure the continued strength and health of GECAS, with Conlon being fully dedicated to leading the GECAS business with Burger’s continued engagement as Chairman.

Conlon has been with GE for 20 years and is a highly respected leader in the aviation financing industry. He is ideally positioned for this role, with a career history including experience in Capital Markets, Asset Trading, OEM Management, Sales, Debt Financing and P&L leadership.

StandardAero achieves FAA certification of San Antonio RB211-535 test cell

StandardAero has received FAA approval for acceptance testing of the Rolls-Royce RB211-535 turbofan engine at its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in San Antonio, Texas. This achievement, which followed a test cell correlation effort undertaken in partnership with the engine manufacturer, marks StandardAero’s attainment of full capability on the RB211-535, in support of the life-of-type maintenance services partnership signed with Rolls-Royce in 2018.

Under the partnership agreement, responsibility for RB211-535 in-service support is being transferred from Rolls-Royce’s Derby, UK location to StandardAero’s 810,000 ft² facility in San Antonio. StandardAero’s RB211 team had already received FAA and EASA certification for engine disassembly, cleaning, inspection, repair, assembly and test, and correlation of the San Antonio facility’s RB211 test cells now enables engine performance testing to be completed on-site, prior to engine redelivery to customers.


LHT has to cancel 1300 flights

The Independent Flight Attendants Organization (Ufo) has called full-day strikes for Lufthansa on Thursday November 7 and Friday November 8.

On Thursday 2,300 of the 3,000 planned Lufthansa Group flights can be operated while on Friday 2,400 Lufthansa Group flights will operate. As a result of the strike, around 180,000 passengers will be affected by 1300 flight cancellations.

The Group Airlines Eurowings, Germanwings, SunExpress, Lufthansa Cityline, SWISS, Edelweiss, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines will not be affected by the strike. Their flights start on schedule. Lufthansa currently examines on which routes these airlines can use
larger aircraft in order to offer passengers affected by the strike alternative travel options.

AddQual now certified by NADCAP for 3-D structured light scanning

AddQual is now certified by NADCAP for 3-D Structured Light scanning to compliment that AS9100 certification. AddQual provides development and qualification services for new and repair markets and is able to assist its customers with high-resolution metrology, with the capability to create high-definition digital twins.

AddQual is creating virtual twins of the physical component, which is then being simulated to optimize the process and improve the product quality. Typical examples include the collection of characteristics from the component such as burs, scuffs and deviations caused by product use, aiding their customers with initial sentencing and confirming the work scope.


Play rises from the ashes of WOW as new Icelandic carrier

The founders of Iceland’s newest airline have announced that Play will be the carrier’s name and they have also revealed the airline’s striking red livery.

Play is due to commence commercial cargo-only operations in December and will initially lease Airbus A320 medium-range jets. However, the company has yet to obtain an air operator’s license, though it is understood the final stages have been reached. Initially, Play will fly to six European destinations this winter using two A320s, while six of the aircraft are expected to be in service by the summer. Play intends to add four destinations in North America to the schedule by the spring. By 2023 Play hopes to have ten operational aircraft.

Avianta Capital, owned by Aislinn Whittley-Ryan, the daughter of Michael Kell Ryan, one of the founders of Ryanair, will take a 75% stake in the new carrier in return for providing US$40 million in capital to ensure continued operations for a minimum of three years. The remaining 25% stake will be held by Neo, owned by PLAY founders Arnar Már Magnússon, former director of airline operations at WOW Air, Sveinn Ingi Steinþórsson, former director of the economic division at WOW Air, Bogi Guðmundsson, lawyer at Atlantik Legal Services and board director of BusTravel, and Þóroddur Ari Þóroddsson, who previously worked in London as a consultant in the aircraft trade.  


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