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Monday, September 20th, 2021

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Potential Europe-Asia trade war looms over unused airport slots

As regional air traffic in the West begins to increase significantly after the ravages of the pandemic on commercial airlines, the EU looks set to instigate tougher rules regarding the use, or lack of use, of existing airport slots.

During the worst of the pandemic, ‘use it or lose it’ rules in relation to airport slots held by carriers were relaxed. However, with the EU announcing back in July the intention to force airlines to use a minimum of 50% of their slots or lose them to competing carriers, which will come into effect in six weeks’ time, Asian carriers, particularly those in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea have expressed concerns as recovery of the industry is slower there, principally because much of the commercial airline traffic is long haul. For example, Asian airlines operated at just 14% of the pre-pandemic 2019 level in the month of July.

Many Western carriers are at a great advantage as local and regional airline traffic has bounced back and in Europe International travel is now at 46% of 2019 levels and 48% in the U.S. In the event that Asian carriers are forced to operate at 50% of pre-pandemic levels to retain prized and valuable airport slots in the West, it has been made clear there will be a reciprocal ‘tit-for-tat’ expectation at Asian airports. Ultimately, this could well lead to political fights over important global trade transport links and result in numerous European aircraft flying with empty seats simply to retain airport slots.

While there has been a global relaxation of airport slot usage, the EU has chosen to go against industry recommendations for the forthcoming winter season, primarily as a result of lobbying from regional low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, as well as privatized European airports who are keen to start generating reasonable returns once again. The U.S. however has chosen not to go down the same route and has already announced a more lenient set of rules for the winter with regard to airport slots.

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Airbus joins DAX stock exchange index in Germany

Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has become a member of the new DAX40 index in Germany, effective today.

On 3 September 2021, Deutsche Börse completed the expansion of the DAX from 30 to 40 companies as part of a comprehensive reform process and appointed Airbus, among others, to the German premium index.

"We are very pleased to be appointed to the newly formed DAX. We believe that Airbus has found its place in this index due to its economic size and performance. This inclusion allows us to better represent Airbus' historic industrial significance in Germany and highlight our innovative and diverse portfolio of activities too," said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. "The inclusion in Germany's most important stock market index is both a motivation and a responsibility to continue our strong strategic presence in the country. We are proud of our European roots."

With this inclusion in the DAX40, Airbus will no longer be a member of the MDAX, to which it has belonged since the listed European aerospace group was founded in 2000.

Airbus shares are traded at three European stock exchanges: in Paris, where Airbus has been a fixed component of the premium CAC40 index since 2000; in Frankfurt and in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia).

Embraer inks services agreement with Australia-based Alliance Airlines

Embraer has signed a multi-year services agreement with Alliance Airlines, which will provide materials support for the carrier’s fleet of E190s. Through Embraer’s Services & Support portfolio of solutions, the agreement covers more than 300 repairable components and includes both materials and technical administration services supported from Embraer Asia Pacific’s facility in Singapore.

Alliance has a committed fleet of 32 E190s with 12 E190s currently in Australia with the remaining 20 to enter revenue service during the next 12 months.

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RECARO Aircraft Seating to outfit Qatar Airways with brand-new economy class seat

Recaro Aircraft Seating (Recaro) was tapped to equip Qatar Airways with the brand-new CL3810 economy class seat. Starting at the end of 2022, twenty shipsets of the CL3810 will be installed on the new A321neo fleet.

Qatar Airways is one of the first airlines to select the CL3810, which was unveiled in 2020. The customized seat features offers a wider backrest for increased comfort and privacy, as well as a six-way headrest with adjustable neck support feature.

The newest addition to the economy class portfolio, the CL3810 is a combination of innovative ergonomic technology, premium comfort cushions with layered foam, and lightweight smart engineering. The seat’s unique shape was designed to support the passenger’s points of tension, which reflects the award-winning design of the Recaro Automotive sport seat. Compared to its predecessor, the CL3810 offers an additional inch of living space, a more advanced articulated seat pan, and a wider backrest to enhance row-to-row privacy.

Aventure Aviation acquires Boeing 737NG airframe

Aventure Aviation has acquired a Boeing 737NG airframe, MSN 30459, retired after flying with Copa Airlines since its delivery. The teardown will begin shortly in Roswell, New Mexico. Parts will be relocated to Aventure's Atlanta warehouse, making it the company's fourth 737NG acquired in 2021.

The aircraft has been inducted in a storage program a few months ago and remains in excellent condition. It includes a landing gear set last overhauled in 2019, and also a 131-9B APU with less than 30 cycles since a major overhaul by the original manufacturer.

Aventure is considering the acquisition of several other Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft, focusing on end-of-life aircraft for dismantling and conversion purposes.

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Spatial receives door trainer and cabin service trainer order from new customer S7 Airlines

Spatial, a leading provider of cabin crew simulators, has entered a new partnership with S7 Airlines to manufacture and deliver a cabin service trainer and door trainer for the Airbus A320 family.

Once complete, the Cabin Service Trainer (CST) will provide a full cabin mockup enabling all of S7’s trainees to become fully proficient with the service procedures onboard the A320. Alongside the CST, the door trainer will provide training on the A321 family Type C mid-cabin exit and semi-automatic over wing exit. This will then enable crew to be proficient in the handling of both the legacy and next generation A321 mid-cabin exits.

BAA Training starts cooperating with Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Academy

BAA Training, an EASA standard ATO that operates training centers in Lithuania, Vietnam, Spain and plans to establish one in France in the nearest future, has signed an MoU with Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Academy. The document sets the grounds for cooperation to transform Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Academy into an EASA standard ATO issuing EASA type of pilot licenses.

To achieve the set objective, the parties intend to jointly create a CPL pilot training program by the end of 2021. Starting from 2022, they will begin to prepare pilots, accessed and selected while working in tandem and following BAA Training’s methodology.

Initially, the conduction of training will be split between Lithuania and Kazakhstan. However, within three years, it is planned to have an EASA ATO certificate secured and at least half of the training responsibilities assigned to Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Academy. The term of five years has been chosen for the formal agreement to allow students starting in three years to finish their studies.

Over the five years, more than 200 pilots will be prepared under the joint CPL program. Moreover, BAA Training will deliver training to Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Academy’s employees: instructors, training managers and other staff.

BAA Training has been implementing expansion strategies globally, resulting in new training facilities opening in different European and Asian markets.
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