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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

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GOL, Grupo Comporte, and Avolon partner for 250 eVTOL purchase

Gol, Brazil’s largest airline and Grupo Comparte, the country’s leading transport operator, have teamed up with Avolon, the aircraft leasing and lease management specialist, to create an electric vertical and take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle ride-sharing platform in Brazil.

The three companies will jointly collaborate to identify and target local partners, infrastructure, and certification requirements across a range of commercial models, launching one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses. As part of the joint venture, GOL and Grupo Comporte have agreed to either lease or purchase 250 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon.

Manufactured by Vertical Aerospace, the VA-X4 is a zero-emission aircraft which can carry four passengers over a distance of up to 100 miles travelling at 200 miles per hour. With this announcement, Avalon now has commitments for the acquisition of over 50% of the 500 VA-X4s it ordered from Vertical Aerospace back in June.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented: “Today’s announcement represents a significant step in building an eVTOL ride sharing platform that will reshape the commercial aviation market in Brazil. The opportunities to deploy the VA-X4 are enormous. Gol and Grupo Comporte both bring broad and diverse networks, along with proven track records in scaling multiple businesses, making them the ideal strategic partners for Avolon. Their unparallel market access, coupled with our deep knowledge and relationships in the Brazilian aviation market, leaves us strongly positioned to capitalise on the expected demand for VA-X4 zero-emissions, ultra-short-haul transport.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO commented: “The VA-X4 is ideal for a city like Sao Paolo with a population of over 22 million people. Our eVTOLs will transform how we travel around high population density cities that are clogged with traffic by taking to the skies with zero emissions aircraft. We look forward to working with our existing partners Avolon and our newest partners Gol and Grupo Comporte, on bringing this revolution in air travel to Brazil.”

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Airbus reveals next generation of CityAirbus

Airbus has announced plans for a new CityAirbus at the company’s first Airbus Summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace” as the emerging Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market begins to firm up.

Ushering in the next generation of CityAirbus, the fully electric vehicle is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its uniquely designed distributed propulsion system. It is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero-emissions flight in multiple applications.

CityAirbus is being developed to fly with a 80 km range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions.

Sound levels are a key factor for an urban mission; Airbus' extensive expertise in noise-friendly designs is driving CityAirbus' sound levels below 65 dB(A) during fly-over and below 70 dB(A) during landing. It is optimized for hover and cruise efficiency, while not requiring moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition. The CityAirbus NextGen meets the highest certification standards (EASA SC-VTOL Enhanced Category). Designed with simplicity in mind, CityAirbus NextGen will offer best-in-class economic performance in operations and support.

Airbus is benefitting from years of dedicated research, innovation, two electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) demonstrators, and development on sound technology across its portfolio of products, as well as decades of experience in certifying aircraft. The Vahana and CityAirbus demonstrators have jointly conducted 242 flight and ground tests and have flown around 1,000 km in total. Furthermore, Airbus has used extensive subscale flight testing and wind tunnel campaigns and has leveraged its computing and modelling power. CityAirbus NextGen is in a detailed design phase right now and the prototype’s first flight is planned for 2023.

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Boeing projects demand for more than 8,700 new airplanes in Europe’s aviation market through 2040

Boeing has forecast steady growth and greater sustainability for Europe’s commercial aviation fleet over the next 20 years, as the vast majority of the existing fleet is replaced with more fuel-efficient models. Enabled by low-cost carriers and a rapidly expanding leisure travel market, European carriers will need 8,705 new airplanes valued at €1.25 trillion/£1.1 trillion through 2040, according to the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), Boeing’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Global and regional air travel markets are recovering largely as Boeing projected last year. Demand for air travel within Europe is leading the recovery as health and travel restrictions ease, followed by long-haul travel's return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 to 2024.

Reducing aviation’s carbon footprint remains a top priority for Boeing and for carriers in the European market. For short-haul routes, European airlines are expected to further invest in new, higher-capacity single-aisle models that reduce fuel use and emissions. For long-haul fleets, airlines are projected to leverage new-generation wide-bodies, such as the 787 and 777X, that significantly improve efficiency. By 2040, 90% of Europe’s current fleet will be replaced with more fuel-efficient models, outpacing the global replacement share of 80%, according to the CMO.

“While Europe was significantly impacted during the pandemic, coordinated policies within the region have unlocked significant pent-up demand for air travel, resulting in an accelerating recovery,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president, Commercial Marketing. “Single-aisle airplanes will initially be the main driver in expanding capacity to meet demand in the region. In the long-haul segment, we see tremendous opportunity for carriers to replace older, less efficient aircraft with more versatile twin-engine models that reduce fuel use, CO2 emissions and noise.”

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AAR extends relationship with Volotea for A320 family PBH component support

AAR has extended its power-by-the-hour (PBH) component support contract with Volotea. The partnership started in 2016 with four A319 aircraft and the fleet has grown now to nearly 40 aircraft.

The agreement includes the positioning of main base kits at Volotea’s operating bases throughout Europe, access to AAR’s component pool inventory from logistic centers in Europe and the management of the component repair cycle.

“Following a selection process that prioritized value and reliability, we are excited to confirm AAR as the provider for component services for our fleet of A320-family aircraft. We look forward to having AAR in support of the next phase of our growth,” said Isidre Porqueras, Volotea COO.

Juan Gutierrez joins Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems

Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems has reported that Juan Gutierrez (Commander, USN retired) has joined its government operations team as Director of Government Business Development.

Gutierrez brings a solid military operations business development, and Naval Test Pilot background to Stevens including time as an H-60 Pilot/Officer in Charge/Maintenance Department Head completing multiple overseas deployments; H-60 Government Flight Test Director/IPT Lead/Program Manager/Test lead/H-60 Project Officer with NAVAIR; and Chief of Staff/JSF Program Manager DCMA Europe.

Following his military career, he worked with Physical Optics Corporation as VP of Business Development overseeing U.S. Army Aviation, U.S. Air Force, and SOCOM customer bases.

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FAI dedicates Global Express to ultra-long-range air ambulance operations

FAI rent-a-jet GmbH, Germany’s Special Mission Operator, has configured one of its seven Global Express aircraft (D-AFAM) as a dedicated air ambulance. The move follows increasing demand from the market for ultra-long-range air ambulance missions. FAI has completed ten ultra-long-range air ambulance missions over the past two months alone. The company is focused on building up its air ambulance capabilities in long- and ultra-long-range missions with a view to strengthening its position as a world leader in the field.

Previously, FAI converted the interior of the Global Express and configured it for air ambulance missions on a case-by-case basis. In medevac use, the aircraft features up to three Spectrum Aeromed ICUs.

The Global’s non-stop range of 6000 nm enables transport of up to three intensive care patients in addition to FAI’s specially trained medical teams and co-travellers from the west coast of the U.S. to Europe, the U.S. east coast to the Middle East or from Europe to the Far East.

GA Telesis Engine Services receives India DGCA certification to overhaul CFM56-5B/-7B engines

GA Telesis Engine Services (GATES) has received certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India to overhaul CFM56-5B/-7B engines. DGCA India approval is a significant milestone for GATES and opens access to a strategic growth market for CFM56-5B/-7B engine overhauls in South Asia. In addition, this allows GATES to consolidate and further expand its growing customer base in India.

GATES has also been granted certification by the FAA (United States), EASA (European Union), TCCA (Canada), CAAC (China), GACA (Saudi Arabia), DGAC (Mexico), ANAC (Argentina), DGAC (Indonesia), and ECAA (Egypt).

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Shell calls for more action on aviation emissions and announces ambition to produce around 2 million tons of sustainable aviation fuel a year

Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) has announced its ambition to produce around 2 million tons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year by 2025. It also aims to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030.

“Currently, sustainable aviation fuel accounts for less than 0.1% of the world’s use of aviation fuel. We want to help our customers use more SAF,” said Anna Mascolo, President of Shell Aviation. “With the right policies, investments and collaboration across the sector we can accelerate aviation’s progress towards net zero by 2050.

“Last week we announced that we have taken a final investment decision for a new biofuels plant at our Rotterdam Energy and Chemicals Park. Shell also offers certified nature-based carbon credits to offset emissions, and we are exploring other ways to help aviation get to net zero, including hydrogen power.”

The announcement came as Shell published two reports looking at how the aviation sector can accelerate its progress towards decarbonization.

Decarbonizing Aviation: Cleared for Take-off is a joint report by Shell and Deloitte, based on the views of more than 100 aviation industry executives and experts. It says that the current global industry targets are not ambitious enough, and that the aviation sector should aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The report outlines 15 ways to reduce emissions between now and 2030 that will help aviation to reach net zero by 2050.

Shell’s companion report Decarbonizing Aviation: Shell’s Flight Path outlines how Shell, as one of the world’s largest suppliers of aviation fuel and lubricants, can help its aviation customers decarbonize. It announces Shell’s ambition to produce around 2 million tons of SAF a year by 2025. Currently, Shell supplies SAF made by others. Achieving the new ambition would make Shell a leading global producer of SAF and support the decarbonization of the aviation sector.

The SAF production ambition would align with Shell’s target of becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society.

The ambition was announced the week after Shell said it will build a biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with the ability to produce 820,000 tons of low-carbon fuels a year, including SAF.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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