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Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

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Air Travel and CFM International sign 12-year LEAP-1A engine RPFH agreement

At the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Air Travel and CFM International have signed a 12-year LEAP-1A engine rate per flight hour (RPFH) agreement to support the smooth operation of Air Travel’s A320neo aircraft that will be introduced in the future.

The agreement, which includes the purchase of LEAP-1A spare engines, is valued at US$992 million at list price. Currently, Changsha Hunan Province-based Air Travel operates an all-Airbus fleet of 16 A320-series aircraft which have an average age of three years. Under the terms of the agreement, CFM Services will guarantee maintenance costs for the airlines' LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

Air Travel is the first local airline to operate in Hunan Province and first took to the skies in 2016, offering predominantly domestic air passenger and cargo transportation services. Commenting on the agreement, Zhang Junsuo, CEO of Air Travel, said: "The high reliability and outstanding fuel efficiency of LEAP-1A engine provides a strong guarantee for us to cope with the challenges that are arising in the post-epidemic era and ensure our smooth operation. This is critical to Air Travel since we have just completed successful transformation. We believe that with the professional support of CFM International, Air Travel will create a safer, smoother, and more comfortable flight experience for more customers."

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Germany awards Boeing contract for five P-8A aircraft

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a production contract for five P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Germany. First deliveries are slated to begin in 2024 when the P-8A Poseidon will eventually replace Germany’s fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft.

“We’re pleased to have finalized this sale to Germany and to expand our footprint in-country by bringing the P-8A and its unique multi-mission capabilities to the German Navy,” said Michael Hostetter, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Germany. “The P-8 will ensure the German Navy’s ability to perform long-range maritime surveillance missions and will play a pivotal role in the region by leveraging existing infrastructure in Europe and full interoperability with NATO’s most advanced assets.”

German industry is a critical partner with the P-8A Poseidon program. By working with local partners, Boeing will provide support, training and maintenance solutions that will bring the highest operational availability to fulfill the German Navy’s missions. On June 17, Boeing signed agreements with ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik AG to collaborate in systems integration, training, and sustainment work. German companies that currently supply parts for the P-8A include Aircraft Philipp Group GmbH, Aljo Aluminium-Bau Jonuscheit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH.

Ground-breaking at MTU Maintenance Zhuhai Jinwan

Ground has been broken at the MTU Maintenance Zhuhai Jinwan branch, marking the start of construction of a second facility for engine disassembly, assembly, and testing for joint venture partners MTU Aero Engines and China Southern Airline Company.

The new facility will have an initial capacity of 260 shop visits, focus on Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM and V2500 engines and enter operations in 2024. It will operate under MTU Maintenance Zhuhai and its licenses and approvals. 

Construction on the 150,000 m² plot of land begins with a 65,000 lbf test cell. “We are delighted to be breaking ground on schedule today,” says Michael Schreyögg, Chief Program Officer, MTU Aero Engines. “At MTU, we believe in the future of the aviation industry and the growth and strength of the narrow-body engine market in Asia. As such, we are committed to the expansion of our network and excited to be moving forward with this project.”

MTU Maintenance Zhuhai is also in the process of planning the construction of a training center at its original site in Zhuhai where up to 150 students per year can be trained from 2023 onwards. “Through this training center we will be investing in our most important asset, our staff,” says Jaap Beijer, President and CEO of MTU Maintenance Zhuhai. “We will be able to meet our ambitious staff ramp-up needs and guarantee the high quality of education we require.” Upon completion, MTU Maintenance Zhuhai Jinwan will grow to a workforce of around 600, in addition to MTU Maintenance Zhuhai’s current workforce of 1,100 highly qualified employees.

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Travelport renews agreement with LATAM Airlines Group

Travelport has renewed its commercial agreement with LATAM Airlines Group to ensure that Travelport-connected agencies have simplified access to full content from the airline group. LATAM has also committed to work with Travelport in advancing its New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiatives.

"We are pleased to have expanded our decades-long partnership with Travelport and look forward to providing agencies around the world with simplified access to our full range of content, including NDC content, and detailed product information, through the Travelport+ platform. We are confident that this agreement will enable agencies connected to Travelport to generate more value for their travel customers when booking our flight offerings, fares and ancillary services," said Andreas Schek, Vice President of Sales at LATAM Airlines Group.

As part of the agreement, Travelport-connected agencies will continue to benefit from a seamless experience when shopping and booking LATAM Airlines fares. The airline group has expanded its use of Travelport's Rich Content and Branding tool to ensure that its products are promoted effectively anywhere in the world.

Collins Aerospace expands on-site support agreement with Ameco for Air China fleet support

Collins Aerospace has expanded its ten-year on-site support agreement with Chinese aircraft maintainer Ameco for Air China’s fleet. The agreement will add support for Collins’ Integrated Drive Generator (IDG) and other generators for multiple aircraft platforms, including the B787, A320neo, A350 and ARJ21. With this expanded contract, Collins will extend its onsite inventory management services to all of Ameco’s IDG and generator capabilities.

Collins’ IDG provides primary electric power for the aircraft electrical system by converting variable engine input speed to a constant output speed, thus enabling the generator portion of the IDG to produce alternating current at a constant frequency.

With the expanded agreement, Collins’ global aftermarket supply chain team will provide onsite inventory management, offer predictive parts forecast, manage the availability and distribution of parts, and provide 24/7 technical support. As the original equipment manufacturer, Collins will leverage its deep understanding of its products and its commitment to quality customer service to help Air China optimize fleet performance.

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LCI returns to fixed-wing leasing market with Airbus A330 acquisition

LCI, a leading aviation leasing company, has re-entered the fixed-wing market with the acquisition of an Airbus A330-300 commercial aircraft.

This latest investment program builds upon LCI’s 17-year track record in the fixed-wing market during which it has carried out more than 120 passenger and freighter aircraft transactions worth over US$7 billion.

LCI’s long-held fixed-wing strategy of undertaking aircraft investments timed with market cycles includes its US$1 billion fleet divestment in 2007, and its US$4.8 billion fleet investment and divestment cycles running from 2008 to 2020.

Deal origination, technical management, and ongoing lease management will all be handled in-house via LCI’s full-service leasing, management, and investment platform.

The 2013-build Airbus aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. It was acquired by a joint venture between LCI and Marathon Asset Management.

GA Telesis Engine Strategy Group appoints Naji Majdalani Director of Business Development, Middle East

GA Telesis (GAT) has appointed Naji Majdalani as Director of Business Development, Middle East, with the
Engine Strategy Group. Majdalani is the latest addition to the global sales team tasked with implementing GAT’s Turbine Vision 2020 (TV 2020) program. Additionally, he will be responsible for increasing the Middle East engine overhaul and Specialized Procedures Aeroengine Hospital (SPAH) business at its Helsinki, Finland facility.

Majdalani is a seasoned aviation professional with over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and program development across the aerospace, airline, and travel industries. Before joining GA Telesis, he was CEO of charter airline Wings of Lebanon, where he restructured the carrier and increased productivity and profitability.

Donecle announces new AMM task for A320 aircraft

Donecle has announced that its drone is now listed in the Airbus Aircraft Maintenance Manuel (AMM) with a task dedicated to lightning strike inspections. This new task is valid worldwide and applicable on all the A320-family aircraft.

This breakthrough comes after a three year-long qualification program including theoretical analysis, lab testing on representative panels with multiple paint schemes, and a sampling program with five partner airlines over three continents. Each partner airline performed both manual and drone-based inspections on different aircraft to compare the results. Airbus reviewed all the data that was shared with both EASA and FAA thanks to the bilateral agreements. Both regulators provided key feedback for integrating the drone inspection tasks.
 
The Donecle drone lightning strike inspection is indicated as an alternative to a fully manual task. In less than 45 minutes, the drone inspects all the aircraft upper areas:
  • Fuselage above the cabin floor level (STGR 23)
  • Horizontal tail plane on top and below
  • Vertical tail plane
  • Upper surface of the wings, spoilers and flaps
  • Upper surface of the sharklets, inboard surface of the wing fences
The company implemented a specific lightning strike inspection (LSI) filter on its image analyzer software that displays the roughly 1000 images that have to be checked. Initial deployments show the image review takes one- to two-hours, depending on inspector experience and how clean or dirty the aircraft is.

American Airlines and IndiGo sign codeshare agreement

American Airlines is opening new doors across India this fall thanks to a new codeshare agreement with IndiGo, India’s leading airline. The agreement will place American’s code on 29 of IndiGo’s domestic routes in India, providing a convenient option for American Airlines customers arriving on the carrier’s new Bengaluru (BLR) and Delhi (DEL), India, flights.

The codeshare, which will require U.S. and Indian governments’ approvals, is expected to begin in October, as American launches new service between New York (JFK) and DEL on October 31, and between Seattle (SEA) and BLR on January 4, 2022.

IndiGo, India’s largest airline by number of passengers carried, is based in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. With its fleet of 275+ aircraft, the airline operates more than 1,100 daily flights, connecting 70 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations. Since its founding in 2006, IndiGo’s 23,000 employees have professionally served more than 300 million customers.
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