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Friday, November 12th, 2021

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Boeing accepts full liability for Ethiopian Airlines crash – avoids punitive damages

Boeing Co. has accepted liability for the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX on March 12, 2019, in which all 157 passengers and crew were killed, according to a filing in the US District Court in Chicago. In a statement Boeing admitted under the agreement "that the 737 MAX had an unsafe condition and that it will not attempt to blame anyone else" for the crash. The statement also concluded that "Boeing is committed to ensuring that all families who lost loved ones in the accidents are fully and fairly compensated for their loss. By accepting responsibility, Boeing's agreement with the families allows the parties to focus their efforts on determining the appropriate compensation for each family".

Lawyers for the victims commented that: "This is a significant milestone for the families in their pursuit of justice against Boeing, as it will ensure they are all treated equitably and eligible to recover full damages under Illinois law while creating a pathway for them to proceed to a final resolution, whether through settlements or trial." With the admission of culpability, lawyers acting for the victims will not pursue punitive damages and Boeing will withhold challenging the victims’ lawsuits that are being filed in Illinois. Next Tuesday is the day appointed by a judge for a hearing, lawyers for the victims also commenting that the compensation “will serve to hold Boeing fully accountable for the deaths of the 157 people who perished”.

The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines’ and Lion Air’s 737 MAX jets have cost Boeing in the region of US$20 billion, the company having recently agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice including US$2.5 billion in fines and compensation. However, the uncle of one of the Ethiopian Airlines’ victims, Ralph Nader, has criticised Boeing’s actions, pointing out that it will now prevent lawyers from questioning current and former Boeing senior executives or pursuing punitive damage claims. Meanwhile, the victims' families have additionally agreed to dismiss claims against Rosemount Aerospace who made the sensors for the 737 MAX, and Raytheon Technologies Corp's Rockwell Collins, a key supplier for the jet.

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SAS increases number of flights to the US as demand for travel rises

As a direct result of the US now opening to more visitors, demand for travel is rising sharply. SAS is now updating its traffic programme and increasing the number of flights to and from the US.

Flight bookings with SAS to the US over Christmas and New Year have increased significantly. SAS is offering up to 100 flights per week during the Christmas and New Year period to and from Scandinavia.

SAS resumed the route from Stockholm to Miami on November 8th and resumed the route from Copenhagen on November 10th and from Oslo on November 11th. This means that SAS will have daily flights to Miami from Scandinavia during the winter.

SAS is also increasing the number of departures to New York and will fly twice daily from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, starting in November. SAS flies daily from Copenhagen to Chicago and will start flights from Stockholm to Chicago from mid-December. The carrier will increase the number of flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC from Copenhagen over Christmas and New Year.

SAS flies to the US with modern Airbus aircraft with fuel-efficient engines. The new aircraft have 15-30 % lower fuel consumption compared to the aircraft they are replacing. The new, state-of-the-art aircraft offer SAS’ customers a more comfortable, pleasant and sustainable way of travelling.

ST Engineering to provide full component support to Virgin Australia’s B737NG fleet

ST Engineering has reported that its Commercial Aerospace business has secured a component Maintenance-By-the-Hour (MBH™) contract from Virgin Australia Airlines.

Under the five-year contract, ST Engineering will provide full integrated component support to Virgin Australia’s growing fleet of Boeing B737NG starting this month. The suite of comprehensive component MRO services include repair management, pool access and provision of consignment stock in Australia. This adds to the airframe heavy maintenance services that ST Engineering is currently providing to the airline at its Singapore facility.

Virgin Australia Chief Operations Officer, Stuart Aggs, said, “Virgin Australia Airlines is pleased to have selected ST Engineering as our strategic partner for component MRO services through a comprehensive tender process. We look forward to maximising our strategic partnership as domestic and international travel ramps up and our fleet, team and passengers return to the skies.”

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Embraer begins production of first KC-390 Millennium for Hungary

Embraer successfully concluded the Hungary Critical Design Review (CDR) and began the structural assembly of its first KC-390 Millennium for Hungary. In the coming weeks, parts will be assembled to generate the structural panels and frames for the main components of the fuselage and semi-wings. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in 2024.

In November 2020, the Hungarian government signed a contract with Embraer for the acquisition of two C-390 Millennium multi-mission transport aircraft, in its Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) configuration, designated KC-390. The acquisition is part of the process to strengthen the capabilities of the Hungarian Defence Forces.

The KC-390 for the Hungarian Defence Forces will be the first in the world with the Intensive Care Unit in its configuration, an essential feature to perform humanitarian missions. The aircraft fully meets the requirements of the Hungarian Defence Forces, being able to perform different types of military and civilian missions including Medical Evacuation, Cargo and Troops Transport, Precision Cargo Airdrop, Paratroopers Operations and AAR.

These KC-390 are fully NATO compatible, not only in terms of its hardware but also in its avionics and communications configuration. Furthermore, the KC-390 probe and drogue refueling system means the aircraft is capable of refueling the Hungarian JAS 39 Gripen, as well as other aircraft that use the same technology.

SIA Group narrows first-half net loss

The SIA Group has reported financial performance for the first half of FY2021/22.

Group revenue rose SG$1,193 million (+73.0%) year-on-year to SG$2,827 million, attributable to improvements in both passenger and cargo segments. Passenger flown revenue grew by SG$598 million (+385.8%) on the back of the recovery in traffic, partly offset by weaker yields. Cargo flown revenue reached a record high of SG$1,875 million (+SG$635 million or +51.2%) with the progressive resumption of passenger flights contributing to the increase in cargo capacity (+49.5%) and loads carried (+61.6%).

Group expenditure fell SG$51 million (-1.5%) to SG$3,446 million. This was mainly due to the absence of the fuel hedging ineffectiveness that was recorded last year and the swing from fair value loss to gain on fuel derivatives arising from the rise in fuel prices during the first half of the year. This was mostly offset by net fuel costs which rose SG$434 million (+115.4%) to SG$810 million, mainly due to higher fuel prices and an increase in volume uplifted to support the expansion in passenger operations.

The SIA Group recorded an operating loss of SG$619 million for the first half, an improvement of SG$1,244 million (+66.8%) from the SG$1,863 million operating loss in the previous year. For the half year ended September 30, 2021, the Group reported a net loss of SG$837 million, an improvement of SG$2,630 million (+75.9%) from the prior year. This was mainly due to better operating performance, and the absence of SG$1,630 million in non-cash items recorded last year largely from the impairment of aircraft assessed to be surplus to requirements.

Based on current published schedules, the Group expects passenger capacity to reach 43% of pre-Covid levels by December 2021. The Group network will serve just over half of the total pre-Covid points, or 73 destinations including Singapore.

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GA Telesis to start disassembly of multiple Boeing 737NG, Airbus A330-200 and A340-600 aircraft

GA Telesis (GAT) has announced a significant expansion to its inventory of Used Serviceable Material (USM) with the disassembly of two Boeing 737NG, two Airbus A330-200 and four Airbus A340-600 aircraft. GAT's Component Solutions team will manage the distribution of the USM from these three aircraft types.

GA Telesis has disassembled over 400 commercial aircraft with the inventory supporting the day-to-day operational requirements of airlines and MROs worldwide. The GA Telesis strategy to maintain the highest level of USM in support of the industry is also an integral part of GAT’s SNAP, iGEAR, ACCESS, exchange, and lease programmes, providing cost-effective solutions to operators globally.

GA Telesis forecasts that in 2022, the Ccompany will up-cycle another 35-40 aircraft and up to 100 engines to continue supporting the commercial aviation market. The material from these latest projects will be positioned at strategic distribution centres in North America and Europe by the end of 2021.

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Chrono Aviation goes live with Rusada’s ENVISION

Chrono Aviation, the Canadian charter airline, has successfully deployed Rusada’s ENVISION as its airworthiness and maintenance solution. Chrono Aviation provides charter services from its bases in Montreal, Quebec City and Rimouski to destinations across Canada and the US. After nine years in operation, the carrier now has a fleet of 14 aircraft ranging from Pilatus PC-12’s to Boeing 737’s. Chrono will also soon be adding a Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the fleet, its largest aircraft to date.

Chrono performs most of its maintenance in-house through subsidiary WAAS Aerospace, which also conducts extensive third-party work. The company is currently constructing a new 66,000 ft² hangar at Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport to accommodate recent growth.

Rusada worked closely with the teams at Chrono and WAAS throughout the deployment project to ensure a successful go live on eight of ENVISION’s modules. Chrono will use its Fleet Management module for continuing airworthiness and maintenance planning, Base, Line & Component Maintenance modules for MRO execution and Inventory Management for its warehouses. It will also use ENVISION’s Human Resources, Quality & Safety, and Finance & Accounting modules to support these functions.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar