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Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

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Shortly after airlines ask government for help, UK removes all 11 countries from travel red list

Major British airlines wrote to the PM, Boris Johnson, on December 13, describing the new travel rules imposed by the government to combat the Omicron coronavirus variant as “haphazard and disproportionate", as well as being disruptive to families and commerce alike over the Christmas period. The letter was signed by the chief executive officers of British Airways, easyJet EZJ.L, Ryanair RYA.I, Loganair, Virgin Atlantic and Jet2.com JET2.L, the managing director of TUI UK & Ireland, as well as trade body Airlines UK.

In the week previous, Heathrow's CEO John Holland-Kaye called on the British government to reduce restrictions as soon as it was safe to do so, including allowing UK nationals arriving from red-list countries to isolate at home. In response, the British government announced that as of Wednesday December 15, all eleven countries on the COVID-19 travel red list – all southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswantini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – would be removed.

“Now that there is community transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid (reported by Reuters news agency), adding that whilst the UK will maintain its temporary testing measures for international travel it will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list.

Currently, the British government requires all inbound travellers to take either a PCR or a rapid lateral flow test a maximum of 48 hours before departure. UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said these testing measures would be reviewed in the first week of January. “As always, we keep all our travel measures under review and we may impose new restrictions should there be a need to do so to protect public health,” he said in a tweet.

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CDB Aviation signs lease agreements for five A320neo aircraft with Avianca

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB Leasing), has signed international aircraft lease agreements with Colombia’s flag carrier Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. Avianca (Avianca) for a fleet of five Airbus A320neo aircraft.

With deliveries from the lessor’s order book planned for 2022 and 2023, the aircraft are leased on a long-term basis and configured with three different seat types: Premium, Plus and Economy seats.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with the longest running airline in the Americas through a transaction that will help drive the carrier’s new strategy, with environmentally sustainable, new technology aircraft,” commented Luís da Silva, CDB Aviation Head of Commercial, Americas. “These new technology aircraft, featuring lower fuel consumption and superior operating characteristics, will advance Avianca’s commitment to the environment and position the airline for a very bright future amidst the ensuing recovery.”

Newly launched ACJ TwoTwenty completes first flight

The ACJ TwoTwenty launched just over a year ago, has completed its first flight from Montréal–Mirabel International Airport in Canada on December 14, 2021.

The aircraft will be delivered to Comlux in the coming weeks and then outfitted with a VVIP cabin by Comlux in Indianapolis, USA, after the delivery. Comlux has been selected as an exclusive outfitting partner for the first 15 ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft.

The ACJ TwoTwenty is a new value proposition to business aviation buyers. The innovative solution combines intercontinental range enabling the aircraft to fly up to 5,650 nm/10,500 km (over 12 flight hours), unmatched personal space providing comfort for each passenger with 73m²/785 ft² of floor space.

The ACJ TwoTwenty business jet is featuring six wide VIP living areas, of around 12m²/130 ft² each and is equipped with a signature flexible cabin catalogue. This fully completed aircraft is ideal for private and business jet users.

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RECARO Aircraft Seating SL3710 economy- class seat takes off on Cebu Pacific Air’s first A330neo

Recaro Aircraft Seating's (Recaro) SL3710 seats are taking off on Cebu Pacific Air’s (Cebu Pacific) first Airbus A330neo. Through the end of 2025, a total of 16 A330neo aircraft will be delivered to the Philippines-based airline, with 459 pax of the SL3710 installed on each aircraft.

The Cebu Pacific A330neo has a very unique layout with a high-density seating arrangement, which enables Cebu Pacific to serve nearly 500 economy-class passengers each flight. Recaro collaborated closely with Cebu Pacific for this product launch. The Recaro SL3710 provides more space through the slim design and pre-recline, more freedom of movement and thus more comfort. The seat follows the successful SL3510 and is equipped with a USB charging outlet for each passenger to accommodate the use of using personal electronic devices onboard.

JSSI accelerates digital strategy with TRAXXALL acquisition

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), an independent provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry, has announced the acquisition of TRAXXALL. Founded in 2013, TRAXXALL provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for aircraft maintenance tracking, parts inventory management and cloud-based software to enhance aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul workflow. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, TRAXXALL has offices around the world.

TRAXXALL has quickly emerged as a significant player in the maintenance tracking market. TRAXXALL delivers software to help customers reduce aircraft downtime, improve data accuracy and have comprehensive visibility over maintenance costs, parts inventory and MRO operations.

TRAXXALL’s global team will join JSSI’s growing SaaS division, which comprises previous acquisition SierraTrax, reporting to Ash Reddy, recently promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer at JSSI.

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Palermo Airport leverages SITA technology to accelerate its emission reduction ambitions

SITA, the IT provider for the air transport industry and Palermo Falcone Borsellino International Airport have announced a new partnership to trial, over an initial four-month period, a unique solution that aims to cut airport emissions significantly.

According to one scientific study, more than 97% of local annual emissions at an airport are from flight arrivals and departures. These Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions typically represent the largest source of emissions for most organisations. Organisations do not directly control Scope 3 emissions because they relate to the value chain; therefore, they are the most challenging scope of emissions to quantify, report and address.

SITA has developed a new emission management capability in response to these industry challenges; SITA Emissions Manager leverages the SITA Airport Management solution to enable Palermo Airport to monitor and optimise selected Scope 3 emissions, including during landing and take-off cycles. The initiative will integrate various emission datasets to help the airport make informed decisions to drive greater efficiency in apron operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The trial will also assess the benefits of using SITA Emissions Manager to optimise other Scope 3 emission sources at the airport, such as aircraft turnaround and ground vehicles.

With increasing environmental pressure on aviation to take more immediate and increased action to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, as reflected in the recent COP26 – the 2021 United Nations global climate summit – the industry is taking steps to speed up its decarbonisation.

Following a strong partnership between SITA and Palermo Airport spanning more than ten years, the launch of this new trial supports the mutual goals of both organisations. SITA has committed to supporting the air transport industry reduce its carbon footprint. Palermo Airport is decarbonising its operations through ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. Over 2018 and 2019, the airport has already reduced its carbon emissions – from 0.71 kilograms of CO2 per passenger to 0.67 – by adopting renewable energy. The airport has set a target to reach 0.60 kilograms of CO2 per passenger by 2023.

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Embraer and TNO sign MoU for research and technological developments in defense

Embraer and TNO, the Netherlands oganisation for applied scientific research, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for future developments of defense and dual use products and services in air, sea, land and space domains. The MoU may include joint research, technology development and innovation process.

The MoU intends to extend and increase long-term business relations between the parties during the research and development of key technologies for defense applications, which can be part of future capabilities within Embraer’s existing platforms such as the C-390 Millennium, or new aircraft, vehicles, and systems. This MoU also aims to strengthen the cooperation between Embraer and TNO in The Netherlands and Brazil.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Tamar