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Thursday, December 16th, 2021

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Singapore Airlines becomes first airline to buy the Airbus A350F

Singapore airlines has branched out into the world of freighters with a deal to acquire seven of the world’s newest freighter, the Airbus A350F. This is a significant breakthrough into a niche market dominated by rival planemaker Boeing. The fourth quarter of 2025 will be the date for commencement of deliveries, though it should be noted that this order has been made on the basis that Singapore airlines can swap the A350Fs for the 15 A320 neos and two A350-900s that are currently on order.

Ordinarily Airbus would look to delay delivery of previously ordered aircraft but see the swap as being more beneficial as this is a ‘big name’ endorsement of the A350F. Additionally, while Airbus is unlikely to have any difficulty in finding a buyer for the 15 A320 neos, the sale of seven A350 variants will be a fillip to the struggling wide-body production.

It is looking very likely that Qatar Airways, which had shown strong interest in the A350 freighter variant, will now be placing an order for between 34 and 35 Boeing 777X freighters after problems of erosion to the surface of existing Airbus jets remain unresolved and the dispute has now been put in the hands of lawyers. 

Singapore Airlines said its seven new A350 freighters, along with options for another five, would replace its own fleet of seven ageing Boeing 747 freighters and reduce carbon emissions. Singapore Airlines is the A350F freighter’s third customer with lessor Air Lease Corp and French cargo company CMA CGM placing orders.


Boeing and CSIRO launch five-year R&D programme

Boeing and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have launched a new five-year, AU$41 million research programme with focus areas that include improving aviation sustainability, digital twin and model-based engineering, space and using technologies to boost factory safety and productivity.

Projects include accelerating satellite communications and other space-related technologies and enhancing Boeing’s digital twin and model-based engineering capabilities to further improve the operational efficiency and sustainability of Boeing’s commercial airplanes and future products.

CSIRO has been named Boeing’s Supplier of the year on four occasions: 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the Environmental category. The parties have made numerous breakthroughs since first partnering in 1989. These include CSIRO’s ‘Paintbond’ technology, which has been applied to more than a thousand Boeing airplanes around the world, saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs.

Over 32 years of working together, the two organisations have invested more than AU$200 million on joint research projects, including space-related R&D, some of which will take place at CSIRO’s new Brisbane facility, which is also home to approximately 2000 of Boeing’s Queensland-based employees.


Veridos equips Luxembourg Airport with EES-compliant registration systems

Veridos has been commissioned to equip Luxembourg's International Airport with registration solutions for the new European border control system EES (Entry-Exit System). The order includes self-service pre-registration kiosks, mobile pre-registration solutions and biometric acquisition units for security booths.

The European Union's new entry-exit system is scheduled to start in May 2022 and will help to make the entry and exit of third-country nationals simpler, more transparent and more secure. People from third countries will have to register with their fingerprints and a facial image when entering the Schengen area. The biometric data will be stored together with information from passports in the central EES. This will eliminate the need for time-consuming manual stamping of passports and enables an automated passport verification. Thus, the system provides reliable data on border crossings, avoids identity fraud and detects forged travel documents as well as illegal immigration by revealing overstayed visa.

As part of the EES, Veridos, a leading global provider of identity solutions, will equip Luxembourg Airport with registration technologies, including a self-service eKiosk system that allows travelers to pre-register themselves before proceeding to the screening booths. The eKiosks capture the fingerprints of travelers, take facial images and read passports. They also guide travelers with a menu through questions about their destination, length of stay, and additional members of their parties.


Delta to welcome Chief Sustainability Officer

Delta Air Lines will welcome a Chief Sustainability Officer in 2022, continuing its commitment to build a sustainable future for air travel. Pamela Fletcher will join Delta as Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer and will join the Delta Leadership Committee as the airline industry’s only C-Suite level CSO. In her new role, Fletcher will report directly to CEO Ed Bastian and will join the Delta Leadership Committee. She will begin February 1, 2022.

In addition, Amelia DeLuca is being promoted to Vice President – Sustainability, reporting to Fletcher. DeLuca’s outstanding work leading Delta's sustainability efforts over the past year has established Delta as an industry leader and she will be an essential part of the team moving forward.

Bavaria orders eight five-bladed H145s for its police force

The Ministry of Interior of Bavaria has ordered eight five-bladed Airbus H145 helicopters for its police force, following a European tender launched earlier this year. The helicopters will replace the state’s current H135 fleet and will be operated by the two bases of the Bavarian helicopters squadron at the airport in Munich and in Roth, close to Nuremberg. The first delivery is planned for 2023.

The new version of Airbus’ H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta. This latest upgrade adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearing less main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.


Eastern Airways debuts Cornwall to London service on Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Eastern Airways, the UK’s independent regional airline, has celebrated its inaugural Cornwall Newquay – London Gatwick route on December 15. The flight was operated with one of Eastern’s ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft, fuelled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied by Air bp. The airline underlined its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, backing calls for closer collaborative work between industry and government to lower the cost and widen availability of SAF.

Restoring a vital air connection, Eastern’s Cornwall to London flights increase to a day return frequency Monday to Friday from January 17, bolstered by twice-daily service on Sundays, from February 12. From the end of March, the airline will offer twice-daily Saturday services.

Pentagon 2000 Software announces major new system version

Pentagon 2000 Software has announced a major new version of its flagship software system. Version 2021.01 has been released with a set of new functionality, performance and reliability features.

This latest version includes many new features and functions and also provides new system-level changes and an upgraded graphical user interface. The new version also provides an important foundation for future enhancements that will soon deliver a browser-based web client interface and advanced CMMC cybersecurity functionality.

Delivery of the new version and the related support services are yet another indication of the investments that Pentagon 2000 Software is making to add value and support for customer business operations.

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