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Monday, January 10th, 2022

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Ryanair closes base at Frankfurt am Main after fee hike

Ryanair has chosen to close down its base at Germany’s Frankfurt am Main airport and relocate its five aircraft to other European airports.

The decision has been made as a direct consequence of the airport opting to increase airport charges while most others in Europe have chosen to lower them in an effort to help stimulate traffic recovery. Though Ryanair will continue to invest in Germany – it has invested €175 million in two new aircraft for its Nuremberg base.

As Europe’s largest carrier, Ryanair is attracted to airports which are reducing their charges, particularly at a time when the Irish low-cost carrier has invested in 65 new Boeing 737 8-200 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft for this summer. Ryanair has written to all pilots and cabin crew directly affected by the closure at Frankfurt, assuring them of positions elsewhere within the company’s network as it continues its plans to grow in a post-covid environment, notably by investing in a total of 210 aircraft.

Commenting on the decision to close the Frankfurt am Main hub, Ryanair’s Director of Commercial Jason McGuinness said: “We are disappointed to announce the closure of our Frankfurt am Main base at the end of March 2022, but we have no alternative in response to a decision from the airport to increase its airport fees, despite the collapse in traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While Ryanair continues to invest in German airports who understand the requirement to lower airport charges to recover traffic, competition in the German market has been massively distorted by the €9bn of State Aid that was pumped into Lufthansa, who continues to cut its fleet, connections, and jobs.” (£1.00 = €1.20 at time of publication).


ANSL to provide simulator training for Marshall Aerospace ATCOs at Cambridge Airport

Air Navigation Solutions (ANSL) has signed a contract with Marshall Aerospace to provide a comprehensive Air Traffic Management (ATM) support package, centred around the provision of a simulator-based training solution for Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) at Cambridge City Airport.

The agreement will see ANSL provide a full-capability Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulator on a temporary basis, as well as an instructor to join the airport team on secondment to lead delivery of the training. Additionally, ANSL will provide Marshall Aerospace with a Manager Air Traffic Services (MATS) on an interim basis, along with wider compliance services in support of the ATM operation.

Providing this essential simulator training will enable the airport to continue to develop the skills of its trainee ATCOs in the current low traffic environment as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial focus will be on the stabilisation of current operations, followed by the extension of operating hours, making Cambridge City Airport a reliable and attractive destination for business and commercial aviation looking to operate into the wider London area.

The programme delivered by ANSL will allow the airport to expedite its ATC training plan by three years, whilst minimizing the drain on the operational teams by complementing it with additional expertise and resource. 

Simulator training is an essential part of building trainee ATCOs’ experience as it allows them to practice managing different simulated levels of air traffic whilst actual air traffic remains low. It is an integral element of its journey towards becoming fully validated ATCOs at Cambridge Airport.

Iraqi Airways takes delivery of first of five A220-300 aircraft

Iraqi Airways has taken delivery of its first out of five A220-300 aircraft from Airbus Mirabel, Canada. Upon entry into service, Iraqi Airways will become one of the first airlines to operate the A220 in the Middle East region.

With the A220, Iraqi Airways will benefit from the aircraft’s exceptional technical, economic and environmental performance. Iraqi Airways’ A220-300 features a modern and highly comfortable dual-class cabin that seats 132 passengers: twelve in business-class and 120 in economy-class. The state-of-the-art aircraft will play an integral part of Iraqi Airways' fleet renewal and modernization plan.

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market and brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines. Featuring a 50% reduced noise footprint and up to 25% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, as well as around 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards, the A220 is a great aircraft for regional as well as long distance routes operations.


Lockheed Martin upgrades sensor systems on Egypt’s Apache fleet

Lockheed Martin has received a US$102 million contract award to upgrade 25 of Egypt’s AH-64D Apaches to the E-model version of the aircraft. 

This modernization for the Egyptian Air Force includes Lockheed Martin’s Gen III Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (Gen III TADS/PNVS) and the Gen III Day Sensor Assembly (Gen III DSA).

The award is part of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract signed with the US Army. The ID/IQ serves as the contracting vehicle to provide Gen III DSA and Gen III TADS/PNVS systems and services.

Under the order, Lockheed Martin is delivering the upgraded sensor kits as part of a remanufacture effort to upgrade D-model Apaches to E-models.

The work will be performed at the Boeing Apache Helicopter Plant in Mesa, Arizona with an estimated completion date of July 2024.

NAC strengthens executive leadership team with four senior appointments

Regional aircraft leasing company Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), will strengthen its executive leadership team with the appointment of Mike Jones as EVP Global Marketing, David Farrell as EVP & Chief Risk Officer, Colin Joyce as EVP Marketing Operations and Ross McKeand as SVP Specialty Markets / Fleet Planning.

Jones joins NAC with over 30 years of origination experience in the aviation industry at GPA and GECAS. His last position at GECAS was EVP Emerging Markets, where he led teams covering airline accounts across Asia, the Middle East/Africa/CIS and Latin America. He will have global responsibility for NAC’s airline marketing team and the company’s customer relationships.

Farrell comes to the business with over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, including 13 years with GPA and GECAS. he most recently worked at BOC Aviation Limited from 2006 to 2021, where he held the position of Chief Risk Officer. He will be responsible for implementing and overseeing the newly established risk management function, managing asset, liability and customer risks as well as other operational risks.

Joyce joins the business with over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, including 15 years at GECAS. He most recently worked at JLPS Ireland Limited as Chief Investment Officer. He will be responsible for leading Marketing Operations, including transaction pricing, fleet roll-off/OEM skyline management, structured finance and aircraft trading.

Ross McKeand has over 16 years of experience in the aviation industry, including with GECAS, Airbus and Bombardier and has worked extensively providing product marketing support to airlines in Europe and Asia. Prior to joining NAC, he worked as Managing Director, Market Planning Department in ICBC Leasing. He will work closely with the marketing team focusing on fleet planning, product evaluation and specialty markets, including cargo, hydrogen and firefighting conversions.

Jones, Farrell and Joyce will report to the company’s President & CEO, Norm Liu. McKeand will report to NAC’s EVP Global Marketing, Mike Jones.

SIA and National University of Singapore launch new digital aviation corporate laboratory

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have launched a new digital aviation corporate laboratory, which will co-create innovative technologies and solutions that would accelerate the digital transformation of Singapore’s aviation sector and help redefine the air travel experience for passengers.

Situated at the Innovation 4.0 Building at NUS Kent Ridge campus, the S$45 million research facility is jointly set up by SIA and NUS and supported by the NRF. This is the seventh corporate laboratory to be established at the University, which is also the 19th in Singapore.

The Corporate Laboratory is the result of a robust partnership between NUS and SIA. The airline launched its Digital Innovation Blueprint in 2018 to establish itself as a digital aviation and travel experience leader. This was followed by the signing of two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between NUS and SIA, with the University as the Airline’s knowledge partner.

The launch of the Corporate Laboratory comes at an opportune time as the global aviation industry tackles the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. An acceleration of its digital transformation programme will help to keep SIA vibrant and nimble, and contribute towards the development of a digital aviation and travel technology community in Singapore.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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