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LATEST NEWS

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

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easyJet to explore hydrogen fuel cell propulsion with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions

As part of the company’s commitment to decarbonize aviation, easyJet, one of Europe’s largest airlines, has teamed up with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) to advance the research into a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion unit suitable for commercial aircraft.

Currently CAS is developing a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for an existing nine-seat Britten-Norman Islander aircraft which it hopes will take to the skies next year. The two companies will combine resources to gain a better understanding of how zero-carbon technologies can be integrated into future airline operations.

easyJet is currently working with the likes of Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Wright Electric to promote the development of zero-emission technologies and its supported infrastructure and is hopeful that it will be able to operate hydrogen-combustion, hydrogen-electric or a hybrid of both on a commercial basis by the mid-to-late 2030s. easyJet signed up to Race to Zero in November last year, underlining the low-cost carrier’s commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Commenting on the collaboration with CAeS, David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations, easyJet, said: “easyJet remains absolutely committed to sustainable flying and a towards a future with zero-emission flying. We know that technology is a key driver to achieve our decarbonisation targets with hydrogen propulsion a frontrunner for short-haul airlines like easyJet.” Paul Hutton, Chief Executive Officer, CAeS, said: “CAeS is committed to ensuring the wide-spread adoption of zero-emissions aircraft and for this to succeed, the solutions must be commercially viable. We are delighted to be working with easyJet which, as Europe’s leading airline, is ideally placed to help shape our development with the end user in mind. Our nine-seat hydrogen fuel cell powered B-N Islander development is a vital first step in our journey to design and manufacture larger, longer range, regional aircraft between 19 and 100 seats.”

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Azorra orders 22 A220-family aircraft

Airbus has signed a purchase agreement with Azorra for 22 A220.family aircraft including twenty A220-300s and two ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft. Azorra is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA-based aircraft lessor focused on executive, regional and mid-size (crossover) aircraft.

Azorra’s purchase is the latest endorsement for the A220-family aircraft and reaffirms the strong market demand for Airbus’ newest single-aisle aircraft.

“The A220 is ideally suited for Azorra’s growing portfolio. We are excited to partner with Airbus on this popular, next generation aircraft. We look forward to offering its superior economics and environmental efficiency to our customers,” said John Evans, CEO of Azorra. “We are also thrilled with the opportunity to expand Azorra’s executive jet leasing business with the new ACJ TwoTwenty.  Azorra’s  new partnership with Airbus and unique ability to offer fleet transition solutions for airlines and executive jet leases to business aviation customers are key differentiators that bring significant value to our customers. ”

Heston MRO signs purchase agreement for Cairns MRO facility

Heston MRO, an independent MRO organization, has signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of Cairns MRO facility from Jet Aviation.

Upon completion, the new acquisition will expand Heston MRO capabilities into full heavy maintenance for regional aircraft, as well as state-of-the-art avionic repair shops for a wider range of aircraft types.

Established more than 20 years ago and expanded significantly in 2018, Cairns MRO centre has been initially operating under Hawker Pacific and recently under the Jet Aviation brand.

It is one of the most-modern, well-invested and up-to-date heavy maintenance and avionics repair facility in Australia. Staffed with circa 150 experienced employees and contractors, housed in 5400 m² of recently expanded and upgraded hangars and offices, Cairns MRO is the largest MRO centre in Far North Queensland, attracting customers from Australia, Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia.

The transaction, which is subject to standard pre-closing procedures, is estimated to complete by the end of Q1 2022. Once completed, Cairns facility will operate under the Heston MRO brand and continue delivering high-quality MRO services to existing and new customers in Australasia.

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Anthony Spaulding joins Magellan team as Executive Vice President

Magellan Aviation Group has announced Anthony Spaulding's return to the organization. He will be joining the Magellan team as Executive Vice President to support interim President & CEO Michimoto “Mitch” Asano.

Spaulding brings to Magellan over 35 years of experience in US Naval Aviation, Airline MRO, Engine OEM and Engine Leasing with globally recognized organizations. Mitch Asano states, “We’re very excited for Anthony’s return. His depth of experience, knowledge and management capabilities will complement our growing team of seasoned executives and the future growth of Magellan.”

London Oxford Airport upgrades Fire and Rescue Service to full-time Category 6

London Oxford Airport has commenced the New Year with a significant upgrade of its Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (RFFS) to Category 6. The enhanced status follows the introduction of replacement fire tenders, allowing for associated changes in manned resources at the UK’s fifth busiest business aviation airport.

Previously, customers had to pre-book and pay for an upgrade from the standard Category 4 RFFS, which required notice. Now, it’s available as standard airport service without any additional charge and on immediate demand. A further advantage, especially for operators coming in with larger business jets, is that the airport can be a viable alternative for weather-related (or other diversion reasons) from elsewhere. Operators coming in with larger aircraft types will have the peace of mind that the requisite fire cover is now always available.

The airport has welcomed an increased number of long-range and ultra-long-range business jets these past 12 months, with customers from further afield finding London Oxford Airport to be a convenient and hassle-free option for access to the north and west side of London, as well as the Thames Valley.   

London Oxford Airport’s business jet movements in 2021 were 33% up over 2020.  The last 12 months proved to be its best on record for 15 years (when the Reuben Brothers acquired the airport from BBA Aviation) netting a total 66,000 aircraft movements and 10,000 passengers handled through its OxfordJet FBO. This compares with 46,000 aircraft movements in 2020 and 48,000 in 2019.  Total aircraft movements were 57% up on the decade’s average and 44% over year 2020.

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Caerdav continues to deliver maintenance support for TUI Airways

TUI Airways has continued its relationship with Caerdav, a fully-approved and certified MRO and pilot training company based at the St. Athan - Cardiff Airport Aerospace Enterprise Zone in South Wales, UK, placing another four aircraft into the company’s modern MRO facility to undergo a range of maintenance work.

Following on from 40 aircraft that have been through Caerdav’s St. Athan base since the two companies began working together in 2019, the latest work involves two Boeing 757 and two 767 aircraft that had reached the end of their current lease.

Juergen Jerome, Outsourced Maintenance Manager at TUI Airline says: “We have developed an excellent relationship with Caerdav over the past two years – something that has been brought into even sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The team has delivered storage and maintenance support for a number of aircraft while the industry was grounded, including an engine change and end-of-lease work. What keeps us coming back to St. Athan is Caerdav’s quality, consistency and flexibility, with a skilled team that is able to shift focus when required – nothing is too much to ask.”

This flexibility comes to the fore when preparing aircraft for the end of their operational lease with TUI, allowing for any unforeseen maintenance jobs that form part of the process, allowing for a seamless transition back to the aircraft owners.

France becomes first H160 law enforcement customer

The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) has signed a contract, on behalf of the Ministry of Interior, for the procurement and maintenance of ten H160 helicopters in a law enforcement configuration for the Gendarmerie Nationale. Linked to the contract for the procurement of 169 H160Ms for the French Ministry of Armed Forces, this order is part of the stimulus plan to support the national aeronautical industry announced by the French government in 2020.

France is the first country to order the H160 for law enforcement missions. The H160s for the Gendarmerie Nationale will be equipped with a Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system, winching and fast roping capabilities. The air force command centre of the Gendarmerie Nationale and Airbus Helicopters are also working closely together to develop a tailored mission management system.

The French Gendarmerie Nationale already operates a wide fleet of Airbus helicopters from the H125, H135 and H145 families. On top of its improved performances and advanced mission systems, the H160 will bring a new troop transport capability for the French Ministry of Interior’s security forces, mainly tactical units, such as the Gendarmerie Nationale’s intervention group (GIGN). The first H160s will be delivered before the Olympic Games that will take place in Paris in 2024.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar