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Thursday, January 20th, 2022

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easyJet and SR Technics Malta renew base maintenance contract

MRO service provider SR Technics, has announced that its Malta subsidiary SR Technics Malta has renewed its base maintenance contract with low-cost carrier easyJet. The agreement will cover two lines of base maintenance work and will extend for two years.

SR Technics has supported easyJet for a number of years, covering a wide range of MRO services and by the end of this year it is scheduled for SR Technics to have serviced 35 aircraft and 45 aircraft by the time the agreement ends. Work to date had been carried out at the existing SR Technics facility in Malta, but operations will be moved to the MRO supplier’s new six-bay hangar which is scheduled to open at Malta Airport in Safi, next month.

Brendan McConnellogue, easyJet Director of Engineering and Maintenance commented: "We are extremely pleased to be extending our relationship with the SR Technics team in Malta. It’s hard to believe that it has been more than 11 years since SR Technics delivered the first A319 IV check back to easyJet and they continue to support us in ensuring the highest levels of operational safety for our fleet, all with the same dedication and enthusiasm as they did on the very first aircraft back in 2010.”

flypop brings second aircraft into service for cargo operations

flypop, the UK low-cost carrier has brought its second aircraft into service. The Airbus A330 flew into London Stansted Airport, flypop’s headquarters, where the team celebrated the airline’s growing fleet.

flypop has been partnering with Hi Fly airline for zero LOPA cargo operations over the past few months to meet the growing international demand for cargo flights.

Over the next few months flypop will bring two more of its fleet of aircraft into service for cargo duties and plans to launch passenger flights in the summer to meet the pent-up demand of the Indian diaspora communities living in the UK and their visiting friends and relatives.

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United Airlines achieves fourth quarter financial targets and reiterates long-term commitments

United Airlines (UAL) has reported its fourth-quarter and full year 2021 financial results and reiterated confidence in its longer-term United Next financial targets. The company achieved every major financial guidance target for the fourth-quarter – and set a new Net Promoter Score (NPS) record in 2021 – despite the sharp spike in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. Despite near term volatility, bookings for spring travel and beyond remain strong, which is why the Omicron spike has not altered the airline's confidence in the 2023 and 2026 CASM-ex United Next targets announced last year.

The airline starts 2022 with a scaled-back schedule, reflecting the impact of the Omicron spike on demand. However, as the year progresses, United expects to nimbly ramp up capacity by ungrounding 52 Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 777s, as demand returns, which will yield improvements in the airline's gauge and aircraft utilization. The airline expects this approach, which continues to prioritize matching capacity to demand, means: 1) the airline will fly fewer available seat miles (ASMs) in 2022 than 2019 and 2) CASM-ex will decline significantly over the course of 2022. Most importantly, these 2022 trends will lay the groundwork for successful execution of the multi-year United Next strategy and achievement of the financial targets set for 2023 and beyond.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results:

United Airlines reported that fourth quarter 2021 capacity was down 23% compared to fourth quarter 2019 and reported fourth quarter 2021 net loss of US$0.6 billion (adjusted net loss of US$0.5 billion) and a full year 2021 net loss of US$2.0 billion (adjusted net loss of US$4.5 billion).

Fourth quarter 2021 total operating revenue was US$8.2 billion, down 25% compared to fourth quarter 2019 and fourth quarter 2021 Total Revenue Per Available Seat Mile (TRASM) was down 3% compared to fourth quarter 2019.

LHT appoints new heads of Corporate Sales for Europe, Eastern Europe and CIS

Daniel Hepworth and Andreas van de Kuil have taken over new management positions within Lufthansa Technik's Corporate Sales organization. Hepworth, who was until the end of December 2021 GM Corporate Sales for the UK, Ireland, France and BeNeLux, has become Head of Sales Europe, effective January 1, 2022. At the same time, van de Kuil, former Director Customer Service and Sales Americas of Lufthansa Technik Component Services, has started as Head of Sales Eastern Europe and CIS.

Since 2016, Hepworth has led a multinational team and was responsible for the development and implementation of the sales strategy for the UK, Ireland, France and BeNeLux. He has more than 20 years' experience in international MRO sales, including 14 years spent at Lufthansa Technik in various sales positions in Europe and North America.

Starting in 2009, van de Kuil held different positions in Lufthansa Technik's Corporate Sales organization and as CEO of Lufthansa Technik Vostok Services. In 2017, he joined Lufthansa Technik Component Services in the US. In his last function as Director Customer Service and Sales Americas, he was responsible for customer service, operational management, key account management as well as sales and pricing.

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Qantas seeks termination of crew agreement to change rostering processes

Qantas International has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate its long-haul cabin crew agreement as a last resort to change restrictive and outdated rostering processes. There are no job losses associated with the proposed termination.

This is the first time in Qantas’ history that it has sought to terminate an enterprise agreement. It follows six months of negotiation with the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (FAAA) and other bargaining representatives for a new enterprise agreement that was rejected by both the union and 97% of crew who voted.

The rejected four-year deal included a pay increase and increased allowances. It also sought to simplify complex and historical rostering conditions that meant around 20% of more than 2,500 long-haul crew could only be used on a single type of aircraft – which is unworkable as the airline seeks to recover from COVID.

The need for change to rostering processes was recognized by the Fair Work Commission in an earlier decision relating to bargaining for the agreement. The FAAA’s counteroffer represented a AU$60 million cost increase over four years – which is also unworkable.

The Fair Work Commission is expected to start dealing with the termination application over the coming weeks, with Qantas requesting the hearing be expedited.

Qantas’ international flying is expected to remain at around 20% of pre-COVID levels for the next few months, increasing from April onwards as Omicron-related restrictions ease overseas.

This is the third time the FAAA and Qantas have been before the Commission regarding this round of bargaining.

Condor to hire 150 new flight attendants

Condor has started with the tenders for flight attendants on the aircraft types B757, B767, A320 and A321 operated by Condor as well as for the new A330neo aircraft, which will fly for Condor from autumn 2022. A total of around 150 new employees will be recruited at the Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich, Hamburg and Leipzig stations to operate Condor aircraft. Full-time positions are available, which are limited to two years and offer an option for a long-term employment relationship, as well as permanent part-time positions.

Condor has already been recruiting 180 new pilots since November and also takes on the Condor pilots it has trained itself. In this way, Germany's vacation carrier is preparing for the new long-haul aircraft, the Airbus A330neo. Condor is the German launch customer for the aircraft.

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Czech Airlines Technics expands co-operation with leasing companies

Alongside air transport, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the demand for aircraft maintenance services. As a result, for over a year, Czech Airlines Technics (CSAT) has been providing its services to new clients, namely leasing companies, alongside traditional airline customers. Their number has been growing steadily and a new service model of one-stop-shop maintenance has been created to suit their needs.

"We respond to market development trends and offer leasing companies a service model that includes complex work by one provider, without the need for additional suppliers and unnecessary overflights to organize subsequent maintenance. We are able to provide complex customer support during aircraft parking, including CAMO support, aircraft registration / de-registration and aircraft readiness according to the specific requirements of the new operator after a leasing agreement termination," Pavel Haleš, Chairman of the Czech Airlines Technics Board of Directors said, adding: “It is a very interesting model for our company, which can ensure the use of our capacities even during the off-season period.”

By the end of 2020, CSAT's client portfolio comprised predominantly airline aircraft operators. However, the air transport downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic caused airlines to reduce aircraft numbers and terminate contracts with aircraft owners. In the second half of December 2020, the first aircraft owned by a leasing company thus headed to Prague Airport. "After the first project, we managed to negotiate a follow-up co-operation, and in the 2021 summer season, we performed several checks for two large leasing companies. We also launched co-operating with more clients among leasing companies," Pavel Haleš added.

Currently, CSAT provides parking for several aircraft, on which it will soon carry out major inspections and redelivery projects, incl. complementary services, such as DOA and CAMO. The arrival of other aircraft to undergo inspections is planned during the summer of this year. Parking services are also offered to airlines, both at Prague Airport and at partner airports in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

C&L Aerospace signs distributorship with Concorde Battery for ERJ 135/145 battery

C&L Aerospace, a C&L Aviation Group company, has signed a distribution agreement with Concorde Battery Corporation for their ERJ 135/145 Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery.

Concorde’s SLA batteries are a cost-effective alternative to nickel-cadmium batteries. Benefits include drop-in battery replacement, lower-cost to acquisition and reduced cost-per-flight-hour. Also, there is no memory effect, cycling requirements, or thermal runaway, while the battery is subject to hazmat-exempt shipping and more. The battery also has a cold-weather performance that is equal to or better than nickel-cadmium. All of this contributes to a lower operating cost for the aircraft.
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