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Monday, January 24th, 2022

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America suspends 44 Chinese carrier flights to China in tit-for-tat action

The United States has announced that it will be suspending 44 flights to China, flown by Chinese carriers, between January 30 and March 29. The retaliatory action is as a direct result of actions by the Chinese Government and its current COVID-19 protocols.

China has become disgruntled with the fact that while having negatively tested for the COVID-19 virus prior to departing the US, a number of American passengers have subsequently tested positive for the virus upon arrival in China. China currently operates what is referred to a ‘circuit-breaker’ policy where routes to the country are suspended if too many infected passengers are brought into China on any specific flights.

The US is objecting as all passengers departing the US have complied 100% with all relevant Chinese regulations with regard to pre-departure and in-flight protocols, yet the US is being penalised if those passengers subsequently test positive for COVID-19 once in China.

China has recently used its circuit-breaker policy to cancel a number of flights operated by American, Delta and United airlines after several passengers tested positive for the virus once in China, despite testing negative prior to departure from the US. The current batch of cancellations by the American government will affect Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

According to Reuters news agency, the US Department of Transportation wrote in its order Friday that "actions impairing the operations of Delta, American and United as described above are adverse to the public interest and warrant proportionate remedial action by the department." It continued: "US carriers, who are following all relevant Chinese regulations with respect to pre-departure and in-flight protocols, should not be penalised if passengers, post-arrival, later test positive for COVID-19."   

American Airlines posts full-year 2021 net loss of US$2.0 billion

American Airlines Group has reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial results, including: fourth-quarter revenue of US$9.4 billion, down 17% versus the same period in 2019 on a 13% reduction in total available seat miles (ASMs) versus the same period in 2019.

The Group reported fourth-quarter net loss of US$931 million, excluding net special items, fourth-quarter net loss was US$921 million. Full-year net loss was US$2.0 billion, excluding net special items, full-year net loss was US$5.4 billion.

American Airlines Group transported more than 165 million passengers in 202 and ended the fourth quarter with US$15.8 billion of total available liquidity.

American will continue to match its forward capacity with observed bookings trends. Based on current trends, the company expects its first-quarter capacity to be down approximately 8% to 10% compared to the first quarter of 2019. American expects its first-quarter total revenue to be down approximately 20% to 22% versus the first quarter of 2019.

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Collins Aerospace expands propeller MRO services in Malaysia to accommodate growing ATR fleets in Asia Pacific

To better serve growing ATR fleets in the Asia Pacific region, Collins Aerospace is launching new MRO capabilities for its 568F propeller at its Malaysia campus. IATA III operators of ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprop aircraft will have access to a local pool of rotable spares. Collins will begin standing up the new services in 2022.

Initially, the exchange programme will be supported by local operations to assess hardware preservation and condition, while the repairs and major inspections will be supported by Collins’ existing MRO centres in Europe, ensuring operators receive comprehensive and top-quality OEM services.

“In the next decade, the ATR fleet is poised to enjoy significant growth in the Asia Pacific region and we’ll be there to support the increased demand,” said Nicolas Lérisson, aftermarket director, Propeller Systems for Collins Aerospace. “These new, local MRO services will bring faster exchanges and reduced transportation costs to our airline customers— ultimately supporting more efficient operations.”

Spanish Customs Service takes delivery of last ever Dauphin helicopter

Airbus has delivered the last Dauphin helicopter, an AS365 N3, to the Spanish Customs Service. This helicopter will reinforce the Customs Surveillance Service’s capacity to combat drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea and in Galicia.

The helicopter was customised at Airbus Helicopters’ facilities in Albacete and comes equipped with mission equipment such as an electro-optical system, radar, tactical communications system and search light, since most of the patrol flights take place at night. Thanks to its long-range fuel tanks, the Spanish Customs’ Dauphin can fly up to three hours and 30 minutes and reach a fast cruise speed of 145 kts – an essential asset when it comes to reaching the vessels of drug traffickers.

The Spanish Customs’ three Dauphins perform maritime patrol missions to track, chase, and intercept high-speed smuggling boats typically transporting contraband. In 2021, the Dauphin helicopters contributed to the seizure of more than 200 tons of illegal drugs in Spain, working with the Custom Service's 45 vessels and land units.

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MTU Maintenance and Nayak Group enter collaboration to expand service offering

MTU Maintenance and the Nayak Group, line- and base maintenance specialists, have entered into a collaboration agreement to offer a broader variety of services to each of their respective customer groups. From now onwards, MTU Maintenance is able to offer its wide-range of on-site engine services in combination with aircraft line- and base-maintenance services, a new addition and to be performed by the Nayak group, to all its customers. In turn, the Nayak group will also be offering more extensive engine services, via MTU Maintenance, to its aircraft customers.

“This agreement is the next step in MTU’s commitment to our customers to increase our services and network and become the number one on-site engine service provider in Europe,” says Martin Friis-Petersen, SVP MRO Programs, MTU Aero Engines. “We are excited to be partnering with such an experienced maintenance provider to improve the speed at which we can support customers with comprehensive solutions that minimize downtime and keep airlines flying.”

Blueberry Aviation adds Yann Ballet to its team as Senior Advisor

Blueberry Aviation has announced the addition of Yann Ballet to its team as Senior Advisor. Ballet has accumulated over 30 years of financing experience in aircraft and structured finance. He was previously VP Structured Finance at Airbus, which he joined in 1987 and where he held various senior positions in France, the USA, Ireland and UAE. His experience covers a wide range of aircraft financing structures ( mortgage debt, leasing, capital markets, Islamic financing, investment funds) and corporate financing.

In recent years Ballet was responsible for designing and implementing a private non-payment insurance programme for Airbus Aircraft (Balthazar) that has supported the financing of 23 aircraft over the past three years. He was also involved in advising commercial teams for several airlines on restructuring schemes rolled out during the COVID-19 crisis.

Boeing expands UK Military support with Apache AH-64E long-term services contract

Boeing and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) have signed an agreement for Boeing to provide long-term training, support and sustainment for the British Army’s new fleet of 50 Apache AH-64E helicopters.

Under the new US$348 million long-term training and support services (LTTSS) contract, Boeing will work closely with the British Army to provide maintenance and engineering support, supply chain and logistics management at Wattisham. Boeing will also deliver aircrew and maintainer training from its advanced facility at Middle Wallop.

The new agreement, which will run until 2040, will create more than 200 jobs in the UK during the initial four-years, including more than 165 at Army Aviation Centre Middle Wallop and 45 at Wattisham Flying Station, plus dozens more with suppliers in the UK. Boeing already has more than 40 employees working alongside Army Air Corps personnel providing training for the Mk1 Apache.

In addition to the new Boeing roles, the training and support for the new Apache model will bring new roles and opportunities for Boeing’s UK supply chain. Yeovil-based Kuehne & Nagel will provide a warehouse management service at Wattisham with a dispersed store at Middle Wallop, creating 45 new jobs. H&S Aviation will carry out the repair and overhaul of the engines in Portsmouth, under subcontract to GE Aviation.
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