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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

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Tradewind Aviation orders 20 new PC-12 NGX aircraft from Pilatus

Tradewind Aviation has signed an order for 20 new PC-12 NGX aircraft, expanding its fleet of Pilatus PC-12s to 38 – one of the largest in the global aviation industry. The first single-engine turboprop is slated for delivery in the third quarter of 2022, with the remaining orders scheduled to deliver over the next five years at a rate of three to four PC-12 NGX per year.

Tradewind Aviation, a market leader in regional air mobility, has operated both, on-demand private charter and scheduled “Shuttle” service throughout the US and Caribbean since 2001. In addition to strengthening Tradewind’s long-standing relationship with the Swiss aerospace manufacturer, the purchase will enable the private aviation company to significantly grow and enhance its Pilatus fleet, benefitting both clientele and crew members alike.

The latest version of the PC-12, the NGX boasts a completely redesigned and modernised cabin, featuring larger windows and versatile BMW Designworks seating, making for a more enjoyable and productive passenger experience. Its powerful, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 E-Series engine and advanced single-pilot avionics system automate the flight controls, allowing for lower fuel burn and less noise. The innovative and efficient features of the PC-12 NGX correlate with Tradewind’s commitment to sustainability and new carbon offset programme, which will allow its customers to access remote destinations while combatting climate change.


StandardAero signs agreement to purchase and stock Gogo AVANCE L3 and L5 systems

StandardAero has signed a volume purchase agreement with Gogo for delivery of AVANCE L3 and L5 systems in March, opening up more availability for operators seeking installations.

StandardAero offers Gogo AVANCE L3 and L5 installation slots for Dassault Falcon, Bombardier, Hawker, Gulfstream, Embraer and Citation business jet operators from the U.S. and Canada.  Upgrades are managed at StandardAero’s Centres of Excellence in Houston, TX, Springfield, IL, and Augusta, GA. 

“Gogo AVANCE systems are top sellers and we foresee this trend to continue through 2023,” said Robert Randall, Director of Avionics Sales. “In a world still experiencing supply chain woes, we’ve taken the steps to ensure customers won’t face production delays and our sites will be stocked with Gogo AVANCE L3 and L5 systems, ready for installation.”

StandardAero has performed more than 350 Gogo cabin connectivity upgrades in nearly two decades as a Gogo Biz network dealer partner. Gogo AVANCE L3 and L5 systems are cabin connectivity solutions designed to meet individual connectivity requirements, enabling customers to perform daily network activities in the sky, as they do in their home or businesses.  Gogo’s in-flight broadband experience includes video conferencing, text messaging and chat, email, web surfing, access to mobile apps and streaming of audio and video entertainment. Onboard crew and ground support can also use real-time data and remote diagnostics using the onboard connectivity system.

Christian Daoud named new VP Maintenance and Technical Operations for Mesa Air Group

Mesa Air Group has named Christian Daoud as its new Vice President of Maintenance and Technical Operations. Daoud is currently Senior Director of Technical Operations at Mesa and first worked for Mesa as a Lead Aircraft Mechanic in 2006. He will be taking over from Chris Toro and reporting directly to Executive VP and COO Brad Rich.

Daoud has progressed quickly in maintenance operations. After beginning his aviation career with Mesa in 2006 as a mechanic, he went on to Hawaiian Airlines as an engineer. He then moved on to Allegiant where he held progressive positions as Engineer, Manager of Aircraft Systems Engineering and then Manager of Aircraft Deliveries. After serving for several years at Allegiant, Daoud took on the role of Field Rep for Pratt & Whitney. Daoud spent three more years in various managing roles back at Allegiant and then joined Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services as the Director of Engineering. In 2021 he finally returned to Mesa as Senior Director of Technical Operations.


IATA predicts 4.0 billion air travellers in 2024 – will exceed pre-COVID numbers

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released the February update to its long-term forecast on air travel. It is now expected that 4 billion travellers will be flown, globally, in 2024 with any multi-sector connecting trips counting as one. That figure is approximately 103% of the total number of air travellers in 2019. While certain restrictions imposed by some governments have recently affected near-term recovery, the long-term predictions remain unchanged and unaffected by the effects of the Omicron variant on recent travel.

“The trajectory for the recovery in passenger numbers from COVID-19 was not changed by the Omicron variant. People want to travel. And when travel restrictions are lifted, they return to the skies. There is still a long way to go to reach a normal state of affairs, but the forecast for the evolution in passenger numbers gives good reason to be optimistic,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

February’s update includes the following figures: In 2021, overall traveller numbers were 47% of 2019 levels. This is expected to improve to 83% in 2022, 94% in 2023, 103% in 2024 and 111% in 2025. In 2021, international traveller numbers were 27% of 2019 levels. This is expected to improve to 69% in 2022, 82% in 2023, 92% in 2024 and 101% in 2025. In 2021, domestic traveller numbers were 61% of 2019 levels. This is expected to improve to 93% in 2022, 103% in 2023, 111% in 2024 and 118% in 2025.

According to the IATA website “The forecast does not calculate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In general, air transport is resilient against shocks and this conflict is unlikely to impact the long-term growth of air transport. It is too early to estimate what the near-term consequences will be for aviation, but it is clear that there are downside risks, in particular in markets with exposure to the conflict. Sensitivity factors will include the geographic extent, severity, and time-period for sanctions and/or airspace closures. These impacts would be felt most severely in Russia, Ukraine and neighbouring areas.

Pre-COVID-19, Russia was the 11th largest market for air transport services in terms of passenger numbers, including its large domestic market. Ukraine ranked 48. The impact on airline costs as a result of fluctuations in energy prices or rerouting to avoid Russian airspace could have broader implications. Consumer confidence and economic activity are likely to be impacted even outside of Eastern Europe.”

Etihad Airways reports significant financial improvement for 2021

Etihad Airways has reported its business results for 2021, recording a strong recovery in passenger operations along with a significant improvement in financial performance, posting a much-reduced loss of US$476 million for 2021 (2020: US$1.70 billion).

The airline carried 3.5 million passengers in 2021, with an average seat load factor of 39.6%. Passenger loads doubled in the second half of the year, reaching 70.1% in December as travel demand peaked during the winter holiday period. The airline recorded a particularly strong surge in passenger volumes in Q4 following the September relaxation of mandatory quarantine periods in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways posted passenger revenues of US$1.07 billion in 2021, down by 14% year-on-year. While ongoing travel restrictions and new variants of the virus dampened demand, the airline saw passenger revenues bounce back in the last quarter of the year, recovering to 50% of 2019 levels in December.

Cargo operations meanwhile continued to outperform expectations, with a 27% year-on-year increase in freight carried in 2021 (729,200 tonnes) coupled with a rise in cargo revenues of 49% to US$1.73 billion, the highest figure in the history of the airline.


Sabre completes divestiture of AirCentre airline operations portfolio

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has successfully closed the previously announced agreement to sell its AirCentre airline operations portfolio to CAE, a technology leader in digital flight and crew operations.

The transaction, valued at US$392.5 million, includes the Sabre AirCentre product portfolio, related technology and intellectual property as well as the transfer of AirCentre’s highly talented team members from Sabre to CAE.

The divestiture of AirCentre supports Sabre’s effort to streamline its product portfolio in order to focus more intently on its ongoing technology transformation as well as plans to identify and maximise new revenue opportunities for the company and its customers.

Frontier Airlines to open new crew base at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Ultra-low fare carrier Frontier Airlines plans to open a new crew base at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) in November 2022. Up to 180 pilots and 275 flight attendants are expected to be based at PHX within the first year with additional growth anticipated in the future.

“Frontier Airlines’ investment in Phoenix will lift the US$12.3 billion in economic activity and increase the 57,432 jobs supported by Sky Harbor International Airport,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “We look forward to welcoming the new crew base members and sharing the vibrant quality of life these new residents will enjoy in this community. This is a great advancement in Frontier’s continued growth and success in Phoenix.”

Frontier currently operates 14 nonstop routes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with a variety of additional flight connection opportunities available within the company’s domestic and international network. Frontier operates a fleet of more than 110 highly-efficient Airbus A320-family aircraft. The airline has 230 new Airbus planes on order between now and 2029, which will triple the size of its fleet.

GA Telesis announces formation of Power Solutions Team to manage worldwide APU business

GA Telesis has announces the expansion of its fast-growing Flight Solutions Group to include the newly formed Power Solutions team. Power Solutions will manage the overall APU asset management, trading and USM distribution segment, including LRUs. The current portfolio of managed product lines includes all Airbus and Boeing platforms and within weeks, will also add the regional jet market to its capabilities.

Power Solutions will offer a wide range of the most popular Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney APUs currently on the market. The newly formed team can procure, sell and tear down all APU variants, as well as create one-hour exchange and lease options for the customer base. In addition, and unique to the industry, the Power Solutions team can create tailored finance solutions that fit the customer's entire APU stock provisioning requirements long-term.

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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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