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Friday, March 11th, 2022

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Boeing 777s with P&W 4000 engines closer to returning to service

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that it has nearly finished three safety directives for a number of grounded Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines which will enable them to return to service. The directives were proposed after three reported in-flight fan blade failures and will require enhanced inspections and modifications before 777-200s and 777-300s equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines can take to the skies again after having been grounded for over a year.

Additionally, a United Airlines 777 failed shortly after takeoff from Denver in February 2021, showering debris over nearby cities. One directive requires installing debris shields on the thrust reverser inner wall, inspecting fan cowl doors for moisture ingression and repetitive checks of the hydraulic pump shutoff valves. Another requires modifying the engine inlet to withstand fan blade failure events. A third requires specific corrective actions depending on inspection results.

United Airlines, which is the only US operator of 777s with the PW4000 engine and which has 52 of those planes, said the step "is a good and safe outcome for our industry and United customers," adding that "Many of the affected engines have already undergone these proposed modifications. We expect these aircraft to resume flying customers again soon."

Boeing must now develop a service bulletin laying out steps airlines must take to meet requirements. FAA must approve that bulletin before the planes can return to service. The directives will become effective in mid-April.

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Boston MedFlight orders first five-bladed H145 helicopter

Boston MedFlight has signed an order for its first five-bladed H145 helicopter as part of a fleet renewal and expansion project to support an increased need for critical care transportation in New England.

Boston MedFlight is the region’s primary provider of critical care and medical transport, caring for more than 5,600 patients annually, including the most critically ill and injured infants, children and adults. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation, Boston MedFlight provides more than US$7 million each year in free and unreimbursed care to patients in need who have little or no insurance. Its current Airbus fleet of five H145 helicopters serve as mobile ICUs, staffed by a critical care nurse and critical care paramedic.

The purchase of the new five-bladed H145 is part of an ongoing fleet renewal and expansion programme to meet increased demand for critical care transport in the Boston area, where they have been saving lives for nearly 40 years. Boston MedFlight also plans to retrofit its current fleet to the five-bladed variant in the next year.

Safran and Bell to collaborate on SAF initiative for Bell 505 helicopter

Safran Helicopter Engines and Bell Textron, have announced a collaboration initiative to explore technical performance and economic impacts of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the Arrius 2R-powered Bell 505 helicopter. A single, dedicated Bell 505 aircraft will conduct flights solely with the use of blended SAF. Both Bell and Safran Helicopter Engines will evaluate engine and aircraft performance data to better assess the collateral benefits associated with the incorporation of SAF, a significant tool being used to reach industry carbon reduction objectives.

With all its engine range already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, Safran objective is to certify in the coming years the use of 100% SAF, which can potentially result in carbon lifecycle emissions reductions by up to 80%. In 2021, Safran conducted a ground test campaign for a Makila 2 running on 100% SAF and followed this with successful flight tests.

Safran Helicopter Engines is strongly committed to reducing carbon emissions at its sites worldwide by incorporating SAF at all its test benches. Since last June, the manufacturer has been using it at every site in France, initially at a level of 10% of total aviation fuel usage, with a target of 50% by 2025. It has also recently deployed SAF to its UK facility at Fareham.

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Hawaiian Airlines launches hiring campaign

Hawaiian Airlines has launched a statewide hiring campaign for hundreds of airport and operational positions, as well as administrative roles, to support the carrier’s growth as travel demand continues to improve. In addition to offering competitive pay, rich medical and travel benefits, paid training for full- and part-time positions, Hawai‘i’s hometown airline is also providing sign-on bonuses for select roles and flexible work options for corporate team members.

The airline is recruiting for more than 600 positions companywide, with 200 openings for aircraft mechanics, guest services, ramp and cargo agents at its airport spaces in Honolulu, Kahului, Maui, Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i and Kona, Island of Hawai‘i. Hawaiian is also seeking Honolulu-based pilots, flight attendants and corporate team members as it prepares to welcome a new fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft and return to its international markets as border restrictions ease in key Hawai‘i visitor markets in Asia and Oceania.

Swissport appoints Global Head of Merger & Acquisition

Pablo von Siebenthal has been appointed to the newly created position of Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions. Joining from Kuehne+Nagel, he will assume overall responsibility for the execution of Swissport's new global acquisition strategy, which is a key pillar in the company's ambitious post-COVID expansion plans.

Von Siebenthal will join Swissport on April 1, from global transport and logistics company Kuehne+Nagel, where he has held the position of Global Head of M&A since 2018. In the newly created role as Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, he will report to Iván Nash Vila, Chief Financial Officer of Swissport International AG.

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Rolls-Royce names four new RR300 authorised maintenance centres

Rolls-Royce has announced that four FIRST networkTM members have enhanced their capabilities to include certified service for RR300 engines. Airborne Engines, Arrow Aviation and Keystone Turbine Services are each certified as Authorised Maintenance Repair & Overhaul Centres (AMROC). National Airways is certified as an Authorised Maintenance Centre (AMC).

Each of these companies had previously been certified Rolls-Royce M250 maintenance centres and will now be able to provide world-class service for both the M250 and RR300 product lines.

With more than 16,000 turboshaft and turboprop engines in service and 4,500 customers worldwide, the Rolls-Royce FIRST network provides M250 and RR300 operators a global network of authorised MRO service centres. The FIRST network includes more than 30 approved, licensed service centres and its competitive structure means operators can find affordable and reliable service anywhere for Rolls-Royce M250 or RR300 engines.

The proven Rolls-Royce M250 and RR300 engines have powered more than 260 million flight hours of dependable service around the world. To date, more than 33,000 of these workhorse engines have been delivered to the marketplace.

Flybondi starts operation of corporate cargo transport service together with FLY CARGO

Flybondi, the low-cost airline from Argentina, has announced a new alliance with FLY CARGO —one of the leading cargo companies in the Argentine market with over 40 years of experience— to create Flybondi Cargas. This new business unit allows couriers, freight forwarders and businesses in the logistics sector to hire a low-cost service to carry their cargo, mail and packages to national destinations (and soon to international ones) using a top-quality service.

Flybondi Cargas started to carry cargo onboard Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft of the Flybondi fleet in December. Deliveries are currently being made to all national destinations including the routes within provinces. Throughout the year, more frequencies, connections and routes will be added.

“At Flybondi, we are constantly working to be able to provide more services to our customers. We are very happy with this new alliance, since it will allow both logistics companies and couriers to carry their cargo at an ultra-low cost using an efficient and safe service available nationwide,” expressed Federico Pastori, Chief Commercial Officer of Flybondi.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Tamar