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Monday, March 14th, 2022

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NetJets, Lilium and FlightSafety International team up for private aviation sustainability growth

Netjets, a world-leading private jet company and Lilium N.V. (Lilium), maker of the Lilium Jet, an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet, have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) partnering with FlightSafety International (FlightSafety), creating a strategic partnership that will see NetJets obtain the rights to purchase 150 Lilium eVTOLs.

NetJets intention is to provide Lilium with support for a private sales campaign while also investigating a business model for Lilium’s Florida network, together with other North American and European locations. Lilium jets provide operators with a flexible four-or six-seat layout for both premium and shuttle configurations. The Lilium Jet delivers high performance with zero operating emissions which will enable NetJets to further its sustainability efforts by presenting its customer base with alternatives for regional transport.

FlightSafety’s involvement comes in the form of providing products and services including courseware, industry-leading immersive and mixed-reality training devices and crew training in support of Lilium Jet operations. NetJets operates the world’s largest fleet of private jets and its strong owner base will provide Lilium with scale and support for its ecosystem in the US, where plans for a Florida transport hub continue to progress.

Daniel Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO of Lilium said: “This partnership is a major step in our mission to build radically better ways of moving and to electrify regional air travel. We believe that the private and business professional segments will be highly attractive markets in the future and, likewise, early adopters of the eVTOL revolution."

"Our focus on technology and adaptive learning will help prepare aviation professionals with the highest levels of expertise to support operation of the Lilium Jet,” said Brad Thress, President and CEO of FlightSafety International. Adam Johnson, CEO of NetJets said: “We’re delighted to partner with Lilium’s experienced team to provide sustainable flight services to our customers. Lilium’s aircraft will expand our fleet options and provide our customers with a new and flexible means of private air travel.”


Qantas to reinstate more Airbus A380 aircraft

Qantas will reinstate its full First Class offering at the end of this month both on the ground and in the air as post-pandemic international travel steadily recovers and the national carrier wakes up more of its A380 superjumbo fleet.

A fourth Qantas A380 has emerged from the Californian desert with Reginald Ansett (VH-OQH) leaving the storage yard this month for the first time since it was parked there in March 2020.

Qantas utilised the down time while the aircraft were in the desert to upgrade the popular A380s increasing the number of premium seats and refurbishing the cabins. The aircraft have a reconfigured business class cabin, with 70 updated business suites and an extended premium economy section with 60 seats, up from 35, as well as refreshed economy and first cabins.

The upper deck lounge has also had a full upgrade with booth style seating for ten people, a self-service bar and an option to order signature drinks and snacks.

From March 27, Qantas will reopen its Sydney and Melbourne international business lounges as more passengers take to the skies and revert its First Lounges in Australia, which operated as hybrid First/Business Lounges during the pandemic, to the full premium offering.

Bluebird Nordic signs GSSA contract with NordicGSA

With the start of this year, ECS Group company, NordicGSA in Denmark, has become the GSSA for the Icelandic cargo airline, Bluebird Nordic, an Avia Solutions Group company.

Bluebird Nordic operates a fleet of nine Boeing B737F and recently signed leases for three Boeing 777-300ER which are undergoing passenger-to-freighter conversions and expected to be operational in 2024. The GSSA contract signed with NordicGSA, is unlimited.

NordicGSA’s responsibilities cover Bluebird Nordic’s Monday to Friday daily flight operations from Billund (BLL), Denmark, to Keflavík (KEF), Iceland and back, with import distribution operations to Northern Germany. The main commodities being moved are fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, clothing, electricals, and other general freight.


Bamboo Airways and AFI KLM E&M lay foundation for extensive cooperation

AFI KLM E&M and Bamboo Airways have set a basis for new cooperation over the long-term future, via an MOU outlining the MRO’s potential deployment of adaptive support solutions across a range of domains.

Following on from their initial contracts focusing on the maintenance of Bamboo Airways’ fleet of Boeing 787, Airbus A320 and Embraer aircraft, the MOU outlines the possibility of extending commercial relation in the field of engine support, including taking on shop visits for the GEnx engines fitted on Bamboo Airways’ Boeing 787 fleet and for the engines equipped on its A320 family. AFI KLM E&M may also be called upon for new C-Check maintenance visits for the Boeing 787s at its facilities in Amsterdam, as well as line maintenance operations across an extended stopover network based on the destinations Bamboo Airways flies to. The Vietnamese operator will also gain access to the capabilities of EPCOR, the AFI KLM E&M affiliate specialising in the maintenance of APUs, for support of its APS2300 (EJets) and APS5000 (Boeing 787) products.

THC and Leonardo bolster corporate transport and EMS capabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

THC (The Helicopter Company) and Leonardo are further reinforcing their collaboration in civil helicopter operations with the introduction of 16 AW139 intermediate twin-engine aircraft for emergency medical service (EMS) and corporate transport missions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Deliveries commence to start this year and shall be completed within the following three years. These aircraft add to THC’s existing AW139 fleet of seven helicopters. Six additional units may follow in the future expansion.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) established THC as part of its strategy to activate new sectors that meet the growing demands for commercial helicopters in Saudi Arabia. THC also supports the realisation of Vision 2030 and generates long-term commercial returns. THC is the Kingdom’s first and only commercial helicopter operator and has been operating since mid-2019.


Fraport's growth trend continues despite spread of Omicron

Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed some 2.1 million passengers in February 2022 – a gain of 211.3% compared to the same month last year when demand dropped sharply due to travel restrictions.

Frankfurt Airport’s demand recovery was still dampened by the rapid spread of Omicron in February 2022. However, the lifting or easing of travel restrictions in various countries had a positive impact on holiday traffic. Compared to pre-pandemic figures, Frankfurt’s passenger traffic rebounded in February 2022 to nearly half the level recorded in the February 2019 reference month (down 53.4%).

FRA’s cargo throughput (airfreight + airmail) declined by 8.8% year-on-year to 164,769 metric tonnes in February 2022 (February 2019 comparison: up 2.1%). This drop in tonnage can be attributed primarily to the earlier timing of the Chinese New Year. Aircraft movements, in contrast, grew strongly by 100.8% year-on-year to 22,328 take-offs and landings. Accumulated maximum take-off weights (MTOWS) increased by 53.0% year-on-year to nearly 1.5 million metric tonnes.

Across the Group, Fraport’s international portfolio of wholly owned and subsidiary airports also continued to report positive passenger performance in the reporting month. All of Fraport’s Group airports worldwide – with the exception of Xi’an – achieved significant traffic gains in February 2022. Some Group airports even recorded growth rates exceeding 100% year-on-year – albeit compared to strongly reduced traffic levels in February 2021.

Traffic at Slovenia’s Ljubljana Airport (LJU) rose to 38,127 passengers in February 2022. The two Brazilian airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA) received a total of 834,951 passengers. Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru served some 1.2 million passengers in the reporting month. The 14 Greek regional airports saw combined traffic climb to 393,672 passengers. With a total of 44,888 passengers, the Twin Star airports of Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast also recorded a traffic increase. Antalya Airport (AYT) on the Turkish Riviera welcomed 592,606 passengers. St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport (LED) registered more than 1.0 million passengers. Only China’s Xi’an Airport (XIY) experienced a decline in February 2022. Due to ongoing travel restrictions, XIY’s traffic dipped by 25.0 percent year-on-year to just under 1.3 million passengers.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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