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Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

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New airline Arajet signs order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX jets

Arajet, the new Caribbean airline, has ordered 20 737 MAX airplanes from Boeing, specifically the high-capacity 737-8-200 model, to deliver low operating costs and expand affordable travel options in the Americas. Arajet also has options to purchase 15 additional 737 MAX jets which, along with existing lease agreements, could take the airline's new fuel-efficient fleet to 40 airplanes. The aircraft order was finalised in January.

The airline hosted a launch event at its new hub in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on March 14. Positioned between North and South America, this location in the Caribbean will leverage the range of the 737 MAX to efficiently serve a large number of traditional and underserved markets in the continental United States, Brazil, Colombia and beyond.

Arajet's first aircraft, a Boeing 737-8 leased from Griffin Global Asset Management, was delivered in early March. As travel and tourism recovers globally, Arajet will bring approximately 4,000 new jobs and significant new economic development to the island nation. Tourism makes up 8.4% of the Dominican Republic's GDP.

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DHL and Singapore Airlines ink new agreement to expand partnership

DHL Express has entered into a Crew and Maintenance agreement (CM) with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to deploy five Boeing 777 freighters. This agreement marks a further step in DHL Express' expansion of its intercontinental air network to meet customer demand in fast-growing international express shipping markets.

Travis Cobb, Executive Vice President Global Network Operations and Aviation, DHL Express, said: “With the deployment of five Boeing 777 freighters, we can expand our express service linking the Asia Pacific region with the Americas. Following the pandemic, we see good prospects for strong growth in trans-Pacific trade lanes. By collaborating with Singapore Airlines, we see a unique chance to establish a long-lasting relationship with a long-time partner who shares common values and operates at the highest standard.”

Based at Singapore’s Changi Airport and serving DHL’s South Asia Hub there, the freighters, which will sport a dual DHL-SIA livery, will be operated by SIA pilots on routes to the United States of America via points in North Asia. SIA will also oversee the maintenance of these aircraft.

The initial agreement is set for more than four years with the opportunity for an extension. As part of the agreement, the first aircraft delivery will be in July 2022, with the second in October 2022. The remaining three aircraft are planned for delivery throughout 2023.

JetBlue names John Swift Vice President, Technology

John Swift will join JetBlue as the airline’s new Vice President, Technology effective March 14, 2022. In this role, he will develop the technical strategy across engineering, QA, cloud and infrastructure. He will report directly to Carol Clements, JetBlue’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer.

Swift comes to JetBlue with more than 25-years of experience in software engineering and product architecture. Most recently, he served as Vice President of engineering at the steaming service Discovery+ where he oversaw a global multi-cloud platform organisation responsible for digital content delivery. Previously, he has led world-class engineering and product teams for Netflix, Capital One and more.

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AES awarded EASA STC for Full Economy Layout on Boeing 737NG

Aerospace Engineering Solutions (AES), a UK and Ireland aerospace design and certification organisation, has announced that the company has been awarded the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the introduction of Full Economy Passenger Layout on Boeing 737NG aircraft types, by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

AES has developed this generic EASA STC (No. 10077620) for 189 cabin configurations and applies to the B737NG family following the release of EASA Certification Memo CM-21.A-CS-001 Issue 02, the installation/reconfiguration of all aircraft cabins that involve 16G / 25.562 shall be considered as a major (STC) change.

The STC has been established to add further variations under the agreement of the agency providing an adaptable and innovative solution.

German airports see hundreds of flights cancelled after strike action by security staff

As a consequence of security workers at six German airports staging a one-day walk-out over pay, numerous airlines have been forced to cancel multiple flights to and from the affected locations. While Duesseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Berlin were closed on Monday, an additional one-day strike is planned for other airports including Frankfurt and Hamburg on Tuesday. The action comes on the back of the effects of the COVID pandemic on the aviation industry, a dramatic rise in fuel prices and the closing of airspace as a result of the war in Ukraine.

According to ADV, the German airports association, hundreds of flights have been cancelled. 160 were cancelled at Duesseldorf and 91 at Cologne/Bonn. Frankfurt airport operator Fraport confirmed that only transit passengers could get to their flights on Tuesday, with the airport originally due to handle approximately 770 departures and arrivals, serving approaching 80,000 passengers. Lufthansa, Germany’s flag-carrying airline has confirmed that 48 of its flights would be cancelled on Tuesday.

Currently Verdi, the labour union, is looking for a minimum one-euro-per-hour pay increase for all airport security staff over the next 12 months and that staff in other airports across Germany receive the same. However, BDLS, the association of aviation safety companies, said all of Verdi's demands combined amounted to increases of up to 40% and were "utopian". Continued wage talks between Verdi and BDLS are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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Willis Lease Finance posts annual pre-tax profit of US$9.1 million

Willis Lease Finance Corporation has reported annual total revenues of US$274.2 million a 5% decrease when compared to US$288.7 million in the prior year. Revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2021 was US$75.8 million, up 23.3% from the comparative period in 2020. Lease rent revenue was US$134.8 million in 2021, off 5.6% from 2020. Pre-tax profit was US$9.1 million compared to US$17.3 million in 2020.

For the year ended December 31, 2021, aggregate lease rent and maintenance reserve revenues were US$208.8 million and spare parts and equipment sales were US$17.4 million. The company reported increased total revenues in the fourth quarter when compared to the prior year period, primarily due to both an increase in lease rent revenue and gain on sale of leased equipment and financial assets, partially offset by a reduction in long-term maintenance revenue.

“We continued to see a slow recovery during the second half of 2021 as travel began to open on a global basis only to be dampened again near year-end by COVID-19 variants,” said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. “COVID-related travel prohibitions have been relaxed more recently, but now the industry faces new stresses associated with geo-political issues that are tragic on every level. As always, we continue to focus on the things we can control, and we believe the Company is well positioned to help our customers provide an essential product: air travel.

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Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop earns FAA type certification

The Federal Aviation Administration has granted type certification for the new twin-engine, large-utility turboprop Cessna SkyCourier. Using a clean-sheet design and advanced manufacturing processes, the high-wing aircraft’s production line is underway and the first unit will soon enter the market with launch customer FedEx Express.

Three SkyCourier aircraft accumulated more than 2,100 hours throughout the flight test programme, which formally started with an inaugural flight in May 2020. The company rolled out the first production unit of the SkyCourier earlier this year at the company’s manufacturing facility in Wichita.

Launch customer FedEx Express has agreed to an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more. FedEx Express participated in Textron Aviation’s Customer Advisory Board along with other fleet operators to help shape the aircraft’s design, features and serviceability.

AAR signs exclusive distribution agreement with Collins Aerospace’s Goodrich De-Icing & Specialty Heating Systems business

AAR has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Collins Aerospace’s Goodrich De-Icing & Specialty Heating Systems business.

Through this agreement, AAR will provide airlines, other aircraft operators and MROs globally with de-icers and supporting products. Product offerings include patented technology and are predominantly used on general aviation aircraft, regional turbo-prop aircraft and most multi-engine piston business aircraft.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar