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Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

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Avolon’s 500 VX4 orders now fully placed with latest order from Gözen Holding for 100 aircraft

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, has released that Gözen Holding, one of Turkey’s leading aviation conglomerates and owner of Freebird Airlines, has committed to purchase or lease up to 50 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, with the option to purchase or lease up to 50 additional aircraft. As a result of this announcement, Avolon has now placed its entire 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft orderbook, with the orderbook being oversubscribed by 50 options.

As part of the agreement, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, has formed a strategic partnership with Gözen Holding to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL travel and develop an industry leading urban air mobility (UAM) platform in Turkey. Avolon and Gözen Holding will collaborate in a Working Group to identify and target local partners, research potential market opportunities, as well as infrastructure and certification requirements for UAM.

The partnership will allow Avolon to leverage Gözen Holding’s expertise in airline operations, pilot training, airport handling and security, airline representation as well as digital platforms, while Gözen Holding will benefit from
Avolon’s deep industry expertise and global platform of UAM Working Groups, which are active in Brazil (with GOL), Greenland (with Air Greenland), Japan (with Japan Airlines) and Southeast Asia (with AirAsia)


First Airbus A320 FTD Level 2 at BAA Training Spain in Barcelona

A new state-of-the-art Airbus A320 Flight Training Device (FTD) Level 2 is ready for training at BAA Training Spain. It is one of a few devices of this kind in Europe with Level 2 certification. It offers high-fidelity training functionality: the cockpit, visual system and software are identical to a full flight simulator (FFS), except it does not have a hydraulic motion system. 

Managing Director of BAA Training Spain, Aurimas Urbonas, said: “By introducing an FFS and FTD equipment mix, we are providing our corporate and individual customers with an opportunity to use their budget allocated to the training much more efficiently. They can now book additional training hours to hone their pilot skills, surpassing the EASA requirements. Many airlines face an issue that their pilots who have temporarily been out of the flight deck start losing their competencies. The FTD device offers a streamlined solution to help them recover their skills quickly.”

Apart from MCC and JOC, parts of Type Rating can be completed on FTD Level 2. BAA Training plans to utilise this device for conducting up to 20% of Type Rating initially, which will potentially be extended to 50% in the future. This equipment will also be used for recurrent training and other courses under OM-D later on.

BAA Training Spain currently operates the following simulators: Airbus A320ceo, Airbus A320ceo/neo, Boeing 737 MAX and A320 FTD Level 2 device. An additional Boeing 737 MAX FTD Level 2 will be delivered to the Spanish facility in May 2022.

In total, eight FTD Level 2 simulators are planned to be delivered and put into service across different BAA Training locations: in Lithuania, Vietnam, Spain and France.

Aergo Capital acquires three B737NGs from AerCap

Aergo Capital Limited (Aergo) has acquired three Boeing 737NG aircraft from AerCap, bearing manufacturer serial number 30692, 30674 and 30705 which are subject to leases with Enter Air, LAM and Ethiopian Airlines respectively.

Fred Browne, Chief Executive Officer of Aergo, commented: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the acquisition with AerCap. With this transaction, Aergo has added two new customers to its growing portfolio. We look forward to completing many more transactions together in the future.”


After two years British Airways returns to short-haul European flying from Gatwick

After two years British Airways returns to international short-haul flying from Gatwick Airport today, Tuesday, March 29, as its first service departed for Larnaca at 6:25am.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the airline suspended its European operation at Gatwick Airport, moving a number of flights over to Heathrow. Today marks a milestone in the airline’s recovery as it finally returns to international short-haul flying from the airport.

Initially services will operate under the British Airways Air Operators Certificate (AOC), before moving operations to a new British Airways branded subsidiary, BA Euroflyer later in the year. The new airline will operate in a similar manner to the company’s existing subsidiary BA Cityflyer, flying under the British Airways brand and delivering a premium British Airways product.

On the first day of operation, British Airways will operate four short-haul flights to Larnaca, Amsterdam, Paphos and Tenerife. In total, customers will have the choice of 35 destinations to fly to from Gatwick, before more destinations are added later this year.

Not only has the British Airways return to Gatwick created more choice for customers, but also helped create jobs as the airline undertook both a cabin crew and pilot recruitment campaign to fill positions at its new subsidiary.

Ted Colbert named President and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Boeing has named Ted Colbert as President and Chief Executive Officer of its Defense, Space and Security business. Colbert succeeds Leanne Caret who is retiring following nearly 35 years of exceptional service with The Boeing Company. Stephanie Pope has been appointed as president and CEO of Boeing Global Services (BGS), succeeding Colbert.

As President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS), Colbert will oversee all aspects of the company's business unit that provides technology, products and solutions for defense, government, space, intelligence and security customers worldwide. BDS had 2021 revenue of US$26 billion.

Colbert and Pope's new assignments will be effective April 1. Until her retirement later this year, Caret will serve as Executive Vice President and senior advisor to the CEO, reporting to Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO, to support the leadership transition, business continuity and critical talent acquisition efforts.


flynas to increase new jet orders up to 250 after COVID bounce back

As a result of operating again at pre-pandemic levels, the flynas Board of Directors have agreed to increase the volume of aircraft on order to 250 of varying capabilities. The Saudi carrier and leading low-cost airline in the Middle East is aiming to become the largest low-cost airline in the MENA region.

The additional aircraft will enable flynas to expand internationally and explore the opening of new bases outside Saudi Arabia. Currently, flynas operates more than 1500 weekly flights to 35 domestic and international destinations with its fleet of approximately 35 aircraft. Recently the carrier signed an agreement with Airbus to purchase 120 new A320neo aircraft at a list value of US$ 8.6 billion (£6.6 billion).

Bander Almohanna, the CEO & MD of flynas, commented: "The decision of the Board of Directors of flynas to raise our new aircraft orders to 250 supports our effort to achieve the Civil Aviation Strategy and expresses the Board of Directors' belief in the growth opportunities and positive perspective of domestic and international markets," adding that "From our position as a Saudi air carrier, we see great opportunities for expansion supported by the strategic location of the Kingdom and the prospects opened by Saudi Vision 2030 for the air transport sector. This is reinforced by the launch of the Civil Aviation Strategy, which aims to increase the annual passenger traffic to 330 million and connect KSA with more than 250 destinations worldwide by 2030. We will explore aircraft of different capabilities, to fly to new destinations increasing the connection of the world to the Kingdom, support tourism and contribute to the transportation of pilgrims and Umrah performers."

JetBlue to add 5,000 new jobs in New York City

JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline® has announced that it will be adding 5,000 jobs in New York City in 2022. JetBlue will also work with the city to create a new workforce partnership to connect more New Yorkers with high-quality JetBlue jobs and to develop a strong pipeline for future careers at the airline. New York City Mayor Eric Adams joined JetBlue leaders on March 28, at a major hiring event to assist in filling many of these new positions.

The hiring event took place at JetBlue’s hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), facilitated on the spot interviews and conditional hiring of diverse candidates for a variety of positions within the JetBlue operation based in New York City, including roles in airport operations, ground operations, technical operations, inflight, information technology and other support centre roles. JetBlue currently employs around 8,000 crew members based in New York City, at the airports as well as in JetBlue’s Long Island City Support Centre, its corporate headquarters. The airline’s growth and hiring as well as its low fare expansion is due in great part to the Northeast Alliance, a partnership it has entered into with American Airlines.

“As New York’s Hometown Airline, JetBlue’s commitment goes well beyond the flights we operate here,” said Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue. “We’re thrilled to partner with Mayor Adams to support his administration’s Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery by encouraging travel to New York City. We’ll do that by hiring thousands of new JetBlue crew members in 2022 and through our continued engagement in the community to create a strong pipeline for future JetBlue crew members and a more resilient workforce for New York City as a whole.”


Airbus performs first A380 flight powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Airbus’ A380 test aircraft, MSN 1, took off from Blagnac Airport, Toulouse, France on Friday March 25. The flight lasted about three hours, operating one Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on 100% SAF.

27 tonnes of unblended SAF were provided by Total Energies for this flight. The SAF produced in Normandy, close to Le Havre, France, was made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), free of aromatics and sulphur and primarily consisting of used cooking oil, as well as other waste fats. A second flight, with the same aircraft, is scheduled to take place from Toulouse to Nice Airport, today, March 29, to test the use of SAF during take-off and landing.

This is the third Airbus aircraft type to fly on 100% SAF over the course of 12 months; the first was an Airbus A350 in March 2021 followed by an A319neo single-aisle aircraft in October 2021.

Increasing the use of SAF remains a key pathway to achieving the industry’s ambition of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Key statistics outlined in the Waypoint 2050 report indicate that SAF could contribute between 53% and 71% of required carbon reductions.

All Airbus aircraft are currently certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF mixed with kerosene. The aim is to achieve certification of 100% SAF by the end of this decade.

The A380 aircraft used during the test is the same aircraft recently revealed as Airbus’ ZEROe Demonstrator - a flying testbed for future technologies instrumental to bringing the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.

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