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Thursday, March 31st, 2022

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Marjan Rintel to become new CEO of KLM

Air France-KLM’s Board of Directors has approved the proposal of the Supervisory Board of KLM to appoint Marjan Rintel as new CEO of KLM, replacing Pieter Elbers. The Works Council of KLM has been asked for its advice on the above proposal.

Rintel is currently CEO of NS, the leading passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. Before joining NS in 2014, she held various managerial, operational and commercial positions at KLM and Air France-KLM, such as Hub Operations at KLM and Senior Vice President Strategic Marketing at Air France-KLM. Her extensive experience in the airline industry, her intimate knowledge of the Group, and her leadership qualities, convinced the Board that she is the right person to continue the work started by Pieter Elbers to transform KLM into one of the European’s leading airlines and a powerhouse for the Air France-KLM Group as a whole. Rintel will take office on July 1, 2022.

Air France-KLM also announced that the Group’s Board of Directors has decided an anticipated renewal of Benjamin Smith’s mandate as Group’s Chief Executive Officer, for an additional term of five years, i.e. until the General Meeting called to approve the financial statements for the year 2026, expected to take place in May 2027.

Bombardier’s Global 7500 expands VistaJet’s ultra-long-haul fleet

VistaJet, the global business aviation company and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, celebrated a milestone delivery of the industry flagship Global 7500 aircraft.

The celebration, taking place at Bombardier’s Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre in Montréal on March 29, marks Bombardier’s 100th delivery of the ultra-long-range smooth-flying jet, and VistaJet’s 10th, making it the largest operator of the Global 7500 aircraft. The event underscores the long-time relationship between the two brands and demonstrates the success of this unparalleled business jet. VistaJet plans to welcome up to a total of 17 Global 7500 aircraft into its fleet by the end of 2022.

Thomas Flohr, VistaJet’s Founder and Chairman commented: “We are extremely proud of this landmark moment with Bombardier, as we grow our Global 7500 fleet and meet the growing demand for ultra-long-range solutions. VistaJet is committed to a sustainable aviation future and supporting the global business industry with this expansion. Our enhanced product offering onboard the Global 7500 also guarantees that our clients, whether business or leisure travellers, are given the best and most seamless flying experience. We look forward to welcoming more members and supporting the business world as our growing fleet of Global 7500 aircraft opens a new era for long-haul private travel.”

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Rolls-Royce secures £105 million Hawk trainer MRO contract from UK MoD

Rolls-Royce has announced that it has secured an 11-year maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the Ardour engines which power the Hawk jet trainer fleet, including the world-famous Red Arrows, the RAF Aerobatic Team.

The contract enables Rolls-Royce to provide its MRO services for both variants of the Ardour jet engine at Rolls-Royce’s UK Defence Headquarters in Bristol together with representatives at RAF Valley who will provide in-situ advice to operations.

“The agreement announced today will allow us to maximise the availability and supportability of the Adour engine for our customer. We have an established and valuable relationship with the UK Government and armed forces, and we are proud to continue to support them into the next decade and beyond,” said Alex Zino, EVP Business Development and Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce Defence.

The Adour Mk951 engine powers the BAE Systems Hawk TMk2 Advanced Jet Trainer, the key platform in the Fast Jet Pilot stream within the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) and the Hawk TMk1 aircraft, operating in the Red Arrows which are powered by the Adour Mk151 variant. Adour is a collaborative engine between Rolls-Royce and Safran and is a twin spool, counter-rotating turbofan engine that delivers thrust in the range of 5,000 to 8,000 lb.

SITA to deliver new airport management system to Bahrain Airport Services

Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) has signed a contract with SITA to deploy SITA Airport Management, enabling BAS to manage its ground handler operations as cost effectively as possible and ensure the services are delivered in a timely manner, avoiding flight delays. 

A key component of the technology upgrade is SITA Mobile Resource Manager which calculates optimal staffing levels, creates optimised rosters and gives a real time view of task allocations and activities at Bahrain International Airport (BIA).

Through the new system, agents will be offered mobile access to enable data entry at the time and place of their operations. The system can also be used by all BAS staff working on shift rosters.

SITA Mobile Resource Manager provides an innovative way to connect mobile wireless devices in the hands of employees with the back-office systems and people needed to make things happen. Real-time updates improve and accelerate decision-making as events unfold, enabling more effective planning and allocation of resources. Automatic task logging increases the accuracy of billable services, boosting revenue generation and dramatically reducing time spent on charging disputes.

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Hans Airways targets summer launch

Hans Airways, the new British long-haul airline, has achieved some significant milestones, taking it closer to realising its plan to start commercial operations in early summer. CEO and founder Satnam Saini is extremely encouraged that India re-opened to international scheduled flights on March 26.

The company formally confirmed its January 2022 Letter of Intent for its first Airbus A330-200 (MSN 950) with a committed contract. The aircraft is now in Abu Dhabi where it is undergoing maintenance checks with Etihad Engineering, overseen by a Hans Airways liaison engineer.

The management team and Board is looking forward to securing a proving flight date imminently from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. This operational milestone will be a precursor to obtaining its Air Operator’s Certificate.

Twelve newly recruited cabin crew members start their training at Birmingham and Manchester next week, engaged through the Resource Group and Neeru Prabhakar, former cabin service director/trainer/recruitment at British Airways for 30 years, joined Hans Airways last month.

This follows the completion of pilot training at the end of January - specifically ground school at IAGO Flight Training, Crawley and simulator training at L3 Harris. Hans Airways is proud to have employed some exceptional commercial pilots, who have garnered experience with a variety of low-cost, legacy and regional airlines.

SCHROTH Safety Products and Wizz Air announce collaboration on aircraft seatbelts

SCHROTH Safety Products has signed an agreement with Wizz Air and its partner airlines within the Indigo Partners group to become the selected passenger seatbelt supplier for their new fleet of Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft. In total, this programme represents more than 100,000 SCHROTH AirLite® passenger seatbelts.

With this deal, SCHROTH is adding five new aircraft operators to its airline customer base, including Wizz Air, Frontier, Volaris, JetSMART, and Enerjet. Following the announcement of this major milestone, SCHROTH CEO Martin Nadol commented: “Safety through technology is the core value of our business. We are very excited to be given the opportunity to work with Wizz Air and the Indigo Partner airlines for this very important and large project. I am extremely proud of the great work our team did to prove to all the airlines in the group why SCHROTH is the right partner for them.”

LEVEL connects Los Angeles and San Francisco with Barcelona

Starting this week, LEVEL, IAG’s low-cost long-haul airline, connects Los Angeles with Barcelona and resumes its direct San Francisco–Barcelona route as part of its Summer 2022 programme.

The route from Los Angeles, the airline's highlight for this summer season, will initially operate with three frequencies a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and, as of June 1, an additional frequency will be added on Wednesdays, taking the total up to four. The route from San Francisco resumes with four weekly frequencies, including operations on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco are two of four routes that LEVEL will operate in the United States during this 2022 summer season. In addition to Los Angeles and San Francisco, LEVEL is also flying to Barcelona from New York and a Boston–Barcelona route will be added on May 1.

Moreover, the airline’s codeshare with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines links the city of Barcelona with the US market thanks to the connecting reservations to and from destinations offered by those airlines. Thus, this codeshare provides the destinations of American Airlines and Alaska Airlines with a greater number of connections to Barcelona and other Spanish and European destinations through the network of Vueling, IAG’s low-cost short/medium-haul airline.

AerCap reports fourth-quarter financial results

Aviation leasing company AerCap has reported financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021 ended December 31, 2021. With the completion of the GECAS acquisition on November 1, 2021, AerCap has become an industry leader across all areas of aviation leasing: aircraft, engines and helicopters.

AerCap executed 230 transactions in the fourth-quarter 2021, including 158 lease agreements, 42 purchases and 30 sales. The company completed the offering of US$21 billion of senior unsecured notes in October 2021 and a US$2 billion secured institutional term loan in November 2021 to finance the GECAS acquisition with an average coupon of approximately 2.6% and an average tenor of 7.1 years.

Fourth quarter cash flow from operating activities was US$1.7 billion, more than 2.5x higher than the fourth quarter of 2020. AerCap continued to see significant improvements in cash collections, trade receivables and deferral requests. Special items in the fourth quarter of 2021 included US$139 million (US$122 million after-tax) of expenses related to the GECAS transaction.

Aengus Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of AerCap, said: “2021 was a milestone year for AerCap as we closed the GECAS transaction on November 1st. This transaction significantly enhanced and diversified our fleet, broadened our customer base and geographic reach, increased our product offering and added outstanding new talent - the combination of which we expect to lead to increased revenues, earnings and cash flows in the future. Notwithstanding the Ukraine invasion and the broad sanctions imposed against Russia, where we had approximately 5% of our fleet, we believe the continued recovery in air travel in many parts of the world puts AerCap on a positive trajectory heading into 2022.”
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