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Friday, April 1st, 2022

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ASL Aviation Holdings to purchase up to 20 additional Boeing 737-800BCFs

In June 2019 ASL Aviation Holdings (ASL) announced its intention to purchase ten 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) aircraft, with an option for ten additional aircraft.

In January 2021 the global aviation services company took delivery of its first 737-800BCF and the following month it confirmed its options for the additional ten aircraft. With 11 of these aircraft now in service, ASL announced at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) annual conference in Malta on Thursday, March 31, it has placed a new order for ten further 737-800 BCFs with options for ten more. The aircraft will be converted by Boeing at the approved MRO suppliers STAECO in Jinan, China and at Boeing’s MRO facility at London Gatwick Airport in the UK. It is anticipated conversions will begin in the second quarter of 2023 once the remaining first-order aircraft have been delivered.

Currently the 737-800 BCFs which have been re-delivered are being operated by ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL joint-venture airline, K-Mile Asia, based in Bangkok, Thailand. The new aircraft have been earmarked for ASL’s airlines in Ireland, Belgium and France in Europe and joint venture airlines in Asia.

ASL Aviation Holdings Chief Executive Dave Andrew said, “This new order is an important element of our fleet renewal programme, and we are delighted to expand our partnership with Boeing on the 737-800BCF,” adding that: “The aircraft has proven itself to be an excellent fit with our customer and operational requirements throughout our European network of 100 airports.” “We are honoured to play a crucial role in the fleet renewal underway across ASL Aviation Holdings’ operation,” said Jens Steinhagen, Director of Boeing Converted Freighters. “Boeing Converted Freighters support progress towards sustainability goals by providing operators like those under the ASL Group umbrella an economical way to replace less efficient, older-generation freighters.”

The 737-800BCF is used primarily by ASL’s airlines to transport express cargo and e-commerce freight and can carry up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) with a range up to 3,750 kilometres (2,025 nautical miles).

Magnetic Engineering expands CAMO capabilities

Magnetic Engineering, a member of the Magnetic Group, has announced that the company’s CAMO department has received the increased capability of its continuing airworthiness management organisation certification from the Estonian Transport Administration.

These recent capability expansions extends CAMO services’ portfolio and marks the achievement in its ongoing growth plan. Various aircraft types, including Boeing B737 MAX, B747-400, Saab 340, Saab 2000 and Embraer 190 aircraft have been added to approval, meaning the company can serve more customers than ever before, providing direct and subcontracted CAMO support, including ARC reviews

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Fraport sells its 24.5% stake in Xi’an Airport

Fraport AG is selling its stake in Xi’an Airport (XIY) in Central China. Under the agreement signed on March 31, Fraport is selling its entire 24.5% stake in Xi’an Xianyang International Airport Co., –  the airport’s operating company – to Chang’an Huitong Co., for a price of 1.11 billion yuan (CNY) (£133 million).

Fraport AG’s CEO, Dr. Stefan Schulte, explained: “We reflect on our activity in Xi’an with great satisfaction, but also some disappointment. On the one hand, the Xi’an subsidiary gave us an opportunity to showcase our expertise in airport management. Indeed, over the past 14 years, Fraport successfully developed Xi’an from a medium-sized regional airport with about 10 million passengers annually to one of China’s largest aviation gateways, serving more than 40 million passengers per year. On the other hand, we always regarded our minority stake in Xi’an as a starting point for expanding our business in China – the most populous country in the world. However, this never materialised in Xi’an or at any other Chinese airport. Consequently, we have now decided to cease our activities in the Chinese market. With gratitude, we thank our partners at Xi’an Airport and the entire region for their excellent support. We also wish Xi’an Airport all the best for the future!”

Fraport acquired its stake in Xi’an in 2008. The transaction closing still requires several steps to be completed. Currently, the Xi’an operating company anticipates conclusion of the transaction during the second quarter of 2022.

Fraport expects the sale to have a positive impact on both the Group’s operating result (EBITDA) and the financial result (net profit). Moreover, the Group’s net financial debt will be further reduced by the additional cash inflow resulting from selling the stake.

Asiana Airlines and Lufthansa Technik extend contract for repair and overhaul of Asiana's CF6-80 engines

South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines and Lufthansa Technik have extended their contract for the repair and overhaul of Asiana’s CF6-80 engines powering the airline’s Boeing 747 and 767 fleets. The five-year non-exclusive contract is covering a total of 17 B767-300 and B747-400 aircraft.

This extension will strengthen Lufthansa Technik’s business in the Asian market, one of the strongest-growing regions and generate a stable workload for the CF6 product line over the coming years.

Lufthansa Technik and Asiana Airlines have been working together for more than 25 years. Lufthansa Technik also provides component maintenance for the Asiana Boeing 777-200ER fleet, an integrated Total Component Support for the airline’s Airbus A320F and A350 fleets and CF6 engine support and heavy maintenance for the carrier’s Airbus A380 fleet.

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Gulfstream appoints Beth O’Neill to sales team

Gulfstream Aerospace has appointed Beth O’Neill as Regional Vice President of Sales for metropolitan New York. O’Neill replaces Michael Swift, who was recently promoted to Regional Senior Vice President of Sales for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

O’Neill comes to Gulfstream with more than 20 years of experience in aircraft financing, recently as Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Director of Corporate Aircraft Finance-Northeast.

O’Neill will report to Peter Vasconcelos, Regional Senior Vice President of Sales for the Eastern United States and Canada and is based out of Gulfstream’s Manhattan Sales and Design Centre.

Deutsche Aircraft selects Liebherr to supply flap and spoiler actuation system for D328eco aircraft

Deutsche Aircraft GmbH has announced its partnership with Liebherr-Aerospace, to develop and supply the flap and spoiler actuation system for the D328eco™ aircraft, a game-changing platform that paves the way towards a zero-emission flight objective.

Liebherr, renowned for the highest quality, will contribute to the development of the D328eco with highly engineered "made in Germany" parts that follow sustainable manufacturing practices, aligned with both companies' future environmental goals. The parts will be manufactured by Liebherr-Aerospace, based in Lindenberg, Germany, where they already benefit from decades of experience as a German manufacturing cenrte of excellence, supplying state-of-the-art technology to the aviation industry.

Liebherr will develop and deliver the flap control unit including application and control software. The unit is composed of a command / monitor architecture and is designed according to the DAL A with a DAL C Command Lane and the DAL A Monitor Lane.

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Army Research Laboratory awards GE US$5.1 million contract to advance hybrid electric engine technology

US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory (DEVCOM ARL) has awarded GE a US$5.1 million (£3.9 million) research and development contract for the Applied Research Collaborative Systematic Turboshaft Electrification Project (ARC-STEP), bolstering GE’s efforts to develop hybrid electric engine technologies for the future of flight.

Included in this project is research, development, testing, and evaluation of a megawatt (MW) class electrified powerplant that further develops technologies applicable to Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL).

ARC-STEP will use a GE CT7 turboshaft engine, combined with a GE-produced electric machine and power electronics. Subject matter experts from GE and the Army across turbine engines, electrical systems and thermal management disciplines will investigate and integrate technologies that enable lightweight, efficient, reliable and safe hybrid-electric propulsion systems. Tests will take place at the GE's Research campus in Niskayuna, N.Y.

This contract award comes shortly after NASA selected GE for the Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project to mature a MW-class integrated hybrid electric powertrain and demonstrate flight readiness for single-aisle aircraft. The EPFD and ARC-STEP awards are helping GE to continue building extensive experience with hybrid electric systems and electrical power generation.

JMC Group contracted to work with Boeing at Gatwick

JMC Group will commence work in late April on a two-year programme supporting Boeing at its Gatwick Airport MRO facility. JMC engineers will partner with Boeing on B737 passenger-to-freighter conversions. A new dedicated conversion line at Boeing’s Gatwick hangar has been established for the work, as demand for narrow-body freighters continues to grow.

“We are very pleased to have won this important contract from Boeing,” said Tony Eversden, JMC Group Head of Engineering. “To be involved in the freighter conversion programme – the first for Boeing at its new dedicated facility in the UK - gives us great pride. We tendered for the work back in the autumn, shortly after MRO Europe in Amsterdam and look forward to working closely with Boeing on the assignment. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standards in such specialist work.”

Boeing opened its Gatwick Hangar in November 2019, reinforcing its commitment to the aftermarket. Close to the simulator centres in Crawley, the facility reflects Boeing’s commitment to the European aviation market and aerospace expertise in the UK.
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