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Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

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EU bans 21 Russian airlines over safety fears

While multiple Russian airlines have been banned form operating in the 27-nation bloc as a consequence of sanctions relating to the conflict in Ukraine, the EU commission has added 21 Russian carriers to a list of those banned from operating in the bloc as they no longer meet international safety standards.

"The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid certificate of airworthiness," Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said, adding that "The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards. This poses an immediate safety threat."

However, Valean made it abundantly clear that the decision to ban the airlines, including Aeroflot, was not a sanction-based decision and instead was an action based purely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. The Commission confirmed that with the addition of these 21 Russian airlines, the EU blacklist of carriers banned from EU skies now included 117 companies.

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Largest U.S. operator of HondaJets first to install SmartSky LiTE

SmartSky Networks, the innovative air-to-ground (ATG) inflight connectivity provider, has announced that Jet It, the North Carolina-based private aviation operator, is selecting SmartSky’s inflight connectivity service for its fleet of private jets. Jet It will be the first operator to install and use SmartSky’s LiTE configuration designed specifically for light-jet and turboprop aircraft.

The LiTE configuration extends SmartSky’s patented air-to-ground (ATG) network technology to smaller business jets where connectivity options with sustained, multi-gigabyte per hour performance have previously not been available. SmartSky’s system delivers dependable, responsive, and secure connectivity for high-bandwidth applications and real-time data transfer to and from the aircraft for everything from video calling and live streaming to operational flight data that improves efficiency.

SmartSky’s network is live and its Flagship hardware system is available now with supplemental type certificates (STCs) for many popular business jets. An STC for the HondaJet and installation of SmartSky LiTE on Jet It’s fleet is expected this summer.

AerCap leased, purchased and sold 157 assets in first-quarter 2022

AerCap has released its major business transactions for the first-quarter 2022: the company signed 102 lease agreements, including 14 wide-body aircraft, 62 narrow-body aircraft, two regional jets, eight engines and 16 helicopters. 

AerCap completed 25 purchases for 23 aircraft (including 15 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft, one Airbus A220 aircraft and four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for AerCap’s owned aircraft portfolio and three aircraft for AerCap’s managed aircraft portfolio) and two engines. 

Furthermore, the company executed 30 sale transactions for 26 aircraft (including two Airbus A320-family aircraft, three Airbus A320neo-family aircraft, two Airbus A330s, three Boeing 737NGs, one Boeing 767-300ER, two Boeing 777-200ERs, one Boeing 737-300SF, five Embraer E190 E2s and one Embraer E190 aircraft from AerCap’s owned aircraft portfolio and six aircraft from AerCap’s managed aircraft portfolio), two engines and two helicopters. 

AerCap signed financing transactions for approximately US$2.1 billion.

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Planet Nine expands charter fleet with two more managed Gulfstream IV-SP aircraft

Reflecting industry trends that business jet travel has fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, Planet Nine, (Planet 9) the U.S. private charter operator and aircraft management company, has added two high-specification Gulfstream IVs (N1904W and N305PB) to its Part 135 AOC.  The latest arrivals boost the number of Gulfstream-family aircraft models in its fleet to seven.  Planet 9 has also taken on eight additional Gulfstream GIV pilots.

Both aircraft will be based out of Planet 9’s Van Nuys, California home, each offering a non-stop flying time of nine hours, with a 4,200nm / 7,815km range and featuring comfortable, elegant cabins, configured for 13 passengers in a versatile layout to work, dine and relax.  Up to six passengers can be accommodated in lie flat sleeping. Onboard Wi-Fi is by Gogo.  Both aircraft have generous galleys for food preparation, plus two lavatories.

Finnair selects Panasonic Avionics for wide-body IFE upgrade

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has been selected by Finnair to upgrade the in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems across the airline’s wide-body long-haul fleet.

The IFE upgrade is an integral part of the Nordic cabin enhancements being introduced by Finnair across its long-haul fleet, including the introduction of a brand new Premium Economy cabin.

Panasonic Avionics is installing its latest eX3 system in all cabins on Finnair’s eight Airbus A330-300 aircraft – upgrading them from its eX2 system. Finnair’s 19 A350-900 aircraft, which already carry eX3, will also see their premium cabins upgraded to the latest version of the system.

The first upgraded aircraft entered service in February 2022.

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Spirit AeroSystems to support B-52 commercial engine replacement programme

Spirit AeroSystems has reported a contract award from Boeing to provide engine pylons and nacelles for the initial phase of the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Programme (CERP). The total CERP effort is expected to replace 608 engines on the U.S. Air Force's fleet of B-52H models.

As part of the CERP contract, Spirit will support extending the life of the B-52 Stratofortress through at least 2050. The B-52 first entered the U.S. Air Force fleet in 1955.

From the first flight in April 1952, Wichita played a major role in the manufacturing of the B-52. All B-52H models were built in Wichita. By the end of its original production run in 1962, over 700 of the planes had been built, the majority of them in Wichita. Wichita’s legacy with the U.S. bomber fleet dates back to B-29 Superfortress production during World War II.

Air France-KLM finalises A350F order with Airbus

Air France-KLM has finalised its order with Airbus for four new generation A350F freighters, following the earlier commitment announced in December 2021. The freighters are destined to increase Air France’s cargo capacity with the most efficient and sustainable cargo aircraft available in the market.

The A350F is based on the modern, long-range A350 aircraft and will feature a large main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimised for cargo operations. Over 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials resulting in a 30 tonnes lighter take-off weight, which together with efficient Rolls-Royce engines generate an advantage of at least 20% lower fuel burn and CO2 over its current closest competitor. With a 109 tonnes payload capability the A350F serves all cargo markets (Express, general cargo, special cargo…) and is in the large freighter category the only new generation freighter aircraft ready for the enhanced ICAO CO₂ emissions standards.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543
Tamar