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Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

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British judge sides with Airbus over cancelled Qatar Airways A321 order

Qatar Airways has failed in its bid to have a contract for 50 Airbus A321neos reinstated after Airbus revoked it as a consequence of the feud between the two companies over A350 safety issues which has been escalating over the past year.

After paint problems were discovered on A350s that Airbus had delivered to Qatar Airways, under the guidance of Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority, the Gulf carrier grounded its entire fleet of 23 of the jets and has subsequently refused to take deliver of three new A350s, the last time in April this year which Airbus then, as with the previous two, quietly cancelled the delivery. In a countermeasure, in January this year the European planemaker cancelled Qatar Airways order for 50 of its A321neos. 

Qatar Airways had originally claimed defects in the A350s paintwork, a matter which Airbus has accepted, included small spider cracks, larger cracks around the window frames, exposure of the lightning protection and the underlying composite surface, and damage to the lightning protection layer. However, more recently the Doha-based carrier has upped the ante by stating that the surface flaws on the A350 has raised the risk of fuel tanks igniting. Airbus has always maintained that the paint defects have no adverse effect on the jet’s safety.

Qatar Airways is suing Airbus for US$1 billion in compensation for the grounded jets, while Airbus is countersuing Qatar Airways for US$220 million for the first two A350s the carrier refused to take delivery of. Airbus has also challenged the originally agreed compensation credit of US$206,500 per grounded jet per day as it feels that the carrier was incorrectly labelling the paint surface and anti-lightning mesh problems as safety concerns to collect the compensation credits. Airbus also feels that Qatar Airways has exacerbated the paint problem in order to cancel delivery of the A350s during a time of weak demand for flights.  

In relation to the cancelled A321s, Qatar Airways has claimed it needs the new jets to enable it to open up new routes and there are no alternatives available. However, the judge rejected this claim as it was felt that the carrier could either lease jets or deploy 737 MAX jets that it had provisionally ordered from Boeing. The judge’s ruling in favour of Airbus cancelling the A321 order now means it is free to market the in-demand jets to other carriers. (£1.00 = US$1.26 at time of publication).

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Satair and Eaton extend exclusive distribution agreement

Satair, an Airbus Services company and a leader in the commercial aerospace aftermarket, and Eaton have signed a contract to renew their exclusive global distribution agreement for a multi-year period. Satair will now distribute Eaton’s fuel and motion control products from Eaton’s Grand Rapids, Mich., and Euclid, Ohio, facilities in addition to Eaton’s Titchfield, UK, facility, in the United States and the United Kingdom to the commercial transport segment.

Eaton is a leader in delivering an unsurpassed range of reliable and fuel-efficient systems for today's commercial aircraft, including Airbus and Boeing platforms. Eaton's aerospace portfolio includes, among other products, engine fuel pumps, fuel distribution and vent systems and motion control solutions, all designed to optimize safety, reliability and weight savings while helping customers lower lifecycle costs and reduce emissions.

Satair and Eaton entered into an agreement in 2010 which marked a change in the dynamics of the support structure for Eaton’s fuel and motion control products, going from direct support of commercial aftermarket customers to support through Satair’s global distribution network.

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LCI and BETA Technologies sign order for up to 125 eVTOL aircraft

LCI, a leading aviation company and a subsidiary of the Libra Group, has signed an agreement with BETA Technologies (BETA), developer of a fully integrated electric aviation system, to acquire up to 125 of the company’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft

LCI’s commitment for BETA’s ALIA-250 eVTOL aircraft will enable the company to sustainably support operations across the globe. Under the terms of the deposit-backed agreement, LCI will initially acquire 50 aircraft with an option for a total of up to 125. The eVTOL aircraft are currently under development at BETA’s facility in Burlington, Vermont.

ALIA produces zero operational emissions, with a maximum range of 250 nautical miles, and is designed to carry five passengers and a pilot or 1,400 lbs (635 kgs) of payload. The aircraft will provide sustainable solutions for a wide range of applications including cargo, medical and passenger with true point-to-point operations.

Key advantages of ALIA include the ability to recharge in under an hour, a net-zero emissions profile and lower maintenance requirements. BETA is also developing charging infrastructure to support the electric aircraft, as well as electric ground vehicles.

Safran signs maintenance agreement with AJW Group

Safran and AJW Group have signed a contract to maintain electrical power generators, electrical contractors and ventilation systems equipment. This contract covers more than 350 Airbus A320 and A330, including AJW Group’s flagship customers’ fleets.

This is an exclusive contract for a period of five years and will support around 50 Auxiliary Power Unit generators (APUs) and more than 100 ventilation systems per year.

Safran Electrical & Power will repair its APUs as well as all the electrical contractors, whereas Safran Ventilation Systems will maintain the ventilation systems (avionics fans, skin air valves, brake cooling fans). Once repaired, the equipment will be shipped to AJW’s headquarters in the UK.

Safran as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will provide state-of-the-art repair improving drastically the reliability of the components.

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Mobil Jet™ Oil 387 now approved for International Aero Engines V2500 engine

ExxonMobil has released that Mobil Jet™ Oil 387, a synthetic high-performance capability turbine engine oil, has been approved by International Aero Engines (IAE) for use in its V2500 engines. IAE V2500 engines are used by thousands of aircraft in commercial service, including the widely used Airbus A320 narrow-body airliners.

“Compared to other turbine engine oils, Mobil Jet Oil 387 provides a unique combination of outstanding coking performance and seal gentleness – the ‘sweet spot’ operators should expect from modern high-thermal stability and high-performance capability oils in their engines,” said Ed Barnes, Global Chief Engineer — Aviation Lubricants at ExxonMobil. “This latest approval for Mobil Jet Oil 387 shows how leading engine builders and airlines continue to recognise the benefits of this industry-leading oil, and we’re thrilled to provide peace of mind to airlines that will use it for aircraft powered by IAE V2500 engines.”

Mobil Jet Oil 387 offers industry-leading cleanliness without causing risks to the fluorocarbon elastomeric seals in engines, making it uniquely suited for use in the IAE V2500 engine. While competing high-performance capability oils may also be gentle on engine seals, they may not be as effective in managing deposit control. Mobil Jet Oil 387, however, maintains an exceptional ability to reduce coking and deposition in the hot sections of the lubricant system, which helps decrease the maintenance effort needed to clean these engine components on a routine basis.

The approval process for Mobil Jet Oil 387 consisted of extensive testing in various IAE V2500 engine models on multiple aircraft. Test results validated that Mobil Jet Oil 387 can help provide outstanding protection for IAE V2500 engines.

Mobil Jet™ Oil II and Mobil Jet™ Oil 254 are also approved for use in IAE V2500 engines.

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Canada Jetlines selects Safran wheels and carbon brakes for its A320-family fleet

Canada Jetlines, the new all-Canadian leisure carrier, with travel targeted for summer 2022 to serve several Canadian, U.S., Caribbean and Mexico destinations from its main hub in Toronto, Ontario, has selected Safran Landing Systems wheels and carbon brakes to equip its Airbus A320 fleet.

Under the long-term agreement, Safran Landing Systems will supply wheels, brakes and carbon heat sinks manufactured in its U.S.-based plant in Walton, Kentucky, while the maintenance and logistics services will be provided by Hope Aero Propeller & Components, a Canadian wheels & brakes MRO specialist.

Lighter and more durable thanks to its high-performance carbon material and its superior antioxidation protective coating, Safran Landing Systems’ A320-family carbon brakes provide airlines with significant savings in terms of maintenance costs. Besides, thanks to their minimal weight, they contribute to the reduction of operators’ fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Spirit AeroSystems announces repair centre agreement with GAMECO

Spirit AeroSystems has announced an agreement with Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company (GAMECO) to be the Spirit authorized repair centre in Mainland China.

GAMECO was founded in 1989 as a joint venture of China Southern Airlines, Hutchison A/C Maintenance Investment and South China International A/C Engineering.

Initially, GAMECO will provide repair services to replace Boeing 757 RB211 inlet cowlings and A330 Trent inlet cowlings with plans to expand into nacelle work for Spirit customers.

Spirit has signed agreements with two freight carriers to place 757 inlet cowling work with GAMECO. In February, Spirit signed a contract with YTO Cargo Airlines (YTO), based in Hangzhou, China and in September 2021, Spirit signed a ten-year agreement with SF Airlines (SFA), a cargo carrier based in Shenzhen, China.

Spirit’s aftermarket business revenues have grown substantially from US$186 million in 2019 to US$239.9 million in 2021 and is targeting to grow the aftermarket business to US$500 million in revenue by 2025.

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Pratt & Whitney joins SITA's data-brokering platform

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and IT provider SITA have signed an agreement for full-flight data retrieval and processing in support of predictive maintenance of aircraft engines. Many airlines will benefit from the new data-driven alignment between the two companies.

Rapidly available and actionable data about aircraft performance plays a crucial role in continuously improving airline operations. SITA's cloud-based data-brokering platform e-Aircraft® DataHub collects, transforms, and distributes full flight data collected from hundreds of sensors on the aircraft measuring, for example, engine section temperatures and pressures. This data shared with Pratt & Whitney facilitates Pratt & Whitney in providing its EngineWise Insights Plus engine health monitoring services to airlines.

As the air transport industry's neutral and open data-sharing platform, SITA's e-Aircraft® DataHub enables secure and easy data exchange between airlines and their operating partners such as Pratt & Whitney. Through advanced data processing, the platform provides structured, cleaned, filtered, coherent and consistent output data across airlines and aircraft types without the need to add or modify aircraft equipment.

Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp. and a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines, is the first Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the U.S. to join SITA's e-Aircraft® DataHub for big data analytics.

Jazeera Airways posts US$12.43 million in net profit in first-quarter 2022

Jazeera Airways has posted a net profit of KD3.8 million (US$12.43 m) for the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, compared to a net loss of KD5.2 million (US$17.00 m) in the first quarter of 2021. Total revenue for the quarter reached KD35.7 million (US$116.74), up 339.2%, while operating profit stood at KD5.3 million (US$17.33 m), up 199.3%.

These record earnings were supported by close to sixfold increase in number of passengers with restrictions at Kuwait International Airport being eased and travel capacity gradually increased to levels near to the pre-pandemic period. Similarly, load factor reached 75.2%, an increase of 28.7%. Commenting on the results, Jazeera Airways Chairman, Marwan Boodai said: “The gradual return of travel capacity at Kuwait International Airport since the second half of last year as well as the lifting of travel restrictions worldwide have shown that there is indeed a latent and strong appetite for travel.
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