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Thursday, April 28th, 2022

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ATSG selects Safran’s wheels and carbon brakes for retrofit of its Boeing 767 cargo aircraft fleet

Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), one of the largest lessors of freighter aircraft and a leading provider of air cargo transportation services based in Wilmington, Ohio, has selected Safran Landing Systems for the retrofit of more than 30 Boeing 767 freighters operated by the company’s subsidiary airlines. This transition to Safran’s wheels and carbon brakes allows ATSG to operate with a common wheel and brake configuration across its operating fleet of freighter aircraft with carbon brakes.

As part of this long-term agreement, Safran Landing Systems will supply ATSG with the on-wing shipsets, the initial provisioning spares, the piece parts and carbon heat sink exchanges and will perform the maintenance, repair and overhaul of its carbon brakes.

Safran Landing Systems' 767 equipment will be manufactured in its state-of-the-art wheels and brakes production factory in Walton, (Kentucky, USA), while the brake MRO services will be carried out by Safran Landing Systems Wheels & Brakes Repair & Services, through its network of five repair shops (Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Miami (Florida), Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), Las Vegas (Nevada) and Grand Prairie (Texas).

Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems announce new 737 MAX MRO agreement

Boeing Global Services has announced a new agreement with Spirit AeroSystems and its affiliates to combine aftermarket resources, expanding the MRO footprint in support of nacelle and flight control repairs for the global 737 MAX fleet. The agreement will enhance Boeing support for nacelle and flight control surface removals with a more robust MRO footprint while combining Boeing’s industry-leading asset pool with the hands-on repair experience of Spirit AeroSystems. 

Spirit AeroSystems has extensive experience with the 737 MAX as the original production manufacturer of the fuselage, thrust reverser, slats, and flaps. This will be the first pooling program Boeing has offered for these specific high value large structural parts. The offering was developed to expand Boeing’s parts services options in response to customer needs.

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Mesa Airlines signs contract to procure ExxonMobil aviation lubricants across fleet

ExxonMobil has released that Mesa Airlines signed a five-year contract with Boeing Distribution (formerly Aviall) to procure ExxonMobil aviation lubricants across its entire fleet. Mesa Airlines, which will use Mobil Jet™ Oil II and Mobil™ HyJet™ IV-Aplus for its fleet of over 160 aircraft, cited the ability to stabilise price points and simplify its supply chain with a reliable supplier as a key reason for entering the contract.

As a regional air carrier that operates in over 100 cities, Mesa Airlines was looking to reduce its expenditures and simplify its supply chain to avoid the fluctuation of prices over time. Specifically, with current events driving price increases across every industry’s supply chain, the airline’s procurement team wanted to find a way to stabilise price points, eliminate exposure to impacts of inflation, and secure a dependable source of product so the airline could focus on maximizing profits.

To achieve these goals, Mesa Airlines’ partner Boeing Distribution recommended a contract with ExxonMobil based on its reputation as a reliable supplier with quality products that could meet Mesa Airlines’ price and on-time delivery demands. ExxonMobil’s proven industry leadership and trustworthy supply capabilities gave Mesa Airlines extra confidence in its decision to procure ExxonMobil aviation lubricants across its fleet.

Breeze Airways selects Airbus Flight Hour Services for A220 fleet

Breeze Airways, headquartered in Utah (U.S.), has chosen Airbus Flight Hour Services (FHS) to provide long-term material services support for its A220 fleet, including spare parts pooling, multiple on-site stocks, components repairs, and engineering.

Breeze Airways will benefit from Airbus' A220 established supply chain and large stock availability to support its operations and secure fleet entry-into-service, as well as its component engineering expertise and in-service experience, which will maximise the airline’s aircraft availability and fleet efficiency.

Breeze has an order for 80 A220-300 aircraft and is the second A220 customer to choose FHS in the U.S., following JetBlue’s selection in 2021. This FHS contract will support Breeze’s network development on the U.S. East and West Coast and in future destinations.

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Topcast Group and Darchem Engineering sign MoU on cooperation of aerospace and defence OEM distribution in Asia-Pacific

Topcast Group (Topcast) and Darchem Engineering (Darchem), a company of TransDigm Group, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the second day of MRO Americas 2022 on strengthening the strategic partnership to bolster potential business opportunities in the aerospace industry.

This agreement will facilitate the two leading aviation corporations to utilise their joint expertise and resources, offering customers a source of supply for the design, qualification and production of bespoke engineered insulated systems and state-of-the-art thermal optimisation solutions. In addition, Topcast and Darchem will leverage their respective strengths to raise brand awareness and develop business strategies by co-sharing market intelligence for seizing potential opportunities.

Airbus and ITA Airways partner to develop urban air mobility in Italy

Airbus and ITA Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on urban air mobility (UAM) in Italy. The two companies will explore the creation of tailored UAM services, by identifying strategic use cases for emission-free mobility solutions.

The agreement foresees a joint approach toward local mobility stakeholders in order to onboard additional partners for the safe and sustainable launch of operations with the CityAirbus NextGen electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, currently in development. The parties also agree to identify pilot cases with the goal of securing public acceptance of UAM by demonstrating the added value that it can bring to communities.

ITA Airways is the Italian flag carrier airline. It was created in 2021, with sustainability as one of the fundamental pillars of its business plan. The company has shown a keen interest in innovative projects to decarbonise aviation, such as the development of urban air mobility through eVTOLs. ITA Airways recently directly purchased 28 aircraft from the manufacturer, including seven A220s, 11 A320neos and ten A330neos. The A350 will also join the company’s fleet this summer.

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Boeing reports first-quarter results

Boeing has reported first-quarter revenue of US$14.0 billion, driven by lower defence volume and charges on fixed-price defence development programmes, partially offset by commercial services volume. GAAP loss per share of (US$2.06) and core loss per share (non-GAAP) of (US$2.75) also reflect US$212 million of pre-tax charges for impacts of the war in Ukraine. Boeing recorded operating cash flow of (US$3.2) billion.

Commercial Airplanes first-quarter revenue of US$4.2 billion decreased slightly, primarily due to timing of wide-body deliveries, partially offset by higher 737 deliveries. Operating margin of (20.6)% also reflects abnormal costs and period expenses, including charges for impacts of the war in Ukraine and higher research and development expense.

Boeing has nearly completed the global safe return to service of the 737 MAX and the fleet has flown more than one million total flight hours since late 2020. The 737 production rate continues to increase and is expected to increase to 31 airplanes per month during the second quarter.

On the 787, the company has submitted the certification plan to the FAA. Rework has been completed on the initial airplanes and the company continues to work closely with the FAA on timing of resuming deliveries. The programme is producing at a very low rate and will continue to do so until deliveries resume, with an expected gradual return to five per month over time. The company continues to anticipate 787 abnormal costs of approximately US$2 billion, with most being incurred by the end of 2023, including US$312 million recorded in the quarter.

During the quarter, the company launched the 777-8 Freighter with an order from Qatar Airways. Delivery of the first 777-9 airplane is now expected in 2025, which reflects an updated assessment of the time required to meet certification requirements. To minimise inventory and the number of airplanes requiring change incorporation, the 777-9 production rate ramp is being adjusted, including a temporary pause through 2023. This will result in approximately US$1.5 billion of abnormal costs beginning in the second quarter of this year and continuing until 777-9 production resumes. The 777 programme is also leveraging the adjustment to the 777-9 production rate ramp to add 777 Freighter capacity starting in late 2023.

Commercial Airplanes delivered 95 airplanes during the quarter and backlog included nearly 4,200 airplanes valued at US$291 billion.

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STS Aviation Services set to open aircraft base maintenance facility in Manchester, UK

STS Aviation Services (STS) has reached an agreement to lease an aircraft base maintenance facility in Manchester, United Kingdom. The hangar, capable of undertaking multiple lines of aircraft maintenance, will create more than 200 new jobs in the region over the next two years.

Mick Adams, CEO of STS Aviation Services in Europe, says “In the coming months, our team will introduce 100+ jobs in Manchester with 100 more coming online in 2023 and as part of STS’ long-term resourcing strategy, we will launch new trainee and apprenticeship schemes, something that is critical to the future of aviation in the United Kingdom. I am enormously proud of the STS Aviation Services’ team members who have made this, our next stage of growth, possible.”

At present, STS Aviation Services has two aircraft base maintenance facilities in the United Kingdom: one in Birmingham and another in Newquay. With the opening of the new Manchester facility later this year, the company finds itself in a unique position to serve its growing customer base at yet another key airport gateway in the United Kingdom.

STS Aviation Services will begin its recruitment strategy for the Manchester facility immediately and the station is expected to be fully operational by October of this year.

SITA Airport Technology helps Athens International Airport streamline its operations

SITA has completed the implementation of its airport management solution at Athens International Airport, delivering significantly improved airport processes, as well as operational and cost efficiencies.

Using SITA’s Airport Management, Athens International Airport is, for the first time, able to share key operational data by opening its Airport Operating Database to its stakeholders – airlines, government agencies, air navigation service providers, and other entities – providing all parties with the same real-time, data-rich view of the airport.

Sharing event milestones, airport stakeholders have an extremely precise view of how various activities across the airport are integrated and can impact the overall operation. The airport operations team can, for example, see when a flight has departed from its destination, with better visibility of the expected arrival time in Athens. This allows the airport to plan ground operations more efficiently, assigning aircraft parking stands, gates, and other resources, ensuring on-time performance and avoiding unnecessary delays.

The system provides configurability like no other on the market. The newly launched system has already proven its value during the heavy snowstorms earlier this year – an unusual event for Athens that called for extensive de/anti-icing of aircraft. Within hours the Athens airport team managed to configure the tracking grid so that all stakeholders could plan the de/anti-icing processes effectively.

With a web-enabled application in place, the airport is also able to quickly inform and deploy employees and equipment where they are needed most, while gathering real-time data on tasks completed – data that is shared with all stakeholders. The airport can now better plan key activities such as push-back times and align with air traffic control for on-time performance, avoiding long wait times on taxiways and runways.
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