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Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

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Embraer and NAC sign first P2F conversion deal for up to ten E190F/E195Fs

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), the regional aircraft leasing company, will become a launch lessor of Embraer’s E-Jet passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion. NAC and Embraer have reached an agreement in principle to take up to ten conversion slots for E190F/E195F aircraft, with first deliveries starting in 2024. Aircraft for conversion will come from NAC’s existing E190/E195 fleet.

Norman C.T. Liu, President and CEO Nordic Aviation Capital, said, “We look forward to working with Embraer on developing an operator base for the E-Jet freighter as cargo conversions are a key element of our full-life cycle portfolio strategy for the future.”

The conversion-to-freighter will be performed at Embraer’s facilities in Brazil and includes main deck front cargo door; cargo handling system; floor reinforcement; Rigid Cargo Barrier (RCB) – 9G Barrier with access door; cargo smoke detection system, including class “E” extinguishers in upper cargo compartment; Air Management System changes (cooling, pressurisation, etc.); interior removal and provisions for hazardous material transportation. The E190F can handle a payload of 23,600lb (10,700kg) while the E195F a payload of 27,100 lb (12,300 kg).

Jet Aviation extends line maintenance services to FBO in Zurich

Jet Aviation is offering a line maintenance service through its new hangar facility in Zurich. The facility is authorizsed to perform line maintenance on a range of business aircraft, including Gulfstream-series, with immediate effect.

Situated at Jet Aviation’s Zurich North FBO, the facility will initially receive approval under an extension of the company’s Basel site authorisations prior to undergoing an audit for line maintenance repair station approval by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).

Jet Aviation expanded its Zurich operation in June 2021 via the acquisition of the former ExecuJet Zurich FBO facilities. The acquisition added a multifunctional, state of-the-art terminal for passengers and crews, a 2,500 m² hangar adjacent to the terminal, a second near-5,000 m² arched hangar and two approximately 5,000 m² private ramps to the company’s existing Zurich footprint.

The Zurich line maintenance station supports services for a range of business aircraft, including the Gulfstream series. Jet Aviation has appointed AOG Engineer Michael Luethi to manage the station with the support of its global AOG team as required.


Lufthansa Group becomes first European customer for Boeing 777-8 freighter

The Lufthansa Group will continue its strategic decision to strengthen Lufthansa Cargo with an order for seven Boeing 777-8 freighters, the industry's newest twin-engine freighter.

The Group has also placed a new order for two 777 freighters to add to its cargo fleet, providing extra cargo capacity in the near-term until the delivery of its first 777-8 freighter.

In addition, the Group continues to accelerate the modernisation of its long-haul passenger fleet with a new purchase of seven Boeing 787-9s. The order for more 787s brings Lufthansa Group's total order book for the 787 Dreamliner to 32 firm orders. The Group also is a launch customer for the 777X passenger airplane, with 20 firm orders.

Boeing launched the new 777-8 freighter in January and has already booked 34 firm orders for the model.

C&L Engine Solutions purchases 14 CF34 engines

C&L Engine Solutions, a C&L Aviation Group company, has purchased 14, CF34-3B1 engines to support the 50-passenger CRJ200 series airliner and corporate operators of the Bombardier Challenger 604, 605 and 850 jets. “These engines are a great opportunity for C&L to work with operators on creative solutions to help keep their aircraft flying," said Tim Brecher, President of C&L Engine Solutions. “With whole engine or module exchanges, green time leases and customised engine work scopes we help operators align cost to ownership horizon.”

C&L Engine Solutions specialises in commercial and corporate aircraft engine transactions. The company trades, leases, and acquires assets for large and small engines and offers management services to decrease the burden on operators and leasing companies.


Savback Helicopters debuts ultra-light Zefhir helicopter

Savback Helicopters is bringing the Italian-built two-seat Zefhir helicopter to the Private Flyer show, part of The Elite Series, at Wycombe Air Park this week. 

The Zefhir helicopter, developed by CURTI Aerospace, has been designed for the discerning private pilot as a high-quality, two-seat single-turbine aircraft.  Its airframe and components have been designed to meet the exacting requirements of EASA CS-27, with its carbon fibre airframe and the largest luggage space in its category.  Light, efficient and durable composite rotor blades and an elegant and clean interior add to its style. The CURTI company draws on decades of experience in the production of complex parts for certified helicopters.

Matching state-of-the-art materials and technology with a passion for flying deeply rooted in the company’s DNA, Zefhir gives the perfect synthesis between competence and intuition. Its Italian design is reflected in its attention to detail. Zefhir is presented as a ‘jewel of modern technology and materials,’ right down to its elegant lines and exclusive style interiors.

“The Zefhir also offers a unique option - an innovative extra safety feature - a ballistic parachute which deploys in the unlikely event of engine failure or pilot incapacitation,” commented Nabore Benini, Vice President, CURTI.  “This makes it the first and only helicopter in the world with a tried and test parachute,” he added.

Nathan Burkitt named COO of new UK carrier Hans Airways

The Board of Hans Airways, the UK’s new long-haul airline planning regular scheduled flights from Birmingham to India, has promoted Nathan Burkitt to Chief Operating Officer. Burkitt has worked with the start up since December 2019, supporting CEO Satnam Saini, selecting and overseeing pilot and cabin crew recruitment and training in his original role as Director of Flight Operations and Crew Training. He joined Hans Airways from Virgin Australia, where he was Manager, Flight Standards, overseeing flight operations training and standards.    

Burkitt brings 17 years’ senior operational experience to the airline with a diverse, international flying career which started with ATR turboprops and Avro RJ100s at CityFlyer Express, Gatwick. He moved to Britannia Airways on the Boeing B757/B767 for 14 years, followed by Thomson/TUI and LCC ThomsonFly, becoming Head of Training (TRTO) and Training Manager, before joining Virgin Atlantic as Training Standards Manager. Here he was first introduced to the Airbus A330, the aircraft type Hans Airways has selected. Following Virgin Atlantic, Burkitt worked for Fastjet as Head of Flight Operations and Training (Group) , Wow Air in Iceland and Norwegian UK as Chief Pilot and Deputy Head of Training.


Israel Aerospace Industries and 2Excel Aviation successfully completed demonstration of IAI's Maritime Heron UAS

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and 2Excel Aviation have successfully completed a demonstration of IAI's Maritime Heron UAS in a series of live, Beyond Visual Line of Sight maritime search and ISR scenarios. The demonstration was based out of West Wales Airport in Aberporth, Wales. Attending the demonstration were in-person and virtual observers from the UK Ministry of Defence, Government and the Civil sector.

The Heron UAS was ready to fly within 36 hours of arriving at West Wales and maintained full serviceability throughout the period of the deployment. The Heron UAS achieved 100% of its planned scenarios, despite the challenging seasonal weather conditions. The system demonstrated that it is highly capable in missions including search and rescue, border protection, fisheries patrol, safety at sea, small boat detection and surveillance and other activities.

In-person attendees were able to make requests of the system, which were relayed live to the Ground Control Station (GCS) during the presentation. Rule-based scenarios were also demonstrated via IAI’s Starlight data exploitation tool, which received inputs from the Heron UAS’ multi-mission radar, EO/IR sensor and AIS. Points of interest were then generated using Starlight’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data processing engine to produce Actionable Intelligence, Insights and Maritime Awareness. Data gathered was simultaneously broadcast to in-person and virtual attendees using IAI’s data dissemination tool (Commander’s Remote Imagery Situation Picture – CRISP).

Altavair opens new office in Dublin

Altavair L.P. (Altavair), a global leader in commercial aviation lease finance, has announced the expansion of its international footprint with the opening of Altavair Limited in Dublin, Ireland. The new office and team will complement Altavair’s existing operations in London, Seattle and Singapore with increased support in marketing, technical, accounting, legal and contract management.

“We are energised by our continued growth and believe this is a logical next step in our evolution to better serve our investors and airline customers,” said Steve Rimmer, Chief Executive Officer of Altavair. “Entering the Dublin market has long been on our radar and with our ever-expanding portfolio and the continued support from KKR, we felt this was the right time to make the move.”

Altavair L.P. is an asset manager focusing on the acquisition of new and used commercial aircraft for leasing to domestic and international passenger airlines and cargo operators. Since its inception in 2003, Altavair has completed over US$9 billion in commercial aircraft lease transactions with over 60 airline customers in 28 countries representing over 200 individual Boeing and Airbus aircraft.


MAAS Aviation predicts colourful horizons ahead

MAAS Aviation, recognised experts in aircraft painting and exterior coatings, continue to see mounting optimism in the aviation sector as they report a buoyant start to 2022. Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Marston, comments: “The industry is seeing strong post-pandemic growth as travel restrictions ease and we go back to everyday life. With more aircraft returning to the skies, the global MAAS teams have been busy with programmes for new and existing customers throughout the first quarter of this year. With the 21/22 winter painting season coming to an end, there is plenty to talk about.”

Statistics from IATA back up Marston’s positive outlook, with the trade association reporting that there has been industry-wide growth in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs) of 82.3% year-on-year in January 2022.

MAAS has continued to support established customers Ryanair and EasyJet with their programmes, repainting Ryanair’s Boeing B737-800 aircraft at its new Kaunas facility this season and EasyJet’s Airbus A320-family aircraft from its Maastricht paint bays.

“We have also been pleased to welcome some significant new clients to our paint shops this quarter” adds Tracy Jarman, Sales Manager Europe. “We have painted five Airbus A320s for Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling. The final aircraft in this current programme for Vueling will complete its makeover at our Maastricht facility later this month and we look forward to continuing this partnership later in the year.”

Sky Alps is a relative newcomer to the scene, founded in 2020, the Italian airline operated its first flights in June 2021. MAAS has aided in its continuing operations with the completion of fresh liveries for two of its Dash-8 Q400 turboprops.

MAAS also partnered with Greek carrier Aegean Airlines, completing two end-of-lease repaints for an A320 and an A321. Corendon Airlines is another new customer, with the MRO recently refinishing two B737-800 aircraft for the Turkish carrier, one of which is a special ‘Hull City’ football club livery.

Condor’s recent rebrand has grabbed the attention of the aviation industry with its bold striped liveries and MAAS was proud to have completed the paint jobs on the first two A321s in this programme. Jarman explains, “This project was top secret and had to be kept totally under wraps until the full launch of its new livery in early April, but this strategy paid off with the newly painted fleet making a big impact when revealed. The multi-coloured aircraft are designed to emulate the feelings of summer holidays, with the yellow stripes representing the sun and blue the sea. Condor will be continuing to roll out more of its sensational new look over the summer season.”

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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