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LATEST NEWS

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

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EASA and ECDC lift mask-wearing requirements at airports and on board flights

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) in conjunction with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have issued new guidelines relating to health safety measures for airline passengers in relation to the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

From May 16, it will no longer be mandatory to wear a medical-grade face mask in airports or on board flights. “From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky.

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel," he added. However, the agencies are still keen to stress that wearing a mask and good hand hygiene are the two most effective means of limiting transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, those passengers who are still classed as vulnerable should wear a mask for their own protection and the agencies have asked that other passengers respect the individual rights of fellow travellers.

Social distancing is still also being promoted, though airport staff are advised to adopt a discretionary approach to the matter and should avoid imposing distancing requirements if these may lead to a bottleneck in another location in the passenger journey, especially if they are not required to keep a safe distance at national or regional level in other similar settings. Additionally, the agencies have made it clear that rules for masks will continue to vary by airline beyond May 16.

For example, flights to or from a destination where mask-wearing is still required on public transport should continue to encourage mask wearing, according to their joint recommendations. “The rules and requirements of departure and destination States should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner. The importance of these measures should continue to be effectively communicated to passengers for their safety, and ECDC will continue to work with our colleagues at EASA to regularly assess and amend the recommendations as necessary,” said ECDC Director Andrea Ammon.

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Hawaiian Airlines to invest in REGENT to support its next generation 100-person capacity all-electric seaglider

REGENT has released that Hawaiian Airlines has agreed to strategically invest in the company to support the initial design of its next generation 100-person capacity all-electric seaglider known as the Monarch. With this investment, Hawaiian Airlines becomes REGENT’s first U.S.-based design partner for the Monarch, which is slated for entry into commercial service by 2028.

“Innovative interisland transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steam ships with airplanes. We are excited to be an early investor in REGENT and to be involved in developing their largest seaglider – a vehicle with great potential for Hawaiʻi',” said Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines. “We look forward to working with REGENT to explore the technology and infrastructure needed to fulfill our vision for convenient, comfortable and environmentally sustainable interisland transportation.”

“Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawai‘i. Through close partnerships with design partners and strategic investors such as Hawaiian Airlines, we can fully understand our operators and unlock their ability to provide zero-emission transportation solutions to their customers,” said Billy Thalheimer, REGENT CEO.

REGENT is a venture-backed aerospace and maritime company building all-electric seagliders, zero emission vehicles that provide harbor-to-harbor, overwater transportation at a fraction of the cost, noise, and emissions of existing regional transportation modes like aircraft and ferries. REGENT seagliders will offer a sustainable and resilient mode of regional coastal transportation, especially for residents of coastlines and archipelagos such as the Hawaiian Islands.

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Ryanair announces winter maintenance agreement with Caerdav

Ryanair has announced a new winter maintenance agreement with UK-based MRO provider, Caerdav, which will see the airline undertake two lines of heavy maintenance with Caerdav at its modern MRO facility in Cardiff. Ryanair’s fleet will grow to over 600 aircraft over the coming years and this agreement will ensure that the airline has flexibility as to where it places its aircraft for the upcoming winter maintenance season.

Ryanair uses a mix of internal facilities and external suppliers to conduct its heavy maintenance. The carrier continues to invest in its internal heavy maintenance facilities and this agreement will complement these facilities to ensure the maintenance requirements are more than met over the coming years.

JetBlue appoints Al Spencer, Vice President, Controller

JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline®, has appointed Al Spencer as the carrier's new Vice President, Controller. Spencer joined JetBlue on May 11, and will oversee the company's corporate accounting, tax, payroll, accounts payable and fraud, and revenue accounting teams. He will report to Ursula Hurley, JetBlue's Chief Financial Officer.

Spencer comes to JetBlue from Paris-based publicly traded gas manufacturer Air Liquide, where he served as deputy CFO North America and Corporate Controller since 2017. Prior to Air Liquide, he was with NCI Building Systems, as Assistant Controller for five years. He began his career with public accounting firm KPMG, before holding a number of roles in accounting and finance with Sysco Corp., Friedkin Services Group and ExpressJet Airlines.

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Finnair Technical Services taps into SkySelect’s platform to enhance efficiency and digitise aircraft parts purchasing process

SkySelect, the eProcurement-as-a-Service platform provider, has signed an agreement with Finnair Technical Services to digitise the procurement of aircraft parts and further drive innovation within the flagship carrier.

As the flagship carrier of Finland, boasting a fleet size of approximately 80 aircraft, time savings and cost savings can have an exponential impact on the overall success of Finnair Technical Services.

The carrier prides itself on its innovative and sustainable approaches to air travel. Finnair strives to be carbon neutral by 2045 and cut its net CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025.

In addition to digitising and automating purchasing, SkySelect gives Finnair Technical Services tools for its sustainable development targets by consolidating and reducing the carbon footprint. The platform helps to combine shipments, simplify logistics and minimise the number of shipments.

Airstream arranges sale of two ATR72-212F aircraft

Aircraft remarketing specialists Airstream International Group have arranged the sale of two ATR72-212 freighter aircraft on behalf of Hawaiian Airlines. The aircraft, serial numbers 423 and 432, were sold to Wasaya Airways, Canada.

Airstream provide aircraft sales, leasing and financing services for an international client base that has included airlines, government organisations, lessors, investors and financial institutions as well as part out organisations. Now in its 33rd year of trading, Airstream have successfully completed transactions involving more than 635 aircraft.

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CDB Aviation signs facility agreement for US$530 million unsecured syndicated term loan

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB Leasing), has signed a US$530 million unsecured syndicated term loan with BNP Paribas and a group of leading global financial institutions.

The facility was led by BNP Paribas as agent with funding from such leading aviation lenders as: BNP Paribas, acting through its Singapore branch, MUFG Bank, as the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners; Bank of Communications Hong Kong Branch; China CITIC Bank London Branch; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited; and Agricultural Bank of China, acting through its New York branch. The proceeds will fund new capital expenditure, debt refinancing, general corporate, and working capital.

ACG selects Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines to power up to 60 more Airbus aircraft

Pratt & Whitney has announced that aircraft leasing company Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has selected 20 firm GTF-powered Airbus A220 aircraft and also selected GTF engines to power an additional 20 firm and 20 option A320neo- family aircraft. This brings ACG’s total to date to 80 firm and 27 option GTF-powered aircraft.

ACG owns, manages and has on order more than 145 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, including Airbus A220 and A320neo families with GTF engines, Airbus A320ceo family with V2500® engines and Boeing 757 aircraft with PW2000 engines. ACG serves around 90 customers in approximately 45 countries with dynamic fleet solutions.

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ATR announces successful first flight of ATR 42-600S STOL in partial configuration

ATR, the regional aircraft manufacturer, has announced the successful first flight of the partially configured STOL variant (for ‘Short Take-Off and Landing’) of its ATR 42-600 aircraft. The flight took off at 10:00 am from Francazal airport and lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The crew onboard performed a number of tests to measure the upgraded aircraft systems’ performance.

Following the successful completion of this first flight, new functionalities will be tested one at a time, starting with the MFC-NG (Multifunctional Computer New Generation), followed by the Autobrake, Ground Spoiler, and increased take off rating systems.

The aircraft will enter its final configuration at the end of the year with the addition of a new larger rudder and move on to the certification phase in 2023.

To-date, ATR has recorded 20 commitments from airlines and lessors for this ATR 42-600S.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar