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Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

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Lilium announces partnership with Honeywell and DENSO for Lilium Jet electric motor

Having already been developing the avionics and flight control systems for the Lilium Jet, Honeywell, together with DENSO will partner with Lilium to produce the electric motor which will power the Lilium Jet.

Honeywell currently collaborates with DENSO to develop aerospace electric propulsion solutions. Lilium developed the first all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet and the new Lilium e-motor has been worked on by all three companies over the past two years. The e-motor should provide exceptional performance and reliability while producing zero-emissions.

The e-motor is air cooled as opposed to water cooled, thus reducing maintenance requirements and reducing running costs and the e-motor has its rotor and stator in a centrifugal or ‘radial’ configuration, compared to traditional axial designs. This lowers the component’s weight, manufacturing costs and susceptibility to foreign object damage while the motor has industry-leading power density, with the first prototypes designed to extract over 100kW of power from a system weighing just over 4kg.

Yves Yemsi, Chief Operating Officer of Lilium said: “Lilium’s Procurement strategy is to engage with the technology providers with the most suitable expertise. We are already making great progress with Honeywell on its Honeywell Anthem integrated flight deck and flight control computers, and we are delighted to deepen our relationship by also partnering with Honeywell and DENSO on our e-motor. The collaboration with these two powerhouses takes us further along the path to revolutionizing regional air mobility.”

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Elix Aviation delivers one Dash 8-100 to Renegade Air

Elix Aviation, the international regional aircraft leasing company, has confirmed the sale and delivery of one Dash 8-100, MSN 361, to Renegade Air. With this new delivery, Elix Aviation continues to expand its sales/leasing and asset management services in the African market.

Renegade Air is an aviation company incorporated in Kenya in 2012 to provide safe, dependable and cost-effective air transport solutions to a diversity of clients and partners. Renegade’s primary service was chartered flights and flights to Wajir County however, starting in 2021 they have introduced new scheduled destinations daily to Masai Mara, Amboseli, Malindi and Lamu.

Qantas buys 51% stake in fast-growing online travel business TripADeal

Qantas has announced that it will take a majority shareholding in the Australian-made travel business, TripADeal.

The stake allows Qantas Loyalty to immediately expand its exposure to the estimated AU$13 billion online packaged holiday booking market, which is experiencing significant growth as leisure demand booms and the shift to e-commerce continues.

Over the past decade, TripADeal has built thousands of direct supplier relationships with hotels, tour operators and other vendors that allow it to offer well-priced holiday packages both domestically and overseas. It also has its own tour guides based in over 30 countries.

TripADeal packages range from African safaris, Japanese ski trips and exploring Antarctica, to South Australian wine tasting tours and Bali beach holidays.

All of these ready-made holidays can now be booked using Qantas Points, regardless of which airline is part of the package. Frequent Flyers will also earn three points for every AU$1 they spend with TripADeal and can also use ‘points plus pay’ to make their holiday happen sooner.

The combination of TripADeal’s success at curating holiday packages together with the reach of Qantas Loyalty’s 14-million-member base, plus the opportunity to redeem and earn points, is projected to drive a significant increase in TripADeal’s revenue in the next few years.

Pre-COVID, TripADeal had an annual growth rate of more than 40% and in the 12 months prior to the pandemic, bookings were in excess of AU$200 million. Monthly bookings are now significantly higher.

Qantas joins existing shareholders, the founders of TripADeal and private equity firm BGH Capital, which bought a stake in 2020.

The full terms of the all-cash purchase are commercial in confidence. The agreement provides a mechanism for Qantas to acquire the remaining 49% of TripADeal in four years at an agreed multiple of TripADeal’s bookings at the time.

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Green Taxi Inc. continues development of electric taxi system

The Green Taxi System (GTS) is a concept that was developed by L3 Technologies and Honeywell together with Safran, in the latter part of the last decade. The design involved installing electric motors in the aircraft’s landing gear wheels. A new endeavour, Dallas TX-based Green Taxi, was able to acquire the IP from L3 and Honeywell, along with an OEM patent for the technology and hired key team members who had been involved in the project.

Green Taxi, Inc. (GTI) has announced that it is continuing the original development which uses the auxiliary power unit (APU) generator to power the motor(s) on the landing gear driving the wheels and enabling the aircraft to taxi without starting its main engines. The power electronics and system controller provide precise control to the pilots over speed and braking during taxi operations. Aircraft equipped with the GTI system will eliminate the need for pushback tractors or tugs, reducing gate and tarmac congestion and improving airline on-time performance.

“Green Taxi-equipped jetliners will save significant costs on reduced ground time apart from the fuel savings” said Green Taxi President and Founder David Valaer “and other benefits include extended engine life, enhanced ground crew safety and reduced noise at the airport” he said. The aviation industry has shown significant interest in Electric Taxiing Systems (ETS) in recent years. Big influences include the current rapidly rising cost of jet fuel, the Clean Aviation movement and substantial carbon brake savings offered by these systems. In the U.S., taxi time ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, accounting for a significant 5-12% of the plane’s fuel consumption, depending on aircraft type and flight duration. GTI is working on this ETS-directed towards newer short and mediumhaul aircraft models, that will eliminate the use of the aircraft’s jet engines or towing tractors. The system is retrofittable to legacy aircraft as well as newer aircraft.

Canada Jetlines receives stage 2 approval from Canadian Transportation Agency

Canada Jetlines, the new all-Canadian, leisure carrier, has announced that the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has determined that the company has met the agency’s financial requirements. The CTA had previously determined that Canada Jetlines met the Canadian control requirements. With the satisfaction of this significant milestone, the formal CTA commercial license will be issued following the issuance of the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by Transport Canada.

“This is an important milestone for Canada Jetlines as we are approaching the completion of the AOC process with Transport Canada. The teams of both the CTA and Canada Jetlines have been working with great collaboration and diligence to ensure we have met or exceeded the requirements for a start-up airline operating in Canada. We are working in earnest towards the finish-line of the certification process. We are confident that we will operate our first commercial flight this summer and plan to announce our commercial schedule in the coming weeks,” said Eddy Doyle CEO Canada Jetlines.

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Täby delivers 30th Saab 340 cargo-conversion

TAM, Täby Air Maintenance, has delivered its 30th Saab 340 cargo-conversion, a Saab 340B with msn 225. The aircraft was converted to full TAM Cargo-Conversion Generation II on behalf of Latvia-based RAF-Avia, who already operates a mix of cargo- and passenger-configured Saab 340s, ATR 72s and Antonov 26s.

Saab 340 cargo-conversions has come to be an ever increasing business for TAM, where the current milestone of 30 conversions was preceded as late as in February this year when the 25th cargo converted aircraft was delivered. Cargo conversion backlog – kits as well as full conversions – stretches way into 2023.

With the successful Saab 340 cargo-conversion programme, complemented by the on-going new Saab 2000 cargo- conversion programme, TAM has a firm position as one of the world’s leading Saab 340/2000 conversion specialist. In addition, TAM’s design organisation is currently preparing further development of the Saab 340 cargo-conversion programme.

Simplified procurement for aircraft lease transitions will enable faster aircraft delivery

The recovery of commercial air travel is being achieved by a high-volume of aircraft transitions and re-deliveries. That requires lessors to move aircraft out of storage and back into service, often with new airlines and operators.

As air travel continues to recover, there's an increasing interest in leasing aircraft, especially given the aviation supply chain challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Natalja Lagno, Strategic Purchasing Manager at Magnetic Group, shared her insights on the global supply chain disruptions: "OEMs are confronted with their own supply chain challenges as they face a long backlog of orders to fulfill as well as raw material and manpower shortages.”

Facing these increased volumes, leasing companies may not have the internal labor resources, the right skill set, or experience to meet short turn-around times. The U.S.-based eProcurement technology company SkySelect has introduced a service that resolves the issues of high-demand and capacity constraints and increases aircraft lease transition efficiency.

SkySelect’s eProcurement service and technology platform enable accurate and timely lease transitions. Instead of being bogged down by time-consuming manual quotations, SkySelect offers 10x faster price estimates and an automated end-to-end procurement process while providing the knowledge and skills needed to procure materials. This means lessors can execute leases quicker and more efficiently while staying within budget and on time.

 “We see the importance of lessors within air travel, and we have delivered a new service that will benefit lessors themselves and contribute to excelling the whole ecosystem," said Erkki Brakmann, SkySelect CEO. "Entering the leasing market was a logical next step given its strong presence and value in the aircraft market. With our eProcurement-as-a-Service solution, lessors can transform their aircraft transition services into a quicker and leaner operation.”

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VoltAero brings Cassio electric-parallel hybrid aircraft on demonstration flights to the Netherlands

VoltAero’s Cassio electric-hybrid aircraft is to perform demonstration flights across selected routes in the Netherlands beginning June 13, 2022, to promote highly sustainable regional aviation throughout the Dutch regions.

Utilising VoltAero’s Cassio 1 testbed – the first parallel hybrid aircraft – this week-long deployment will be part of the Netherlands’ Power Up initiative, which is a collaboration aimed at positioning the country for the introduction of electric-powered commercial passenger flights within five years.

The flights are to include analyses of operational costs, noise performance, ground infrastructure requirements and technical support for the future use of Cassio family aircraft by commercial aviation operators. VoltAero’s proven electric aircraft expertise led to its selection for these demonstration flights, becoming the first company to do so within the Power Up initiative’s framework.

Power Up is an initiative of the four main regional airports in the Netherlands (Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport, Groningen Airport Eelde and Maastricht Aachen Airport) with support of Schiphol Group and other partners aimed at facilitating and stimulating the introduction of electric Regional Air Mobility (eRAM) in the Netherlands. The initiative is an open-source accelerator in which aircraft manufacturers (OEMs), airlines and airports work together to develop a new, sustainable and efficient mobility product improving the connectivity of regions.

SaxonAir signs AW109SP GrandNew helicopter order for Q1 2023 delivery

SaxonAir, the independent UK business aviation operator, confirmed its order for an Agusta AW109 GrandNew helicopter on the opening day of EBACE, Monday May 23. The latest variant, to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023, with the registration G-KLNA, replaces SaxonAir's 2016 AW109SP, which was delivered new in 2016.

Norwich-headquartered SaxonAir, which also has bases at London Stansted, London Biggin Hill Airports and Denham Aerodrome for helicopter operations originally committed to the helicopter in December 2021. Leonardo AW109 GrandNew is a top-of-the range, premium, light twin-engined helicopter with high performance. With its sizeable and well-appointed cabin, it can comfortably accommodate six passengers in VIP seating.

SaxonAir has also extended its third-party maintenance agreement with Sloane Helicopters, which has actively supported Leonardo in sales and maintenance since 1995, to support the type once delivered.

SaxonAir already offsets carbon emissions produced by all of its helicopter flights as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability. Now, it is looking at introducing a potential mobile sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) bowser to support its growing operations.

Bombardier increases maintenance and repair capacity at its Le Bourget line maintenance station

Bombardier has expanded its Line Maintenance Station (LMS) at Le Bourget Airport near Paris to increase its maintenance and repair services for European customers. The facility is strategically located at one of Europe’s busiest airports for business aviation and the expansion is another step in the company’s drive to lead the industry in aftermarket services by bringing best-in-class OEM service, parts and know-how closer to its customers.

Bombardier recently boosted its workforce at the Le Bourget LMS, established in 2018, and has added more than 30,000 ft² (3,000 m²) of hangar space, capable of accommodating up to three Global 7500 aircraft at one time or as many as six Learjet or Challenger aircraft at a time.

The expansion has increased the slots available for light scheduled maintenance as well as unscheduled and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) maintenance and parking services currently provided by the LMS. The additional space and technicians are poised to enhance the reach and response time of Bombardier’s locally stationed Mobile Response Team (MRT). Near term plans also include the addition of wheel and battery shop maintenance services.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar