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Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

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IATA recommends major reforms to both attract and retain ground handling staff

The current shortage of ground handling staff which has been highlighted by the recovery of the commercial aviation industry has led IATA (International Air Transport Association) to recommend reforms to manage long-term requirements for a stable base of talent for the ground handling sector. While many left the ground handling sector of the industry as a consequence of the pandemic, now that there is a demand for their skills, a bottleneck of new staff has been created by delays resulting from the time-consuming security clearance procedure. With the peak northern summer season rapidly approaching IATA feels that this sector should adopt a stronger acquisition strategy, streamline onboarding processes and develop a more compelling retention proposition. Consequently, the Association has put forward the following recommendations:   
  • An awareness campaign to highlight the attractiveness and importance of ground operations in global logistics and transport operations.
  • Adoption of 25by25 campaign to help address the gender imbalance across the industry.
  • Apprenticeships in partnership with trade schools to revitalize candidate pipelines.
  • Career path mapping to demonstrate long-term prospects for people entering the sector.
IATA has also suggested that the current six-month time schedule for training and security clearance needs to be expedited with greater emphasis on online training and assessment, together with mutual recognition by authorities of security training and employee background records. The association has also recommended standardisation of ground operations via the IATA Ground Operations Manual which will promote flexibility in terms of relocation, reassignment and recruitment. Additionally, the adoption of new technologies and automated processes should create diverse job opportunities and career paths that will attract a new generation of talent.

“An industry-wide approach to lay the foundations for more efficient talent recruitment, onboarding and retention will pay big benefits in terms of efficiency for all concerned. The cornerstone is the standardization that can be achieved with the adoption of the IGOM. Its global implementation will have a huge and positive impact in all aspects of ground handling, including talent management. The potential is to shift working in the sector from having a job to developing a career,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for the Operations, Safety and Security. 

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Rusada rebrands after successful two-year period

Aviation software specialist Rusada has launched its new company branding following a sustained period of success for the company.

Since June 2020 the company has undergone significant internal transformation to better serve the needs of the industry. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic Rusada hired over 60 new employees, delivered ten major releases of its ENVISION software along with three new apps and signed up over 15 new customers.

Julian Stourton, CEO at Rusada commented: “The initial months of the pandemic were filled with uncertainty and caution as the world stopped flying. Fortunately, due to our diverse customer base of well-managed organisations we were able to regroup and begin to plan for a post-pandemic industry. We reorganised our development teams to better exploit the collective talents of our staff and used our increased capacity to further increase the performance and functionality of our software.”

To capitalise on this period of success and adapt for a new chapter in the aviation industry, Rusada has refreshed its brand to better reflect the company’s identity and its offering. This includes a new logo, new imagery, new colour scheme and a new website.  

Stourton continued: “We felt that our previous branding didn’t properly convey the dynamic company we have become, or the sophistication of our software. This new brand perfectly demonstrates our focus on modern technologies, streamlined solutions, and a user-friendly approach.”

Etihad Cargo appoints Caroline Pappas General Manager – Americas

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, has appointed Caroline Pappas as General Manager – Americas. Based in Chicago, Pappas will report directly to Etihad Cargo Director – Cargo Commercial West, Mark Faulkner. She will be responsible for establishing new and further developing existing relationships with Etihad Cargo's customers based in North and South America.

Pappas joins Etihad Cargo with over 30 years' sales and commercial experience within the air cargo sector, reinforcing the carrier's commitment to the market. In her previous roles, Pappas has been instrumental in negotiating and securing long-term contracts with global freight forwarding customers and shippers, identifying and implementing marketing and sales strategies, and identifying strategic opportunities to increase market share and revenues.

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Swiss WorldCargo joins Lufthansa Cargo, Cathay Pacific joint venture

Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo have announced the addition of Swiss WorldCargo to their joint venture, which offers customers more direct connections, more flexibility and more time savings.

Swiss WorldCargo's entry builds on the joint business agreement signed in 2016 between Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo, which allows them to collaborate on distribution, pricing, contracts and the handling of shipments between Hong Kong and Europe.

Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo already work closely together on international routes through their hubs in Hong Kong and Germany, while cargo handling in Hong Kong is coordinated under one roof at the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport.

Under the expanded joint business agreement, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa Cargo and Swiss WorldCargo will work closely together on network planning and in the areas of sales, IT and ground handling. Initially, the airlines will cooperate on routes from Hong Kong to Zurich and Frankfurt. Traffic to and from Hong Kong and the rest of Europe will be added later this year.

Cargo customers will have access to the entire shared network via the booking systems of all three partners.

TCab Tech partners with Safran on electric motors for the E20 eVTOL

Safran Electrical & Power and TCab Tech, an eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft company in China, have have signed a cooperation agreement to equip the E20 full-electric eVTOL aircraft with ENGINeUSTM electric smart motors.

TCab Tech is currently developing E20, a five-seater passenger-carrying eVTOL aircraft equipped with six rotors – four tilt and two lift rotors – and a high gull-wing with a conventional tailplane design. The eVTOL targets a maximum design range of 200 km and a cruising speed of 260 km/hour. Safran Electrical & Power will supply all six ENGINeUS TM electric smart motors. CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) certification for the E20 is expected by 2025.

The ENGINeUSTM product line includes a broad range of electric motors with power outputs from single digit to 500 kW. The ENGINeUSTM 100, that will equip the E20, delivers more than 100 kW at take-off and features a fully integrated motor controller within the machine. The thermal management is provided by an optimised air-cooling system. The certification of the electric motor is planned for mid-2023.

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Eve partners with Porsche Consulting to define eVTOL global manufacturing, logistics and supply chain strategy

Eve Holding, a leader in the development of next-generation Urban Air Mobility (UAM) solutions has chosen Porsche Consulting to help define the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) supply chain, global manufacturing and logistics macro strategy.

Considering advanced manufacturing research and innovation, the companies will combine their aeronautic and automotive expertise to support Eve’s implementation plan. The master services agreement that has been entered into by and between the companies includes studies on industrial operation, logistics, supply chain and parts distribution in an unprecedented approach optimised for efficiency, productivity and safety.

The study will address scalability and distributed production as the UAM market evolves to meet projected demand. While digital transformation generates new possibilities for the industry’s use of more agile technologies focusing on business and sustainability goals, comprehensive network solutions are under consideration to meet unique industry needs.

Nakanihon Air's H215 performs first ever helicopter flight with SAF in Japan

Airbus Helicopters in Japan and Japan’s helicopter operator Nakanihon Air (NNK) have jointly performed the country’s first ever helicopter flight powered with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). NNK’s H215 helicopter conducted a 30-minute flight at Nagoya Airport in Aichi Prefecture on June 1.

The aircraft was fuelled with 600 litres of “SUSTEO 10”, a renewable jet fuel produced by Japan’s first biofuel manufacturer Euglena, which has met the specifications of both international and Japanese standards of diesel fuels ASTM D1655 and JIS K 2204 respectively. SUSTEO contains 10% of SAF mixed with Jet A-1.

The twin-engine, heavy-lift H215 is a member of the Super Puma helicopter family, known for its high availability rate, performance and competitive operating cost. 

Today, all Airbus helicopters are certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF mixed with kerosene, with the aim to reach 100% SAF in coordination with engine manufacturers. An Airbus H225 performed the first ever helicopter flight with 100% SAF powering one of the Safran Makila 2 engines in 2021. Helicopter operations with 100% SAF would translate to a reduction of 80% of CO2 emissions.

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Bii purchases significant Boeing 747/8, 767/777 modern spares inventory from Aircraft Finance Germany

Bii.aero, a leading provider of aircraft parts and services for the commercial aviation sector, has acquired a significant portion of Aircraft Finance Germany’s (AFG) inventory of enhanced Boeing spares many of which are interchangeable between Boeing 747-8, 767 and 777 aircraft types.

The material, including high ticket rotable components, will be integrated into Bii’s stock before the end of May following full inspection and fresh tags. Francis Cradock, CEO, says the stock purchase will sit favourably with the organisation’s globally located consignment packages.

“We’re focused on providing customers with the right component support that helps to deliver their operational efficiency.  Many airlines are re-evaluating how best to manage their MRO requirements, so we’ve been working with a number of partners to strategically locate consignment stock and supplement that with repair management expertise.  Airlines can then concentrate on rebuilding their route networks and outsource the on-going maintenance and repair of all spare parts to us. Alongside this we need to constantly enrich our stock with high quality modern parts for both Boeing and Airbus platforms so that we can also meet the ad hoc customer needs of those looking to buy or exchange parts. The material from AFG fits our purchasing criteria perfectly.”

SAS' second-quarter loss narrows, looks to raise new equity

SAS has seen the highest number of passengers since the pandemic started during the second quarter. Meanwhile, the work with the necessary transformation plan, SAS FORWARD, continues.

Passengers flying with SAS increased 28% compared to the previous quarter and the flown load factor reached approximately 67%, up 11 percentage points compared with the earlier quarter while capacity increased by 3% compared to the first quarter. The transformation of SAS has to continue to adapt to the new market conditions in order to be able to remain flexible, competitive and financially strong for the long-term future. Earnings before tax ended at negative SEK 1.6 billion, an improvement of SEK 1.0 billion compared with the previous quarter, or a SEK 0.7 billion improvement year-on-year. Ticket sales continue to increase ahead of the summer period and SAS is targeting 80% capacity deployment compared to summer 2019.

Total operating expenses during the quarter ended at SEK 7.8 billion and total operating revenue landed at SEK 7.0 billion for the quarter. Total revenue increased 27% compared to the first quarter, an improvement of approximately SEK 5.1 billion compared with last year, but still 31% below the second quarter in 2019, which was unaffected by COVID-19.

The cash balance at the end of the quarter was SEK 8.5 billion. At end of the first quarter of FY2022 the cash balance was SEK 3.4 billion. Operational cash flow during the quarter amounted to SEK 2.5 billion, compared with SEK -1.4 billion for the same period last year.

In addition to debt conversions, SAS is looking for alternatives to raise new equity. SAS will seek to raise not less than SEK 9.5 billion in equity capital. The planned SEK 9.5 billion or more equity raise is expected to provide sufficient liquidity to fund operations through the full implementation of SAS FORWARD and the recovery in passenger demand post COVID-19. It is currently expected that a significant share of such new equity will likely be sought from new investors.

The new equity capital and debt-to-equity conversions contemplated as part of SAS FORWARD will entail substantial dilution to existing shareholders.
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