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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

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UK announces amnesty on ‘use them or lose them’ airport slots rule

The British government has announced it is relaxing rules governing the use of airport slots in the UK as a means of counteracting the current spate of carriers’ flight cancellations.

Previously, airlines had been notified that if they did not use a minimum of 70% of all their slots, then they would lose those they were not using. As a consequence, to protect what are seen as a valuable asset, many airlines scheduled flights that they knew they would be unable to operate owing to severe staff shortages created by the ramp-up in demand for air travel post pandemic restrictions. Instead, the government has given an “amnesty” on “use them or lose them” airport slots, allowing airlines a short period of time in which to hand back slots for take-off and landing, though just for the summer season.

"It’s crucial (people) don’t face disappointing last-minute cancellations and chaos at airports when the system can’t deliver. And I will do everything in my power to stop that," Transport Minister Grant Shapps said. "Today’s announcement aims to help airlines provide certainty to passengers and ensure the next few months are as smooth as possible."

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Elix Aviation merges with ADARE Aviation Capital to create Abelo

Elix Aviation, the international regional aircraft leasing company, is to merge with ADARE Aviation Capital. Elix is owned by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management (Oaktree), which initiated the merger to enable further investment in the regional Turbo-prop sector and to introduce an experienced new leadership team.

The merged companies will operate as Abelo, integrating Elix Aviation’s platform and Turbo-Prop portfolio with the management expertise of ADARE Aviation Capital.

“Elix Aviation has weathered the pandemic and is well placed to enter a new phase of growth. With the addition of ADARE Aviation Capital, we have formed a leadership team that has significant expertise and experience in regional aviation,” says Martin Graham, Managing Director at Oaktree. “We believe the synergy of the teams will enable Abelo to become a market leader, creating growth and value for its stakeholders. We look forward to supporting this exciting transition.”

Effective as of June 21, Abelo’s executive team consist of Stephen Gorman, Chief Executive Officer, Mathieu Duquesnoy, Chief Marketing Officer and Michael Hayden, Chief Operating Officer.

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Turkish Technic completes first Boeing 777-300ER landing gear overhaul

A leading provider of technical services and solutions for commercial aircraft and its components, Turkish Technic has completed its first Boeing 777-300ER landing gear overhaul.

Increasing its competitiveness in the sector with its newly gained aircraft type and component capabilities while increasing its service portfolio in the last few years, Turkish Technic has added a significant milestone in this regard as the landing gear shipset for the 777-300ER-type is vastly different to other Boeing 777 models.

As a one-stop MRO company with high-quality services, competitive turnaround times and comprehensive in-house capabilities at its state-of-the-art workshops and hangars, Turkish Technic provides comprehensive landing gear services for Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330 enhanced, A330 family, A340, Boeing 737 Next Generation and 777-300ER aircraft.

First helicopter flight powered solely by sustainable aviation fuel

An Airbus H225 has performed the first ever helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powering both Safran’s Makila 2 engines.

This flight, which follows the flight of an H225 with one SAF-powered Makila 2 engine in November 2021, is part of the flight campaign aimed at understanding the impact of SAF use on the helicopter's systems. Tests are expected to continue on other types of helicopters with different fuel and engine architectures with a view to certify the use of 100% SAF by 2030.

“This flight with SAF powering the twin engines of the H225 is an important milestone for the helicopter industry. It marks a new stage in our journey to certify the use of 100% SAF in our helicopters, a fact that would mean a reduction of up to 90% in CO2 emissions alone," said Stefan Thome, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters.

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AEI to provide six additional B737-800SF freighter conversions to Aero Capital Solutions

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) will provide Austin-based, Aero Capital Solutions (ACS), with six additional B737-
800SF freighter conversions. Upon completion of this new order, ACS will have a total of 40 AEI B737-800SF freighter conversions in its fleet. In October of 2020, ACS placed its first order for the B737-800SF freighter conversion and has since become AEI’s largest customer for the B737-800SF.

All aircraft in this order will be inducted and completed during the 2024 calendar year. The modification touch labour and maintenance requirements for the six conversions will be split between the authorised AEI conversion centres of STAECO and HAECO.

AEI is currently the only conversion company to have ETOPS 180 approval on the Boeing 737-800 freighter conversion. Additionally, AEI can convert all 737-800 line number aircraft, including those with Split Scimitar winglets.

Collins Aerospace and FlightAware launch WebUAS integration to support advanced air mobility

Collins Aerospace is leveraging the synergies of its recent acquisition of FlightAware by announcing at the World ATM Congress the availability of new aircraft tracking and alerting features for its Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) digital platform, WebUASSM. By integrating FlightAware FirehoseSM, the most comprehensive global flight tracking and ADS-B flight status data feed, WebUAS is now able to provide Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and UAS operators an even higher-fidelity picture of active flight operations within airspace they are monitoring.

Autonomous and remotely-piloted flights are currently unable to commercially operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) because of gaps in air traffic management (ATM) technologies and infrastructure systems. Collins is helping to bridge these gaps with the integration of aircraft telemetry data and primary radar feeds and the ability to stream real-time aircraft tracking data from 195 different countries, private data link partners and the most comprehensive ADS-B network.

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Finnair and Gevo enter into SAF sales agreement

Finnair has signed a new fuel sales agreement with Colorado-based renewable fuels producer Gevo. The agreement outlines the details for the purchase of 7 million gallons per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for five years starting from 2027. The expected value for the agreement is US$192 million over the five-year period, including associated environmental benefits. This agreement is part of oneworld® Alliance’s plan to purchase up to 200 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year from Gevo.

Finnair uses an extensive toolkit to achieve emission reductions – using sustainable aviation fuels, reducing the weight of aircraft, developing fuel-efficient flight methods, offsetting and engaging customers in reducing aviation emissions. Finnair is also actively exploring the possibilities of introducing new technologies into its operations.

“Finnair has ambitious emissions reduction targets: by the end of 2025, we intend to halve the level of net emissions from 2019 and achieve carbon neutrality latest by the end of 2045. SAF plays an important role for reaching these targets,” says Eveliina Huurre, SVP Sustainability at Finnair.  

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Eve and Fahari Aviation sign agreement to scale Urban Air Mobility with an order of up to 40 eVTOLs

A subsidiary of Eve Holding (Eve) and Kenya Airways’ subsidiary, Fahari Aviation, have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) in March, for up to 40 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The agreement includes joint studies through a working group to develop and scale the UAM market and a business model for cargo drone operations in Kenya. The project is expected to start deliveries in 2026.

Eve’s eVTOL lift & cruise vehicle is electric-powered and the most practical design for efficiency and certifiability. Its multiple rotors are used to take off and land vertically, and at cruise altitude the rear propellers push the aircraft forward as in a wing-borne flight, providing a low-noise experience and making it easier to move within cities while avoiding traffic jams.

Fahari Aviation has been focusing on innovative and sustainable solutions to address different issues, such as traffic jams, sightseeing, parcel delivery, agriculture and wildlife protection, and Eve’s zero-emission, low-noise and accessible eVTOL, together with its global experience, will benefit the development of air mobility in Kenya.

Chorus Aviation announces expansion of assets under management

Chorus Aviation (Chorus) has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Falko Regional Aircraft (Falko), has expanded its portfolio of assets under management. Falko has added a total of 35 turboprop aircraft to its portfolio in a servicing capacity on behalf of a syndicate of banks.

Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus stated: “I’m pleased to see the continued expansion of our asset management business and to demonstrate the ability of Falko to continue to diversify its customer base. This transaction further validates our belief in the attractiveness of the regional aircraft market and in Falko, as a market-leading aircraft asset management company."

The transaction is not expected to impact the financial forecast set out in Chorus’ news release dated May 5, 2022.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar