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Friday, June 24th, 2022

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BA Strikes likely to hit London Heathrow during peak holiday season

British Airways (BA) check-in and ground staff, half of whom are members of the GMB union, have overwhelmingly voted for strike action over what has been referred to as “fire and rehire” reduced pay. The remainder, who belong to the Unite union, are also being balloted, and results should be known on Monday.

For the GMB union members, 95% of an 80% turnout voted in favour of strike action which will likely occur during the school holidays. The principal cause for complaint relates to the “fire and rehire” policy operated by BA during the pandemic where these workers’ pay was effectively cut by 10%. While many other BA employees have had their wages reinstated, these low-paid workers, mainly women, have not, and a one-off 10% bonus with no increase in their current wage proposition from BA has been rejected. GMB has pointed out that bosses’ pay has returned to pre-pandemic levels and BA’s parent company, IAG, is set to see its CEO awarded a bonus of £4.9 million if he hits agreed targets.

Nadine Houghton, a GMB national officer, said: “With grim predictability, holiday makers face massive disruption thanks to the pig-headedness of British Airways. Our members need to be reinstated the 10% they had stolen from them last year with full back pay and the 10% bonus which other colleagues have been paid. GMB members at Heathrow have suffered untold abuse as they deal with the travel chaos caused by staff shortages and IT failures. At the same time, they’ve had their pay slashed during BA’s callous fire and rehire policy.”

Additionally, many thousands of BA engineers, at Heathrow, Gatwick and in Scotland, along with call centre staff in Newcastle and Manchester, are currently conducting consultative ballots over potential strike action in a separate pay dispute.

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Lufthansa Technik hands over first Airbus A321LR to the German Armed Forces

Lufthansa Technik handed over the first of two Airbus A321LR (Long Range) troop transporters to the German Armed Forces at the ILA Berlin. In the presence of Lufthansa Technik COO Soeren Stark and Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury, the State Secretary in the German Ministry of Defense, Benedikt Zimmer and the German Air Chief, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, formally took delivery of the aircraft with the tactical registration 15+10.

The conversion of the aircraft at Lufthansa Technik's base in Hamburg began last December. In the months that followed, it was initially modified for flexible troop and passenger transport as well as parliamentary flight operations on short-, medium- and long-haul routes. The maximum capacity in this configuration is 136 passengers.

As part of this initial modification phase, Lufthansa Technik has already made numerous preparations for the so-called MedEvac role, which will expand the aircraft's scope of operations to include capabilities for the qualified air transport of wounded, injured and diseased passengers. This encompassed, for example, extensive pre-modifications such as an extended oxygen supply on board, which is absolutely necessary for the upcoming use as a "flying intensive care unit".

The necessary supplemental type certificate, both civil and military, for the aircraft together with the associated New Generation Patient Transport Units (German: Patiententransporteinheit Neuer Generation, in short: PTE NG) is planned for mid-2023. It will enable the transport of up to six intensive care patients or up to twelve mildly or moderately ill/injured patients. Lufthansa Technik will deliver a total of twelve units and two reserve units of the PTE NG to the German Armed Forces.

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Oriens Aviation joins Cirrus Aircraft’s network of authorised service centres

Oriens Aviation is pleased to announce it is now able to offer third-party maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) work on the Cirrus SR family of single-engine piston aircraft. It is expanding its presence at its London Biggin Hill Airport HQ to accommodate the type, which has become increasingly popular in Europe with first-time owners.

At AERO Friedrichshafen, Germany in April, Cirrus highlighted that nearly 40% of buyers of the SR2X series in 2021 were new to aviation and 25% of SR orders were from outside the US, prompting the manufacturer to open a regional operations office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Oriens Aviation offers an attractive Southeast London MRO location, complementing existing UK providers in Guernsey, Gloucestershire and Leeds.

A number of Oriens engineers have completed their factory training on the SR in readiness to support the SR2X. Oriens’ General Manager for Maintenance, Stuart Locke, will oversee technicians and engineers on the type, as well as further investment in equipment and tooling. The business is currently recruiting additional B1/B2 engineers.

Martin Dunn appointed CCO of Hans Airways

Hans Airways, the new UK airline which is gearing up to start scheduled services from Birmingham to India this year is pleased to confirm the promotion of Martin Dunn to Chief Commercial Officer. Dunn joined the business in November 2021 as Director Sales and Distribution from Etihad Airways, where he led commercial teams focused on pricing, revenue and route management for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier and its airline brands.

At Hans Airways he is working closely with CEO Satnam Saini in the executive leadership team and is responsible for overall sales, distribution, marketing, brand and product, e-commerce and digital retail functions, as the airline heads towards launch later this summer.

Dunn brings a solid four decades’ airline experience in the UK and Middle East, having started his aviation career via the travel agency route. His first airline job was with British Midland in sales, where he was responsible for developing pricing strategy, and establishing the distribution process. He was closely involved in the regional carrier’s move into Star Alliance, working alongside counterparts at Lufthansa, SAS and United Airlines.

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Airbus and Linde to cooperate on hydrogen infrastructure for airports

Airbus and Linde, a leading global industrial gases and engineering company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work on the development of hydrogen infrastructure at airports worldwide.

The agreement follows a cooperation agreement signed in Singapore in February and covers collaboration on global supply chains for hydrogen, from production to airport storage, including the integration of refuelling into normal ground handling operations. Both companies will define and launch pilot projects at several airports from early 2023 onwards. In addition, Airbus and Linde will analyse the potential of Power-to-Liquid fuels - a type of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) made from the synthetically produced liquid hydrocarbon through the conversion of renewable electricity.

The use of hydrogen to power future aircraft is not only expected to significantly reduce aircraft emissions in the air, but could also help decarbonise air transport activities on the ground. In 2020 Airbus launched the “Hydrogen Hub at Airports” programme to jumpstart research into infrastructure requirements and low-carbon airport operations, across the entire value chain.

To date agreements have been signed with partners and airports in France, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Singapore.

GA Telesis announces disassembly of Boeing 777-200ER, Airbus A320 and A340-600 aircraft

GA Telesis (GAT) has announced a substantial expansion to its inventory of Used Serviceable Material (USM) with the disassembly of a Boeing 777-200ER, two Airbus A320-200 and four Airbus A340-600 aircraft. GAT's Component Solutions team will manage the distribution of the USM from these three aircraft types, building on its reputation as a leading independent aftermarket used serviceable material supplier.

GA Telesis’ Flight Solutions Group (FSG) has disassembled over 425 commercial aircraft with the inventory supporting the day-to-day operational requirements of airlines and MROs worldwide. FSG’s strategy to maintain the highest level of USM in support of the industry is also an integral part of GAT’s SNAP, iGEAR, ACCESS, exchange, and lease programmes, providing cost-effective solutions to operators globally.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar