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Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

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US airlines cancel 700 flights while German airports look to hire foreign workers

On both sides of the Atlantic carriers and airports have been struggling to take on new staff to cope with the surge in demand for air travel after the lifting of multiple worldwide travel restrictions.

Airlines and airports alike shed thousands of jobs at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and many of those employees have gone on to find employment in other industries and have chosen not to return to the aviation sector. In the US, as at 6.07 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, according to Flightaware.com, 669 flights into, out of or within the country had been cancelled. This follows on from approximately 860 flights which were cancelled on Sunday. Delta Air Lines and United Airlines both cancelled over 100 flights, while American Airlines Group was forced to cancel 51 flights. In the US not only are carriers suffering from a lack of cabin crew and pilots, but there are also problems with staffing levels for air traffic control.

Germany’s Interior Ministry has announced that as a countermeasure for airports which are becoming overwhelmed with passengers during the busy summer season, temporary foreign workers are to be brought in to help. They will be offered a standard wage and accommodation and will still have to go through all the required security checks, which is roughly a two-week process. According to Reuters news agency, one in five positions in the security, check-in and aircraft handling sectors at German airports is currently unfilled. German Airports are shortly expected to announce their exact needs, but the ABL association of aircraft ground handling employees expects 1,000 to 2,000 workers will be allowed in for three months, most likely starting in August.

“A time limit of a maximum of six months until the end of the year would have been nice,” said Thomas Richter, ABL’s head in an interview with Reuters. “It doesn’t solve the problem, but it certainly helps.”

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Complete Aircraft Group finalises acquisition of Aerocare AS

Complete Aircraft Group (CAG), part of JMC Group (JMC), the established aviation services business, has finalised the acquisition of MRO Part 145 provider, interiors and paint specialist Aerocare Aviation Services. This formally ratifies its September 2021 terms of agreement and cements CAG’s move into business aircraft support. The Aerocare Aviation Services Limited name remains unchanged.

“We are delighted to be integrating Aerocare into Complete Aircraft Group (CAG).  It is a company that has developed a great reputation in business aircraft support with a prestigious customer base.  We look forward to maximising group synergy, not just within CAG through our work sourcing and managing high quality aircraft, aircraft tooling, parts and components for customers worldwide, but with our aircraft acquisition, tear down and oversight expertise, and especially, with our Mobile Repair Team (MRT) specialists,” said CAG Head of Operations Alan Barnes. 

Aer Lingus signs for two A320neo aircraft

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB Leasing), has agreed to lease two Airbus A320neo aircraft to Irish flag carrier, Aer Lingus, for delivery during this summer season. The transaction marks the introduction of the first A320neo variant in the airline’s growing fleet.

The aircraft, which are fitted with 186 seats in an all-economy layout, will be delivered to Aer Lingus in July 2022 and will become part of the backbone of its short-haul fleet, operating on routes between Ireland and European destinations.

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Volocopter and Diehl agree to expand its cooperation

Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility and Diehl Aerospace, a leading supplier of avionics systems and a joint venture between Diehl Aviation and Thales, are further expanding its cooperation. The contract extension provides for the development and production of an optical splitter to complement the flight control system as well as other components for the battery management system for the first all-electric VoloCity air taxi. Diehl Aerospace has already developed the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for the VoloCity, including the primary and backup control computers.

The optical splitter complements the flight control system by providing control information to the VoloCity's total of eighteen rotors. In contrast to conventional fly-by-wire control systems, the electrical signals from the flight control computer are translated into optical signals and consequently controlled opto-electronically. Instead of electrical signals via copper wires, light signals are now used via corresponding optical fibers to transmit measured values and control commands.

This so-called Fly-By-Light control is considered to be particularly immune to electromagnetic interference, for example from cell phones or transmission towers. Interference immunity is a key safety criterion, particularly in view of the VoloCity's planned flight operations at low altitudes in cities. With the development of an optical splitter, Diehl Aerospace once again underlines its competence in flight control technology for commercial aviation.

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Lufthansa reactivates Airbus A380

Lufthansa is reactivating the Airbus A380 in response to the steep rise in customer demand and the delayed delivery of ordered aircraft.

The airline expects to use the long-haul aircraft, which is popular with customers and crews, again from summer 2023. The company is currently assessing how many A380s will be reactivated and which destinations the Airbus will fly to.

Lufthansa still has 14 Airbus A380s, which are currently parked in Spain and France for long-term so called “deep storage”. Six of these aircraft have already been sold, eight A380s remain part of the Lufthansa fleet for the time being.

The Executive Board Members of Deutsche Lufthansa AG also announced the reactivation of the A380 in a joint letter to the company's customers: "In the summer of 2023, we not only expect to have a much more reliable air transport system worldwide. We will be welcoming you back on board our Airbus A380s, too. We decided today to put the A380, which continues to enjoy great popularity, back into service at Lufthansa in summer 2023. In addition to this, we are further strengthening and modernising our fleets with some 50 new Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777-9 long-haul aircraft and more than 60 new Airbus A320/321s in the next three years alone.”

CharterSync bolsters senior management team with new appointments

Air cargo charter business, CharterSync, is announcing several strategic appointments to accelerate its global expansion plans. Charter market veteran, Chris Metters, is joining the team in a consultant advisory role to the board as interim Financial Director, following 28 years with leading global air charter broker, Chapman Freeborn where he was Group Financial Director and Global Special Projects Director and Group Compliance and Risk Officer until 2021.

In July, Hilary Blackburn will be appointed as Risk Management and Compliance Consultant. Blackburn has over 25 years’ experience in global corporate communications, governance, risk, compliance, and previously worked for Chapman Freeborn for ten years, including secondments to the humanitarian cargo division.

Digital innovator, Mark Walls, also comes on board as Chief Product Owner to drive the ongoing development of CharterSync’s award-winning technology.
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