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Thursday, July 7th, 2022

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Safran expands presence and industrial footprint in India

On July 7 and 8, Safran is inaugurating three new production sites in India and announces the construction of a major new facility in 2025, bolstering its strategic partnership with the country. Safran has operated in India for 65 years and now counts ten facilities and 750 employees in the country. These announcements, which represent more than US$200 million of investment between 2018 and 2025, clearly reflect the group’s commitment to long-term development in the country.

Two new neighbouring plants are being inaugurated on July 7 in Hyderabad, for Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Electrical & Power. The Safran Aircraft Engines plant, spanning 15,000 m² (162,000 ft²), will make rotating parts for the LEAP engine from CFM International. It will provide the additional capacity needed to meet the requirements of a production ramp-up for the best-selling commercial airplane engine of its generation. Eventually employing 275 people, this plant applies Safran’s highest standards in terms of industrial processes, machinery and equipment and sustainability, with one-third of electrical power to be provided by solar panels.

Safran Electrical & Power’s plant, located in the same airport zone as the Safran Aircraft Engines plant and sharing all support functions, makes wiring for LEAP engines and the Rafale fighter. Opened in November 2018, the plant has 150 employees today, growing to 200 when it reaches full capacity.

The third plant is being inaugurated on July 8, 2022 in Bangalore, for Safran HAL Aircraft Engines, a 50/50 joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. This new site replaces the initial plant that dates from 2005, more than doubling the surface area and featuring state-of-the-art installations. It is located in a special economic zone near the Bangalore airport. Spanning 11,000 m² (118,800 ft²), the plant makes complex piping, mostly for the LEAP engine, and has about 150 employees.


Spat with Qatar Airways continues as Airbus cancels delivery of fourth A350

The dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways has gathered further momentum with the European planemaker cancelling the fourth of six A350s, this one at the end of June. It is anticipated that the A350 due for delivery at the end of July will also be cancelled by Airbus.

The spat has developed over a difference of opinion concerning surface scars which have appeared on the paintwork of the jet. Airbus claims the aircraft are still safe to fly, while Qatar Airways claims they are not and has consequently refused to take deliveries of the jets or pay for them. The case reached the British courts in May where Qatar Airways was fighting for the right to refuse to take delivery of the jets. However, the British court decided in favour of Airbus, and this automatically triggered payment clauses as more planes were completed.

With Qatar Airways refusing to take delivery or pay for the ordered jets, this has left Airbus free to sell them to an alternative airline and it is believed that Air India may be a potential buyer. Qatar Airways claims Airbus is wrong in trying to offer new jets for delivery, while Airbus claims the airline has broken its contract by refusing to take delivery of them and is consequently revoking orders for undelivered aircraft one by one, as they are completed.

According to REUTERS news agency, the two are due to meet in a London court on Thursday, July 7, in the latest of a series of procedural hearings ahead of a full trial tentatively scheduled for June next year unless a settlement can be reached beforehand.


ST Engineering to lease four Airbus A320/A321P2F aircraft to Raya Airways

ST Engineering's aviation asset management business will lease four Airbus narrowbody Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) aircraft consisting of two A320P2F and two A321P2F to Malaysian cargo operator, Raya Airways.

Raya Airways’ Group Managing Director, Mohamad Najib Ishak, said, “The air cargo industry, being an integral part of the global supply chain, is expected to grow in tandem with the global economy. The recent industry outlook by the International Air Transport Association states that cargo volumes are expected to set a record high of 68.4 million tonnes in 2022 with cargo revenues expected to account for US$191b of industry revenues."

The four-freighter aircraft for Raya Airways will be converted under the A320/A321P2F programme of Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), which is the joint venture between ST Engineering and Airbus. Conversion for the first aircraft, an A321, has started at ST Engineering’s facility in Singapore with expected delivery in the fourth quarter of 2022.

J&C Aero to produce over 3000 high-end leather seat covers for LOT’s Embraer fleet

J&C Aero, an international aviation centre for innovation in cabin transformation, is contracted by the flag carrier of Poland – LOT Polish Airlines – to produce more than 3000 highly durable leather seat covers for the carrier’s Embraer 170/175/190/195 fleet.

The contract covers the production of a full seat cover set, covering the headrest, literature pocket, backrest and the bottom part of a passenger seat. All covers will be produced from fine Scottish leather sourced from Muirhead, a global leader in the responsible manufacturing of high-performance leather.

In addition, J&C Aero will develop a set of modification documents that are required for installing and proper maintenance of the new covers. J&C Aero’s team of engineers and cabin designers will also support the Polish flag carrier during the initial seat cover installation process that is due to be conducted at LOT’s base at Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW).

J&C Aero and LOT have a long-standing cooperation history that, among other, includes a recently completed project to provide almost six thousand seat covers for the carrier’s widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.


U.S. aviation fuel cost per gallon hits all time high

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released U.S. airlines’ May fuel cost and consumption numbers indicating U.S. scheduled service airlines used 1.41 billion gallons of fuel, (4.4%) more fuel than in April 2022 (1.35B gallons) and (10.8%) less than in pre-pandemic May 2019. The cost per gallon of fuel in May 2022 (US$3.90) was up 32 cents (8.9%) from April 2022 (US$3.58) and up US$1.79 (84.8%) from May 2019. Total May 2022 fuel expenditure ($5.51B) was up (14.3%) from April 2022 (US$4.82B) and up (64.5%) from pre-pandemic May 2019.

At US$3.90, the cost per gallon of fuel in May was the highest since April 2022 $3.58. Also, in May 2022, the 17.4% year-over-year increase in fuel consumption on domestic flights, reflects an increase in domestic air travel from last May. This, combined with a year-over-year domestic fuel cost increase of 130.1% ($2.12B) resulted in the 96.0% year-over-year cost per gallon increase. Domestic fuel consumption increased 3.1% from April to May in 2022, increased 17.4% year-over-year, but decreased 8.1% from May 2019.

Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
May 2019: 1.58 billion gallons
May 2021: 1.14 billion gallons
Apr 2022: 1.35 billion gallons
May 2022: 1.41 billion gallons

Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
May 2019: US$2.11
May 2021: US$1.98
Apr 2022: US$3.58
May 2022: US$3.90

Total fuel cost for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
May 2019: US$3.35 billion
May 2021: US$2.25 billion
Apr 2022: US$4.82 billion
May 2022: US$5.51 billion


Finnair reports traffic performance for June 2022

In June, Finnair carried 907,300 passengers, which was 609.4% more than in June 2021. The number of passengers in June 2022 was 16.6% more than in May 2022,

The overall capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), increased in June by 352.8% year-on-year and by 2.0% month-on-month. Finnair operated, on average, 255 daily flights (cargo-only included), which was 214.8% more than in June 2021 but 2.3% less than in May 2022. The differences between capacity figures compared to June 2021 are explained by the longer average stage length of flights operated and by the larger gauge of aircraft operated. Finnair's traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), increased by 941.7% year-on-year and by 31.5% month-on-month. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased by 45.1% points year-on-year and by 17.9% points month-on-month to 79.8%.

The ASK increase in Asian traffic was 163.2% year-on-year. The North Atlantic capacity increased by 508.5%. In European traffic, the ASKs were up by 521.7%. The ASKs in domestic traffic increased by 150.6%.

RPKs increased in Asian traffic by 1,277.0%, in North Atlantic traffic by 1,771.2%, in European traffic by 785.1% and in domestic traffic by 179.2% year-on-year.

The PLF improved particularly in Asian traffic (75.3%) and North Atlantic traffic (78.5%) in June. The PLF was 82.5% in European traffic and 81.4% in domestic traffic.

Passenger numbers increased in Asian traffic by 1,282.5% year-on-year. In North Atlantic traffic, the number of passengers increased by 1,728.8% to 67,000, which is a new record. In European traffic, passenger numbers increase by 661.9% and in domestic traffic by 229.7%.


Airbus delivers new ACJ319neo to undisclosed customers

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has delivered an ACJ319neo, powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines, to a new West European undisclosed private customer from the final assembly line in Hamburg. The aircraft will be managed by Jet Aviation and will be available for charter flights.

The ACJ319neo joins more than 2,200 A320neo and A321neo aircraft already in service with airlines around the world. Airbus supports more than 500 customers and operators through a worldwide network of field service, spares and training centres, complemented by services tailored to the needs of private jet operators.

More than 210 Airbus corporate jets are in service worldwide, flying on every continent and more than 1,800 private and business aviation Airbus helicopters are in service globally.

Blueberry Aviation adds Gregoris Dassios to its team as Commercial Director

Blueberry Aviation has announced the addition of Gregoris Dassios to its team as Commercial Director.

Dassios has nearly 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry. Most of his career was spent at Airbus in Toulouse, France, where he held several positions firstly in Engineering and then as Customer Support Director, where he managed part of Latin America, Central and South Eastern Europe and part of the Middle East, supporting airlines in the region.

He then moved to the procurement followed by to the commercial division as Sales Director for Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe where he had several successful campaigns notably with WizzAir, Aegean, MedAir and Sky Express. He held the position of Head of Region covering Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria for the Airbus Group - Commercial Aircraft, Helicopters, Defence & Space before joining Sky Express, one of the major airlines in Greece and in the region, as CEO.

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