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Monday, August 22nd, 2022

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Wizz Air scraps plans to reintroduce flights between Abu Dhabi and Moscow

In what is seemingly a major U-turn, Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air has announced that due to “industry supply limitation”, it will no longer continue with its intention to resume flights between Abu Dhabi and Moscow with its offshoot Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. The route was only launched in December 2021.

The statement made no mention of the considerable backlash the carrier had experienced as a consequence of its early August announcement of the intended resumption of flights to Moscow that had been suspended since February 27 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Europe has banned all flights to Russia and all Russian planes have been banned from European airspace as a consequence of Western sanctions, the UAE has maintained a neutral stance and not imposed any sanctions on Russia.

Initially, in response to the public backlash and threats to boycott the airline, Wizz air tried to justify its decision. "Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is a national UAE carrier that operates in line with the UAE's national regulations and policies," the company has been replying to critical tweets. "The airline is resuming its operation to Moscow to meet travel demand for passengers wishing to fly to and from Russia from the UAE capital. All UAE national airlines are currently operating direct flights to Russia.”


Direct links to China will be restored from Manchester Airport

Direct air links with China will be restored for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Hainan Airlines has announced it will resume its Beijing-Manchester service from Monday 22nd August.

The airline started flights from the Northern hub in 2016, with the route going on to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds in trade, investment and tourism benefits.

The UK and Chinese governments last week agreed Manchester-China was one of the air corridors that could resume after a two-and-a-half year hiatus, and Hainan has moved quickly to start operating the popular service again, in time for the busy student season.

The news has been hailed as a major boost to the North and the UK’s levelling-up ambitions, with Manchester Airport becoming the only gateway outside of London with a direct service to mainland China.

Goshawk sells two A320 aircraft to WNG Capital

Goshawk, the Dublin-based global aircraft lessor, has announced the sale of two A320 aircraft to WNG Capital. The A320 aircraft were successfully purchased by the American aircraft investment manager on the August 16, 2022.

Currently on lease with Alaska Airlines, the purchase of these aircraft is the first transaction between Goshawk and WNG Capital, marking the start of an exciting partnership.

Ruth Kelly, CEO at Goshawk said: “We are pleased to have successfully completed this transaction with WNG Capital for the sale of two A320 aircraft. This placement demonstrates the continuing confidence in the aviation industry, where lessors are once again trading aircraft to optimise their portfolios.’’


Caribbean Airlines Cargo now live on CargoAi

Freight forwarders worldwide can now access and use www.cargoai.co for eQuotes and eBookings for all destinations served by Caribbean Airlines Cargo worldwide, including, but not limited to, Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados.

"CargoAi is delighted to announce that Caribbean Airlines Cargo successfully went live on the www.cargoai.co platform on 08 June 2022. Caribbean Airlines has placed a strong focus on improved customer service both on the passenger as well as on the cargo side and user experience is what CargoAi excels in,” explains Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi.

"We see three major benefits in offering our capacity on CargoAi. First and foremost, our customers have access to a customized, easy-to-use e-booking system, allowing them to streamline their shipping processes more efficiently. Secondly, our capacity offers now reach a great many more potential and new customers around the world, and thirdly, these increased sales activities will ultimately boost our commercial cargo operations, enabling us to further enhance our service offers. A win-win all round," says Marklan Moseley, General Manager, Cargo and New Business, Caribbean Airlines.

CargoAi users now have access to more connections between the Caribbean region and North America, fully in line with the current user growth that the platform is currently witnessing.


U.S. Navy expands CH-53K training with additional simulators

The United States Marines will gain additional training opportunities preparing them to operate the Sikorsky CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The aircraft is the most modern and powerful helicopter in the Department of Defence inventory capable of moving troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.

Lockheed Martin will provide an additional containerized flight training device (CFTD) to the U.S. Navy with options for three more under the terms of a recent contract award. This follows up on the success of the first training device delivered in 2020 to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Flight crews will train on the full scope of Marine Corps heavy lift missions, including external lift operations, using the full-mission flight simulator that also replicates the various environmental conditions in which the aircraft is likely to fly. Through this new effort, Lockheed Martin is helping the Marine Corps expand proven and critical CH-53K flight training with training capability to more Marines.

The training devices include a full cockpit for the aircraft operated by a pilot and co-pilot, an instructor operating station as well as a brief/debrief room. The newest training devices will include upgrades that improve system performance, increase cost savings and more closely align to the CH-53K aircraft for increased training realism.


Strong rebound in passenger traffic from Korea boosts Philippines MRO Dornier Technology

Philippine maintenance, repair and overhaul firm Dornier Technology has benefited from the sudden recovery in in-bound passenger traffic from Korea. Dornier Technology has won contracts for line maintenance from three Korean low-cost carriers that have resumed services to the Philippines, namely: Air Busan, Air Seoul and Jeju Air.

Air Busan is operating from Seoul Incheon to Kalibo, the gateway to the Philippines’ famous resort island of Boracay, using Airbus A320s and A321s. Air Seoul is also serving the route, using A321 aircraft, while Jeju Air is operating from Seouln Incheon to Bohol’s Panglao International Airport using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Dornier Technology, Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Espiritu, said: "The Philippine market is very strong for Korean carriers, because it is a popular leisure destination in close proximity to peninsula Korea. There are also many Koreans living in the Philippines, so the airlines benefit from having a mix of leisure and visit friends and relatives (VFR) traffic. VFR traffic was the first segment to recover from the pandemic.

Dornier Technology has nearly 200 employees and plans to increase its workforce to 250 by year-end to meet the growth of its line and base maintenance business. The company does airframe heavy maintenance, otherwise known as base maintenance, at Clark International Airport outside Manila. The company has nine line maintenance stations: Bohol, Caticlan, Cebu, Clark, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Manila and Puerto Princesa.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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