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Thursday, September 1st, 2022

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Boeing keeps pressure on US Congress to extend 737 MAX 10 certification deadline

According to Ryanair, one of Boeing’s potential customers for the 737 MAX 10, the American planemaker looks unlikely to meet the current certification deadline for the jet in late December this year. The problem for Boeing is that back in 2020 new laws were introduced that required all planes that are manufactured and certified after the December deadline to have a new crew alerting system installed. The 2022 deadline was mandated by Congress as part of broader regulatory reforms at the FAA after fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 killed a total of 346 passengers and crew. Currently the 737 family of jets lack the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System known as EICAS. When it became apparent in July this year that Boeing was unlikely to meet the December deadline, the company’s Chief Executive David Calhoun indicated that unless Congress waived the December deadline, Boeing might be forced to cancel the 737 MAX 10 altogether.

"I think Boeing accepts that it won't get certified by year end, but I suspect that Congress will approve an extension to that certification process out into early 2023," Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in an interview according to Reuters news agency. "It makes no sense to call on a company like Boeing to redesign the cockpit or redesign safety systems... So, I would urge Congress not to demand a redesign," O’Leary added. In a statement, Boeing said it was "working transparently with the FAA to provide the information they need and are committed to meeting their expectations and those of our customers to certify and deliver the 737-10."


U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal Awards Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC UH-60 Black Hawk Rotor Hub Repair Contract 

First Aviation Service’s Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC was awarded a five-year, IDIQ contract estimated at $11.5 million for the overhaul and repair of UH-60 Black Hawk Rotor Hubs.

The UH-60 Rotor Hub is classified as a Critical Safety Item thus only companies that had prior source approval by the Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Aviation and Missile Center Systems Readiness Directorate were qualified to bid. Although a very competitive multi-party bid, Piedmont Propulsion won both on commercial and technical grounds.

Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC is part of First Aviation Services Inc.’s Rotary Wing Group that also includes Heliblade International, LLC and Aviation Blade Services, Inc. Together the Rotary Wing Group has extensive experience in both commercial and military helicopter rotor blade and dynamic component overhaul and repair.

C&L Aerospace sells Saab 340B to REX airlines

C&L Aerospace, a C&L Aviation Group company, has completed the sale of a Saab 340B+ aircraft, MSN 447, to REX airlines which was formerly operated by a US carrier.

“REX has worked closely with C&L for over a decade, and has completed multiple successful deals with them”, said Neville Howell, COO of REX, “and this transaction is yet another testament to the relationship that has developed”.

The company stocks Saab inventory in their globally located warehouses and provides a one-stop solution for operators at the MRO facility offering aircraft and engine sales, heavy maintenance, aircraft paint, avionics upgrades, structural modifications, engineering support, and interior refurbishment.


Collins Aerospace opens new facility at the Houston Spaceport

Collins Aerospace has inaugurated a new, 120,000 square-foot facility located at the Spaceport in Houston, Texas. An anchor tenant at the Houston Airport System’s newly created space hub, Collins will transition its current local operations to the new site, further advancing its space exploration programs.

With over 40 years in the Houston area and the current site filled to capacity, Collins’ new facility in the Spaceport represents a $30 million investment. The increased footprint allows for expanded operations, manufacturing and testing and is also expected to add an additional 300 jobs in the coming years.

Along with Collins’ existing space facilities in California, Connecticut and Illinois, the new Houston Spaceport location will support the development and testing of several key space systems, including the next-generation spacesuit – which astronauts could wear to work outside the International Space Station and on the moon – as well as Collins’ Universal Waste Management System and trash compactor.


Delta TechOps completes first pass-off SAF test on Trent 1000 engine

Delta TechOps has achieved a major milestone in sustainability efforts, by successfully passing-off or deeming serviceable a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine with blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The test was performed on MRO customer and Delta SkyTeam Partner, Virgin Atlantic’s new- generation engine.

This test marks several achievements related to sustainability efforts at Delta TechOps, including the first time the MRO has passed off an engine with SAF. The blend for this test used a mixture of SAF and conventional jet fuel (JetA) with the SAF component provided by one of Delta’s sustainability partners, Gevo.

“After fleet renewal, SAF represents the greatest opportunity to decarbonise aviation in the short to medium term. Working closely with our partners at Delta to use a blend of SAF and conventional fuel in testing one of our Trent 1000 engines is a great step towards advancing the use of these fuels to meet our commitment of 10% SAF use by 2030.” said Ian McDonald, Head of Fleet Technical Management at Virgin Atlantic.

Pratt & Whitney delivers 1,000th F135 production engine

Pratt & Whitney has announced that it has delivered the 1,000th F135 production engine for the 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II fighter to the U.S. Department of Defense. The milestone was marked by a celebration with employees, company leaders, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) as well as representatives from the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Since delivering the first production engine in 2009, P&W has invested more than half a billion dollars in capital, process improvements and cost reduction initiatives to support the production ramp and reduce the average unit cost of the F135 by more than 50%. In addition to Middletown, F135 production sites include P&W’s West Palm Beach, FL facility as well as a Final Assembly & Check-Out (FACO) facility operated by IHI in Japan.


Vietnam Airlines extends long-standing relationship with Sabre

Sabre Corporation has announced an extended distribution agreement with Vietnamese flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. The new deal means that Vietnam Airlines will continue to distribute its content to the large network of travel agents through Sabre’s extensive travel marketplace.

The agreement further strengthens Sabre’s presence in the Vietnam aviation marketplace and the relationship between Sabre and Vietnam Airlines. In addition to Sabre’s Global Distribution system (GDS), the Hanoi-based carrier also uses a comprehensive suite of SabreSonic Passenger Service System (PSS) technology including reservation and ticketing, inventory and departure control solutions. Vietnam Airlines also leverages Sabre’s Revenue Optimizer to maximize revenue using near-real time network partner and comprehensive passenger revenue performance data as well as further Sabre solutions to enable the carrier to provide travellers with a premium personalized experience.

Ethiopian Airlines signs new distribution agreement with Travelport

Ethiopian Airlines and Travelport have announced a new agreement, the renewed deal includes distribution on the Travelport+ platform, including New Distribution Capability (NDC) content from Ethiopian Airlines. This agreement expands the ongoing travel retailing and distribution relationship between Travelport and Ethiopian.

Both companies are in the process of developing a strategic plan to provide agents access to NDC content and functionality from Ethiopian Airlines in the Travelport+ platform. As part of the agreement, Ethiopian Airlines will also become a new participant in Travelport’s Rich Content & Branding (RC&B) program. As a top 100 carrier booked through Travelport, the carrier is laying the foundation to ensure that Travelport-connected agencies can access the most robust, enriched Ethiopian Airlines’ content following its current fleet expansion.

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