Monday, August 27th, 2018



Loss-making Tunisair is seeking governmental approval to lay off 1,200 of its currently bloated 8,000-staff workforce. The flag-carrying airline is 74% owned by the Tunisian government.
The carrier is currently struggling to keep aircraft in service owing to restricted cash flow, the consequence of an excessive wage bill, which is stopping it from buying much needed parts. Currently it is operating only 24 of its fleet of 30 aircraft.
The current government has met with strict opposition from unions where previous attempts to trim the workforce are concerned. As a comparison to highlight the problem, neighboring state-owned Royal Air Maroc has over 50 aircraft and employs just 3,300 workers. According to Elyess Mankabi, the company’s chief executive, “In all parts of the world, each plane is supposed to have about 80 employees but at Tunisair, each plane has 165 workers, which is hitting the company’s balance sheets.”
Tunisair is also about to face stiffer competition from foreign airlines as the country prepares itself for joining the European Union’s Open Skies agreement. This will see all but Tunisair’s main-base airport, opened up, Tunis-Carthage International Airport will follow suit in four years’ time.
Mankabi has also commented that: “It will not be easy for the company after Open Skies, (which could come into force this year), But we have a reform program for the company. If implemented, we will be in the right direction.” It is understood the restructuring plan will cost approximately one billion Tunisian dinars ($363 million).
Tunisair intends to lease six aircraft in 2019 to boost its fleet as the airline launches two new routes in Africa to Sudan and Cameroon.

GATelsisLIFT-pLEASEd_Banner 2018

Air Canada names Ferio Pugliese Senior Vice-President, Government Relations and Regional Markets

Air Canada has appointed Ferio Pugliese as Senior Vice-President, Government Relations and Regional Markets. Pugliese is succeeding Kevin C. Howlett, Senior Vice-President, Government Relations and Regional Markets, who will be retiring in November after 45 years of dedicated service.
Pugliese will be based in Toronto and will report directly to Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Tradewinds Aviation Services implements Rockwell Collins’ ARINC PaxLinkSM system

Tradewinds Aviation Services has implemented the departure control system (DCS) and weight and balance modules of Rockwell Collins’ PaxLinkSM passenger service system to support its ground handling services at Jomo Kenyatta and Mumbasa Moi International Airports in Kenya, Africa.
ARINC PaxLink allows airlines and ground handlers to select from a number of options to create a tailored solution to streamline passenger check-in, boarding and flight load planning. It includes a reservations system, inventory management system, departure control system and weight and balance.
“Tradewinds Aviation Services needed a customizable system to better support its diverse set of airline customers,” said Michael DiGeorge, vice president, Commercial Aviation and Network Services at Rockwell Collins. “ARINC PaxLink was an ideal fit because its modular design allows Tradewinds to provide enhanced services - both now and in the future.”


Air New Zealand posts second highest profit in its history

Air New Zealand has posted earnings before taxation for the 2018 financial year of NZ$540 million, an increase from the prior year result of NZ$527 million, representing the second highest profit in the airline’s history. Net profit after taxation grew 2.1% to NZ$390 million.
To deliver greater schedule reliability for customers going forward, Air New Zealand will be leasing three widebody aircraft, two Boeing 777-200s and one Boeing 777-300, as well as making adjustments to its schedule as the airline continues to work through the maintenance requirements associated with the global Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine issues.
"The adjustments to our schedule will essentially free up two widebody aircraft enabling us to provide greater schedule certainty for customers. This will include adjusting weekly frequency on our Buenos Aires and Taipei services, as well as seeking to retime our flights to Tokyo's Haneda Airport. We are confident that these proactive steps will result in better reliability for our customers," said Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon.

Dallas Aeronautical Services names Terry Cooper new General Manager

Dallas Aeronautical Services has appointed Terry Cooper as its new General Manager and welcomed him to the DAS team.
Cooper brings more than 30 years of aviation knowledge to DAS. His experience ranges from working with bonded structures and sheet metal assemblies, to quality control, both in the corporate and commercial markets.


Peach Aviation establishes Peach Pilot Challenge Program with Airbus

Peach Aviation has established the pilot training program Peach Pilot Challenge Program with Airbus, in cooperation with the ANA Group, Airbus, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).
Applications from prospective challenge trainees started to be accepted August 6. The first information session for applicants was held in Osaka on August 24. More than 40 participants attended this first information session where the description of the program was presented and the current pilots shared their testimonials.
This program makes it possible for successful applicants to obtain the licenses necessary to become an airline pilot through an advanced pilot training program selected by Peach and with the support of the ANA Group. The training program consists of two parts: the first part is training for the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) license overseas and the second part is for the JCAB (Japan Civil Aviation Bureau) license, which is conducted in Japan.
Asia is seeing rapid growth in overall flying demand for various reasons, including the spread of LCCs, and Peach provides practical training programs and trains pilots while reducing the financial burden on those who want to become pilots. Peach is working to ameliorate the future shortage of pilots through these efforts.

KLM UK Engineering and Alliance Airlines sign long-term heavy maintenance contract

AFI KLM E&M subsidiary has signed a long-term heavy maintenance agreement with Australia’s major fly in, fly out (FIFO) air charter operator Alliance Airlines.
A European leader in the regional jets and narrow body aircraft market and having an internationally acknowledged expertise on the Boeing 737, Embraer 170/190, BAe146/Avro RJ, Fokker 70/100 and Airbus A320 Family, KLM UK Engineering is delighted to announce its contract with Alliance Airlines.
KLM UK Engineering will be supporting Alliance Airlines with their Fokker 70/100 aircraft, providing heavy maintenance support in Norwich from summer 2018.
Lee Schofield, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Airlines, said 'We are very pleased to lock in this long-term arrangement with KLM UK Engineering. We will be operating Fokker 70/100 for at least the next ten years and the maintenance support provided by KLM UK Engineering will assist us greatly during this time'.


Qantas Group reports underlying profit before tax of AU$1.6 billion for 2018 financial year

The Qantas Group has reported underlying profit before tax of AU$1.6 billion (up 14%) for the 2018 financial year and statutory profit before tax of AU$1.4 billion (up 18%). Net free cash flow was up 10% to AU$1,442 million
The Group reported that all parts of the business contributed to the result, helped by healthy levels of demand across key markets, higher revenue and a particularly strong performance in the domestic flying businesses of Qantas and Jetstar.
The Qantas Group has also committed to a second Pilot Academy facility, which will help meet the unprecedented global demand for skills as the aviation sector continues to grow. The academy concept is designed to provide a future talent pipeline for Qantas Group airlines and support General Aviation in a country that relies heavily on air transport. It also represents a commercial opportunity to create a centre of excellence to train pilots for airlines throughout the region.
The concept has been met with substantial levels of support from state governments, local councils and the private sector.
Qantas has set aside a total of AU$20 million towards establishment of the two facilities. Both will be located in regional Australia, with cities to be announced in coming weeks. The first location will open during calendar year 2019 and the second expected to follow in 2020.
Furthermore Qantas has announced an extension of its global lounge upgrade program, designed to support demand for premium travel across six additional ports. They are:
Updated and expanded Sydney International First Lounge, major upgrade to the Auckland Lounge, refreshed Tokyo Narita Lounge, expanded Brisbane International Lounge and two regional lounge upgrades for Tamworth and Hobart.


Avolon delivers one Airbus A330-300 to Lucky Air and to Hainan Airlines

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, has delivered one Airbus A330-300 aircraft to Lucky Air at the start of August as well as one Airbus A330-300 aircraft to Hainan Airlines at the end of July.
This is the third Avolon aircraft on lease to Lucky Air and the eighth aircraft on lease to Hainan Airlines.

Mediation sees Ryanair’s Irish pilots put new agreement to a ballot with union approval

Mediation talks between Ryanair and its Irish pilots’ union Ialpa-Fórsa which began last week, and which were chaired by independent mediator Kieran Mulvey, have succeeded in breaking the current impasse between the two sides.
As a consequence, the 350 or so Irish Ryanair pilots will be voting on the latest proposals, which have been recommended for acceptance by their union.
Mulvey has requested that details of the latest deal remain under wraps until the ballot has taken place. Depending on the result of the ballot, the agreement could prove to be a blueprint for current ongoing negotiations with Ryanair’s pilots elsewhere in the EU.
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier has been beset by industrial action by pilots in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Sweden, as well as Ireland which, at its peak, disrupted the travel plans of some 55,000 passengers.
Other pilots’ unions across Europe will be closely watching events; Ryanair has confirmed that it will take the current agreement to the board after the pilots’ ballot has taken place.
Currently, Ryanair employs approximately 4,000 pilots across the airline.


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