Wednesday, November7th, 2018



First A330-800 successfully completes maiden flight

The first A330-800 development aircraft to fly, MSN1888, has landed at Toulouse-Blagnac, France after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and four minutes. The aircraft, the second member of the A330neo Family, is powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.

“Today’s first flight of the A330-800 is the latest addition to our efficient Widebody family,” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The A330-800 is an exceptionally versatile ‘route-opener’, offering unbeatable economics for airlines – encompassing everything from short to very-long haul widebody missions.” He added: “We look forward to the successful flight-test campaign, leading to certification next year.”

The A330-800’s development programme will include around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Its sibling, the larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification programme which validated the A330neo Family’s common engines, systems, cabin and flight & ground operations.

The A330neo comprises two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and offer an exclusive ‘Airspace by Airbus’ passenger experience. The larger A330-900 will accommodate up to 287 seats in a typical three-class layout, while the A330-800 typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes.

Werner Aero

Life-size model of Sino-Russian CR929 unveiled for Zhuhai airshow

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) have chosen the biennial Airshow China being held in Zhuhai between November 6-11 to unveil a life-size model of its joint venture commercial jet, the CR929. According to Reuters, the ceremony was attended by senior executives from both state-owned planemakers.

The model is 22 meters long, 6.5 meters tall and 5.9 meters wide, incorporating a roomy interior with 9-abreast basic seating in economy class. The cockpit contains dummy instruments, though while the actual systems are yet to be chosen, a sidestick similar to the flying control favored by Airbus over the traditional control column has been included in the mock-up. “It is more Airbus than Boeing,” a senior Western aerospace executive said.

Commenting on the occasion, UAC President Yury Slyusar said: “Our program is making progress and is on schedule. It is currently in the preliminary design phase and we are also in the supplier and equipment selection phase, which will finish by the end of 2019.”

UAC and COMAC announced they would cooperate on a wide-body jet program in 2014 and full-scale development of the program began three years later with the formation of the joint venture - China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC).

Chen Yingchun, COMAC’s chief designer for the CR929 program, told reporters that CRAIC would seek supplier proposals from all over the world but refused to comment on whether current trade frictions with the United States would influence any decisions.

Beijing wants the single-aisle aircraft to compete with the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787. Senior COMAC executive commented back in June that the CR929 would aim to make its maiden flight in 2023.

Icelandair Group acquires Wow air

Icelandair Group has entered into a share purchase agreement to purchase all shares in the airline WOW air. The acquisition is subject to approval by Icelandair Group‘s shareholders, the approval of the Icelandic competition authorities and a due diligence.

As consideration for the shares, the shareholders of WOW air will, subject to conditions, receive a total of 272.341.867 shares or the equivalent of 5.4% of Icelandair Group‘s shares after the transaction. Thereof, 178.066.520 shares or 3.5% of the shares as consideration for the sold shares. The consideration can increase to 4.8% or decrease to 0.0% in accordance with certain conditions set forth in the share purchase agreement. 94.275.347 shares or 1.8% of the shares will be paid due to conversion of a subordinated loan into equity. All of sellers’ shares in Icelandair Group will be subject to restrictive covenants for 6 months and half of the shares will be subject to restrictive covenants to further six months.

The companies will continue to operate under separate brands. Their combined market share on the transatlantic market is around 3.8%. The acquisition creates opportunity for both companies to become even better prepared to provide international carriers with strong competition in the international airline market.

Bombardier MRO

Pentagon 2000 Software expands Aeroxchange support

Pentagon 2000 Software, a provider of fully-integrated MRO and supply chain software solutions for the Aerospace & Defense industry, has delivered direct system interfaces within the Pentagon 2000SQL™ system for the Aeroxchange AeroBuy® and AeroRepair® collaboration platforms.

These interfaces have been developed in partnership with joint customers in order to enable real-time communication of purchase and repair orders between the Aeroxchange marketplace and Pentagon 2000SQL™ users, allowing Aeroxchange members to more effectively connect and serve their most valued trade partners. These integrations ensure an advanced-function user interface that provides efficient and optimized workflow. Support for both buyer-side and a seller-side functionality is available, and additional work is underway with the Aeroxchange team to deliver Pentagon2000SQL™ interfaces for AeroComponent® and AeroMRO® in the future.

Skyworld Aviation arranges sale of three Saab 2000s

Skyworld Aviation has delivered three Saab 2000’s earlier this year to the Directorate General Defence Purchase of Pakistan, arranged on behalf of Swedish shipping company Erik Thun AB. The aircraft, serial numbers 024, 038 and 062 were previously in operation with BRA (Braathens Regional Airlines) of Sweden.

The original agreement was signed under a formal procedure at the Ministry of Defence Production headquarters in Islamabad on February 16, 2018. Serial number 038 (SE-MFF, now J-038) was the first to be delivered in April 2018, quickly followed by serial number 024 (SE-LTX, now J-024). Serial number 062 (SE-LTU) was the last to depart on June 18, and is re-registered as J-062. All were subject to work packages at Täby Air Maintenance in Orebrö, Sweden prior to ferry flight.

Royal Aero

MTU Maintenance signs CFM56 engine MRO contract with Regent Airways

MTU Maintenance, the global leader in customized solutions for aero engines, has signed a CFM56-7 engine MRO contract with new customer Regent Airways. The seven-year contract covers the maintenance repair and overhaul of the engines powering the airline’s six Boeing 737 aircraft, as well as spare engine leasing and reliable on-site support.

Regent Airways is a privately-owned Bangladeshi airline. Based at Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal international airport, the company started commercial operations in 2010 and flies national and international routes to destinations including India, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand.

CDB Aviation and SpiceJet sign lease agreement for three 737 MAX aircraft

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., (CDB Leasing), has signed an agreement with India’s low-cost carrier SpiceJet for the long-term lease of three Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

“We are pleased to forge this new agreement with SpiceJet for an additional three 737 MAX aircraft, which will help the airline expand and standardize its fleet,” said CDB Aviation Chief Commercial Officer Patrick Hannigan. “This efficient jet will support the carrier’s ongoing efforts to achieve a significant reduction in maintenance costs and enhance its domestic and international connectivity.”

The first MAX is expected to deliver in December 2018, with the remaining two aircraft slated for delivery in September and November 2019. In January 2018, CDB Aviation and SpiceJet entered their first deal for the MAX. With today’s announcement, the carrier will have a total of eight MAX aircraft on long-term lease from CDB Aviation.


Air Partner Freight continues strong growth trajectory in first half 2018

Following on from a record 2017, the Freight team at Air Partner has enjoyed a busy and fruitful first half of the financial year, winning cargo mandates from a variety of new and existing customers. As was recently announced in Air Partner’s interim results, Freight gross profit was up 36.4% for the six months ended 31 July 2018.

Air Partner’s 24/7 offering and personalised service have continued to attract clients over the past year and time critical requests are an important segment of the Freight business. Clients that use Air Partner’s Freight services are diverse, from Oil & Gas companies to Charities. Demand from Automotive and Aerospace sectors remains strong, both in charter and on board courier products.
Air Partner’s freight division has continued to grow its global operations. In 2017, the German office moved to larger premises in Cologne to allow for further growth and 2018 has seen the appointment of a new Freight Charter Sales Broker and Sales Manager. Elsewhere, this summer saw the opening of a Los Angeles office and the expansion of the freight team into new office space in Fort Lauderdale. The team in Turkey has also increased in size, following significant business growth last year.

The Freight division has achieved this growth in the face of mounting pressure in the market for charter brokers to change tactics to increase their market share by either working directly with shippers or becoming aircraft operators in their own right. Air Partner, however, remains true to its principles by working solely with freight forwarders. This allows the company to remain neutral, focused on finding the best solution for its clients’ requirements and develop long-term loyalty.

Passenger traffic growth slows in September

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for September showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 5.5% compared to the same month in 2017. This was a slowdown from the 6.4% growth recorded in August year-over-year. Capacity climbed 5.8% and load factor slipped for the first time in eight months, down 0.3 percentage point compared to the year-earlier period, to 81.4%.

IATA estimated that impacts from severe hurricane and typhoon activity in September shaved around 0.1-0.2 percentage point off expected growth. However, even after accounting for these impacts, monthly traffic demand was below the 6.7% year-to-date pace.

“While September’s traffic growth was in line with the long-term average, it represents a moderation compared to recent months. This is likely owing to the anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares due to rising airline cost pressures, particularly fuel. Heightened uncertainty about trade policies and mounting protectionist policies may also be having an impact,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International RPKs climbed 4.9% with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2017. Total capacity climbed 5.1%, and load factor dipped 0.1 percentage point to 81.2%.

Domestic demand climbed 6.5% in September compared to September 2017, which was a slowdown compared to 7.5% year-over-year growth in August. This was partly owing to afore-mentioned weather-related disruptions. Capacity rose 7.4% and load factor slipped 0.6 percentage point to 81.6%.


Embraer projects market demand of 1,390 new jets with up to 150 seats for China

Embraer released its latest outlook for the Chinese commercial aviation market during the 12th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, which forecasts that the region will take delivery of 1,390 new jets with up to 150 seats over the next 20 years (valued at US$82 billion at list price).

“According to statistics, the Asia-Pacific market enjoyed the strongest growth in terms of passenger volume in 2017. In China, specifically for the domestic market, the growth rate was 13.3%. Thanks to the steady pace of economic growth, continuous investment in airport construction, the implementation of basic air service plans, and the increasing number of middle class that fueled the demand for air travel, we believe for the next 20 years, aircraft with up to 150 seats will enjoy huge potential in China,” said Arjan Meijer, Chief Commercial Officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation.

Over the last few decades, China has introduced a series of favorable policies to support the air traffic growth and made great achievements in airport construction. According to CAAC’s plan, more than 50 new airports will be built during the 13th Five-Year Plan. By 2035, another 140 new airports will be constructed and most of the newly-built airports will be regional. With the increased number of airports, the market calls for more regional aircraft with an appropriate number of seats to develop new routes.

At the same time, data shows that the top 30 airports in China handle nearly 80% of total passengers, which result in the saturated capacity and shortage of slots in hub airports. Therefore, Embraer holds the view that airlines will put more efforts on the second and third-tier cities with abundant aviation sources.

In order to meet the increasing demand for travel, Embraer has launched the E-Jets E2, the newest generation of Embraer jet, aiming to build the most efficient and comfortable single-aisle family of aircraft with up to 150 seats. To date, the E-Jets E2 program has logged 270+ orders, of which 130+ are firm. In China, Embraer has logged 22 E-Jets E2 commitments.

In April 2018, Embraer delivered the first E-Jets E2 to Widerøe of Norway. Currently, three E190-E2s have accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours with Widerøe, achieving outstanding schedule reliability of around 99%.

MEKCO Group enters into elite partnership with SATTO

MEKCO Group, a provider of aircraft cabin connectivity and repair innovations, have entered into an elite partnership with SATTO®, a global leader in composite and plastic interior repair solutions. This partnership brings the first FAA/EASA approved SATTO repair center to the United States and will do business under the name SATTO Repair Center, USA. SATTO Repair Center, USA will begin providing services to customers beginning in the fourth quarter 2018.

SATTO Solutions, a product line under the SATTO brand, was established in 2013 to provide engineered Rapid Repair System processes that enable long-lasting repairs to aircraft cabin interior plastics and composites. Many of these unique solutions take less than 30 minutes to cure with no heat required, and repaired parts can tolerate twisting and bending far beyond normal usage. The Rapid Repair System is fully compliant with REACH, MSDS requirements, and has received approvals for burn, flammability, tensile, smoke and toxicity tests.

The partnership allows MEKCO Group to expand their capabilities to repair and modify aircraft interior and composites using the SATTO Solutions, Rapid Repair Systems on a wide range of cabin repairs, including: Cracked or crushed composite skin, skin blistering, delaminating due to water ingress, impact damage, pulled inserts, and chipped or scratched composite skin.


GAMECO expands scope of Airbus managed inventory agreement with Satair

GAMECO (Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co.) signed an extension with Satair to its long-term agreement for the Airbus Managed Inventory (AMI) service at the Zhuhai Airshow. The agreement extends the contract scope to include further frequently-moving expendable parts underlining the flexibility inherent in the AMI service offering. Both parties are ready to contribute their efforts in advancing win-win cooperation for sustainable development.

When announced at the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2016, GAMECO was the first customer in China for Satair’s AMI solution. After reformation, the two parties have jointly promoted data sharing and system integration. In the form of automatic replenishment to provide GAMECO with efficient aviation materials support management services, Airbus has carried out real-time monitoring of AMI project inventory.

GAMECO has ensured effectiveness of work-out by capturing material consumption information in real-time and automatically triggering replenishment orders within the agreed inventory levels. Today GAMECO is providing comprehensive and guaranteed aircraft maintenance services for more than 200 Airbus aircraft that operate in China.

Revima sets up a new Landing Gear MRO facility in Thailand

Revima, the independent MRO solutions provider, specialized in APUs, Engine Parts and Landing Gears, reaffirms its increased presence in the Asia Pacific Region.

With the aim of continuously improving customer service and proximity, Revima will be opening in 2020 a new state of the art landing gear overhaul facility in Thailand. The facility will initially focus on Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family landing gears and serve as a Revima customer service center for the Asia Pacific Region.

It will be strategically located within the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in Amata City Chonburi’s Free Zone, a world class Industrial Park south of Bangkok, close to main highway connections, the International Airport, major Seaport and U-Tapao Airport, a growing maintenance hub being developed.

It will be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art machines and will include all necessary special processes for full in-house repair & overhaul landing gear operations. Revima’s Thailand facility will be « digitally connected », from its machines, to its technical documentation, warehouses, monitoring and customer communication systems. It will also be environmentally friendly, with zero rejection waste water systems and state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression technology.


Finnair to renew entire cabin of ATR aircraft fleet

Finnair will renew the entire cabin of its ATR aircraft, and introduce a new Premium Economy cabin class for its long-haul fleet. These investments speak of Finnair’s commitment to offer a high level of customer comfort and increased choice for its customers. 

Finnair’s ATR aircraft are currently used for domestic flights in Finland, on flights to the Baltics, to Gdansk in Poland and to Stockholm’s Bromma airport. The flights are operated by Finnair’s partner Norra. The cabin renewal will include new seats, new carpets and a harmonised and fresh cabin interior design. The first ATR aircraft with the renewed cabin is expected to be in operation in summer 2019, and the refurbishment of all 12 aircraft will be completed by the end of Q1, 2020. 

Finnair will also introduce a new cabin class, Premium Economy, for its entire long-haul fleet from 2021. Located in its own cabin, the Premium Economy class will feature highly customised designs for Finnair and provide customers with increased space and comfort along with an enhanced service offering. 

The rollout of Premium Economy class to Finnair’s long-haul fleet starts in Q4 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.  Detailed planning of the cabin design, service concept as well as the commercial aspects are currently ongoing, and Finnair will be communicating more details at a later stage.  

Millennium International Avionics evolves brand and launches new website

Millennium International Avionics, a leading source for repair and support solutions for both legacy and new generation avionics systems and components, have completed the first phase of evolving their brand to more effectively communicate to the markets they serve, as well as the products and services they offer.

The strategy was implemented amid strong growth and recent diversification opportunities. In addition to updating the brand, a new website has been launched to reflect the company's focus and priorities with regard to markets and capabilities.

The website was the first priority in better communicating the company's core competencies, capabilities and services, as well as clarifying solutions for specific market segments including corporate, military and commercial. Millennium International Avionics has been investing in the development of new repair solutions and options for each of these segments, and needed a cohesive way to communicate their current capabilities as well as new offerings in a clear, user-friendly interface.

"The website was re-designed to provide our worldwide customers quick access to all our services in an easy to navigate format," said Claude Peoples, Vice President of Sales and Service, Millennium International. "This is imperative to assist our customers in a timely manner and ensure we provide them with the expedited turn times, valued service and the quality products for which we are known," Peoples continued.


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MRO Asia
November 6 - 8, 2018 – Singapore

Aircraft Economic Life Summit 2018
November 20, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Inventory Optimization & Supply Chain Management Seminar
February 19 - 20, 2019 – Palma de Majorca, Spain

IATP Conference 2019
March 9 - 13, 2019 – Athens, Greece

Saudi International Airshow 2019
March 12 - 14, 2019 – Thumamah Airport, Riyadh, KSA
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