Tuesday, November 27th, 2018



Qatar Airways increases flight numbers to Iran despite renewed U.S. sanctions

Only weeks after the U.S. renewed sanctions on Iran, Qatar Airways has announced it is increasing the number of flights to the country, despite Donald Trumps threats to bar companies that continue to do business there.

Qatar Airways will add two weekly flights to its existing Doha-Tehran route and three weekly flights on its Shiraz service in January. It will also launch two weekly flights to Isfahan in February.
According to Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker: “These latest launches are further evidence of Qatar Airways’ commitment to Iran, as well as the expansion of our network in this thriving market ...”

According to Reuters, European carriers Air France and British Airways stopped flying to Iran earlier this year, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has stopped flying to Iran, and Dubai’s Emirates and flydubai have consolidated certain routes as part of a partnership led by their shared state owner. Egypt and Bahrain have also cut ties with Qatar.

Qatar Airways flies to a number of major U.S. cities from the Gulf, including Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas and New York.


British Airways enhances cabin crew training with new apprenticeship programme

British Airways continues its investment in customer service and has announced a programme to recruit more than 2,000 cabin crew in 2019. Successful candidates with no prior cabin crew experience will train through the airline’s new cabin crew apprenticeship programme.

After completing an intense cabin crew training course at British Airways’ Global Learning Academy, including the very best training in customer service and aviation safety and security, apprentices will continue their learning journey in the air and on the ground. The programme will see them gain qualifications in English, Maths and Digital skills, access to a dedicated mobile app to track their progress and continuous development coaching from a certified apprenticeship coach.

The airline’s initiative reflects the Government’s push to increase and enhance the number and quality of apprenticeships offered in the UK, to improve core skills and the quality of training offered.

British Airways has a long tradition of running quality apprenticeship schemes, with apprentices currently working in engineering, customer service and head office roles. The airline’s Global Learning Academy has recently achieved the status of a registered ‘Employer Provider’ of apprenticeships, enabling it to continue delivering specialist airline learning, while also offering employees enhanced skills and professional qualifications.


Spirit AeroSystems Chief Financial Officer to retire

Spirit AeroSystems has reported that Sanjay Kapoor, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, plans to retire in the first quarter of 2019. Kapoor has been in this role since he joined the company in August 2013.

Kapoor will continue in his role as chief financial officer and assist in the transition once a successor is named.

During his time as chief executive officer, Kapoor worked to enhance Spirit's operating performance and the company's competitiveness. Prior to Spirit, Kapoor held executive leadership roles at Raytheon and United Technologies Corporation.

Loftleidir Icelandic’s subsidiary submits binding offer for majority shares of Cabo Verde Airlines

Loftleidir Icelandic, a subsidiary of Icelandair Group, will, together with Icelandic investors, submit a binding offer for a 51% of the shares in Cabo Verde Airlines on Cape Verde. Authorities in Cape Verde and Loftleidir Icelandic have been cooperating for some time. In August 2017, Loftleidir Icelandic signed a management agreement with the Cape Verde Government on restructuring Cabo Verde Airlines. The agreement also aimed to strengthen the international airport in Cape Verde, to develop the islands as a promising tourist destination and to build an international hub for connecting flights. Coinciding with the agreement, it was announced that the company was due to be privatised. Cabo Verde Airlines already has operating licenses to fly scheduled flights to Europe and the United States.

The purchase price is confidential. However, the acquisition would partly be paid for by the work already completed by Loftleidir Icelandic’s employees. The acquisition is made through a new company, Loftleidir Cabo Verde. Loftleidir Icelandic holds a 70% stake in the company, and other investors 30%. Loftleidir Icelandic’s acquisition of Cabo Verde Airlines does not have significant effect on Icelandair Group's financial statements since Cabo Verde Airlines will not be reflected in the group’s consolidated financial statements. The share will classified as an associated company.

SR Technics

Turkish Airlines now flying to Gambia

Turkish Airlines has now added the Gambian capital, Banjul, to its schedule. The flights will be operated twice a week and will be in connection with Dakar flights.

With this addition, Turkish Airlines has increased its flight network to 54 in Africa. .This means Turkish Airlines now reaches 123 countries with 305 destinations worldwide.

Turkish Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Sales, Kerem Sarp, said: “We believe there is tremendous potential for tourism and trade in Africa. The addition of Banjul opens up Gambia to the world”.

André-Hubert Roussel proposed CEO of ArianeGroup

Joint shareholders Airbus SE and Safran have proposed to the Board of Directors of ArianeGroup André-Hubert Roussel, currently Head of Operations at Airbus Defence and Space, to succeed Alain Charmeau as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ArianeGroup, effective January 1, 2019.

Alain Charmeau, an accomplished executive in the aerospace industry, will retire in 2019 after a transition phase from January 1, to March 31 2019, during which he will serve as Special Advisor to the new CEO of ArianeGroup.


SCAC and Adria Airways sign LOI for 15 SSJ 100 aircraft and MRO joint venture

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) and Adria Airways have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 15 SSJ100 aircraft. Delivery will start at the beginning of 2019 under a long-term lease arrangement. In addition, both Parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding upon establishing an SSJ100 Maintenance and Repair Organization (MRO) at Ljubljana Airport (Slovenia).

The JSC “Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company” President Alexander Rubtsov stated: “We realize that the SSJ100 after-sales support at the entry to the European market should be organized profoundly and professionally. Together with Adria Airways we will create a joint maintenance and repair organization for the SSJ100 at the Ljubljana Airport. That service platform will secure the operational reliability of SSJ100 aircraft in Europe.”


Airbus delivers first A330-900 to launch operator TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of the world’s first new generation widebody A330neo and, as the launch airline, will be the first to benefit from the aircraft’s unbeatable operating economics, increased range, and Airbus’ new Airspace cabin offering passengers the best in class comfort. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The Portuguese carrier will take delivery of a further 20 A330-900s in the coming years.

TAP Air Portugal’s first A330-900 is leased from Avolon. It features 298 seats in a comfortable three-class lay-out with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats. The Airspace by Airbus cabin offers more personal space, larger overhead storage bins, advanced cabin lighting and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.


Piaggio Aerospace turns to Italian government with request to be put into receivership

Owing to “the state of insolvency of the company,” Italy’s Piaggio Aerospace has turned to the Italian government with a request to be put into receivership. This comes despite a current firm order for eight P.1HH unmanned aircraft (a variant of the P-180 business aircraft) from the United Arab Emirates with deliveries expected to commence by year end.

The recent change in government in Italy in March, which saw the country’s incumbent center-left government defeated before a populist coalition, has resulted in a catastrophic delay in confirmation of an order from the Italian Ministry of Defence for 20 P2.HH variants, valued at US$874 million, which have greater endurance.

Prior to March’s election, the program received launch funding in this year’s defense budget with the head of the commission, Francesco Saverio Garofani, confirming that the order would procee without a commission vote. However, since then the program has stalled, with the new parliament failing to vote on the order as it is under pressure by the coalition government to make cuts in defense spending. Italian officials are also worried that the P2.HH will overlap with the Euromale drone that European partners, including Italy, are currently developing.

Italian union FIM-CISL blamed Piaggio Aerospace’s problems on the government’s delay in firming up on the drone order, asking the government to find new investors to save the firm, while also pushing the drone order through. The Democratic Party, which was voted out of government in March, accused the new government of “being unable to take a decision in all these months on the €766 million (US$874 million) acquisition of the P2.HH.”

Piaggio Aerospace is owned by Mubadala Development Company, an Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment and development company.

United Technologies obtains final regulatory approval for Rockwell Collins acquisition

United Technologies has received the final regulatory approval needed to close its acquisition of its US$30 billion purchase of aircraft parts maker Rockwell Collins.

The conclusion of the regulatory review by China's State Administration for Market Regulation clears the way for United Technologies to proceed with the proposed acquisition announced on September 4, 2017. The acquisition is expected to close within three business days.

United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries.


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