Wednesday, January 9th, 2019



Safran to power the Bell Nexus

The first application of the Safran Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System (HEPS), the Bell Nexus, is officially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The propulsion solution of this multi-rotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is capable of producing more than 600 kWe power. During ground tests last June the system produced 100 kWe and further tests will be carried out next year.

"This partnership with Bell in the on-demand mobility sector is a strategic opportunity for Safran" said Jean-Baptiste Jarin, Safran Helicopter Engines Vice President, Hybrid Propulsion System Program. "Nexus is the first of a new breed of aircraft, it opens the doors to new markets and new missions. Fully commited to these challenges and sharing a common vision with Bell, we now look forward to seeing it fly".

HEPS works by distributing thermal and/or electrical energy, depending on the phase of flight, to multiple rotors. It comprises three sub-systems: electric generation that relies on a turbo-generator and batteries, electric power management and the electric motors that generate lift and propulsion.

Hybrid-electric propulsion solutions being explored by Safran teams are the most efficient way to enable multi-rotor VTOL aircraft to meet future safety, emission and affordability standards.


IATA releases November figures – air freight demand flat for the month

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data figures for the month of November 2018, revealing that demand in terms of freight (metric) tonne kilometers (FTKs) was flat (0%) compared to November 2017, following 31 unbroken months of year-on-year increases. For the ninth month in a row, the rise in freight capacity growth, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), outstripped demand by 4.3% year-on-year.

At a time when international e-commerce sees continued growth, air freight demand has hit some turbulence with signs of weakness in global economic activity, all nations other than the U.S experiencing a contraction in export order books, reduced supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe, and weaker consumer confidence when compared to the beginning of 2018.
“Normally the fourth quarter is a peak season for air cargo. So essentially flat growth in November is a big disappointment. While our outlook is for 3.7% demand growth in 2019, downside risks are mounting. Trade tensions are cause for great concern. We need governments to focus on enabling growth through trade, not barricading their borders through punitive tariffs,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Summary of Regional Performance for November 2018
North America, Middle East and Latin America reported year-on-year demand growth, while Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa all contracted.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight shrink by 2.3% year-on-year compared to 2017. Capacity increased by 3.1%.
North American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region for the second consecutive month with an increase in demand of 3.1% compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 6.3%.
European airlines experienced a contraction in freight demand of -0.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 3.1% year-on-year.
Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes expanded 1.7% compared to November 2017. Capacity increased by 7.8% over the same period.
Latin American airlines’ freight demand rose 3.1% compared to the same period in 2017. Capacity increased by 2.0%. International year-to-date demand increased 6.3%.

African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 7.8% compared to the same month in 2017. This was the eighth time in nine months that demand contracted. Capacity shrank 7.4% year-on-year. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are 7% lower than their peak in mid-2017, though still 28% higher than their most recent trough in late-2015.

Norwegian becomes first low-cost airline to introduce free Wi-Fi on intercontinental flights

Norwegian is upgrading the passenger experience for long-haul customers with the introduction of inflight Wi-Fi on its growing long-haul fleet of aircraft. Norwegian customers flying between Europe, USA, South America and Asia will be able to stay connected in the skies with the rollout of free and premium high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity on the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX aircraft.

The first connected Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring American author Mark Twain on the tailfin, was delivered on 18 December 2018. The new aircraft has entered service and this milestone marks the first time Norwegian passengers can experience free inflight Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights.

More than 50% of Norwegian’s 787-9 Dreamliner fleet is expected to offer in-flight connectivity by 2020. The rollout of Wi-Fi on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will commence from mid-January 2019.


IAG December traffic up 8.8%

International Airlines Group traffic in December 2018 increased by 8.8% versus 2017, while Group capacity rose by 9.4%. Group load factor was 80.4%, compared to 80.8% in December 2017. In 2018 IAG carried almost 113 million passengers, which is over 8 million more than in 2017.

Southwest Airlines reports December load factor of 81.6%

Southwest Airlines has reported its December 2018 preliminary traffic statistics.

The Company flew 11.1 billion revenue passenger miles in December 2018, an increase of 3.3% from December 2017. Capacity increased 5.4% in December 2018 and the load factor was 81.6%, compared with 83.3% in December 2017.

Bruno Bergoend named Safran Senior Vice President, Airbus and ATR Programs

Effective January 1, 2019, Bruno Bergoend has been appointed Senior Vice President, Airbus and ATR Programs at Safran and Vice President, Public Affairs for the Occitanie region of France.

He succeeds André Guiraud, who has retired, and reports to Stéphane Abrial, Senior Executive Vice President, International and Public Affairs.

Bruno Bergoend is now responsible for overseeing, coordinating and developing Safran's business with Airbus. He is assisted by Peter Detjen, previously at Zodiac Aerospace in Hamburg.

Atlas Air Worldwide expands 747-400F service for Nippon Cargo Airlines

Atlas Air has expanded its strategic agreement with Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) to add three NCA-owned Boeing 747-400 Freighters to the existing operation, bringing the total number of 747-400Fs operated on behalf of NCA to five.

The incremental aircraft will be operated on key routes across the fast-growing transpacific market, and are scheduled to enter service in April, July and September 2019.

Hitoshi Oshika, President and Chief Executive Officer, NCA, said “The partnership with Atlas has enabled NCA to expand our network to capture growth opportunities throughout Asia. The addition of these three aircraft will allow NCA to provide our customers with additional airfreight capacity, especially for the growing e-commerce business.”


Woodward reports fiscal year 2018 results

Woodward has reported financial results for its fiscal year 2018 and fourth quarter ending September 30, 2018.

Net sales were US$719 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 19% from the fourth quarter of last year. Organic net sales, which exclude sales of US$78 million attributable to the acquired L’Orange business, were US$641 million, an increase of 6% from the prior year fourth quarter.

Net earnings were US$75 million and adjusted net earnings were US$89 million, compared to US$62 million for the fourth quarter of the prior year. Adjusted EBIT was US$120 million, compared to US$93 million for the prior year fourth quarter.

Net sales were US$2.33 billion for fiscal year 2018, an increase of 11% compared to the prior year. Organic net sales, which exclude sales of US$103 million attributable to the acquired L’Orange business, were US$2.22 billion, an increase of 6% compared to the prior year.

Net earnings were US$180 million and adjusted net earnings were US$246 million compared to US$201 million for the prior year. Adjusted EBIT was US$326 million, compared to US$278 million for the prior year.

Net cash provided by operating activities for 2018 was US$299 million, compared to US$308 million for the prior year. Free cash flow was US$172 million for 2018, compared to US$215 million for the prior year.

Eagle Services Asia inducts first Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engine

Pratt & Whitney's Singapore engine center, Eagle Services Asia (ESA), a member in the global network of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities that service Pratt & Whitney's GTF engines, has inducted its first PW1100G-JM engine for overhaul. Eagle Services Asia is a joint venture between SIA Engineering Company and Pratt & Whitney.

"The Singapore engine center is now fully enabled to overhaul several engine models simultaneously, including the PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engine. ESA has invested nearly US$85 million to upgrade and modernize the facility to perform GTF MRO, which includes training employees and acquiring new tooling, advanced capabilities and machinery," said Brendon McWilliam, senior director, Aftermarket Operations – Asia-Pacific, Pratt & Whitney. "ESA's new GTF and GP7200 engine capabilities join its established support of the existing PW4000 engine fleet. Modifications to the facility will improve productivity, reduce set up time and boost efficiency across operations. Current PW4000 engine customers will also benefit from these efficiencies."

The facility is uniquely modernized and re-purposed to handle multiple, simultaneous engine overhaul lines for Pratt & Whitney and Engine Alliance engine models – the PW4000 family, PW1100G-JM, and GP7200 engines, respectively. ESA also re-configured its engine test capability to accommodate the new GTF engine model. Engine Alliance LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney and General Electric.

AJW Group

ATR and Aurigny confirm order for three ATR 72-600s

ATR and Aurigny have confirmed the acquisition of three ATR 72-600 aircraft, following approval from the States of Guernsey and after the initial signature of a Letter of Intention at the Farnborough Airshow, in July 2018. The first aircraft will be delivered in August 2019 and all three will be equipped with the new ClearVision™ Enhanced Vision System (EVS), with Aurigny the launch customer for this cutting-edge technology.

ClearVision™ uses an external camera to display an augmented outside-view in real-time to a head-mounted visor, worn by the pilot with the EVS improving significantly the pilot’s vision. This is a major change for Aurigny’s crew as Guernsey’s location in the English Channel, see its flight operations regularly affected by fog, leading to disruptions for passengers. A study showed that an ATR equipped with the ClearVision™ EVS could have saved 50% of the disrupted landings in Guernsey, over the period of a year. ClearVision™ will also enhance operations into other destinations served by Aurigny.

New Managing Director appointed at Frequentis Comsoft

After three years of development and expansion work at Frequentis Comsoft, a major software company in the Frequentis Group for air traffic management (ATM) and defence domains, Gerald Enzinger hands over the management agenda to former Austro Control Chief Operating Officer (COO), Thomas Hoffmann.

Thomas Hoffmann, an air traffic control professional with a broad background of experience will take over the leading position at Frequentis Comsoft in Karlsruhe, Germany. Thomas Hoffmann was initially an air traffic controller himself and later managed the Frankfurt tower branch of Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) as well as the control centres in Karlsruhe and Langen.
Since January 2014 he has been COO of Operations and Technology for the Austrian air navigation service provider (ANSP), Austro Control, and responsible for more than 1,000 employees. In addition, Hoffmann, well networked in the air navigation services industry, has successfully served as board chairman ofthe COOPANS Alliance for the last three years – an international cooperation of ANSPs for the harmonisation and standardisation of European air navigation systems.

Founded in 2016, Frequentis Comsoft was formed from major assets of the former Comsoft GmbH in Karlsruhe and is today an important member of the Frequentis Group. The complementary Air Traffic Management product portfolio enabled Frequentis to achieve market leadership in Message Handling Systems (MHS) and AIM. The Frequentis Comsoft Surveillance Systems for both civilian and military ATM also represent a significant portfolio expansion.

Gerald Enzinger is moving back to Frequentis Headquarters in Vienna for private reasons. Together with Thomas Hoffmann, he will continue the management of Frequentis Comsoft until April 2019.


Air Lease Corporation activity update for fourth quarter 2018

Air Lease Corporation has announced an update on activity taking place in the fourth quarter of 2018:

As of December 31, 2018, ALC’s fleet was comprised of 275 owned aircraft and 61 managed aircraft, with commitments to acquire a total of 372 new aircraft for delivery through 2024.

ALC has delivered 12 new aircraft including 3 Boeing 737 MAX 8, 2 Boeing 787-9s, 4 Airbus A321neos, 2 Airbus A321ceos and 1 Airbus A330-900neo. The majority of this quarter’s order book deliveries occurred throughout the second half of the quarter.

Air Lease Corporation has sold two aircraft to Thunderbolt Aircraft Lease Limited II, one aircraft to Blackbird Capital II and two aircraft to third party buyers.

“Our business continues to perform well. As to the timing of deliveries and aircraft sales, one new aircraft delivery moved into the first quarter of 2019, as did a few of the aircraft sales to Thunderbolt II. We expect to complete the sale of the remaining six aircraft to Thunderbolt II in 2019,” said Gregory B. Willis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.


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