Friday, January 18th, 2019


Growing pains sees Norwegian axe 5 bases in cost-cutting program

As part of a cost-cutting program announced in December last year with the intention of reducing running costs by US$234 million, Low-cost carrier Norwegian has announced it is to axe a number of routes and bases, starting April this year. Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Gran Canaria (LPA), Tenerife (TCI), Rome-Fiumicino (FCO), Stewart (SWF) and Providence (PVD). The last 18 months has seen Norwegian aggressively and rapidly penetrate a number of competitive markets, but this now appears to have come at a cost.

According to Helga Bollmann Leknes, Norwegian Air’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), the airline “has reached a point where it needs to make necessary adjustments to its route portfolio in
order to improve the sustainability and financial performance in this very competitive environment.”

The summer of 2019 will see Norwegian also cut its Edinburgh (Scotland) base and terminate transatlantic flights from both Edinburgh and Belfast. Norwegian is planning to only axe its regional,
intra-European flights operated by its fleet of Boeing 737-800 and MAX 8 aircraft. The airline clarified: “these aircraft are primarily used on European routes, but also some longer routes between Europe and the U.S. and Europe and the Middle East.”

Last week, Norwegian announced that it had logged its “highest ever passenger figures in a single year” in 2018, moving 37.34 million passengers—an increase of 13% on 2017 numbers, though the carrier added that 2018 “was characterized by major investments, strong competition, and a high oil price.” In 2018 Norwegian took delivery of 25 new planes and launched up to 35 new routes, which were mainly between Europe and the U.S..

Bombardier MRO

Delta Cargo, Virgin Atlantic Cargo to move to new purpose-built facility at London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo are to move into the new purpose-built dnata City East, London Heathrow’s most state-of-the-art cargo facility. The move supports the airlines’ growing cargo businesses, enhances their trans-Atlantic partnership for customers, and future-proofs the joint venture’s position in the U.K. market by doubling the size of their cargo footprint at the airport.

Virgin and Delta’s cargo operations have been aligned under one roof in the U.K. since June 2016 and share cargo facilities at major U.S. gateways, notably Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, Orlando and Washington-Dulles with the objective to create an enhanced customer
proposition on both sides of the Atlantic.

The move to the new facility – scheduled for the second half of 2019 - will ultimately increase the size of Virgin and Delta’s cargo operation at Heathrow to 335,000 ft², and see customers benefit from greater automation and faster truck and cargo handling times.

The purpose-built facility will deliver the highest levels of service, security and automation. Inside the warehouse, investments in technology will enable staff using handheld devices to efficiently
manage the flow of cargo, while the double-train ETV system will increase storage to 245 positions for pallets and containers. Customer trucks arriving at the facility will benefit from a new door management system, which enables drivers to complete paperwork at the gatehouse on arrival without leaving their vehicles and to then be immediately assigned to one of the facility’s 18 cargo doors.

The new location will also provide further benefits for customers choosing Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo services to move temperature-controlled healthcare and life science products as well as
offering a dedicated perishables zone and an enlarged AVI centre for live animals.

American Airlines strengthens integrated operations leadership team

American Airlines announced that Kevin Brickner, who currently serves as Vice President of Safety and Operations Integration as well as the airline’s certificated Director of Safety, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Technical Operations (Tech Ops).

He takes over the role from David Seymour, who was named Senior Vice President of Integrated Operations in 2016. Brickner will be responsible for overseeing line and base maintenance; engineering, planning and production support for airframes, engines and components; and aircraft supply chain operations, among many other responsibilities. American has promoted Capt. Ron Thomas to Vice President of Safety to assume Brickner's previous position.


Bombardier appoints Peter Bromby VP, Worldwide Sales, Learjet Aircraft

Bombardier Business Aircraft has appointed Peter Bromby as Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Learjet Aircraft. Bromby will assume overall responsibility for sales with a dedicated U.S.-based sales team and apply his vast experience and insight to driving sales of this Bombardier brand. He will retain his current responsibilities as Vice President, Worldwide Pre-owned Aircraft Sales.

A seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience in aviation sales, Peter has held a number of key roles in his career. Peter joined Bombardier in 2015 as Director, Sales, Learjet Aircraft.

CDB Aviation reports record activity and growth in 2018

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (CDB Leasing), has reported a record year for 2018, in which the company executed transactions involving 107 aircraft, rapidly accelerating business to support the continued growth of its leasing platform.

During 2018 the company signed lease transactions for 62 aircraft with 22 customers, signed agreements to sell 17 aircraft and to acquire 28 aircraft, acquired 42 aircraft on operating lease, representing over 20% growth by number of aircraft in the fleet at the start of 2018. CDB Aviation signed financing transactions for US$3.2 billion and ended the year with 104 total employees, adding 36 new staff members in 2018 and added 9 new airline customers.

TAG Farnborough Airport announces record year for air traffic movements

TAG Farnborough Airport has announced a record year for air traffic movements by reporting the highest ever number of total annual movements in 2018, surpassing the previous record from 2007 by 8.2%.  

For the full year 2018, TAG Farnborough Airport saw a year-on-year increase in air traffic movements of 13.8%, with initial forecasts indicating this positive trend is set to continue in 2019.  TAG Farnborough Airport serves customers from around the world and in 2018 noted substantial growth in air traffic movements to and from the U.S., with an increase of 22.5% year-on-year, as well as Europe, up by 15.5%.

TAG Farnborough Airport currently handles more than 30,000 flights per annum, with approval to increase this number to 50,000 and is equipped to cater for a wide range of aircraft types including Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jets. As the only dedicated business aviation airport in the UK, it is specifically designed to offer a one-stop shop for business aviation customers, and with 240,000 ft² of heated hangar facilities and 1.2m ft² of ramp space can accommodate both based and transient aircraft. 


Pula Aviation widens business aviation portfolio

Guernsey based Pula Aviation , parent company of Centreline AV, is expanding its footprint in business aviation with the announcement that it has acquired 100% of the share capital of ASG, a Guernsey based operation which specialises in business and general aviation maintenance and executive ground handling, and the sale and acquisition of business aircraft.  

Together with Centreline AV, ASG will form part of a new group holding company ‘Pula Aviation Services Ltd’ offering aircraft management and charter, maintenance, aircraft sales and executive ground handling, supported by a 100-strong workforce.  

Centreline’s current CEO, Tanya Raynes will become Chair of the new Pula Aviation Services in March, when she will relinquish her day to day role with Centreline, while Steve Page, who has led ASG since 2014, becomes CEO of the new company.

AJW GROUP purchases Boeing 777-LR for teardown

AJW Group has purchased a Boeing 777-200 LR airframe for teardown, installed with GE90 110/115 engines. The aircraft was delivered on January 12.

The Boeing 777-200LR airframe is compatible with both 777-300ER and B777F aircraft, of which there are just under 1000 in service (976 in service as of 06/09/2018) . All components will be re-certified by AJW Technique, Montreal.

Ian Malin, Director and Chief Investment Officer, AJW Group, said:

“AJW’s inventory of Airbus and Boeing spares is located in strategic hubs across the globe, our latest teardown of these B777 –LR aircraft further ensures that our customers’ operations are fully-supported through access to our pool of high-quality material.

As the B777-300 fleet starts to mature, with approximately 1000 aircraft in service, AJW is using this airframe to ramp up its inventory in this platform to complement its already-comprehensive global narrow body inventory pools. This strategy is calculated and deliberate to position AJW as the ‘go-to’ source for B777 material for the next decade.”


FADEC Alliance signs agreement with Lufthansa Technik

FADEC Alliance, a joint venture between GE Aviation and FADEC International, has signed a 25-year agreement with Lufthansa Technik to provide Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) availability services for LEAP engines globally. Lufthansa Technik and FADEC Alliance
will use the engine controls for support agreements, loans and exchanges across their global airline customer bases to bring a full selection of asset management services to the commercial transport

The agreement covers asset management, logistics and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) support. Lufthansa Technik will manage a global pool of line replaceable units (LRU) in order to provide availability to both Lufthansa Technik and FADEC Alliance airline customers. Lufthansa Technik will establish a certified repair station in Hamburg, Germany for the LEAP FADEC. FADEC Alliance will provide technical support from the FADEC Alliance MRO network located in Massy, France and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

LEAP engines equipped with FADEC Systems are used on Boeing 737 MAX, Airbus A320neo and COMAC family 919 aircraft. The FADEC – consisting of digital computers, called engine control units, and a pressure sub-system – controls all aspects of aircraft engine performance, such
as engine fuel flow and variable engine geometries. Both parties will use the pool to support their customers for loans and exchanges of LEAP FADECs, to provide high availability and high performance asset services, and to maximize efficiency for airlines.

The LEAP engine is a high-bypass turbofan produced by CFM International, a 50-50 joint venture company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.

Construction begins on Airbus’ U.S. A220 manufacturing facility

Airbus’ manufacturing growth in the United States advanced another step on January 16, in Mobile, Alabama, as construction of the company’s A220 Manufacturing Facility officially launched with a groundbreaking ceremony. The assembly line will satisfy the strong and growing U.S. demand for the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line.

Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, and Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft led the celebration and welcomed approximately 700 attendees including Airbus and other industry executives, Airbus manufacturing employees, state and national dignitaries, and local community leaders.

The new assembly line, which is the company’s second U.S.-based commercial aircraft production facility, will be located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley adjacent to the A320 Family production line and will facilitate assembly of A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft for U.S. customers. Aircraft production is planned to begin in Q3 2019; with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facilities will be complete by next year.

Airbus has strong and longstanding ties to the United States, with Airbus aircraft being operated by the largest airlines in America. Additionally, Airbus is a major partner of U.S. aerospace companies and workers. In the last three years, Airbus spent US$48 billion in the United States with hundreds of U.S. suppliers in more than 40 states, translating into Airbus support of more than 275,000 American jobs. Among its facilities in the U.S. Airbus has: engineering centers in Kansas and Alabama; a major training facility in Florida and soon one in Colorado; materials support and headquarters in Virginia; an A320 Family assembly line delivering aircraft in Alabama; an innovative think tank (A3) in California; a drone data analysis business (Airbus Aerial) in Atlanta, Georgia; helicopter manufacturing and assembly facilities in Texas and Mississippi; and a satellite manufacturing facility (OneWeb) in Florida.


AAR awarded 7-year engine MRO contract for Royal Danish Air Force

AAR, an independent provider of global aftermarket aviation services, has been awarded a seven-year contract by the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul of Pratt & Whitney F100-220 engine components on the General Dynamics F-16 for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF).

AAR’s MRO Services Component Repair Amsterdam facility has been supporting European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) as either a prime or a subcontractor performing repair management, component maintenance, supply chain and depot services for more than three decades.


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