Monday, December 3rd, 2018



Air France to ditch new experimental offshoot Joon

According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, it would seem that labor conditions are part of the reason why new Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith is looking to close down the experimental airline brand Joon. The decision will be put to the board of directors, but it looks like a ‘done deal’ as reintegration of Joon cabin crew with Air France staff is already being discussed.

Joon’s cabin crew were earning approximately 15% less than their Air France counterparts, despite having to work more hours, and the new carrier was on track to continue recruitment up to 700 cabin staff from its current level of 550. Both the SNPNC and UnsaPNC French trade unions had written to Smith airing their grievances over employment conditions with Joon.

Joon has been performing better than anticipated with a reported load factor of 90% despite its ‘difficult-to-pin-down’ brand. Joon is not a traditional low-cost carrier and aimed at targeting millennial customers by making itself a more family-friendly brand through the provision of greater room for families to fly more comfortably. Only on November 19 Joon announced a new seating concept with certain four-seat rows on the Airbus A340 capable of being transformed into a cozy bed for up to two children by attaching the headrests to the bottom cushions.

With problems surrounding a number of low-cost carriers, including Monarch which ceased trading last year, plus more recently Flybe being put up for sale and the future of Iceland’s WOW now looking very uncertain, Smith’s intention to consolidate the existing and established Air France-KLM brand and network could be seen as a prudent move and a better use of resources. It will be interesting to watch how IAG reacts to Air France’s move considering it has also recently begun operating under the LEVEL brand, one which shares many similarities with Joon.

Royal Aero

Ryanair launches new pilot training programme with Sky4U ATO

Ryanair has announced a major new training partnership with ATO SKY4u to deliver a Ryanair Airline Pilot Standard (APS MCC) programme in Berlin and Vienna. The partnership will ensure Ryanair continues to attract highly trained professional pilots to support its continued growth across Europe.

This new EASA approved enhanced MCC programme gives trainee pilots a structured path to achieve an exceptional training course and reach a standard where they are ready to join the Ryanair Boeing 737 Type Rating programme.

Pilots on the programme will be trained by SKY4u instructors, using Ryanair procedures as they take their first steps towards becoming Ryanair pilots and over the course of the next 4.5 years, up to 450 new pilots from across Europe will be recruited and trained by SKY4u, underlining its respected position in the pilot training market.

Rolls-Royce launches LifeKey enhancement to LessorCare, with Jackson Square Aviation and CDB Aviation as first customers

Rolls-Royce has launched LifeKey, an important new addition to its pioneering LessorCare service which sets new standards in aircraft lessor support. The first LifeKey customers are Jackson Square Aviation and CDB Aviation.

LifeKey is a central component of LessorCare, which was launched in January to offer a single, comprehensive agreement for all Trent engine types. LessorCare provides faster and easier access to lessor services, offers the incorporation of services today and for the future, and maximises possible return on investment. Rolls-Royce has signed LessorCare contracts with 11 customers, covering almost half of its leased widebody fleet.

Enhancing and replacing the industry-leading Operating lessor Engine Restoration Agreement (OPERA), LifeKey complements LessorCare by offering unique improvements in terms of greater visibility, accessibility, portability and liquidity.

GA Telesis

Air Lease Corporation takes delivery of its first U.S.-manufactured A321 aircraft

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has taken delivery of its first U.S.-produced A321. The aircraft, delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, will be leased to Denver-based Frontier Airlines and features Xavier the Mountain Goat on its vertical tail and Sharklets.

The aircraft is also the first U.S.-made A321ceo to enter Frontier’s fleet. The airline has previously taken direct delivery of six A320neos from Airbus’s Mobile production facility.

ALC is the eighth U.S.-based customer to receive aircraft from Airbus’ Alabama-based A320 Family production facility.

Three HEICO subsidiaries supply mission-critical parts for NASA's InSight and MarCO Cube satellites

HEICO Corporation has reported that its Sierra Microwave Technology and 3D-Plus subsidiaries supplied mission-critical equipment for NASA's landing vehicle named InSight, which launched in May 2018 alongside two, twin cube satellites, called Mars Cube One. With assistance from the twin MarCO CubeSats, InSight landed on Mars at approximately 3pm Eastern Standard Time on November 30.

Georgetown, TX-based Sierra Microwave supplied medium power isolators on board InSight's X Band Transmitter. Blacksburg, VA-based VPT provided hybrid DC-to-DC converters to assist with InSight's interior exploration efforts. Buc, France-based 3D-Plus provided data memory modules on board InSight and the twin MarCO CubeSats. The memory modules on board InSight will store key pieces of information procured during the mission and the parts on board the MarCO CubeSats will facilitate communications between the landing vehicle and Earth.

Sierra Microwave, VPT and 3D-Plus have been critical suppliers for many high-profile space missions in the past, such as: ICESat-2, Parker Solar Probe, Juno, New Horizons, Dawn and Orion.

InSight, which is the acronym for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is intended to perform a thorough study of Mars' interior surface. This study will allow NASA scientists to understand the formation and evolution of the terrestrial planet.

Separately, the MarCO CubeSats, which are about the size of a briefcase, are a pioneering innovation in spacecraft. While the satellites' main goal is to provide communications assistance between InSight and Earth, the small satellites withstood the winding, 300 million mile voyage between Earth and Mars. MarCO is allowing space exploration at a much reduced cost, which is widely believed to deliver the value of 10 launches in one mission.


Mitsui Bussan Aerospace of Japan signs four-helicopter contract

Leonardo and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, the official distributor in Japan for the AW169, AW139 and AW189 helicopter models, have signed a contract for four additional aircraft during an official ceremony held at the Japan Aerospace 2018 exhibition.

This contract further strengthens the partnership between Leonardo and Mitsui, and is a key factor in the continued growth of Leonardo’s fleet in the country where the AW139 is the best-seller in its segment.

Last March, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace and Leonardo renewed their Distributorship Agreement for three years. The partners also renewed a Basic Ordering Agreement to increase spare parts stock, further strengthening customer support services.

WestJet appoints new Chief Commercial Officer

WestJet has appointed Arved von zur Muehlen to the position of Chief Commercial Officer. Arved joins WestJet on January 2, 2019, subject to Canadian Immigration approval.

Reporting to President and CEO, Ed Sims, Arved will lead WestJet's commercial team with responsibility for all aspects of the commercial function including sales, marketing, product, network planning, revenue management, corporate development, airline partnerships and WestJet Vacations.

Arved brings more than 20 years of commercial aviation experience to WestJet and will be joining the airline from Malaysia Airlines, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for the sales, revenue management, network planning, marketing and branding, product development, digital and customer experience.

Fiji Airways takes delivery of first 737 MAX airplane

On November 30, Boeing has delivered the first 737 MAX for Fiji Airways, which plans to use the fuel-efficient, longer-range version of the popular 737 jet to expand and modernize its single-aisle fleet.

Fiji Airways plans to take delivery of five MAX 8 airplanes, which will build on the success of its fleet of Next-Generations 737s. The MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements to improve performance and reduce operating costs.

In addition to modernizing its fleet, Fiji Airways will use Boeing Global Services to enhance its operations. These services include Airplane Health Management, which generates real-time, predictive service alerts, and Software Distribution Tools, which empowers airlines to securely manage digital ground-based data and efficiently manage software parts.

Beach Aviation Group

Honeywell to move global headquarters to Charlotte

Honeywell has released that it will relocate its global corporate headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina, a business- and family-friendly city close to several of Honeywell's businesses in the Southeast United States. Honeywell also announced it will relocate the headquarters of its Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) business group from Fort Mill, South Carolina, to Charlotte. The final decision is subject to the recently passed North Carolina Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) legislation becoming law and the final award of state and local incentives, which the company expects to be completed early next week.

As part of the move, about 150 to 200 New Jersey-based senior management positions and about 100 South Carolina-based positions will relocate to Charlotte between now and September 2019. The company envisions gradually adding about 500 Honeywell corporate and SPS positions to the Charlotte location over the next five years, bringing total employment there to about 750 by the end of 2024. Any corporate roles that will be added in Charlotte will come from multiple locations, not just New Jersey.

Donaldson welcomes Rotorcraft Account Executive Vince Testa to Aerospace & Defense team

Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a division of Donaldson Company, has hired Vince Testa as Senior Account Executive for Rotorcraft. Testa will be responsible for growing domestic and international rotorcraft OEM sales for Donaldson Aerospace & Defense.

“Vince brings a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said Lars Hesbjerg, Sales Director, Aerospace & Defense. “His understanding of his customers’ needs, business acumen and technical aptitude for promoting sales and profitability within the aerospace market will help Donaldson grow and strengthen relationships with leading helicopter OEMs, further solidifying Donaldson’s position in the rotorcraft market.”

AAR awarded US$51 million aircraft maintenance and logistics support services contract

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) has awarded AAR, the global aviation services provider, a five-year contract to perform full maintenance and logistical support services for its Boeing 737 series aircraft owned and operated by the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) in Oklahoma City, Okla. The agreement is valued at US$51 million.

AAR will provide labor, supplies, tools, materials and equipment in support of the large aircraft at the USMS facility located at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. This effort will be supported by AAR’s Oklahoma City repair station. Additionally, the contract includes full maintenance and logistics support services for another Boeing 737 series aircraft located at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev.

AAR has been supporting the government agency as either a prime or a subcontractor performing aircraft maintenance, FBO services, supply chain and depot services for more than three decades.


Oriens Aviation moves into flight training

Oriens Aviation, the exclusive UK Pilatus Service Centre and sales distributor of the PC-12, is widening its expertise at its London Biggin Hill facilities to start offering EASA Pilatus PC-12 SET class rating pilot training from January 2019.

In a newly-ratified partnership with Jonathan Shooter’s Oysterair, who are a specialist Approved Training Organisation in high performance aeroplane training, trainees will cover EASA and FAA certified class rating courses – ground and flight instruction - at Oriens’ HQ.

The EASA PC-12 class rating course caters for a wide range of experience, from the PPL (A) holder with instrument rating and a minimum 200 flying hours’ experience with 70 hours Pilot in Command, to the most experienced pilots.

The move into flight training comes one year after Oriens launched Oriens Maintenance, acquiring the Avalon Aero facility at London Biggin Hill. The business is steadily growing and the business will be handling 20 PC-12s from next year, in addition to other business turboprops and Cessna Citation types.


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