Monday, December 17th, 2018



U.S. - China trade war doesn’t deter Boeing from opening first 737 plant in China

Despite a 90-day relaxation in which it is hoped the U.S. and China will be able to negotiate a mutually agreeable trade deal, Bowing has opened its first 737 completion plant in Zhoushan, the result of a joint venture between the American plane giant and the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC). The opening ceremony also included the delivery of the first 737 completed at the facility to state carrier Air China.

Boeing invested US$33 million in 2017 in the acquisition of a majority stake in the joint venture, a facility which installs interiors and paint liveries. It is understood the target for deliveries from the Zhoushan plant will be 100 jets per year, which will take considerable pressure off Boeing’s Seattle-area facility which is struggling with production delays. Currently, one in every four jets sold by Boeing is to a Chinese operator and the company sees this investment in the Zhoushan facility as giving the company a competitive edge over its long-standing rival, Airbus. Boeing has forecast demand in China for new airplanes over the next 20 years will reach 7,700 units at an estimated value of US$1.2 trillion.

Discussing trade tensions between the two major economies, according to Reuters, John Bruns, President of Boeing China, told reporters on a conference call earlier on Saturday: “Am I nervous about the situation? Yeah, of course. It’s a challenging environment,” adding, “We have to keep our eye on the long game in China. Long term, I’m optimistic we will work our way through this.” Though the trade problem has negatively impacted businesses such as U.S. soy bean farmers and Chinese manufacturers, its impact on Boeing is unclear. U.S.-made aircraft have thus far escaped Beijing’s tariffs.


DAE sells portfolio of 18 mid-life aircraft

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has entered into a definitive sale agreement to sell a portfolio of 18 mid-life aircraft to institutional investors. The 18 aircraft in this portfolio are on lease to 15 airlines in 13 countries and have a weighted average age of approximately 9 years with a weighted average remaining lease term of 4.5 years.

The portfolio is made up of 69% current generation narrow body aircraft, 24% widebody aircraft, and 7% ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft. DAE will act as the portfolio servicer.

Mr. Firoz Tarapore, Chief Executive Officer of DAE said: “We continue to build our managed aircraft portfolio. This transaction takes us one step closer to our stated goal of having US$5 billion of managed aircraft assets. Investors are increasingly recognizing the value of DAE’s Aircraft Investor Services (AIS) platform and entrusting the management of their aircraft assets to us. So far, we have continued to outperform our investors’ expectations in all the portfolios we manage.”

Hungary orders 16 H225M multi-role helicopters

The Hungarian Ministry of Defence has ordered 16 H225M multi-purpose helicopters equipped with the HForce weapon management system. Together with the helicopters, Airbus will also provide an extensive training and support package to ensure the highest level of operational availability.

The H225Ms selected by Hungary will be equipped with state-of-the-art communication capabilities and will be used for transport, combat search and rescue, and special operations missions. Its state-of-the art avionics and four axis autopilot, exceptional range and payload capacities, combined with a large cabin designed to carry up to 28 troops and powerful air-to-ground and air-to-surface armament as well as electronic warfare systems allow the H225M to carry out the most demanding missions. The helicopter has an all-weather capability supported by its night vision goggle compatibility.

The H225M is currently in service across the globe with 88 helicopters having been delivered so far. It recently surpassed the 100,000 flight hour milestone, following its first delivery to the French Air Force in 2006. Since then the 11-metric-tonne H225M has proven its reliability and durability in multiple combat environments and crisis areas.

GA Telesis

Airbus appoints Philippe Mhun Chief Programmes and Services Officer

Airbus has appointed Philippe Mhun as Chief Programmes and Services Officer for Airbus Commercial Aircraft, effective January 1, 2019. Mhun, currently Head of Customer Services at Airbus, will succeed EVP Head of Programmes Didier Evrard, who retires around the turn of the year after 41 years associated with Airbus, 20 of those in top management positions.

Philippe Mhun will report to Guillaume Faury, who is due to succeed Tom Enders as Airbus CEO following the Airbus Annual General Meeting on April 10, 2019. Mhun will also become a Member of the Airbus Executive Committee.

Wizz Air to further expand Varna base

Wizz Air has announced further capacity expansion to its Varna network, allocating an additional Airbus A320 aircraft, adding 6 new routes and updating the frequencies of some of the airline’s existing routes.

The new Airbus A320 will be joining Wizz Air's Varna fleet in July 2019 and will create 35 additional direct local jobs with the airline. With the arrival of the new aircraft in Varna Wizz Air's Bulgarian fleet will grow to a total of 9 aircraft, with 2 based in Varna and 7 in Sofia. The fleet growth will increase Wizz Air's capacity in Bulgaria further by 14% year on year, manifesting in both new routes and frequency updates.

Starting in July 2019, the newest Wizz Air routes will connect Varna with three exciting German cities. The beautiful port town of Hamburg, Cologne the gothic gem and the remarkable cultural hub Berlin are all among the airline’s newest direct routes from Varna. The romantic vibes of Paris, the exciting Mersey-side in Liverpool and the historical harbors and the colorful creativity in Copenhagen are now available for passengers travelling from Varna at Wizz Air’s genuinely low fares.

Aero Controls

Alaska Air Group reports November 2018 operational results

Alaska Air Group has reported November operational results on a consolidated basis, for its mainline operations operated by subsidiary Alaska Airlines and for its regional flying operated by subsidiary Horizon Air and third-party regional carriers SkyWest Airlines and Peninsula Airlines.

On a combined basis for all operations, Air Group reported a 1.0% increase in traffic on a 1.2% increase in capacity compared to November 2017. Load factor decreased 0.1 point to 84.1% compared to the previous year.

Air Astana takes delivery of first Embraer E190-E2

Air Astana has taken delivery of its first Embraer E190-E2 at a ceremony held in the carrier's Aviation Technical Center hangar at Astana airport. The aircraft is the first of five ordered under a leasing agreement signed with AerCap in 2017, with the remaining four aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2019. The aircraft is also the first E2 to be delivered to an airline in the CIS.

The new generation Embraer E190-E2 aircraft will replace older Embraer E190s in the fleet, which have operated with Air Astana since 2011. All aircraft delivered directly from the manufacturer’s factory in Brazil.

The new aircraft features a special Snow Leopard livery, which is intended to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by this large wild cat, which is a native to the mountain ranges of southern Kazakhstan.


Lusaka becomes 55th destination in Africa for Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines has begun flying to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, making it the airline’s 55th destination in Africa. The Lusaka flights will operate twice per week and be linked to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The addition of Lusaka means Turkish Airlines now reaches 124 countries and 306 destinations worldwide.

Lusaka, the capital and the biggest city of Zambia, is located in the southern part of the country and is the ideal landing spot to visit one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Victoria Falls, is the most important tourism destination in the country in terms of nature and natural life tourism.

OASES from Commsoft chosen by WZL2 in Poland

Polish MRO organisation, WZL2 (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 2 S.A.), has chosen OASES, Commsoft’s MRO IT system, to support its developing commercial operations.

With more than 70 years’ experience of repairing, modernising and servicing complex fighter-bomber and fighter aircraft for the armed forces of the Republic of Poland, WZL2 is now approaching civil aviation customers with Bombardier Q400, ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprop airliners, Embraer E-Jet airliners and ultimately Boeing 737NG aircraft.

OASES, with its technical sophistication allied to an intuitive user interface, is structured in a modular format to provide maximum flexibility and scalability. WZL2 has selected the Core, Airworthiness, Planning, Materials, Production, Commercial and Warranty modules which will be implemented initially through Commsoft’s Private Cloud service.

TP Aerospace

West Star Aviation receives STC for MD93 Series Digital Clock/USB Charger for Falcon 50 aircraft

West Star Aviation have received an FAA STC for the installation of Mid-Continent MD93 series digital clock/USB charger in Falcon 50 Aircraft. This unique 2-in-1 solution saves panel space by combining a multi-function digital clock with dual USB charging ports.

"The MD93 delivers accurate time keeping functions as well as USB charging ports for both standard and high-power devices that are common today," said Marty Rhine, Vice President of Sales, West Star Aviation. "While seemingly simple, these units are functional, reliable and provide true value and utility to the operator. So much so, we anticipate moving into DER approvals for other aircraft soon," Rhine added.

The unit is a compact 2-inch size that fits standard panel cutout and provides both 12 and 24-hour formats of Local Time, Universal Time, Flight Timer, Countdown and Stopwatch functions on the clock. Each USB port provides 2.1 amps for charging/powering use.

German Federal Police strengthens Super Puma fleet with delivery of three H215s

The German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) has taken delivery of three heavy H215 helicopters, with a fourth to follow in June 2019.

These twin-engine multi-role Super Pumas will enter operation at the beginning of 2020 supporting the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME), which oversees maritime missions off of Germany’s coast.

These aircraft will complement the German Federal Police’s existing fleet of Airbus helicopters, which includes 42 H135 family helicopters, 19 Super Pumas (AS332 L1s), 19 H155s and 8 H120s.

The German Federal Police flies its aircraft 365 days a year while performing a wide range of missions such as border protection, railway network control, maritime protection and disaster response, VIP transport and emergency medical services, among others.


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