Tuesday, March 19th, 2019


Alitalia rescue in jeopardy as easyJet pulls out of negotiations

Having previously been involved in discussions with Italian state rail operator Ferrovie dello Stata, and U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines with a view to creating a consortium ‘rebranding’ of the stricken flag-carrying Italian airline, easyJet announced Monday, March 18, that it is no longer involved in any of the negotiations. Ferrovie dello Strato was conducting negotiations with regard to Alitalia’s affairs.

"Following discussions with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Delta Air Lines about forming a consortium to explore options for the future operations of Alitalia, easyJet has taken the decision to withdraw from the process,” said the airline, adding that it remained committed to operations in Italy from its bases in Milan, Naples and Venice.

Alitalia instigated bankruptcy proceedings after employees voted against cost-cutting measures, after which the Italian government put the airline up for sale. The carrier’s problems were further exacerbated when 49 percent stakeholder Etihad Airways withdrew its investment.

The carrier has continued to operate only through the fact the Italian government keeps
extending the deadline to pay back a €900 million (US$1.2 billion) loan, currently extended to June 2019. However, the Italian airline could face a renewed and intensified investigation by the European Commission, who believe the magnitude of Alitalia’s never-ending money-pit, combined with deadline extensions, may constitute illegal state aid.


AAR Mobility Systems receives US$10.8 million order to produce 463L cargo pallets

AAR has been awarded a US$10.8 million order from the U.S. Air Force for the production of 463L cargo pallets. The cargo pallets will be manufactured at AAR’s Mobility Systems business unit in Cadillac, Michigan.

The 463L USAF design uses a lightweight balsa wood core that continues to provide unparalleled strength-to-weight performance and reliability. The pallets are designed to be loaded and off-loaded on a variety of military and commercial aircraft.

OneWeb secures US$1.25 billion in new funding after successful launch

OneWeb, a global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone, everywhere, has secured its largest fundraising round to date with the successful raise of US$1.25 billion in new capital. This brings the total funds raised to US$3.4 billion. This round was led by SoftBank Group Corp., Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda.

The new funds, following the successful first launch of OneWeb’s satellites, enable the company to accelerate the development of the first truly global communications network by 2021. OneWeb’s system will deliver high speed, low latency, seamless broadband access, everywhere on Earth.

OneWeb’s satellites, produced through its joint venture with Airbus doing business as “OneWeb Satellites”, will ramp-up production this spring at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. Following the company’s successful launch of satellites on February 27th,
OneWeb will embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history. Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. After this first phase, OneWeb will add more satellites to its
constellation to meet growing demands.

AJW Group

TUI Group sells French scheduled carrier Corsair

TUI Group has sold a majority stake in its French airline Corsair to German investor INTRO Aviation. INTRO will acquire a 53% stake in Corsair as a first step. Under the agreement, TUI Group will initially retain a minority stake of 27%, while Corsair’s Employee Benefit Trust will retain a 20% stake. The financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The French long-haul scheduled carrier is unable to deliver any synergy effects for TUI Group, TUI tour operators and cruise companies, and the Group’s five European charter airlines. The sale will reduce TUI’s fleet by seven long-haul aircraft: three 747-400s as well as two A330-200s and A330-300s each.

Breaking ground on new US$1.5 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport

Officials at theKansas City International Airport (MCI), with partner Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, will break ground on a new US$1.5 billion single terminal on March 25. The project will transform and modernize the current three-terminal layout, which has remained largely unchanged since it opened in 1972, despite nearly tripling its passenger traffic. It is the largest infrastructure project in Kansas City's history.

The new terminal, designed by the Chicago, Ill.-based Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM), will feature 1 million square feet of space and 39 gates, the construction of which is projected to create 5,000 jobs. Upon opening in 2023, it will reflect the Kansas City region's identity as a business, visitor and lifestyle destination in the center of the U.S.

Additional project highlights include close-in parking; a two-level curbside pickup and drop-off area; expanded flight options and waiting areas at each gate to accommodate an increased number of passengers and larger aircraft; and a revamped, first-rate travel experience with more post-security amenities.

SR Technics

British Airways unveils new Business Class 'Club Suite'

British Airways has unveiled its new business class seat - 'Club Suite' - and confirmed it will arrive on the first of its A350 aircraft in July.

The airline's sophisticated and newly-branded 'Club Suite' offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Boasting 40% more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, WiFi, enviable 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming, and PC / USB power; every aspect of British Airways' Club Suite has been designed for today's customer.

The A350 aircraft itself will also promote a feeling of well-being, space and calm due to its reduced noise levels, high ceilings and ambient lighting which is intended to compliment the time of day and outside light.

AAR awarded new additional Worldwide Aviation Support Services site

AAR has received notification from the Department of State awarding the company a new site under the Worldwide Aviation Support Services (WASS) program. Under the task order, the new site in Costa Rica will provide host nation aviation training.

“The WASS program continues to perform very well, and we are excited to expand our support of the Department of State with this new site,” said John Holmes, AAR President & Chief Executive Officer. “We remain focused on delivering world-class support to the WASS program and look forward to providing an exceptional service as the scope of this important program continues to grow.”

AAR was originally awarded the single award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract in September of 2016.


Nick Weston appointed as new Chairman of BACA, The Air Charter Association

At the 467th meeting of The Association on March 14, 2019, Nick Weston, CEO of Weston Aviation, was appointed as Chairman of BACA – The Air Charter Association. Weston succeeds Richard Mumford who has held the role since 2016, and formally began his new position immediately.

At the Spring lunch on April 3, the formal handover will take place in front of the assembled association members and guests.


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March 19 - 21, 2019 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

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