Friday, May 10th, 2019

Drone sighting at Frankfurt Airport sees massive disruption and 143 flights cancelled

Early this Thursday morning, the sighting of a drone at Germany’s Frankfurt airport resulted in all take-offs and landings being suspended for approximately one hour as the incident was investigated. At just after 8.15 a.m. local time the all-clear was given, but not before 143 take-offs and landings were canceled. In addition, 48 aircraft which were airborne and due to land at Frankfurt were diverted to other airports.

This incident follows on from a similar one in March where 60 scheduled flights were cancelled as runways were closed down for half an hour after a drone sighting. The number of drones being sighted is increasing. Last year, for example, German Air Traffic Control (DFL) registered 125 disruptions in the area around airports. The greatest number of disruptions (31) was at Frankfurt Airport, followed by Berlin-Tegel (17), Munich (14) and Hamburg (12). In 2017, the total number of reported sightings at German airports was 88 cases, while in 2016 there were 64 such incidents.

In Germany, Drone flights over runways at airports are prohibited. Drones are also not allowed to be flown over crowds, hospitals, prisons, government buildings, federal highways and railways, while drone operators must also keep their device within a clear line of sight during the flight and must not fly them higher than 100 meters.

In December last year, Christmas holiday traffic was severely disrupted at London’s Gatwick Airport after a series of drone sightings which saw numerous flights cancelled or postponed between December 19 and 21. In total over 1,000 flights and over 140,000 passengers were immediately affected, though delays to subsequent flights also ensued. Both London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports now deploy military-grade anti-drone technology to avoid similar incidents from occurring.


APOC Aviation buys Boeing 737–700 airframes from Infinity Transportation

Innovative aircraft and engines leasing, trading and part-out specialist APOC Aviation has purchased two Boeing 737–700 airframes from previous owners Infinity Transportation. MSN34303 and MSN20752 were previously in BBJ configuration operated by PrivateAir SA – as such, both aircraft accumulated low flight cycles compared to commercial usage.

APOC will co-ordinate an efficient remote teardown programme at two separate locations in
Germany. All parts will be shipped back to APOC’s warehouse, close to Schiphol, in The Netherlands for evaluation and strategically selected for repair or overhaul.

Capital for this acquisition was raised through APOC’s recent crowdfunding campaign and Jasper van den Boogaard, Director of Acquisition & Trading at APOC Aviation, says that the Company’s advanced approach to a broad spectrum of investor initiatives is generating many opportunities to expand the scope of the business.

It is APOC Aviation’s development strategy to concentrate solely on the most liquid aircraft types, operated by the largest number of operators and maintained by the most MROs. The continued worldwide operation of the two most favoured aircraft types is indicative of a long-term demand for the parts, not only in today’s market, but also when more B737-800s and A321s are converted to

Bombardier MRO

Air Niugini selects StandardAero for PW123 Pay-Per-Hour support

Air Niugini, the national airline of Papua New Guinea, has re-selected StandardAero to provide Pratt
& Whitney Canada PW123 engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in support of the Dash 8 regional turboprops operated by its subsidiary Link PNG. This new pay-per-hour engine maintenance agreement succeeds a previous contract between the two companies, extending
StandardAero’s partnership with Air Niugini and Link PNG.

Air Niugini operates a large domestic and international network to Asia, Australia and the Pacific region. Since its establishment in 1973, the airline now operates a fleet of twenty jet airliners and six regional turboprops, carrying over 1.3 million passengers each year.

Robinson delivers two more Cadets to University of North Dakota

Robinson Helicopter Company has delivered two R44 Cadets to the University of North Dakota (UND). The bright green and yellow helicopters are the latest additions to the University’s growing fleet of Cadets.

As with the two previously acquired Cadets, purchased in 2017 and 2018, the new Cadets will be used for training at UND’s helicopter division located at the Grand Forks, North Dakota campus. The acquisition attests to UND’s commitment to transitioning to an all R44 helicopter training fleet.

In 2018, thirty students in the helicopter division received ratings, ranging from private to CFI, and
logged more than 1200 hours in Cadets.


Panasonic Avionics signs IFE and connectivity deal with TAP Air Portugal

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and TAP Air Portugal have signed an agreement to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new fleet of 14 A321neo LR aircraft.

Panasonic’s X Series inflight entertainment system, along with a suite of connectivity services, are being line-fit installed on the new aircraft.

TAP Air Portugal passengers will be able to enjoy a personalized and immersive home theatre entertainment experience with HD screens and surround sound audio and video entertainment available on demand. The system also comes equipped with in-seat power USB charging facilities at every seat.

All the new aircraft are being fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service, with a host of next generation connectivity benefits including fast internet, all powered by its new satellite modem which offers bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

The news follows the recent agreement between TAP Air Portugal and Panasonic to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new fleet of A330-900neo aircraft. The carrier is the first airline to operate Airbus’ next generation A330-900neo, and will operate 21 of the aircraft.

Air Hong Kong and HAECO ITM renew long-term contract

HAECO ITM, a member of the HAECO Group, has renewed its long-term contract with Air Hong Kong to provide inventory technical management support for the airline’s Airbus A300-600 freighter fleet.

The contract extension covers component MRO, repair management, component pooling, component engineering, consumable and expendable parts support services, and AOG support. The extension will ensure HAECO ITM’s customised and cost-effective solutions continue to bolster AHK’s strong fleet performance. AHK currently has a fleet of 10 Airbus A300-600F aircraft for its regional routes.


Viva Air announces equity investment by Cartesian Capital Group

Viva Air Group has released that it archived an important milestone in its further growth and expansion plans through an equity investment of US$ 50 million from Cartesian Capital Group into Viva Air. This innovative financing arrangement will support Viva’s pending deliveries of Airbus A320 aircraft and the Group’s continued growth in Colombia, Peru and beyond.

Cartesian Capital Group, a global private equity firm, has sponsored the development of dozens of transnational companies, including airlines such as Gol in Brazil and Flybondi in Argentina. Irelandia Aviation will remain majority shareholder after the investment.

Viva Air is based in Colombia and Peru and operates national and international flights in more
than 21 destinations. In 2019 the airline will carry 7.5 million passengers. Viva Air has a strong expansion plan supported by the order of 50 new aircraft Airbus A320 CEO and NEO.

Magnetic MRO launches Interior Inspector application

Magnetic MRO, a global provider of total technical care for aircraft operators and lessors, has launched Interior Inspector - a new service which connects airline workers and maintenance teams in logging damages found in the passenger cabin of a commercial airliner.

The company is constantly working on finding new ways to address challenges that impede the industry’s growth and development. One of such has been logging, handing over and saving the data of damages which occur in aircraft interiors.

The Interior Inspector is an application that allows either the cabin crew or dedicated mechanics to log whichever kind of damages or findings in the passenger cabin of commercial airliner. The application is intended to work on smartphones, tablets and regular PCs.

According to Kruuv, the main idea was to keep the system simple, yet flexible, while getting to know the customer’s requirements. “Our findings so far are mostly problems that could easily be solved during over-night stays, such as pen-stripes, worn placards, small stains or broken recliners.”

As the next step, Magnetic MRO will be introducing the application to the company’s customers as a service to start collecting data on how Interior Inspector is used in commercial airlines. The collected data will help the developers to improve the application even further.


ATSG reports strong first quarter 2019 results

Air Transport Services Group, a leading provider of medium wide-body aircraft leasing, contracted air transportation and related services, has reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019. Results as compared with the first quarter of 2018 include:

Customer revenues were US$348.2 million, up US$145.1 million, or 71%.
Omni Air International, acquired in November 2018, contributed US$135.8 million to external ATSG revenues, reflected in revenues of the ACMI Services segment.

GAAP Earnings from Continuing Operations were US$22.6 million, US$7.0 million higher than the prior period.

Adjusted Earnings from Continuing Operations (non-GAAP) increased 26% to US$26.0 million.

Adjusted EBITDA from Continuing Operations (non-GAAP) were US$113.8 million, up US$41.9 million, or 58%. Capital spending was US$91.9 million, up 16%. Capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2019 included US$70.5 million for the purchase of four Boeing 767 aircraft and for freighter modification costs.


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Aviation Festival Americas 2019
May 13 - 15, 2019 – JW Marriott Marquis, Miami, FL, USA

ap&m Europe 2019 - The Global MRO Procurement Expo
June 4 - 6, 2019 – Maritim Hotel Frankfurt and Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

Managing Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset & Maintenance Reserves Seminar Training Seminar
June 11 - 12, 2019 – Novotel Barcelona City Hotel, Barcelona, Spain

Paris Air Show 2019
June 17 - 23, 2019 – Le Bourget, Paris, France