GOL, Grupo Comporte, and Avolon partner for 250 eVTOL purchase

©Avolon

Gol, Brazil’s largest airline and Grupo Comparte, the country’s leading transport operator, have teamed up with Avolon, the aircraft leasing and lease management specialist, to create an electric vertical and take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle ride-sharing platform in Brazil. The three companies will jointly collaborate to identify and target local partners, infrastructure, and certification requirements across a range of commercial models, launching one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses. As part of the joint venture, GOL and Grupo Comporte have agreed to either lease or purchase 250 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon. Manufactured by Vertical Aerospace, the VA-X4 Read more

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U.S. to lift travel ban for vaccinated passengers from Europe and the U.K.

New York JFK Airport ©AirTeamImages

The White House has announced that from early November this year, the travel ban to the U.S put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will now be lifted for a number of countries provided passengers have proof of full vaccination before boarding a flight and a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure. They will not, however, be required to quarantine upon arrival. These will include the 27 Schengen countries which make up the EU, the U.K., Ireland, and Switzerland, together with China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and Brazil. Currently, only U.S. citizens, their immediate families, Read more

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Potential Europe-Asia trade war looms over unused airport slots

As regional air traffic in the West begins to increase significantly after the ravages of the pandemic on commercial airlines, the EU looks set to instigate tougher rules regarding the use, or lack of use, of existing airport slots. During the worst of the pandemic, ‘use it or lose it’ rules in relation to airport slots held by carriers were relaxed. However, with the EU announcing back in July the intention to force airlines to use a minimum of 50% of their slots or lose them to competing carriers, which will come into effect in six weeks’ time, Asian carriers, Read more

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SpaceX trumps Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin as all-civilian crew orbit Earth

Falcon 9 ©SpaceX

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has successfully sent the first-ever all-civilian crew into orbit onboard the Crew Dragon Capsule which blasted off from Florida at 8.30 p.m. local time on Wednesday atop a SpaceX two-stage Falcon 9 rocket ship. The flight, estimated to cost US$200 million for the astronauts, will last three days while the capsule orbits the Earth at an altitude of 363 miles (585km), which is appreciably higher than the Hubble Telescope or the International Space Station. The capsule will orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes, travelling at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour (27,360 kph) or approximately Read more

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China’s first COMAC C919 enters final assembly

C919 aircraft from COMAC ©AirTeamImages

China’s aviation regulators have confirmed that the country’s first narrow-body jet, the COMAC C919 which is scheduled for delivery to launch customer China Eastern Airlines by the year’s end is now entering final assembly. The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) hopes to obtain type certification for the jet by the end of 2021. According to Reuters news agency, The C919 program’s certification board met in Shanghai on September 10 and reviewed COMAC reports on batch production of the jet. The board also approved proposals to adjust the current plans for obtaining the aircraft’s production certificate, which is required for Read more

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An optimistic Boeing raises jet demand forecast based on recovery from COVID-19

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Boeing Co, the North American planemaker has amended its long-term forecast for jet demand as it prepares for a major growth in both travel demand and also military services. This forecast comes despite the fact that industrial delays and ongoing problems with the 737MAX persist. Boeing forecast 43,610 commercial jet deliveries over the next 20 years, worth US$7.2 trillion, an increase of 500 units from the 43,110 projected a year ago. On a shorter 10-year view, which is more sensitive to the severe fallout on airlines from the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing sees 19,330 deliveries, up from last year’s forecast of Read more

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Australian regulator bans Qantas and JAL from coordinating flights and fares

Japan Airlines ©AirTeamImages

Australia’s competition regulator has denied Qantas and Japan Airlines (JAL) from coordinating flights between Australia and Japan over concerns about restricting competition, fearing that the public would not benefit from the joint agreement. “Preserving competition between airlines is the key to the long-term recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors, once international travel restrictions are eased,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. The agreement, which would have enabled both Qantas and JAL to coordinate fares and schedules, would make it especially difficult for any other airline to compete on routes between the two Read more

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Italy’s new ITA clear to take off without Alitalia baggage

Alitalia ©AirTeamImages

Rising from the ashes of the now defunct Italian flag-carrying airline Alitalia, Italia Transporto Aero (ITA) has been given the all-clear by EU competition regulators to launch as a new Italian carrier but without having to repay some €900 million in illegal state loans granted to Alitalia. ITA will begin operations with approximately half of Alitalia’s fleet of aircraft, but it is being restricted in what parts of the failed Italian carrier it can take over in relation to handling and maintenance businesses. Alitalia is not expected to fully repay the government loans owing to a lack of assets. The Read more

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easyJet rejects Wizz Air bid while Hungarian carrier discusses 100-plane deal with Airbus

©easyJet

easyJet has announced that it has rejected a bid from Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air. Instead, Europe’s second-largest low-cost carrier behind Ryanair has opted to raise a further US$1.7 billion from shareholders as it looks to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic on the aviation industry. Commenting on the potential all-share deal, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren told reporters that the approach was “highly conditional in its nature which made it very uncertain in terms of the deliverability,” though no specific details were provided. easyJet has already raised US$7.65 billion through a combination of shareholders and debt markets together Read more

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U.S. court rules Boeing board to face shareholder lawsuit over two fatal 737 MAX crashes

©Boeing 737 MAX

A Delaware, U.S. judge has ruled that certain shareholder claims against Boeing can be pursued, while dismissing others, in relation to the two 737 MAX crashes which killed 346 passengers and crew. In the ruling in the Court of Chancery, Vice Chancellor Morgan Zurn said that the first of the two crashes was a “red flag” concerning the MCAS safety system “that the board should have heeded but instead ignored.” Commenting on the court’s decision, Boeing said it was: “disappointed in the court’s decision to allow the plaintiffs’ case to proceed past this preliminary stage of litigation. We will review Read more

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