United Airlines selects Skyborne as partner flight school for Aviate program

By General News

Skyborne Airline Academy Vero Beach has partnered with United Airlines’ Aviate programme to offer Skyborne trainee pilots a route to the flight deck at United Airlines.

The mentored career pathway takes trainees with zero or little flying experience through an FAA Part 141 programme to become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), before eventually joining United as a First Officer.

As part of the partnership, trainee pilots accepted into Aviate will receive access to pilot mentors and a conditional job offer for a First Officer position at United Airlines – all while training at Skyborne’s world-renowned facility in Vero Beach, Florida.

Lee Woodward, Chief Executive Officer, Skyborne, said: “The United Airlines Aviate programme in partnership with Skyborne will immerse trainees in airline technique, custom and practice, equipping graduates with the skills to be truly flight deck ready.

“In the US, air passenger numbers are now within 5% of 2019 levels and in order to meet this demand for travel, the aviation industry needs focused initiatives like Aviate. United Airlines is leading the way in responding to the pilot shortage and we’re extremely proud this partnership will deliver the next generation of competent, professional and resilient airline pilots.”

In another US industry first, trainees in the programme will also be eligible for the Skyborne Guarantee – a form of money-back guarantee upon successful completion of the Skyborne selection process and Private Pilot Certificate (PPC) phase.

Captain Curtis Brunjes, Managing Director of Aviate & Pilot Strategy, United Airlines, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Skyborne Airline Academy and are confident they will be an invaluable asset to Aviate due to their innovative approach to the aviation market, prestigious reputation and rigorous training. We look forward to working with them and welcoming more pilots to the United family.”

Skyborne and Aviate will work together to admit the best applicants to the programme. To train at Skyborne, an applicant must first meet Skyborne’s criteria, then pass a pilot selection process that includes aptitude and psychometric assessments followed by an interview with Skyborne – all completed online to make the process more convenient for applicants.

After Skyborne cadets have completed the Private Certification phase of training, they may apply to United’s Aviate programme.

Skystream partners with OASES

By Featured

Skystream Airlines, an EU-based airline with its headquarters in Tallinn, Estonia, is to deploy OASES as its airworthiness and maintenance solution.

The company specialises in air cargo and operates a fleet of Saab 340 cargo aircraft. Skystream has opted for a number of OASES modules including CAMO, Line Maintenance, and Materials to ensure their aircraft are always airworthy to provide the best possible air cargo service.

The use of OASES will enable Skystream to future-proof its business growth while offering a unified, configurable platform for driving and monitoring the airline’s MRO operations with a focus on best practices and compliance procedures.

Implementing OASES brings many important advantages for Skystream including:

  • Airworthiness processes can be planned, executed, accelerated, logged, and automatically captured for compliance monitoring and reporting.
  • Line maintenance, with the integration of data, feeds from EFB, ETL, e-enabled aircraft, and electronic operations systems, enabling the control of short-term maintenance planning, aircraft defects, and the materials required to support rectification.
  • Material management with the improved cost-effectiveness of stock control and the assurance of availability when required.

Oliver Loorits, Airworthiness Manager, Skystream Airlines AS, said “We are very pleased to partner with OASES, one of the most dedicated and outstanding CAMO/MRO software companies in the aviation industry. With OASES’s advanced software and support from their professional services team, Skystream Airlines will have a real opportunity to achieve our goal of extensive growth in 2022 and beyond.” Paul Lynch, OASES’s Managing Director, Aviation, said: “We are excited to partner with Skystream on what we hope will be a long and successful journey with them. We’re confident the implementation of the OASES will help bring them major benefits through operational efficiencies, reduced maintenance, simplified processes and improved productivity. Being a cloud solution, OASES will seamlessly scale to meet Skystream’s ambitions.”

AirAsia Group is now Capital A

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AirAsia Group Berhad has announced a name change for the group holding company to become Capital A Berhad.

The name change reflects the group’s new core business strategy as an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses which have rapidly transformed the AirAsia brand into more than just an airline.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, said: “This is not just about unveiling a new logo – it’s a significant milestone that marks a new era for the group. Today’s announcement reinforces we are not just an airline any more.

“While the airline will always underpin the AirAsia brand, it has long been my firm intention, well before Covid hit, to leverage the strong data we have built up over 20 years and incorporate industry-leading new technologies to offer a broad range of products and services, over and above selling just airfares. The pandemic has allowed us to accelerate that strategy.

“Our brand has continuously evolved based on driving innovation and meeting ever-changing consumer demand. The strategy behind the change of name is to introduce a new corporate identity that better reflects the group’s core businesses today and its future undertakings, in tandem with our rapid transformation from an airline into a one-stop digital travel and lifestyle services group. We believe that the new company name will also further enhance the marketability of our products and boost the success of our group for the long haul.

“Essentially, Capital A is an investment company with a broad portfolio of businesses which all deliver the best value at the lowest cost, supported by strong data built up over two decades. We also have one of Asia’s leading brands to ride on, a strong people-first culture and an underlying promise of remaining committed to serving the underserved in all that we do.

“Just like what the airline has done from day one, all of our different lines of business will deliver the same strategy that is underscored by doing what we do best – making travel and everyday lifestyle services affordable, accessible and inclusive to all.

“We are now delivering more products and services under one umbrella than any other brand in ASEAN, and with access to over 700 million people in the region I foresee incredible growth opportunities for our brand across many different industries in all of our core markets.

“We have 16 products and services on our airasia super app, providing not only the best-value flight and travel deals but also everyday lifestyle needs, from food to retail and e-commerce to same-day delivery, ride-hailing, and much more. We are already one of the top three online travel agents in ASEAN and our super app is on track to become the leading lifestyle app in the region very soon.

“All of our portfolio businesses are well on the way to becoming industry leaders in their respective fields across Southeast Asia, including BigPay, our aircraft engineering division Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), and logistics venture Teleport.

“We already have over 50 million monthly unique visitors on our super app, which has been recognised as a tech unicorn in under two years. Our fintech business BigPay has been given a significant injection of US$100 million from South Korea conglomerate SK Group and overall we have raised over RM2.5 billion to date through our fundraising strategy. Following strong consumer and investor support for our transformation strategy, we now set our sights on further capital-raising initiatives for the airasia super app, Teleport and ADE which will be announced in due course.”

Fernandes added: “While Capital A will be the new group holding company name, one thing that isn’t changing is the AirAsia brand name for our airlines. It’s one of the strongest brands in Asia and provides a solid platform for all of our other products and services to leverage from each other.

“Even though the last two years have been the most difficult and disrupted years in the history of commercial aviation, I welcome the year ahead with much greater confidence. Domestic air travel has already started to rebound in our key markets.

“While there may be some delays for international flights to return to pre-covid levels due to the omicron variant, I believe this will be short-lived, as many global health experts are also predicting. Alongside accelerated vaccines and booster shots as well as the world gradually learning to live with covid, I am hopeful borders will reopen gradually throughout 2022 and we will see a return to normal capacity for our international services by the middle to third quarter of this year.

“Over the past two years we have spent the downturn in flying building a solid foundation for a viable and successful future, which is not solely reliant on airfares alone. Capital A signals an exciting new era for our airlines and all of our other portfolio businesses within the group as we embark on a significant new growth phase.

“Importantly, the best is yet to come. We have pivoted, we have transformed and we have a five-year plan in place which will see non-airline revenues contributing around 50 percent of overall group revenue by 2026. Once the airlines return to pre-covid levels in the near future all of our other lines of business will benefit significantly and will all soar to new heights in tandem with one another.”

By 2026 Capital A aims to achieve:

  • Group airlines connecting over 1 billion people in ASEAN.

  • The engineering division (ADE) becomes an industry leader for MRO services in Southeast Asia.

  • The airasia Super App to be the super app of choice in ASEAN.

  • 10 million monthly active users for BigPay.

  • 10% market share in Southeast Asia for Teleport, in the logistics and e-commerce industry.

  • Five million sign-ups for edutech arm AirAsia Academy.

  • Over 21 million monthly orders on airasia grocer.

The new holding company name, Capital A , is immediately effective following the successful registration of the name by the Companies Commission of Malaysia announced on January 3 and the subsequent formal approvals received yesterday.

The name change from AirAsia Group Berhad to Capital A Berhad will not have any effect on the company’s ongoing operations. The AirAsia stock name on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad will change with immediate effect to reflect the new company name.

SalamAir wins Oman’s most trusted brand award

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SalamAir, the Sultanate’s low-cost carrier, has won the 2021 edition of Oman’s Most Trusted Brand Awards in the Airlines (Budget) category.

Oman’s Most Trusted Brand Awards are a validation of the public trust in a brand and each year they are presented to the most trusted brands in the country by Apex Media, based on what the public perceives as the brands they trust the most.

The winners of the 2021 edition of Oman’s Most Trusted Brand Awards were feted at a ceremony held at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, on Tuesday evening.

The ceremony was held under the auspices of H E Dr Mohammed al Rumhy, Minister of Energy and Minerals. The event was also attended by their highnesses, excellencies, chairmen, managing directors, CEOs, and senior officials from 45 winning companies.

Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir, received Oman’s Most Trusted Brand Award from H E Dr Mohammed al Rumhy and Saleh Zakwani, executive chairman of Apex Media.

He said afterwards: “We are extremely happy to have won this award, being an Omani carrier taking Oman to the world and delivering the best value for money service to our loyal customers while maintaining the Simply Omani hospitality that has always been our ambition. Thus this award for us endorses the trust that our customers have put in us for the past five years.

“We are very fortunate to celebrate this award on the eve of celebrating five years of operations in Oman and we would like to thank all our customers for choosing us as their preferred travel partner and voting for us. We definitely look forward to welcoming everyone on board soon.”

FL Technics Engine Services awarded ISO certification

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FL Technics Engine Services has recently received ISO EN 9110:2018 approval, certifying teams’ operations to serve CFM family engines at full scale, including repair, replacement, installation, rectification and preservation services.

Provided at the FL Technics base maintenance and hub painting location, such services create a unique value for aviation operators and lessors to leverage benefits, with an opportunity to align business interests – whether it be a full-scale aircraft remarketing project or a partial asset management case.

The Lithuania-based quick-turn engine shop has proven its capabilities to deliver projects ranging from minor repairs to through-out inspections and overhaul work packs at a global level, both in terms of quality and capacity.

With support from FL Technics, including services of asset management, trading and logistics, the team is ready to tackle projects of any size.

Valerij Deveikis, CEO at FL Technics Engine Services, said: “Business development is based on resilience and ability to focus on prospects, despite the circumstances. That is the case demonstrated by our team at FL Technics Engine Services, who have proven excellence and expertise in aircraft engines’ maintenance during 2021 and has been awarded with ISO EN 9110:2018 certification. This is a solid proof of the capacity and capabilities we possess for future development in 2022 and beyond.”

FLYR Labs and 3Victors form technology partnership to enhance data-driven decisions

By Featured

FLYR Labs and 3Victors have formed a global technology partnership to provide airlines with even more ultra-relevant context-rich data sources to inform commercial decision-making.

The collaboration builds on FLYR’s commitment to providing intelligence that creates reliable and actionable demand and revenue forecasts for carriers while enabling automated optimal pricing decisions.

3Victors’ TDaaS (Travel Data analytics as a Service) enhances the machine-learning capabilities of FLYR’s Revenue Operating System with new, relevant data that responds to the dynamic operational aviation environment.

These industry-specific insights enable the most accurate forecasting and pricing outputs to allow airlines to spot and maximise revenue opportunities.

FLYR will use 3Victors’ integrated data to enhance its forecasts for capacity planning simulations and reactivity to competitor schedule changes. Additionally, FLYR’s Cirrus platform will have greater visibility into the success of the automated AI (artificial intelligence) pricing decisions across distribution channels.

The partnership will also further accelerate FLYR’s rapid 12-week deployment of the Cirrus Revenue Operating System for new airlines’ partners.

Chris Zando, CEO at 3Victors, said: “3Victors is not about just ingesting information. We take relevant data sets that understand the world that airlines operate in and use data science to isolate and curate real-time unique insights that unlock opportunities and drive value for airlines.”

Cole Wrightson, Chief Product Officer at FLYR, said: “When we first met the 3Victors team it was clear that there were strong synergies between our companies. Both focus on delivering innovative world-class technology to the travel industry, disrupting the status quo to dramatically improve commercial decision-making for airlines. This is only the start – we are already exploring how else we can enhance our AI through further collaboration with 3Victors.”

FLYR and 3Victors both share JetBlue Technology Ventures as an investor, which is where the relationship between the organisations began.

The firm’s president Amy Burr said: “At JetBlue Technology Ventures, we serve as a strategic advisor to help our portfolio companies form relationships in the travel industry. It’s great to see 3Victors and FLYR form a partnership because of that activity.”

Experienced in integrating huge amounts of market data at pace, 3Victors’ data is already incorporated into Cirrus and will be available to all FLYR customers.

Air Astana passes eighth IATA operational safety audit

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Air Astana has successfully passed the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for 2021, with this being the eighth audit to be undertaken since the first one in 2007.

Last year’s IOSA verified Air Astana’s organisation and management systems, flight operations, operational control and flight dispatch, engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, ground handling, cargo operation and security.

The IOSA program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess an airline’s operational management and control systems. IATA requires all members to be audited every two years in order to ensure the airline meets almost 1,000 IOSA safety and quality standards. Audits are conducted by specialist organisations accredited by IATA, with the same organisation prevented from auditing the airline consecutively.

C&L Aviation Group receives STC certification for Embraer 135/145 Universal FMS Upgrade

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C&L Aviation Services, a C&L Aviation Group company, has received STC certification by the FAA for its upgrade of the Universal UNS-1K (SCN600 or SCN800) Series Flight Management System (FMS) to the UNS-1LW (SCN1000-Series) WAAS enabled unit for the Embraer 135/145 aircraft.

EASA and UK CAA approval is pending and expected to be completed by spring.

“We have invested heavily in the success of this aircraft and having a viable option for operators to upgrade their FMS systems as these systems continue to evolve is an important piece of that,” said Charlie Carroll, Avionics Sales Manager for C&L Aviation Services. “Having our own in-house engineering group allows us to dedicate resources to STC projects like this one that meets customers’ needs.”

C&L has been modifying and upgrading the interiors and systems on ERJs for several years and specialises in converting these aircraft into business-class and luxury jets. C&L also provides on-site engineering, avionics support, aircraft exterior painting, and heavy maintenance services.

The company carries one of the world’s largest inventories of ERJ parts in their warehouse, which helps to reduce maintenance times associated with these types of projects. Currently, the company is developing several other ERJ upgrades including a new first class seat design.

Airbus’s C295 technology demonstrator of Clean Sky 2 makes its maiden flight

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The Airbus C295 Flight Test Bed 2 (FTB2) has successfully performed its maiden flight from the Final Assembly Line in Seville.

The aircraft now starts a flight campaign to test the new semi-morphing wing and the new affordable flight control system, as well as a SATCOM antenna embedded within the aircraft’s fuselage.

Francisco Javier Sánchez Segura, Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus Defence and Space, said: “The first flight of the C295 FTB2 is a key milestone that represents an important step forward in the programme, following the successful integration of the new aerostructures, power-on and ground tests. A few years ago this programme was just a dream of a more sustainable future for aviation. Today we are at the final stage and we finally made it fly.”Based on the Airbus C295, the Flight Test Bed 2 is an in-flight demonstrator of the European Clean Sky 2 (CS2) and the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, where technologies related to CS2’s future regional multi-mission aircraft are tested.The modifications include new materials and technologies designed to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx emissions reduction. With these technologies applied in a future regional multi-mission configuration, up to 43% CO2 and 70% NOx reductions can be achieved in a typical search and rescue mission of 400 nautical miles, as well as 45% less noise during take-off.The main modifications in the aircraft are a new high-efficiency semi-morphing wing, new dynamic winglets and a flat panel SATCOM antenna integrated within the top of the fuselage. 

In addition, innovative flight controls for primary control surfaces – including ailerons, flaps and flap tabs with improved aerodynamics – are capable of adjusting in flight and contribute to a more efficient high-lift system.The new flight control system leverages digital control systems to optimise the aerodynamic shape of the wing in flight, while a new multifunctional flap has been completely redesigned and includes flap tabs in the trailing edge controlled by electromechanical actuators.But the advantages also extend into the manufacturing process, not least with the use of advanced materials and manufacturing ranging from the use of Scalmalloy and additive manufacturing to a new assembly method for the aerostructures of the wing. 

A one-shot assembly approach has been used for the new composite winglet and winglet tab, moving from the conventional ribs approach to a multi-spar integrated torsion box. Finally, jigless methods have been used for the assembly of flaps and ailerons.As a result, the C295 FTB2 brings improvements not only to the purely operational aspects of the aircraft but helps introduce new improvements to the design and manufacturing process. 

Wizz Air installs a third simulator in Budapest

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Wizz Air has installed a third full-flight simulator at its state-of-the-art training centre in Budapest, Hungary.

Following €7.7m of investment, the new CAE-built 7000XR full-flight Simulator (FFS), which simulates one of Wizz Air’s A320neo aircraft, will join two other FFS and a fixed one at the centre, increasing training capacity by 33%.

This marks a huge milestone for Wizz Air, as it will result in an extra 6,800 hours of FFS training capacity, reaffirming the airline’s positive outlook and commitment to hiring 4,600 new pilots by 2030.

More than 1,700 pilots will be trained in the new simulator each year, which will be exclusively used by current and future Wizz Air pilots.

The simulator will also help to train new cadets joining from the Wizz Air Pilot Academy as the airline looks to meet its ambitious growth plans to more than triple the size of its fleet in the next 10 years and become an airline of 500 aircraft.

Michael Delehant, Group Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Wizz Air, said: “We are excited to add an additional full-flight simulator to our Training Centre in Budapest. The new simulator highlights our commitment to providing industry-leading training and development and will support the current recruitment drive for pilots across our network. Moreover, it reaffirms our positive outlook as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic. We are excited to bring world-class talent to Hungary to train the pilots of the future in this start-of-the-art simulator.”