CPaT announces distance learning contract with Raya Airways (Malaysia)

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CPaT Global, the world’s leading provider of distance learning for the airline and aviation industry, today announced they have been awarded a new contract from Raya Airways, one of Malaysia’s leading and most trusted air cargo experts, for the provision of Aircraft Systems courses, Interactive Diagrams, and CPaT’s General Subjects library for initial and recurrent training on the Boeing B767, and 737 fleets.

“CPaT is proud to provide distance learning solutions to Raya Airways. Its track record and presence in the Asia-Pacific region is testament to its steady growth,” said Capt. Greg Darrow, CPaT’s Vice President of Sales. “We look forward to providing distance learning to Raya pilots throughout their operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong. CPaT’s training solutions will enable Raya pilots to train any time, anywhere, on any device.”

Mohamad Najib Ishak, Group Managing Director of Raya Airways Sdn. Bhd., added “We are pleased to have CPaT Global on board to provide innovative training solutions for our team. We are optimistic about the outcome of the distance-based learning, as it strengthens our pilots’ skills-sets and adds value in enhancing our services to better serve our customers.”

Vallair introduces comprehensive widebody maintenance capabilities to new Châteauroux hangar from 2022

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Vallair, the multi-faceted aviation business dedicated to the support of both aircraft operators and lessors, will be extending its full maintenance capabilities with the addition of a state-of-the- art hangar at Marcel Dassault Airport in Châteauroux, France. Available from Q1 2022, the facility will be dedicated to the support of widebody Airbus and Boeing aircraft and accommodate up to five A321 size aircraft simultaneously, or a combination of A330/A340 and A321s.

This unique, A380 capable, 8,500m2 facility has already begun to positively impact on employment with the creation of nearly 200 jobs over the coming years which will be divided between Vallair employees and subcontractors. “This is a natural expansion for us, “says Malcolm Chandler, Head of Commercial & Marketing at Vallair. “Our initial focus will be the Airbus A330 maintenance capabilities with a view to adding A340/A350, and possibly B777, at a later stage. Vallair will then be able to offer the full range of maintenance capabilities including NDT, lease transitions, LOPA change and cabin refurbishment, which will be offered alongside our current aerostructure services. Our existing fan cowls, thrust reversers and flying control surfaces enabling our customers to benefit from cost effective solutions with quick turn-around-times.”

Vallair’s existing MRO facility located in Montpellier, France, already supports operators and lessors providing maintenance, modifications, reconfigurations, and painting for narrowbody aircraft as well as parking and storage.
“With such a comprehensive background in MRO, we definitely welcome the opportunity of being able to extend our capabilities into the widebody market,” continues Chandler.

The new Châteauroux facility will initially service Airbus aircraft but is large and flexible enough to accommodate other widebodies (Including the A350 and A380) which will enable us to extend our parking and storage services to the widebody market as well. There is a rich aviation heritage within the Centre Val de Loire region in the heart of France, and we have assembled an experienced team able to make the most of the exceptional expertise available. This is a new chapter for Vallair and we look forward to the future for Châteauroux.”

Air Austral entrusts AFI KLM E&M with the support of its Airbus A220 components

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While Air France has received the first of its 60 Airbus A220 aircraft at the end of September, Air Austral, the airline based in Reunion Island, is the first to benefit from AFI KLM E&M’s component support for this new aircraft type.

AFI KLM E&M and Air Austral recently signed an agreement to provide component support for the airline’s fleet of three A220 aircraft. The terms of the contract include parts availability and repair, as well as engineering support and adaptive services management.

 From availability to contract management

By drawing on its combined expertise as a group of airlines and an MRO player, AFI KLM E&M’s teams were able to propose an offer perfectly suited to A220 operations in the Indian Ocean. As announced recently, AFI KLM E&M has set up a specific industrial scheme for A220 component support. Based on its current in-house repair capabilities but also on the continuous development of new repairs, these internal resources will support the growing needs of operators on this new platform. Both competitive and guaranteeing an uncompromising quality of service, the support offered by AFI KLM E&M is not limited to components repairs. A genuine turnkey service has been put in place in addition to repairs per flight hour, access to the spare parts pool, and the provision of a local stock of components (Main Base Kit, MBK). “We designed this offer to free Air Austral from as many constraints as possible. Availability, including 7/24/365 AOG support, remains a key success factor in ensuring day-to-day operations, but we are going further with dedicated engineering management that is as close as possible to Air Austral’s needs,” says Aymeric MECHIN, Vice President Sales Middle East & Africa.

 A long-standing partnership

For more than 20 years, Air Austral’s teams have relied on AFI KLM E&M’s expertise in component support and engine overhaul for the majority of its fleet. In addition to equipment solutions for Boeing 777s and 787s and maintenance for GE90s, the Airbus A220s will now benefit from AFI KLM E&M’s services. This new long-term contract marks the renewal of Air Austral’s confidence in AFI KLM E&M’s components offer. “When it comes to maintenance, AFI KLM E&M is a long-standing partner of Air Austral that we know we can rely on. The introduction of a new aircraft is always a joy but also an operational challenge for an airline. With the A220 and the AFI KLM E&M support, we can focus on our operations and meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” says Benoît Schafer, Executive Vice President Operations and Maintenance of Air Austral.

AEROSTAR – keeps on track

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The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire commercial aviation industry very hard, in some cases producing an overnight halt to operations. Companies came face to face with multiple and complex challenges, some of them being encountered for the first time.

AEROSTAR S.A. is confident that customers found the company to be a reliable and supportive partner that was always ready to meet their needs so they could successfully overcome the difficulties that the worldwide COVID-19 crisis brought. During the past 18 months, it has kept in very close contact with them and will continue to do so with the hope that its efforts will help them to more easily recover as the industry gets back on its feet.

For AEROSTAR, it was clear from the beginning of the pandemic that, when the recovery takes place, there would be a significant increase in demand for MRO services. The slowdown in the market was taken as an opportunity to invest in multiple recurrent training courses for all personnel, while, in parallel, type rating courses were continued for younger employees assigned to be the company’s future generation of licensed staff.

Despite the crisis, AEROSTAR reached a new milestone in its history in August 2020 with the opening of a brand new three-bay maintenance facility at Iasi in northeast Romania, 130km north of Aerostar’s existing business operations at Bacau where two hangars provide seven aircraft bays. Iasi is dedicated to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft families and, in early September 2020, the first aircraft arrived for a maintenance check, an Airbus A320neo (LEAP-1A), operated by long-term customer Pegasus Airlines of Turkey.

Even though the business environment has been extremely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s 2020 goals have been successfully achieved, giving confidence for better results for 2021. This will be helped by extending the portfolio to include the Airbus A320neo (PW1100) and the Boeing 737 MAX.

Dan Velescu, Director MRO Civil Aviation Division, said: “The new maintenance facility in Iasi will help to strengthen and confirm the company’s position as the main independent provider of MRO services both in Romania and in the region. This will see a continuation of more than 20 years of MRO experience, offering flexibility and high-quality standards, all being tailored and customized for each client to better meet their specific needs.”

Grigore Filip, General Director of AEROSTAR, added: “We want to once again reassure our current and potential customers that they can rely on AEROSTAR as a solid and reliable partner within the commercial MRO field.”

Fokker Services signs exclusive propeller maintenance agreement with SKY Express Airlines

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Fokker Services, an Independent Aerospace Service Provider, is now the exclusive maintenance provider for SKY Express Airlines’ ATR propeller blades and hubs. In addition to providing MRO support for scheduled and unscheduled component removals, Fokker Services will utilise its large on-site stock of propeller parts to ensure fast turnaround times. The three-year program covers the airline’s entire ATR 42 and 72 fleet.

Niels Elshof, Sales Manager at Fokker Services, said: “At Fokker Services, we are proud to provide maintenance support to SKY Express, an operator with one of the greenest and youngest fleets in Europe. This forward-thinking, rapidly growing airline has ambitious plans for the future, and we will ensure their operations continue to run smoothly along the way with our well-established MRO expertise. With our shared positive outlook, we are excited to begin our collaboration.”

Maria Zannikou, Purchasing Manager of SKY Express, stated: “At SKY express we prove our commitment to even the farthest points in Greece, every day in practice, by adapting high-quality services to our eco-consciousness. Today, we operate the greenest and youngest fleet in the country and one of the most eco-friendly ones in all of Europe. In order to stay up to the task, we have collaborated for its support with the absolute best.”

Fokker Services’ warehouses in the Netherlands, the United States, and Singapore are home to more than 34,000 unique part numbers, allowing the organisation to deliver a wide range of parts to lessors, commercial and defence operators worldwide. With decades of experience in component repair maintenance for various aircraft types, Fokker Services first established repair services for ATR blades and hubs in 2015. Since then, the team has continued to offer this MRO support for ATR operators around the globe.

Airblue receives its first A321neo

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Airblue Limited, the private Islamabad-based airline, has taken delivery of its first A321neo aircraft. It marks an important step in Pakistan’s aviation journey, making Airblue the first operator of an Airbus neo aircraft in the country. The airline currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of nine A320 Family aircraft.

Airblue’s A321neo, on lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), is equipped with CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines. Currently, Airblue operates domestic flights to Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, and Multan and to international destinations in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The A321neo will enable the airline to further expand its network.

The highly fuel-efficient A321neo will help reduce Airblue’s operating costs and will offer exceptional technical, economic, and environmental performance by incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations.

Airblue’s A321neo is configured with 235 seats in an all-economy class cabin. Passengers on-board the aircraft will benefit from the widest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft, stand-alone Off Seat Power Supply system, and Wireless Content Distribution (WCD).

Ryanair launches new route from Derry to Manchester

By General News

Ryanair, has announced a new route – Derry to Manchester, operating three weekly flights starting from Winter ’21. As travel recovers to pre-COVID levels, Ryanair’s growth continues to lead traffic and tourism recovery across Europe.  

Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason Mc Guinness, said: “As Europe’s No.1 airline, Ryanair remains committed to re-building Europe’s aviation and tourism industry by restoring connectivity and growing its network of passengers to over 225 million by 2026. As Ryanair takes delivery of 55 additional Boeing 737-8200 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft this winter, we are delighted to add this new route from Derry to Manchester.

As consumer confidence in air travel steadily restores, Ryanair is once again calling on the UK Government to scrap or suspend APD (Air Passenger Duty) to allow airlines to quickly recover connectivity, jobs and tourism in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

RECARO aircraft seating takes flight on Wizz Air’s brand-new Airbus A321neo

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Recaro Aircraft Seating (Recaro) SL3710 economy class seat takes flight on Wizz Air’s brand-new Airbus A321neo. A total of 146 shipsets will be delivered to Europe’s fastest-growing airline through 2027.

“The SL3710 is a natural fit on Wizz Air’s new Airbus A321neo since the main goal is to conserve weight and extend the life cycle of the seat without sacrificing comfort,” said Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “The cornerstone of our partnership with Wizz Air is our ability to provide quick and effective support, which is only possible due to our global network of customer service teams.”

Weighing in at only nine kilograms, the lightweight and durable SL3710 is the ideal solution for short-haul flights and met the needs of Wizz Air, as the low-cost carrier is committed to achieving high fuel efficiency. The seat’s energy-saving design enables high-density layouts while still accommodating passengers of various heights with its pre-reclined feature. In addition, Recaro uses a unique seat building process to ensure minimal impact to the environment during production.

“We are delighted to have received our first Airbus A321neo aircraft with Recaro seats. Not only are these seats comfortable and durable, but due to their lightweight design they support Wizz Air’s goal to reduce its emissions by 25% within the decade,” Michael Delehant, Executive Vice President and Group Chief Operations Officer at Wizz Air. “We are confident that our passengers will also like the new ergonomic design and fine materials used for the seats.”

Recognised for being Europe’s fastest-growing and one of its greenest airlines, Wizz Air has over 1,000 routes to close to 200 airports in 49 countries across Europe and Africa. Since its inception in 2004, the Budapest-based airline has flown more than 260 million people on its fleet of 144 aircraft.

Air Astana launches new service to Phuket Thailand

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Flight frequencies increased to Dubai, Moscow, St Petersburg and Istanbul

Air Astana continues to expand its international network, with the launch of twice weekly direct flights from Almaty to the tropical island of Phuket in Thailand on 31 October. 

Service frequencies to Dubai are being boosted to a total of ten flights a week, including three flights a week from Almaty starting on 23 October and daily flights from Nur-Sultan starting from November.

Earlier in October, Air Astana resumed its services to St Petersburg with a weekly flight from Nur-Sultan and has increased services to Moscow with daily flights from Almaty and five flights per week from Nur-Sultan.

The airline also increased the frequency of flights to Istanbul to three services a week from Nur-Sultan and five services a week from Almaty.

AerFin continues Airbus A320 platform acquisition drive

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AerFin has purchased an Airbus A318 aircraft from Contrail.

The aircraft, manufactured in September 2009 will be dismantled to further enhance AerFin’s component support solutions to operators of A320 family aircraft.

Commercial Director, James Bennett, commented: “We have now surpassed our 20th Airbus A320 family aircraft acquisition, this marks a significant milestone for AerFin, one which further cements our position as a trusted partner in aftermarket solutions to Airbus A320 family operators”.