First Air France Airbus A320 refitted with Safran ECOS Shelf Bins

By General News

The first Air France A320 retrofitted with Safran Cabin ECOS Shelf Bins and installed by Air France Industries in July 2021, returns to service with success.

The ECOS “Efficient Cabin Open Space” shelf bins offer up to 60% more storage capacity. The new luggage compartments are equipped with easy to reach doors that do not encroach into the cabin aisle and provide a lower shelf height for ease of loading and visibility. They provide an easier and smoother boarding experience, greatly reducing the time spent searching for luggage space or the need to put certain bags in the cargo hold. Aircraft turnaround times also reduce to improve efficiency and on-time performance.

The ECOS Interior is robust, lightweight, and easy to maintain. The installation of the ECOS system was extremely efficient with certification of the interior facilitated by means of FAA and EASA Supplemental Type Certification. The modification also included the installation of Movable Class Dividers supplied by Safran Cabin.

Air France is the first company to choose Safran Cabin’s ECOS “Efficient Cabin Open Space” shelf bins and they will equip in total 24 Air France Airbus A320s.

Lufthansa Technik extends engine services collaboration with Rossiya Airlines

By General News

Lufthansa Technik has contracted additional engine shop visits from Russian
carrier Rossiya Airlines. Until mid-2022, the company will overhaul four
CFM56-5B engines at its engine shop in Hamburg, Germany.

“Lufthansa Technik’s offer for the supply of life-limited parts as well as
its recommendations for work scope planning and extensive warranty
conditions convinced us to entrust our German partner with the overhaul of
our CFM56-5B-engines,” said Sergey Starikov, the official representative of
Rossiya Airlines.
“We’re happy to continue our partnership with Rossiya Airlines with this new
maintenance contract for its CFM56-5B engines. The tender process by Rossiya
Airlines was highly competitive and challenging, and we’re delighted to have
met the high standards of our customer in this process,” said Stanislav
Mitin, Key Account Manager for Russia and CIS at Lufthansa Technik.

Lufthansa Technik has been providing engine services to Rossiya Airlines
since 2019, originally for the CF6-80 engine. Meanwhile, four engines of
this type have been overhauled.

Rossiya Airlines is part of Aeroflot Group. It is the largest operator of
the domestic-made aircraft Superjet 100 and the wide-body passenger jet
Boeing 747-400. In addition, Rossiya Airlines operates foreign-made
airliners of the Airbus A320, Boeing 737, and Boeing 777 series. Rossiya
Airlines participate in the Safe Travel international tourism security
program and was awarded the mark “Safe Travels SPB”. The airline is the
leader among Russian air carriers in terms of flight safety according to the
German research centre JACDEC, received the highest safety rating among the
world’s airlines according to the international rating agency Airline
Ratings, and took a leading position among domestic carriers in the
international Safe Travel Score.

Rolls-Royce’s all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ takes to the skies for the first time

By Featured

We are pleased to announce the completion of the first flight of our all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft. At 14:56 (BST) the plane took to the skies propelled by its powerful 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. This is another step towards the plane’s world-record attempt and another milestone on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “The first flight of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land, and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net-zero. This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The first flight of Rolls-Royce’s revolutionary Spirit of Innovation aircraft signals a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight. This achievement, and the records we hope will follow, shows the UK remains right at the forefront of aerospace innovation.

“By backing projects like this one, the Government is helping to drive forward the boundary-pushing technologies that will leverage investment and unlock the cleaner, greener aircraft required to end our contribution to climate change.”

The aircraft took off from the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down site, which is managed by QinetiQ, and flew for approximately 15 minutes. The site has a long heritage of experimental flights and the first flight marks the beginning of an intense flight-testing phase in which we will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system. The ACCEL programme, short for ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ includes key partners YASA, the electric motor and controller manufacturer, and aviation start-up Electroflight. The ACCEL team has continued to innovate while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing and other health guidelines.

Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Innovate UK. In the run-up to COP26, the ACCEL programme is further evidence of the UK’s position at the forefront of the zero-emission aircraft revolution.

“The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation demonstrates how innovative technology can provide solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Gary Elliott, CEO, Aerospace Technology Institute. “The ATI is funding projects like ACCEL to help UK develop new capabilities and secure a lead in the technologies that will decarbonise aviation. We congratulate everyone who has worked on the ACCEL project to make the first flight a reality and look forward to the world speed record attempt which will capture the imagination of the public in the year that the UK hosts COP26.

Rolls-Royce is offering our customers a complete electric propulsion system for their platform, whether that is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) or commuter aircraft. We will be using the technology from the ACCEL project and applying it to products for these exciting new markets. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries are very similar to what is being developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ so that it can reach speeds of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH) – which we are targeting in our world record attempt. In addition, Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are currently working with Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, which is planned to be ready for revenue service in 2026.

In June, we announced our pathway to net-zero carbon emissions – a year on from joining the UN Race to Zero campaign – and the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is one way in which we are helping decarbonise the critical parts of the global economy in which we operate. We are committed to ensuring our new products will be compatible with net-zero operation by 2030 and all our products will be compatible with net-zero by 2050.

TrueNoord leases new ATR72-600s to SKY express

By Featured

TrueNoord, the specialist regional aircraft lessor, has signed a strategic agreement with the fastest growing Greek operator SKY express for new ATR-600s that are on a phased fleet induction programme with operating leases. Funding for the aircraft was provided by TrueNoord’s revolving warehouse facility underwritten by Citibank, Société Générale and Royal Bank of Canada.  CMS acted as legal counsel for TrueNoord on the acquisition. Milbank represented TrueNoord on the financing with Clifford Chance advising the lenders.

This current deal concerns the new ATR72-600s that SKY express is introducing from ATR to replace the existing fleet of ATR72-500s that are currently in operation. The acquisition fits perfectly with SKY express’ strategy to operate the youngest and greenest fleet in Greece. It will ensure ongoing and sustainable regional operations and connectivity across its expanding network including all popular Greek islands. Based in Athens, SKY express operates the largest network in Greece (35 destinations), as well as 13 international destinations (London Heathrow, Larnaca, Brussels, Paris CDG, Rome, Lyons, Nantes, Lille, Hamburg, Dortmund, Amsterdam, Gratz, Klagenfurt) launched during 2021. It has brokered interline agreements with worldwide carriers such as KLM, Air France, Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Air Serbia, and Cyprus Airways.

Vasiliki Christidi, IOGR Group General Manager, says the airline is proud to bring the new generation of ATR 72-600 aircraft to Greece and reinforce the coverage of its fast-growing network. “With these new acquisitions and our partnership with TrueNoord, we continue SKY express’ steadily upward course and deliver on our promise to operate one of the greenest and youngest fleets in Europe. With sustainable investments, strong long-term partnerships forged during challenging times, and an innovative customer-centric approach, we will build a dynamic future.”

Michael Adams, Sales Director–Europe at TrueNoord comments, “We are looking forward to supporting SKY express’ continued growth with the new ATR 72-600s. The turboprop’s environmentally friendly characteristics, low fuel consumption, and significantly lower CO² emissions are powerful evidence that operators are not only seeking economic solutions but are also committed to a sustainable future for regional aviation. Fleet replacement is vital or essential connections may fail.

“This is a significant moment for TrueNoord as we develop our footprint across Europe” continues Adams. “We are pleased to be part of a recovering market and we welcome SKY express to our regional airline lessee family as they fully transition their fleet to the latest ATRs. TrueNoord is geared up to support airlines who need to factor in short frequent flights, inhospitable terrain, and environmental considerations.”

ACC Aviation successfully remarkets two Dash 8-100s

By Featured

ACC Aviation, the global aviation services group, has successfully disposed of two de Havilland Dash 8-100 combi-configured aircraft (MSN 258 and 324).  ACC Aviation’s Asset Management Division was exclusively mandated by Canadian North, a Canadian based regional airline.

Working in close association with Canadian North and utilizing its long-standing industry relationships and expertise, ACC Aviation carried out full due diligence processes on the sale and provided full transaction oversight. In addition, ACC Aviation undertook desktop valuations on both aircraft to set and manage internal pricing expectations for Canadian North.

Guiding and leading the commercial negotiations, ACC Aviation ensured that all terms were fair and in line with industry standards between the two parties and that Canadian North’s interests were well represented throughout the process.  ACC Aviation also managed, reviewed, and advised on all transaction-related documentation.

“We are very pleased to have concluded the disposal of these two, niche aircraft in a short period of time, maximizing resources within ACC Aviation’s global offices.  Working between our US and Middle East offices, we were able to transact the deal efficiently and seamlessly,” said Robert Sitta, VP Asset Management at ACC Aviation.

Ryanair invests €50m in a new Dublin training and simulator centre

By Featured

Ryanair, has announced a new agreement with Airline Flight Academy (AFA) at the opening of a brand new €50m Aviation Training Centre in Santry, close to Dublin Airport. This new Training and Simulator Centre contains three full-motion simulators, one 737 MAX and two Airbus A320, together with two fixed-base simulators (one Boeing 737 and one Airbus A320). Additionally, this new AFA Centre contains a state of the art cabin crew training and emergency evacuation device, as well as a specialist cabin fire training centre. The AFA Centre contains over 15 large classroom training centres and 5 individual pilot briefing/debriefing rooms. Access to these new facilities will enable Ryanair to recruit and train over 5,000 new pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations professionals over the next five years – jobs that will be necessary for the crew to operate Ryanair’s 210 new Boeing 737 Gamechanger aircraft, which will enable Ryanair to grow annual traffic to 200m p.a. by 2025.

Ryanair has chosen Airline Flight Academy to be its exclusive cadet training partner. Under this agreement, Airline Flight Academy will operate and run this new €50m Training Centre and will play a central role in recruiting the next generation of aviation professionals, including pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations professionals for Ryanair’s next phase of post-Covid growth and expansion.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “After what has been an incredibly difficult 18months, today’s announcement is a real vote of confidence in the airline industry as it rebuilds after the pandemic. This €50m investment in a new training centre and the creation of 5,000 jobs across Europe, will mean fantastic opportunities for pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground ops professionals over the next 5 years. It’s incredible growth and makes me really optimistic for the future. Congratulations to the team involved.”

Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said: “We are honoured to welcome Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to the opening of the Airline Flight Academy Training Centre here in Santry. We have invested over €50m in this state-of-the-art Training Centre, and our agreement with AFA will deliver over 5,000 highly trained pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations professionals over the next five years. Ryanair will create over 5,000 new jobs thanks to the expansion of our Boeing 737 fleet, with 210 MAX Gamechangers to be delivered over the next five years which will enable Ryanair to grow to carry 200m passengers p.a. by 2025.

The AFA team have been a recruitment and training partner of Ryanair for many years, and we look forward to continuing to invest in this agreement, which has to date, enabled Ryanair to recruit and train over 18,000 highly qualified aviation professionals.”

 IAA Aviation Regulator / CEO Designate, Diarmuid Ó Conghaile said: “We welcome the expansion of Ryanair’s training operations. It is another positive sign for the future of aviation in Ireland and the support services required. The investment in a training and simulation centre will create jobs for highly skilled workers, which will benefit the broader Irish aviation sector as it re-bounds from the crisis of the past 18 months.”

 Director AFA, Francis Farrell said: “Airline Flight Academy is honoured to have been selected as Ryanair’s exclusive cadet training partner here in Ireland. We are excited to be chosen to operate and run this new €50m Aviation Training Centre in Santry and have committed to delivering Ryanair over 5,000 highly trained pilots, cabin crew, engineers, and ground ops professionals using these state of art facilities in Santry. Ireland has always been a centre for high-quality aviation professionals and AFA’s agreement with Ryanair will create 5,000 new jobs, both here in Ireland and across Europe, as Ryanair continues to recover and grow post-Covid.”


Etihad Airways signs landmark deal with Amadeus to introduce next-generation travel technology

By General News
  • Abu Dhabi-based carrier to implement cutting-edge Amadeus Altéa Passenger Service System (PSS)
  • New booking engine, mobile app, and self-service tools to empower guests and ensure a smooth experience at every step of the journey
  • State-of-the-art merchandising and revenue management capabilities will offer travellers more options to customise their trip
  • New functionality for travel agencies powered by Amadeus’ New Distribution Capability (NDC)

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is set to embark on a major digital transformation following the signing of a landmark multi-year deal with Amadeus.

As part of the deal, Etihad Airways will implement the full Amadeus Altéa PSS suite, including web booking, revenue management and merchandising, data management and passenger servicing solutions. These technology products will be customised for Etihad over the coming years and will improve the experience of guests, staff, travel agents, Etihad Guest members, and corporate customers.

Etihad’s guests will see new web and mobile channels powered by Amadeus Digital Experience suite, offering the simplest user experience possible to purchase flight tickets and manage bookings. Advanced retailing capabilities will be developed collaboratively using machine learning to provide guests with bespoke offerings and personalise their travel experience.

To modernise retailing capabilities across sales channels, Etihad has also signed for Amadeus Altéa NDC (New Distribution Capability) and will work with Amadeus to distribute personalised travel offers to guests. Etihad will make its full range of NDC offers available to Amadeus travel sellers, allowing agents to see the features of Etihad’s award-winning product more transparently and the ancillaries that can be bought.

The airline will, in addition, implement the Altéa Departure Control Customer Management component of the suite, providing guests with real-time, personalised alerts of offers, services, and flight changes. The system will offer a higher level of service customisation and provide guests with a faster and simpler check-in process, which is more important than ever as travel rebuilds.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad, says: “The aviation industry is going through a digital revolution, and Etihad Airways is committed to staying at the forefront of that change. With Amadeus as a partner, Etihad’s guests will be able to enjoy the best user experience possible as they book and manage their flights, with the ability to customise their travel to an unprecedented level. Etihad is also excited to push NDC forward as a means to offer a much richer, relevant and dynamic shopping experience to trade partners, and Amadeus is the perfect partner to support that strategy.”


Decius Valmorbida, President, Travel, Amadeus, says: “As the travel industry rebuilds, we are excited that Etihad Airways will be utilising Amadeus’ technology to support the airline in delivering its leading travel proposition. Open source, cloud-based systems and next generation retailing capabilities will be the engine powering recovery, and we are at the forefront of these technologies in the travel industry. We are very pleased to be working with such a dynamic carrier like Etihad and are excited about collaborating to create memorable travel experiences for its passengers.”

Thomas Global reveals new display solution for Bombardier CRJ Series and Pro Line 4 flight decks

By General News

Thomas Global Systems has unveiled its latest flight display innovation, the TFD-4000 series flight display. The industry-first solution is designed for Bombardier CRJ Series and other Pro Line 4 flight decks and is a form-fit LCD upgrade for legacy Collins Aerospace EFD-4076 cathode ray tube (CRT) flight displays. A prominent North American regional airline has selected the TFD-4000 series for its CRJ Series fleet.

“The TFD-4000 series meets the call of regional jet operators for a practical, drop-in solution to critical CRT display obsolescence while enhancing system reliability and lowering operating costs. With CRT production for EFD-4076 displays already discontinued, Thomas Global is focused on supporting Bombardier CRJ Series and other Pro Line 4 flight decks for the long term, helping operators get the most out of their flight deck investment,” said David Barnes, Thomas Global’s President, and COO.

TFD-4000 series displays allow operators to cost-effectively resolve CRT obsolescence, avoid major flight deck modifications, significantly enhance display reliability, and lower lifecycle costs by combining high-performance AMLCD technology and a proven analog-to-digital (A-D) software core design. The TFD-4000 series displays integrate seamlessly into existing EFD-4076 Pro Line 4 architecture and Built-In Test Equipment (BITE), are interchangeable and intermixable with legacy EFD-4076 CRT displays and do not impact OEM display software Service Bulletins. The TFD-4000 series features flexibility and scalability to deliver additional functionality, while decreasing Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWaP-C).

Thomas Global’s innovative drop-in CRT-to-LCD flight display upgrades are already certified and available for Boeing 757, 767 and 737-C, Saab 340, EMB120, Dash 8, ATR 42/72, and a range of other commercials, business, and military aircraft.

Airlink confirms selection of Rolls-Royce TotalCare® for engine servicing

By General News

Rolls-Royce and Airlink have signed a TotalCare® service agreement for the AE3007 engines that power the South African airline’s fleet of Embraer ERJ135 aircraft. The agreement, which covers 28 aircraft, is an extension of service for a further 10 years, continuing the airline’s drive to maximise aircraft availability.

Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster, said; “Airlink and Rolls-Royce have worked hand in hand since the introduction of the ERJ135 to our fleet in May 2001. We operate 28 ERJs with a pool of 64 AE3007-A1/3 engines. We are proud of the phenomenal reliability we have achieved from these engines which have underpinned Airlink’s industry-leading on-time performance, which has consistently been above 97%. Our TotalCare service agreement has been key to the management of engine maintenance costs and to ensuring the economic sustainability of the ERJ135 type for the foreseeable future. We are delighted at the dependability of the Rolls-Royce team and their engines.”

In 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Airlink carried more than 2 million customers on more than 63,000 flights. Airlink currently operates a reduced route network to more than 45 destinations in 12 African countries, whilst remaining agile to the effects of Covid-19 and associated travel restrictions. Airlink was proudly the most punctual South African airline for 2020; its year-to-date performance up to August 2021 has been 98.1% on time.

“Our partnership with Airlink goes back to 2001 and this TotalCare extension is a testament to our strong working relationship and mutual trust of one another,” said Stewart Evans, Rolls-Royce, Vice President, Customers Europe Middle East & Africa, “I’m especially proud of the way both teams have worked closely together during the pandemic to manage maintenance costs effectively for both parties whilst enhancing our service offering at the same time. The entire team at Rolls-Royce is honoured to be able to serve Airlink and their customers for many more years to come.”

TotalCare is the flagship integrated engine service cover provided by Rolls-Royce. It is designed for predictive maintenance planning, as well as off-wing repair and overhaul activities for operators of Rolls-Royce aero engines. TotalCare transfers both time-on-wing and maintenance cost risks back to Rolls-Royce, as well as offering advanced engine health monitoring and future product enhancements.

Aircraft covered by TotalCare achieve higher availability increased long-term residual values, and benefit from the global Rolls-Royce Care Network; a large, capable and competitive engine service network that caters to the needs of engines at every point in their lifecycle.

Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and 260 aircraft achieve EASA certification

By General News

Textron Aviation has accomplished a major milestone with its newest twin-turboprop models, the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and King Air 260, as both aircraft achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification and will begin deliveries to customers throughout the region.

 “EASA certification begins a whole new era for the Beechcraft King Air in Europe,” said Tom Perry, vice president of Sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “The King Air has been the turboprop of choice throughout this region for more than five decades, and the new 260 and 360 will build on that legendary reputation. We have incorporated innovative and next-generation technologies that enhance the flying experience for an already proven aircraft.”

Renowned for their versatility and reliability, King Air turboprops have been a popular choice across Europe with more than 460 aircraft throughout the region. Nearly half of all King Airs in Europe is owned and operated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

A typical King Air 360 flight with four passengers and a single pilot has a maximum range of 3,345 km (1,806 nautical miles), allowing it to complete flights such as London to Athens or Frankfurt to Moscow without stopping to refuel. Similarly, the King Air 260 has a maximum range of 3,185 km (1,720 nautical miles), allowing four passengers and a single pilot to take complete flights such as Rome to Madrid or Paris to Stockholm without refueling.

About the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and 260

The King Air 360/360ER and 260 models represent the next generation of the legendary King Air turboprop family, building on its reputation of versatility and reliability. The aircraft offers the latest technological advancements in the cockpit along with providing additional comfort to the passenger experience.

The King Air 360/360ER turboprop features the addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, and go-around phases of flight.

Another key addition to the cockpit is a digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The aircraft also has a lower cabin altitude at the aircraft’s certified ceiling of 35,000 feet, providing greater comfort for passengers, especially during longer flights.

The King Air 360 cabin, meanwhile, offers a stunning new look with craftsman-built cabinetry, partitions and side ledges, and high-quality finishes, along with a selection of six interior schemes. Other amenities that come standard on the King Air 360 include pull-out work tables, power outlets, USB charging stations, and a private aft lavatory.

The King Air 260 is also equipped with the IS&S ThrustSense Autothrottle system, as well as digital cabin pressurization. The aircraft now also features the Collins Multi-Scan RTA-4112 weather radar, providing pilots with a fully automatic system that is optimised to detect short, mid, and long-range weather.

The new King Air turboprops were introduced in 2020, with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER achieving U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification in October 2020 and the King Air 260 in March 2021.