Voyageur Aviation unveils new EXCL programme with launch customer Sabena technics

By Featured

Voyageur Aviation Corporation, a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc., has entered into an agreement to provide on-site inventory, component repair and overhaul, and detailed service level support for the De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400 to Sabena technics through its Exchange Component and Leasing Subscription (EXCL) programme.

“We are pleased to launch our EXCL programme in Europe with a premier customer, Sabena,” said Gary Gilbert, Vice President Avparts, Voyageur. “The expansion of this program is an integral part of the continued growth of our Avparts division.”

Voyageur’s EXCL programme is a paid monthly subscription service offering operations direct, priority access to all rotatable components. EXCL is completely customisable to meet the customer’s needs.

“Sabena technics is excited to work with Voyageur Avparts for the rotatable support of its Q400 fleet,” said Philippe Fournadet, CEO, Sabena technics FNI. “This partnership will bring reliability and will reduce logistics lead-time to secure our operations”.

Voyageur developed the EXCL program to provide customers with more freedom, flexibility and control over maintenance costs with no minimums or maximums on flight hours.

FAA awards US$5 million in grants for the next generation of pilots

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The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded US$5 million to educate the next generation of pilots and other aviation professionals.

The Aircraft Pilots Aviation Workforce Development Grants were awarded to accredited higher education institutions, high schools, state and local governments, and flight schools.

“Our investment in the aviation workforce of the future must begin today,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, a former commercial captain. “These grants help nurture interest in aviation at an early age to build a career during one of the most dynamic times in aviation history.”

Grantees can use the funding to create and deliver a curriculum designed to prepare students to become aircraft pilots, aerospace engineers, or unmanned aircraft systems operators.

To maintain the safest and most efficient aerospace system well into the future, the FAA recognises the need to create a robust pipeline of skilled and diverse professionals. These grants are one way the agency is working to address the projected shortages of aircraft pilots in the industry.

Grant recipients include:

  • Florida State College, Jacksonville, Fla. – $498,000
  • Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Mich. – $90,000
  • Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, N.C. – $269,000
  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D. – $488,000
  • County of Scottsbluff School District #16, Gering, Neb. – $500,000
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Flushing, N.Y. – $498,000
  • Aerotrek Flight Academy, LLC, Wadsworth, Ohio – $77,000
  • Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, Oklahoma City, Okla. – $491,000
  • Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, Harrisburg, Penn. – $135,000
  • Spartanburg County School District #5 (James. F. Byrnes High School), Duncan, S.C. – $31,000
  • South Carolina Department of Education, Columbia, S.C. – $425,000
  • Florence School District One, Florence, S.C. – $339,000
  • Crowley Independent School District #912, Crowley, Texas – $139,500
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah: $238,500
  • Randolph Macon Academy, Front Royal, Va. – $307,000
  • Old Dominion University Research Foundation/Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Norfolk, Va. – $474,000

AirAsia Philippines implements ‘no vax/no fly’ order

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AirAsia Philippines is to abide by the Department Order 2022-001 issued by the Philippine Department of Transportation for new transportation guidelines for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers.

The order, issued on 11 January 2022, implemented a “no vax/no ride” policy which prevents unvaccinated passengers from using public transportation while the National Capital Region is under alert level three.

The airline has stated that from 17 January it will continue to fly fully vaccinated guests from its Manila hub. Unvaccinated passengers with the purpose of essential travel from Metro Manila, such as those with medical conditions that prevent full COVID-19 vaccination, will still be allowed to fly – provided they can provide a signed medical certificate to that effect.

“From the onset of the pandemic, AirAsia has always been working closely with the IATF, DOTR, and its attached agencies along with medical experts in the implementation of multi-layered approaches to safety in the aviation sector,” said AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla.

“AirAsia Philippines considers this initiative from the Department of Transportation as an effective tool to encourage every Filipino to take the shot and get an added layer of protection against any emerging COVID-19 variant.”

USDOT approves Norse Atlantic Airways’ application for transatlantic flights

By General News

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has approved Norse Atlantic Airways’ application for the operation of flights between Norway/the European Union and the United States.

“We are thrilled by the Department of Transportation’s approval of our affordable transatlantic flights,” said Norse CEO and founder Bjørn Tore Larsen. “This significant milestone brings Norse one step closer to launching an affordable and more environmentally friendly service to customers travelling between Europe and the United States. We appreciate USDOT’s constructive and prompt approach, and we look forward to working with them in the months ahead.”

Norse Atlantic will deliver many jobs to American workers, including hundreds of US-based flight attendants, and will partner with local communities, tourism organisations, businesses, and labour to stimulate economic growth in regions throughout the United States and Europe. In May, Norse Atlantic reached a historic pre-hire agreement with the US Association of Flight Attendants.

“Our people will be our competitive advantage,” added Larsen. “We are building a high-performance culture and creating an environment where we value diversity, ensuring that all colleagues feel a sense of belonging. We look forward to starting recruiting our new colleagues in the US.”

Since its inception, Norse Atlantic has received wide support from communities, airport authorities, and labour organisations on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We are grateful for the support from community and labour leaders who are enthusiastic about the service we will deliver,” said Larsen. “We believe that transatlantic travel will resume with full force once the pandemic is behind us. People will want to explore new destinations, visit friends and family and travel for business. Norse will be there to offer attractive and affordable flights on our more environmentally friendly Boeing 787 Dreamliners to both the leisure and cost-conscious business traveller.”

In December 2021, Norse received its Air Operator’s Certificate from Norway’s Civil Aviation Authority and took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Norse plans to start commercial operation in spring 2022 with the first flights connecting Oslo to select cities in the US.

Spairliners and Collins Aerospace in Poland agree to new evacuation slide repair contract

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Collins Aerospace in Wroclaw, Poland, has been awarded a first-time support agreement for evacuation slides by Spairliners, an independent component aftermarket service provider specialised in the support of the E-Jet aircraft family.

Under the agreement, Collins will provide full test and inspection of evacuation systems, as well as repair, modification and replacement services. The operational and technical engineering support from the Collins Wroclaw facility offers efficient, fast and reliable services for all qualifying component and repair work, including access to loan and exchange units.

‘This agreement ensures that the fleet of more than 200 E-Jets supported by Spairliners are maintained with the quality and consistency in evacuation slide service that Collins can provide,” said Sean Lyons, Vice President of business development for Collins Aerospace. “With spare parts available and dedicated teams specialising in Collins’ evacuation systems, our MRO network can quickly and efficiently finalise repairs, returning aircraft to service in a timely manner.”

Benoît Rollier, Spairliners’ Managing Director and CFO, said: “We are looking forward to enhancing our network of partners and providers through this new partnership with Collins. This is part of our permanent search, within the MRO system, for the best solutions for our customers. Spairliners’ agreement with Collins will ensure the timely supply of such critical parts as evacuation slides. Combined with our unique expertise in supply chain, engineering and smart inventory management, Collins’ agility and experience will result in higher availability, faster turnaround times and thus better service for our customers.”

The agreement was originally signed during the MRO Europe in Amsterdam and the 50th repair together was celebrated during a site visit at the Collins Aerospace facility in Wroclaw.

BOC Aviation publishes fourth quarter and year-end report

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BOC Aviation Limited has announced its operational transactions for the fourth quarter of 2021 and year ending 31 December 2021.

Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to achieve a robust performance in 2021 in a challenging operating environment. During the year, we took delivery of 52 aircraft and sold 26 owned and managed aircraft, ending the year with a total fleet of 521 aircraft. Our fleet remains one of the industry’s most attractive, with a young average age of 3.9 years and long average remaining lease term of 8.3 years. Looking ahead, our portfolio positions us well to serve the growth and replacement requirements of our airline customers.”


Transactions Summary

  • A total fleet of 521 aircraft owned, managed and on order
  • An average aircraft age of 3.9 years and an average remaining lease term of 8.3 years for the 380 owned aircraft fleet, both weighted by net book value
  • Order book of 104 aircraft
  • Executed a total of 42 transactions in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 160 in 2021:
    • Took delivery of nine aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2021, and 52 in total in 2021 (including seven acquired by airline customers on delivery)
    • Sold 12 owned aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2021, which brought the total number of owned and managed aircraft sold during the year to 26
    • Signed 21 lease commitments in the fourth quarter of 2021, bringing the total for 2021 to 74
  • Customer base of 86 airlines in 38 countries and regions in the owned and managed portfolios
  • Managed fleet comprised 37 aircraft, with two single-aisle aircraft off lease. A signed lease is in place for one of the single-aisle aircraft, scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2022
  • Owned aircraft utilisation at 98.5%, with five single aisle and five twin aisle aircraft off lease. Signed leases are in place for all five twin aisle aircraft, scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2022

Boeing 737 component support: Equair takes off with AFI KLM E&M

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Ecuador’s new national airline Equair has selected AFI KLM E&M – whose parent companies Air France and KLM trace their roots back to the dawn of aviation – to provide component support for its two Boeing 737 NGs.

The multi-year contract includes maintenance, repairs, and access to AFI KLM E&M’s spare parts pool, as well as the provision of an advanced stock (main base kit) at the customer’s base at Mariscal Sucre International Airport near Quito.

The services are provided under the 737 Component Services Program (CSP) jointly operated by Boeing and AFI KLM E&M. Through the CSP, Equair benefits from the dual expertise of a leading aircraft manufacturer and an MRO-Airline with intimate knowledge of the needs and operational challenges of airlines.

Equair can also count on the scale of AFI KLM E&M’s worldwide network, as well as the long experience of its Amsterdam and Miami workshops on 737 components. Their in-house repair capabilities cover the largest part of the component removals on the 737 fleet. Last but not least, the logistical support to Equair will be all the more efficient and responsive as KLM operates daily direct and indirect flights between Amsterdam, Miami and Quito.

Gabriela Sommerfeld, CEO of Equair, said: “It is important for us to start our operations with the highest level of quality, therefore we have chosen a leading MRO solution which guarantees the availability of parts and thus the availability of our fleet for the benefit of our customers.”

EVP KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Ton Dortmans, added: “The creation of a new company is always good news, and we are very happy to welcome Equair among the global air transport family. We are also very honoured by the trust they have placed in us to support their components. We are committed to providing the best service to contribute to the success of their operations and the growth of their fleet. This is the beginning of a long-term partnership between our companies which may one day go beyond the MRO field.”

Heston MRO signs purchase agreement for Cairns MRO facility

By General News

Heston MRO, the largest independent MRO organisation in Australasia, signed a Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of Cairns MRO facility from Jet Aviation.

Upon completion, the new acquisition will expand Heston MRO capabilities into full Heavy Maintenance for regional aircraft, as well as state-of-the-art Avionics Repairs shops for a wider range of aircraft types.

Established more than 20 years ago and expanded significantly in 2018, Cairns MRO centre has been initially operating under Hawker Pacific, and recently under Jet Aviation brands.

It is one of the most modern, well invested, and up-to-date Heavy Maintenance and Avionics Repairs facilities in Australia. Staffed with circa 150 experienced employees and contractors, housed in 5400 square metres of recently expanded and upgraded hangars and offices, Cairns MRO is the largest MRO centre in Far North Queensland, attracting customers from Australia, Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia.

‘We are excited to add Cairns facility to the Heston MRO family’, says Jonas Butautis, Director and Partner at Heston MRO. ‘Over the last couple of years, our company has been looking for the best options on how to expand into Heavy Maintenance and Components Repairs in Australia. Having done the analysis on Cairns facility, its professional and experienced staff, range of capabilities, and growth potential, we decided that it fits well into the overall Heston MRO vision of becoming a Total Care partner for airlines in the Australasian region. Once the transaction is complete, Heston MRO will be offering Line, Base, Components, Engines MRO capabilities, as well as Technical Training and other services. With selected services, we will be able to cover the full suite of aircraft types, from smaller regionals like ATR and Dash 8 Q400, narrow bodies like B737 and A320s, to large widebodies like B777, B787, A350, and A380s.’

The transaction, which is subject to standard pre-closing procedures, is estimated to complete by the end of Q1 2022. Once completed, Cairns facility will operate under Heston MRO brand and continue delivering high-quality MRO services to existing and new customers in Australasia.

WestJet cancels flights due to COVID-related employee shortage

By General News

Many employees of WestJet Airlines are infected with the Omicron variant, leading the Canadian carrier to cut 15% of its scheduled flights through to the end of January.

“We are running roughly 450 flights a day, so if you look at the percentages that works out to be about 60 or 70 flights that you might see that would be cancelled per day and then consolidated on to other flights,” said WestJet VP of communications Richard Bartrem.

Bartrem added that WestJet is currently rejigging flights and contacting passengers.

“For example, where we may have four or five flights to a particular destination over the course of the day, we might consolidate that into two or three and then take the people who are flying on those other flights that have now been cancelled and moving them on to the flights that will continue to operate.”

He said passengers will have the option of taking another flight or receiving a full refund.

Bamboo Airways to resume international flights in January

By General News

Bamboo Airways will resume its international flights in January. Shortly after, it will add regular flights to Frankfurt and Munich.

The Vietnamese carrier plans to start with a weekly flight between Hanoi and Tokyo-Narita, Taipei and Seoul. At the same time, the Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo-Narita and Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City to Osaka routes are to be served. A little later, there will also be seven weekly flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong and twice a week from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne.

The airline has also announced that it will finally carry out its European plans. It wants to begin with flights to London Heathrow as soon as possible. However, there are still no permits for this.

From January 16, the airline will also be heading to Frankfurt and Munich. Two weekly flights are planned between the two largest Vietnamese cities and Germany.

The airline is also still waiting to get the green light from Washington for flights to the USA.