Air Astana receives seventh Airbus A321LR

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Air Astana has taken delivery of a seventh Airbus A321LR on operating lease from Air Lease Corporation. The brand new A321LR arrived at Almaty International Airport directly from the Airbus plant in Hamburg, Germany.

The Airbus A321LR is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1133G engines and is the long-haul version of the A321neo. It has an increased maximum take-off weight, optimized fuselage design and a two-class interior layout comprising 16 seats in business class and 150 in economy class. All seats are equipped with individual monitors.

Airbus A321LR aircraft operate services across the Air Astana network, including international flights to Dubai, Frankfurt, London, Istanbul, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

 The Air Astana Group fleet consists of 36 aircraft, 28 of which belong to the Airbus family, with the delivery of three more A321LR aircraft expected in 2022. Air Astana operates one of the youngest fleets in the world.

China Airlines accepts its first GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft

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China Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo family aircraft, an A321neo with Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines. The aircraft, leased from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), arrived in Taipei, Taiwan, where the airline is preparing it for entry into service. This aircraft is the first of up to 30 A321neo aircraft that the airline ordered in 2019.

“We are excited to begin operating this new fleet in partnership with Pratt & Whitney,” said Wang Houng, S.V.P. of China Airlines. “The highly efficient and eco-friendly GTF engines will help us pave the way to a sustainable future, while providing our passengers with a more comfortable flying experience.”

China Airlines’ order in 2019 covered a combination of owned and leased aircraft – 25 firm with purchase rights for another five – in addition to a long-term EngineWise® comprehensive agreement for the maintenance of the engines. Pratt & Whitney and China Airlines strengthened their relationship again in 2020, with the airline joining the GTF MRO network, in which it will overhaul GTF engines for A320neo family aircraft.

Congratulations to China Airlines on their first GTF-powered A321neo,” said John Plueger, chief executive officer and president at Air Lease Corporation. “China Airlines and its customers will soon benefit from the capacity and range of the A321neo, the economic and environmental performance of its GTF engines, and the financial flexibility of these leased aircraft.”

This first A321neo aircraft joins two GTF-powered A320neo currently operated by China Airlines’ subsidiary Tigerair Taiwan, also based in Taipei. Tigerair Taiwan had selected GTF engines for a fleet of 15 purchased and leased A320neo family aircraft, of which the airline took delivery of its first A320neo earlier this year.

“We are proud to celebrate this milestone with China Airlines,” said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer at Pratt & Whitney. “Our relationship began more than 60 years ago, when our Twin Wasp engines powered their fleet of Douglas DC-3 aircraft. We thank China Airlines and ALC for their continued trust in the engine that has been pioneering the future of commercial aviation.”

Ryanair announces partnership with Junta de Andalucía

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 Ryanair, Europe’s has announced its latest partnership with Junta de Andalucía in a bid to further boost tourism recovery across the Spanish region. Central to the partnership is an exciting and innovative joint communications campaign aimed at strengthening Spain’s position as an attractive tourist destination and spurring visitors from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Norway and Sweden. 

 As the most southern region in Spain, Andalucía is famous for its Moorish architecture, autonomous region of hills, clear-blue rivers, and mouth-watering food – the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway this Dec/Jan. 

 Ryanair’s Director of Marketing, Dara Brady said: “We are delighted to partner with Junta de Andalucía and to work together to enhance connectivity between Spain and the rest of Europe, steadily rebuilding the nation’s tourism industry.

 We have already significantly increased connectivity to/from the Spanish region with the introduction of new routes and additional frequencies from across Europe. This partnership will further promote this beautiful region and Ryanair’s network of low fare routes to Spain, which are becoming increasingly popular among our growing customer base as they plan their well-deserved new year breaks.”

 Vice President & Minister for Tourism of the Regional Government of Andalucía, Mr. Juan Marín said: “We are very excited to work with Ryanair, Europe’s no.1 airline, on this incredibly important campaign promoting Andalucía as an attractive tourism destination for European travellers.

 Ryanair is a long-standing supporter of Spain and our connectivity with Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Norway and Sweden, and has driven tourism to the region for many years now with its strong network of routes and market leading low fares.

 We are sure that Ryanair’s customers will enjoy visiting to our stunning south coast where they can indulge in traditional Andalucían cuisine and take in the stunning sights of our Moorish architecture.”

CPaT announces new Korean contract with Eastar Jet

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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 by Eastar Jet. CPaT will be providing Aircraft Systems for the Boeing 737 Classic, NG and Max, as well as CPaT’s General Subjects library, and Interactive Diagrams.

“CPaT is pleased to partner with Eastar Jet as they ramp up their flight operations,” said Capt. Greg Darrow, Vice President of Sales. “CPaT looks forward to providing premium training solutions to Eastar’s pilots and new students.”

Eastar Jet is based out of Seoul, Korea and provides short and medium-haul services from its four bases in Seoul, Gunsan, Cheongju and Jeju.

Norwegian enters into agreement to lease two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

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Norwegian continues to selectively grow its aircraft fleet, and the company is pleased to announce that it has entered into agreement to lease two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

“This agreement is an important step in Norwegian’s plan to build an efficient and modern fleet for the future. The flexibility of ‘power-by-the-hour’ will allow us to manage our capacity through the low season adjusting for variations in seasonal demand,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.

Delivery will begin shortly to enable Norwegian to fulfil the announced Summer 2022 flying programme with approximately 270 routes.

The lease term for each aircraft is for nine years. The agreement includes ‘power-by-the-hour’ (PBH) arrangements for both the IATA Winter Seasons 2021/22 and 2022/23, giving Norwegian necessary flexibility to manage capacity through the low season. Finally, Norwegian has the option, under the agreement, to substitute the subject 737 MAX 8 aircraft for new technology narrow-body aircraft from Airbus. The lessor is well reputed and has a longstanding relationship with Norwegian.

The transaction will enable Norwegian to continue its focus on offering the most environmentally friendly travel options for our customers.

Air Astana Airbus C-check at Nur-Sultan airport

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During November 2021, Air Astana engineers carried out C-check maintenance for the first time at its modern engineering centre, at Nur-Sultan airport. This C-check was performed on one of Air Astana’s Airbus A321 aircraft.

Earlier this autumn, Air Astana was certified by EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) to perform this high level of maintenance. Air Astana historically carried out heavy maintenance C-checks in Europe, Russia and China.

C-Checks are a complexity of heavy maintenance tasks, performed at least every three years, prior to the completion of 12,000 flight hours or 8,000 flights, whichever occurs first.

Robert Dando, Senior Manager of Maintenance at Air Astana said: “During the C-check we perform inspections to ensure the safe condition and continued safety of the aircraft and routine replacement of items that have a life expiry time. The most complex replacement on this check is the landing gear lower bearing replacement. We also perform modifications which enhance the safety of the aircraft. The tasks are performed using our own mechanics and engineers. In total over 450 tasks have been performed, including refurbishment of the passenger compartment, replacement of bearings and elements of air conditioning system, modifications of avionics and diagnostics of engines and other systems.”

Once the C-check is finished and the release certificate signed, the aircraft will have a quick verification flight and then it will return straight back into revenue service. The next C-check will be performed in December 2021, which will be followed by six more in 2022 at Nur-Sultan.

Asia Digital Engineering (ADE) aims to expand its offering as a GX Aviation installation partner in Southeast Asia

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Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications has announced the first installation of its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution by Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), a wholly-owned AirAsia Group subsidiary and leading provider of engineering services in Southeast Asia.

The installation, completed onboard an AirAsia Airbus A320 aircraft, marks an important milestone that supports ADE’s ambitions to become a GX Aviation installation partner for other airlines in Southeast Asia. The company will also establish a one-stop-shop for airlines that want to operate a fully connected fleet, combining its vast expertise in end-to-end engineering and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) with Inmarsat’s market-leading connectivity solutions.

ADE was established in September 2020, after AirAsia Group consolidated its engineering and MRO assets to provide a centralised support service, not only for its own aircraft fleet but also for other commercial airlines in the region. With a unique focus on data and technology, ADE has successfully leveraged, and continues to build on, AirAsia Group’s 19 years of combined experience in operating and maintaining a large fleet of more than 250 Airbus A320 and A330 family aircraft.

Chris Rogerson, Inmarsat Aviation’s Vice President of Global Sales, said: “AirAsia Group is the largest customer for our GX Aviation inflight broadband solution in the Asia Pacific region, and one of the largest in the world. Our partnership has been a hugely successful one, based on a common passion for the exciting opportunities that digitalisation and connectivity provide to passengers and the aviation industry, especially as airlines recover from the pandemic. We are delighted, therefore, to now collaborate on GX Aviation installations for AirAsia and other airlines in the region, bringing together the combined experience and expertise of Inmarsat, ADE, and the rest of the AirAsia Group.”

Mahesh Kumar, CEO of Asia Digital Engineering, said: “ADE has made significant progress since launching our services in the midst of the pandemic last year. We are delighted about the success of our first GX Aviation installation and look forward to continuing the rollout across AirAsia Group’s fleet, as well as bringing our world-class engineering and MRO expertise to other airlines. By working with partners such as Inmarsat, we are building ADE into a market leader that provides high quality and best value services, with a focus on using the latest technologies to increase satisfaction, productivity and efficiency.”

ADE, based in AirAsia Group’s RedQ global headquarters in Malaysia, has already received base maintenance approvals from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) and Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, with approval from five additional authorities expected before the end of 2021.

Menzies Aviation announces easyJet contract renewals at 21 European airports

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Menzies Aviation, the global aviation logistics specialist, has announced that it has secured an extension to its long-standing ground services partnership with easyJet at 21 airports across Europe.

The contract renewals will see Menzies provide a range of ground services, such as passenger, ramp, cabin cleaning and de-icing, for easyJet flights at major European and UK airports. Collectively, these contracts represent over 80,000 turns annually.

Menzies has a well-established relationship with the airline, dating back over 15 years, with a particularly long history of handling easyJet at its home base at London Luton Airport.

That partnership continues with Menzies providing full ground handling and de-icing services at Amsterdam, Nice, Stockholm Arlanda, Prague, Budapest, and Isle of Man airports as well as ground handling at London Luton airport plus passenger and supervision services at 11 airports across Spain. Further to this, Menzies provides de-icing at Manchester and London Gatwick and de-icing and cleaning at Edinburgh.

Philipp Joeinig, Chairman & CEO of John Menzies plc, said: “As one of Europe’s leading airlines, we are delighted that easyJet has yet again selected Menzies as its partner of choice to deliver a suite of services across its European network. Multiple contract renewals are testament to the excellent standard of service that our teams in Europe provide, and we look forward to continuing to deliver best-in-class solutions for easyJet to further strengthen our already long-standing partnership.”

Rolls-Royce reaches for the electric aircraft world speed record

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Rolls-Royce believe their all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, setting three new world records. The engine manufacturer hase submitted data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) – the World Air Sports Federation who control and certify world aeronautical and astronautical records – that at 15:45 (GMT) on 16 November 2021, the aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over three kilometres, smashing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph). In further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3000 metres by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds, according to our data.

During its record-breaking runs, the aircraft clocked up a maximum speed of 623 km/h (387.4 mph) which we believe makes the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. I would like to thank our partners and especially Electroflight for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough. The advanced battery and propulsion technologydeveloped for this programme has exciting applications for the AdvancedAirMobilitymarket.Followingtheworld’sfocusontheneedforactionatCOP26, thisis another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Rolls-Royce’s revolutionary Spirit of Innovation aircraft is yet more proof of the UK’s enviable credentials when it comes to innovation. This record will show the potential of electric flight and help to unlock the technologies that could make it part of everyday life. The government is proud to back projects like this to leverage the private investment necessary to unlock cleaner, greener aircraft which will allow people to fly as they do now, but in a way that cuts emissions.”


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.”