Wizz Air celebrates the appointment of two new ambassadors in the UK

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Wizz Air, Europe’s fastest growing and most sustainable airline, is delighted to announce that it has appointed two new ambassadors in the UK, who will officially represent the airline over the next two years.

After a rigorous internal selection process, which was open to all cabin crew members who have worked with Wizz Air for over one year, Hayley Goddard and Paulina Gudaityte were chosen to represent the airline as its UK ambassadors. Hayley and Paulina form part of a wider group of 20 newly appointed ambassadors across the Wizz Air network, who will represent their base country and the airline at corporate events, milestone celebrations and recruitment days, as well as on social media.

Based at Wizz Air’s Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Hayley has worked as a Cabin Attendant with Wizz Air for just over one year. Having flown to over 20 destinations already, her favourite part of the job is meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds and being a part of their journeys.  Paulina is a Senior Cabin Attendant based at London Luton Airport, and having worked for the airline for four years, her favourite thing about Wizz Air is that it has taken her to new and interesting cities throughout Europe. Passengers can follow both Hayley and Paulina on social media for a glimpse into the exciting life of a cabin crew member at Wizz Air.

Following its biggest ever salary upgrade, Wizz Air continues to recruit for ambitious cabin crew across its UK bases. Welcoming both experienced cabin crew, as well as those with no previous experience, the airline is hosting a series of recruitment events, offering aspiring candidates the chance to learn more about Wizz Air and apply for roles on the day.

Marion Geoffrey, Managing Director Wizz Air UK, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Hayley and Paulina as our newest UK ambassadors, who will be the official faces of Wizz Air in the UK for the next two years. Hayley and Paulina will share their experience of being part of the Wizz Air family, whether it’s their exciting career progression, favourite destinations in the Wizz Air network, or their unwavering passion for aviation. At Wizz Air, we are extremely proud to have an outstanding team of cabin crew who are committed to providing a superior onboard service for our customers. We continue to recruit for cabin crew and encourage those looking for their next adventure to apply today.”

Scandinavian Airlines System group selects ULTRAMAIN® ELB™ for Paperless Operations

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Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has selected Ultramain Systems to provide its market leading electronic logbook software. ULTRAMAIN ELB fully replaces the aircraft paper technical log, cabin log, journey log, damage log, and fueling logs providing a validated electronic Certificate of Release to Service (e-CRS). The ELB application will be used by Flight Crews, Cabin Crews, and Mechanics on iOS and Windows devices to provide integrated workflows with SAS maintenance and operations systems. Once implemented, ULTRAMAIN ELB will provide a variety of benefits including enabling accurate, real-time global operational visibility of the SAS fleet, resulting in fewer maintenance related disruptions, reduced defect life cycle time, higher dispatch reliability, and increased aircraft utilization. Ultramain’s off-line eSignature validation capabilities will ensure reliable electronic operations even when connectivity is unavailable.

According to SAS, ULTRAMAIN ELB will enable process efficiencies that will avoid disruptions and reduce turn times.  The removal of paper-based processes will increase productivity by 6,500 man-hours per annum. As part of the SAS digitalization and paperless initiative, ULTRAMAIN ELB reinforces the SAS commitment to providing sustainable travel. Implementing ELB will avoid the consumption of 300 logbooks per year across the SAS group of airlines.

“We are pleased to welcome SAS to the ULTRAMAIN ELB family. As the launch customer of ULTRAMAIN Electronic Line Checks™, a companion product to ELB, SAS will further increase productivity with digital line maintenance check sheets. This is an important step toward the SAS goal of reducing the environmental impact for the communities in which they serve,” said Mark McCausland – President and CEO of Ultramain Systems.

Sky Express cooperates with Royal Jordanian

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SKY express and Royal Jordanian join forces to offer passengers more options from the Middle East to the largest domestic network in Greece.

The strategic cooperation allows passengers flying with Royal Jordanian from the Middle East and Asia to El. Venizelos to easily continue their journey in one of the 34 separate Greek destinations served by SKY express. The travel experience becomes even more special with the country’s youngest and greenest fleet and one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly.

The aviation of the new era through targeted alliances significantly strengthens its position at the international level and at the same time participates in the national effort to establish the country as a top choice. The remaining interline agreements with global carriers such as Air France, KLM, Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Cyprus Airways, Condor, El Al and Transavia, Middle East Airlines, Air Transat, Emirates and Delta serve the same purpose.

 Mr. Yannis Lidakis, Commercial Director, SKY express, said: “One of the primary goals that we set  at SKY express is to increase connectivity both at home and abroad.  Staying firm in our plan today we serve the largest domestic network, but also popular European destinations such as Paris, London, Rome, Larnaca and Brussels. We don’t get complacent. Through strategic alliances such as that with the Royal Jordanian we constantly create bridges for the benefit of our country and offer the opportunity to the travelling public to enjoy the experience of unique Greek destinations”.

Aeroflot buys eight Airbuses stuck in Russia from foreign leasing firms

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As part of its ‘fulfilment of contractual obligations’ Russia’s biggest airline, Aeroflot, has bought eight Airbus A330 aircraft from foreign leasing companies.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western sanctions have barred Russia’s airlines from returning the planes, with more than 400 aircraft leased from Western firms stranded in Russia. The value of these planes is around $10billion USD.

Aeroflot told Reuters that it had purchased eight Airbus A330s from foreign leasing companies but did not specify which firms the aircraft had been leased from. The purchase could be an attempt to maintain good relations with the lessors.

Currently there are 26 Airbus A330s-300s in Russia, according to ch-aviation. Russian authorities have been transferring the aircraft to their own registry to ensure that Russian airlines can use them, and that they continue to have valid airworthiness certificates.

Meanwhile, leasing firms have begun to make lengthy insurance claims to try to recover some of the lost value of the aircraft.

The largest claim has been made by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s biggest aircraft lessor, which has submitted a $3.5 billion insurance claim for more than 100 jets.

EU regulations governing sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine generally prohibit “the award and continued execution of public contracts and concessions with Russian nationals and entities or bodies established in Russia”. Aeroflot is majority-owned by the Russian state.

But one of the exemptions enacted on April 8 says national authorities in the EU may authorise “the execution of an aircraft financial lease concluded before 26 February 2022”, as long as it is “strictly necessary to ensure lease re-payments” and no payment is made beyond the transfer of the aircraft.

Syphax Airlines chooses Rusada’s ENVISION

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Relaunched Tunisian carrier, Syphax Airlines, has signed up for Rusada’s Airworthiness, MRO, and Flight Operations software, ENVISION.

Syphax Airlines, based out of Sfax–Thyna International Airport, plans to commence flights this summer using a fleet of Boeing 737-800s. The airline will operate passenger flights to multiple destinations in Africa and Europe, with a view to continually grow their fleet until 2027 based on the needs of the market.

Syphax has signed up for seven of ENVISION’s modules including, Fleet Management for airworthiness, Line Maintenance, Inventory Management, and Flight Operations.

Rusada will begin the implementation project immediately to ensure the system is live in time for Syphax’s first flight.

Foued Chokri Ziadi, Chief Operating Officer at Syphax Airlines said:

“A key aspect for us in our search for a solution, was a multi-discipline approach. We wanted one system that could link our airworthiness, maintenance, and flight ops together, allowing for maximum efficiency and visibility across our operations.

“We also needed flexibility for our future growth, and we found ENVISION to be as capable managing a fleet of one as it is of one hundred.”

Julian Stourton, CEO at Rusada said:

“We are delighted to be playing a vital part in the next stage of Syphax’s history. The team they have in place possess a wealth of experience, so the fact that they chose ENVISION as their solution of choice is a great statement.

“We will ensure that this new beginning ends in a resounding success and look forward to a fruitful partnership in the years to come.”

Air Astana celebrates 20 years in the sky

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Air Astana celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first commercial flight from Almaty to Nur-Sultan. The airline is proud of the significant progress achieved since those early days, having maintained its independence and never calling upon external support, despite numerous macro-economic shocks over two decades.

Carrying almost 60 million passengers and more than 250,000 tons of cargo over the last 20 years, Air Astana has operated 600,000 flights and had an average passenger load factor of almost 70%. The airline’s world-class management team has relentlessly delivered outstanding performance in terms of safety, service innovation, passenger comfort, operational efficiency and in particular low costs, which are in-line with those achieved by the world’s leading low-cost airlines.

The airline also has greatly contributed to the Kazakhstan economy by creating over 5,000 jobs, all of which were maintained during the health pandemic period. In addition, the airline has generated over US$500 million in tax revenue for the government over the past 20 years.

Air Astana Group’s fleet has grown to 37 aircraft, including Boeing 767, Airbus A320/A320neo/A321/A321neo/A321LR and Embraer 190-E2 aircraft, with an average age of four years. Since its launch in 2019, FlyArystan, the Group’s low-cost subsidiary, has grown rapidly to operate 10 Airbus A320 aircraft on 44 international and domestic routes.

Since 2009, a total of 259 cadets have completed Air Astana’s Ab-initio pilot training program, with 60 becoming Captains and 157 serving as First Officer.

Air Astana is a multi-award-winning airline, having received the Skytrax Best Airline in Central Asia Award an unprecedented nine times since 2012 and has also received the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Award three times, together with APEX Awards in 2018-2020.

Air Astana’s 20th Anniversary is a truly remarkable achievement, which I hold with great pride together every one of our dedicated 5,ooo employees. With the guiding principles of resilience, determination and innovation, we have all worked tirelessly to overcome every obstacle in order to consistently deliver the very highest levels of safety, service and efficiency to our dedicated customers for two decades,” said Peter Foster, President and CEO of Air Astana. ”The past two years of enduring the effects on travel of COVID have been particularly challenging, but these principles helped ensure a very solid financial performance in 2021, which positions us well for growth at the start of Air Astana’s third decade.”

Menzies Aviation secures new airlines at Los Angeles International Airport

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Menzies Aviation, the global aviation logistics specialist, announces a series of wins at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), its largest station in the Americas, with the LATAM Group, Level and MAS airlines.

Menzies has secured a new contract with Level, IAG’s low-cost airline, to provide full ground services at LAX. With this new agreement, Menzies now provides complete coverage to the IAG Group of airlines at LAX, including British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and now Level.

Menzies has also been awarded a contract with Mexican cargo carrier MAS to support its daily freighter flights. This win further solidifies Menzies as the preferred ramp handler for freighter aircraft at LAX.

Additionally, Menzies and LATAM Group’s global relationship continues to go from strength to strength with Menzies extending its ramp handling contract and adding full passenger handling to the list of services for the Latin American airline’s twice daily flights at LAX.

John Redmond, Executive Vice President – Americas, Menzies Aviation said: “We are proud to continue to expand our business at LAX, the largest airport on the West Coast. These new contracts demonstrate the trust and confidence airlines have in the ability of the Menzies team to provide safe, secure and consistent quality service. We look forward to providing our expertise to MAS and Level, as well as deepening our relationship with the LATAM Group.”

Ryanair announces winter maintenance agreement with STS Aviation Group

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Ryanair announced a new winter maintenance agreement with UK MRO provider, STS Aviation Group, which will see the airline undertake two lines of heavy maintenance at their modern MRO facility in Birmingham. Ryanair’s fleet will grow to over 600 aircraft over the coming years and this agreement will ensure that the airline has flexibility as to where it places its aircraft for upcoming winter maintenance seasons.

Ryanair uses a mix of internal facilities and external suppliers to conduct its heavy maintenance. Ryanair continues to invest in internal heavy maintenance facilities and this agreement will complement these facilities to ensure the maintenance requirements are more than met over the coming years.

Speaking on the impact of this announcement, Ryanair’s Director of Operations, Neal McMahon, said:

Our 5-year growth plan will grow our fleet to over 600 aircraft and we are pleased to announce this agreement with STS Aviation to conduct maintenance at their modern MRO facility in Birmingham this winter. This agreement will allow Ryanair to utilise 2 heavy maintenance slots, with aircraft coming in nose-to-tail for the upcoming winter season. STS Aviation has an excellent reputation for a quality service offering in the industry and we are pleased to be announcing this new deal. This agreement will ensure that Ryanair has flexibility as to where it places its aircraft for the winter maintenance season.”

Commenting on the deal, Ian Bartholomew, Senior Vice President Business Development Europe at STS Aviation Services said:

“We are delighted that Ryanair has selected STS Aviation Services to perform nose-to-tail lines of heavy aircraft maintenance at our facility located in Birmingham, UK. This contract win is testament to the professionalism and dedication of our entire team, and we look forward to receiving the first aircraft later this year while expanding the relationship and supporting the long-term growth of such a prestigious customer.”

flyadeal lists five new seasonal destinations next summer and adds Dammam to its departure stations from Cairo

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flyadeal, the latest low-cost airline and the third-largest air operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has listed five international destinations for its flight network in the summer of 2022. The company is expanding the number of flights to meet consumer demand for destinations, including Amman in Jordan, Tbilisi and Batumi in Georgia, Baku in Azerbaijan, and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. Flyadeal has also added the King Fahd International Airport in Dammam. The company will also launch a new flight to Cairo from Riyadh and Jeddah.

Con Korfiatis, Chief Executive Officer at flyadeal, explained that the new seasonal flights are in line with flyadeal’s ambitious plan to grow and expand domestically and internationally and to provide the opportunity for more of its customers to enjoy a unique travel experience, as well as being able to serve more customers.

The low-cost carrier’s seasonal flights will operate to the five destinations from mid-June until late July, with seven weekly flights from Riyadh and Jeddah to Amman. The company will also operate four flights to Tbilisi from Riyadh, three from Jeddah and two flights from Dammam, and Batumi, Georgia’s second destination, with an average of three flights from Riyadh and Jeddah. Initially, there will be an average of four flights to Baku from Riyadh and three flights from Jeddah and Dammam. There will be an average of three flights to Sharm El-Sheikh from Riyadh and Jeddah and two flights from Dammam.

The airline will also add Dammam as a new starting destination to operate flights to Cairo. It will operate seven weekly flights, in line with the demand for Cairo flights witnessed through both Riyadh and Jeddah. During the summer season, flyadeal flies to 21 destinations, including 14 domestically and seven internationally, supported by a modern fleet of 21 aircraft.

flyadeal will start selling tickets for seasonal destinations from early May 2022. Customers are encouraged to visit the flyadeal.com website for the best rate or through the smartphone application, which features a wide range of services for customers.

Colourful horizons ahead for MAAS Aviation

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MAAS Aviation continue to see mounting optimism in the aviation sector as they report a buoyant start to 2022. Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Marston, comments: “The industry is seeing strong post-pandemic growth as travel restrictions ease and we go back to everyday life. With more aircraft returning to the skies, the global MAAS teams have been busy with programmes for new and existing customers throughout the first quarter of this year. With the 21/22 winter painting season coming to an end, there is plenty to talk about.”

Statistics from IATA back up Marston’s positive outlook, with the trade association reporting that there has been industry-wide growth in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs) of 82.3% year-on-year in January 2022.

MAAS have continued to support established customers Ryanair and EasyJet with their programmes, repainting Ryanair’s B737-800 aircraft at their new Kaunas facility this season and EasyJet’s A320-family aircraft from their Maastricht paint bays.

“We have also been pleased to welcome some significant new clients to our paint shops this quarter” adds Tracy Jarman, Sales Manager Europe. “We have painted five A320s for Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling. The final aircraft in this current programme for Vueling will complete its makeover at our Maastricht facility later this month and we look forward to continuing this partnership later in the year.”

Sky Alps is a relative newcomer to the scene, founded in 2020, the Italian airline operated its first flights in June 2021. MAAS have aided in their continuing operations with the completion of fresh liveries for two of their Dash-8 Q400 turboprops.

MAAS also partnered with Greek carrier Aegean Airlines, completing two end-of-lease repaints for an A320 and an A321. Corendon Airlines is another new customer, with the MRO recently refinishing two B737-800 aircraft for the Turkish carrier, one of which is a special ‘Hull City’ football club livery.

Condor’s recent rebrand has grabbed the attention of the aviation industry with its bold striped liveries and MAAS were proud to have completed the paint jobs on the first two A321s in this programme. Jarman explains, “This project was top secret and had to be kept totally under wraps until the full launch of their new livery in early April, but this strategy paid off with the newly painted fleet making a big impact when revealed. The multi-coloured aircraft are designed to emulate the feelings of summer holidays, with the yellow stripes representing the sun, and blue the sea. Condor will be continuing to roll out more of their sensational new look over the summer season.”

Despite the difficulties the pandemic brought to the industry, the general feeling now is of optimism for continued recovery in the sector. MAAS Aviation are pleased to be supporting their airline, lessor, MRO and OEM customers with their ongoing growth and bringing more colours to the sky again.