GIG Aviation acquires two ATR 7 freighters to boost regional cargo services in Nigeria

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Regional turboprop manufacturer, ATR, today announces an agreement for the acquisition of two ATR 72-500 freighters from its asset management portfolio to GIG Aviation,  a subsidiary of GIG Group. The ATR 72-500s will initiate GIG Aviation journey as a freighter airline.

The ATR freighters will help GIG Logistics expand its network in Africa to meet the rapid growth of e-commerce in the country and strengthen the connections between communities from the different regions and sub regions. With its superior economics and versatility, burning 40% less fuel and emitting 40% less CO2 than a similar-sized regional jet, ATR is the perfect fit for economical and sustainable expansion.

Adetoro Fowoshere, Chief Executive Officer of GIG Aviation, said: “The acquisition of two ATR 72-500 freighters demonstrates our commitment to provide high standards of delivery services to communities of Africa and Nigeria. We are expanding rapidly through local branches, notably in Nigeria, and the entry into service of these aircraft will be significant in allowing us to expand operations with economic efficiency and reliability, key factors for an airline. With our ATR aircraft, we will continue to meet the cargo needs of communities with increased capacity.”

Tarek Ben Omrane, Head of Business Development of ATR, said: “We are delighted that GIG Aviation has chosen ATR to expand its network and use its unrivalled performance to support the connectivity and e-commerce growth in Nigeria. We believe that ATR aircraft are the perfect fit for such needs and are happy that the customers of GIG Aviation will benefit from fast efficient services provided by GIG Aviation through the use of our aircraft.”

ATR has extensive experience in the regional freighter market. There are currently around 140 converted ATR freighter aircraft in operation, representing one third of the global regional freighter fleet. ATR expresses optimism about the freighter market, which is growing strongly, and forecasts a demand for 460 freighters over 20 years in the up-to-nine-tonne category.

Ryanair announces new winter maintenance agreement with Caerdav

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Ryanair announced a new winter maintenance agreement with UK based MRO provider, Caerdav, which will see the airline undertake two lines of heavy maintenance with Caerdav at their modern MRO facility in Cardiff. 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 the upcoming winter maintenance season.

Ryanair uses a mix of internal facilities and external suppliers to conduct its heavy maintenance. Ryanair continues to invest in its 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 Caerdav to conduct maintenance at their modern MRO facility in Cardiff 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. Caerdav has an excellent reputation for a quality service offering in the industry and we are pleased to be announcing this new deal, which will ensure that Ryanair has flexibility as to where it places its aircraft for the winter maintenance season.”

Commenting on the deal, Richard Pitts-Robinson, Head of Commercial at Caerdav said:

“We are delighted that Ryanair has felt they can put their trust in Caerdav. As a team we take great pride in offering our customers a world-leading service, and to be able to demonstrate this to an airline the size of Ryanair is very exciting indeed – we’re looking forward to welcoming the first aircraft into St. Athan.” 

Air Astana takes delivery of eighth Airbus A321LR

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Air Astana has taken delivery of its eighth Airbus A321LR, with the latest aircraft arriving in Almaty in early May.  The aircraft is on an operating lease from Air Lease Corporation and will be joined by two more of the type later this year.

Air Astana’s Airbus A321LR aircraft feature a two-class cabin layout, with 16 seats in business class and 150 in economy class. All seats are equipped with individual IFE screens.

Airbus A321LR aircraft are operated on Air Astana’s international network, with destinations currently including Antalya (Turkey), Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Phuket (Thailand), Podgorica (Montenegro), Seoul and Sharm-El-Sheikh (Egypt). The aircraft will also soon be operated on the new service to Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete.

The Air Astana Group now operates a fleet of 37 aircraft, including 29 Airbus, three Boeing and five Embraer family aircraft. The average age of the Air Astana fleet is 4.9 years.

Aviation Capital Group selects Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines to power up to 60 more Airbus aircraft

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Pratt & Whitney has announced that leading aircraft leasing company Aviation Capital Group LLC (ACG) has selected 20 firm GTF-powered Airbus A220 aircraft, and also selected GTF engines to power an additional 20 firm and 20 option A320neo family aircraft. This brings ACG’s total to date to 80 firm and 27 option GTF-powered aircraft.

“The GTF engine continues to deliver impressive economic and environmental benefits to our customers,” said Steven C. Udvar-Hazy, senior vice president, and chief procurement officer at ACG. “We are pleased to increase ACG’s commitment for additional GTF-powered aircraft.”

ACG owns, manages and has on order more than 145 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney, including Airbus A220 and A320neo families with GTF engines, Airbus A320ceo family with V2500® engines and Boeing 757 aircraft with PW2000 engines. ACG serves around 90 customers in approximately 45 countries with dynamic fleet solutions.

“Leading lessors like ACG are recognising the increasing value that GTF engines are giving operators,” said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer at Pratt & Whitney. “With fuel prices and environmental concerns on the rise, GTF engines’ lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are growing more attractive by the day.”

Pratt & Whitney signs extension agreement with Delta TechOps for maintenance services

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Pratt & Whitney has signed an agreement with Delta TechOps (DTO) for maintenance services under which DTO will provide additional offload support for Pratt & Whitney mature commercial engines, including the PW2000 and the PW4000-94” engines.

“With passenger air travel recovering and the importance of cargo to the global economy, it is imperative that our engines stay in peak operational condition to keep fleets flying reliably and safely and to ensure everyone and everything gets to where it needs to go,” said Joe Sylvestro, senior vice president of Aftermarket & Sustainment Operations at Pratt & Whitney. “We are excited to be expanding our working relationship with Delta TechOps.”

Delta TechOps, a world-class MRO provider for both mature commercial engine and GTF engine fleets, has a long-standing collaborative relationship with Pratt & Whitney. With MRO headquarters in Atlanta and several locations in the United States, DTO is well positioned to support customers’ needs.

JAC expands regional fleet sustainably

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World’s leading regional aircraft manufacturer ATR and Japanese airline Japan Air Commuter (JAC) has announced the delivery of the company’s 9th ATR 42-600 to its fleet of 11 ATR aircraft. The latest 42-600 will undertake the first leg of its ferry flight from Toulouse to Japan with a blend including Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

In countries committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and preserving biodiversity such as Japan, ATR aircraft have proven to be successful: they connect communities and businesses across the Japanese archipelago in the most responsible way.

This new ATR 42-600 sports a specific livery representing the leaves of Kaikouzu, the tree of Kagoshima Prefecture. These leaves are the symbol of the preservation of nature in this country. It represents JAC’s commitment to connect areas that coexist with nature, operating the lowest CO2 emissions and most fuel efficient aircraft. The Japanese airline flies Yakushima, Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, Okinawa, which are all World Natural Heritage Sites, as well as many other areas rich and diverse in wildlife.

Stefano Bortoli Chief Executive Officer of ATR commented: “We are proud to see that ATR aircraft continue to support our Japanese long-standing customer JAC in its mission to connect communities and remote places, as well as propelling local economy. Thanks to the unrivalled versatility of our aircraft and its responsible performance, ATR aircraft are the perfect choice for this country”.

Astronics expands and enhances CorePower® product offering for emerging electric aircraft industry

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Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defence, and other mission critical industries, announced today that it has expanded its CorePower® product portfolio and capabilities to address the needs of the emerging electric aircraft industry.

The Company’s CorePower product line offers advanced flight-critical electrical power generation, conversion, distribution and control, primarily for smaller rotary and fixed wing aircraft in both commercial and military markets. Astronics has over 50 years of experience designing and manufacturing highly efficient and reliable aircraft electrical power solutions.

The aerospace industry today is making significant investments in More Electric Aircraft (MEA) architectures, including specifically electric propulsion and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. These new aircraft aim to reduce the carbon footprint and noise pollution associated with today’s aircraft, as well as enable new business models like urban air mobility (UAM) and cargo delivery. Significant investments are being made both by newcomers to the aerospace industry and established airframe OEMs.

Astronics has expanded its CorePower product offerings to include a new line of high voltage power conversion products (950VDC to 28VDC) and high voltage/high current solid state switching devices, for both uni- and bi-directional power distribution, along with required load protection. These products are designed to meet stringent regulatory certification requirements, including dissimilar topologies to minimize common-cause failure modes. The new products complete a flexible, modular line of high-voltage DC power conversion and distribution capabilities required by the new aircraft, and do so with increased efficiency and lower weight, leading to aircraft benefits such as increased run time, longer ranges, and higher passenger or cargo loads. The Company has added intelligence to every element of the power system to meet industry demands for higher reliability, increased safety, and extended periods of sustained, no-maintenance operation.

“Our Airborne Power and Control team has specialized in creating innovative and market leading Airframe Power solutions for small to medium sized rotorcraft and business jets – now with the advent of eVTOL and More Electric Aircraft, there are a number of new platforms that will benefit from our new CorePower high voltage products,” said Jon Neal, President of Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems. “Astronics is excited to be part of the evolution of aviation moving towards more sustainable and cleaner modes of transportation.”

Best airport in Britain recognition follows another record month for London City Airport

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Passenger numbers in April were up 35% compared to March, continuing the airport’s recovery since travel restrictions were eased by the UK Government.

256,000 travellers used London’s most central airport, representing approximately 61% of 2019 numbers for the same period.

Amsterdam, with 14 daily KLM Cityhopper and British Airways rotations, was again the busiest route, followed by Edinburgh and Zurich. Throughout April and continuing in the first week of May; SWISS, KLM and British Airways services from London City have benefited from higher load factors and a strong operational performance with only a low level of cancellations.

Commenting on the results the Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Hill, said: “The Easter holidays can see our volumes level off for a few weeks, but not in 2022 with more and more passengers using the airport for a well-earned break.

But the busiest month since the start of the pandemic was not driven by leisure alone, we have continued to see high load factors on core business routes like Edinburgh, Zurich, Frankfurt and Amsterdam and our recovery continues to be powered by an equal split in business and leisure passengers.

While we have largely avoided the queuing issues experienced at other airports, we are not resting on our laurels and everyone at London City is gearing up for a bumper summer whilst continuing to provide our passengers with a reliable schedule and the quickest airport experience in London.”

This news follows London City being ranked as Britain’s best airport by The Telegraph. The UK broadsheet evaluated criteria like on time performance, journey time from the city centre and average delays.

Commenting on the ranking, Hill added: “We’ve worked hard to preserve and improve our passenger proposition, so to be ranked by The Telegraph as Britain’s best airport is a major honour and recognition of the hard work our staff and partners put in day in, day out.”

May looks set to continue the upward turn in passengers, with more sun destinations like Faro (5-weekly), Bergerac (6-weekly) and Mykonos (7-weekly) being added to the departure board. Furthermore, following the news that British travellers will be able to use the eGates at the Portuguese border, Faro is likely to be even more popular than anticipated.

In addition, Loganair will increase to twice daily on its new Isle of Man service and, for the first time in the airport’s history, will offer a connection from the UK capital to Shetland.

 

Akasa Air selects Navitaire to power its tech-first strategy

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Newly launching airline Akasa Air has chosen the cloud enabled Navitaire Airline Platform to power its digital retailing strategy. It will leverage key solutions, including the New Skies® order-based reservation and retailing system, Digital Platform, GoNow day-of-departure and SkyLedger® revenue accounting systems.

Underpinned by its tech-led approach, the Mumbai-based airline will take to the skies in the summer of 2022 and serve routes between metro to tier 2 and 3 cities in India. The airline has plans to add international routes in 2023. The carrier’s strong growth plans are bolstered by its order of 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to be delivered over the next five years, which will give it the youngest and greenest fleet in the Indian skies.

Commenting on the partnership, Anand Srinivasan, Co-founder and Chief Information Officer at Akasa Air said, “Our goal is to leverage best-in-class technology and build a data-driven organisation and our partnership with a technology leader like Navitaire is a testament to the same. We are convinced that globally proven solutions like New Skies and SkyLedger will power our tech-enabled strategy and help us run reliable operations and offer affordable travel options to our customers.”

“It is a pleasure to partner with Akasa Air as they launch this innovative, inclusive airline, and we look forward to supporting Akasa Air’s dynamic growth,” said David P. Evans, Navitaire CEO. “Our proven digital commerce solutions, digital experience capabilities, and cloud-first approach are uniquely suited to help visionary airlines like Akasa Air leverage new technology specifically designed to help the leading digital pioneers of the skies move fast and grow fast. This experience and our shared culture let us focus on delivering what Akasa Air, one of today’s new breed of digital-first airlines, needs today and in the future.”

Navitaire, an Amadeus company, provides technology and business solutions to the airline industry, powering over 60 of the world’s leading low-cost and hybrid carriers today. Navitaire is one of the first providers to move its entire airline platform of solutions to the cloud, offering its carriers dynamic scalability to keep pace with growth and access to leading-edge technology that supports modern offer & order retailing concepts. Its extensive API suite and proven retailing and distribution capabilities gives airlines flexible options to offer bundled or a la carte ancillary services throughout a customer’s journey. Navitaire’s dynamic distribution, including its cloud-based NDC-enabled and digital channels, enables connections with industry and business partners, ranging from online travel agencies and airlines to travel commerce companies, all using modern technology.

Menzies Aviation appoints new Senior Vice-President of Fuels

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Menzies Aviation, the global aviation logistics specialist, has announced the appointment of Marco di Mario as its new Senior Vice President of Fuels.

Marco joins Menzies’ fuels leadership team with a wealth of experience in aviation fuels, gained over 20 years in the industry. Most recently, Marco was Vice President of Operations & Assets at aviation fuels service provider Skytanking. Prior to this, Marco held fuels related roles at North Air, Shell and Maxcom Petroli. Marco brings to the role deep operational and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) expertise, as well as significant experience in starting up global fuelling operations.

In this position, Marco will be based at Menzies’ London Gatwick office and responsible for leading Menzies’ Europe Fuels team. Marco will work closely alongside Morven McCrindle, Menzies’ Executive Vice President for Fuels, playing a central role in driving forward the growth of Menzies’ fuels footprint globally.

Morven McCrindle, EVP Fuels, Menzies Aviation, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Marco to Menzies, who will be an invaluable addition to our fuels leadership team. Marco is uniquely positioned to support our global business development with his decades of experience in aviation fuels and start-up know-how. Our customers are also set to benefit from Marco’s exceptional operational expertise. I look forward to working closely with Marco as we embark on an ambitious growth strategy for our global fuelling operations.”