All Boeings to be flying on SAF by 2030

By General NewsNo Comments

On 22 January Boeing announced that all its commercial will be able to fly on and gain certification to use 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) by 2030. This establishes a benchmark for its own environmental pledge following that issued by Airbus to develop a hydrogen-powered narrowbody type by 2035. The US aircraft manufacturer has already conducted flight tests replacing jet fuel with 100% SAF and has committed to working with regulators to raise the blended limit for expanded use.

According to the Air Transport Action Group, the US DoE, and several other scientific studies, sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle and carry the potential to reach 100% in the future. Today’s standard allows for no more than a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel and SAF. Boeing said aviation’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050 will require that airplanes fly on 100% SAF “well before” then.

“Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal. “We’re committed to working with regulators, engine companies, and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels.”

Airbus updates production rates in response to market environment

By General NewsNo Comments

Airbus  is updating its production rate planning for its A320 Family aircraft in response to the market environment.

The new average production rates for the A320 Family will now lead to a gradual increase in production from the current rate of 40 per month to 43 in Q3 and 45 in Q4 2021. This latest production plan represents a slower ramp up than the previously anticipated 47 aircraft per month from July.

The A220 monthly production rate will increase from four to five aircraft per month from the end of Q1 2021 as previously foreseen.

Widebody production is expected to remain stable at current levels, with monthly production rates of around five and two for the A350 and A330, respectively. This decision postpones a potential rate increase for the A350 to a later stage.

Airbus continues to monitor the market closely. With these revised rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves. Airbus expects the commercial aircraft market to return to pre-COVID levels by 2023 to 2025.

ACIA Aero Leasing transitions four aircraft to Sahel Aviation Service

By General NewsNo Comments

ACIA Aero Leasing (ACIA) has completed the transition of four aircraft to Sahel Aviation Service in Mali (SAS Mali).  The deliveries include two Embraer ERJ-145s and two Beechcraft B1900D aircraft and took place over the last three months.  The aircraft will bring ACIA’s total portfolio of aircraft on lease to SAS Mali to seven.

Established over 20 years ago, ACIA Aero Leasing is a regional aircraft lessor with offices in Ireland, Mauritius, France and South Africa. ACIA Aero Leasing manages a current aircraft portfolio of over 50 regional passenger and freighter aircraft which are on lease to operators in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Through our strategic partnerships, ACIA can provide airlines with turnkey leasing solutions from dry leasing through to full ACMI and charter operations.

CPaT Global announces expansion of new product – CPaT Invent

By General NewsNo Comments

CPaT Global, the world’s leading provider of distance learning for the airline and aviation industry, has announced that its recently released product, CPaT Invent, is now available with CPaT’s portfolio of aviation specialty (or general subjects) courses for all fleets, in addition to Aircraft Procedures courses for many fleets.

Since launching the product, the CPaT Global team has been continually building out the dynamic software to include CPaT’s entire product portfolio. The latest version of Invent includes CPaT’s complete catalog of general subjects’ courses ranging from A-Z—from Adverse Weather, Concepts of Weight and Balance, and Hot Temperature Operations, to Volcanic Ash and Weather Radar, just to name a few. The addition of the Aircraft Procedures suite includes FMS Skills training, Cockpit Procedures training, and Walk Around training for the 737-800, 737-8MAX, A320 Enh, A330, B777, and B787 fleets. Aircraft Procedures for the A220 and A320neo fleets will be ready in early Feb.

“CPaT Invent has been a game-changer for distance learning in the aviation industry,” said Kent Morrison, CPaT President. “We will continue to expand the capabilities of the software platform with robust features and new content to ensure that our clients are fully empowered with the right set of tools to implement their training program.”

Having CPaT’s aviation specialty courses available in Invent allows customers to self-edit CPaT’s professionally designed and developed lessons or their own materials to airline specific procedures and aviation regulations. Clients can add new slides, replace audio and graphics, insert new text, and upload reference material such as manual pages or bulletins. The Aircraft Procedures suite is pre-loaded with OEM procedures and offers clients 2D and 3D training for critical skills ahead of costly simulator and classroom training. Within CPaT Invent, the procedural training can also be tailored to specific airline and training organisation’s needs.

Flight tests validate Orolia’s GADSS autonomous distress tracking solution

By General NewsNo Comments

Orolia recently organised a series of flight tests to demonstrate and qualify capabilities of the GADSS global aircraft safety program’s end-to-end Emergency Locator Transmitter Distress Tracking (ELT-DT) system, including Orolia’s Ultima-DT solution.

With these successful flight test results and the exceptional performance of its Ultima-DT system, Orolia is now the world’s first industry supplier to offer a compliant solution to GADSS Autonomous Distress Tracking requirements, as required for new-built commercial aircraft after January 2023.

This major European initiative has been led by Orolia with the support of French and Spanish government partners such as France’s CNES, the Spanish and French Air Traffic Service Units, the Spanish and French Mission Control Centres, the Spanish and French Rescue Coordination Centres, as well as two major Airline Operation Centers from Air France and Iberia. This was the first opportunity to evaluate a system-level implementation of the new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), particularly its Autonomous Distress Tracking component (ADT).

This evaluation included Orolia’s Ultima-DT, the latest generation of Emergency Location Transmitter (ELT) with Distress Tracking capability. The flight tests were conducted in a business jet, flying along a trajectory across Spain and France. The robustness of the alert and tracking transmission, which involves the Cospas Sarsat MEOSAR satellite constellation, as well as the performance of ground reception and distribution, were confirmed- even with extreme aircraft attitudes.

These tests also provided the opportunity to review some organisational and process aspects, in particular the insertion of the Distress Tracking process into the general aircraft alert management process, including communication between Air Traffic Service Units, Rescue Coordination Centres, and Airlines Operations Centres in France and Spain.

Though test data still need to be applied to ongoing program development, preliminary results showed excellent system performance with 100% scores for the transmission/detection rate, as well as geo-location functionality. All stakeholders were able to receive distress information in a timely manner.

“This successful evaluation enabled all participants to collect large quantities of critical data in an accurate operational context. The maturity level of the GADSS distress tracking system, including Orolia’s Ultima-DT, has now been verified with the same level of reliable performance both in flight and on the ground,” said Christian Belleux, aviation product line director at Orolia. Ultima-DT was developed through the Helios initiative, with funding support from the European GNSS Agency under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant agreement No 687554.

Menzies Aviation renews partnership with Finnair

By General NewsNo Comments

Menzies Aviation, the global aviation logistics specialist, today announces the renewal of its contract with Finland’s national carrier, Finnair, following a competitive selection process.

Menzies Aviation has been awarded a further three-year contract to provide Finnair with passenger, ground handling and de-icing services at Oslo Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport and Copenhagen Airport. Across the four stations, 7,000 turns are anticipated per annum.

This contract further solidifies Menzies’ presence in the Scandinavian market and its long-established relationship with Finnair, which spans several airports globally.

Thomas Hoff Andersson, Vice President of Northern Europe at Menzies, said:  “We’re delighted to have once again been chosen as Finnair’s preferred ground handling partner. This renewal is testament to the successful partnership we have built with the airline through the consistent high-quality service delivered by Menzies employees over the years. We are looking forward to supporting Finnair as international travel regains pace later in the year and the growth opportunities this partnership may bring.”

GlobalX takes delivery of its first Airbus A320 at Miami International Airport

By General NewsNo Comments

Global Crossing Airlines Group, Inc., announced it has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft, on 19 January, marking the beginning of the new passenger and cargo airline.

“We are thrilled to take delivery of our first A320 aircraft here at our base at MIA. We are building our airline around Airbus with the A320 and 321 in passenger configuration, and later this year with the first of many A321 cargo aircraft. We hope to operate the Airbus A330 aircraft as well. Today is a testament to the outstanding work of the GlobalX team as we continue to certify as a US flag carrier,” said Ed Wegel, Chairman and CEO.

The aircraft arrived at its new base, Miami International Airport, on Sunday afternoon and was welcomed with a ceremonial water cannon salute upon landing.  This marks the first delivery of two aircraft scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.

GlobalX’s first A320 aircraft came freshly painted in its signature blue and green livery.  The aircraft comfortably accommodates 180 passengers in an all Economy Class configuration, and features a large cargo hold capable of accommodating generous passenger baggage allowances.  Upon completion of its FAA certification which is expected by late first quarter 2021, the A320 aircraft will immediately begin passenger charter operations throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.

“We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the leadership and team at GlobalX for their trust in Airbus and our A320 aircraft family. It’s an honor to welcome a new A320 and A321 operator in North America and support them throughout their expansion,” said Airbus Americas Chairman and CEO Jeff Knittel.

“We look forward to a great relationship with GlobalX into the future,” he added.

GlobalX will provide charter airlift for major airlines, tour operators, professional and collegiate sports teams, casinos, and corporate groups. It will also operate direct to consumer charters under its own Part 380.  The airline will operate from two bases at Miami International Airport and Atlantic City International Airport.

Editor’s Comment: No running in the corridors, for now…

By General NewsNo Comments

In an effort to prevent new strains of COVID-19 entering the UK, the British Government announced it was going to scrap its ‘corridor’ scheme from 18 January, and planned to keep this ruling in place until at least 15 February.

For those entering the UK, they must provide a negative test result from within the last 72 hours and quarantine for 10 days, or five if they take another test at their own expense and it also comes back negative.

Back in the summer of 2020, after months of lockdown, when travel finally became possible again, the UK’s regional airline market had high hopes of a ‘bounce-back’ recovery in that year after what had been a devastating time for the industry. The first holidays were in the UK and were back on the agenda, and then trips abroad became a reality once more, with the government removing travel restrictions on a sizeable list of countries, that British travellers could visit.

The government’s ‘travel corridor’ approach removed the mandatory 10-day self-isolation period on return to the UK – and only for English residents. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the rules were different again.

The aim was to allow smoother travel between countries that had lower or similar rates of infection, the so called ‘R number’. Travellers entering England from a ‘low-risk’ country wouldn’t face a quarantine, while those travelling from a ‘higher-risk’ nation were still allowed to enter, but had to self-isolate on arrival. No matter where they came from, all had to provide contact details on arrival.

But, despite the preventative measures, it hasn’t proved enough, and further lockdowns have been introduced across the UK. The list of countries that the British Government is advising not to visit is growing steadily. But there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. Media outlets are wasting no time in reporting the high numbers of vaccinations taking place, and personally speaking, like many, I breathed a sigh of relief when my mum received her appointment date for the first dose of the vaccine.

We may well be in the thick of the fight against COVID-19 right now, but a better summer is looking possible and I for one have promised myself a few to trips to Europe again, in some small way to support Europe’s regional carriers – and I keep my promises.

De Havilland’s Dash 8 Q400 series set to go quiet?

By General NewsNo Comments

De Havilland Canada (DHC) will pause production of its Dash 8-400 once its order backlog is completed a company spokesperson has confirmed.

The Canadian aircraft manufacturer notified suppliers to stop delivering parts to avoid building the so-called “whitetails” – completed aircraft ahead of confirmed orders, a report by Leeham News has stated.

Currently, DHC has 17 Dash 8-400 orders scheduled for customers in 2021. There are two more Dash 8s in the backlog without identified clients, read the report.

De Havilland Canada will deliver Dash 8-400s to such customers as: Air Tanzania (one), Biman Bangladesh Airlines (two), Conair (two), Elin (three), Ethiopian Airlines (four), PAL Express (one), TAAG Angola Airlines (four). Two aircraft were assigned to unidentified customers.

“We continue to sell, deliver and support the Dash 8-400 while taking appropriate measures to safeguard our people and our business,” a spokesperson for DHC stated. “Our manufacturing operations have capacity to produce aircraft at our Downsview facility into 2023. However, we will not be producing “whitetails” and market demand will guide our future production plans for the Dash 8-400 aircraft.”

The manufacturer said it is in the process of investigating different options for the aircraft’s future and will release further details when plans are approved and confirmed.

“We are committed to nothing less than re-positioning the De Havilland Canada brand to the forefront of the regional aircraft and Canadian aerospace industry,” added DHC.

China’s Comac added to US DoD sanctions list

By General NewsNo Comments

On 15 January, the US DoD added Comac among eight other Chinese companies to its list of civil entities that allegedly contribute advanced technologies to China’s effort to modernise the People’s Liberation Army. The list of companies, the initial iteration of which the DoD released to Congress in June 2020, includes several other Chinese aerospace companies such as Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), maker of the MA-700 regional turboprop.

The move comes days before the end of the Trump Administration and the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden, who will inherit the heightened tensions between the US and China resulting from an executive order banning Americans from investing in Chinese firms owned or deemed controlled by the Chinese military.

Among other restrictions, the ban requires US investors in any of the companies on the list to withdraw their holdings by 11 November.

Depending on what position the Biden administration takes, the inclusion of Comac on the list could threaten the viability of the C919 narrowbody and ARJ21 regional jet given their US content, most notably their engines and avionics. CFM Leap-1Cs power the C919 and GE CF34s power the ARJ21. Collins Aerospace and Honeywell contribute to the programs’ respective avionics and flight controls.