United Airlines selects Skyborne as partner flight school for Aviate program

By General News

Skyborne Airline Academy Vero Beach has partnered with United Airlines’ Aviate programme to offer Skyborne trainee pilots a route to the flight deck at United Airlines.

The mentored career pathway takes trainees with zero or little flying experience through an FAA Part 141 programme to become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), before eventually joining United as a First Officer.

As part of the partnership, trainee pilots accepted into Aviate will receive access to pilot mentors and a conditional job offer for a First Officer position at United Airlines – all while training at Skyborne’s world-renowned facility in Vero Beach, Florida.

Lee Woodward, Chief Executive Officer, Skyborne, said: “The United Airlines Aviate programme in partnership with Skyborne will immerse trainees in airline technique, custom and practice, equipping graduates with the skills to be truly flight deck ready.

“In the US, air passenger numbers are now within 5% of 2019 levels and in order to meet this demand for travel, the aviation industry needs focused initiatives like Aviate. United Airlines is leading the way in responding to the pilot shortage and we’re extremely proud this partnership will deliver the next generation of competent, professional and resilient airline pilots.”

In another US industry first, trainees in the programme will also be eligible for the Skyborne Guarantee – a form of money-back guarantee upon successful completion of the Skyborne selection process and Private Pilot Certificate (PPC) phase.

Captain Curtis Brunjes, Managing Director of Aviate & Pilot Strategy, United Airlines, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Skyborne Airline Academy and are confident they will be an invaluable asset to Aviate due to their innovative approach to the aviation market, prestigious reputation and rigorous training. We look forward to working with them and welcoming more pilots to the United family.”

Skyborne and Aviate will work together to admit the best applicants to the programme. To train at Skyborne, an applicant must first meet Skyborne’s criteria, then pass a pilot selection process that includes aptitude and psychometric assessments followed by an interview with Skyborne – all completed online to make the process more convenient for applicants.

After Skyborne cadets have completed the Private Certification phase of training, they may apply to United’s Aviate programme.

Nigerian operator Air Peace increases its A320 fleet

By General News

The Nigerian-based airline Air Peace has taken delivery of two Airbus A320 aircraft, bringing the carrier’s Airbus fleet to four A320 aircraft.

The flag carrier diversified its narrow and widebody fleet in November 2021, adding its first two Airbus A320-200 aircraft through a six-month damp-lease agreement with EU-based ACMI charter and cargo operator SmartLynx Airlines. The aircraft operate on the airline’s domestic and regional routes.

The two new A320 aircraft, delivered on 18 January 18, will join Air Peace’s flight schedule and are intended to further support the airline’s domestic and regional operations.

Air Peace is the largest airline in Nigeria and West Africa. The operator has a fleet of around 30 aircraft, comprising Boeing 737 and 777 aircraft along with Dornier Do-328s, Embraer ERJ-145s, and Embraer E2s.

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.

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.

Mid-Canada Mod Center (MC2) completes an ATR 72 flight deck upgrade

By General News

Mid-Canada Mod Center (MC2) has completed a flight deck upgrade on another of Thunder Bay, Canada-based North Star Air’s ATR 72 aircraft. These essential modifications enable Canadian Northern Domestic Airspace operations while strengthening the carrier’s market position and customer satisfaction. 

“Airlines like North Star Air operate in extremely challenging conditions and must meet additional requirements to fly in Canada’s remote, northern and polar regions,” said Bill Arsenault, president of Mid-Canada Mod Center. “With ADS, our engineering and design partner, we have developed unique skills and expertise to solve avionics problems permitting these airlines to fly these routes. We are pleased to contribute to North Star Air’s continued growth and expansion through vital flight deck upgrades to this newly reconfigured cargo ATR 72.”

With Universal Avionics’ UNS-1Lw Flight Management Systems (FMS) installed, North Star Air gains RNAV Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approach capability, permitting landings at challenging airports. RNAV LPV Level of Service approach procedure development in Canada continues to grow, driven by individual operators’ recognisance of competitive advantage through investment in technology. True north-based course procedures and gravel runways are included in the database. The new FMSs have the ability to do cold temperature altitude correction (TEMP COMP) for all segments of an approach – transition, intermediate, final, and missed. MC2’s Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) fits Multifunction Control Display Units that maintain access to the ATR Centralised Maintenance System. 

Dual Sagem F227 APIRS Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS) and a Latitude S200 SkyNode Installation were also fitted to MC2 STCs. These high-reliability AHRS systems, coupled with a lower heading drift characteristic, provide a path for operators to obtain approval for flight into Northern Domestic Airspace. SkyNode provides satellite voice and tracking information through the Latitude data network.   

“With our current phase of rapid growth and expansion and building our cargo fleet, we are actively working to increase our operational efficiency,” said Sean Fillion, Director of Maintenance at North Star Air. “These latest upgrades to our ATR 72 are an important part of this effort, and we are pleased with the solution Mid-Canada Mod Center recommended and delivered. We trust MC2’s avionics knowledge, expertise and service excellence.”

Air Côte d’Ivoire boosts its passenger experience with Moment’s W-IFE solution

By General News

Moment has signed an agreement with Air Côte d’Ivoire to provide a premium cabin experience using its Flymingo Box portable entertainment system. Passengers will now benefit from a digital platform designed to meet their onboard needs and offer maximum comfort.

Since its creation in 2012, Air Côte d’Ivoire has been the flag carrier of Ivory Coast, serving the five biggest Ivorian airports and a large number of destinations in West, Central, and South Africa, as well as international ones such as the United States.

Air Côte d’Ivoire plays a major role in the African airline industry. The airline regularly assesses sector-related issues such as fuel consumption, safety, GSM connectivity, and Wi-Fi onboard and is known to adopt innovative technologies in order to create added value and strengthen its position as a competitive player. In line with this strategy, the company wants to develop passenger services by offering a quality entertainment solution on all its flights.

Air Côte d’Ivoire has chosen Moment and its Flymingo Box server, which guarantees smooth access to a wide range of content, including films, music, press, radio, podcasts, digital books, and unparalleled streaming speed. Easily installed in the cabin of an aircraft and requiring no intervention from the crew, the Flymingo Box differentiates itself with its ease of use and adaptability. This powerful W-IFE device allows rapid distribution throughout the cabin of a single-aisle aircraft.

“We are delighted with this partnership with Moment, which allows the deployment of a digital entertainment system dedicated to our passengers,” said Laurent Loukou, CEO of Air Côte d’Ivoire. “We are committed to being a forward-looking airline and Moment supports us in this process. Among all the entertainment possibilities available on the market, Moment’s solution met the best of our expectations. Offering a broad range of content and services, it can evolve according to our needs to become a genuine point of contact on board. We were also thrilled with Moment uptime and the simplicity of its system both in installation and passenger use. A significant differentiating point.”

Dieudonné Kamaté, Sales Director at Moment, said: “We are pleased to make our expertise available to Air Côte d’Ivoire and to collaborate with the company to equip its entire fleet with our Flymingo Box solution. The Flymingo Box’s deployment model and technology are perfectly suited to the strategy of the company and to its aircraft. As an agile solution, it offers passengers a wide variety of content and allows the company to increase onboard satisfaction and loyalty.”

GA Telesis debuts freight forwarding company GAT Logistics Solutions Group

By General News

GA Telesis, LLC debuts GAT Logistics Solutions Group LLC (GATLSG), a wholly-owned global freight forwarding subsidiary that offers a complete portfolio of logistics services to the aerospace industry and time-critical verticals including healthcare, technology, retail, and beyond. GATLSG has a globally positioned team and robust network providing air, sea, and inland freight customers with customised worldwide door- to-door services. The new freight forwarding business offers cost-effective logistics solutions to solve customers’ transport challenges from domestic to cross-border needs worldwide.

“Quality, budget, flexibility, and regulatory requirements are all factors in our logistics solutions, enabling our customers to tackle the challenges of the fast-paced industries we serve,” said Dr. Andreas Bauer, Senior Vice President & TSA Security Coordinator. “To maximise return on investment, GATLSG examines supply chain demands and leverages the scale of our air, ocean, land, multimodal, and project cargo services to execute a strategy that leads to on-time deliveries and ultimately, customer success,” commented Bauer.

“We offer our clients a complete portfolio of integrated logistics solutions committed to optimizing each link of their supply chain. In addition, we design freight forwarding solutions our customers have come to trust and rely on to simplify worldwide logistics and facilitate trade,” said Jessica Matthews, Managing Director, GAT Logistics Solutions Group.

GA Telesis expands its tooling and GSE distribution business through new agreement with Makro Aero

By General News

GA Telesis, LLC (GAT) has announced the expansion of the Flight Solutions Group (FSG) tooling and ground support equipment business with a three-year agreement to become a global distributor of aircraft access stands, platforms, and maintenance & painting docking systems with Turkish-based Makro Aero. The new distribution agreement will cover sales to customers worldwide to ensure their MRO facilities have the right equipment for the planned growth of aircraft maintenance activities undertaken over the next five years.

The agreement further develops FSG’s Tarmac Solutions’ support of airlines and MRO facilities ensuring front to back end support on maintenance activity in the sector. With engine green-time management flourishing, and airframe maintenance visits doubling over the next five years, the new support contract will enable customers to further rely on GA Telesis for maintenance infrastructure and engine handling ramp up.

“We are excited to partner with Makro Aero as they bring an important new product line to our growing aftermarket distribution offerings,” said Jason Reed, President of the Flight Solutions Group. “With the overall growth of MRO activities scheduled over the coming years, we are positioning our product offerings to match the needs of our customers. Having Makro onboard now provides FSG and our customer base with an even greater level of engine management options as well as front-end airframe maintenance support choices,” added Reed.

“Makro Aero welcomes the worldwide distribution agreement with GA Telesis. I believe this agreement has great potential to extend our businesses beyond our reach, and we will achieve our five-year growth target, cementing our leading position in our product line. We are proud to partner with GA Telesis,” said Levent Ondogan, General Manager of Makro Aero.