ST Engineering’s aerospace arm to continue with leasing activity
Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) has terminated the joint venture agreement between ST Aerospace Resources and Wings Capital Partners Holdings, but will continue to offer aircraft leasing as part of its total aviation support as a result of incorporating Keystone Holdings.
The now-terminated joint venture, WingStar, was set up to acquire mid-life to end-of-life aircraft for lease, conversion or part out. The decision to terminate it and commence Members’ Voluntary Winding Up was mutually agreed upon between the two shareholders, as a result of differing views on the strategic focus and operational plans.
However, recognising aircraft leasing as an important extension of its offering, ST Aerospace Resources has incorporated Keystone Holdings, a subsidiary based in Singapore, with a paid up capital of US$10 (approximately S$14).
Keystone Holdings serves as a holding company for aircraft leasing investments, and it plans to incorporate new subsidiaries in various geographies to support its projected portfolio purchase of aircraft which are currently on lease to global airlines.
This development allow ST Engineering’s aerospace arm to tap on opportunities created by global aircraft fleet expansion and renewal, building up a portfolio of mid-life and end-of-life aircraft assets focused on the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737NG families.
The setting up of the companies is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.
JetBlue to introduce New York–Palm Springs service
Between 14 January, 2016, and 1 May, 2016, JetBlue Airways will operate five-times weekly flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) using an Airbus A320 aircraft.
The seasonal service will take place daily from Thursday through Monday throughout the winter months, with Palm Springs becoming JetBlue's ninth destination in the Golden State. Flights will leave New York at 19:45, landing in Palm Springs for 22:56. On the return leg, the service will take off from Palm Springs at 23:49, arriving back in New York for 07:43 (+1).
“With direct service to Palm Springs five days a week, winter-weary East Coasters can escape to this desert getaway with 350 days of sunshine easier than ever before,” remarked Dave Clark, vice president of network planning at JetBlue. “Palm Springs' re-emergence as a destination and the area's nationally recognised events like Coachella make it the perfect addition to our transcontinental route map.”
The greater Palm Springs area includes Joshua Tree National Park and the San Jacinto Mountains.
Saab becomes supplier on Airbus A321 cabin flex programme
Saab has signed a contract with Airbus to design, develop and manufacture the door plug 3 and cover plate of the Airbus A321 as part of the OEM’s cabin flex programme (ACF).
This is Saab’s first design-to-build programme within the Airbus doors community. The fixed door structure ‘plug door 3’ option is a dedicated structure that, together with an alternative escape door, provides the opportunity to optimise the aircraft cabin utilisation all the way from a 3-class configuration to a high density one-class configuration.
Saab is responsible for the design, development, stress analysis and manufacture of the Door Plug 3 and cover plate, as well as the development and procurement of production tools. Most of the development will be completed by the Saab/Mahindra JV Saab India Tech Centre (SITC) in Hyderabad, with the assembly at the Saab/Aequs JV Aerostructures Assemblies India in Belgaum.
“This contract marks a break-through on yet another Airbus platform, confirming our expertise and competitiveness as a global actor in the commercial aviation market and as an important and long-term partner to Airbus. It also places our Indian network on the Airbus map,” commented Lars Jensen, head of aerostructures at Saab.
In addition to the door plug 3 for the A321 ACF, Saab provides Airbus with flap support structures and fairings for the A350-1000, the mid and outer wing leading-edge for the Airbus A380 plus ailerons and doors for other Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
David García Blancas becomes Vueling CCO
David García Blancas is set to join Vueling’s management committee as chief commercial officer (CCO) alongside chief financial officer Sonia Jerez, chief strategy officer Fernando Estrada, and chief operating officer Fernando Val; all reporting directly to Vueling’s chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz.
García Blancas will be responsible for Vueling’s sales and commercial activities, helping to consolidate the carrier’s position as Europe’s leading ‘premium’ low-fare airline. He will be in charge of 160 Vueling employees working across seven sub-units, including pricing and revenue management, sales, E&M commerce, branding & advertising, customer loyalty-CRM, external communications and customer service.
For the past two years, García Blancas has served Poland’s LOT Airlines as CCO, helping restore the carrier to profitability after seven years of losses. He has also held numerous positions with Air France KLM, including Asia sales and e-commerce manager.
VLM announces Ingeborg Gillegot as head of sales
VLM Airlines has appointed Ingeborg Gillegot as the carrier’s head of sales.
Gillegot will be based in Antwerp at VLM’s head office and will be responsible for leading the airline’s sales teams in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Ireland.
Gillegot is now VLM’s prime sales contact covering the full range of B2B, B2T and B2C market segments.
High passenger demand sees fastjet increase flights
In response to strong passenger demand, fastjet is now offering daily flights on its international routes from Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport in Tanzania to Johannesburg, Harare and Lusaka.
The airline has also doubled the frequency of its Dar es Salaam–Lilongwe service, which began on 29 July, 2015, from two to four flights per week. fastjet’s services to Entebbe from both Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro remain thrice-weekly.
Domestically, the carrier will now offer up to five daily flights from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, up to four daily flights from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro, two daily flights from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya and daily flights between Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.
The increased flight schedule is made possible by the introduction of an additional Airbus A319 into fastjet’s Tanzanian fleet.
“We have always promised to increase the frequency on our routes as and when our customers demand it,” explained Richard Bodin, fastjet’s CCO. “The increased frequencies emphasise our commitment to growing our network across Africa, making air travel easy, safe and affordable.
“We really are thrilled at the positive reception that fastjet has enjoyed across Africa. “With our low fares, fastjet is making air travel more accessible than ever before, with many of our passengers being first time flyers who would otherwise not have been able to afford to travel by air,” Bodin concluded.
The airline reported its highest monthly passenger numbers to date in July 2015.
flyafrica.com to launch in Gabon
The President of the Gabonese Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has announced the rollout of flyafrica.com to Gabon after its successful establishment in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe 13 months ago.
The announcement was made on the second day of the New York Forum Africa, one of the largest gatherings of Africa's politicians, investors, entrepreneurs and NGOs, hosted under the patronage of president Bongo.
It outlines a strategic partnership between the Government of Gabon and African industrialist, venture capitalist and philanthropist, Ivor Ichikowitz, confirming that the second phase of the airline’s rollout will also include other countries in East and West Africa.
Bongo stated, “My vision for Africa has always been that of an integrated continent; an Africa where every citizen has the opportunity to afford air travel and take advantage of the benefits of being economically mobile. The launch of Gabon flyafrica.com, a pan-African airline, is an important step in implementing this vision.
“One of the biggest obstacles to Africa’s growth and development is the cost of doing business in Africa. Moving goods and people between African states are still too complicated and expensive and remain a major obstacle to the prosperity of the continent. One of the biggest contributions that we as Africans can make to Africa’s development is to open the skies for direct affordable travel between African states.
“Aviation is the next infrastructure growth frontier for Africa. Enhancing air connectivity can help raise productivity and create jobs by encouraging investment and innovation, improving business operations and efficiency. Air transport is indispensable for tourism, where convenient air service facilitates the arrival of larger numbers of tourists,” Bongo concluded.
He is urging African countries to implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD), which is the basis for creating a single airspace market for Africa.
“One of Africa’s huge resources is its ability for innovation which continues to generate new products, ideas and services that places Africa at the forefront of emerging technologies and solutions,” Ichikowitz explained. “The launch of flyafrica.com is such an innovation and will be the game-changer for Africa’s aviation industry.
“I have been truly inspired by President Bongo’s vision for the transformation of the economic prospects of Africa by creating better linkages between African countries and their people. I too believe that this continent’s future lies in the hands of Africans who by working together will ultimately succeed in our common on-going struggle against poverty. By coming together and investing in each other’s economies we will create jobs and in so doing eliminate poverty.
“We are very privileged to be part of this vision. The aim of flyafrica.com is to break down the barriers and costs that currently exist to travel across Africa. Prohibitively high fares and poor or non-existent services are playing their role in slowing down the development of this continent. flyafrica.com is designed to change that. flyafrica.com will lead the charge for unlocking Africa’s business and tourism potential by delivering world-class standards and low fares traditionally associated with airlines in Europe and Asia.”
Spairliners' board appoints new CEO and CFO
The supervisory board of Spairliners, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and Air France Industries, has announced that its former chief financial officer, Sven-Uve Hueschler, has been appointed as the company’s new CEO, with Benoît Crombois replacing Hueschler in his original role.
Before joining Spairliners in 2013, Hueschler held different positions in strategy and business development at Lufthansa Technik. Crombois most recently served as procurement director at AFI KLM E&M.
“We are very excited to welcome Benoît to the Spairliners management team,” remarked Hueschler. “He brings great experience and thoughtful leadership – a perfect fit for his new role as managing director and CFO.”
“Joining Sven in managing a highly skilled team like Spairliners is great,” added Crombois. “I feel honoured to take my new position at this important phase of the company's growth.”
The changes came into play as of 1 August, 2015.
Ryanair Car Hire goes live
Ryanair has partnered with CarTrawler to launch Ryanair Car Hire, offering Ryanair passengers a direct connection to over 1,500 leading and independent car rental agents in over 30,000 airport and city locations across 174 different countries.
“Following an extensive tender process, Ryanair is pleased to partner with CarTrawler, who offer the best conversion rate in the business, as we launch Ryanair Car Hire, offering the widest range and best value car rental service to our 103m customers,” noted Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary. “This is the latest in a series of customer experience improvements under our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme. Ryanair customers already enjoy the lowest fares in Europe and our partnership with CarTrawler will guarantee them the lowest car hire prices as well, every time they fly with us.”
“Ryanair is at the forefront of online travel retailing. In CarTrawler, they have chosen a car rental partner with the scale, expertise and technology platform that will help them to deliver on their promise of Always Getting Better,” added Mike McGearty, CarTrawler’s CEO. “This new partnership is a natural fit between two companies that are trailblazers in their respective fields; Ryanair has transformed air travel while CarTrawler continues to deliver innovative ground transportation solutions to airlines and online travel retailers all over the world. We look forward to providing Ryanair customers with an enhanced car rental experience while delivering the best possible return for Ryanair and its investors through our scientific approach to car rental retailing.”
GOL orders Split Scimitar Winglets for Boeing 737-800s
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes Airlines (GOL) has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets from Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) for 15 of its Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft.
“The Split Scimitar is aligned with GOL's way of thinking about business: focusing on maximum efficiency of its equipment through sustainable solutions. With the expansion of international routes to South America and the Caribbean, GOL has the opportunity to get the best benefit from this solution developed by APB, mainly on fuel savings for longer flights,” stated Andre Cruz, GOL’s head of fleet. “In addition, the aircraft that are receiving the Split Scimitar Winglets are being positioned to support the transition to the Boeing 737-MAX starting in 2018.”
The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake. APB has now developed and certified the Split Scimitar Winglet System for all commercial variants of the Boeing Next-Generation 737, including 737-700s, 737-800s, 737-900s, 737-900ERs and Boeing Business Jets.
“GOL has always been a valued customer of APB and has operated with Blended Winglets on its Boeing Next-Generation 737 airplanes for over a decade,” remarked Christopher Stafford, director of sales and marketing from APB. “GOL will now be able to take advantage of a significant reduction in fuel requirements as well as an enhanced payload and range capability with the Split Scimitar Winglets System. This improved airplane capability will open new routes and opportunities for GOL.”
Since launching the Split Scimitar Winglet programme in early 2013, APB has taken orders and options for 1,919 systems.
UTC to supply wheels, brakes and MRO for easyJet’s new A320s
UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, has been selected by easyJet to supply the wheels, carbon brakes and MRO support for the 68 new Airbus A320ceo aircraft being added to its fleet.
UTC Aerospace Systems has been the wheel and brake supplier to easyJet since its A320 aircraft entered service. The company will provide the equipment through its landing systems facility in Troy, Ohio.
MRO services will be performed at the UTC Aerospace's Hatfield, UK, location in close proximity to easyJet's home base.
“We are very pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with UTC Aerospace Systems who has supported our fleet since 200,” commented Ian Davies, easyJet’s head of engineering and maintenance. “We look forward to optimizing our maintenance and reliability with this equipment.”
Jim Wharton, president of landing systems at UTC Aerospace, added, “This selection demonstrates easyJet's confidence in our track record of providing quality products and services with the lowest total cost of ownership.”
Gogo opens doors on new Chicago HQ
Gogo has officially opened its new global headquarters in Chicago, in the presence of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Christened 'The Gogo Building', the new office space will house the company’s commercial aviation business with more than 730 employees and occupying in excess of 230,000 square feet over four floors in the building.
The move from Itasca to Chicago was previously announced in October 2013.
Gogo says it will be able to capitalise on access to other technology tenants located in the building, including Twitter, Fieldglass, Uber and ZirMed.
Rex releases FY2014/15 results
Regional Express (Rex) has announced its financial results for the year ended 30 June, 2015 (FY2014/15), reporting a profit before tax of AU$9.3 million – a drop of 12.8% from the prior year, which marks the third consecutive year of profit decline for the carrier since 2013.
Lim Kim Hai, executive chairman of Rex, commented, “Trading conditions of regional aviation continued to deteriorate in the period under review and resulted in 19,500 fewer Rex passengers travelling on its non-Queensland regulated network, or a reduction of 1.9%.”
This occurred in spite of the fact that FY2014/15 also saw the addition of 16 new Queensland ports after 1 January, 2015, following the Queensland Government’s announcement that Rex had been awarded 3 additional regulated Queensland routes. Rex has also operated two existing regulated Queensland routes since 2010.
With the commencement of regular public transport services between Cairns and Bamaga from 30 March, 2015, the carrier has seen the number of Queensland ports it serves increase from seven to 24 during the second half of the financial year.
“I would like to thank the Rex staff who worked tirelessly to implement these services with extremely short lead times,” Hai continued. “It was also announced at the presentation that the Rex Board will defer its decision to pay dividends to its AGM in November 2015 due to uncertain trading conditions.”
The Rex Group comprises Regional Express, air freight and charter operator Pel-Air Aviation and Dubbo-based regional airline Air Link, as well as the pilot academy Australian Airline Pilot Academy.
Faye Malarkey Black becomes RAA president
Faye Malarkey Black has been appointed president of the Regional Airline Association (RAA) after serving as interim president since February, 2015, while the board of directors formed a search committee to select a full-time candidate.
While serving as interim president, Black dedicated additional resources to the sharing of safety information and pursuit of best practices, prioritising a new, collaborative approach to attracting the next generation of aviation professionals.
“Faye certainly rose to the occasion as interim president and her strong leadership skills were especially evident during the RAA Convention,” stated Linda Markham, RAA board chairman and President of Cape Air. “Her impeccable work ethic, coupled with a keen understanding of the issues affecting the regional airline industry has earned her the respect and support of the RAA board and staff. We look forward to working with Faye, the RAA team, and policymakers as we work together on solutions to the issues affecting our industry.”
Black joined the RAA in 1998 as senior vice president of government affairs. In that role, she provided policy guidance and insight to the RAA board of directors, built cross-industry coalitions and worked with policymakers to protect safe air service to communities of all sizes.
She currently serves on the board of governors of the Aero Club of Washington and is co-liaison to its foundation. Black is also a member of the NextGen Institute Management Council and the RTCA policy board as well as a participant in the US transportation board’s regional aviation subcommittee.
“I am delighted to take on this new role with the RAA,” exclaimed Black. “Over the years, I have seen regional airlines meet considerable challenges with remarkable resilience and an enduring entrepreneurial spirit. I admire our board's commitment to a robust and safe regional airline industry and the dedication of the RAA's associate members, who have been true industry partners. I'm honoured to lead the RAA’s excellent staff team – a group of driven, safety-focused, and forward-thinking professionals. Together, we are committed to giving voice to the industry's collective experience and expertise as we greet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
C&L brokers deal for sale of Saab 340A to Kiwi Regional
Working on behalf of Sprint Air, C&L brokered a deal with Kiwi Regional Airlines for the sale of a Saab 340A, marking C&L’s eighth Saab transaction in the last 12 months.
Kiwi Regional will operate the 340A out of its hub in Hamilton, New Zealand, bringing the Saab 340 back into service in that country.
“The experience and knowledge of C&L helped this transaction run smoothly,” noted Sprint Air’s vice president, Jacek Roszak. “It was a real benefit having C&L working for us.”
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July 17, 2015
HMG Aerospace is proud to announce the return of the Inflight Workshop & Awards to Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) 2016.
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VT Miltope is presented with the Inflight award for Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins at this year's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg
April 8, 2015
Inflight is pleased to announce that newly appointed editor, Piers Townley, will be attending this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg