Friday, November 15th, 2019

Qantas operates 2nd of 3 Project Sunrise research flights, non-stop from London to Sydney

Qantas, Australia’s national carrier is preparing for its second ultra-long haul research flight, as part of scientific studies into minimising jetlag for passengers and improving crew wellbeing.

The first research flight operated between New York and Sydney non-stop four weeks ago with 49 passengers and crew. It cut around three hours off the typical gate-to-gate travel time of current one-stop flights.

The airline has re-purposed the delivery flights of three brand new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which would otherwise ferry empty from Seattle to Australia. A third research flight, repeating the New York-Sydney route, will take place in December.

Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre as well as the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) will again travel on the non-stop Dreamliner flight to collect passenger and crew data.

The findings from all three research flights will be used to inform future service and product design, aimed at increasing wellbeing and comfort during travel on long-haul flights – in particular the direct flights Qantas hopes to operate on a commercial basis between the east coast of Australia and London and New York.

The research flight will carry around 50 passengers and crew in order to give the 787-9 the range required for the 17,800 km flight, expected to take around 19 and a half hours.

While the flight is over 1,500 kilometers further than New York to Sydney, the duration is expected to be similar due to prevailing tail winds between London and Sydney.

All carbon emissions from the research flights will be offset. Qantas recently announced an acceleration of its efforts to reduce its broader carbon footprint, including effectively doubling current levels of flight offsetting, capping carbon emissions from 2020 onwards and totally eliminate net emissions by the year 2050.

TP Aerospace

Boeing dumps unreliable automation system used for 777 jetliner fuselage manufacture

A key automation system which Boeing has deployed for the manufacture of fuselage sections for the 777 jetliner has been phased out owing to unreliability problems.

Back in 2015 Boeing began the manufacture of the 777’s fuselage in an upright orientation in a system known as fuselage automated upright build (FAUB) which involved robots drilling holes and installing fasteners. However, last year reliability and rework issues led to delays. Boeing has now transitioned to “flex tracks”, which involves the automated drilling of holes along the circumference of the 777 fuselage which are then manually fastened.

According to company spokesman Paul Bergman, the flex tracks system was developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes and had already been tested in commercial and defense programs. The total transition, which was started in the second quarter of the year, should be complete by year end and will have no effect on staffing levels.

TrueNoord leases three Embraer E190s to Finnair

TrueNoord, the specialist regional aircraft lessor, has leased three Embraer E190s to Finnair. These aircraft have been purchased with leases attached from GOAL Aircraft Leasing and they are being sub-leased and operated by Nordic Regional Airlines (NoRRA).

Financing was provided under TrueNoord’s term loan warehouse facility supported by Morgan Stanley, NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, Barclays and ABSA Bank. Hogan Lovells advised TrueNoord on the transaction and Dentons supported GOAL.

NoRRA operates a significant part of Finnair’s domestic and European traffic with over 50,000 flights yearly. The company’s modern and young fleet includes 24 aircraft.  Twelve ATR turboprops for shorter journeys and smaller regional airports in the Nordic region, and twelve Embraer E190 jets, suited for slightly longer distances across European skies.


Airways’ TotalControl simulation taking off to the U.K.

Airways International’s TotalControl simulator will shortly be used by air traffic control trainees at the United Kingdom’s Takeoff Aviation Academy.

Airways will provide Takeoff Direct with a desktop tower simulator and a surveillance simulator, in the first installation of a TotalControl simulation solution into the United Kingdom. The project is due to begin in early 2020.

The Takeoff Direct desktop simulator will have eight screens, with two multi-purpose pseudo pilot positions capable of controlling both tower and radar simulations as well as preparing new exercises. The simulator uses high fidelity 3D graphics, and air traffic control trainees will be able to control traffic in exercises that mimic the real world including complex weather conditions.

Airways’ Total Control simulation technology enhances the quality and speed of ATC training, significantly reducing on-the-job training time while the industry worldwide is under increased pressure to train enough air traffic controllers to meet demand.

Developed by Airways in partnership with New Zealand-based 3D graphics experts Animation Research, Total Control simulators combine photo-real graphics and lifelike simulation with easy to use exercise creation tools – enabling ANSPs to easily adapt exercises to suit their existing traffic and potential scenarios.

CAE to train more than 1,000 new easyJet pilots under cadet training agreement

CAE has signed a long-term exclusive training agreement with easyJet to train 1,000 new easyJet cadet pilots on a Multi-Crew Pilot licence (MPL) programme. CAE will also provide Airbus 320 type rating training and place graduates of CAE’s Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) programme with easyJet.

Selected cadets will begin MPL training with CAE in 2020 and upon completion of training, the first graduates will join operations as easyJet co-pilots by the end of 2021. Aspiring pilots on the easyJet MPL course will complete their ground school classes in one of CAE’s European aviation academy locations including CAE Brussels, CAE Madrid, CAE Milan or CAE Oxford.

The easyJet MPL training programme showcases the latest competency-based training innovations developed by CAE in collaboration with easyJet. The training programme also embeds easyJet Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Threat and Error Management strategies. It will be the first MPL course to include Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulation in the training devices.

The programme will deliver a seamless training experience, from ground school training to full-flight simulation. Cadets will train in glass-cockpit aircraft and will be the first trainees to conduct their training on CAE’s latest generation flight training device (FTD), the CAE 600XR. This innovative
technology provides the highest training fidelity in today’s fixed-based training market.


Chorus Aviation reports third-quarter 2019 financial results

In the third-quarter, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of US$92.6 million, an increase of US$5.8 million or 6.7% relative to the third quarter of 2018.

The Regional Aircraft Leasing segment's adjusted EBITDA increased by US$13.2 million related to the growth in aircraft earning leasing revenue. The Regional Aviation Services segment's adjusted EBITDA decreased US$7.4 million, partially offsetting the previously described increase.

Adjusted net income was US$29.2 million for the quarter, a decrease from 2018 of US$1.6 million or 5.2%. Net income was US$24.2 million, a decrease of US$0.6 million over the 2018 period excluding the quarter-over-quarter change in net unrealized foreign exchange losses on long-term debt of US$18.9 million. The decrease was due to the previously noted US$1.6 million decrease in adjusted net income, offset by decreased employee separation program costs of US$1.0 million.

BOC Aviation delivers two Airbus A321neo aircraft on lease to Sichuan Airlines

BOC Aviation has delivered the final two of five Airbus A321neo aircraft on lease to Sichuan Airlines. These aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF™ PW1100G-JM engines, and were delivered from the Company’s existing order book.

Sichuan Airlines is a full-service carrier with more than 300 routes carrying nearly 30 million passengers annually. Established over 30 years ago, Sichuan Airlines’ shareholders include three other airlines and its largest investor is the Sichuan provincial government. It currently operates an all-Airbus fleet totaling more than 150 single and dual-aisle aircraft. 


Leonardo delivers first AW169M helicopter to Italy’s Guardia di Finanza

Leonardo has delivered the first of 22 latest-generation AW169M light intermediate twin-engine helicopters for Italy’s Guardia di Finanza.

The initial delivery is linked to a contract worth €280 million, which was signed at the end of 2018. It also includes a complete support and training package that could be extended in the future for further services with an additional value of €100 million.

The AW169Ms will be used for various tasks including: maritime police/patrol, homeland customs security, law enforcement, rescue and other security duties. The delivery of all aircraft is expected to be completed by 2024, complementing a fleet of 14 AW139 intermediate twin helicopters. 

Lufthansa Group Airlines welcome more than 13.3 million passengers on board in October 2019

In October 2019, the Lufthansa Group airlines welcomed around 13.3 million passengers. This shows an increase of 1.1% compared to the previous year’s month. Capacity was up 1.4% over the previous year, at the same time, sales increased by 2.7%. The load factor increased by 1.0 point to 82.8%.
Cargo capacity increased by 1.7% year-on-year, while cargo sales decreased by 3.0% in revenue ton-kilometer terms. The Cargo load factor decreaed by 3.0 points to 62.4%.

The Network Airlines including Lufthansa German Airlines, SWISS and Austrian Airlines carried around 9.8 million passengers in October – 2.5% more than in the prior-year period. Capacity increased by 3.3% in October and the sales volume was up by 4.4%. The load factor increased by 0.9 points to 82.8%.

In October, the strongest passenger growth of the network airlines was recorded at the Lufthansa hubs in Zurich and Vienna with 4.4% each. The number of passengers increased by 1.4% in Munich and decreased by 0.2% in Frankfurt. Capacity increased to varying degrees: in Munich by 9.6%, in Frankfurt by 2.1%, in Vienna by 0.5% and in Zurich by 0.2%.

Lufthansa German Airlines transported around 6.5 million passengers in October, a 1.6% increase compared to the same month last year. A 4.7% increase in seat kilometres corresponds to a 5.8% increase in sales. The seat load factor rose by 0.8 points year-on-year to 82.2%.

Eurowings (including Brussels Airlines) carried around 3.6 million passengers in October. Among this total, around 3.3 million passengers were on short-haul flights and around 260,000 flew on long-haul flights. This corresponds to a decrease of 2.3% on short-haul routes and a decrease of 6.5% on long-haul routes compared with the previous year. A 6.5% decline in supply in October was offset by a 4.8% decline in sales, resulting in a load factor of 82.9%, up 1.5 points.

In October, the number of seat-kilometres offered on short-haul routes decreased by 3.6%, while the number of seat-kilometres sold declined by 2.5%. The load factor on these flights was with 83.1% 0.9 points higher than in October 2018. On long-haul flights, the seat load factor rose by 2.7 points to 82.5% over the same period. The 12.6% decrease in capacity was offset by a 9.6% decrease in sales.


Improving air travel experience for passengers with disabilities

Last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded its inaugural Global
Accessibility Symposium, the first event of its kind seeking to improve the air travel experience for passengers with disabilities.

Hosted by Emirates in their home city of Dubai, the Symposium welcomed guests from airlines, regulators and accessibility advocacy groups. The event is in line with an industry resolution agreed upon by IATA member airlines in June 2019, which commits to bettering the passenger experience for travelers with disabilities, both visible and invisible.

"This event showed that collaboration and feedback are crucial. Through this gathering and other initiatives, airlines are seeking to establish a better dialogue between industry, advocacy groups and passengers themselves. While the industry has had standards for persons traveling with disabilities for some time, we realize there are still gaps and we need to do more. We're excited to be on this journey to make air travel more accessible and inclusive," said Linda Ristagno, External Affairs Manager at IATA.

In addition to speakers from airlines including British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates and WestJet, presenters came from a wide variety of backgrounds such as regulatory bodies like the UK CAA, Canadian Transport Agency and Brazilian Ministry of Infrastructure; advocacy groups such as the Pineda Foundation / World Enabled, the European Network on Accessible Tourism, Open Doors Organization and Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People; as well as a number of industry partners including dnata and Heathrow Airport. Presentations were also given by representatives from Apple and Microsoft showing the importance of inclusive design and technological innovation.

The findings and results of this event will be used to build upon the existing IATA accessibility
strategy that will lead to clear deliverables, while continuing the dialogue with passengers, airports and governments.

"It is a step in the right direction, but the work isn't done. We will continue to facilitate the discussion and refine the industry strategy from here. However, we need governments to help by developing harmonized regulations, in consultation with industry and accessibility groups, that provide clarity and global consistency. Working together will help ensure a safe, reliable and dignified experience that we owe to these passengers," said Ristagno.


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Dubai Airshow
November 17 - 21, 2019 – DWC, Dubai, UAE

EyeforTravel Revenue Optimization and Marketing Summit
November 26 - 27, 2019 – Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, NL

Manufacturing World
February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan