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Thursday, July 28th, 2022

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FAA wants all new planes fitted with second barrier to flight deck entry

Since the hijacking of four American planes on September 11, 2001, subsequent regulations have made access to the flight deck on commercial passenger aircraft resistant to intrusion and forceable entry. By 2007 regulations demanded that there be a set of rules in place for when the cockpit door was opened, whist also stipulating that the door must remain locked while a plane was in operation unless to allow access for an authorised person.

In 2019 the FAA was supposed to have adopted new rules under a 2018 federal law, but the implementation of these regulations has been delayed by what the FAA refers to as 'procedural rules' it has to follow. However, the FAA has now announced that once finalised, these rules will become applicable to all new planes within a two-year period of these new rules being adopted. This Wednesday the FAA confirmed that the new regulations will require all new planes to be fitted with a second barrier between the main cabin and the flight deck, applicable to all new U.S. commercial passenger aircraft.

"Each additional layer of safety matters. Protecting flight crews helps keep our system the safest in the world,” FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen said.

In 2019 delays in implementing new regulations were questioned by the House Transportation Committee as Congress had already directed the agency to issue an order requiring the installation of a second barrier to entry in brand-new aircraft.


Airbus Helicopters is building test centre for CityAirbus NextGen in Donauwörth, Germany

Airbus Helicopters has started construction of a test centre for CityAirbus NextGen, with Company representatives, politicians, and business leaders attending the ground-breaking ceremony. The building is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. Occupying a surface area of 1,000 m², the new structure will be used for testing systems for electric take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs).

The hangar integrates high-voltage equipment and lithium batteries and is designed to undergo testing with the highest safety precautions. All tests needed before CityAirbus NextGen’s maiden flight can be carried out there. These tests cover the electric motors with their eight rotors as well as the aircraft’s other systems such as flight controls and avionics.

Spirit terminates merger agreement with Frontier

Spirit Airlines has terminated the merger agreement with Frontier Group Holdings (Frontier), parent company of Frontier Airlines.

“While we are disappointed that we had to terminate our proposed merger with Frontier, we are proud of the dedicated work of our team members on the transaction over the past many months,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines. “Moving forward, the Spirit Board of Directors will continue our ongoing discussions with JetBlue as we pursue the best path forward for Spirit and our stockholders.”


Boeing posts second-quarter revenues of US$16.7 billion

Boeing has reported second-quarter revenues of US$16.7 billion, driven by lower defense volume and unfavourable performance, partially offset by higher commercial volume. Boeing recorded positive operating cash flow of US$0.1 billion.

Commercial Airplanes second-quarter revenue increased to US$6.2 billion, driven by higher 737 deliveries, partially offset by lower 787 deliveries. Operating margin of (3.9)% also reflects abnormal costs and period expenses, including higher R&D expense.

Boeing has nearly completed the global safe return to service of the 737 MAX and the fleet has flown more than 1.5 million total flight hours since late 2020. The 737 production rate increased to 31 airplanes per month during the quarter.

On the 787 programme, the company continues to work with the FAA to finalise actions to resume deliveries and is readying airplanes for delivery. The programme is producing at a very low rate and will continue to do so until deliveries resume, with an expected gradual return to five per month over time. The company still anticipates 787 abnormal costs of approximately US$2 billion, with most being incurred by the end of 2023, including US$283 million recorded in the quarter.

Commercial Airplanes secured orders for 169 737 MAX airplanes and 13 freighters, including seven 777-8 freighters from Lufthansa Group. Commercial Airplanes delivered 121 airplanes during the quarter and backlog included over 4,200 airplanes valued at US$297 billion.

ATR appoints Nathalie Tarnaud Laude Chief Executive Officer

ATR has released that its Board Members, Airbus and Leonardo, have appointed the new Chief Executive Officer, Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, effective September 17, 2022. Nathalie succeeds Stefano Bortoli, whose four-year mandate expires at the same date, following the terms set by ATR’s bylaws. Bortoli will take on a new leadership role at Leonardo that will be announced by the company in the upcoming days.

Tarnaud Laude is currently NHIndustries’ President and Senior Vice President Head of the NH90 Programme for Airbus Helicopters. Prior to this, she held various senior positions at Airbus in strategy, programme, technology and finance. She brings strong strategic and leadership skills, as well as programme execution experience, essential to continue developing ATR as a leader in sustainable regional aviation.


Air Europa selects AerFin’s component support programme

Spanish carrier Air Europa has appointed AerFin to support its fleet of seven E190 jets with a fully bespoke component support programme.

The BeyondPool™ support programme will provide a dedicated cost-effective solution for managing the phase-out of the airline’s E190 fleet of aircraft in 2023. The flexible support programme will cover the supply, repair, overhaul and pooling of E-jet rotable component inventory.

Francisco Nadal Jaume, Supplies and Services Manager at Air Europa explains: “As an existing customer of AerFin, we already held the company in high regard and therefore selected AerFin’s BeyondPool™ solution based on its proven track-record and global capability to support E-jet operators. This cost-saving initiative will not only ensure that we continue to deliver the highest rates of operational reliability but also allow to provide a high level of flexibility to assist us in managing the phase-out of our E-jet fleet efficiently”.

Frontier Airlines launches cadet programme to create pathway for new pilots

Ultra-low fare carrier Frontier Airlines is launching a cadet programme to train the next generation of Frontier pilots. The programme, operated in partnership with ATP Flight School, will welcome up to 35 individuals per month who seek to become commercial airline pilots. No prior flying experience is required.

Cadets will receive assistance in applying for financial aid to help offset training and living expenses with the programme lasting approximately 24 months. During the programme period participants will receive certain Frontier benefits.

“This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a commercial airline pilot,” said Brad Lambert, Vice President of Flight Operations, Frontier Airlines. “We are putting this programme in place to not only train future pilots but to help them overcome the barriers to entry people may encounter when trying to pursue an aviation career. We are thrilled to embark on this journey that will lead us to a new generation of Frontier Airlines pilots.”

Cadets must be at least 19 years old, willing to relocate and clear a background check. An associate degree or higher is preferred but not required. Participants’ progress will be monitored throughout the programme and they must pass all required tests as well as obtain all necessary certifications prior to becoming a Frontier pilot. Partnerships with aviation university programmes will be integrated, as well, to create a complete academic training experience.


Airbus reports half-year 2022 results

Airbus has reported consolidated financial results for the half-year ended June 30, 2022.

Gross commercial aircraft orders increased to 442 (H1 2021: 165 aircraft) with net orders of 259 aircraft after cancellations (H1 2021: 38 aircraft). The order backlog amounted to 7,046 commercial aircraft on June 30, 2022. Airbus Helicopters booked 163 net orders (H1 2021: 123 units), including 14 Super Puma Family and in Q1 it was awarded the contract for the Tiger MkIII attack helicopter upgrade programme. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value increased to € 6.5 billion (H1 2021: € 3.5 billion), corresponding to a book-to-bill ratio of around 1.3. Second quarter orders included the contract to deliver 20 latest generation Eurofighter jets to the Spanish Air Force.

Consolidated revenues totalled €24.8 billion (H1 2021: €24.6 billion). A total of 297 commercial aircraft were delivered (H1 2021: 297 aircraft), comprising 25 A220s, 230 A320 family, 13 A330s and 29 A350s. Revenues generated by Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities were broadly stable. Airbus Helicopters delivered 115 units (H1 2021: 115 units), with revenues rising by six percent mainly reflecting growth in services and a favourable mix in programmes. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space increased 11%, mainly driven by the Military Aircraft business and following the Eurodrone contract signature in February. Four A400M airlifters were delivered in H1 2022.

Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – was broadly stable at €2,645 million (H1 2021: €2,703 million).

EBIT Adjusted related to Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities was broadly stable at €2,276 million (H1 2021: €2,291 million). It included the non-recurring positive impact from retirement obligations recorded in Q1, partly offset by the impact from international sanctions against Russia which was reduced as compared to Q1 2022 following good progress on the re-marketing of some aircraft. The net positive impact from these two non-recurring elements was largely offset by a less favourable currency hedging rate compared to H1 2021.

Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted increased to €215 million (H1 2021: €183 million), partly driven by the growth in services and a favourable mix in programmes. It also reflects the non-recurring elements booked in Q1, including the positive impact related to retirement obligations.

Given the current supply chain challenges, the company is adapting the ramp-up trajectory and now targets a monthly rate of 65 in early 2024, around six months later than previously planned. The first flight of the A321XLR took place in June, representing an important milestone towards the aircraft’s entry-into-service that is expected to take place in early 2024. On wide-body aircraft, the company is exploring, together with its supply chain, the feasibility of further rate increases to meet growing market demand as international air travel recovers.

AAR’s corporate Safety Management System programme recognised by FAA

AAR, a leading provider of aviation services to commercial and government operators, MROs, and OEMs, has received official recognition from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its corporate Safety Management System (SMS) programme, making it the first independent third-party MRO organisation to implement this system.

The corporate SMS programme provides a platform for all employees to proactively identify and report hazards, perform risk analysis and mitigation, and share best practices. Implementing this system ensures that AAR’s operations maintain their position on the cutting-edge of aviation safety. This advancement is the most recent example of AAR’s well-established commitment to pursuing “Quality First. Safety Always.” and is supported by senior leadership across the organisation.

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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: [email protected]
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