Aviation News Update – Week 31st of August

Aviation News Update – Week 31st of August

Every Monday Aviationfly releases the latest Marketplace Request for Proposals, Supplier Directory updates and Aviation Industry news headlines from the previous week. Here is a recap of last week:

Aviation Industry News:

  • Great to see educational institutes create special courses for experienced pilots and aircraft mechanics where their experience and license counts as credits towards obtaining the degree!
    A US College is offering a management degree program specifically for pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers and which can be done either on campus, hybrid on campus and online or fully online! Great program for individuals who are looking to position themselves for management positions within their airline or organisation once the recovery picks up again.
    If you are interested in this program or would like to learn more about it please contact us.
  • To all Pilot Training Organisations (and other small businesses) - Facebook is offering US$100mn in cash grants and ad credits to help you with your costs and to advertise your products or services through their platform!
    Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries will be able to receive a grant from Facebook. To be eligible to apply, your business must:
    - Have between 2 and 50 employees
    - Have been in business for over a year
    - Have experienced challenges due to COVID-19
    - Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
    Important: you will need to provide your business license and your most recent financial statements!
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Simulator Manufacturer MPS has installed an Airbus A320 FTD-2 ceo/neo at Alpha Aviation Academy UAE (AAA) in the United Arab Emirates!
    The delivery took less than six months! The Airbus A320 FSTD will allow Alpha Aviation to provide additional capacity for its Type-Rating and MPL training for pilots.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Private jet firms are buying dozens of new planes and hiring furloughed airline pilots as demand in the industry skyrockets back to normal!
    The private aviation industry is rapidly expanding with firms trying to get as many planes and pilots as they can to serve the new generation of private flyers. Approaching what they believe to be the end of a V-shaped recovery for the industry, executives are determined to grow despite contractions in aviation. Even firms that haven't fully recovered yet are eyeing expansion with Omaha, Nebraska's Jet Linx acquiring Meridian Air Charter and its 23 managed aircraft in July. Jet Linx CEO Jamie Walker told Business Insider that his firm's traffic numbers for the summer were about 10% off from normal but new memberships have soared thanks to an influx of first-time flyers.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Not All Gloom for Aviation Training as MAX, Cargo Fleets Beckon
    Aviation training specialists, which saw simulator sales plummet when the coronavirus pandemic brought air travel to a near halt, are getting some relief from an uptick in demand from cargo carriers and airlines gearing up for the Boeing 737 MAX's return to service. Both CAE and its U.S. rival Textron built 737 MAX simulators last year without formal orders, betting on pent up demand, but the pandemic dashed those expectations. A CAE spokeswoman said the majority have since been converted to orders and been delivered. Textron and CAE see a quick recovery in business aviation, where flights have dropped 4% in the U.S. year-to-date compared with 2019. Jonathan Norman, aerospace consultant at Frost & Sullivan, expects MAX's certification in the U.S. to fuel extra demand for training for a year. "That's the amount of time it is going to take airlines to re-certify all their pilots," he said, adding Southwest Airlines - the largest operator of the MAX worldwide - may need to retrain all of its pilots.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • NY Times - "The US government airline payroll program's expiry could overwhelm training providers."
    Interesting statement in the New York Times by Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association that represents AA pilots: "The US government airline payroll program's expiry could overwhelm training providers." "Potential furloughs should they hit are going to drown the training facilities with the amount of training that needs to be done," he said.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • China's new-generation light-sport aircraft Lingyan AG50 completed its maiden flight
    China's new-generation light-sport aircraft Lingyan AG50 completed its maiden flight Wednesday morning in the central province of Hubei, its developer Aviation Industry Corporation of China said. The AG50 is designed for aeroclubs, general aviation companies, training schools and private pilots.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Pilot assessment and selection tool COMPASS Releases Solutions for Remote Testing
    Newly developed and completely internet-based selection tool is Pre-COMPASS, which will allow airlines and FTOs to quickly determine candidates’ initial suitability and quickly create a shortlist of possible suitable candidates thus saving time and effort in search of suitable candidates. This solution pre-selects large quantities of potential candidates far more efficiently and reduces selection costs. A full COMPASS test can then be administerd to the pre-selected candidates.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Chinese airlines reporting smaller losses in the second quarter compared to the first due to rapid recovery in domestic travel
    China’s biggest airline on Saturday reported less severe losses in the second quarter as domestic travel picks up with the coronavirus outbreak brought largely under control. The country where the disease first emerged last year has reported no new deaths since May -- allowing for a tentative return of business and tourist travel within its borders, even as the virus wreaks havoc elsewhere. China Southern Airlines, the nation’s largest carrier in terms of passenger numbers, posted losses of 2.9 billion yuan ($422 million) in April-June, compared with 5.3 billion yuan in the first quarter from January to March. Flag carrier Air China reported total first-half losses of 9.4 billion yuan, with the second-quarter loss of 4.6 billion only slightly lower than 4.8 billion posted in the first quarter. It is good to keep in mind that airlines in China have massively reduced their ticket cost to stimulate demand!
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • The Saudi International Airshow has been announced for the 16 - 17 - 18th of February 2021 in Riyadh!
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Pipestrel Ready To Set 7 Electric Aircraft World Records
    - Lowest energy consumption (kWh / 100 km) over 700 km
    - Highest average speed over 700 km (km/h)
    - Highest flight altitude ever reached with an electric aircraft (meter above main sea level)
    - Fastest climbing performance from 0–1000 m / 1000–2000 m / 2000–3000 m (m/s)
    - Fastest average speed over 100 km (km/h)
    - Smallest number of intermediate stops over a distance of 700 km (number of stops)
    - Longest electrically flown route in 24/48/56 hours (km)
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Fiji Airways Aviation Academy opening 'was timely'
    Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen stated Fiji Airways pilots commenced using the "Fiji Airways Aviation Academy for recurrent and specialist training on the Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 full flight simulators" in Dec-2019. Mr Viljoen stated: "The opening of this state of the art facility was timely, as the prevailing border restrictions would make it very difficult for us to send our pilots overseas for training. This would in turn further delay resumption of inbound tourism, in an even sever below to the Fijian economy".
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Great to see airlines cooperating with another in terms of their pilot training in these complex times - Asiana Airlines shares COVID-19 flight crew training lessons with EVA Air, JAL and SIA!
    Asiana Airlines announced it held an online seminar and flight crew training session with EVA Air, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Singapore Airlines (SIA), as part of efforts to strengthen global cooperation for safe operation during the COVID-19 period and jointly explore effective flight training measures in response to the reduction of operations caused by the pandemic. This is the third annual joint training session between the carriers, which are working together to ensure flight safety.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Brazilian airline startup Ita Linhas Aereas plans to launch in March 2021 with a fleet of ten Airbus A320!
    Itapemirim Group is a bus company in Brazil, launched in 1953. Currently, it is the largest road passenger transport business in all of Latin America. It invested US$500 million to set up its new airline. Initially, the group was planning on acquiring a fleet of Bombardier airplanes. But now, according to Tiago Senna, there’s a letter of intent signed with leasing companies to receive ten Airbus A320. Senna plans to grow the fleet of Ita Linhas Aereas to 50 A320 by 2022.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • IndiGo's India market share soars to 60% in July!
    IndiGo's market share has grown even as all other major carriers have reported loss in market share. That's because when others were struggling to manage their finances, IndiGo, which was already financially strong, focussed on aggressively relaunching operations (from May 25) following the government's approval. Despite a sharp drop in its cash reserves in the June 2020 quarter, IndiGo is still sitting on total cash reserves of US $2.5bn. The second-largest airline Spicejet, which has about one-fourth of IndiGo's market share, had cash reserves of paltry US$5mn as on March 2020. To put this number in context, SpiceJet quarterly fuel expenses are more than three times its cash reserves.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • The Indian government has extended the deadline for the sale of flag carrier Air India by a further two months, attributing it to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Until recently, Tata Group had been the only interested bidder for the airline, though local business newspaper Financial Express reported on 21 August that Hinduja Group, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines may also throw their hats into the ring. Cirium could not independently verify that report.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Canada Has Concluded Boeing 737 MAX Testing
    Transport Canada has successfully completed its series of flight tests for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Over the last week, the aviation authority became the first entity not based in the United States to begin testing the type in the air following its grounding.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • Thai PM lends hand to struggling domestic aviation sector amid pandemic
    Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday told the media that he has agreed to assist the country's domestic low-cost airlines in their survival as air restrictions worldwide have grounded their aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven of Thailand's domestic low-cost airlines on Friday approached Prayut, to air their grievances and to submit their request for support. "The aviation industry is suffering as much as the tourism sector, so my administration has agreed to inject 24 billion baht (771 million U.S. dollars) in soft loans for the domestic airlines, hopefully to sail through this turbulent period," said Prayut. The seven airlines that were promised a new lease of life include Thai Air Asia, Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Bangkok Airways and Nok Air. "The soft loans will only be possible if these airlines will agree to retain their staff members," said the prime minister. There are approximately 20,000 staff members from the seven airlines whose jobs are at stake.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • New York State pension fund to invest $150m in aircraft-leasing strategy
    NYSCRF has approved a $150m commitment to Castlelake Aviation Stable Yield IV, which will buy, manage and lease aircraft and engines. Asked about the timing of the investment, NYSCRF pointed to growth in global air passenger numbers prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had been climbing in line with the increase in middle-class populations. “This demand, coupled with the duopoly of new aircraft manufactures contributed to a reliable valuation for aircraft during the useful life,” the pension fund told IPE Real Assets. “The ability for aircraft owners to market these planes and engines globally reduces the impact of a defaulting lessee in the portfolio.” NYSCRF said it believes Castlelake “can generate high cash flow from leasing to counterparts around the world while providing exit options during uncertain times”. Interesting to see institutional capital return to the industry.
    Source and discussion through this link.
  • India's FlyBig hopes to team up with revived Jet Airways - the common link: Pilot Training Group FSTC!
    FlyBig founder and pilot-turned-entrepreneur Sanjay Mandavia is planning to pair the start-up regional carrier with a revived Jet Airways if his bid for the latter is successful, Moneycontrol has reported.
    Source and discussion through this link.

If you have a Pilot Training Industry announcement that you would like to share with a larger audience please contact us.