Norwegian Air announced its intention to register some of its aircraft in Ireland, for economic reasons.
The Oslo-based company decided to establish a fully owned asset management company, which will be incorporated under the laws of Ireland and will have the US dollar as its functional currency.
The first aircraft to be placed under the control of the asset management company is the Boeing 737-800 due for delivery in September 2013: the asset management company will operate as lessor of the aircraft.
“The incorporation of the new subsidiary -the airline explains- will also limit currency exposure to the balance sheet, which is primarily driven by a mismatch between USD denominated loans and aircraft balance sheet values denominated in Norwegian crowns, managed today by extensive hedge arrangements”.
Already in April 2013 Bjørn Kjos, Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Air Shuttle, declared that the Scandinavian company might register its eight Boeing 787/8 aircraft in Ireland, in order to circumvent Norwegian laws and hire Asian crews for the long-haul routes.
By the way, Norwegian is already discussing with the Irish Aviation Authority to obtain a permanent Irish air operators certificate (AOC) for its longhaul division.
Norwegian Air Shuttle is a company founded in 1993 which operates connections with 121 destinations in Europe and North Africa with a fleet of 79 aircraft with an average age of 4.6 years. Starting from May 2013 the carrier will also launch its long-haul operations, flying to Bangkok, New York and Fort Lauderdale from Scandinavia. The company has ambitious growth plans, testified by the size of the outstanding orders. Norwegian inked contracts for 245 new aircraft: 100 Boeing 737 MAX8s, 100 Airbus A-320neo, 37 Boeing 737/800s and the above-mentioned eight 787/8 Dreamliners.
Devon Air Ambulance has added a second Eurocopter EC-135 to its helicopter fleet, enhancing the service providers own airlift capabilities and further fostering the market presence of this rotorcraft type in medical missions throughout the United Kingdom.
The EC-135P2i version of Eurocopters twin-engine workhorse helicopter family was delivered by the Eurocopter UK subsidiary, and performed a five-day tour through Devon thanking the public for funds raised in line with the countrys guiding principle to use private donations in financing air ambulances within the emergency medical service system.
It joins an EC-135 T2 previously acquired by the Devon Air Ambulance Trust both of which are fully owned by the Exeter-based charity.
Our new helicopter is a very special air ambulance with many tailored design features that were only made possible by the superb collaboration and understanding between our staff and Eurocopter”, said Heléna Holt, the Devon Air Ambulance Trusts Chief Executive. Owning both our helicopters is the culmination of many years of planning and fundraising, but it has all been very worthwhile as we are not only saving considerable sums of money, but are able to continue improving our service to the people of Devon”.
Eurocopter EC-135s perform more than 15,000 missions annually with critically ill patients across the UK, being the helicopter of choice for the countrys emergency air medical services. The EC-135P2i version acquired by the Devon Air Ambulance Trust incorporate enhancements that include software and hardware upgrades, with improvements in payload and performance capabilities.
“The Devon Air Ambulance Trust represents the trend among U.K. emergency medical services operators in changing over from leasing solutions to the more cost-effective ownership business model”, explained Markus Steinke, the Managing Director of Eurocopter UK. Using our Britians helicopter hub in Oxford, we are is ready to accompany all of our customers’ evolving business models with innovative solutions”.
Overall, Eurocopter has a 65 percent share of the United Kingdoms helicopter emergency medical services fleet.
Today, Wednesday 4 September 2013, the French parliament will start its discussions about the participation of the armed forces of the country to the possible military action against Syria. However, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is on standby in the southeast city of Toulon, ready to leave and join US’ and UK’s ships in the Red Sea area.
During the past days United States sent the USS Nimitz to the Red Sea, in order to “Be as ready as possible should we be needed”, the US Department of Defense communicated (Naviganti.org). The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom has already at least a submarine in the area, whereas the Royal Air Force sent six Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft at its base of Akrotiri, on Cyprus Island, but according to the Ministry for Defence their aim is just defending the area of the base (Naviganti.org).
“This is purely a prudent and precautionary measure to ensure the protection of UK interests and the defence of our Sovereign Base Areas at a time of hieghtened tension in the wider region. They are not deploying to take part in any military action against Syria”, London’s Ministry for Defence clarified.
France has deployed as well some rafale and Mirage fighter aircraft in the United Arab Emirates. The Charles de Gaulle is the only nuclear powered ship in Western Europe.
On board there are several types of aircraft: 12 Dassault Rafale Marine F3 multirole fighter airplanes, 16 Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard ground-attack fighter airplanes , 2 Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye airplanes with Airborne Early Warning tasks, one Eurocopter AS-532 Cougar Resco SAR (Search And Rescue) helicopters, 2 Eurocopter EC-725 Caracal Resco transport helicopters, 2 AS-365F Dauphin Pedro SAR helicopters and one Aerospatiale Alouette III utility helicopter.
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, today announced that Weststar Aviation Services of Malaysia has taken delivery of an additional AW-139, bringing the total delivered of the type to 18 in support of Weststars off-shore oil & gas transportation and VIP transport services. The aircraft, which was built at AgustaWestlands Philadelphia facility in the United States, was accepted by Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Weststar Group Managing Director from William Hunt, CEO, AgustaWestland Philadelphia, during a ceremony held today.
In total, Weststar Aviation Services has ordered 30 helicopters from AgustaWestland since 2010, comprising 24 AW-139s, four AW-189s and two AW-169s.
The acceptance of our 18th AW-139 further strengthens our partnership with AgustaWestland and allows us to be the leading provider of offshore aviation services in the region”, said Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Weststar Group Managing Director. We fly the AW-139 and look forward to our future expansion plans globally that include introduction of the AW-169 and the AW-189 into our fleet”.
“We deliver yet another AW-139 to Weststar as they continue to expand their fleet to serve their growing list of clients in the off-shore oil and gas market”, said Vincenzo Alaimo, Managing Director of AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd. AgustaWestland Malaysia is committed to support Weststars fleet of aircraft from our regional hub in Kuala Lumpur, ensuring excellent reliability, safety and performance”.
Weststar will be the one of the first operators worldwide to benefit from the commonality in design across the AW-139, AW-169 and AW-189 Family of new generation helicopters. As well as possessing the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features, the helicopters share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy, and maintenance concepts that will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets from 4 to 8.5 tonnes.
Formed in April 2003, Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Weststar Group, provides general aviation charter services, personal transport, aerial work services and off-shore transport. The first AW-139 entered service with Weststar Aviation Services on 1 April 2011.
Over 200 customers from nearly 60 countries have ordered more than 730 AW-139 helicopters so far.
AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of AgustaWestland, continues to play a major role in the Malaysian helicopter market expanding its presence and increasing its capabilities through a continued programme of investment.
The Companys headquarters, maintenance, support and training facilities are located at Kuala Lumpur’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. AgustaWestland Malaysia is a Malaysian DCA approved maintenance and repair organization.
Airbus Military has completed an important set of trials of the A400M new generation airlifter, demonstrating the aircrafts excellent performance on gravel runways.
In tests lasting more than a week at Ablitas in northern Spain, development aircraft MSN2 performed 25 landings during six flights on the same runway.
The trials confirmed that despite the harsh conditions, damage to the aircraft exterior from stones and dust was minimal and within expectations, and the runway remained usable after repeated operations.
Demonstrations included ground manoeuvring, rejected take-offs, and use of propeller reverse thrust at speeds as low as 70kt (130 km/h) none of which caused engine or cockpit contamination.
Tests were successfully performed with and without the optional nosewheel deflector which can be fitted to protect the aircraft during such operations, underlying the A400Ms ability to operate to and from rough strips close to the scene of military or humanitarian action in addition to its strategic capability.
Head of A400M Flight Tests, Eric Isorce, said: “The results of these tests were very close to all predictions and confirm the A400M´s capability to operate successfully from gravel runways”.
A full analysis of the results is now underway by Airbus Military and OCCAR.
For the third consecutive year, the Association of European Airlines (AEA) held its annual networking event in the European Parliament. The event was hosted by Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Mrs Gesine Meissner and co-hosted by MEPs Mathieu Grosch and Said El Khadraoui. At the beginning of each Parliamentary year, AEA gathers politicians, representatives of the European institutions and airlines in an informal setting to tackle key aviation issues.
Air transport industry plays a vital role in Europes economy. European network airlines provide reliable business connectivity and support four times as many local jobs as non-European airlines. Aviation is a key to Europes competitiveness, enhances mobility, contributes to public amenity and cohesion.
“However, the perception of the public is still that the aviation is a very rich industry resulting in governments continuing to treat aviation as a cash cow. You need us and we need you we acknowledge that aviation needs appropriate regulation but the right kind in the right measure. With European Parliamentary elections due in 2014, along with a new College of Commissioners, 2013 will be the last full year in which the present politicians can leave a lasting legacy”, said Mr Bernard Gustin, Chairman of AEA in his welcoming speech.
“We appreciate this open dialogue and we are looking forward to further engage with the aviation industry to elaborate a comprehensive and sustainable aviation policy”, told MEP Gesine Meissner, Member of the European Parliament and host of the event.
Boeing announced it started the production of the KC-46 refueling aircraft: the announcement was provided by Dennis Muilenburg, Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense, during Reuters’ Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.
“I’m not sure how many people thought we could execute the program when we started a couple of years ago, and we today have met every single milestone”, Muilenburg declared, adding that the first 18 aircraft will be delivered, as scheduled, by 2017, whereas the remaining 161 tankers included in the contract which was signed in 2011, will be provided to the US Air Force by 2028.
In Boeing’s facility in Seattle workers began assembling the second refueling boom for the KC-46A Tanker programme. In this phase it is scheduled the manufacturing of five booms. The first will be used for risk-reducing laboratory tests that are scheduled to begin early next year. The second will be installed on a test aircraft to further evaluate the design.
“Our team -Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice-president and program manager- is achieving significant milestones as we prepare for flight tests to begin, and we remain focused on delivering this capability on schedule. The KC-46 boom is modeled after the proven KC-10 boom, which has performed extremely well in its 30 years of operation. We’re enhancing its reliability, making it even better”.
The KC-46 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 passenger airplane. In February 2011, itselected by the United States Air Force to replace older KC-135 Stratotankers.
Its Maximum Transfer Fuel Load is 94,198 kg. Each of its two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 turbofan engines generates a thrust of 63,300 lbf, enabling the aircraft to reach a maximum speed of 915 km/h, with a range of 12,200 km.
As the new Parliamentary year starts, the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament will hold its first meeting to discuss among others the Flight and Duty Time (FTL) rules as proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Association of European Airlines highlights once again that the proposals are not the relaxation of todays rules. On the contrary, they harmonise the different FTL requirements that exist across Europe and even include some new and more restrictive requirements and limitations.
“AEA acknowledges EASAs balanced proposal, which is based on numerous scientific studies and involved all stakeholders including national safety regulators, airlines and trade unions. Airlines share pilot unions concerns that fatigue has no place in the flight deck. Safety cannot be compromised, therefore airlines take the necessary steps to ensure passengers safety” said Athar Husain Khan, acting Secretary General of AEA. “AEA calls on the European Parliament to adopt the proposal before the end of this year”.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that demand for air travel recorded another solid month of growth in July. Overall revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) were up 5.0% compared to July 2012. All regions were up year-on-year, with emerging markets recording the strongest increases. Capacity rose 5.5% on the previous July, ahead of demand, and industry load factor dropped 0.4 percentage points to 82.4%.
Although Julys 5.0% performance was not as strong as Junes (6.1%), this likely reflects both a market correction in line with prevailing economic conditions as well as the impact of reduced travel in markets observing the Ramadan period.
“Passenger demand continues to be strong. But the story of emerging markets driving growth as developed economies stagnate could be shifting. We are still expecting growth of 5% this year. How that growth is achieved, however, appears to be at a turning point”, said Tony Tyler, IATAs Director General and CEO.
“The emergence of the Eurozone from an 18-month recession provided the biggest boost to traffic over recent months. In contrast, the deceleration of the Chinese economy has been a dampener on air travel, with weakness showing up throughout emerging Asian markets. The price of oil, a huge cost item for airlines, is tracking political tensions in the Middle East. Along with the global cost impact of this, at the regional level there is the potential for disruption for one of aviations strongest and most consistent growth markets”, he said.
Berlin-Brandenburg Airport is risking to become on of the largest unfinished constructions in history: the inauguration, which was initially planned in 2011 has been postponed several times, and to this day there is not a certain, or at least approximate, date for its opening.
But the situation could be even worse than expected: according to rumours reported by the German newspaper “BZ”, at the end of an eight-month assessment procedure which had the aim to evaluate the situation of the work, Chief Technical Officer of the management firm Flughafen Berlin-Brandenburg Horst Amann received a report listing 66,500 problems allficting the hub.
34,000 of them are considered relevant to getting permission to open, while 5845 were labeled as critical.
A few days ago it was announced that Germania Fluggesellschaft will become the first airline to operate passenger flights from Berlin-Brandenburg Airport: the news has been provided by the carrier and the management firm of the German hub (Naviganti.org).
The airline will switch its operations in the capital from Tegel to Schoenefeld, which is closer to Brandenburg Airport, as of November 1, and plans to start later from the Pier Nord (North Pier) of the new hub.
In the light of the rumours reported by “BZ”, however, it seems unlikely that it can happen in short times, considering that the North Pier area is currently characterized by 8500 problems, the most serious of which involve the fire alarm system and the cabling system.
Chief Executive Officer Hartmut Mehdorn hopes to start the operations of the hub in the first half of next year with about 10 flights per day, handling around 1,500 passengers daily: considering all the works that still need to be done, this hypothesis seems now pretty optimistic.
The only certain figure involves the incredible increase of the costs: the initial expenditure estimates were of 1.2 billion Euros, but now the forecasts put the overall cost of the project at about 5 billion Euros.