Boeing, Xiamen Airlines celebrate delivery of 737 MAX Jet

Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX airplane and the 200th Boeing jet to Xiamen Airlines, a fast-growing Chinese carrier that has doubled its fleet in less than five years and has plans to double it again to serve more domestic and international passengers.

“The addition of the new Boeing 737 MAX is a major milestone for Xiamen Airlines as we execute our development roadmap,” said Che Shanglun, chairman of Xiamen Airlines. “We plan to expand our fleet to 568 airplanes by 2035, and evolve into a competitive world-class airline serving the globe, doing our part in helping China build a human community with shared destiny.”

Established in 1984, Xiamen Airlines, headquartered in Xiamen in southeastern China, began operations with two leased 737s serving three cities. Today, the airline operates 400 routes across China, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.

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DAE to sell 16 aircraft worth $900m

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd. recently announced that its leasing division DAE Capital has recently signed three agreements to sell 16 aircraft with a total market value of approximately US$900 million.

The aircraft covered by these agreements include Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, A330, and A350 family aircraft, have an average age of two years and are currently on lease to 11 airlines in 11 countries.

Firoz Tarapore, Chief Executive Officer of DAE commented, “This divestment activity will help us optimize our portfolio composition and monetize some of our recent larger-scale investments. This transaction does not impact our total number of customers. Proceeds will be used to pay down debt and reinvested to support our ambitious growth plans. Proactively managing our portfolio through active trading is a critical component of our long-term portfolio strategy and it is important for us to remain relevant in all segments of the secondary market for aircraft sales.”

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ACS expands in China

The Chinese operation of leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has moved to larger premises in Beijing to enable the next step in its plans for expansion as the Chinese market continues to grow.

Wanny Wu, Managing Director of ACS China, said, “The new office is in the heart of the business district of the city and double the size of our previous premises.

“This is an exciting time for the Chinese aviation industry, with the government’s plans to increase the number of airports from 220 to 260 by the end of 2020. When you think that the US has more than 5,000 airports and airfields, there is still a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction.

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Flexjet to launch private terminal in Texas

Fractional jet provider Flexjet will relocate its Dallas-area operations from Richardson, Texas, to the Braniff Centre, a 26-acre redevelopment project at Dallas Love Field, this November. The Cleveland-based company’s portion of the 200,000-sq-ft facility will consist of a private terminal, maintenance hangar, office space and covered parking.

It will stand alongside the new Tac Air FBO that is under construction at the former Braniff Airlines operations and maintenance base. When completed in June 2019, the renovated complex will include retail shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, offices, and an auto dealership.

“At our core, we are an aviation company, and the ability to tie a portion of our future to somewhere that has such historical significance in aviation is a perfect fit for us,” noted company CEO Michael Silvestro. “It not only gives us a significant presence at a key airport, but it also brings our entire Dallas team together in what will become one of our flagship regional facilities.”

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Honda Aircraft Company Unveils the HondaJet Elite

Honda Aircraft Company recently revealed a new upgraded aircraft, the ‘HondaJet Elite,’ at a special hangar event ahead of the 2018 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The HondaJet Elite has achieved an extended range of an additional 17% (+396km) and is equipped with a newly developed noise attenuating inlet structure that lines each engine and greatly reduces high frequency noise to enhance cabin quietness. Additionally, the new aircraft's advanced avionics system incorporates additional performance management functions for optimum flight planning and automatic stability and protection functions to enhance safety of flight.  The HondaJet Elite also protects the environment by offering the best fuel efficiency in its class while also featuring best-in-class speed, altitude and range. The aircraft is type certified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

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The CEO who stirs new Saudi airline from the ground up

Samer Majali is a familiar name in the growing Middle East aviation industry highly regarded for his four decades of vast experience and expertise in an extremely challenging field.

Majali, who began his aviation career with the Royal Jordanian Airlines after earning his Transport Engineering Degree in 1979, has been tapped to build from the ground up SaudiGulf Airlines as its president and chief executive officer since the company was formed in 2013.

“What’s unique about this is we’re starting from ground up. We’re starting from zero,” said Majali who served as CEO of Royal Jordanian Airlines and Gulf Air before he was tapped for the job at SaudiGulf Airlines.

With Majali on the steering wheel, the privately funded SaudiGulf took off with more than half a million domestic passengers last year, an impeccable indication of its readiness to take on international routes.

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Lufthansa Group boosting role of women in aviation

 Six all-female crews from across the Lufthansa Group including Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines start their morning flying to Berlin recently. Two female pilots each flew the jets from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels.

That’s not all, Lufthansa’s prestigious FlyingLab is on flight LH440 from Frankfurt to Houston, under the command of an all-female crew – in the cabin and in the cockpit .

The FlyingLab is the world’s only open innovation platform in the air. It consists of an on-board conference, which every passenger can follow on his or her own personal device and the opportunity to test the latest innovative products and services.

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Hong Kong Airlines collaborates with celebrity chef Chris Cosentino

 Hong Kong Airlines has announced a new culinary collaboration with San Francisco-based celebrity chef and television personality Chris Cosentino, before its inaugural flight to San Francisco. Chef Cosentino is known for his San Francisco restaurant, Cockscomb, where he reinterprets classic San Francisco dishes by adding his own unique twist. He is also known as the winner of Top Chef Masters, a contestant on The Next Iron Chef and his appearance on Iron Chef America in addition to his extensive work raising awareness and funds for Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry, a national charity fighting to end childhood hunger.

“I’ve been mesmerized with Hong Kong for years and am excited that more people will get to explore its vibrant culture and rich culinary history via this new route.”

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Zodiac Aerospace, Airbus to develop passenger sleep berths

 Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have partnered to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths. The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value for their commercial operations. The new passenger modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system will not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it.

Christophe Bernardini, Chief Executive Officer of Zodiac Aerospace Cabin Branch said, “We are delighted to work with Airbus on this new and innovative project, which reaffirms our expertise in lower-deck solutions. An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.”

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British Airways diminishes gender pay gap

 British Airways is doing better at addressing the gender pay gap than most other UK companies.

The airline’s statistics show the median hourly pay difference between men and women is 10 percent, compared to the national average of 18.1 percent.

However, BA’s median bonus pay difference is -19 percent, which means that the bonus pay gap favors women.

Of British Airways’ workforce46 percent of employees are female and 54 percent are male. The airline employs women in many areas that traditionally have been male-dominated, including pilots, engineering androles within the ramp team, such as baggage handling and aircraft loading.

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Thales announces multi-cloud use and compliance requirements shape encryption strategy

 Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, announces the results of its 2018 Global Encryption Trends Study. The report, based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Thales, reflects some of the changes and challenges organizations are experiencing in a world marked by widespread cloud deployments, use of multiple public cloud providers and new regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Key Points

84% of respondents either use the cloud for sensitive/non-sensitive applications and datatoday, or will do so in the next 12-24 months

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Working & Living on Mars

 Lockheed Martin is working on technologies that will make deep-space travel possible, such as building the spacecraft that will go to Mars. As part of its Generation Beyond K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiative, the company today announced the winners of a nationwide contest asking students to design a Mars-orbiting science lab and living space (or Mars Base Camp Habitation Module) that will dock with NASA's Orion deep space spacecraft. 

A roundtrip to Mars will take up to three years. In addition to basic necessities such as food, water, oxygen andpower, astronauts will need a habitat in which they can live comfortably and safely. The contest asked middle schoolers to submit their best design ideas for a Habitation Module that will provide all of the systems and living spaces that a crew needs for a long mission.

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CEO of IBA becomes ISTAT Appraiser Fellow

 Airways Aviation recently announced two recipients of its new female ab initio pilot scholarship, Hanna Gillam and Jessica Waite.

The £35,000 scholarship programme, created in collaboration with the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA), was announced last year to help encourage more female pilots. Some 100 candidates attended a careers day held at Airways’ base at London Oxford Airport in the UK to register interest.

After being shortlisted to sit the industry-standard COMPASS test, Hanna and Jessica were required to attend a panel interview, give a presentation and take part in a group exercise. They both scored highly on each task and progressed to a final round of one-to-one interviews at Oxford.

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Airways Aviation champions female pilots

 Airways Aviation recently announced two recipients of its new female ab initio pilot scholarship, Hanna Gillam and Jessica Waite.

The £35,000 scholarship programme, created in collaboration with the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA), was announced last year to help encourage more female pilots. Some 100 candidates attended a careers day held at Airways’ base at London Oxford Airport in the UK to register interest.

After being shortlisted to sit the industry-standard COMPASS test, Hanna and Jessica were required to attend a panel interview, give a presentation and take part in a group exercise. They both scored highly on each task and progressed to a final round of one-to-one interviews at Oxford.

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Etihad Aviation Training re-launched in Abu Dhabi

 Etihad Aviation Training, part of Etihad Aviation Group, has re-launched its world-class aviation training organization with the aim of becoming one of the most comprehensive aviation training facilities in the world. 

Based at two locations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Etihad Aviation Training opens in a new window, previously known as Etihad Flight College, is a commercially-focused business open to external customers, while retaining the operational and safety values that have underpinned Etihad’s training services to-date.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Etihad Aviation Training is an ambitious enterprise, pursuing its mandate to provide outstanding training services to a global audience.

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SR Technics adapts global footprint in respective market conditions

 SR Technics is constantly extending its capabilities and continuously improving its services around the world to even better serve its airline customers while adapting its global footprint to the respective market conditions. 

Switzerland belongs to the world’s most expensive economies and companies like SR Technics are forced to review its operation at Zurich Airport across all areas to remain competitive. 

After a detailed review of its operation, SR Technics considers to right-size its infrastructure and capacity at Zurich Airport by adding more than 100 new positions in Engine Services and potentially reduce its workforce in Aircraft Services of up to 300. As a result, its actual 1,500-strong workforce at Zurich Airport could potentially be reduced to about 1,300 employees over a period of two years. 

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