Vallair signs long-term financial lease with Cardig Air

Vallair, the aircraft trading, leasing and specialist MRO organization has signed a long-term Financial Lease with Indonesian Cargo Airline, Cardig Air, for a Boeing 737-400F.  After conversion in the USA, the final compliance checks for Indonesian aviation were undertaken at Vallair’s MRO facility in Montpellier, France and the aircraft then landed in Jakarta mid-May.

“The aircraft will be scheduled to connect Jakarta with flights to Saigon and Southern China (Shenzhen)” says Peter Koster, Head of Cargo Conversions Business Unit for Vallair. “There is strong potential in the South East Asian airfreight market with rapidly increasing connections to the Chinese mainland. We have supported Cardig Air in their move from operating a B737-300F to the B737-400F model with increased cargo capacity. We are confident that our on-going assistance will help to underpin their development and build a long term business partnership.”

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Magnetic MRO receives Inspection Authorization rights

Magnetic MRO has strengthened its FAA repair station capabilities by becoming the one and only company in the entire Baltic States to have gained IA (Inspection Authorization) rights.

Following upon Magnetic MRO‘s strategic expansion into the aviation asset management area and global market expansion to US and Asia, the company has confidently marched towards tactical investments to solidify their planned growth. Risto Mäeots, CEO of Magnetic MRO, describes this development as “having a mobile FAA station” as their team will be able to insure possible off-site inspections from now on without outsourcing the service or manpower. 

 “Not only is this a valuable addition to our FAA service capabilities, but also a remarkable enabler for our exponentially growing asset management establishment MPTL (Magnetic Parts Trade Limited),” says Risto Mäeots, CEO of Magnetic MRO.

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Raytheon Company to supply missile to US Navy

The US Navy has selected the Naval Strike Missile, offered by Raytheon Company and Kongsberg Gruppen, for over-the-horizon defense of littoral combat ships and future frigates.

Raytheon will manufacture and deliver the over-the-horizon weapon systems under a $14.8 million contract for offensive missiles loaded into launching mechanisms, and a single fire-control suite. The contract includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $847.6 million.

NSM is a long-range, precision missile that strikes heavily defended land and sea targets. The missile, which can reach enemy defenses up to 100 nautical miles away, uses advanced seeker and target-identification technology.

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BAE Systems to develop software for DARPA to model conflicts

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is sponsoring BAE Systems to develop software that will aid military planners in understanding and addressing the complex dynamics that drive conflicts around the world. Under a $4.2 million Phase 1 contract awarded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Causal Exploration of Complex Operational Environments program seeks to develop technology to model different political, territorial, and economic tensions that often lead to conflicts, helping planners to avoid unexpected outcomes.

With increasingly complicated operational environments and diverse adversaries, military planners are often hindered from rapidly and effectively achieving a holistic understanding of conflict situations due to a lack of time, expert resources, and automated tools.

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Northrop Grumman, US Army deploy JTAGS capabilities in Japan

The US Army and Northrop Grumman Corporation have deployed enhanced Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) capabilities in Japan to advance battlespace awareness and missile defense.

The work is part of the pre-planned product improvement program previously awarded to Northrop Grumman to modernize JTAGS. The system was first fielded in 1997 to provide in-theater missile warning using data directly from satellite sensors.

“JTAGS is perpetually ‘on duty’ and ‘first to see, first to report’ on ballistic missile launches,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “Our continuing collaboration with the Army has enabled even greater capabilities to protect our joint warfighters and allies.

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Pentagon, Lockheed Martin deliver F-35 aircraft

The F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin delivered the 300th production F-35 aircraft, demonstrating the program's continued progress and momentum. The 300th aircraft is a US Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

"The F-35 weapons system is a key enabler of our National Defense Strategy and is providing our warfighters the combat proven, advanced capabilities they need to meet mission requirements," said Vice Admiral Mat Winter, program executive officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office. "The 300th production aircraft delivery is a significant milestone that highlights the effective F-35 Enterprise collaboration across the JPO, U.S. services, partners and industry. Moving forward, our F-35 team remains committed to driving costs down, quality up and faster delivery timelines across our development, production and sustainment lines of effort."

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Airbus to acquire majority stake in CSALP

Having received all required regulatory approvals, Airbus SE, Bombardier Inc., and Investissement Québec (IQ) have agreed to close the C Series transaction effective on July 1, 2018. The transaction by which Airbus will acquire a majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) was initially announced in October 2017. The Mirabel-based partnership, which was originally established between Bombardier and IQ, will benefit from Airbus’ global reach, scale, procurement organization and expertise in selling, marketing and producing the C Series – a state-of-the-art jet aircraft family in the 100-150 seat market.

Airbus will work with its partners Bombardier and IQ to fully unlock the C Series’ potential and create significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which the partnership operates. The partnership’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions will be based in Mirabel, Québec.

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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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