ST Engineering divests specialty vehicles subsidiary in India

 Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) recently announced that its indirect subsidiary, SDG Kinetics Pte. Ltd. (SDGK) will divest 100% of LeeBoy India Construction Equipment Private Limited (LBI) in two tranches to Polyhose India Private Limited (Polyhose) for a consideration of US$1.05m (about S$1.44m). The consideration was arrived at after taking into account current market conditions, financial position of LBI and future business prospects.

Closing for the first-tranche divestment comprising 73% stake took place on 31 October 2018.  The balance stake of 27% will be transferred to Polyhose upon receipt of acknowledgment for relevant regulatory filings.

 As part of the transaction, ST Engineering Land Systems Ltd., through SDGK, made a capital injection of INR 344m (about S$6.5m) to enable LBI to discharge its outstanding bank loans of the same amount.

 LBI was set up in 2010 to manufacture and distribute road construction equipment in India. The divestment is a result of ST Engineering’s ongoing business review to streamline capabilities and optimise resources within the Group.

 The transaction is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.

Turkish Technic grows third-party MRO business

 Turkish Technic has grown its third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) to 25% of its total revenue, up from 15% two years ago, through more efficient use of its existing facilities.

“Within two years, through a Turkish Airlines efficiency project, we have been able to increase our third-party work from 15% to 25% [of revenues], even though the Turkish Airlines’ fleet is increasing,” Turkish Technic SVP-quality assurance Birkan Güneralp told delegates at MRO Europe in Amsterdam Oct. 18.

The gains have been made by maximizing use of the company’s current hangar facilities and infrastructure, through better planning and by analyzing work after it is completed.

“In terms of customer-oriented delays—which are not our responsibility—we helped them to overcome the problems that they face, in areas like procurement and getting solutions from the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs),” Güneralp said. By minimizing this disruption, it has helped free up slots to take on more work, without physical expansion.

Turkish Technic is now turning its attention to landing-gear overhauls. Güneralp said the aim is to make the process “more lean and predictable.” This, in turn, means the company can plan and allocate man-hours more efficiently.

Güneralp said staff buy-in is essential to take an initiative from project-level to wider operational roll-out. “When you convince your team that it is beneficial to them, that it will add value to daily work, that will help with the culture change,” he said.

Engine MRO demand remains strong

 Rising fuel costs are not cutting into demand for MRO services even among older aircraft, engine aftermarket providers report, contributing to a logjam at many overhaul shops.

MTU Aero Engines reported a 17.2% jump in third-quarter commercial MRO revenue, leading it to revise its full-year projection to an eye-opening "mid 20s." While International Aero Engines V2500 work continues to be the company's primary aftermarket revenue generator, executives cited unexpectedly high demand on several older models, notably the GE CF6 and Pratt & Whitney PW2000.

"CF680 we [are seeing] an exceptionally high-growth year, low to mid-teens in the third quarter," said MTU CEO Reiner Winkler. "What we see is a huge demand, especially out of the freight operators."

 The trend is also supported by new-program challenges that are keeping aircraft from being delivered, or creating in-service reliability problems. The Trent 1000 issues affecting the Boeing 787 fleet are well-documented, forcing operators to fly older widebodies in their place. Rolls-Royce recently disclosed it will not meet full-year targets for its large engines, with the Trent 7000 suffering the most. This could mean some A330neos are delayed, keeping a few older aircraft in service.

Meanwhile, rising fuel prices that are pressuring airline profit margins do not seem to be affecting fleet plans--at least not yet. While prices are still reasonable by historical standards, they have risen nearly 40% in the last year, IATA's global jet fuel price monitor shows.

"There is still a very, very strong demand for also used 757s, used 767s," said Winkler. "So we don’t see any sign of slowing demand in that [older-aircraft] space."

Meanwhile, Safran reported a 19.2% increase in its civil engine MRO business last quarter, and now expects a full-year increase of perhaps 12%. Spare parts, which make up about 2/3 of the company's aftermarket business, are leading the way.

"We received more shop visits than what we had anticipated, and the value per shop visit was also higher than what we had anticipated," said Philippe Petitcolin, Safran CEO. "The traffic is there and again, we've seen, as of today, absolutely no impact of the oil price."

The natural shop-visit cycle of the V2500 and the CFM International CFM56--which is Safran's primary MRO revenue generator--are part of the upswing. But older aircraft staying in service longer, including some early A320s and 737s that are powered by the venerable engines, is another. Retirements continue to be down, which means less feed-stock for used parts providers. That drives up new-parts sales, while the entire environment lifts shop-visit demand.

"It's very difficult to get a slot in the engine market," said Jonathan Berger, managing director at Alton Aviation Consultancy. "We're seeing at many MROs, engines lining up waiting to be inducted, because they can't get parts. We're seeing significant TAT [increases], and a lot of MROs are paying their [daily delay] fines. That's just the state of the industry right now.

"The engine piece-part supply chain is maxed out," he added. "There is a shortage of material in the market. Old engines, new engines--you name it."

 

Italy to cut off billion dollars from its defense spending

 Italy will cut €450 million  ($512.3 million) from its planned defense spending in 2019 by suspending helicopter and missile purchases and canceling an office move by the defense ministry to help shore up social welfare and tax cuts, a defense source has told Defense News.

Italy’s total outlay on defense in 2019 will be announced in parliament in the next few days, as Rome’s populist government seeks support by members of parliament for its state budget, which contains billions of euros for a new wage for the unemployed.

To free up funds to cover spending, Rome has made its cut to the defense budget, just as most European states are increasing their military outlay.

 During 2019 all ongoing purchases of NH-90 helicopters for the Italian Army and Navy will be suspended, the source said.

 Italy is planning to buy 60 NH-90s for the Army and 56 for the Navy at a total cost of €4 billion, with the procurement due to wind up in 2024.

 Upgrades to Tornado aircraft will also be suspended, said the source, who added that the two measures would save €370 million.

 Italy’s purchase of the MBDA Camm-Er missile defense system will also be put off for a year, saving €30 million in 2019, the source added.

 Another €50 million — to reach the total of €450 million — will come from the cancellation of plans to move the headquarters of Italy’s armed forces out of their separate buildings in Rome’s city center to a unified HQ in the suburbs.

 The plan, dubbed ‘Italy’s Pentagon,’ was due to cost a total of €1.1 billion, the source said.

 The source added that F-35 purchases would be “slowed” in order to spread out payments. Italy is currently planning to buy 90 aircraft.

 Italian defense minister Elisabetta Trenta will discuss the plan with US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis when she visits the United States, the source said.

Tapestry Solutions wins contract to provide ITV for US central command

 Boeing, through its subsidiary Tapestry Solutions, has received an award from the US Army to provide In-Transit Visibility (ITV) for ground transportation logistics in the US Central Command’s (CENTCOM) area of operations. The contract calls for the deployment of Tapestry’s Global Distribution Management System (GDMS) to track and manage civilian contractors who move Army equipment and supplies throughout Kuwait, the Trans-Arabian Network and Iraq.

The contract expands upon Tapestry’s current GDMS/ITV program in Afghanistan. Tapestry’s commercial software solution has served as a key element of the US military’s Host Nation Trucking and subsequent National Afghan Trucking programs since 2009.

 “The award further illustrates our customers’ confidence in our products, services and people,” said Michael Spencer, vice president, Global Sales & Marketing, Tapestry Solutions. “Our dedicated GDMS team manages thousands of transportation movements per month in Afghanistan – working 24 hours a day to safeguard people, data and cargo. We look forward to providing the same level of exceptional service in surrounding nations.”

 GDMS acts as a central data fusion system that enables the US military to have near real-time visibility, tracking metrics and accountability for all registered commercial vehicles. At the core of GDMS is a centralized database that links cargo movements with vehicles equipped with GPS-based transponders. The system provides panic alarms/alerts to contractors as they pass hazards and checkpoints, and displays the mission data on topographical maps. The system includes instant replay functions that allow for course-of-action analysis.

 As an administrative tool, GDMS supports transportation management requests, captures actual delivery times, supports invoicing and validates demurrage charges. The data, captured in the GDMS-Mission Tracker (GDMS-MT) database, also assists with insurance claims, investigations and the military’s litigation efforts.

 For CENTCOM, Tapestry will deploy the ITV/GDMS solution to Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan. GDMS will supplement the military’s current radio frequency ITV infrastructure in the region and provide a common operating picture as supplies are transported to tactical operations centers, movement control teams and higher military echelons.

US Army pilots fly OPV helicopter to demonstrate technology by Sikorsky

 US Army pilots exercised supervised autonomy to direct an optionally piloted helicopter (OPV) through a series of missions to demonstrate technology developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The series of flights marked the first time that non-Sikorsky pilots operated the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA), a modified S-76B commercial helicopter, as an OPV aircraft.

"Future vertical lift aircraft will require robust autonomous and optimally-piloted systems to complete missions and improve safety," said Chris Van Buiten, vice president, Sikorsky Innovations. "We could not be more thrilled to welcome Army aviators to the cockpit to experience first-hand the reliability of optimally-piloted technology developed by the innovative engineers at Sikorsky and DARPA. These aviators experienced the same technology that we are installing and testing on a Black Hawk that will take its first flight over the next several months."

 SARA, which has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight, successfully demonstrated the advanced capabilities developed as part of the third phase of DARPA's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program. Pilots on board and pilots on the ground operated the aircraft at different times. Sikorsky's MATRIX™ Technology autonomous software and hardware, which is installed on SARA, executed various scenarios including:

Automated Take Off and Landing: The helicopter autonomously executed take-off, traveled to its destination, and autonomously landed

Obstacle Avoidance: The helicopter's LIDAR and cameras enabled it to detect and avoid unknown objects such as wires, towers and moving vehicles

Automatic Landing Zone Selection: The helicopter's LIDAR sensors determined a safe landing zone

Contour Flight: The helicopter flew low to the ground and behind trees

The recent Mission Software Flight Demonstration was a collaboration with the U.S. Army's Aviation Development Directorate, Sikorsky and DARPA. The Army and DARPA are working with Sikorsky to improve and expand ALIAS capabilities developed as a tailorable autonomy kit for installation in both fixed wing airplanes and helicopters.

 Over the next few months, Sikorsky will for the first time fly a Black Hawk equipped with ALIAS. The company is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to certify ALIAS/MATRIX technology so that it will be available on current and future commercial and military aircraft.

 "We're demonstrating a certifiable autonomy solution that is going to drastically change the way pilots fly," said Mark Ward, Sikorsky Chief Pilot, Stratford, Conn. Flight Test Center. "We're confident that MATRIX Technology will allow pilots to focus on their missions. This technology will ultimately decrease instances of the number one cause of helicopter crashes: Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)."

 Through the DARPA ALIAS program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy that will give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program will improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations.

British armed forces to allow women in combat roles

 Women will be allowed to apply for all military roles in the British armed forces, including in frontline infantry units and the Royal Marines, the government has announced.

Women will also be able to put themselves forward for selection for specialist units including the SAS and SBS. The Ministry of Defense described the move as historic.

The defense secretary, Gavin Williamson, made the announcement during a land power demonstration on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

He said that with immediate effect, women already serving in the army could transfer into infantry roles. Those not currently serving would be able to apply for infantry roles in December, with new recruits starting basic training in April 2019.

Williamson also confirmed that women were now able to apply to join the Royal Marines, with selection starting before the end of the year. Training courses will begin at Royal Marines Commando training center in Lympstone, Devon, in early 2019.

While women have for many years served in war zones in a huge array of jobs, they were previously not allowed to serve in ground close combat’ roles. The ban was lifted in 2016 by the then prime minister, David Cameron.

He said at that time that the change would be phased in, and from November 2016 women were allowed into the Royal Armored Corps. In September 2017 the RAF Regiment – the air force’s fighting force – allowed women.

The army now has around 35 women either serving in or being trained to join the Royal Armored Corps, with a number of personnel already being deployed to Estonia and Oman.

An MoD spokesperson said, “While the military does not necessarily expect large numbers of women to apply for ground close combat roles, the changes are aimed at creating opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds and making the most of their talents.

“By making all branches and trades of the military open to everyone, regardless of their gender, the armed forces are building on their reputation of being a leading equal opportunities employer.”

The land power demonstration on Salisbury Plain involved some of the first women to join the Royal Armored Corps.

Loganair adds new routes from Edinburgh Airport

 Scottish airline Loganair is to launch four new routes as part of its summer schedule.

The routes include year-round services to Norwegian cities Bergen and Stavanger, as well as to the island of Islay.

A seasonal link between Edinburgh and Guernsey will also operate.

The newly acquired 37-seat Embraer 135 jet, the latest addition to Loganair’s fleet, will operate each Bergen, Stavanger and Guernsey.

 

Stavanger will become Loganair's second destination in Norway with four flights each week from Edinburgh.

 Flights to Bergen - dubbed the gateway to the Fjords - will operate three times each week.

 A 34-seat aircraft will fly the Edinburgh to Islay route - the capital city's first ever scheduled air link to the Inner Hebrides.

 Loganair also plans to increase the frequency of flights between Edinburgh and the Isle of Man, adding an extra service throughout the summer.

Jonathan Hinkles, managing director of Loganair, said,"We know that Stavanger and Bergen will be of interest to both the leisure and corporate customer and have no doubt that both Islay and Guernsey will prove very popular to people looking for a holiday in these beautiful destinations."

Jonathan Rayner, aviation director at Edinburgh Airport, said, "This expansion will provide the opportunity to build business links in Norway as well as appeal to those looking for a leisurely break and we're excited to see these routes develop."

LCCs become significant players in short-haul services

 Low-cost carriers (LCC) rose rapidly to become significant players in short-haul markets, quite often at the expense of legacy carriers’ short-haul services. Route opportunities still exist in many markets, but some services are being introduced with only one or two flights per week, as the traffic will not support daily schedules.

For LCCs willing to look beyond large single-aisle aircraft, crossover narrowbody jets are a viable option to enable not just daily, but multiple daily flights. Rodrigo Silva e Souza, vice president of marketing for Embraer Commercial Aviation, says there is a clear indication that some low-fare carriers can no longer sustain a robust market expansion. “Given the focus on larger narrowbody aircraft, the mismatch between market demand and aircraft capacity threatens their ability to expand the network in the lower-density markets,” he explains.

 “In the last five years, the LCCs’ major driver of expansion has been additional frequencies on existing routes,” he observes. “Since a large narrowbody is the growth engine, the natural focus has been in the highest-density markets. Higher frequencies in previously served routes represented nearly 70% of the added capacity since 2012. Frequency in new markets was responsible for only 20% of the growth in the same period.

 “Last year, some traditional LCCs canceled more markets than they actually opened,” Silva e Souza notes. “As opportunities to explore trunk routes are limited, low-density markets will become more relevant. Crossover narrowbody jets offer a new strategic mindset—a shift in focus to exploring low- and mid-density markets, where yields are up to 10% stronger than the average.”

 According to Jorge Abando, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.’s vice president of sales and marketing, the challenge with low-cost airlines is that “they need to keep their unit costs below the low yields they are operating. That’s where the economic story of new technology aircraft comes in—shifting that cost curve to where a 90-seat aircraft’s unit cost can be similar to, or less than, that of the Boeing 737-800. That’s when it makes sense.

 “Then the challenge is finding markets where the yields are a certain margin above those unit costs,” Abando continues. “What I contend—from our studies and analyses of mature markets such as Europe—is that there are plenty of those routes. It is just a matter of filtering them and finding the ones that work for that airline.”

 Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC) is convinced that its Superjet 100 (SSJ100) has a role to play when LCCs consider lower-density markets. “The SSJ100 is the ideal complement for narrowbody operators; it is a replacement for aircraft with larger capacity (such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737) operated with low passenger payload during seasonal downturn,” remarks the SCAC press office. “The SSJ100 can substitute for both those aircraft for a long period in a ‘low’ season and at particular times of day [in regular traffic periods].”

 Few outright LCCs operate a second fleet type. One crossover narrowbody jet operator, though not an LCC, believes these types will be able to penetrate low-fare markets. “When a low-cost airline with a single fleet type [reaches its growth limit] in the established markets, a crossover jet might be the solution for further growth,” says Martin Gauss, CEO of AirBaltic, which has 13 Airbus A220-300s and plans to have up to 80 of the type by 2025.

 “A good example is ‘Project Moxy’ in the US [which has signed a memorandum of understanding for 60 A220-300s]. They will fly from secondary cities using the low-cost model,” Gauss adds. “The same concept would work if an established LCC would add that to their model. We might see the current European operators doing the same, perhaps by purchasing an airline which already operates these models.”

 The geographical location of any airline is likely to affect its fleet decisions. As SCAC points out, “[An] airline’s geographical location may restrict a carrier in terms of temperature (climate), aerodrome level (altitude), complex terrain, short runways, a negative environment affecting the engines, and so on.”

 In the near-term, there will be places where the prospects for crossover jets in an LCC are better than others. “The quick answer is that it is the mature markets—Europe and North America being the ones that come to mind—where, in a sense, the established players have already cherry-picked the good routes,” remarks Mitsubishi’s Abando. “If you go back in history, it’s well-known that airlines will enter and exit markets over certain time periods. But with an aircraft like the MRJ, [which can bring] a competitive edge, low-fare carriers will have the ability to expand in those smaller markets, maintaining their market share.

 “In rapidly developing markets like Southeast Asia, it’s almost the quickest and easiest way to get to maturity, bypassing what established markets and airlines have done. We’ve seen evidence of that in India with its growth of low-fare carriers. There is a sizable market there,” Abando adds. “The same could be said for China, although the economies—in the ways they are developing—are rather different. You have the planned economy of China versus the market-driven growth of India. There is a similar end point but how they get there is a little bit different. That affects the potential for air travel.”

 Declaring the one-size-fits-all approach to LCC fleets as “history,” Embraer’s Silva e Souza emphasizes that no matter where they are located, “LCCs [whose focus is] on increased profitability rather than bloody battles for market share will consider adding a new fleet that allows them to develop new markets.

 “The LCC’s average aircraft size is 170 seats (190 seats in the Asia-Pacific),” he adds, taking in a geographical element. “Such aircraft sizes limit airlines’ ability to expand their network beyond high-density markets. As opportunities to explore trunk routes are limited, low-density markets will become more relevant in LCC networks.

 “By deploying crossover narrowbody jets, LCCs can fulfill two roles,” says Silva e Souza. “They can offer high-frequency flights with connectivity for business travelers and serve thin routes that cannot be sustained by larger aircraft, roles that some LCCs are now chasing on their own or via a regional arm like Azul Brazilian, [Canada’s] WestJet, [India’s] IndiGo, and [Indonesia’s] Lion Air.”

 

Delta Air Lines first to receive A220 in North America

 Airbus recently welcomed Delta Air Lines as the first US carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft.  On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.

“It is with great pride that we take delivery of our first, state-of-the-art A220-100,” said Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian. “We have big plans for our A220 fleet and are confident that Delta customers and Delta people alike will be delighted with the in-flight experience provided by this thoroughly modern and efficient aircraft. We value our longstanding partnerships with Airbus and Bombardier and are grateful for the great design and manufacturing work done by the team here in Mirabel.”

 Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220.  Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.

 Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”

 The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.

 With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

 As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.

50K business jet pilots required over the next decade

 CAE released at the 2018 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention and exhibition its 2018 CAE Airline and Business Jet Pilot Demand Outlook. This is an update to last year’s report, which provides, for the first time, a business jet pilot demand forecast. The renewed 10-year view offers fleet operators key insights on the future need for professional pilots in both business and commercial aviation, building on the markets’ key drivers, variables and trends.

The report demonstrates that the active business jet pilot population will reach 65,000 by 2028, which represents an increase of 18%, with a turnover rate of almost 100%. More specifically, 10,000 new business jet pilots will be required to sustain growth and 40,000 new business jet pilots will be needed to support retirement attrition across the segment over the next decade.

 “The CAE Airline and Business Jet Pilot Demand is a one-of-a kind report. Our 2018 update builds on last year’s analysis while introducing for the first time a business jet pilot forecast and shedding light on ways the aviation industry can cope with this demand,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s soaring pilot demand is a reality that we must all face. As the leading training organization in the world, we are honored to offer our partners the training solutions they need to face this rising demand.”

Comlux completes 11th VIP interior outfitting on its BBJ aircraft

 Comlux is pleased to announce that Comlux Completion, its Completion and Service Center based in Indianapolis IN, accomplished their 11th VIP interior outfitting on a BBJ aircraft for a private customer based in the Far East.

The luxurious cabin features at the front a spacious executive compartment, with four sets of Club-4. Instead of the traditional Hi/Lo tables, there is large pull out tables with easily attachable extensions newly designed and installed specifically for this aircraft. In the center section, a private dining/conference room features a massive table surrounded by six executive style seats. The overhead area portrays a grand ceiling dome with a handmade mother of pearl pattern. Decorated with a similar ceiling dome, the master suite at the rear includes a tranquil master bedroom and a spa-like private master lavatory. The entire aircraft has an infusion of an Asian inspired atmosphere. There is a cohesive blend of contrasting color palettes achieved by the use of supple white leather; rich warm mahogany veneer, plush taupe carpet, textured fabrics and gold accents throughout- inspiring luxury and relaxation.

 “We are very proud to have successfully delivered another beautiful nose-to-tail bespoke VIP completion,” stated Arnaud Martin, COO of Comlux. “We have been “engineering luxury” on VIP interiors since 2008, always keeping our customers wishes at heart and the technical performance in mind. The interior of the BBJ was engineered to magnify weight performance at a total weight of only 14400 lbs. We are fully prepared and up to speed for the arrival of the first ever BBJ Max 8 completion and our first ACJ320 Neo later this year.” Martin stated.

Charter flight market growth up by 4.5% in H12018

 Strong growth in charter flight activity outpaced gains in Part 91 and nominally advancing fractional operations in the US over the past year. Global charter ops also increased as a surge of consolidation among major providers redefined the marketspace. Technology was the driving and enabling force behind much of the industry news, and a primary focus among providers seeking to maximize efficiencies and opportunities—that is, virtually all of them.

Part 135-flight activity grew 4.5 percent during the first half of 2018 compared with 2017, to just over 550,000 flights, levels not seen for a decade, while Part 91 activity rose 1.3 percent and the fractional fleet gained 0.4 percent, according to Argus International.

 “I think we are back where we were pre-recession,” said Joe Moeggenberg, Argus president and CEO. “The good news is business is very good. The bad news is the industry is experiencing some issues with lift and having a hard time finding newer aircraft with all the amenities to meet the demand. That’s exactly where we were in the 2008–09 time frame.”

 Major operators far outpaced the industry’s 4.5 percent growth rate, with total hours for the top 25 rising from about 467,000 in 2017 to 535,000 in 2018, or 14.6 percent.

 “The top operators aren’t adding a lot of new airplanes, but they’re running a lot more efficiently,” said Moeggenberg. “Everybody has figured out how to fill up a lot of these empty legs. Operators have done a really good job of optimizing their fleets.”

 Indeed, the combined charter fleets of the top 25 operators grew only 2 percent— from 1,023 to 1,044 aircraft from mid 2017 to mid 2018.

 Though Part 135 activity continues to see positive growth, the rate has slowed recently, posting in June the first year-over-year (YOY) decline in activity in 25 months.

 Gama Aviation, which operates Wheels Up’s Citation Excel/XLS and King Air 350i aircraft, in addition to its managed fleet, retained the top spot in charter flight time with 72,885 flight hours. The 18 percent rise over the prior year was in line with the 18 percent growth in its charter fleet from 99 to 117 aircraft.

Marillyn A. Hewson Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lockheed Martin Corporation

Marillyn A. Hewson is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. She previously held a variety of increasingly responsible executive positions with the corporation, including President and Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems business area.

Ms. Hewson joined Lockheed Martin more than 35 years ago as an industrial engineer. During her career she has held several operational leadership positions, including President of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration; Executive Vice President of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; President and General Manager of Kelly Aviation Center, L.P., an affiliate of Lockheed Martin; and President of Lockheed Martin Logistics Services. She has also served in key corporate executive roles, including Senior Vice President of Corporate Shared Services; Vice President of Global Supply Chain Management; and Vice President of Corporate Internal Audit.

Ms. Hewson has served on numerous boards and currently sits on the Board of Directors of DowDuPont, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Board of Governors of the USO, and the Board of Directors of Catalyst. She is a member of The University of Alabama’s President’s Cabinet and also serves on the Board of Visitors of the Culverhouse College of Business.

Ms. Hewson is former Chairman and a current Member of the Executive Committee of the Aerospace Industries Association, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

She serves on the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group, as a Director of the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board, and as a Vice Chair of the Business Roundtable. Ms. Hewson also serves on the Board of Trustees of both the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Khalifa University for Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates.

In 2017, Fortune magazine identified Ms. Hewson as No. 3 on the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business’. She has also been recognized as a Top 10 ‘Businessperson of the Year’ by Fortune, as one of the ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ by Forbes, and was named as the ‘2018 CEO of the Year’ by Chief Executive Magazine.

Born in Junction City, Kansas, Ms. Hewson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and her Master of Arts degree in economics from the University of Alabama. She also attended the Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School executive development programs.

 

 

United orders more Boeing 787 Dreamliner advanced long-range passenger jets

Officials of United airlines recently announced that they have ordered nine more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery from 2020. That brings Boeing’s total of 787 orders for the year so far to 105, more than were sold all of last year. 

At list prices the order is worth $2.5 billion. However, according to market pricing data from valuation of passenger jets firm Avitas, the real value after standard industry discounts is about $1.3 billion.

 United already operates a fleet of 25 of the 787-9 model and 12 of the smaller 787-8 variant. It has four more 787-9s on order in addition to the nine.

The airline also has a separate order for 14 of the largest Dreamliner model, the 787-10. United said Monday that in January it will become the first North American airline to operate that aircraft, flying it on select transcontinental flights between New York/Newark and Los Angeles and New York/Newark and San Francisco.

 

 

Turkish Aerospace, Airbus sign agreement to develop aircraft structures

Turkish Aerospace Industries and Airbus have signed a collaborative agreement on research and development in secondary structures, such as movable parts, for Airbus aircraft programs. Turkish Aerospace President/CEO Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil and Airbus Head of Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Strategy and International Dr. Marco Miklis signed the agreement in a ceremony at the Istanbul Airshow 2018.

Underlining that the agreement is important in expanding and developing the technology and innovation research partnership between Airbus and Turkish Aerospace Industry, the President and CEO of the Turkish Aerospace Industry Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil said, "Between our technological partnerships in Turkey, we provide a new and significant contribution. The agreement we have made with Airbus, one of the world's leading companies, for future commercial aircraft technologies shows that our company is progressively advancing in its technological leaps.”

Airbus Head of Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Strategy and International Dr. Marco Miklis, said, “We are delighted to have a new level of collaboration with the Turkish Aerospace Industries. We consider the value that Turkish aviation adds to world aviation. As Airbus, we want to contribute together with Turkish Aerospace Industries.”

 

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