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NAS Daily 18 DEC 19

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miamiair (netAirspace FAA) 18 Dec 19, 09:58Post


Austral Embraer 190 damaged by drone collision
Chemical analysis of impact traces has convinced Argentinean investigators that an unmanned aerial vehicle collided with an Embraer 190 shortly before it commenced its final approach to Buenos Aires. Argentinean investigation authority JIAAC says the Austral Lineas Aereas twinjet – operating from Rosario on 22 December last year – struck a foreign object at 4,080ft, some 20nm north-west of Jorge Newbery airport, but subsequently landed safely.

'Incredibly challenging' year slams Cathay traffic
Cathay Pacific and sister carrier Cathay Dragon continued to witness sliding passenger traffic figures, with inbound traffic for November falling a whopping 46% year-on-year. This was a further slowdown compared to figures for October, which saw a 35% drop year-on-year. The carrier continues to see decreases in passenger numbers in its latest traffic figures, amid weakened travel demand, and as it braces for capacity cuts in the new year.

Hong Kong Airlines’ woes offer hard lessons
For the first time in nearly a decade, the spectre of another Hong Kong-based airline going under reared its ugly head. This time, it is embattled Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) that is apparently at risk of closing down. On 2 December, the territory’s Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) issued what many saw was as its final ultimatum yet: that the carrier had to shape its dire financial situation up, or face sanctions, which could include removal of its operating licence.

SriLankan, Qatar expand codeshare agreement
SriLankan Airlines will add 18 new points to its codeshare agreement with fellow Oneworld alliance member Qatar Airways, building on the partnership that first began in 2016. SriLankan will be adding its code on Qatar’s flights out of Doha to European cities such as Helsinki, Budapest, Munich, Lisbon and Edinburgh. The expanded codeshare also includes points in North and South America, such as Chicago, Houston and Sao Paolo.

Cebu Pacific becomes latest IATA member
Philippines low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has joined IATA, becoming the second carrier from the country to be part of the trade association. Cebu Pacific says IATA membership will help it “gain access to expertise and learnings” about best practices and innovation.

Kumho’s sale of Asiana stake delayed
Kumho Industrial’s sale of its 31% stake in Asiana Airlines appears to have been delayed. Last month, Kumho awarded the Hyundai Development-Mirae Asset Daewoo consortium the exclusive right to negotiate until 12 December. However, Maeil Business News Korea is reporting that the parties have agreed to postpone the initial schedule by two weeks to resolve last-minute differences.

Sun Country to fly cargo for Amazon
Amazon has hired Sun Country Airlines to deliver its packages in Amazon Air-branded aircraft, a huge expansion for the Minnesota-based ultra-low cost carrier and promising to represent up to 20% of the airline’s business. The six-year deal is a “first-of-its-kind for a scheduled service passenger airline”, Sun Country says on 17 December, adding that it is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2020.

Wheels Up merges with Delta Private Jets
US charter companies Wheels Up and Delta Private Jets (DPJ) have merged to create one the largest business aircraft operations in the USA with a fleet of 190 jets and turboprops. The deal announced in December and scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2020, will see DPJ parent company Delta Air Lines acquire an undisclosed stake in Wheels Up and combine its 70-strong business jet inventory with the New York-headquartered membership-based operator’s fleet of some 120 Textron Aviation types. The line-up consists of Beechcraft King Air 350i twin-engined turboprops, Citation Excels/XLSs, Citation Xs and Hawker 400XP business jets.

Delta to buy 10m gallons of biofuel annually from Gevo
Delta Air Lines and biofuels maker Gevo say the airline will buy 10 million gallons (39.4 million liters) of biofuel annually in an effort to reduce the carrier’s carbon footprint and meet global aviation sustainability goals. The Atlanta-based airline has committed to carbon-neutral growth and to reducing emissions 50% by 2050. While more expensive than conventional fossil fuels, sustainable aviation fuel can provide significant environmental benefits because the lifecycle carbon footprint can be up to 75% less than conventional jet fuel, the companies say in a joint statement on 17 December.

Cityhopper E190 crew persisted with unstable approach despite alerts
Dutch investigators have stressed the importance of adhering to standard procedures after an Embraer 190 crew continued with an unstable approach, with neither pilot calling for a go-around despite ground-proximity system warnings. The KLM Cityhopper aircraft (PH-EZR) had been operating to Amsterdam Schiphol from Krakow on 7 February last year, says the Dutch Safety Board in a third-quarter bulletin.

China Southern joint venture deepens British Airways relationship
China Southern Airlines has taken its partnership with British Airways up a notch, entering into a joint venture agreement with the Oneworld alliance member. The wide-ranging partnership will cover codesharing, frequent flyer programmes, as well as passenger benefits, says China Southern.

Icelandair not expecting 737 Max return before May 2020
Icelandair Group’s pessimism over the Boeing 737 Max’s return to service has deepened, with the company disclosing that it does not expect to re-introduce the twinjet before May next year. The company says the delay will have “minimum impact” on Icelandair’s flight schedule and its passengers, because the carrier has been coping without the Max for several months since the type was grounded in March.

Bell stops 525 entry-into-service predictions, but sticks with oil & gas market
Bell will no longer make predictions of when its 525 Relentless super-medium transport helicopter will finish Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification testing and enter into service after several years of delays. The helicopter will not receive its type certificate in 2019 as previously predicted and during a press tour at its Amarillo, Texas Flight Test Center on 12 December the company declines to say if it would be ready for service in 2020.

Erickson delivers Sky Crane helicopter to Korean Forest Service
Aerospace firm Erickson delivered a K7 S-64 Air Crane helicopter to the Korean Forest Service (KFS) in late November. The rotorcraft was flown to South Korea aboard a chartered Antonov AN-124 transport from the company’s Medford, Oregon production facility, says Erickson.

F-35A formally enters South Korean service
The Lockheed Martin F-35A has entered operational service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) following a ceremony in the central city of Cheongju, where the nation’s 17th fighter wing is based. According to a report in South Korea’s official Yonhap News Agency, no press was invited in order to keep the event low key, so as to not irritate the country’s volatile neighbor, North Korea.

Beijing commissions its second aircraft carrier
Beijing has commissioned its second aircraft carrier in a high profile ceremony in the South China Sea. According to a China Daily story posted by the defense ministry web site and other state media, the CNS Shandong was commissioned on 17 December at Sanya on the island of Hainan, located at the north of the South China Sea. The event was attended by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Congress Wants to Grow Organic USAF Aggressor Capability
The draft 2020 defense policy bill prohibits the Air Force from transferring any low-rate initial production F-35s to the adversary air role until the chief of staff submits a report to Congress detailing the service’s plan for modernizing its organic aggressor fleet. The Air Force has two aggressor squadrons, one at Nellis AFB, Nev., and one at Eielson AFB, Alaska. Both fly F-16s, but the Air Force announced plans earlier this year to reactivate the 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis and transfer nine non-combat capable F-35As from Eglin AFB, Fla., to Nellis in an effort to improve training for fifth-generation fighters. The 65th, which previously flew F-15s as aggressors, was inactivated in 2014 due to budget cuts. The service also wants to move two more F-35s from Edwards AFB, Calif, to the 24th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Nellis for additional close air support training.

Aviation Quote

In soloing—as in other activities—it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.

- Amelia Earhart, 20 Hours: 40 minutes, 1928.

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