Rostec moves closer to replacing French SSJ 100 engines with Russia-made PD-8
Russian state conglomerate Rostec has completed the static testing program of the Aviadvigatel PD-8, the new domestic turbofan engine primarily intended to power the Sukhoi Superjet 100.
The company said the technical characteristics of the engine were confirmed and the calibration of the control systems was completed.
Due to sanctions placed on Russia following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia’s airlines are expected to run into trouble because they are no longer able to procure Western-made parts and properly maintain aircraft and engines made outside of Russia.
Shareholders of Avianca and controlling shareholder of GOL to create Abra Group
The principal shareholders of Colombia’s Avianca and the controlling shareholder of Brazil’s GOL have signed a landmark agreement to create a leading air transportation group across Latin America under a holding company structure named Abra Group Limited. Subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions, the Abra Group will control Avianca and GOL and bring together their iconic brands under a single holding.
Through recent investments made by Avianca’s and Viva’s shareholders, the Group will also own a non-controlling 100% economic interest in Viva’s operations in Colombia and Peru as well as convertible debt representing a minority interest investment in Chile’s Sky Airline.
Southwest to spend two billion dollars in planned investments to improve the passenger experence
Southwest Airlines, today awarded the 2022 J.D. Power Award for Highest Customer Satisfaction among Economy carriers in North America, announces next steps in its plan to bring the next generation of Customer Experience in travel with Southwest Airlines®, through more than two billion dollars in planned investments. These initiatives are designed to enhance and simplify Customers’ journeys—from booking trips, to traveling through airports, and while inflight—delivering an even more enjoyable, efficient, and productive Customer Experience.
ANA to resume Airbus A380 “Flying Honu” operations on the Tokyo Narita – Honolulu route, will resume the Tokyo Haneda – London Heathrow route
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and 5-Star airline for nine consecutive years, will resume operations of its Airbus A380 “FLYING HONU” for flights between Japan and Hawaii beginning July 1 as international passenger demand continues its recovery. ANA will also increase the flight frequency on the Tokyo Haneda – Honolulu route from May, and from July 1 together with the Tokyo Narita – Honolulu route, the flight frequency between Tokyo and Hawaii will be further increased to deliver flights on a daily basis.
Air France presents its new brand video, unveils its new business class seat
As part of its move upmarket, Air France is today unveiling a new brand video embodying its ambition to offer its customers the best of France and take elegance to new heights.
This video tells the story of an ascent, that of a bubbly, strong-willed woman, an elegant allegory to the airline. Wearing a red dress with an interminable train, she slowly climbs the Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of France the world over.
We see the heroine ascending the metal structure, dashing up its many staircases with grace and ease. A consecutive sequence of scenes, each in turn symbolizing the company’s many special qualities, evoke the airline’s universal art of hospitality, offer of French haute cuisine on board its flights and the special attention given to its younger travellers throughout the trip.
New owners soon for Italy’s ITA? Government hopes to agree sale by end of June
Italy is hoping to sell ITA Airways, the successor to flag carrier Alitalia, by the end of June 2022, according to a government minister.
Bids for the Italian airline are due in by May 23, economy minister Daniele Franco said on May 10, 2022 in comments reported by news agency Reuters.
ITA started operations in October 2021 but has made no secret of the fact that it wants to be taken over, previously describing itself as a “pretty bachelorette”.
The airline is currently owned by the Italian government, which wants to retain a minority stake after a sale.
Cathay eyes more flights, lower cash burn thanks to easing restrictions
Cathay Pacific says easing travel restrictions in Hong Kong are allowing it to add more flights and destinations, helping to improve the airline’s financial outlook.
The Hong Kong-based carrier has been among the worst hit worldwide by strict COVID-19 travel restrictions in Hong Kong and mainland China.
In April, the airline carried 40,823 passengers, just 1.3% of pre-pandemic levels.
“The recent adjustments to the Government’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements will help facilitate the gradual resumption of travel activities and the strengthening of network connectivity to and from the Hong Kong aviation hub,” Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a monthly traffic update on May 11, 2022.
Fraport Group Q1 2022 operating figures show significant improvement
During the first three months of 2022, Fraport AG’s business performance continued to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the initial impact on aviation from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the rebound in passenger demand in the reporting period boosted Group revenue by 40.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. The Group’s operating result or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew even stronger by 75.9 per cent to €70.7 million. Due to one-off effects, the Group result (net profit) decreased to minus €118.2 million.
USAF crew completes 24.2-hour flight in Boeing KC-46 tanker
A crew of the U.S. Air Force 22nd Air Refueling Wing conducted a 24.2-hour flight on a KC-46A Pegasus tanker to and from McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, United States. It was the longest flight ever to be carried out by Air Mobility Command (AMC) airmen.
The flight crew was composed of six pilots and three boom operators and monitored by a photographer and a physician assistant. Pilots rotated every four hours, with one back pilot at the ready. During the day-long flight, the test aircraft performed “dry contacts with another McConnell KC-46, refueled four Marine F-35s, and was refueled by another McConnell KC-46.”
Virgin Orbit expands fleet with two new Boeing 747s modified by L3Harris
Virgin Orbit, a leading satellite launch company, will acquire two Boeing 747-400 airframes to support the growing need for U.S. national security and allies’ satellite launch demands.
In a statement released on the company’s website, L3Harris Technologies, an aerospace and defense technology firm, will modify one of the newly acquired aircraft, which will serve as an additional airborne launchpad for Virgin Orbit’s satellite launch service.
Delivery of the aircraft is expected in 2023.
According to the statement, L3Harris will also overhaul the platform with a new cargo configuration, allowing Virgin Orbit to deliver its rockets and ground support equipment in the same aircraft that will launch from foreign spaceports.
General Atomics to convert MQ-9 Reaper for carrier operations
General Atomics announced that it would be developing a short take-off and landing (STOL) conversion kit intended to adapt MQ-9B Reaper high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) drones for carrier operations.
The kit will be compatible with all MQ-9Bs and allow them to be based on both carriers and amphibious assault ships, the company said.
With the kit installed, the MQ-9 can be stored and operated alongside other kinds of carrier-borne aircraft. The modification consists of optional wing and tail modules and can be installed in a day by an operator.
Australia fortifies navy and army fleet with acquisition of new helicopters
The Australian government has announced that it is expanding its fleet of helicopters with 12 new MH-60R Romeo maritime helicopters and 29 new AH-64E Apache Armed Reconnaissance helicopters.
The announcement, made on May 9, 2022, said that the new fleet, which comprises total investment of AUD 8 billion ($5 billion) will create around 300 jobs at Australia’s Navy and Army.
The 12 new Romeo helicopters will be based at HMAS Albatross, along with a 13th Romeo to replace one that the government lost in 2021. This investment is worth more than AUD 2.5 billion ($1.74 billion) () and will replace the Navy's existing Taipan fleet.
Are we going to lose one of these [planes] sometime? Probably. But it's like the Indy 500. Is someone going to go into the wall at Indy? Probably. Is that dangerous? Yes. Could we make it safer? Yes. But would anybody watch it, then? No.
- Kirby Chambliss, five time US National Aerobatic Champion, regards flying in the Red Bull Air Races. Flying magazine January 2006.
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