Welcome to the newest installment of “The easy Report”! To keep you updated, as usual, we will be summing up select news from the aviation world, with many useful links!
After a 203-day journey travelling over 293 million miles, NASA’s latest Mars rover, Perseverance, landed on Mars on Thursday February 18 at 3:55 EST, in effort to collect samples from the distant planet and bring them back to earth, to help scientists search for signs of past life. Perseverance was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida back on July 30, 2020.
A big step for the all-new A321XLR!
Airbus sites in France and Germany are gearing up for the A321XLR’s next big step: major component assembly phase, as the aircraft’s entry-to-service nears. For further details on the February 2nd press release, click here!
According to a press release on February 18, Ivory Coast’s flagship carrier Air Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan received its first A320neo. The newly delivered aircraft will be deployed to serve Senegal, Cameroon and Gabon. The aircraft also completed a flight from Toulouse carrying 1 ton of humanitarian goods on board, intended for use by NGOs in Abidjan.
On February 21, Flight UA328, a Boeing 777 operated by United Airlines heading from Denver to Hawaii, experienced an engine failure shortly after takeoff. One of the passengers onboard captured a video of the frightening event that went viral on social media. Fortunately, Flight UA328 returned safely to Denver with no reported injuries on Board.
To expand flight options and streamline the travel process for travelers flying from Boston and the New York City region airports, Jetblue and American Airlines have established a new alliance. According to a press release on February 18, the new alliance will launce close to 80 codeshare flights and routes launched by American Airlines to Columbia and Chile.
In what he referred to as the “bleakest year in the history of commercial aviation, the CEO of Air Canada reported that the carrier’s total passenger flight operations declined by 73% in 2020. Air Canada’s full-year 2020 annual results published in February 12 reported a whopping loss of USD 3.8 Billion, heavily impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions. Given the circumstances, the company laid off over 20’000 employees, suspended service to many communities, and aggressively cut fixed costs. The company also retired 79 older aircraft from its fleet. The company made drastic changes and decisions to help support the implementation of its COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery plan.
Digital Health Passports: A new thing in the COVID-19 era!
Since early January, international travelers arriving in the United States have been required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of entry to the country.
To speed up the check-in and verification processes for international travelers arriving in the United States, Alaska Airlines introduced the new VeriFLY Mobile Health Passport in a press release on February 4, to allow for real time verification of COVID-19 credentials. The use of the app, however, is not mandatory. Although it actually speeds up the verification process, travelers are still required to present the essential health documents as required by the CDC’s order regardless.
On February 4 as well, SITA, a travel technology company with U.S. offices based in Atlanta, announced the launch of Health Protect, a group of digital industry solutions developed to help airlines, airports, governments, and passengers safely share information on health tests and vaccinations needed for international travel. Much needed in the COVID-19 era! Read more about it here!
Cancelled aviation events amid COVID-19 uncertainty…
In a press release in February 4, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced the cancellation of the 2021 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE2021), amid uncertainty about the whole COVID-19 situation in May 2021 despite ongoing vaccination efforts. The organizations are still planning a virtual event though, on the previously planned dates for EBACE2021: May 18-20.
According a press release on February 5, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) also announced the cancellation of all in-person events through June 2021, including: The 2021Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE2021), the 2021 NBAA Maintenance Conference, and the 2021 NBAA White Planes Regional Forums. The organization is still working on gathering the business aviation community online for the time being, providing further details when available.
Returning aviation events despite COVID-19 uncertainty…
After cancelling in 2020, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) announced that it will host the EAA AirVenture air show this year in a press release in August 4, taking into account additional safeguards and procedures while planning. The event this year will feature some changes in venue, in addition to special focus on physical distancing and reduced searing capacities. The event is scheduled to take place between July 26 and August 1.
Jet It expands services and operations to Canada!
After establishing a successful private jet company with a fleet of 10 airplanes and 65 employees in the United States, Jet It announced in a press release on February 18 that it will be expanding its operations to Canada, in partnership with Skyservice Business Aviation for aircraft management and operations. The Jet It service operates on a fixed hourly rate of 2’200 CAD with no extra fees. Customers can rent the jet for the entire day, yet only pay for the amount of time occupied.
On February 11, Bombardier announced sorrowfully that it will end the production all Learjet aircraft models in the fourth quarter of this year, relying on updates provided in Bombardier’s 2020 full-year results. In-service Learjet aircrafts Learjet 40 and Learjet 45 will continue to be supported under the “RACER” remanufacturing program, to provide avionics and connectivity upgrades, in addition to engine enhancements.
According to a press release in February 9, Gulfstream announced that it has updates its aircraft redesign program. The updated program will provide three update packages, ranging from a refresh to a custom update, with plenty of options to meet owner needs and timelines. Moreover, aircraft can now be redesigned in only 30 business days!
According to a press release on February 11, a partnership was announced between Honeywell and Embraer, to equip Embraer’s E2 commercial jets with Honeywell’s Aircraft Data Gateway 400 (ADG-400). Such software and connectivity advancements help airlines leverage their data to actually improve their operations, to help establish a truly connected fleet of aircraft. According to the release, the ADG-400 uses a wireless Loadable Software Aircraft Part (LSAP) loader, quick access recorder, and data communications capabilities.
That’s all for now, peeps!
Until next week!