Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines rising costs may force airlines to stop serving free wine to passengers on long haul flights

Cathay Pacific Airways | December 12, 2016

Some of Asia's marquee airlines that spoil passengers with free alcohol and in-flight entertainment may soon have to kick the habit. The on-board giveaways, famously rolled out to every passenger in the 1970s by Singapore Airlines, will be unsustainable for some carriers after OPEC's production cuts announced last week drive up the cost of fuel, according to aviation analysts. Other options include cutting unprofitable routes, retiring gas-guzzling aircraft and raising fares.

Spotlight

The U.S. Air Force developed the Sikorsky HH-3E helicopter, nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant," to perform combat search and rescue (CSAR) to recover downed Airmen during the Southeast Asia War. A highly modified version of Sikorsky's CH-3 transport helicopter, the HH-3E carried both armor plating and armament to protect it from hostile forces during rescues of aircrews in a combat area.


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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Draganfly Announces New Heavy Lift and High-Endurance Multi-Use Drones

Draganfly Inc | June 02, 2022

Draganfly Inc. an award-winning, industry-leading drone solutions and systems developer, is pleased to announce the launch of its new North American-made Heavy Lift and Commander 3 XL Drones. Draganfly’s Heavy Lift Drone is a versatile, industrial, multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle that is designed to lift more and fly further. Capable of automated missions and manual flight operations, the Company’s heavy-duty, robust UAV has a payload lift capacity of 67 pounds and up to 55 minutes of flight time. Draganfly’s Commander 3 XL Drone is a high-endurance, weather-resistant, multirotor UAV that is designed for easy assembly and rapid deployment. The “Swiss Army Knife” of drones is capable of drop and winch-down systems to transport up to 26 pounds of payload. It performs extremely well in light rain and snow. Both Draganfly’s Heavy Lift and Commander 3XL Drones are compatible with a variety of interchangeable payloads, including optical and thermal imaging solutions, specialized delivery containers, and the Company’s Long Range LiDAR system. According to a recent report by Verified Market Research, the global drone services market size is projected to reach $60.67 billion USD by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of nearly 24%. Demand for drone services is rapidly increasing as more businesses recognize the potential of UAV technology across different industry verticals. “As drone use continues to rise, industry leaders are looking for sophisticated solutions that are versatile, reliable, and secure. Our Heavy Lift and Commander 3 XL Drones will help a variety of major markets improve their business outputs and profitability,” Cameron Chell, President and CEO of Draganfly About Draganfly Draganfly Inc. is the creator of quality, cutting-edge drone solutions, software, and AI systems that revolutionize the way organizations can do business and service their stakeholders. Recognized as being at the forefront of technology for over 20 years, Draganfly is an award-winning industry leader serving the public safety, public health, mining, agriculture, industrial inspections, security, mapping, and surveying markets. Draganfly is a company driven by passion, ingenuity, and the need to provide efficient solutions and first-class services to its customers around the world with the goal of saving time, money, and lives.

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AEROSPACE

TransDigm Announces Acquisition of DART Aerospace

TransDigm Group | March 15, 2022

TransDigm Group Incorporated, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DART Aerospace ("DART" or "the Company"), a portfolio company of Greenbriar Equity Group, L.P. and First Aviation Services Inc., for approximately $360 million in cash. DART is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The Company is a leading provider of highly engineered, unique helicopter mission equipment solutions that predominantly service civilian aircraft. The Company is expected to generate approximately $100 million in pro forma revenues for the calendar year ending December 31, 2022. Approximately 95% of DART's revenues are derived from proprietary products and about 80% of DART's revenues comes from the aftermarket. The products have a strong presence across major commercial rotary-wing platforms as well as select applications for defense and safety services. The Company employs approximately 400 people and operates from four primary facilities in Hawkesbury, Ontario; Portland, Oregon; Fort Collins, Colorado and Chihuahua, Mexico. "We are excited about the acquisition of DART Aerospace. DART is an industry leader in helicopter mission equipment and its unique helicopter solutions fit well with our proprietary and aftermarket-focused value generation strategy. The Company has established positions on a diverse range of new and existing rotary-wing platforms, strong aftermarket content and an outstanding reputation with its customers. As with all TransDigm acquisitions, we expect the DART acquisition to create equity value in-line with our long-term private equity-like return objectives." Kevin Stein, TransDigm's President and Chief Executive Officer The acquisition, which is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2022, is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The acquisition will be financed through existing cash on hand. About TransDigm Group TransDigm Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Major product offerings, substantially all of which are ultimately provided to end-users in the aerospace industry, include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, specialized pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, specialized AC/DC electric motors and generators, batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, engineered rods, engineered connectors and elastomer sealing solutions, databus and power controls, cockpit security components and systems, specialized and advanced cockpit displays, engineered audio, radio and antenna systems, specialized lavatory components, seat belts and safety restraints, engineered and customized interior surfaces and related components, advanced sensor products, switches and relay panels, thermal protection and insulation, lighting and control technology, parachutes, high performance hoists, winches and lifting devices, and cargo loading, handling and delivery systems.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

Southwest Airlines Chooses Viasat's High-Speed In-Flight Connectivity for New Aircraft Deliveries

Viasat, Inc. | May 13, 2022

Viasat, Inc. a global communications company, announced Southwest Airlines Co. selected the Company's next generation Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity system to be factory-installed on all new aircraft deliveries, starting this fall. By selecting Viasat's industry-leading solution for its new aircraft, Southwest Airlines will provide customers enhanced internet capabilities while onboard, including the ability to stream content and entertainment, watch live television, and access social media platforms and productivity applications on any internet-ready device, gate-to-gate. Streaming-capable Wi-Fi requires a fast and robust data connection — especially to deliver high quality service on all connected devices while in-flight, regardless of how many passengers are using the system. Viasat technology solves a key challenge in providing high quality connectivity in aviation by addressing variable concentrated demand, such as many aircraft in the same geographical area – at airport hubs or traveling on popular flight routes. The bandwidth advantage and flexibility offered by Viasat's satellite network provides a consistently high quality, high-speed, and content-rich in-flight Wi-Fi experience. "We admire Southwest Airlines' deeply customer-centric vision. The overall passenger experience is enhanced by delivering connectivity inflight that is the same as the on the ground experience, from streaming your favorite video content to live television and accessing other internet-based applications during all phases of flight. We look forward to being a part of Southwest's commitment to continually upping the bar." Don Buchman, Viasat's vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation Capacity Today and In the Future According to a January 2022 Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report, more than two-thirds of today's internet traffic is driven by data-hungry video streaming or social media platforms. Viasat utilizes its current broadband satellite fleet, including ViaSat-1 and Viasat-2, along with its roadmap of satellites - including the revolutionary ViaSat-3 constellation - to meet the ever-increasing demand for data-rich connectivity. About Viasat Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 35 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

AeroCRS & WorldTicket join 777 Partners travel portfolio following strategic acquisitions

777 Partners | May 06, 2022

777 Partners, a Miami-based private investment firm with a growing aviation and travel portfolio, announced the acquisition of Tel Aviv-based AeroCRS and Copenhagen-based WorldTicket. The addition of AeroCRS and WorldTicket to 777 Partners' travel technology portfolio supports the company's ambitious technology strategy focused on delivering solutions that create new commerce channels for travel companies and improve next-generation retailing, distribution, interlining, and passenger connectivity. "Changes within the travel sector have created an unprecedented opportunity for a new wave of highly disruptive companies focused on the latest retailing technology to partner with the wider travel community. We are delighted to welcome the talented AeroCRS and WorldTicket teams into the 777 family as we deliver on our exciting travel strategy through 2022 and beyond." Joshua Wander, founder and managing partner of 777 Partners 777 Partners also leases aircraft and deploys technology solutions to its dynamic portfolio of airline investments, including Flair in Canada and the Australian start-up airline Bonza. With the 2019 acquisition of Air Black Box, an interlining technology company, the addition of AeroCRS and WorldTicket will form a new travel group offering a suite of disruptive technology products to airlines and travel companies worldwide. The acquisitions are part of 777 Partners' $100m commitment to the travel vertical and supporting the post-pandemic travel rebound and industry restructure through new disruptive technology opportunities. Founded in 2006, Israel-based AeroCRS offers several travel-related products, including inventory management, reservations, and flight/fare management technology. The proven technology and product suite have been adopted significantly over the last two years as the aviation industry reviewed partnerships and distribution strategies. With cloud based and NDC level 4 technology at its heart, AeroCRS already hosts 90 airlines worldwide, with eight more in advanced implementation. Meir Hadassi Turner, CEO & Founder of AeroCRS, said, "We are delighted to embark on our next exciting growth stage with 777 Partners. The adjacent synergies across the investment portfolio are significant and combined with 777's own proprietary technology and talent, we'll create a new travel group and a suite of travel solutions to support the growth and transformation of global start-up, low cost and full-service carriers of all sizes." The acquisitions were led by Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, the founders of 777 Partners, and Adam Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of the firm's travel group who oversees all aviation and travel investments. "Over the last two years, we have been focused on architecting and building a platform of interoperable, modular products which enable airlines, airports, and other travel companies to evolve their business models and regain control of passenger relationships by unencumbering themselves from legacy systems. These acquisitions significantly advance that effort." said Adam Weiss. About AeroCRS AeroCRS provides technology services and distribution connectivity to more than 90 travel companies worldwide since 2006. Its technology solutions include inventory management, yield & revenue management, fares & classes management, open API, B2C & B2B platform, fares branding, FFP, BI platform, reporting center, and many more technology services. In addition to the core software services, AeroCRS invented the AeroCRS Network. The Network is an online distribution platform for airlines based on API integrations globally to over 20 distribution channels. Any airline using the AeroCRS Network can increase sales and grow distribution reach no matter which Passenger Service System (PSS) solution it uses. About WorldTicket WorldTicket is a leading provider of Passenger Service Solutions (PSS) to airlines of all business models. Since 2002 the company has developed innovative and flexible airline IT solutions and is currently servicing more than 75 airlines worldwide. WorldTicket is headquartered in Copenhagen and has offices in Miami, Bangkok, Warsaw, Kyiv and Beijing. The global organization set-up allows 24/7 support for all airline customers across time zones. WorldTicket is the only PSS provider that has acquired its AOC holding airline, FlexFlight, with the IATA code W2. It allows the innovative company to sub-host any airline into the GDS without any long implementation times and upfront investments. About 777 Partners 777 Partners is a Miami-based alternative investment firm that invests across several high-growth, attractive verticals. Founded in 2015, 777 Partners strategically invests across six broad industries: insurance; consumer and commercial finance; litigation finance; direct lending; sports, media and entertainment; and aviation. Within sports, notable investments include Genoa FC, a significant stake in Sevilla FC, one of Spain's most prestigious and successful football clubs, and the London Lions, London's only team in the British Basketball League team. Within travel, investments include AeroCRS, WorldTicket, Air Black Box and the ultra-low-cost carriers, Flair and Bonza.

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Spotlight

The U.S. Air Force developed the Sikorsky HH-3E helicopter, nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant," to perform combat search and rescue (CSAR) to recover downed Airmen during the Southeast Asia War. A highly modified version of Sikorsky's CH-3 transport helicopter, the HH-3E carried both armor plating and armament to protect it from hostile forces during rescues of aircrews in a combat area.

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