China Steps Back in Airline Dispute With the Trump Administration

China’s civil aviation regulator | June 03, 2020

Beijing will allow limited flights by international carriers to resume after the White House threatened to block Chinese passenger jets from flying to the U.S. The Chinese authorities on Thursday appeared to retreat partially from an escalating dispute with the United States over air travel between the two countries, announcing that foreign airlines would be allowed to operate one flight per week in Chinese cities.
The announcement, from China’s civil aviation regulator, followed the Trump administration’s announcement on Wednesday that it would block Chinese passenger airlines from flying into or out of the United States starting on June 16. That move was a response to a similar ban by the Chinese government on American carriers, which had further stoked tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Qantas Returns To Rome After An 18 Year Absence

Simple Flying | December 15, 2021

Qantas is returning to Rome with a seasonal service to run from June 2022 through to October. The three times a week flights will see the Australian airline return to Italy after an 18-year absence. The flights will also mark Qantas’ return to continental Europe. From June 22, 2022, QF5 will push back from Sydney at 17:55 every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for the four-hour and 55-minute hop over to Perth. After a 90 minute stopover, the flight leaves Perth at 22:20 for the longer sector up to Rome, landing there at 08:45 the following day after 16 and a half hours in the air. The return flight, QF6, departs Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport at 10:50 every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The 15 hour and 45 minute flight lands in Perth at 08:35 the following day. After 90 minutes on the ground, QF6 takes off for Sydney at 10:05, landing there four hours later at 16:05. Qantas will deploy its long-haul workhorse, the Boeing 787-9, on the route. The aircraft carries 236 passengers including 166 passengers in economy class, 28 passengers in premium economy, and 42 passengers in business class. Qantas rekindles its links with Italy Qantas has a history with Rome, flying there continuously between 1948 and 2003. The cessation of flights to Rome broadly coincided with Qantas ending flights to several European destinations. Alitalia also once flew between Australia and Italy but ended regular flights in 1998. Since then, travelers flying between Australia and Italy have had to connect in cities like Singapore or Dubai. This is despite significant numbers of travelers flying between the two countries. “Italy is the largest market for us in continental Europe for people visiting family and friends from Australia, the Rome flights will also give passengers another option for reaching onward destinations across the Mediterranean and southern Europe through Qantas’ network of partners." -Qantas CEO Alan Joyce on Wednesday. The Rome flights will complement Qantas’ Melbourne – Perth – London flights. These flights are slated to be running twice a day by mid-2022. It is also a win for Perth Airport after temporarily losing its stopover status to Darwin over the southern summer flying season. However, by mid-2022, Perth Airport will once again become the only Australian city offering nonstop flights to both the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Perth Airport back on the radar International numbers have fallen by 97% at Perth Airport since the onset of COVID-19. Earlier this week, the airport’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brown was relatively downbeat when he spoke to The Australian Financial Review about the prospects of international airline activity significantly picking up there in the short to medium term. His comments to the newspaper also suggested he wasn’t expecting any new international routes anytime soon. That might have been a canny throw off or it might have been the truth. Either way, Wednesday morning’s announcement from Qantas is helping put Perth back on the map.

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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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CABIN MANAGEMENT

Joby partners with CAE for eVTOL aircraft pilot training

CAE | March 10, 2022

CAE announced today that it has partnered with Joby Aviation Inc., a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, to develop and qualify flight simulation training devices that will be used to train the future pilots of Joby's revolutionary all-electric aircraft. Leveraging the core simulation technology Joby has been developing for the past five years, CAE will work with Joby to develop pilot training devices specifically for the company's electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Joby intends to both manufacture and operate its aircraft, requiring the company to train a new generation of pilots. Used to simulate aircraft flight in various environments and conditions, flight simulators are an integral part of readying pilots to fly a new type of aircraft. "CAE has a sterling reputation for delivering excellent simulation and training solutions. We look forward to a world where thousands of Joby pilots are flying our aircraft every day and we couldn't ask for a better partner to help make that a reality." Bonny Simi, Head of Air Operations and People for Joby Joby is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to secure its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate, establishing the processes and regulatory approvals necessary for the company to operate commercially, with an expected service launch in 2024. "We are thrilled to partner with Joby to help bring their pioneering vision to life," said Nick Leontidis, CAE's Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. "With more than 75 years of experience in the design, development and manufacture of flight simulators, CAE brings extensive expertise with new aircraft types to support the qualification of Joby's eVTOL fixed base flight training device and full-flight simulator with the FAA." CAE recently announced Project Resilience, a CAD$1 billion investment into aviation technologies of the future. The investment accelerates CAE's role as a leader in end-to-end technology development, operational support and training solution for eVTOL pilots and Advanced Air Mobility. With its low noise profile, Joby's eVTOL aircraft is designed to make fast, emissions-free, and convenient air travel an everyday reality in cities and communities around the world. Joby's fly-by-wire aircraft employs a unified flight control system and uses controls that are similar to fixed-wing aircraft, resulting in a smooth transition for pilots. "We believe many pilots will consider flying for Joby to be a great career opportunity," said Simi. "In addition to flying an environmentally friendly aircraft with a great piloting experience, we'll offer pilots a reliable schedule that allows them to be home every evening, a luxury not available to most professional pilots." About CAE CAE is a high technology company, at the leading edge of digital immersion, providing solutions to make the world a safer place. Backed by a record of more than 70 years of industry firsts, we continue to reimagine the customer experience and revolutionize training and operational support solutions in civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare. We are the partner of choice to customers worldwide who operate in complex, high-stakes and largely regulated environments, where successful outcomes are critical. As testament to our customers' ongoing needs for our solutions, over 60 percent of CAE's revenue is recurring in nature. We have the broadest global presence in our industry, with more than 11,000 employees, 160 sites, and training locations in over 35 countries. About Joby Aviation Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient air taxi service beginning in 2024. The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 150 miles on a single charge, can transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph. It is designed to help reduce urban congestion and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit. Founded in 2009, Joby employs around 1,000 people, with offices in Santa Cruz, San Carlos, and Marina, California, as well as Washington, D.C. and Munich, Germany.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

VAH Announces Closing of $500 Million Warehouse Facility

Voyager Aviation Holdings, LLC | February 28, 2022

Voyager Aviation Holdings, LLC (“VAH”), a global full-service aircraft asset lessor and manager, announced the closing of a five-year senior secured warehouse facility with an initial committed amount of $500 million (“the Facility”). Citibank, N.A. (“Citi”) acted as Global Coordinator and Co-Structuring Agent alongside Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (“Credit Suisse”) as Co-Structuring Agent. Citi and Credit Suisse both acted as Joint Lead Arrangers on the Facility. The initial syndicate of lenders also includes Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. “This $500 million Facility, with participation from marquee aviation lenders, demonstrates the confidence the market has with the VAH platform. In addition to the previous steps taken, this facility further provides the capital and flexibility required to execute on our strategic growth plan. It will also support our focus on the already improving market conditions and growing aircraft demand from our airline customers. VAH is positioned well to be a leader in the global aircraft investment and management space.” -Mike Lungariello, President and CEO of VAH Milbank acted as legal advisor to VAH with Vedder Price acting as legal advisor to the lenders. VAH was also supported in the transaction by Matheson as Irish legal advisor, Walkers as Cayman legal advisor, and KPMG as Irish tax advisor. Citi is acting as the Administrative Agent and the Security Trustee. About VAH: VAH is a privately held aviation investment firm and commercial aircraft asset lessor and manager with offices in Stamford and Dublin. Its assets of approximately $2 billion consist primarily of young and modern aircraft on lease to a global customer base of prominent passenger and cargo airlines.

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