Virgin Atlantic Takes Delivery Of 3 Year Old Airbus A350-1000

Virgin Atlantic | September 10, 2020

Virgin Atlantic has taken delivery of its latest A350-1000. Registered G-VDOT, the aircraft was delivered from Toulouse to Manchester at lunchtime yesterday, marking the first A350 delivery for the airline since G-VJAM arrived in October 2019. DOT took off from the Airbus plant in Toulouse at 12:15 local time yesterday. After around an hour and a half in the sky, she touched down at Manchester Airport. Photographer Anthony Bryant caught some wonderful images of the plane’s arrival into MAN.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Nok Air signs two strategic agreements with Sabre to power growth and support the Thai carrier's far-reaching new business model

Sabre Corporation | December 20, 2021

Thai airline Nok Air today announced strategic new long-term agreements with both Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and its subsidiary company, Radixx, to support the evolution of the carrier's new business strategy. Nok Air has selected an extensive suite of products from Sabre and Radixx to expand distribution and revenue generation opportunities. The agreements support the carrier's repositioning to serve its growing customer base of premium travellers and value-based customer segments. The Sabre and Radixx products will power future business model evolution as Nok Air expands its international operation, develops new airline partnerships and explore further technical capabilities and innovations beyond today. Radixx will provide a fully integrated passenger service system for Nok Air that spans reservations, inventory, pricing, e-commerce, agency distribution, departure control, load control, loyalty and other related capabilities. In parallel, under a new Sabre distribution deal, Nok Air will distribute its airline content across Sabre's global travel marketplace, opening the door to new international markets and growing its Thailand home market on the Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS). "We have ambitious business expansion plans, including launching new domestic and international routes, restructuring our fleet and adding new jets as we transition selected segments to a premium service to reflect our quality service, So, it was imperative to us that we chose the right technology partner to support us in all of our goals to streamline our operations, improve efficiencies and open new revenue opportunities and new markets while improving the experience for our travellers." -Wutthiphum Jurangkool Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Nok Air. The carrier, which operates out of Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, will utilize the following Sabre and Radixx products as Thailand re-opens to vaccinated international travellers: Radixx Res – Radixx's core passenger system will enable Nok Air to manage all passenger operations and sales channels in order to expand distribution channels and partnerships. Radixx Go and Radixx Go Touch – new digital capabilities to evolve Nok Air's check-in operation at airports, enhance customer service and enable additional ancillary revenue-generation opportunities across airport touchpoints. Radixx Go Touch enables airline employees to transact full airport departure control capabilities from a mobile device, allowing some flexibility from the constraints of physical airport desks and counters. Radixx ezyCommerce – an integrated e-commerce and mobile solution to power Nok Air's business-to-consumer for passengers and business-to-business channels for travel agents and corporates. Radixx Loyalty – new capabilities will enable Nok Air to strengthen the offering of its Nok Air Fan Club, including enhanced online servicing, automation and redemption options for members. Radixx Insight – valuable business data and analytics to enable better decision-making, while powering the airline's internal back-office systems. Sabre's Global Distribution System – to enable expansion into new global markets, ensuring its fares have the widest possible distribution. "We're delighted to further expand our footprint in APAC while opening up access to new global markets and segments for Nok Air as well as providing new digital capabilities for the carrier, creating additional revenue-generation opportunities and, ultimately, enabling Nok to create improved experiences for travellers at all touchpoints." -Chris Collins, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Radixx "At Sabre, we are laying out our strategic plans to create our own catalysts for growth, so we are thrilled to be able to support Nok Air on its own transformational journey, Our new dual-deal alliance with Nok Air, incorporating both PSS and GDS solutions, is the perfect example of how Sabre and Radixx are able to combine synergistic technological offerings to create effective, innovative end-to-end solutions for airlines of all sizes and cost models." -Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions Airline Sales, Sabre. About Sabre Corporation   Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of West Star Aviation

The Sterling Group | March 03, 2022

The Sterling Group ("Sterling"), an operationally-focused middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of West Star Aviation, LLC ("West Star") from Norwest Equity Partners. West Star is a provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul ("MRO") services to the business aviation industry providing maintenance, modification, and other services to aviation customers. West Star provides services at four primary locations in East Alton, Illinois; Grand Junction, Colorado; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Perryville, Missouri, as well as fifteen mobile repair bases and satellite MRO facilities. West Star also provides parts distribution and composite repair services through its Avant and DAS businesses respectively. Sterling has deep experience in the business aviation industry, having previously partnered with entrepreneur owners to build Lynx, an FBO Network. Greg Elliott, a Partner at The Sterling Group, has been involved in building several business aviation platforms in the past twenty years, including as either Chairman or Board Member of Lynx, Encore, Trajen, and Landmark Aviation. "We believe that our experience coupled with West Star's industry-leading customer service capabilities will make us a powerful combination, Jim Rankin has built a stellar leadership team, and we are eager to help accelerate their growth plans." -Greg Elliott, Partner at The Sterling Group. "Sterling's employee-focused approach to their business partnerships and their expertise in the general aviation space makes them the perfect fit for West Star, As we enter our 75th year, the combined efforts of our experienced employees, our founders, and now the Sterling team, will allow West Star to continue to offer the best customer experience in the industry," -Jim Rankin, CEO of West Star Aviation. West Star has been voted the #1 Preferred MRO for eight consecutive years from 2014-2021 in Professional Pilot Magazine's annual PRASE Survey. The survey first included the 'Most Preferred MRO' category in 2014 and West Star has won the #1 slot each year since its inception. About The Sterling Group Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 62 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $5.7 billion of assets under management.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Atlas Air Worldwide Purchases Four Boeing 777 Freighters

Boeing | January 07, 2022

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Atlas Air Worldwide today announced an order for four 777 Freighters. The order, placed in December, rounds out a record-setting 2021 for Boeing's freighter family including new-production and converted models. Boeing has forecast that the global freighter fleet will grow by 70% in the next 20 years, with freight carriers such as Atlas Air supporting a rapidly expanding global e-commerce business and evolving supply chains. "We are excited to expand our fleet and service offerings for our existing and prospective customers with these four new 777s. With the best team in the industry as well as our focus on innovation and prudent fleet management, Atlas is serving the evolving needs of the global supply chain and delivering value for our customers," - John W. Dietrich, Atlas Air Worldwide president and CEO. Boeing's market-leading 777 Freighter is the world's largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter, with the lowest trip cost and highest reliability of any large freighter. With a range of 4,970 nmi (9,200km), the 777 Freighter can carry a maximum revenue payload of 102 tonnes (224,900 lb), while reducing fuel use and CO2 emissions compared to prior airplanes. This capability and exceptional efficiency translate into significant savings for cargo operators, with fewer stops and associated landing fees. "We are honored that Atlas Air Worldwide, as a global leader in airfreight, has once again selected to grow with Boeing and our freighter family. These new 777 Freighters provide Atlas with more capacity, fuel efficiency and operational flexibility for its customers, As air cargo demand continues to grow, we're confident that the efficiency, capability and flexibility of our freighter family will meet customer needs now and in the future." -Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. Through November, Boeing had surpassed the previous freighter record including 80 orders for new production freighters and more than 80 orders for converted models. The company will announce full-year 2021 orders and deliveries on January 11. Atlas Air currently has 14 777s and is the world's largest operator of 747 Freighters, with 49 in its fleet. These two models, in particular, are designed to partner seamlessly, enabling operators to transfer tall and outsized cargo loads easily between the two on 3-meter (10-foot) tall pallets. The cargo and passenger carrier also operates a fleet of 767 and 737 airplanes. As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity.

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DEFENSE AND SPACE

FlyersRights.org Litigation Continues After Boeing Settles Civil Case With MAX Crash Victims

Boeing | February 14, 2022

Boeing has settled its civil cases with all but two of the families of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 MAX crash on March 10, 2019. The ET302 crash, along with the Lion Air Flight 610 crash, just over four months prior, claimed the lives of 357 people. FlyersRights.org, however, continues its litigation, supported by independent safety experts, to compel the FAA to release the MAX fix details and flight testing. The FAA, at Boeing's behest, has kept secret all data related to the MAX under a claim of trade secrets, notwithstanding Boeing's and the FAA's multiple promises of full transparency. Boeing has admitted liability for compensatory damages caused by the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, and the victims' families may pursue compensatory damages in Illinois. However, the agreement bars punitive damages, damages that would have punished Boeing for egregious conduct and would deter Boeing and others from such behavior in the future. "This settlement means that the FlyersRights.org litigation against Boeing will be one of the few ways to achieve truth and accountability for the 737 MAX crashes, By avoiding discovery and depositions in these civil cases in addition to having avoided criminal trials and significant fines in its agreements with the federal government, Boeing so far has escaped with merely a slap on the wrist relative to the size of the company and the magnitude of its wrongdoing." -Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights.org. Notably, Boeing hopes to be able to avoid depositions of CEO David Calhoun, former CEO Dennis Muilenburg, and other employees. Boeing agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice in January 2021, paying $244 million in fines but admitting no guilt.

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