News Letter 30 May 2019


Good day all

The last few weeks have seen the Flightline Weekly team travelling the length and breadth of our country and even visiting our neighbours and this coming weekend will be no exception. We will be off to Newcastle on Saturday to bring you all the action at the ninth annual 2019 ‘I Can Dream’ Newcastle airshow.

The Newcastle airshow is proudly brought to you by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs of KwaZulu Natal, KwaZulu Natal Tourism, and the Champ Group of companies.

With over 70 exhibitors, an art exhibition by Munro Art, a South African marquee with proudly South African products and foods on sale, a jammed-packed airshow program – there will be plenty to do for the entire family, and to top it all off, entrance is free, yes, FREE!!!

Gates open at 08:00 and the action starts at 10:30 with South African Airways (SAA) opening the show with a fly past of one of its A320 aircraft. Visitors can look forward to full participation from the South African Air Force (SAAF) that will include flying displays by the Silver Falcons, Team 82 that flew at the recent presidential inauguration, a SAAF Gripen fighter jet, and a SAAF Oryx.

If this is not enough action, then visitors can look forward to seeing the best of the South African civilian aerobatic teams in action. But the action does not stop there, as there will be daytime fireworks, parachute jumpers, an Extreme bike show as well as the SA Motor Sport Drag Car versus aircraft race.

Read all about last year’s Newcastle Airshow Here

Comair appoint new CEO’S

Comair has appointed aviation sector veterans Glenn Orsmond and Wrenelle Stander as joint chief executives for the airline, following the resignation of Erik Venter.

Stander is currently executive director of Comair’s airline division, while Orsmond, a chartered accountant, was Comair’s financial director for eight years from 1995 to 2003.

“The new chief executives’ task will be to optimise our airline business performance, whilst also building on the diversification strategy that has been central to the group’s growth in stagnant market conditions. The group is less reliant on the notoriously volatile airline businesses, which are so dependent on the performance of the broader economy. These other businesses now contribute 30percent of profit,” board chairperson Piet van Hoven said yesterday.

“The board believes that the combined experience of nearly 60 years in the aviation industry, supported by their individual strengths will be the recipe for success to further build on Comair’s legacy of achieving 73 years’ uninterrupted operating profit,” Van Hoven said.

If you would like to enjoy the show ‘VIP’ style and would prefer to sit in comfort, then the VIP marquee experience is for you, and for just R100 per person, will buy you a seat. Tickets can be bought at Computicket online or at Checkers/ Shoprite stores.

IATA global summit is being held in South Korea

Trade wars, rising costs and how to cope with a doubling of demand over the next two decades are among the issues to be discussed as Seoul is transformed into the world’s aviation capital this weekend by the International Air Transport Association’s 75th annual meeting. It is the first time the IATA global summit is being held in South Korea, where IATA has eight members that include host Korean Air.

De Juniac said this year was expected to be the 10th consecutive profitable year for the airline industry with shareholders rewarded with a return on invested capital above its weighted cost for the fifth year. But the industry was seeing headwinds and the last six months had been “pretty tough for airlines”.

“We have seen the global trade weakening due to trade wars, due to the increase in fuel price,’’ he said. “So globally we have seen an increase in costs, we see geopolitical tensions that have sometimes led to airspace closures in some key regions.” But there was good news, he said, in that passenger demand was still holding up.

IATA Yesterday released passenger demand figures for April that showed global demand rose 4.3% in April and that an 82.8% load factor was a record for the month. It was a different trend for global air freight markets, where April demand fell 4.7% compared to last year and continued a negative trend in year-on-year demand evident since January.

Among the issues to be discussed by more than a thousand industry leaders attending the event is how aviation will handle the doubling of demand for air connectivity expected over the next 20 years. “So we have to prepare our industry to face this tremendous and positive future,” de Juniac said. “To accommodate that demand, as usual but perhaps more than usual, we must be safe, we must be secure, we must be sustainable.

“Secondly, we must have adequate, affordable infrastructure developed with our input — the user input.”

“Thirdly, we must attract and train the skilled workforce.”

Airlines also had to continue to demonstrate to government the value of aviation and increase diversity in the workforce, de Juniac said, “That means attracting more women to this industry and promoting those are in it to positions of leadership,” he said. “We have to work hard because we are lagging behind.”

He noted that 2019 was a big year for sustainability and airlines had been tracking their carbon emissions since January ahead of the 2020 start of the voluntary phase of the global carbon offset program, CORSIA. Asked about the biggest global challenge facing airlines, de Juniac nominated rising costs in the short term. “It is fuel costs, labour costs, infrastructure costs because it has an immediate impact on their P&L and on their profitability and ability to invest.”

Cessna SkyCourier advances through development; prototype assembly underway

Textron Aviation announced new milestones in its Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop development program, with assembly underway for the prototype aircraft and the additional five flight and ground test articles. Component testing also continues for the new propeller, nose landing gear and fuel system.

“When we began designing and developing the Cessna SkyCourier, we engaged a number of mission-centric customers for technical input to best meet their unique needs in one platform,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering. “We are building this aircraft with the flexibility and reliability needed for a variety of high-utilization operations including cargo, passenger or special missions and we are excited that the customers and the market are responding positively to its capabilities.”

Endurance and functional testing for the new McCauley 110-inch propeller consists of nearly 150 hours of operation and includes a variety of simulated flight profiles. The propeller is mated with the proven PWC PT6A-65B, 1100-shp engine, mounted on a test stand. Simultaneously, assembly of the fuel system test article and nose landing gear drop test article is underway, with testing to start later this month.

The Cessna SkyCourier is the latest clean-sheet design from Textron Aviation and will be offered in various configurations including cargo, passenger or a combination of both, all based on a common platform to meet the needs of a wide range of customers. The cargo configuration is designed to accommodate three standard air cargo containers (LD3) with a payload of up to 6,000 pounds while the passenger version carries up to 19 passengers.

FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company and long-time Textron Aviation customer, signed on as the launch customer in late 2017 for up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.