Air Peace takes delivery of its first Boeing 777-200, plans to launch new long-range routes

Air Peace (Lagos) on February 23, 2018. Formerly operated by Emirates as A6-EMK, the first Boeing 777-200 Triple Seven for the carrier as been re-registered as 5N-BVE (msn 29324) and is named “Ifevhukwu”. It is the first of two 274-seat 777s the carrier will operate.

This comes after the growing airline took delivery of two Embraer ERJ 145s and has established a feeder subsidiary called Air Peace Hopper.

Air Peace launched new routes to Banjul, Dakar and Freetown on February 19.

Air Peace is planning to fly the new 777s from Lagos to Dubai, Sharjah, London, Guangzhou, Houston, Mumbai and Johannesburg.

Photo: Air Peace.

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KC International Airlines to launch operations on March 31

KC International Airlines – KC Air (Phnom Penh) is planning to launch operations on March 31. The start-up will fly from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Siem Reap and Taipei (Taoyuan).

Image: KC International Airlines.

US-Bangla Airlines Bombardier Q400 crashes on landing at Kathmandu

US-Bangla Airlines (Dhaka) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) registered as S2-AGU with 67 passengers and four crew members crashed today (March 12) crashed on landing in Kathmandu and exited the runway coming to stop in a field. The flight (flight BS211) was arriving from Dhaka.

The death toll has risen to 49.

According to local media reports, the remaining injured passengers have been rescued and taken to local hospitals.

US-Bangla Airlines is a subsidiary of US-Bangla Group, a United States-Bangladesh joint venture company.

This is the second incident involving their Q400s. Previously on September 4, 2015, a Q400 skidded off the runway while landing at Saidpur Airport on a domestic flight. There were no injuries in that incident.

Bombardier issued this statement:

Everyone at Bombardier is saddened by the tragic event involving the Q400 aircraft. We extend our sympathies to the families of those whose lives were lost in this accident, and our thoughts are with those who survived.

Bombardier Air Safety Investigation Office is in contact with the authorities, and will provide assistance to all authorities as needed.

The Q400 aircraft has been designed to be robust and reliable in consideration of the high cycle demand of regional airlines and was designed to comply or exceed all airworthiness certification requirements. The Q400 fleet has accumulated over 8.5 million flight hours, and has performed about 10 million takeoffs and landings to date.

The Bombardier Q400 turboprop has been in service since 2000. Currently, there are over 500 Q400 aircraft in service worldwide, and the fleet dispatch reliability over the past year was consistently over 99.5%.

Photo: Melissa Goldman via Twitter.

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Hainan Airlines to launch nonstop service between London and Changsha, China on March 23

Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner B-2750 (msn 34942) FCO (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 938655.

Hainan Airlines Holding Company, Ltd is scheduled to launch nonstop service between London Heathrow Airport and Changsha Huanghua International Airport on March 23, 2018.

Following the roll-out of the ManchesterBeijing service, this will be Hainan Airlines’ second direct flight between the United Kingdom and China.

Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, is the political, economic, cultural and technological hub of the province, and one of China’s famous historical cities. Yuelu Academy, Orange Island Park and Aiwan Pavilion are all must-see destinations. Unique Hunan cuisine also let diners indulge in pleasures without stop.

The LondonChangsha route will be serviced by a Boeing 787 deluxe wide-body aircraft. Business Class passengers will be provided with 180-degree lie-flat seating, BOSE headsets and Bvlgari toiletry bags. Passengers in all classes will have access to an exclusive on-demand entertainment system and a gourmet selection of Western and Oriental meals, and are allowed to use their own portable electronic devices.

Hainan Airlines’ London-Changsha Flight Schedule:

Flight No.

Aircraft

Departure City

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Arrival City

Days

HU422

787

London

22:00

16:25+1

Changsha

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 

HU421

787

Changsha

11:20

16:30

London

(Note: Times displayed are the local time in the city of arrival/departure, subject to changes due to the variation between Winter Time and Summer Time in Europe.

Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner B-2750 (msn 34942) FCO (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 938655.

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Cargojet announces strong fourth quarter and 2017 results

Cargojet Airways Boeing 757-23APF C-FLAJ (msn 24567) YYC (Chris Sands). Image: 932427.

Cargojet Inc. announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

For the Fourth Quarter Ended December 31, 2017:

  • Total Revenues were $118.2 million, an increase of $24.1 million or 25.6% versus the previous year
  • Gross Margin was $37.4 million, an increase of $9.9 million or 36.0% versus the previous year
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $37.3 million, an increase of $9.4 million or 33.7% versus the previous year
  • Adjusted EBITDAR was $40.1 million, an increase of $7.8 million or 24.1% versus the previous year

For the Year Ended December 31, 2017:

  • Total Revenues were $382.9 million, an increase of $51.9 million or 15.7% over the previous year
  • Gross Margin was $106.3 million, an increase of $20.5 million or 23.9% versus the previous year
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $109.5 million, an increase of $16.4 million or 17.6% versus the previous year
  • Adjusted EBITDAR was $122.9 million, an increase of $9.6 million or 8.5% versus the previous year

“We are very pleased with the strong financial results achieved in the fourth quarter.” said Ajay Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to execute our plan to optimize our overnight network and to improve aircraft utilization while meeting the growing demands of e-commerce activity” he added. “These results are a testament to the tremendous efforts of the entire Cargojet team as we continue to focus on prudent cost controls and revenue growth while continuing to provide a value added service to our customers.”

Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services and carries over 1,300,000 pounds of cargo each business night. Cargojet operates its network across North America each business night, utilizing a fleet of all-cargo aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Cargojet Airways Boeing 757-23APF C-FLAJ (msn 24567) YYC (Chris Sands). Image: 932427.

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Borussia Dortmund signs cooperation deal with Bangkok Airways as its regional partner

Bangkok Air (Bangkok Airways) Airbus A319-132 HS-PPM (msn 2273) BKK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 934558.

Borussia Dortmund, one of Europe’s most successful football clubs with a traditionally strong fan base in Asiaand the world, announces Bangkok Airways, Thailand-based regional airline, a “Regional Partner of Borussia Dortmund” at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany.

The cooperation deal includes a variety of advertising and promotional components of the co-branding campaigns in Thailand, Southeast Asian countries, mainland China, Hong Kong, India and Bangladesh which will enhance the airline’s brand recognition across the region.

Mr. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, Bangkok Airways’ President, says, “We are so proud and excited to partner with Borussia Dortmund, an eight-time German Champions. With Borussia Dortmund’s strong global brand presence and a huge fan base, we believe that it will strengthen Bangkok Airways’ brand image as Asia’s Boutique Airline as well as make the airline better known across Asia and Europe which are our main customer bases.”

“Another highlight is BVB Evonik Football School for children as giving back to the community has been part of our business roadmap for many years. We will work with our dedicated CSR team to make this sponsorship activation tangible,” added Mr.Puttipong.

Carsten Cramer, Chief Marketing Officer of Borussia Dortmund states, “We are excited to partner with Bangkok Airways that have strengthened their award winning position over the last couple of years in Asia. Both of us we are ambitious and aspiring brands and are looking forward to introduce our cooperation across Bangkok Airways’ key markets.”

Borussia Dortmund (www.bvb.de/eng) is one of the most traditional and popular German football clubs. Founded in 1909, BVB boasts around 10 million fans within Germany and, in addition, also looks to a rapidly growing fan base worldwide.

Copyright Photo: Bangkok Air (Bangkok Airways) Airbus A319-132 HS-PPM (msn 2273) BKK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 934558.

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Older BAe 146/Avro RJs find a new life as fire fighters

Tanker "167"

BAe Systems Regional Aircraft made this announcement:

Despite continuing United States Forest Service (USFS) budget issues, contracts recently awarded for the 2018 fire season show that the BAE Systems-built and supported BAe 146/Avro RJ Airtanker will be the most numerous aircraft to be deployed on these demanding missions.

The USFS is cutting the number of large Airtankers on Exclusive Use contracts this year from 20 to 13. Of these aircraft, eight BAe 146/Avro RJs (over 61%) are nominated with four each being provided by Conair/Aero Flite Inc. and Neptune Aviation.

The USFS has also signed up a further 11 aircraft on Call When Needed contracts. Of these
a further eight BAe 146/Avro RJs are earmarked (nearly 73%) with four aircraft each again being provided by Conair/Aero Flite Inc. and Neptune Aviation.

Conair of Abbotsford, Canada, and its US subsidiary Aero Flite Inc. have a total of eight RJ85 Airtankers in operation – combating both United States and Canadian wildfires. One aircraft has also been in Australia fighting wildfires under contract to the State of Victoria. Conair will display an RJ85 and a CL-415 waterbomber at Sacramento.

Neptune Aviation Services BAe 146-200 Air Tanker N471NA (msn E2136) "41" SBD (Michael B. Ing). Image: 933537.

Above Copyright Photo: Neptune Aviation Services BAe 146-200 Air Tanker N471NA (msn E2136) “41” SBD (Michael B. Ing). Image: 933537.

Neptune Aviation aircraft slide show:

Neptune Aviation, of Missoula, Montana has nine BAe 146-200 Airtankers available for service and has recently acquired an Avro RJ100 to pursue a research and development project. In addition to fighting fires in the USA between February and December 2017 Neptune Aviation also had one of their BAe 146 Airtankers in Chile during February March 2017 supporting wildland firefighting efforts in that country.

A third Airtanker operator/converter is Air Spray whose first converted BAe 146-200 will make its debut at Sacramento and demonstrate an aerial drop with its new iRADS (Internal Retardant Delivery System) aircraft tank. This aircraft will commence drop tests over the USFS qualifying grid in April. Air Spray is well underway with the conversion of a second BAe 146 with three more to follow.

The location of the Aerial Firefighting Conference in Sacramento is particularly poignant given the devastating wildfires that ravaged the State during late 2017, making it the most destructive wildfire season on record. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection a total of 9,133 fires burned 1,381,405 acres, causing the deaths of one firefighter and 45 civilians, with a further 12 firefighters and 199 civilians injured.

Raging from the Oregon border to the north down as far south as San Diego, the fires included the massive Thomas Fire in Ventura County which became Californian’s largest modern wildfire, engulfing an area larger than the Washington D.C. metropolitan conurbation.

At the end of January it was reported that 45,000 insurance claims totaling $11.8 billion (US) resulting from these fires had been recorded. The California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones stated that the state-wide fires had destroyed 32,000 homes, 4,300 businesses and more than 8,200 vehicles, boats and farm vehicles and other equipment.

Combating these fires was a massive task for the fire-fighting community with aerial firefighters playing a prominent role. One of Neptune Aviation’s BAe 146s was on exclusive contract with CALFIRE and during 2017 it flew over 226 hours (435 cycles), performed 343 missions and dropped 1,029,000 gallons of retardant.

Such was the scale of the late 2017 California fires that from the period between October 10 and January 12, 2018 Neptune sent its entire BAe 146 fleet to respond, racking up an additional 158.8 hours, flying a further 187 missions and dropping an extra 561,000 gallons of retardant. Neptune also mobilised two of its venerable and recently retired P-2V Neptune Airtankers to help with this unprecedented effort.

Overall BAe 146 operations across the USA and Chile during 2017 totalled 3192 missions, accumulating 2371 hours, and delivering 9,524,550 gallons of retardant (36,050,422 litres).

Conair/Aero Flite Inc.’s RJ85 Airtankers were similarly busy helping to fight the Californian wildfires with both RJ85 Airtankers and CL-415 waterbombers in action. Overall operations across the USA in 2017 totalled 4,265 missions, and delivering 60,843,000 litres of retardant. In Canada 150 missions were flown, accumulating 195 hours and delivering 658,590 liters of retardant.

As the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for the BAe 146/Avro RJ BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has collaborated with all these Airtanker operators and converters in various ways to provide specialist technical design and engineering assistance as well as a full spares provision operation – a vital and continuing service to support these demanding applications.

Top Copyright Photo: Aeroflite BAe RJ85 N635AC (msn E2330) IGM (Ken Petersen). Image: 941199.

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