Etihad raises funds for eco residence


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Andy Cairns of First Abu Dhabi Bank, Khaled Khalfan Al Suwaidi of Abu Dhabi Global Market and Adam Boukadida of Etihad Aviation Group at the signing ceremony.

Etihad Airways has raised 100 million euros to support the expansion of its eco residence in Abu Dhabi, a sustainable residential complex for the airline’s cabin crew.

In doing so, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates has become the first airline to secure funding for a project based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the company said Sunday.

First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Global Market will finance the project.

“We are proud to be the first airline globally, and one of the first companies in the UAE, to obtain commercial funding based on our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations,” said Adam Boukadida, senior vice-president, treasury, tax and finance at Etihad Aviation Group.

He said the process to secure the loan hinged on a detailed international verification of the airline’s sustainability credentials.

“This assessment will enable us to fund long-term leases of the new eco residence complex, located in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City innovation precinct, and will serve as the foundation for Etihad to fund future sustainable initiatives.”

Financing for these type projects must be linked to one or more of the goals, and the Etihad project met two, the company said.

To support the financing, Etihad established a framework.

The airline then engaged Sustainalytics to review the framework, and confirm alignment with the Sustainability Bond Principles of the International Capital Markets Association.

The company issued a Second Party Opinion verifying Etihad’s sustainability credentials, a key condition to raising capital, Etihad said.

Images are courtesy of Etihad.


Global lands at Pearson Airport


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An artists’s impression of the new Global Manufacturing Centre.

GlobalBombardier is building a new final assembly facility at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport for its Global business jets.

The company has signed a long-term lease agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the operator of Pearson, to build its new state-of-the art Global Manufacturing Centre at the airport, Bombardier announced Wednesday.

The current Global completion center is in Downsview, about 20 kilometres east of the new site in Mississauga, Ont., where first production activities are expected to begin in 2023.

The site will optimize final assembly operations for all Global business jets, including the flagship Global 7500, Bombardier said.

“This is a strategic move for Bombardier and a strong commitment to Ontario’s aerospace industry,” said Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer of Bombardier Inc.

“It will allow us to offer world-class career opportunities and continue fueling the economic development of the region for years to come.”

The 1-million sq-ft facility will combine thousands of highly-skilled employees with 21st century production and tooling innovation, the company said.

The Global 7500 forms a major portion of Bombardier’s aircraft order backlog of $15.3 billion.

Images are courtesy of Bombardier.

Air Canada flying high with new honors


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Air Canada

Calin Rovinescu

Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu

Just last week, Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu was named the CEO of the Year by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine.

This week, the airline is celebrating another achievement – it has been recognized as the 2019 Airline of the Year by industry publication Global Traveler.

“The success we have had transforming our airline into a leading global carrier is being recognized worldwide and we continue to invest in new aircraft, onboard services, airport amenities and a new loyalty program to build on our leading position,” Rovinescu said.

“Mostly, however, this award recognizes the hard work of our employees and their commitment to deliver customer service excellence every day, for which I thank them,” he added.

The airline said Global Traveler’s advisory board weighed the nominees’ financial data, safety records, product offerings, onboard menus and overall image as a brand before selecting Air Canada as Airline of the Year.

Maple Leaf Lounge

Maple Leaf Lounge offers dishes prepared by celebrity chefs.

Since 2010, Rovinescu has presided over a rapid expansion of the airline, investing $12 billion on new aircraft and routes.

Rovinescu’s fleet renewal program has seen the deployment of new Boeing 777s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The airline’s popular Maple Leaf Lounge, featuring dishes prepared by celebrity chefs, is also part of his program to elevate the travel experience.

Rovinescu has been at the helm of Air Canada since early 2009.

Images are courtesy of Air Canada.

Airbus completes 100th A220


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Airbus A220

Employees celebrate the completion of the 100th Airbus A220 in Mirabel, Que.

The 100th aircraft in the Airbus A220 family, formerly known as the Bombardier C Series, will soon be delivered to the Latvian airline airBaltic. It will be the carrier’s 21st A220-300.

A ceremony was held this week at the aircraft program’s headquarters in Mirabel, Que., to mark its production.

The 149-seat A220-300 features a new livery and cabin layout, Airbus said.

SWISSThe A220s are assembled in Mirabel as well as in Mobile, Ala.

The first aircraft in the family, an A220-100, was delivered in 2016 to launch operator SWISS.

AirBaltic, which received its first A220-300 three years ago, was the launch customer for that version of the aircraft.

It has 20 aircraft in its all-A220 fleet, and has ordered 30 more.

“We are truly proud to be the launch operator of the Airbus A220-300 aircraft which, being an integral part of airBaltic’s fleet over the last three years has demonstrated an outstanding performance,” said Martin Gauss, chief executive officer of airBaltic.

“To introduce this aircraft was a forward-thinking decision that has most certainly paid off as A220 family aircraft are not only considerably more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, but also more convenient for both passengers and staff.”

The A220 is powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.

As of October, Airbus had received 530 firm orders for the aircraft.

Boeing debuts 737 MAX 10


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737 MAX 10

The 737 MAX 10 being unveiled at the Boeing plant in Renton, Wash., on Friday. 

Even as concerns about the safety of Boeing 737 MAX 8 persist, the U.S. aircraft manufacturer has debuted the latest version of the aircraft.

Thousands of employees gathered at the Boeing plant in Renton, Wash., on Friday for the debut of the 737 MAX 10.

“Today is not just about a new airplane. It’s about the people who design, build and support it,” said Mark Jenks, vice-president and general manager of the 737 program.

“This team’s relentless focus on safety and quality shows the commitment we have to our airline customers and every person who flies on a Boeing airplane.”

The 737 MAX 10 is the largest variant of the MAX family, and can seat up to 230 passengers.

“I’m honored to take this airplane on its first flight and show the world what you’ve put your heart and soul into,” said 737 chief pilot Jennifer Henderson.

Boeing has received more than 550 orders for the 737 MAX 10 from over 20 customers, the company said.

Image courtesy: Boeing 

Dubai Airshow order book tops $54 billion


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Airbus A350XWBAir ArabiaDUBAI – Deals worth $54.5 billion were reached at the latest edition of the Dubai Airshow, which closed on Thursday, the event’s organizers said.

Airbus was the biggest winner — it secured two blockbuster deals worth $30 billion. Dubai’s Emirates Airline ordered 50 A350-XWB jets, valued at $16 billion. 

Airbus also signed an agreement to sell 120 A320neo aircraft to the budget carrier Air Arabia, based in the neighboring emirate of Sharjah. That deal was worth $14 billion.

Emirates, meanwhile, finalized a purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $8.8 billion.

De Havilland CanadaDe Havilland Canada, which returned to the show after many years, won a number of orders for its Dash 8-400 aircraft from companies in the UAE, Russia and Nigeria.

Searidge Technologies, a Canadian company providing remote tower and digital airport solutions, was a first-time exhibitor.

Searidge TechnologiesAirservices Australia selected Searidge’s  digital tower solution for an initial prototype at Sydney Airport.

The program’s define stage is currently underway and scheduled to be completed by March 2020, Searidge said.

The 2019 show recorded a 10% rise in exhibitor attendance, and the organizers are now predicting an even bigger event in 2021.

“We always want to outperform our last show, and 2019 has gone above and beyond expectation, with so much great business being done alongside an engaging and innovative program of conferences, exhibits and flying displays,” said Michele van Akelijen, managing director of show organizers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East.

“We have already seen exhibitors rebooking for the next edition.”


Emirates adds A350-XWB to its fleet


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Airbus A350XWBEmirates AirlineDUBAI – The world’s largest international airline is adding the Airbus A350-900 extra widebody aircraft to it fleet.

Emirates Airline announced a firm order for 50 A350-900 XWB aircraft worth $16 billion at the Dubai Airshow on Monday.

The airplanes will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Delivery is expected to begin in May 2023 and will continue through 2028, the airline said.

The deal was signed by Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

“Complementing our A380s and 777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

“In effect, we are strengthening our business model to provide efficient and comfortable air transport services to, and through, our Dubai hub.”

Faury said the A350 will bring unbeatable economics and environmental benefits to Emirates. The airline operates an all-widebody fleet comprising the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777.


Airbus biz jets are now just a click away


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Airbus ACJLAS VEGAS, Nev. – Airbus has teamed up with 12 Airbus Corporate Jet operators worldwide to make VIP travel smooth.

Under a plan unveiled this week, Airbus jets can be chartered from any of the operators through the dedicated website.

The site was launched at the National Business Aviation Association’s Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.

“The new website will appeal to VIP travelers because it groups together in a single place information about the Airbus corporate jet offerings of 12 operators such as details of their spacious cabins, characteristics and tailored on-board services,” Airbus said.

“Its simplicity enables users to find details about each ACJ VIP charter offering in a single click.”

ACJ operator fleets include the ACJ318, ACJ319, ACJ320 and ACJ340.

“For the first time, we connect business jet travelers to ACJ operators – just click to book a unique flying experience,” said ACJ president Benoit Defforge.

The participating airlines are:

  • Acropolis Aviation
  • AirX Charter
  • Comlux
  • Constellation Aviation
  • Emirates
  • Eva Air
  • Global Jet
  • K5 Aviation
  • MasterJet
  • MJet
  • Nomad Aviation
  • Tyrolean Jet ServiceACJACJACJAll images are courtesy of Airbus Corporate Jets.


Pilatus unwraps the PC-12 NGX


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PC-12 NGX PC-12 NGX LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Swiss aircraft maker Pilatus has unveiled its new single-engine turboprop – the PC-12 NGX – at the National Business Aviation Association’s Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas.

The PC-12 NGX incorporates an improved engine, smarter avionics and a completely redesigned cabin with larger windows, making this third generation of the PC-12 airframe the most advanced single-engine turboprop ever, the company said.

“Building on the experience gathered from the worldwide PC-12 fleet of over 1,700 aircraft with more than 7 million flight hours, the new PC-12 NGX brings the latest technology to the turboprop market.”

The aircraft is powered by the PT6E-67XP turboprop engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada.



Embraer strikes $1.4b deal at NBAA show


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The Praetor 600


Michael Amalfitano (left), CEO of Embraer Executive Jets and Michael Silvestro, CEO of Flexjet, celebrate the US$1.4 billion deal.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Embraer has won the first major deal of the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas.

The Brazilian aircraft maker announced Monday that it had signed a US$1.4-billion agreement with private jet travel services provider Flexjet.

The deal comprises a fleet of Embraer business jets, including the recently certified Praetor jets and the Phenom 300, with deliveries starting in the fourth quarter of 2019.

With this purchase agreement, Flexjet has become the Praetor fleet launch customer, Embraer said.

“We are very grateful for Flexjet’s renewed commitment to Embraer through this new agreement, which reflects the growth and the strength of our partnership over the past 16 years and symbolizes our ongoing support for their journey ahead,” said Michael Amalfitano, president & CEO of Embraer Executive Jets.

“Flexjet owners will appreciate and enjoy a truly elevated customer experience in industry-leading aircraft, including the recently certified Praetor jets, which are different by design and disruptive by choice.”


All images are courtesy of Embraer.