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August 2016

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Air Canada has signed agreements with three of its business partners that will help support the creation of a Western Canada Centre of Excellence for aircraft maintenance activities in the province of Manitoba.


Air Canada and the Government of Manitoba have settled outstanding litigation relating to Air Canada’s maintenance obligations under the Air Canada Public Participation Act. Moreover, Air Canada is supporting the establishment of operations in Manitoba of three of its suppliers and partners with unique expertise and capabilities:


  • Hope Aero Propeller & Components, one of Air Canada’s suppliers, which specialises in propellers, wheels, brakes and batteries
  • Airbase Services, one of Air Canada’s suppliers, specialises in aircraft interior equipment repair and maintenance
  • Cargojet Airways, one of Air Canada’s cargo partners, which will establish its own repair and maintenance activities


Startup for all three is expected to commence in 2017. These initiatives follow Air Canada’s announcement in February, 2016 to help support the development of centres of excellence for aircraft maintenance in the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec.


Airbus and Rolls-Royce have created a new integrated parts availability service for the Cathay Pacific Airways A350 fleet, which encompasses both airframe and engine Line Replaceable Unit components. The service integrates the Airbus FHS and the Rolls-Royce TotalCare Availability service through a seamless operational interface. Through this partnership between Airbus and Rolls-Royce, Cathay Pacific will be able to access both engine and aircraft parts through the same process to improve speed of response. Supported by both manufacturers, this innovative approach to managing airframe and engine parts provides a cost-effective and lean operational solution for the airline. The airframe and engine parts will be hosted in the same warehouse in Hong Kong so that they can be made available locally when needed to secure the airline’s A350 operations. Airbus and Rolls-Royce believe that this approach will suit the needs of other customers and will seek further opportunities to develop seamless integrated services for the A350.


Airbus Consulting has concluded an assignment with China Eastern Airlines to achieve EASA Part 145 accreditation for Eastern Airlines Technic (EASTEC), its affiliated MRO. EASTEC was launched in 2014 to further explore the MRO market and Airbus Consulting was selected to provide advisory assistance for EASA accreditation at three bases: Shanghai Pudong; Kunming; and, most recently for Airbus A320s, Lanzhou.


Airbus has demonstrated aircraft visual inspection using a drone at the Farnborough International Airshow. The drone, equipped with a high definition camera, performs visual inspection for the upper part of the aircraft. It is flown using an automatic flight control system supervised by a human pilot. The drone follows a predetermined flight path and takes a series of pictures automatically. All these images and especially those showing any potential non-quality such as scratches, dents and painting defects, are compiled in a 3D digital model, recorded in a database and then analysed. This data helps improve traceability, prevention and reduction of damage.


The benefits of this innovative tool and process are significant. Aircraft downtime for inspection is reduced. Data acquisition by drone only takes 10 to 15 minutes, instead of two hours using conventional methods. Operators no longer need to go up on a telescopic handler to perform the visual inspection, sometimes in poor weather conditions. In addition, picture analysis can be done anytime afterwards and in an office.


A full-scale industrial test is being conducted on A330 aircraft. Airbus is also working on the implementation of other programmes.


Airbus has signed a contract with Spring Airlines of China for a package of solutions to upgrade its fleet of 20 A320s to match the latest delivered aircraft standards. These include optimising cabin space with the new Space-Flex v2 aft galley complex, upgrading the operating weight and adding Sharklet wingtips.


Airbus says Avianca Brasil has become the first customer in South America to select its Smarter Fleet Maintenance Mobility offering. The digital solution will provide the complete view of the aircraft status and maintenance activities across the airline and bring efficiency to mechanics through technical data and actionable items on mobile devices.


The agreement covers the integration of the Maintenance Mobility services into the airline’s information system, as well as the software and data hosting over a five-year servicing period. The deployment will be accomplished step-by-step with Airbus experts working on-site with Avianca Brasil in order to spread the integration and manage change gradually. Avianca Brasil became an Airbus customer in 2010 and currently operates 40 A320 Family aircraft and one A330 Freighter.


Maintenance Mobility is one of several services in the Smarter Fleet cloud-based services platform developed by Airbus in partnership with IBM. Smarter Fleet Maintenance Mobility is a web-based application, composed of a webpage (for the supervisor); applications (for the mechanics); and synchronised by a cloud (Smarter Fleet Platform).


Maintenance Mobility allows airline mechanics to have access to all technical information they need via tablets to streamline communication and decision-making while enabling time-savings during airline operations turnaround times. Thanks to integration with airline information systems, it provides maintenance supervisors with real-time monitoring on the progression of each aircraft turnaround activities and serviceable status. It also includes an e-Doc browser for access to the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Illustrated Parts Catalogue (IPC) or Minimum Equipment List (MEL) from a mobile device.


Airbus Services has been selected by Azul Brazilian Airlines to provide Flight Hour Services (FHS) components support. The FHS Components agreement will run for 12 years and provide an extensive scope of A320 line replaceable units, guaranteed spare parts availability through pool access service, on-site stock at customer main base and selected outstations, as well as repair services. This FHS contract also represents the first in Latin America to use a new spares pool, the fifth worldwide, at Viracopos International Airport, Campinas in Brazil.


Airbus Upgrade Services and Aercap and have agreed a deal to facilitate the transition of seven leased A319s for operations with Shaheen airlines based in Karachi, Pakistan. The modifications package from Airbus includes a newly branded interior, the integration of new seats in a 150 passenger layout (taking benefits of the recent extended seating capacity certification), a suite of systems and avionics upgrades (including ADS-B Out) to meet forthcoming Air Traffic Management regulations, an increased MTOW of 75.5 tonnes to suit forthcoming operations and a new Shaheen livery. The embodiments are scheduled from the fourth quarter of 2016.


Aéro Montréal, Québec’s aerospace cluster, has signed a sub-agreement with Aerospace Valley, the French competitiveness cluster, regarding the organisation of a case study on aircraft recycling for Québec students. Students from the engineering and business faculties will be asked to develop a sustainable and profitable solution for recovering 100% of the parts of an end-of-life aircraft in Québec. The projects will be presented to a jury which will determine a winner. The case study was developed in collaboration with Aerospace Valley as well as with members of the aerospace cluster: Aéroports de Montréal, Air Transat, Avianor and Bombardier.


The competition winners will be announced on 1 October 2016, during an open house event at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montréal during International Civil Aviation Week organised by Aéroports de Montréal, Aéro Montréal, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal and Montréal International. Through a 2007 partnership with Aerospace Valley, the winners will have the opportunity to travel to Toulouse to visit the various aerospace facilities in the region.


Austrian Technik Bratislava (ATB) and Tyrolean Technik based in Innsbruck, the technical operations subsidiaries of Austrian Airlines, are planning closer cooperation in the future. The aim is to have a stronger presence in the third-party market. Both technical operations firms derive about 60% of their revenue from other customers in addition to Austrian Airlines. ATB specialises in the heavy maintenance of Fokker and Embraer jets, while Tyrolean Technik is a specialist for line and heavy maintenance of Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Against the backdrop of efforts to strengthen the companies externally and further improve internal working processes, the two managing directors, Wolfgang Henle of ATB and Bernd Meyer of Tyrolean Technik, will become co-managing directors of the respective other company. A corporate linkage of the two companies is not under consideration.

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