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AirInsight » A Commercial Aviation Consultancy

A Commercial Aviation Consultancy

Britain, which by not adopting the Euro and not participating in the Schengen travel zone, was the most independent member of the EU, has voted to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and leave the EU.  This certainly provides some uncertainty in the near term, as Britain will now need to make arrangements for economic and trade relationships bi-laterally, as they once were.  This certainly shouldn’t become a problem, and Britain may, like Switzerland, be able to reach a free trade agreement with the EU without becoming a member.

Of course, there may be some short-term panic regarding the potential implications of Brexit, driven by speculation and fear-mongering, in the near and long-term, there shouldn’t be a substantial impact on aviation.  Rolls-Royce will still be the sole provider of engines for the A350 and A330neo, as there are simply no alternatives in the near-term, and it… Continue reading

A mission to bring a sick worker at the Amudsen-Scott South Pole Station back from Antarctica for medical treatment was successful concluded. That patient, and another patient that while not in as serious condition was also evacuated to mitigate risk, arrived safely in Chile for medical treatment unavailable at the research station.

The aircraft used to complete this risky flight were DeHavilland Twin Otters, which are powered by the legendary Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engines.  The aircraft were fitted with skis to land on the unimproved runway, where special precautions were taken during the long South Pole winter that provides complete darkness from March to September, and temperatures can reach 70 degrees below zero.

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One Twin Otter remained at the Rothera British base 1,500 miles away from the pole on the Antarctic peninsula while the other flew the rescue mission.  The reserve aircraft was there in… Continue reading

Brazil just approved 100% foreign ownership of airlines, up from the previous maximum of 20%.  This presents an opportunity for foreign carriers to increase investment in a currently troubled economy with strong future potential.  Currently the Brazilian airline industry is troubled, along with the Brazilian economy.  Domestic air traffic declined by 8.2% during the first five months of 2016 when compared with 2015, and airline losses are mounting.

This combination of circumstances — airlines with lower values in a market that appears to be at a cyclical nadir — provides the opportunity to acquire strong assets at low prices.  As an important node for global networks and alliances, this presents an opportunity for airlines looking to strengthen their presence in Brazil.

Domestically, the four major players account for nearly all of the traffic, as shown in the chart below:

Brazil Graphic

Let’s examine the potential suitors and candidates.… Continue reading

Recently, Airbus Group and Siemens signed an agreement in which they agreed to collaborate on hybrid electric propulsion systems.   This is ground breaking, but should be seen in context – Airbus has been prominently displaying its tiny electric powered E-Fan aircraft at air shows for some time.  In the noise and roar at air shows, this silent flier is easily ignored as it is not heard.  But Airbus clearly has been thinking about this concept for some time.

The item that caught our attention was this: Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group said “We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens.”

This is a level of detail that has not been disclosed before.  It prompted a number of questions which we sent… Continue reading

Viking Aircraft, which currently produces the Twin Otter, has acquired the type certificate and production rights to the CL-415 Water-Bomber from Bombardier, as well as the aftermarket rights and type certificates for the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T water-bombers.  This is an ideal fit for Viking, which earlier acquired the rights for multiple de Havilland models from Bombardier, ranging from the DH-1 Chipmunk to the DH-7 STOL commuter aircraft.

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Currently, Viking produces the Twin Otter 400 and has delivered more than 100 aircraft to 29 countries since launching that model in 2007.  Can it do the same with the water-bomber?

There is certainly a need for water-bombers, as forest fires continue to erupt annually in North America during the summer, and Australia during their summer.  The advantage of the water-bomber is that it can quickly re-load by “scooping” water from a river or lake, mix that water with… Continue reading

With the recent first flight of the Embraer E2-190, it was an appropriate time to get update the progress of the E2 development program. We we fortunate to have an opportunity to speak with Luis Carlos Affonso, SVP – Operations and COO – Commercial at Embraer regarding the E2 program and its progress.

The company undertook what appeared to be a remarkable first flight – the E-190 E2 ticked a lot of boxes on that flight; maximum altitude, maximum speed and  host of other items.  In terms of first flight this may have been a unique activity.  It certainly demonstrated remarkable confidence on the part of the company and its test crew.

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  • We began by asking Luis Carlos about his reaction to the first flight.

We were very pleased that the first flight was able to complete 100% of the test cards successfully. This was the… Continue reading

As of the end of 1Q16 there were 1,660 active commercial aircraft in the Middle East.  Of these 270 or 16.3% were based in Iran.  Iran had a total of 324 (active plus inactive) commercial aircraft listed, but many are parked for a lack of spares or being unsafe to fly.

Iran has the second largest commercial aircraft fleet (including parked aircraft) after the UAE.  No wonder the OEMs are so keen to get into that market.  Airbus made a big splash with its $27Bn order.  Everyone has been wondering why Boeing has not also benefited from Iranian interest.  After all, Iran is expected to buy from every OEM in order to minimize its fear of renewed sanctions.  The wider the business interest and fear of economic pain, the higher the hurdle to renew sanctions.

Boeing is as eager as any OEM to… Continue reading

2016 is the best year the CSeries has had.  Besides the spate of orders, yesterday Bombardier won certification from EASA and the FAA for the CS100.

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“Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that its CS100 aircraft has been awarded Type Validation by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following a comprehensive testing program. The EASA and FAA validations follow the CS100 aircraft Type Certification awarded by Transport Canada in December 2015.”

With the EASA certification, Swiss will get its delivery in June with EIS set for July.  The certification milestone sends signals to potential customers.  The timing couldn’t be better (delays excepted).  We are eight weeks away from the biggest aviation event of the year.  Bombardier can be expected to splash a lot more at Farnborough than it could in Paris last year.

For the Paris show, Bombardier was under… Continue reading

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