Emirates announces major retrofit programme

Emirates announces major retrofit programme

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Emirates announces major retrofit programme

Emirates is to retrofit 105 of its modern wide-body aircraft with its Premium Economy product, in addition to other cabin enhancements.

The 18-month retrofit programme, scheduled to begin at the end of 2022, will be entirely conducted at Emirates’ state-of-the-art Engineering Centre in Dubai. It will see 52 Emirates A380s and 53 Boeing 777s fitted with a new cabin class –Premium Economy. The airline is also considering installing a brand-new Business Class product on its Boeing 777 aircraft, with customised seats in a 1-2-1 layout.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “Emirates is investing in this retrofit programme to ensure that we continue to serve our customers’ needs, and provide the best experiences in the sky. Since we introduced our Premium Economy seats a year back, we’ve received a hugely positive response. Customers have been amazed by the quality and comfort. As Emirates has done with our signature First, Business and full-service Economy travel experiences, we intend to further develop our Premium Economy into a distinctive Emirates experience that is unmatched in the industry. We are also considering a brand-new Business Class product. More details will be revealed in due course.”

Sir Tim added: “It is also a source of pride that the entire retrofit project will be conducted at our home base in Dubai. It demonstrates the strong aviation capabilities that has been built up within Emirates airline and the broader UAE ecosystem to support such a highly specialised and technical programme.”

At the end of the retrofit programme, Emirates will have a total of 111 Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft offering Premium Economy seats, including the 6 A380s that would have been delivered to the airline with four cabin classes by December 2021.

On the Emirates Boeing 777, 5 rows of Economy class seats located just behind Business Class will be removed to install 24 Premium Economy seats laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. On the Emirates A380, 56 Premium Economy seats will installed at the front of the main deck also in 2-4-2 configuration.

Covered in anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finishing, each seat is designed to provide optimal comfort and support with six-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests. Offering a pitch of up to 40-inches, each seat is 19.5 inches wide and reclines eight inches into a comfortable cradle position with ample room to stretch out. Other thoughtful touches include easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.

The airline has also extended its partnership with Panasonic to provide a suite of IFEC solutions for the new cabin class.

Boeing will provide a suite of services to Saudia to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets' operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

Saudia turns to Boeing for enhanced services

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Boeing will provide a suite of services to Saudia to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets' operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

Boeing will provide a suite of services to Saudia to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets’ operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

“As ever, Saudia is continuously focused on operational efficiency, optimal fleet utilisation, and deployment,” said Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, CEO, Saudia. “We see our continued alliance with Boeing and these essential services as an enabler that will help to drive our progress toward this vision.”

Saudia will use Boeing’s Optimised Maintenance Program (OMP), which uses advanced data analytics to provide detailed insights for improved maintenance operations, and Boeing’s Airplane Health Management (AHM) digital solution, which applies predictive maintenance analytics and diagnostic tools to help improve the quality and speed of maintenance decisions, resulting in improved on-time performance. These services will be combined with Boeing’s OEM engineering and consulting expertise.

“Our Boeing consulting teams have partnered closely with Saudia for many years to find new opportunities to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiency. We are delighted to continue this partnership by applying our advanced digital solutions,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO, Boeing Global Services. “Similarly, Saudia will be able to rely on our 777 interiors engineering expertise throughout the course of their fleet reconfiguration plans.”

Boeing’s interior modification team will partner with Saudia to deliver all aspects of their 777 modification, including design, certification, and the supply of parts required for completion.

JC&Aero STC for permanent in-cabin cargo for A330 cabins

J&C Aero and SmartLynx Airlines working towards permanent EASA STC approval

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JC&Aero STC for permanent in-cabin cargo for A330 cabins

International aviation design and production company J&C Aero and SmartLynx Airlines have strengthened their in-cabin cargo transportation partnership.

Under a new agreement J&C Aero’s engineers will manage the certification process for the air carrier to receive a permanent EASA STC for cargo transportation inside Airbus A330 cabins. Previously, J&C Aero had provided engineering support for SmartLynx Airlines to receive temporal approval for the modification of five Airbus A330 with Zero LOPA.

Under the Zero LOPA project, J&C Aero has developed all the necessary technical and legal documentation required to conduct cabin modification on five wide-body aircraft operated by SmartLynx Airlines. In addition, the company’s engineers conducted technical oversight of the modification works and ensured their subsequent temporary certification by aviation authorities. Completed modifications enabled the air carrier to operate Airbus A330s that can be relatively easily converted from passenger to cargo operations and vice versa.

“Back at the beginning of 2020, J&C Aero was the first and only holder of an EASA STC that allowed cargo transportation inside passenger cabins without any time or flight hour limitations. Today, the market demand evolved further, and airlines require even more flexibility in terms of fleet operations. It is vital for them to utilise the full capacity of their cabins while being able to easily change between PAX and cargo operations as the demand shifts. This particularly concerns the wide-body segment whereas many operators were forced to ground their long-haul aircraft amid the pandemic. But the ability to have an aircraft that is both passenger- and cargo-ready without conducting the full-fledge P2F conversion allows airlines to seize new opportunities on the cargo market while the travel segment is still recovering. With this in mind, we are very thankful to SmartLynx Airlines for entrusting the certification process with us and look forward to a smooth receipt of an STC by the carrier,” said Vitalijus Malyška, the COO of J&C Aero.

Each of SmartLynx Airlines’ seatless Airbus A330 has up to 34 cargo zones for cargo containers or nets with a total transportation capacity of 260 m3 and up to 55,000 kg of cargo. With all necessary temporary approvals by aviation authorities received, the airline already operates the modified aircraft on transatlantic and transpacific routes, transporting medical supplies and other cargo types and being ready for the growing demand as the pre-Christmas season approaches. With the support of J&C Aero engineers, the airline anticipates completing the certification for a permanent EASA STC by the end of autumn 2021.

Robert Woods, VP Technical at SmartLynx Airlines commented on the agreement: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with J&C Aero as we continue strengthening our positions in the cargo market. Throughout our cooperation, we have always been pleased with the quality and efficiency of J&C Aero. We trust that as we take larger steps into the long-haul market, having such a reliable partner will be truly beneficial for our company.”

Emirates' first retired A380 will be fully repurposed in the UAE in a pioneering initiative with Falcon Aviation Recycling to save most of the aircraft from landfill.

Emirates’ first retired A380 set for new life

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Emirates' first retired A380 will be fully repurposed in the UAE in a pioneering initiative with Falcon Aviation Recycling to save most of the aircraft from landfill.

Emirates has signed a contract with UAE-based Falcon Aircraft Recycling on a pioneering initiative, where its first retired A380 aircraft will be upcycled and recycled, dramatically reducing the environmental impact of the deconstruction process and drastically reducing landfill waste.

The extensive materials recovery and repurposing activities will be entirely conducted in the UAE, the airline’s home base, further reducing the project’s environmental footprint.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates airline said: “We are delighted to partner with Falcon Aircraft Recycling on this first-of-its-kind project. That all repurposing activity will be fully executed in the UAE also speaks to the strong aviation eco-system and capabilities that the nation has built up in its short history. Through this initiative, our customers and fans can take home a piece of aviation history while saving valuable materials from landfill and contributing to a charitable cause through the Emirates Airline Foundation. It’s an elegant and fitting retirement solution for this iconic aircraft and our flagship.”

Andrew Tonks, Director of Falcon Aircraft Recycling said: “This is our most ambitious project to date which will see the first deconstruction of an A380 outside of Europe. Approximately 190 tonnes of various metals, plastics, carbon fibre composites and other materials will be removed from the aircraft and passed on for recycling or repurposing via our upcycling programme with Wings Craft. The recovery programme will be delivered fully within the UAE and ensure that the majority of the aircraft will find a second life. We are proud to have won this contract which underscores Emirates’ confidence in the world-class capabilities available here in the UAE. Our teams are currently busy with the breakdown and final concepts for the first batch of unique upcycled items. We look forward to unveiling more information on the retail items soon.”

After completing its last commercial mission, A6-EDA, the first A380 ever delivered to Emirates, was retired from service and brought to the airline’s Engineering Centre where Emirates engineers retrieved serviceable components such as engines, landing gears and flight control components. The aircraft was then deregistered and handed over to the Falcon Aircraft Recycling team to begin the process of carefully breaking down the aircraft.

Partnering with Wings Craft, another UAE-based firm that specialises in producing custom furniture and merchandise from aircraft materials, Falcon Aircraft Recycling will design and manufacture unique collectibles and retail items from the materials and parts removed from the aircraft. These items will be launched for sale in phases over the coming months.

A portion of profits from the sale of all items upcycled and recycled from Emirates’ first retired A380 will benefit the Emirates Airline Foundation.

British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it continues to retrofit the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the roll out expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

British Airways rolls out Club Suite to Boeing 777 fleet

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British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it continues to retrofit the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the roll out expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it retrofits the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the project expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The airline already has retrofitted a number of its Boeing 777 aircraft with the latest seat and will be working with Collins Aerospace to ensure the rest of the airline’s 777 aircraft are fitted with the new cabin. Collins will also perform full-cabin integration work – including engineering design, test and approval – along with program management and third-party supplier approvals.

The airline’s sophisticated Club Suite was first rolled out in July 2019 on the first A350 and since then has been installed on the Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The Club Suite is a customised version of Collins Aerospace’s Super Diamond business class seat and offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Boasting 40% more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi, 18.5-inch in-flight entertainment screens, high-definition gate-to-gate programming and PC/USB power, the Suite is similar to the upgraded cabin on British Airways’ new Airbus A350 fleet.

As part of its commitment to the North Atlantic, all British Airways flights to JFK from London Heathrow will be operated by an aircraft that has the airline’s Club Suite product.

Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, said: “When we launched our Club Suite product, it was a huge hit with our customers who loved the privacy the new seat offers. We are focused on the roll out of this product and other cabin enhancements to ensure we deliver on our commitment to provide the very best British quality, style and comfort for our customers.”

Trevor Skelly, General Manager Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace, commented: “The upgraded Club World cabin raises British Airways’ already high standards and provides commonality across their fleet of aircraft. Our Integration Engineering team has worked closely with British Airways designers for several years to bring the latest in business class comfort, style and privacy from concept to reality.”

As part of the upgrade, the airline’s Club Kitchen is also getting a makeover with new Club chillers and built-in storage for snacks, drinks and other refreshments, allowing customers in Club World to help themselves to refreshments at their leisure.

The latest generation of the First cabin including the introduction of the First suite door will also continue to be rolled out across the airline’s B777-300 aircraft. The First suites were meticulously designed based on our customers’ feedback, the cabin puts comfort at the heart of the experience and makes the very best use of the generous space designed for just a few customers at a time.  The suite includes a fixed 23-inch high-definition in-flight entertainment screen that can be controlled with an integrated handset.

Manufacturing of the new suite seat is being completed at the company’s facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, while the new Club Kitchen was designed at the company’s facility in Everett, Washington.

Hangar 51 has been acquired by Avia Solutions Group

Avia Solutions Group acquires London Biggin Hill Airport base

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Hangar 51 has been acquired by Avia Solutions Group

Avia Solutions Group has acquired Biggin Hill Hangar Company Limited, the owner of Hangar 510, a premium Fixed Base Operations (FBO) and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) centre of operations at London Biggin Hill Airport.

Jonas Janukenas, CEO of Avia Solutions Group, said: “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of this fantastic operation, based at one of Europe’s fastest-growing business aviation airports. We look forward to working with business operators and the Airport to continue delivering exceptional quality services for passengers, aircraft owners, and fleet operators landing and departing from London Biggin Hill Airport.”

Tenants of Hangar 510 include Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest network of Fixed Based Operations with over 200 locations worldwide, and Bombardier, which provides aircraft maintenance services at the site.

Avia Solutions Group’s acquisition of Biggin Hill Hangar Company Limited follows the Group’s previous investment in the Airport’s burgeoning business ecosystem. In March 2021, Avia Solutions Group’s subsidiary, Jet MS, acquired RAS Group, a long-established aircraft interior, exterior, and completions specialist based at the airport.

The transaction also strengthens ASG’s presence in the UK’s aviation services market. In August 2021, Avia Solutions Group’s subsidiary Storm Aviation Limited acquired Manchester-based Chevron Technical Services Ltd (CTS) and its Prestwick-based subsidiary Chevron Aircraft Maintenance Ltd (CAM), providing aerospace solutions to the commercial aircraft maintenance industry.

expleo 737 dado panel

3D printing partnership targets aerospace aftermarket supply chains

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expleo 737 dado panel

Materialise and Proponent have entered into a partnership to provide a one-stop-shop solution for aftermarket parts where 3D printing is featured alongside other manufacturing technologies.

Announcing the partnership, Materialise and Proponent have set out to explore ways to help aerospace OEMs access the benefits of 3D printing, ultimately envisioning a digital supply chain enabling on-demand manufacturing. While 3D printing has so far been the domain of specialist engineering departments in aerospace companies, this development will bring it into the procurement domain and thus make it increasingly accessible for MROs to source 3D-printed parts.

Bart Van der Schueren, CTO of Materialise, commented: “Open solutions and a collaborative approach have always been crucial to Materialise. Today we are excited to combine our capabilities as an EASA 21.G-certified production organisation with Proponent’s reach and central position in the aerospace supply chain. This brings 3D printing technology right in the comfort zone of the aerospace industry’s well-established supply chains.”

Andrew Todhunter, Proponent CEO added: “3D printing represents an opportunity to help our OEM and Supplier Partners to become more efficient in their supply chains and complements our stocking distribution model. Producing customized parts or small production runs through AM gives us an opportunity to source on-demand, sustainably, and avoid high minimum order quantities. Our customers get what they need, when they need it, and OEMs avoid the cost and risks that come with manufacturing these parts.”

Proponent, headquartered in Brea, California, provides traditional distribution services to airlines, MROs and OEMs, as well as innovative inventory management solutions. The company ships 54 million parts per year to over 6,000 aerospace customers in over 100 countries. The majority of parts serve the aftermarket, with applications spanning cabin interiors, engines, airframe and cockpits.

Leuven, Belgium- headquartered Materialise manufactures 700 part series per year for diverse aerospace customers, from leading OEMs to MROs and supplier tiers. This includes an estimated 26,000 parts per year for the Airbus A350 system alone. Materialise is also currently the only supplier to offer manufacturing services in two 3D printing technologies approved by Airbus for flight-ready parts, since becoming Airbus’s first manufacturer for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology in May this year.

Flying Colours Corp. showcases latest trends in Gulfstream G650 refurbishment with material covering divan.

Flying Colours Corp. completes refurbishment for Gulfstream G650

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Flying Colours Corp. showcases latest trends in Gulfstream G650 refurbishment with material covering divan.

Flying Colours Corp., has given a Gulfstream G650 interior a new contemporary make over that reflects trending cabin design concepts.

Six single seats, two double seats and a three-piece divan were stripped down to the frames, rebuilt with new foam cushions, then sanded and painted to complement the new trims. Individual seats were covered with a new customer-selected pearl-coloured leather, and the seat backs featured a contrasting textured material. Each seat incorporated a customised stitching pattern, while new seatbelt webbing completed the stylish seats.

Highlighting an increasing trend the divan was upgraded with a complementary pearl fabric, rather than leather. Also on trend was the recovering of the cabin’s lower sidewall panels and ledges in leather. The contemporary look was enriched with a new Ultraleather cabin curtain which was custom-manufactured and installed by Flying Colours Corp. The reupholstered front and aft lavatory seats enhanced the upgrade.

The existing flooring was removed and replaced with a smoked charcoal coloured carpet to contrast with the pearl leather seat tones. The increasingly popular tones of cream and grey deliver a modern, chic look, balanced by dark veneer finishes on the bulkheads, galleys and side ledges.

“This aircraft had previously been painted by the Flying Colours crew, and the customer was so delighted that they brought it back for the interior work. Repeat business is the highest accolade we can be paid, and the gorgeous new interior is as breathtaking as the exterior,” said Eric Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp.

A second G650 arrived at the Peterborough workshop in October to undergo refurbishment further highlighting the company’s growing work on the American OEM aircraft types. “We work on all types of airframes, and in the last year have worked on an increasing amount of Gulfstream models whose owners appreciate that we can offer interior, exterior, and maintenance work all at one location. This reduces downtime, and with the current business aviation landscape being so busy, this is an extremely important factor for owners and operators,” added Gillespie.

The Gulfstream G650 fuselage boasts a sparkling pearl/mica Diamond Mine basecoat surface combined with an intricate design incorporating curving stripes and complicated swirling patterns. To achieve the striking results a specialty basecoat-clearcoat polyurethane paint incorporating translucent pearl and mica granules that generate a crystal-sparkling effect was applied after the priming process. The multi-faceted process required technical expertise and intense attention to detail to achieve a fuselage that will be noticed on any ramp.

StandardAero has delivered its first Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion modification/upgrade on a Bombardier Challenger 604.

StandardAero upgrade cockpit for Bombardier Challenger 604

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StandardAero has delivered its first Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion modification/upgrade on a Bombardier Challenger 604.

StandardAero has delivered its first Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion modification/upgrade on a Bombardier Challenger 604. The first installation aircraft departed StandardAero’s Springfield, Illinois maintenance facility on 24 September 2021.

The installation was supported by a Collins Aerospace Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and the Pro Line Fusion upgrade removes the existing cathode ray tube displays and replaces them with touchscreen capable liquid crystal displays. The modification allows for features such as LPV, synthetic vision, multi-scan radar, graphical weather and FANS-1/A, giving operators more functionality and situational awareness in the cockpit. The modification also addresses obsolescence issues inherent to the existing CRT displays.

The total work scope on this Challenger 604 aircraft also included the installation of a Collins Aerospace Venue Cabin Management System and a complete cabin interior refresh.

“The Fusion upgrade helps to keep this aircraft on the leading edge, well into the future, with enhanced capabilities and staying pace with the functionality of current production aircraft coming off the assembly line,” said Mike Creek, Avionics Sales Manager for StandardAero Business Aviation. “Operators are showing a lot of interest in these upgrades and we expect continued demand throughout this year and next.”

Dassault Aviation ExecuJet Kuala Lumpar Facility

Dassault Aviation consolidates MRO network

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Dassault Aviation ExecuJet Kuala Lumpar Facility

With new major development in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai and new line service bases in several additional European cities, Dassault Aviation is leveraging recently acquired MRO capabilities to reorganise and consolidate its worldwide support network and bring Falcon expertise around the world. The company can now offer major inspections at a range of new locations, dispatch GoTeams to more remote places, and share expertise across its global network. This ensures a single uniformly high level of factory service wherever Falcons fly.

Speaking during NBAA-BACE, Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier commented. “In 2019, we acquired TAG Maintenance Services (TMS), ExecuJet MRO Services and RUAG’s MRO operations in Switzerland to build up our factory service capacity and are now investing heavily in these premier service networks to foster sustained organic growth,” said Trappier. “Two examples of this strategy are our new ExecuJet MRO facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, which replace smaller pre-existing operations and are poised to become regional service hubs for our growing fleets in Asia and the Middle East. These strategic moves will elevate the quality and consistency of Falcon service around the globe.”

In recent months, ExecuJet MRO Services has completed six-year C checks for Falcon 2000 and Falcon 900 aircraft in Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Perth and Sydney, allowing operators in these areas to turn to maintenance resources nearby, instead of having to fly to Europe or North America for heavy maintenance and modifications.

The new maintenance facility in Kuala Lumpur measures 130,000 square feet and was designed to accommodate Dassault’s latest models – the long-range Falcon 6X and the ultra-long-range Falcon 10X with its 109-foot length and 28-foot height. ExecuJet MRO expects to transition operations there in the second half of 2023. The 163,000 square-foot Dubai facility opens in 2022.