Category: Canadian Aviation News

Air Canada prepares for Airbus A220 debut

News provided by Breaking Travel News – link to full story

Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 was unveiled earlier when it rolled out of the painting hangar at the final assembly line in Mirabel.

In December, Air Canada will be the first Canadian airline to take delivery of this Canadian-designed and developed aircraft when it receives the first of its 45 A220s on order.

The A220 features an innovative cabin design, as well as significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint.

The A220-300 for Air Canada will provide passengers with superior comfort in a 137-seat dual-class cabin layout.

Air Canada’s brand new A220-300s will replace the flag carrier’s existing mainline fleet of smaller, older narrow-body aircraft and support the airline’s hub and network growth, creating one of the world’s youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets.

Now that the aircraft is decked out in Air Canada’s livery, it has moved to pre-flight activities in the A220 flight line hangar in Mirabel, before taking off for its first flight later this fall.

Currently, there are 94 A220 aircraft flying with six operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member.

The A220 has an order book of 530 aircraft as of the end of October.

Héroux-Devtek Reports Solid Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter Financial Results

Press Release from Héroux-Devtek Inc.

Q2 Financial Highlights

  • Sales of $145.5 million, up 52.1% from $ 95.7 million last year, with 14.3% coming from organic growth
  • Operating income of $10.5 million, up 98.9% from $5.3 million last year
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $21.5 million, up 63.3% from $13.2 million last year
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin of 14.8%, up from 13.8% last year

Q2 Operational and Commercial Highlights

  • Funded backlog increased to a record-level of $769 million, from $747 million in Q1
  • Successful completion by Boeing of the first test flight for the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler for which Héroux-Devtek provides complete landing gear systems

LONGUEUIL, QC, Nov. 8, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Héroux-Devtek Inc. (TSX: HRX) (“Héroux-Devtek” or the “Corporation”), a leading international manufacturer of aerospace products, today reported strong results for the second quarter ended September 30, 2019. Unless otherwise indicated, all amounts are in Canadian dollars.

“While the second quarter has historically been a seasonally softer one for Héroux-Devtek, I am pleased that we were able to deliver strong commercial and defence sales growth, both organically and through acquisitions – even outperforming first quarter sales. As we continue to focus on executing our plan, I wish to thank each member of our team for their continued commitment towards our success,” said Martin Brassard, President and CEO of Héroux-Devtek.

“We now turn to the second half of the year with a strong commitment towards the execution of our business integration and operational delivery strategies. With a record-setting backlog, up 60% from a year ago, and all our programs progressing according to plan, we are now well on track to achieve our revenue and profitability targets for the year,” concluded Mr. Brassard.

SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

Consolidated sales grew 52.1% to $145.5 million, up from $95.6 million last year, including a 14.3% organic growth and a solid performance by the Corporation’s recent acquisitions, which contributed $36.1 million. Commercial sales grew 38.1% from $47.0 million to $64.9 million, while defence sales were up 65.7%, from $48.6 million to $80.6 million.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased during the second quarter to 15.3%, from 16.2% last year, mainly due to the 0.6% negative net impact of exchange rate fluctuations and higher manufacturing costs at the Longueuil facility. These negative factors were partially offset by the positive impact of the CESA acquisition.

Operating income increased to $10.5 million, or 7.2% of sales, up from $5.3 million, or 5.5% of sales last year, mainly driven by lower selling and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales. Last year’s operating income also reflected non-recurring acquisition-related costs, as opposed to this year. Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes non-recurring items, stood at $21.5 million, or 14.8% of sales, compared with $13.2 million, or 13.8% of sales, a year ago. For the same period, EPS doubled from $0.09 last year to $0.18 this quarter, while adjusted EPS1 grew 50%, from $0.12 last year to $0.18 in Q2.

SIX-MONTH RESULTS

Consolidated sales grew 59.3% to $288.9 million, up from $181.4 million for the corresponding period last year. Organic growth accounted for 14.7% of this increase, while the solid performance of the Corporation’s recent acquisitions contributed $80.7 million. Commercial sales grew 42.7% in the first six months of the year, from $92.8 million to $132.4 million, while defence sales were up 76.6% for the same period, from $88.6 million to $156.6 million.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales increased during the first half of the year to 16.1% from 15.7% last year, mainly due to the positive impact of the Beaver and CESA acquisitions, partially offset by the 0.3% negative net impact of exchange rate fluctuations and higher manufacturing costs at the Longueuil facility.

In the first six months of the year, operating income increased to $20.9 million, or 7.2% of sales, up from $10.1 million, or 5.6% of sales last year. Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes non-recurring items, stood at $43.0 million, or 14.9% of sales, compared with $25.4 million, or 14.0% of sales last year. For the same period, EPS grew 89.5%, from $0.19 last year to $0.36, while adjusted EPS grew to $0.37, up 68.2% from the $0.22 recorded in the same period last year.

The Corporation’s funded backlog increased to $769 million as at September 30, 2019, compared to $624 million as at March 31, 2019, mainly due to an increased demand for defence products combined with Alta’s backlog at acquisition, as recorded in the first quarter.

HEALTHY FINANCIAL POSITION

Cash flows related to operating activities reached $12.5 million in the second quarter, up from $11.7 million last year. For the six-month period, cash flows from operating activities amounted to $16.2 million, down from $20.1 million for the corresponding period last year, mainly due to an increase in inventories in preparation for upcoming growth.

As at September 30, 2019, net debt stood at $264.7 million, up from $243.0 million as at April 1, 20193. The increase in long-term debt during the six-month period is mainly due to the Alta acquisition partially offset by a US$12 million ($15.9 million) repayment made over the course of the second quarter.

Levaero Aviation Newest Member of International Aircraft Dealers Association

Press Release from Levaero Aviation Inc

TORONTO, ONTARIO. November 7, 2019

Levaero Aviation is one of the newest accredited dealer members of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA), the global standard of aircraft brokerages. IADA dealers and brokers do business in more than 100 countries, and while only 3% of all aircraft dealer organizations merit IADA accreditation, they handle more than 50% of the used business jet transactions globally.

“IADA is very pleased to include Levaero Aviation into the ranks of IADA- accredited aircraft dealers,” said IADA Executive Director Wayne Starling. “Levaero now joins an elite group of professional dealers who have met the industry’s most rigorous standards to become recognized for professionalism, integrity and transparency in aircraft transactions.”

“Levaero continues to grow its offering and expand our team in order to best- serve our current, and future, customers. We are committed to providing a professional, ethical, and pleasant experience to our customers when helping them acquire or sell an aircraft, and look forward to continued growth now as an IADA member,” said Stan Kuliavas, Vice President, Sales & Business Development at Levaero Aviation.

About the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA)

IADA is a professional trade association formed more than 25 years ago. Promoting the growth and public understanding of the aircraft resale industry, IADA now offers the world’s only accreditation program for dealers and the only certification program for individual brokers. The process delivers high standards of business conduct and transparency regarding aircraft transactions, leading to a more efficient and reliable marketplace. For more info about IADA, go to http://www.iada.aero.

TSB recommends air-taxi industry, Transport Canada, and stakeholders work together to raise the bar on safety

Provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)/CNW

OTTAWA, Nov. 7, 2019 /CNW/ – Today the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) published its safety issue investigation report (A15H0001) Raising the bar on safety: Reducing the risks associated with air-taxi operations in Canada. The Board is issuing four new recommendations aimed at improving safety in this vital sector of Canadian aviation—a sector that continues to have more accidents, causing more fatalities, than all other sectors of commercial aviation in Canada combined.

“We found that accidents in this sector of aviation boil down to two underlying factors: the acceptance of unsafe practices and the inadequate management of operational hazards,” said Kathy Fox, Chair of the TSB. “And although overall, commercial aviation in Canada has shown improved safety performance over the past 10 years, air-taxi operations remain at higher risk.”

Air-taxi operations in Canada involve aircraft (excluding jets) and helicopters that, by regulation, carry fewer than 10 passengers. These aircraft provide a wide variety of services throughout Canada, often in remote environments with less infrastructure than is available at large airports, and where access to basic weather information and the latest technology may be limited. “It is this unique operating context—the diversity of both operations and environment—that exposes air-taxi companies to very different risks,” said Fox.

Air-taxi operators must balance several competing pressures, each with its own consequences, in order to deliver a service, stay safe, and remain economically viable. “When one of or more of these pressures is not adequately managed,” said investigator-in-charge Glen Whitney, “it doesn’t always lead to an accident, but it almost always leads to a reduced safety margin.”

To address this problem, and raise the bar on air-taxi safety, the TSB recommends that operators, their clients, and Transport Canada (TC) work together to eliminate the acceptance of unsafe practices and to promote both proactive safety management and a positive safety culture. The TSB also recommends that TC close known safety gaps in the regulations, and require all commercial operators to collect data on hours flown and aircraft movements by type of operation, in order to measure whether risk mitigation measures are effective.

Moving forward, the TSB will follow up on this investigation by communicating its results to TC, air-taxi operators, their clients and passengers, and industry associations. The TSB will also reach out to these stakeholders to help them understand their role and responsibility in creating a culture where unsafe practices are unacceptable and operational hazards are adequately managed.

See the investigation page for more information.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

EgyptAir Cargo Deploys Descartes vMail to Automate Mail Shipping for Expanding International Network

WATERLOO, Ontario, Nov. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Descartes Systems Group (Nasdaq:DSGX) (TSX:DSG), the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced that EgyptAir Cargo is using the Descartes Velocity Mail (vMail™) solution to streamline air mail transportation across its growing international network.  

“EgyptAir Cargo is focused on modernization and increasing efficiency to better support our growth and the rise in ecommerce-driven air mail,” said Cpt. Basem Gohar, Chairman of EgyptAir Cargo. “We provide mail transport for more than 85 postal authorities worldwide, and the Descartes vMail solution helps us to accurately record mail shipment events as they occur and to track deliveries in real-time.”

By automating the entire mail shipment tracking process from route generation to account reconciliation, the cloud-based Descartes vMail system helps to simplify operational processes and improve efficiency for air carriers, ground handlers and postal authorities. Using mobile devices, mail handlers can accurately track shipments and deliveries in real-time. In addition, by combining Descartes vMail with the Descartes Global Logistics Network™, air carriers have one platform to manage the lifecycle of all shipments, including parcel packages and larger cargo.

“We’re pleased to help EgyptAir Cargo streamline its operations to better support its growth,” said Scott Sangster, VP Global Logistics Network at Descartes. “Using Descartes vMail, global air carriers, like EgyptAir Cargo, have access to timely and reliable information about the movement of mail and parcel shipments to operate more effectively, improve decision-making and better meet postal authority service level agreements.” 

Departing YLW Kelowna could soon cost more

News provided by Global News – link to full story and Video

BY MEGAN TURCATO GLOBAL NEWS Posted November 3, 2019

Officials are hoping to increase the airport improvement fee in Kelowna to $25. Jules Knox reports.

Less than a year after the last increase, the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is asking city council to approve higher airport improvement fees.

The airport wants the current airport charge of $20 per departing airline passenger to be increased to $25 next March.

YLW says it needs the money to refresh aging infrastructure and pay for major expansion projects over the next decade to keep pace with the airport’s growing popularity.

In a report to city council, YLW’s senior airport finance and corporate services manager says the number of passengers using YLW increased 38 per cent between 2013 and 2018.

More than 2 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018 and the airport is preparing to service more than 2.5 million in the future.

Construction of a $60.8 million terminal expansion is just one of the capital projects the airport has targeted for next year.

This project, which won’t be finished till 2023, will see the construction of a larger departure lounge with more food service locations, as well as a larger security area which the airport hopes will cut down on wait times.

Over the next decade, factoring in inflation, the airport is projecting it will need $220 million for all the capital upgrades it has planned.

The airport argues increasing the airport improvement fee to pay for those upgrades will not put it out of step with other airports in the country.

YLW’s report to city council shows a range of airport improvement fees, with Fort McMurray, Alta. charging $40 per departing passenger while the London, Ont. airport charges $7.

In Calgary and Edmonton the fee is $30. Vancouver currently charges $20 for those traveling outside of B.C. but will be increasing its fee to $25 in January. Victoria charges $15.

YLW’s airport improvement fee last increased in April 2019 when it went from up from $15.

Along with increasing airport improvement fees, YLW is also looking to increase landing and terminal fees by 2 per cent next year.

The proposals are up for discussion at Kelowna city council this week.

—With files from Sean Boynton

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Air-traffic control changes in U.S., Europe may force Ottawa to buy new executive jets

News provided by CTV News – link to full story and video

Air-traffic control changes in U.S., Europe may force Ottawa to buy new executive jets

CTV National News: The state of Canada’s VIP jets Two of the four planes used for VIP travel will soon face restrictions on where they can fly. Glen McGregor has the exclusive details.

Glen McGregor, Senior Political Correspondent, CTV National News
Published Sunday, November 3, 2019

OTTAWA — The federal government could be forced to buy new executive jets to transport the prime minister and other VIPs because of changes to air-traffic control rules in the U.S. and Europe.

Two of the four Challenger jets currently used by the Canadian Forces for executive transport lack the equipment needed to comply with the new ADS-B system, which replaces radar-based air-traffic control with the transmission of GPS-based data.

That will curtail the aircraft’s ability to fly in the U.S. and Europe beginning next year.

Two of the four Challenger jets currently used by the Canadian Forces for executive transport lack the equipment needed to comply with the new ADS-B system, which replaces radar-based air-traffic control with the transmission of GPS-based data.

One of the federal government’s Challenger jets is seen in this file image.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has set Jan. 1, 2020, as the date aircraft will require ADS-B transmitters to operate legally in most airspace. Europe is implementing the system in June 2020.

It doesn’t make sense to install the equipment on two of older 1980s-era Challenger 601 jets flown by 412 Squadron, the defence department says.

“Given the age of the fleet, investing in an ADS-B modification/upgrade would not be cost effective,” the department said in an email.

“We are therefore looking at other mitigation options. Timelines and costs will be determined once options have been selected.”

Buying new executive jets to replace the aging Challengers could be politically risky for the Trudeau government when it still hasn’t acquired fighter jets to replace the aging fleet of CF-18s.

Opposition parties of all stripes have assailed governments for what they considered profligate use of government aircraft in the past.

“The executive fleet has been perennial issue where the country is penny-wise and pound-foolish,” said David Perry, a defence procurement expert with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

“We don’t want to spend the money to buy aircraft and we have this bizarre expectation where you’re taking the people in government whose time is most valuable and making them fly economy, basically, around the world.”

The continued use of older aircraft makes Candians look like “cheapskates,” he said, comparing political opposition to the planes with the government’s refusal to renovate 24 Sussex, the prime minister’s official residence.

The defence department projects spending between and $20 million and $49 million to “consolidate” the Challenger fleet, a figure likely based on acquiring used aircraft.

Sources familiar with the operation of 412 Squadron say it would be difficult to meet its mandate with only two aircraft available to travel outside the country. The jets are used to transport the prime minister and Governor General and cabinet ministers, as well as the chief of defence staff, and visiting members of the Royal Family.

But the jets are also on-call for medical evacuations, deploying advance teams with the Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) and, on occasion, covertly transporting Canadian special forces personnel.

With only four Challengers, the squadron is operating close to capacity and losing two aircraft could threaten its ability to perform these missions, the sources said.

If the government chose to acquire brand-new aircraft, it might be tempted to consider the Bombardier Global Express, which is faster and has a longer range than the smaller Challenger, making travel to Europe and Asia easier. Most of the aircraft is assembled in Canada.

The German government currently uses four of Bombardier’s Global 5000 jets for executive transport.

Other documents show DND is projecting spending up to $249 million to extend the lifespan of the five larger Airbus 300-series jets beyond 2026, including one that prime minister and his staff fly on occasion.

Once dubbed “the flying Taj Mahal” by then-opposition leader Jean Chretien, the Airbus is antiquated compared to most modern commercial aircraft, though it does have a private room for the prime minister to sleep in.

Flight crews on the Airbus run extension cords and power bars down the aisles to allow passengers to run their laptop computers.

The Secret Airplane Bedrooms for Flight Attendants on Long Haul Flights

News provided by TraveloffPath.com – link to full story

The Secret Airplane Bedrooms For Flight Attendants on Long Haul Flights

TREVOR KUCHERAN NOVEMBER 1, 2019 TRAVEL NEWS

When you’re on a long-haul flight, getting a good sleep isn’t easy. You’ll probably be good in a lie flat seat in business class, but if you’re flying economy, good luck. 

Flight attendants are humans too, and just like everyone else, they need to get sleep. You might not have know this, but the same crew does not work the entire long haul flight. 

So where does the crew go once it’s their turn to sleep?

Most Boeing 777 and 787 airliners have a secret stairway that leads to a set of windowless bedrooms for the cabin crew. There are also hidden bedrooms for pilots, that few people know exist.

Where the boeing crew cabins are
Crew cabins are usually above the passengers (Photo: Boeing)

It will depend on the plane, but usually crew rest areas are hidden behind the cockpit or above business class. 

Chris McGinnis took the photo above of a tiny set of stairs that was hidden behind a discreet door that leads up to the cabin quarters. Report this ad

In the photo above by Chris Sloan, stairs are shown leading up into the overhead bin to get to the crew quarters  

Crew Beds (Martin Deutsch / Flickr, CC)
crew beds 2
(Photo: Flickr/Sudarshan P)

Flight attendant bunks generally have reading lights, hooks, and mirrors, as well as some storage space. They also come with blankets, pillows and occasionally even pajamas.

FLight Attendant bunk beds
(Photo: Chris Sloan)

Some planes, like this American Airlines Boeing 773, have sectioned off beds along an aisle, similair to that of a cruise ship. The aisle ceiling is so low that you have to duck to walk through it.

These bunk beds below are stacked on top of each other. This is on the Malaysian Air A380 plane.

Crew flight attendant bunks
(Photo: Courtesy of David Parker Brown, AirlineReporter.com)

All of the flight attendant rooms seem extremely claustrophoic but there is the odd exception. Check out the flight attendant room below on Singapore’s Airbus A380.

(Photo: David Parker Brown, AirlineReporter.com)

Wondering about the pilots? They have their own assigned cabins with extra space and features. On the Boeing 777, pilots have their own overhead sleeping compartments, which feature two roomy sleeping berths. According to Insider, they also feature business-class seats and enough room for a closet, sink, or lavatory, depending on the airline.

(Photo: Boeing)

Saint John Airport completes upgrades to primary runway

News provided by Global News – link to full story

BY TRAVIS FORTNUM GLOBAL NEWS Posted November 1, 2019

 WATCH: It’s been a busy couple of years for the airport, with a record number of passengers. And as Travis Fortnum reports, the airport authority hopes to capitalize on that success as it continues its modernization plan.

The Saint John Airport has reopened its primary runway after undergoing major improvements.

“Essentially everything is brand new,” says Derrick Stanford, president of Saint John Airport. “When I say everything I mean all of the pavement, all of the drainage, all of the lighting.”

A record number of air travelers used Saint John Airport in 2018 — 282,217 passengers.

But even with those numbers on track to increase this year, they’re dwarfed by international airports in Fredericton and Moncton.

Saint John Airports 2018 traffic compared to airports in Fredericton and Moncton.
 Saint John Airports 2018 traffic compared to airports in Fredericton and Moncton.

Stanford says even more upgrades in the future could be key to staying relevant.

“There’s still work to be done on getting more flights into Saint John and we acknowledge that,” he says.

“It’s been a challenging year in 2019 with the grounding of Max 8s.

“It’s tough because the airlines are all scrambling to keep up with the demands of their existing schedule. So it’s kind of a tough year to ask for more when they’re already struggling to maintain.”

The volume that is served by the Saint John Airport stands to benefit from the modernization efforts for years to come.

“For the Saint John air travellers, this is a huge shot in the arm from a sustainability perspective,” Stanford says.

“Runways tend to last about 17-20 years. So the Saint John Airport with its all-new runways is certainly set up for at least the next 20 years.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report on 2017 helicopter accident near Tweed, Ontario, highlights risks with external cargo and unrestrained passengers, and calls for clarification of safety belt regulations

Provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)/CNW

RICHMOND HILL, ON, Oct. 30, 2019 /CNW/ – Today the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A17O0264) on a fatal helicopter accident near Tweed, Ontario, in December 2017. In doing so, the Board called on Transport Canada to clarify the definition of safety belt in the Canadian Aviation Regulations to reduce the risks of injury or death during a survivable accident.

On 14 December 2017, an Airbus AS 350 B2 helicopter owned by Hydro One Networks Inc. was transporting three power line technicians from a transmission tower to a staging area near Tweed, Ontario. During the descent, an empty canvas supply bag blew off from an external platform attached to the aircraft and, along with its carabiner, struck and severely damaged the tail rotor. Shortly after, the helicopter became uncontrollable and collided with terrain. All occupants were fatally injured.

Within a few days of the accident, the TSB issued a safety advisory to raise awareness about the risks associated with unsecured cargo and unrestrained passengers in aircraft. During its investigation, the TSB found that the practice of carrying external loads attached to the platform, for flight to and from work sites, was not a formalized procedure at the company and, as a result, adequate controls were not in place to ensure that objects were properly stored or secured.

The investigation also found that prior to the occurrence, the shoulder harness portions of the backseat safety belts were rolled up and taped with electrical tape, thereby preventing their use. There was a perception within the company that the use of the shoulder harness was optional as long as the lap strap was used. “The Canadian Aviation Regulations currently define a safety belt as “a personal restraint system consisting of either a lap strap or a lap strap combined with a shoulder harness,” said Kathy Fox, Chair of the TSB. “Because of the word either, pilots and passengers may interpret the regulation to mean that use of the lap strap alone is sufficient. We want that uncertainty removed.”

After the accident, Transport Canada published a safety letter that emphasized the importance of pilots wearing both the lap strap and the shoulder harness portion of the safety belt, whenever it is available. Hydro One Networks Inc. also took a number of corrective actions, such as suspending operations involving the external platform, completing a comprehensive review of its operations manual and procedures, and enhancing its training programs.

See the investigation page for further information and more details about the Board’s recommendation and the investigation findings.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

The TSB is online at www.tsb.gc.ca. Keep up to date through RSSTwitter (@TSBCanada), YouTubeFlickr and our blog.

SOURCE Transportation Safety Board of Canada