Avianca Brazil appoints new CEO
February 12, 2019
Avianca Brazil has appointed industry veteran Jorge Vianna its new chief executive effective immediately, replacing Frederico Pedreira at the bankrupt carrier.

Pedreira will remain “providing his support to the operation during the transition period”, the carrier says in a statement.

Vianna returns to a company he knows well. He served as vice-president of Ocean Air, which was rebranded Avianca Brazil in 2014, from 2001 to 2009. During his tenure, he oversaw the transition to a scheduled carrier from an air taxi and charter airline serving the country’s oil industry.

Since departing Ocean Air, he held several executive positions with Puma Air and regional carrier Passaredo Airlines.

The challenges Vianna faces are significant. He will have to make travel agencies and passengers feel confident about the airline’s future, while creating confidence with creditors and lessors and potentially stop the already-underway aircraft repossession processes.

Avianca Brazil hopes to get a $75 million lifeline from three US investment funds belonging to Paul Singer's Elliott Management until April, when the bankruptcy court will issue a decision on the airline’s restructuring plan.

Pilots worries over 'serious' fire risk from hold baggage devices
February 05, 2019
Cockpit crew representatives are warning that the risk of a serious fire from personal electronic devices is greater than previously anticipated, and that all large devices should be banned from carriage in the aircraft baggage hold.

International pilots’ federation IFALPA says the risk of fire is “not new” but has previously been considered “acceptable”.

But changes in passenger behaviour, and research into thermal runaway, have demonstrated that even a single lithium-ion battery poses a threat when placed in the vicinity of commonly-carried flammable liquids, such as cosmetics.

While researchers once assumed passengers only packed small devices in hold baggage, to reduce the possibility of larger devices being stolen or damaged, recent data “suggests otherwise”, says the association.

“Not only do many [devices] end up in checked luggage, they are also often not powered-off or not protected against inadvertent activation, as required by regulation,” it adds.

“The different modes of laptop computers – sleep, hibernation, on, off – and their lengthy shutdown routines, especially when automatic updates are being installed, can also make passengers erroneously believe that their [device] is depowered.”

Airbus probes cyber security breach
January 30, 2019
Airbus is probing a security breach involving access of information connected to its commercial aircraft activities.

The airframer says the “cyber incident” resulted in “unauthorised” access to personal data.

But it stresses that the event, centred on its commercial aircraft business information systems, had no impact on the company’s commercial operations.


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