Avianca Holdings announces fleet plan optimization
January 08, 2020
Avianca Holdings has made this announcement regarding its future fleet plans:
As part of the implementation of the “Avianca 2021 Plan”, Avianca management has reached the following agreements to tailor its aircraft commitments to its future requirements: In cooperation with Airbus, the Company has reduced its firm commitments to 88 A320neo aircraft (from 108). Previously scheduled firm A320neo family deliveries in 2020 through 2024 have been deferred or cancelled. The 88 remaining commitments are now scheduled for delivery in 2025 through 2028 (20 per year) with the balance in 2029 (8), These agreements provide comprehensive financial benefits, with significant Capex reduction in the period through the end of 2024. Separately, Avianca has agreed to enter into 12-year operating leases for up to 12 A320neo aircraft with BOC Aviation. Deliveries to occur after 2023, consistent with the Avianca 2021 plan. Finally, Avianca reached a mutually beneficial agreement with Boeing with regards to the outstanding 787-9 deliveries. CFO Adrian Neuhauser said “The completion of these three major aircraft transactions, coupled with the recently completed financial reprofiling and securing of $375 million of new long-term capital financing, places Avianca in a solid position as it moves forward with the Avianca 2021 Plan.”
Crashed UIA 737 came down minutes after Tehran take-off
January 08, 2020
Iranian investigators have formally identified a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 which crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport.
The Civil Aviation Organisation says the twinjet was registered UR-PSR and had been bound for Kiev.
It states that the aircraft took off at 06:12, operating as flight PS752, but lost contact with air traffic control at 06:18, just 6min later.
Take-off was conducted from Imam Khomeini’s runway 29R.
The CAO states that the aircraft came near in a district of Tehran called Saba Shahr. This area lies to the northwest of the airport.
Preliminary indications, it adds, point to no survivors among the 167 passengers and nine crew members.
Meteorological data from Imam Khomeini airport indicate temperatures marginally below freezing but no adverse weather otherwise.
“Investigation and rescue teams have been sent to the accident site,” says the CAO. “The process of data collection and accident investigation has begun.”
Most of the occupants were Iranian nationals, it adds, although citizens from other nations were also on board. Ukraine International Airlines says the aircraft disappeared from radar contact “just minutes after departure” from Tehran. It says it is still working to determine the precise number of passengers on board the jet. The carrier says it is suspending flights to Tehran “indefinitely” in the aftermath of the accident, although it has not indicated whether this relates directly to the crash or the recent US-Iranian political tensions. UIA states that it is “working closely with the aviation authorities”, to “do its best” to find out the causes of the accident. It adds that the aircraft entered its fleet in 2016, directly from the manufacturing facility, and underwent scheduled maintenance on 6 January 2020.
US bans airlines from flying over Iraq and Iran after Tehran launched missile strikes on bases
January 08, 2020
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it is banning U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia after Iran launched a missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq. Several foreign airlines said they would now avoid flying over the affected areas. Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S.-led coalition personnel, the U.S. military said on Tuesday night. The FAA said it issued the airspace ban "due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations." Several non-U.S. airlines had flights over parts of Iraq and Iran at the time, according to FlightRadar24 data. They are not directly affected by the FAA ban, but foreign carriers and their national regulators typically consider U.S. advice carefully when deciding where to fly. Before the latest guidance, the FAA had already prohibited U.S. carriers from flying below 26,000 feet over Iraq and from flying over an area of Iranian airspace above the Gulf and Gulf of Oman since Iran shot down a high-altitude U.S. drone last June. Carriers are increasingly taking steps to limit threats to their planes after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in 2014 by a missile over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Re-routing around conflict airspace adds to flight times and burns extra fuel. Korean Air Lines Co Ltd and Thai Airways said they had been avoiding Iranian and Iraqi airspace before the attack on U.S. troops. Transport Canada said it was in close contact with the FAA about the situation in the Middle East and that Air Canada was altering its routes.
Source: The Telegraph