• Wheels Up buys business aircraft operator Gama

    US business aircraft charter company Wheels Up has acquired aircraft operator Gama Aviation Signature, a private aviation services company that provides aircraft management, private jet charter, and ancillary support for its managed aircraft.

    Gama Aviation Signature has been the exclusive operator of the Wheels Up fleet of King Air 350i, Citation Excel/XLS and Citation X aircraft since Wheels Up launched in 2013.
    In late January, Delta acquired 27% of Wheels Up for an undisclosed sum. At that time, Delta combined Wheels Up into its in-house charter business Delta Private Jets, which had operated some 70 aircraft. With this latest purchase, Wheels Up now has an owned and managed fleet of over 300 planes.

  • Coronavirus: China’s international capacity drops by two-thirds

    The number of international departure seats from China is set to drop by more than two-thirds in March compared with the same month a year ago, research by ASM and Routes has found. The massive reduction comes as airlines around the world, along with those in China, respond to the global spread of COVID-19 coronavirus following a surge in the number of serious cases.

    Analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the total number of international departure seats from China will total 2.76 million in March, down from 8.32 million in March 2019. The figures represent a capacity decline of 66.8%. Out of the top 20 biggest overseas markets, the largest drop in capacity is on flights to the US. In March 2020, the total number to the US is scheduled to be just 45’506, a decrease of 89%. www.routesonline.com
    IATA requests global suspension of slot rules
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is contacting aviation regulators worldwide to request that the rules governing use of airport slots be suspended immediately and for the 2020 season, due to the impact of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus). Around 43% of all passengers depart from over 200 slot coordinated airports worldwide. At present, the rules for slot allocation mean that airlines must operate at least 80% of their allocated slots under normal circumstances. Failure to comply with this means the airline loses its right to the slot the next equivalent season.

  • Second fire involving an electric prototype aircraft

    The German eVTOL developer Lilium has confirmed that its first full-scale Lilium Jet demonstrator was substantially damaged in a fire that broke out during ground maintenance activities on Feb. 27 at its headquarters near Munich. Lilium’s eVTOL, which it calls Jet was used for unmanned air-taxi testing. Lilium says it will introduce its urban air mobility (UAM) service in 2025.

    This is the second fire involving an electric aircraft in less than two months. Eviation’s fully electric aircraft, Alice, reportedly caught fire while engaging in ground testing at the Prescott Regional Airport in Prescott, Arizona, on January 22. An Eviation statement said a “ground-based battery system” is believed to have caused the fire. The Alice is an all-electric aircraft with room for nine aimed for the regional market. Israel-based Eviation is aiming to complete type certification for the fixed-wing Alice before the end of 2022 under the FAA’s Part 23 rules. 


  • People: Dassault Aviation appoints Charles Wemaëre Vice President, worldwide spares

    Dassault Aviation has appointed Charles Wemaëre Vice President, Worldwide Spares, with responsibility for spare parts strategy and logistics efforts for the global Falcon fleet. He will report to Pierre Thielin, VP, Worldwide Customer Service, within Dassault’s Civil Aviation Department.

    Charles Wemaëre Wemaëre previously served as Deputy Manager to Serge Elias, the former VP Worldwide Spares, who is retiring. Following an extensive career in the automotive industry, Wemaëre joined Dassault Aviation in 2011 as a Sales Director responsible for spare parts in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In this capacity, he was instrumental in moves to regroup all Falcon spares resources in a new facility in Bordeaux-Mérignac, and to build a vast state-of-the-art distribution center in Tremblay, near Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, to enhance spare parts delivery and efficiency throughout the Dassault Aviation worldwide network.
    Wemaëre holds an engineering degree from the Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble. His passions include cabinet making and apiculture.

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