Wednesday, May 24, 2017

German Navy FGS Rhein calls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Elbe-class auxiliary vessel FGS Rhein (A 513) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The German tender currently deployed in the Mediterranean and forms part of the E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

FGS Rhein is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port next week. (24-May-2017)

Maleth-Aero strikes partnership deal with Oryx Jet

Malta's Maleth-Aero has announced it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with UK-based executive aviation specialist Oryx Jet wherein the two will combine their respective industry expertise to further their B737 VIP charter operations and ACMI activities.

Under the terms of the deal, disclosed last week in a press communique, Malta-based Maleth Aero said it would focus on a wide range of services including aircraft management and charters while Oryx Jet would handle the VIP sales for the B737s. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 24-May-2017)

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Registry update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-TJG - Boeing B737-800 (c/n. 29120/202), registered to Corendon Airlines Europe (ex TC-TJG)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 19-May-2017)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Armed Forces of Malta inaugurates its third new B200 King Air maritime patrol aircraft

A  state-of-the-art King Air maritime patrol aircraft for border control and an explosive ordnance disposal robot for detection and bomb disposal valued at €16 million co-financed by the E.U. were inaugurated today by the Armed Forces of Malta. Minister for Home Affairs and National Security C. Abela, Parliamentary Secretary for the E.U. Presidency 2017 and E.U. Funds I. Borg, and Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta J. Curmi presided over the ceremony held at the Air Wing in Luqa.

Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta J. Curmi said that this new King Air maritime patrol aircraft is specifically designed to incorporate innovative capabilities on many levels. Some of the aircraft's features include improved situational awareness with the ability to have a maritime domain awareness picture and advanced navigational capabilities. (Source: independent.com.mt, 22-May-2017)

Airbus Corporate Jets launches ACJ330neo

Airbus Corporate Jets has launched a private jet version of its new A330neo, which combines new-generation engines and aerodynamic and other improvements to deliver even more comfort, efficiency and true "nonstop to the world" range. Called the ACJ330neo, it will fly 25 passengers 9,400-nm/17,400-km or 20 hours, enough to fly nonstop from Europe to Australia. Featuring a very spacious cabin the ACJ330neo readily accommodates conference/dining areas, a private office, bedroom, bathroom and guest seating, and can be fully customised to suit customer needs. (Source: Airbus, 22-May-2017)

Monday, May 22, 2017

French Navy FS Thetis calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy auxiliary vessel FS Thetis (A 785) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

The French mine-warfare experimentation vessel is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (22-May-2017)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

British Airways' flight bound to Catania diverts to Malta IAP

A British Airways A319-100 (G-DBCG), performing flight BA-2592 from London-Gatwick (U.K.) to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy), had to divert to Malta IAP this afternoon after one missed approached at Catania due to strong winds on the final approach. The flight then continued to Catania reaching destination with a delay of 3-hrs 50-mins on its original scheduled time. (21-May-2017)

Wizz Air launches new route Belgrade-Malta IAP

Wizz Air launched today its new route between Belgrade (Serbia) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (HA-LPQ) landed at Malta IAP (W6-4021) at 1431lt. The return flight to Belgrade departed from Malta IAP (W6-4022) at 1547lt. WizzAir will be operating this new route twice-weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays. (21-May-2017)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Severnaya Verf SY launches second Project 18280 intelligence-gathering ship for Russian Navy

Russian Navy's second Project 18280 intelligence-gathering ship Ivan Khurs was launched during a ceremony held at St. Petersburg’s Severnaya Verf Shipyard on May 16th. Ivan Khurs is the second of overall four planned vessels in the Yury Ivanov-class.

Named after Russian Vice-Admiral Ivan Khurs, the vessel is 95m long and displaces 4000 tons. It has a cruising range of 8000 nautical miles and is crewed by 131 sailors. Project 18280 ships are used for signals intelligence and electronic warfare in addition to fleet management roles. (Source: navaltoday.com, 17-May-2017)

Lockheed Martin-led team lays keel on 19th littoral combat ship for USN

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's 19th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS St. Louis, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Ship sponsor B. Broadhurst Taylor completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 17-May-2017)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

European Commission updates the E.U. Air Safety List

Today the European Commission updated the E.U. Air Safety List, the list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.

Following today's update, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique are cleared from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation in these countries. On the other hand, the airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation.

Following today's update, a total of 181 airlines are banned from E.U. skies:
  • 174 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.
  • Seven individual airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to these airlines themselves: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the E.U. with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola). (Source: europa.eu, 16-May-2017)

Boeing delivers its first 737 MAX to customer

Boeing today marked the first delivery of the new 737 MAX. The airplane, a 737 MAX 8, was handed over to Malindo Air at the Seattle Delivery Center. The Malaysia-based airline will be the first to put the 737 MAX into commercial service. (Source: Boeing, 16-May-2017)

General Atomics receives contract for 36 MQ-9 Reapers

General Atomics has been awarded a $399,979,895 firm-fixed-price contract for MQ-9 Reaper production. Contractor will produce 36 MQ-9 Reaper aircraft in the fiscal 2016 production configuration. Work is expected to be complete by Aug. 31ST, 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-15-G-4040 0001). (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 16-May-2017)

Northrop Grumman receives contract for three MQ-4C Tritons

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. is being awarded $303,936,000 for modification P00017 to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract (N00019-15-C-0002) for the procurement of three low-rate initial production Lot 2 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.  In addition, this modification provides for one main operation control station, one forward operation control station, trade studies, and tooling. Work is expected to be completed in April 2021. U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 16-May-2017)

Singapore signs contract to acquire two more submarines

The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with ThyssenKrupp Marine System GmBH to acquire two additional Type 218SG submarines. The contract includes a logistics package and a crew training arrangement in Germany.

Tailored to meet the RSN's unique operational requirements, the Type 218SG submarines incorporate design innovation and advanced maintenance and engineering concepts to optimise training, operation and maintenance costs. (Source: Singapore Ministry of Defence, 16-May-2017)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Royal Danish HDMS Peter Willemoes calls at Valletta Port

The Royal Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit

The Royal Danish frigate is presently berthing alongside at Shipwrights wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Thursday, May 18th. (16-May-2017)

First Typhoon handed over to Oman

The first Typhoon for the Royal Air Force of Oman has been formally presented by BAE today. Oman announced its decision to purchase twelve Typhoon and eight Hawk aircraft in December 2012. Deliveries are due to begin later this year.

An invited audience of more than 100 delegates witnessed the event at BAE Systems site in Warton, Lancashire, including His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Saud al Busaidi, the Sultanate of Oman’s Minister Responsible For Defence Affairs and the Commander of the Royal Air Force of Oman, Air Vice-Marshal Mattar bin Ali bin Mattar Al Obaidani. (Source: ukdefencejournal.org.uk, 15-May-2017)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Turkey orders 52 Super Mushshak trainers from PAC

On the second day of the 2017 International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF), which is taking place in Istanbul, the Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industries (SSM) awarded a contract of 52 Super Mushshak trainers to Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). This is PAC’s largest single order for Super Mushshak since the aircraft’s introduction in 2002. (Source: Quwa.org, 10-May-2017)

Friday, May 12, 2017

AirBaltic's Malta-bound flight from Riga diverts to Rome-Fiumicino

An AirBaltic Bombardier CS-300 (YL-CSB), performing flight BT-739 from Riga (Latvia) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Rome-Fiumicino early this morning after two missed approaches at Malta IAP due to strong winds on the final approach. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 4-hrs 15-mins on its original scheduled time. (12-May-2017)

Delta orders 30 additional A321s

Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.)-based Delta Air Lines has placed an incremental order for 30 firm A321ceo aircraft. This order follows three previous Delta orders for the Current Engine Option version of the largest Airbus A320 Family member. The airline took delivery of its first A321 in March of last year. Delta now has ordered a total of 112 A321s, each powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International. (Source: Airbus, 11-May-2017)

Primera Air orders up to 12 737 MAX 9s, to lease eight more from ALC

Boeing and Primera Air today announced an order for eight 737 MAX 9 airplanes, valued at more than $950 million at list prices. The agreement also includes purchase rights for four additional 737 MAX 9s and a lease agreement for eight more airplanes from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). (Source: Boeing, 11-May-2017)

Italian Navy takes delivery of its fourth and final Type 212 submarine, Romeo Romei

Italian Navy received its fourth and final Todaro-class submarine Romeo Romei (S 529) during a ceremony held at Fincantieri's Muggiano, La Spezia, shipyard on May 11th. Romeo Romei is part of a second batch of Type 212 submarines, together with ITS Pietro Venuti (S 528) which was commissioned into service on Jul. 6th, 2016. First batch submarines ITS Salvatore Todaro (S 526) and Scire (S 527) entered service in 2006 and 2007, respectively. (Source: navaltoday.com, 11-May-2017)

Pakistan signs LOI to acquire four Project MILGEM corvettes

During the 2017 IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul, on May 10th, Pakistan signed an agreement to acquiring four Turkish Project MILGEM corvettes. Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) from Pakistan, signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Turkish STM for the corvette-construction. According to an announcement from the Turkish Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM), the deal is expected to be finalized on June 30, 2017. (Source: navaltoday.com, 11-May-2017)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for April 2017

Last month's passenger movements registered an increase of 26.6%, surpassing the half a million mark for the first time in April. Malta IAP welcomed a total of 530,576 passengers, on the back of an increase of 17.7% in seat capacity and an improvement of 5.3% in seat load factor.

April's strong performance partly stemmed from the Easter holiday effect, together with the start of new operations and the extension of certain winter routes into the summer period. The Cruise & Fly programme, which was launched at the beginning of last month, was an important contributing factor to the growth registered by both the United Kingdom and Germany.

The United Kingdom retained its top spot among M.I.A.'s top five markets, followed by Italy, Germany, France, and Belgium. Italy's growth was mainly generated on the Catania route, following increased flight frequencies to this destination. 

Meanwhile, enhanced seat capacity deployed on the Paris route and the launch of the new Bordeaux route in mid-April contributed to increased passenger numbers from France. Belgium was the market that registered the strongest growth, resulting from enhanced connectivity to Brussels.

While an average of 17,600 passengers passed through the airport every day, this figure spiked on the 13th of April. 23,400 passengers were welcomed at the terminal on the day, making it the busiest one of the year so far. (Source: maltairport.com, 10-May-2017)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Submarine ITS Scire collides with a merchant vessel in the Ionian Sea

Italian Navy submarine ITS Scire (S 527) collided with a merchant vessel in the evening of May 10th, the navy said in a statement. According to the navy, no one was injured and the merchant vessel was able to proceed under its own propulsion.
The Type 212 submarine was returning from exercises, transiting the Gulf of Squillace in the Ionian Sea when the incident happened. The submarine has continued her return to the homeport while the incident is under investigation, the navy said. (Source: navaltoday.com, 11-May-2017)

French Navy FS Cdt. Blaison calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Blaison (F 793) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Blaison is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta on Sunday, May 14th. (11-May-2017)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fincantieri lays keel of first multipurpose offshore patrol ship for Italian Navy

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri laid the keel for the Italian Navy's first Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) on May 9th. The ceremony took place at Fincantieri's shipyard in Muggiano, La Spezia. According to Fincantieri, the first of seven offshore patrol ships will be delivered in 2021. The PPA vessels are part of the Italian Navy’s fleet renewal plan, approved by the government and parliament and started in May 2015. (Source: navaltoday.com, 9-May-2017)

Cruiser USS Lake Champlain collides with a South Korean fishing vessel in international waters

U.S. Navy's guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) collided with South Korean fishing vessel in international waters off South Korea on May 9th. According to the USN, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser was conducting routine operations at approximately 11:50 a.m. (+9I) when the incident happened.

No one was injured in the incident and both vessels were able to sail on their own power, the navy added without providing additional info on the cause of collision. The incident is under investigation by both USN and South Korea Coast Guard while damage assessments of both the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser and the 60-70 ft. long fishing vessel are underway. (Source: navaltoday.com, 9-May-2017)

IndiGo selects the ATR 72-600 for its ambitious plans to enter regional market

ATR is pleased to announce that it has signed a term sheet with India’s largest airline by market share, IndiGo, for the sale of 50 ATR 72-600 aircraft, with the flexibility to reduce the number of aircraft deliveries based on certain conditions. In a deal valued at over US$ 1.3 billion at list price, the aircraft are expected to begin operations by the end of 2017. The airline is currently preparing for an ambitious development of its regional footprint. (Source: ATR, 9-May-2017)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Registry update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-AVA - Bombardier Global 5000 (c/n. 9633), registered to Maleth-Aero AOC Ltd. (ex M-DANK)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 5-May-2017)

Friday, May 5, 2017

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Registry update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-GGF - Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel (c/n. 560-5723), registered to TRTO Agency Ltd. (ex OE-GGF)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 3-May-2017)

Comac's C919 successfully completes its maiden flight

The first Comac C919 (B-001A) successfully completed its maiden flight at 1519lt today, after being airborne for one hour and nineteen minutes. The maiden sortie, flown from Shanghai's Pudong International airport, was broadcast live on Chinese television, with a camera behind the pilot's shoulder. Another camera mounted fore of the nose gear faced backward.

The landing gear was extended throughout the entire flight, which appeared to be uneventful. Comac says that all 15 parameter tests originally planned were successfully carried out during the first flight. After the landing, the aircraft taxied to a parking bay, where journalists gathered to film the aircraft's five man crew emerge. (Source: flightglobal.com, 5-May-2017)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

French Navy FS La Fayette calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy La Fayette-class frigate FS La Fayette (F 710) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

The French frigate is currently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Sunday, May 7th. (4-May-2017)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SR Technics to expand operations in Malta

SR Technics, an aircraft maintenance company with a base in Malta, is to expand its operations with the building of a new €30m six-bay hangar at Safi Aviation Park. A memorandum of understanding with the government was signed this morning. The investment will create 400 new jobs, bringing the staff compliment at the company up to 560. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 3-May-2017)

Air Malta registers double digit growth over easter

Air Malta has registered an impressive 14% increase this Easter when compared with Easter last year. The Easter weekend has been deemed a huge success by the airline as it operated 22 flights more than last year and carried an additional 3,000 passengers achieving an average load factor of over 90%. (Source: Air Malta, 2-May-2017)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pakistan AF Mirage jet crashes near Jhang, pilot ejects safely

A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) training jet crashed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning near Jhang, Express News reported. The Mirage was on routine training when it crashed in the Athara Hazari area. The pilot safely ejected the aircraft when it was about to crash, said a PAF spokesperson. No loss of life was reported. (Source: tribune.com.pk, 2-May-2017)

Boeing receives contract for 15 CH-47F cargo renew and new build helicopters for the Netherlands

Boeing was awarded a $541,088,553 modification (P00064) to foreign military sales (Netherlands) contract W58RGZ-13-C-0002 for production lot 15 CH-47F cargo renew and new build helicopters. Work has an estimated completion date of Dec. 3, 2020. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 28-Apr-2017)

Monday, May 1, 2017

TAAG B737 nose-gear collapse after landing at Soyo

A TAAG Angola Airlines Boeing 737-700 (D2-TBF), performing flight DT-130 from Luanda to Soyo (Angola) with 47 passengers and six crew, landed on Soyo's runway 24 at 11:00L (10:00Z) but came to a stop on the runway with nose gear retracted/collapsed. No injuries are being reported, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. (Source: avherald.com, 30-Apr-2017)