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RBI Hawker receives CASA approval to open base in Brisbane



RBI Hawker has received official CASA approval to commence operation in its new rotary blade repair facility in Brisbane.

The business, which services commercial and military helicopter operators, expressed interest last year in expanding its facilities into Australia and has now just received Part 145 maintenance organisation approval.

Part 145 is a set of regulations outlining the minimum safety outcomes for the maintenance of aircraft and aeronautical products. This was the last regulatory hurdle required for RBI Hawker to open a base in Australia.

“With this expansion, our goal is to ensure access to rotary repair services for customers in the Asia-Pacific region, said Ian D’Arcy, Jet Aviation’s vice president North East Asia. “We have continued to expand our service offering throughout our 15 years of operation and this CASA approval demonstrates our ongoing commitment to service support and excellence.”

The company will operate out of a 1,000-square-metre hangar facility in north Brisbane

Since 2005, the company has operated in regions across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Dubai. The company is an authorised Bell CSF and Leonardo Service Centre with an extensive OEM-approved standard and expanded repair portfolio.


Brendan McDonald, RBI Hawker’s operations manager in Australia, said, “Customers are increasingly looking for more local, accessible services in the Asia-Pacific region. Our new facility will help us remain the customer’s partner of choice, and we look forward to welcoming helicopter owners and operators to our new Australian location.”

The business chose Australia as its next location because it comes with easy access to transportation links by sea, air and road. This was strategic, ensuring it could transport blades seamlessly anywhere in the region, ultimately reducing reduction in costs and time.

RBI Hawker early last year received original equipment manufacturer (OEM) approval for successfully completing the industry’s first leading-edge abrasion strip replacement on the Leonardo AW139 main rotor blade at its facility in Dubai. The company is now the only OEM-authorised facility to offer this repair, according to Defence Connect.

Part 145 maintenance organisational approval is part of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (1998) legislation.

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Royal Air Maroc Eyes Return Of The Boeing 737 MAX



Royal Air Maroc is looking at returning its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet to the skies as early as next month. The Moroccan airline, which has two MAX 8s in its fleet, is likely to deploy the jets between Casablanca (CMN) and Accra, Bologna, Lagos, London Heathrow, and Paris.

Royal Air Maroc hopes to return its MAX’s to service next month. Photo: John Taggart via Wikimedia Commons

MAX 8 fleet to return in July

After grounding its 737 MAX 8s in 2019 in the aftermath of two deadly MAX accidents, Royal Air Maroc is set to return the plane to service next month. The airline is considering relaunching the MAX as early as July.

Royal Air Maroc took delivery of its two MAX 8s after the first MAX accident (Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29th, 2018), so its planes saw minimal usage before they were grounded after the second accident on March 10th, 2019.

737 MAX
The MAX was grounded in March 2019 before recertification in late-2020. Photo: Getty Images

The airline’s two MAX 8s (CN-MAX and CN-MAY) have both been in storage for over two years. It received the first (CN-MAX) in December 2018 and the second (CN-MAY) on March 1st, 2019, just nine days before Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. According to ch-aviation, the latter jet clocked in just 17 flight hours before it was grounded.

Although Royal Air Maroc hasn’t confirmed which routes the MAX 8 will operate on, Accra, Bologna, Lagos, London Heathrow, and Paris were earmarked before the carrier was forced to ground the plane.

Royal Air Maroc retrains pilots

Boeing made a swathe of technical changes to the MAX in light of the two accidents, both involving the plane’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system. Royal Air Maroc has confirmed that its pilots have been fully retrained on the technical changes made to the MAX during its recertification.

With the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recertifying the MAX in November 2020 and other agencies worldwide following suit, many airlines have already reintroduced their MAX fleets to the skies. However, others, including SpiceJet, are still having problems getting the MAX recertified in their respective countries.

737 MAX
Many airlines have already returned their MAX jets to service. Photo: Getty Images

The plane was affected by another problem in April this year, this time involving electrical issues with a power control unit. Over 100 MAX jets were grounded as a result, which took Boeing over a month to solve before the FAA approved their fixes.

Additional flights to Europe this summer

With summer now upon us, Royal Air Maroc will operate additional flights to Europe to cope with increasing demand. The airline plans to operate extra flights to Bologna, Milan, Brussels, Paris Roissy, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Lyon. However, the increased schedule will only run for a short time from July 15-21 and August 15-18.

Royal Air Maroc will offer an increased schedule to and from European destinations. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The airline is also participating in a special program (Marhaba Operation) to facilitate the return of expatriate Moroccans. This annual program helps Moroccans residing abroad (MREs) to return home for the summer, with over 2.5 million expatriate Moroccans visiting in 2019.

This year, Royal Air Maroc reported over 120,000 flight reservations in just 24 hours after offering special discounted prices as part of the Marhaba Operation. The discounted prices were ordered personally by King Mohammed VI to help expatriate Moroccans get home affordably for the summer.

Are you happy to see the Boeing 737 MAX return to service? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Solvay launches ‘breakthrough’ adhesive for aerospace industry



New adhesive and surfacing technology innovations will increase efficiency for aerospace manufacturers, Solvay says.

The company is launching AeroPaste 1006, 1009 and 1100 adhesive pastes and BR 179 non-chromate primer. These breakthrough aerospace adhesive and surfacing technology innovations not only increase part assembly efficiency but also offer unmatched processing flexibility, making them ideal for ever-increasing production rates.

AeroPaste is Solvay’s new generation of epoxy-based structural paste adhesives that provide film-like property and performance, comparable or superior to leading film adhesives on the market.

Designed specifically to enable rapid assembly and automation, this new portfolio of paste adhesives will support industrialisation requirements in the aerospace industry. AeroPaste will increase manufacturers’ efficiency and output by enabling fast and easy application, and offer excellent tolerance to variations in bondline thickness.

AeroPaste offers manufacturers flexibility and meets a variety of application requirements.

BR 179, Solvay’s next generation, sustainable, non-chromate primer is a breakthrough innovation in the world of aerospace primers. A truly sustainable solution for adhesive bonding, this non-chromated primer provides corrosion resistance comparable to benchmark chromated primers. BR 179 offers superior tolerance to primer thickness variations, excellent mechanical properties and usage flexibility with an out-life of up to 180 days, making it the ideal primer for aerospace fabricators.

“Solvay’s deep understanding of the industry’s needs and challenges is driving our new product developments. By focusing on innovation, process efficiencies as well as sustainability, we provide a step change to our customers” said Mike Blair, head of research & innovation for Solvay Composite Materials global business unit.

Overall, Solvay’s adhesive and surfacing technology support increased production rates, improved manufacturing efficiency and the growing demand for sustainable solutions. Solvay’s technologies are qualified by all major commercial and defence aerospace OEMs and enable the development of light, safe and fuel efficient aircraft.

Attend the company’s on-demand technical presentations and live product showcase 30th at SAMPE neXus 2021 virtual event to get the latest technical information on these innovations.


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HP and 3dbpm partnership reveal key additive manufacturing role



HP and 3dbpm partnership reveal key additive manufacturing role

With 3D printing making an impact on the digitalisation of manufacturing and the disruption of industries, a new study by HP in partnership with 3dbpm Research found that additive manufacturing (AM) is playing a significant role in enabling this transition.

According to the study, which analysed key digital manufacturing trends among leading industrial parts manufacturers in Europe, 96% of respondents agreed that additive manufacturing helps them to get products to market faster, with 100% of respondents recognising the importance of increasingly digitising their production workflows with the ability to produce parts on demand as the biggest driver of this behaviour.

In addition, it was discovered that 63% of European parts manufacturers who took part in the survey will invest from €100,000 to over a million in digitalisation over the next 12 months, as the power of this agile ecosystem and technological capabilities are proving themselves in the most demanding of circumstances.

The HP AM Trends in EMEA Report dissects the motivations and investment strategies of manufacturers across five key European markets: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and the UK. Led by 3dpbm, a sample of industrial parts manufacturers of varying sizes and across a broad range of specialisations were independently surveyed. The study examines how firms that have already implemented digital and additive manufacturing processes for the production of industrial parts, perceive the benefits of pursuing such a strategy, and to what extent they expect the macrotrend to continue to accelerate in the short and medium-term.

“A digital transformation of manufacturing is underway,” said Guyante Sanmartin, managing director, UK&I, HP Inc. “The leading companies of the future will be those that harness the power of software, data, AI, and digital manufacturing to reinvent and personalise customer products and experiences. Great progress has been made over the last few years, with our HP Multi Jet Fusion technology delivering more than 60 million 3D printed parts since its inception. The need for this technology has increased exponentially over the last 15 months.”

Sustainable impact

The report indicated that sustainability has an influence on the decision to digitalise manufacturing workflows, with 61% of respondents agreeing that it is a relevant factor driver behind digitalisation. In addition, 91% noted that the ability to produce parts on demand was an important benefit, with a further 79% of those surveyed believing that additive manufacturing helps them deal with production challenges – such as the ability to adapt to fluctuating demand.

“The advanced capabilities of 3D printing are creating entirely new opportunities for disruption across industries and with a far more environmentally sustainable approach, which is a significant driver for manufacturers today,” said Dave Prezzano, managing director, UK&I, HP Inc. “For 50% of UK manufacturers, sustainability is a key factor in the decision to digitalise, who are recognising that 3D printing and its intrinsically flexible nature can empower a more circular economy.”

Digital transformation

The report reveals that additive manufacturing operates as a key opportunity in the digitalisation of industrial manufacturing processes, with digitalisation considered a necessity for the near entirety of manufacturing processes by a large majority of survey respondents (96%).

The use of additive manufacturing in industrial parts manufacturing was reported as key to producing more cost-effective components, as well as making better products at faster speeds. UK and German industrial parts manufacturers interviewed are planning the most significant investments in digitalisation and additive manufacturing, with 50% of British and 40% of German respondents saying they intend to spend more than €1 million over the next five years.

Other findings revealed that 83% of survey respondents use additive manufacturing for the actual production of components and tools to make commercial products, with half of them (52%) already making complete finished products which is the final frontier of addictive manufacturing.

Analysis of country-specific trends dominates the second half of the report, providing a clear picture of different approaches taken across key European markets. The report finds that, among all European survey respondents, British industrial parts manufacturers are the ones planning the most significant investments in digitalisation and additive manufacturing, with 50% saying they intend to spend more than €1m over the next five years.

Respondents in the UK also showed high confidence in growth of additive manufacturing in the medium-term future, with 100% expecting extreme growth. When it came to stating what they believed to be the main drivers behind digitalisation, British industrial parts manufacturers stated that on demand production (33%) and the ability to make parts that can’t be produced with traditional manufacturing processes (34%) were key. 50% also stated production flexibility as the main benefit of additive manufacturing.

“We mainly focus on low volume batch production of engineering parts and we produce as many as 750,000 parts per year,” says Nick Allen, managing director of 3DPRINTUK, one of the British industrial parts manufacturers that took part in the survey. “We’ve seen an average growth of 32% over the past few years and we are projecting 55% growth in 2021. The trend towards using additive manufacturing for production is ever-increasing: we have watched the industry evolve over the last 10 years. When we started, we were producing 90% prototypes but now we’re producing around 90% end-use parts. More and more companies are adopting additive into their products and I see no reason for that growth to slow. We, for one, have doubled our capacity over the past 12 months and are looking to further increase it over the coming 12 months.”

This report builds on the findings of HP’s Digital Manufacturing Trend Report published in October 2020, providing a more extensive analysis of key drivers, investment strategies and country specific trends within Europe.

Highlights of HP’s AM Trends in EMEA Report include:


UK industrial parts manufacturers prepared for the largest investment in digitalisation and additive manufacturing

  • British industrial parts manufacturers interviewed are planning the most significant investments in digitalisation and additive manufacturing, with 50% of British respondents saying they intend to spend more than €1m over the next five years and the total of them planning to invest between €500,000 and €1m
  • British industrial parts manufacturers interviewed are accelerating the adoption of addictive manufacturing for final parts production with all the survey respondents (100%) expecting extreme growth of additive manufacturing in the near-to medium-term future
  • 50% of British survey respondents said the key benefit of additive manufacturing is production flexibility (on-demand production, rapid spare parts manufacturing)
  • Sustainability is an important factor behind the decision to digitalise for 50% of the British industrial parts manufacturers surveyed


European industrial parts manufacturers agree on urgent need for increased digitalisation

  • 100% of respondents recognise the importance of increasingly digitalising their production workflows.
  • 70% of respondents said that the primary driver for digitalising manufacturing workflows is the ability to produce parts on demand.
  • 63% of respondents expect to spend more than €100,000 on digitalisation of their manufacturing workflows over the next 12-month period.
  • 61% of respondents stated that sustainability is relevant or very relevant to increasingly digitalise their manufacturing workflows.

Industrial tooling disruption underway with additive manufacturing

  • Over 95% of respondents indicated that additive manufacturing is a relevant technology for digitalisation in their current manufacturing workflows.
  • 91% of respondents said that they use additive manufacturing to make industrial tools (including jigs, fixtures, and moulds). These tools are used to produce more parts via non-additive processes. Other relevant types of parts include EOAT and automation system components.
  • 52% of respondents use additive manufacturing for making complete finished products

Additive manufacturing improves part functionality and production flexibility

  • 96% of respondents say that additive manufacturing helps them get a product to market faster.
  • 91% of respondents indicated that the ability to produce parts on demand is a key benefit of 3D printing.
  • 79% of respondents said that additive manufacturing helped them deal with production challenges related to Covid-19.

European industrial parts manufacturers are confident on the future growth of additive manufacturing

  • Over 95% of respondents expect the use of additive manufacturing to continue to grow.
  • 83% of respondents are likely to invest in expanding their digital manufacturing capabilities in the next 12 months. For 65% of them, this investment will include additive manufacturing.
  • 92% of respondents are likely to invest in expanding their digital manufacturing capabilities in the next five years. For 77% of them, this investment will include additive manufacturing.


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Transavia Eyes Holiday Destinations This Summer



Budget airline Transavia’s French branch says it has seen a substantial increase in bookings over the past few weeks. Attributed to a ‘catch-up’ effect and a strong desire for leisure travel, it has caused the low-cost specialist to schedule as many flights over the next two months as it did for the same period in 2019.

Transavia France is expecting to have as many seats available in July and August as it did in 2019. Photo: Transavia

Flights to Greece up by 40%

While the crisis continues for many airlines around the world, some are seeing a rebound close to pre-pandemic levels. Air France-KLM Group’s wholly-owned low-cost subsidiary Transavia revealed Monday that it would be operating even more services from France to Greece this year than it did in the summer of 2019, increasing flights by as much as 40%.

With bookings for leisure destinations Spain and Portugal also doing well, overall, the airline will make as many seats available for July and August as it did two years ago. In terms of load factors for June, Transavia France is already at about 70% of pre-crisis levels, compared to only 50% in April.

The airline’s CEO, Nathalie Stubler, told BFM Business yesterday that the carrier had seen a 30% to 40% increase in sales over the past few weeks compared to the same time in 2019. She attributed this both to a ‘catch-up effect’ from the months of little to no sales but also to strong demand for leisure travel from French holidaymakers.

Bookings may also have been helped along by the news that all member states must roll out the EU digital health passport by July 1st. Several countries, including Greece, have already begun using the system.

Transavia 737
Air France is looking to double the size of its low-cost branch, the airline’s CEO said Monday. Photo: Bene Riobó via Wikimedia Commons

Transavia France set to ‘double in size’

While Transavia France will be operating a schedule reaching 2019 capacity, parent airline Air France is planning for 65% of pre-crisis levels for July and August. Transavia’s network news came just as Air France CEO Ben Smith announced at the Paris Air Show that the parent airline group would be investing heavily in its budget subsidiary.

“We have accelerated the growth of our low-cost carrier Transavia. The point-to-point market continues to become more commoditized, and Transavia is the right tool to compete with our biggest low-cost competitors. We are doubling its size,” Mr Smith said Monday. 

Transavia is an all-Boeing 737 airline with close to 90 planes across its two fleets. Photo: Transavia

Transavia currently flies to and from six destinations in France – Paris-Orly, Bergerac, Montpellier, Nice, Toulon, and Grenoble. Pre-crisis, it flew to an additional 19 countries with a total of 88 destinations, serving 157 routes.

Like many other low-cost specialists, the airline operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet. Transavia France has 48 737-800s, with another two on order. Only three of the planes are currently listed as inactive. Its Schiphol-based Dutch sister carrier, Transavia Airlines, has 39 planes – four 737-700s and 35 737-800s.

Will you be flying with Transavia this summer? What prompted your booking? Leave a comment below and tell us about it. 

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