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Sudbury airport gets increase to city line of credit for post-pandemic planning

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‘We wanted to be prepared … our recovery could be long and tedious,’ airport CEO says

CBC News · Apr 29, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has put pressures and constraints on the Greater Sudbury Airport. Council has approved the airport’s request for a line of credit increase. (www.flysudbury.ca)

The Greater Sudbury Airport is preparing for change, once the pandemic is over and people start travelling again.

The development corporation that oversees the northern Ontario airport was approved by city council for a $5-million line of credit increase, bringing its total to $12.5 million.

Airport chief executive officer Todd Tripp told Sudbury city council Tuesday night that COVID-19 has added operational pressures.

“We just want to be prepared as we believe that we are a key economic driver for the city of Sudbury and the Greater Sudbury region,” he said.

Todd Tripp, CEO of the Greater Sudbury Airport, says the line of credit increase will help it deal with any uncertainty once travel picks up. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

The airport’s original borrowing limit was $7.5 million, meant for capital improvements and expansion projects. Although that total hasn’t been used up, according to Tripp, the $5-million approval will provide a cushion.

“We’re uncertain as to what industry is going to ask of us coming out of COVID, for the aviation industry,” he said. 

“We wanted to be prepared because we believe — and as some of the experts in the industry have said — our recovery could be long and tedious for us to come out of this.”

Preparing for unknown

Some modifications have already been made to the airport terminal to keep travellers safe, but Tripp is unsure what more will have to be done once travel picks up. 

“Some experts, if you can believe them, they’re saying that the pent-up demand to travel is going to be quite severe, especially in the leisure market.

“We may need these dollars to prepare our terminal building for a greater onslaught than we saw before,” he told councillors.

Ed Stankiewicz, executive director of finance, assets and fleet, told council the airport funds would not impact the city’s financial position, as it would come from the investment portfolio.

Other travel needs met

The Greater Sudbury Airport has kept going with essential travel, private flights and other services, despite the pandemic. 

“We also have been maintaining a full-on service and supporting of the medical facilities in Sudbury with bringing in new patients and everything else through the airport,” said Tripp.

“We’ve also had increased cargo, as many people have been buying online through Amazon and others.”

The airport has not received any government relief over the past year, but is awaiting responses to federal funding applications.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/sudbury-airport-gets-increase-to-city-line-of-credit-for-post-pandemic-planning/

Aviation

Libyan Coast Guard Shoots At Two Italian Fishing Boats: Italian Frigate And P-72A Surveillance Plane On The Scene

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P-72A Libya
A P-72A of the Italian Air Force (Image credit: Italian Air Force). In the right box the Libeccio frigate (Image credit: Italian Navy). In the left box: AIS situation off Libya (Image credit: MarineTraffic.com)

The Italian Navy and Air Force intervened in international waters off Libya after a Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat shot at Italian fishing boats.

Two Italian fishing boats were involved in an incident about 30 miles off Libya on May 6, 2021. Warning shots were fired at the Aliseo and Artemide fishing boats, in international waters, off Misrata by a Libyan Coast Guard patrol vessel: the commander of one of the two fishing boats was injured, the Italian media reported.

The Libeccio frigate of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare), supporting “Operazione Mare Sicuro” (Italian for “Safe Sea”) in the Mediterranean Sea was dispatched to assist the fishing boats. Operation “Mare Sicuro” was established in 2015, is a mission of the Italian Navy aimed at ensuring maritime security in the Central Mediterranean Sea – an area of major national interest – launched following the worsening of the Libyan crisis in order to provide presence, surveillance and maritime security, and to ensure freedom of navigation, according to national legislation and international agreements in force.

According to the Italian Navy, the Libeccio frigate was instructed to assist a group of three fishing boats (Artemide, Aliseo and Nuovo Cosimo) which were conducting fishing activities in the waters of Tripolitania,  within the “high risk” zone defined by the Interministerial Coordination Committee for Safety of Transport and Infrastructure  located 35 nautical miles from the Libyan coast, north of the city of Al Khums.

The intervention of the Italian Navy warship was requested due to the presence of a Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat rapidly approaching the Italian fishing boats.

Nave Libeccio, which at the time of the report was about 60 miles from the scene, headed towards the fishing boats at maximum speed and sent the helicopter, which reached the area and made radio contact with the patrol boat personnel.

The Libeccio frigate, which arrived in the vicinity of the fishing boats, received news of the presence of a seaman aboard Aliseo who was wounded in the arm.

Currently the fishing boats Artemide and Nuovo Cosimo are safely sailing northbound towards Mazara del Vallo harbour. The Libeccio frigate remained in support of the Aliseo fishing boat as the commander had been transhipped by Libyan personnel on board the patrol boat for medical checks and later released. The Aliseo fishing boat is currently free.

The P-72A

To verify the situation, a P-72A MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) was also dispatched to the area: the aircraft observed some warning shots from the Libyan patrol boat.

The aircraft, that operates a mixed Air Force/Navy crew, belongs to the 41° Stormo (Wing) an Italian Air Force unit based at Sigonella Air Base, in Sicily. The P-72A is a military variant of the ATR 72-600. The Italian Air Force has received four P-72s that the service has used to replace the Breguet BR1150 Atlantic.

The P-72A can undertake a variety of roles ranging from maritime patrol for the search and identification of surface vessels, SAR (search and rescue) missions, the prevention of narcotics trafficking, piracy, smuggling, territorial water security and monitoring and intervention in the event of environmental catastrophes. The P-72A is equipped with a communication suite that enables the aircraft to transmit or receive information in real-time to/from command and control centres either on the ground, in the air or at-sea, to ensure coordinated and effective operations. The aircraft is also equipped with a self-protection system. The aircraft is said to be able to fly missions lasting six and a half hours at ranges up to 200 nautical miles from its starting location.

P-72A Libya
The Atlantic and the P-72 flew alongside during the very last flight of the Atlantic, from Sigonella to Pratica di Mare on Nov. 22, 2017. (Image credit: Italian Air Force)

Previous incidents

The firing of warning shots at the Italian fishing boats is just the latest in a series of incidents in the troubled waters located within the ZPP (Zona Protezione Pesca – Fishing Protection Zone) unilaterally declared by Libya in 2005 with the intention of exercising sovereign rights over fishing resources.

Last year, the Antartide and Medinea fishing boats, were seized with eighteen seafarers on board and remained in Libya for 108 days before being able to return home on Dec. 20, 2020.

A few days ago, in the same area, the Italian Navy FREEM frigate Alpino was dispatched to protect a group of 7 fishing boats threatened by a rubber dinghy, coming from Cirenaica. The attempted seizure was averted by the timely intervention of the Alpino warship.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/05/06/libyan-coast-guard-incident/

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Startup Avelo Airlines To Launch East Coast Base In Connecticut

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A mere week after launching operations in California, ultra-low-cost startup Avelo Airlines has announced it will be expanding its operations to the East Coast. From the third quarter of 2021, Avelo will open a second base at Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN) in Connecticut, the airline said Thursday.

Avelo Boeing 737
Startup low-cost carrier Avelo is already expanding to the other side of the country. Photo: Avelo Airlines

Sees enormous potential at HVN

Avelo Airlines, flying out of Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) since April 28th, says it will be operating a single-class configuration Boeing 737-700NG to HVN. This means that it will take on more aircraft before Q3 as it currently only operates 737-800s.

It hopes the 737 will provide a more comfortable and attractive mainline jet experience for travelers from and to Southern Connecticut, compared to the smaller regional jets currently flying to the airport. Destinations are yet to be announced.

“We are very excited to partner with HVN as we begin to build our East Coast operations. Our surprisingly low fares and refreshingly smooth travel experience are sure to be embraced by residents of Southern Connecticut,” said Avelo’s Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy in a statement.

“Tweed New Haven has enormous potential, and our first East Coast base is great news for Avelo, New HavenEast Haven, and other local communities,” Mr Levy continued.

Avelo Ribbon Cutting
CEO Andrew Levy says Tweed New Haven has ‘enormous potential’. Photo: Avelo Airlines

More than 100 staff by the end of 2021

Tweed New Haven Airport is one of only two airports in Connecticut with regularly scheduled commercial service, the other being Bradley International in Windsor Locks. It is served by American Airlines under its American Eagle brand, with flights operated by PSA Airlines and Republic Airlines.

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Avelo Airlines is coming in with a $1.2 million investment towards the upgrade and modernization of the airport’s operations. It expects to employ more than 100 crewmembers at its new base by the end of the year. This includes pilots, cabin crew, customer support personnel, and technicians, most of whom will be hired locally.

“It is critically important for us to work with partners who share our ideals to maintain the convenience that people love about Tweed New Haven, while respecting the existing character of the local cities and their communities that we serve,” Sean Scanlon, Executive Director of Tweed New Haven Airport Authority, said.

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“We cannot imagine a better air partner to do this with than Avelo, as an airline that prioritizes people with a culture of service,” he continued.

American E175LR
HVN is currently only served by American Eagle’s regional jets. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

New carbon-neutral terminal

The investment from Avelo is part of a larger modernization project, estimated at $100 million. The airport’s operator Avports told Patch that it plans to build a new, carbon-neutral terminal and to extend the existing runway.

While travelers out of HVN may well prefer the Boeing 737s to the Embraers and Bombardiers, as Avelo’s CEO hopes, this will depend on the destination being the right one. Even with attractive pricing and more comfort, it is hard to beat the connectivity of flying with American. We shall have to wait and see how the two airlines get along in Connecticut.

What do you make of Avelo Airlines’ quick expansion? Is it the right time for it? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/avelo-airlines-east-coast-base/

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FedEx becomes Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, celebrates the 100th Boeing 767

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"100th Boeing 767 FedEx" special logo

FedEx Corporation and UEFA have signed a three-year agreement in which FedEx will sponsor the UEFA Champions League commencing at the start of the 2021/22 tournament and extending for three editions through to 2023/24. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Youth League finals, the UEFA Champions League Futsal finals and UEFA eChampions League.

The sponsorship builds on the existing relationship with UEFA. FedEx became a main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League in 2015 and a UEFA National Team Football sponsor in 2019.  FedEx is also the Official Logistics Partner of UEFA EURO 2020 taking place in the summer of 2021 across multiple European host cities.

This new sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League reaffirms FedEx as a long-standing sponsor of UEFA.

In 2016, FedEx became the first sponsor to begin collaborating with the UEFA Foundation for Children, using football as a tool to deliver positive and social impact in communities around the world. Alongside sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA EURO 2020, FedEx and the UEFA Foundation have delivered safe community football fields in Spain, Poland, Brazil, and South Africa and have rolled out a co-funded “Football for Employability” program benefitting young adults in Romania, Hungary, England and Ireland. FedEx also invited local children to be player mascots at UEFA Europa League finals in collaboration with non-profit organizations in Stockholm (Sweden), Lyon (France) and Baku (Azerbaijan), where an all-girl player mascot line-up made footballing history.

“Our global sponsorship of UEFA Champions League will deliver unrivalled opportunities for our brand, team members, customers, and communities. Aligning our brand with world class sports performance allows us to connect our services to our audiences through the passion and emotions generated by sports and enables us to contribute positively to our local communities,” said Brie Carere, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corp.

“We’ll continue to explore powerful social responsibility collaborations with the UEFA Foundation for Children, as we have done throughout our UEFA Europa League sponsorship.”

“FedEx has proved to be an incredibly valued UEFA partner. We are delighted they are continuing their evolution with us, which started in 2015 and now sees them supporting our flagship club competition, the UEFA Champions League,” said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein. “The UEFA Champions League is the world’s greatest club competition, and we are looking forward to working with FedEx closely over the next three years to help them activate their numerous projects. They will benefit not just the footballing community, but also look to have a positive impact on the environment”.

In other news, the company is preparing to take delivery of the 100th Boeing 767. N277FE carries this special logo on the rear fuselage.

Top and Above Copyright Photo: FedEx Express Boeing 767-300F ER N277FE (msn 66246) (100th Boeing 767 FedEx) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953640.

FedEx aircraft slide show:

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/05/06/fedex-becomes-official-sponsor-of-the-uefa-champions-league-celebrates-the-100th-boeing-767/

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Air Senegal A330neo Set To Serve Dulles Via New York’s JFK

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It’s official: Air Senegal will be serving the USA. It has put Dakar to both New York JFK and Washington Dulles on sale, with the one-stop service starting on September 2nd. It’ll use the 290-seat A330-900, and it expects a 70% seat load factor in year one.

Air Senegal will serve JFK and Dulles from September 2nd. Photo: Getty Images.

Air Senegal’s new US service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays and will have the following schedule.

  • HC407: departing Dakar at 01:30, arriving JFK 06:00, leaving 08:30, arriving Dulles at 10:00
  • HC408: Dulles at 20:25, arriving JFK 21:55, leaving 23:55, arriving Dakar at 12:25 (next day)

Air Senegal will compete directly with Delta on JFK-Dakar. The airline has a once-daily non-stop service using B767-300ERs, a route it launched in 2017. Unlike the new entrant in this market, Delta has daytime service to NYC, leaving Dakar at 0910 and arriving at 1330.

Air Senegal will probably use this wet-leased A330-900, 9H-SZN. Image: Air Senegal

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The US was expected

Air Senegal expressed its intention to serve Washington in 2019. This was on the back of South African Airways ending its Johannesburg-Dakar-Washington service, which operated until 2019 before being switched to Accra. It was a ready-made market.

Little else was said on the matter until February 11th, 2021, when it submitted its application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Its application stated that it expects to carry 42,224 passengers in the first year using wet-leased aircraft.

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Dakar-JFK is some 3,830 miles. Image: GCMap.

Air Senegal’s A330s

Air Senegal has two A330-900s in its fleet, along with the A319, A321, and ATR-72. One A330-900 is on the Senegalese register as 6V-ANB; this was delivered in November 2019. RadarBox.com indicates that ‘November Bravo presently operates exclusively on the airline’s core Dakar to Paris CDG service.

The carrier also has a second A330-900, registered 9H-SZN, which was delivered in March 2019. This is wet-leased from aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) provider HiFly Malta. As its DOT application specified wet-leased aircraft, it is likely that 9H-SZN will be used.

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Both A330s are in a 290-seat configuration, according to both Planespotters.net and the airline’s website, which is on the lower side compared with other -900 users. They’re configured with 230 seats in economy, 32 in business, and 21 in premium economy.

Air Senegal’s wet-leased A330-900 from HiFly Malta has a three-class configuration. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia. 

Expects a 70% seat factor in year one

With 290-seat aircraft and the expected traffic of 42,224 passengers, Air Senegal forecasts a seat load factor (SLF) of 70% in year one. Given COVID and the need to develop long-haul markets, this is probably reasonable. This excludes freight, which could be significant.

Air Senegal expects a 70% SLF in year one. This is based on 42,224 passengers with annual seats totaling 60,320. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

Targeting West Africa

Air Senegal aims to capture a chunk of both point-to-point (P2P) demand from both New York and Washington to Dakar, which had around 70,000 round-trip passengers in 2019, booking data suggests.

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It will also be targeting demand from NYC and Washington to seven cities over Dakar, as follows, each of which will have two-way connectivity. There’s demand of approximately 100,000 to them.

  1. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  2. Bamako, Mali
  3. Banjul, Gambia (although the outbound connection time is excessive)
  4. Cap Skiring, Senegal
  5. Conakry, Guinea
  6. Nouakchott, Mauritania
  7. Ziguinchor, Senegal
An example of connections: Abidjan-Dakar-JFK. Image: Expedia.

Why not triangular?

Some may wonder why Air Senegal doesn’t serve JFK and Dulles on a triangular basis: Dakar-JFK-Dulles-Dakar. This would, after all, significantly reduce costs and free up what is an expensive aircraft. The reason is clear: it is via JFK in both directions to maximize connectivity over Dakar.

If it operated triangularly, it would arrive back into Senegal too early for anyone to connect onwards, as shown in the following figure, meaning it’d probably be even more costly than operating via JFK in both directions. And if it terminated at JFK, the aircraft would remain on the ground there from 06:00 to 23:55.

This shows Air Senegal’s waves at Dakar in the week beginning September 2nd. Its coming US service is timed to connect to/from West Africa, the same as for its European routes. Image: OAG.

Bottom line

You’d be forgiven for thinking that political rather than commercial considerations drive this route, and that is probably true to an extent. No matter how you look at it, it’s a brave decision. But unlike obviously ‘prestige’ routes, this will only be twice-weekly with a realistic 70% SLF target in year one. It’d need to gain around a one-quarter share of the total traffic in 2019, as mentioned above, to achieve that figure.

While the jury is out on if it’ll be sustainable, it could be boosted further should Air Senegal add Dakar to the crucial Anglophone countries of Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa.

What do you think about this new route? Comment below!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/air-senegal-a330neo-dulles-jfk/

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