– Total corporate giving is on track to surpass $230 million in 2019
– Funding includes an $8 million investment to build the aviation talent pipeline
– Employees will donate nearly $40 million to charitable causes in 2019
Chicago | December 3, 2019– In observance of Giving Tuesday, Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced a 2019 charitable grants package totaling more than $48 million. The grants will support 404 charitable organizations in 50 countries, funding programs through 2020 and beyond. This latest investment puts Boeing on track to surpass $230 million in total corporate giving in 2019. This sum includes charitable giving, company business contributions, employee giving and employee gift match.
Boeing corporate charitable investments are amplified by employee giving. In 2019, Boeing employees will donate nearly $40 million to charitable causes – bringing total employee giving to more than $350 million over the last ten years.
“Boeing’s people bring to life our values and our enduring commitment to supporting the communities where we live and work,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing president and CEO. “Through their close collaboration, our teams and community partners are working to inspire the next generation of aerospace innovators, support our veterans and create lasting change in the communities we call home.”

The charitable grants package includes $8 million for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and workforce development programs aimed at building a robust talent pipeline of civil aviation pilots and maintenance technicians. Boeing forecasts demand for 804,000 new civil aviation pilots and 769,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the world’s fleet over the next 20 years.

Boeing will also commit $800,000 to launch the first Newton Flight Academy in Turkey in 2020. This funding builds on the company’s previous $5 million investment and successful launch of Newton Europe in Spain and Poland in 2019. The Newton Flight Academy teaches STEM skills to secondary school students through hands-on application of the math and physics of flight. Grant dollars will help fund a permanent, experiential classroom that includes three full-motion Boeing flight simulators.

“At Boeing, we’re committed helping students succeed. We want students to know that their future belongs to them—it has no boundaries,” said Cheri Carter, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “We believe our success as innovators depends on everyone coming together to inspire the next generation to share in our aerospace advancements. That’s why we’re investing more than 50 percent of our philanthropic dollars to fund high-impact education programs in the U.S. and abroad.”

Also included in the package is a previously announced $10 million investment for veterans’ recovery and rehabilitation programs and workforce transition services.

Anchored by local and regional employee engagement activities, Boeing corporate giving is focused on increasing access to globally competitive STEM learning in underserved and underrepresented communities, improving technical workforce skills and supporting military families and veterans. Boeing investments also address unique local challenges critical to communities where the company operates.

A full list of Boeing’s grant partners can be found here.

(Today’s image refers to a story in the Airbus section of IFExpress.)

United Airlines Orders 50 A321XLRs

United Airlines placed a firm order for 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft as it begins to phase out older models and launches an expansion of transatlantic routes from its key U.S. hubs in Newark/New York and Washington D.C. United plans to take delivery of the first A321XLR in 2024 and expects to begin international service with the aircraft in 2025.

“The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR opens potential new destinations to further develop our route network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe.”

“We are delighted to be re-United with our friends in Chicago and thank them for their trust. The selection of the A321XLR by the leadership of United Airlines is a ringing endorsement of the range, payload, and fuel efficiency that Airbus incorporated into this state-of-the-art aircraft,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The exceptional versatility and performance of the A321XLR enable new operational efficiencies that flow to the airline’s bottom line.”

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo/A321neo family of aircraft, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft, and creating more value for the airlines by enabling economically viable service on longer routes than any comparable aircraft model. It will allow service from the U.S. East Coast to a much larger selection of European destinations.

The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets. It will have a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes, while takeoff, climb, and flight performance will change little from the A321neo.

The A321XLR will be operated by the same crew, powered by the same engines and have the same cabin as the A321neo, with more than 90 percent commonality. Combining the A321neo’s two rear center fuel tanks into one adds fuel capacity and reduces structural weight. Other significant changes include structural reinforcements and modified landing gears for the increased MTOW, increased braking capability, higher tire speed, and additional flap and slat configurations.

With the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, the A321XLR will accommodate a variety of seating classes and configurations suitable for longer flights.


SITA

Airlines and airports in China are moving to another level of passenger service. They are embracing artificial intelligence and automation to provide the hyper-personalized self-service experience their passengers are demanding. According to the SITA 2019 China IT Insights, China’s airlines and airports are using these technologies to expand mobile services and automating the journey with self-service every step of the way.

A key technology that is attracting investment is artificial intelligence (AI). SITA’s China IT Insights reveals that 88% of both airlines and airports are planning major programs, or R&D, with AI by 2022 and they are focusing on virtual agents and chatbots. This investment matches the demands from passengers; SITA’s research of passengers in China shows that 64% of them want a digital travel concierge. Already nearly half (43%) of airlines in China have AI-driven chatbot customer services and the planned investment should see the availability of them rising quickly over the coming years. For passengers of China’s airlines and airports, self-service has reached a strong level of maturity, but a step-change is coming as biometrics is being adopted. Today, 27% of airports have self-boarding gates using biometrics with travel documents but in just three years this will jump to 66%. And more than half of the airports have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touch points by 2022. Airlines too are committing to self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID, 60% are planning to use them driving a secure and seamless passenger experience right through the airport with the next three years. Mobile services are vital to meet China passengers’ demands and by 2022, all airlines and 93% of airports are planning investments in them. Services including flight discovery, airline offers, check-in and flight status notifications via mobile are already provided by all airlines. One fifth are also using mobiles to sell newspapers, magazines and movies/TV to passengers. Airports too are investing in mobile services to offer a more personalized experience for passengers. Services including, notifications about flight and airport status, and customer relationship management are well established and are offered by up to 81% of airports. Keeping the passenger informed and connected is not only what China’s airports are providing via mobile, they are also facilitating mobile payments. Close to three quarters enable passengers to buy airport services and allow cashless payments via mobile. This hyper-personalized service via mobile confirms it as a vital tool for China passengers. The report highlights that blockchain technology is another key area of investment for airlines, today only 24% have major programs, or R&D, planned but this is set to jump to 80% by 2022. This is in line with the recent trends and commitments to blockchain technology in the country.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) announced membership in the Independent Aircraft Modifiers Alliance (IAMA). CIT has a nearly 80-year history of providing the highest quality aircraft components and for over 30 years has been developing modification packages and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for airlines, avionics manufacturers, and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) partners.

IAMA is an alliance of leading companies in the aircraft retrofit and modification industry that are committed to common standards for documentation and quality of STCs. IAMA’s founding members include EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering, and Lufthansa Technik. By joining IAMA, CIT will contribute its decades of experience and expertise along with industry peers to improve the STC experience for its customers.

“We look forward to joining our industry colleagues in establishing standards for STC data packages and support,” said Jeff Behlendorf, director of product management, integrated products at CIT. “Our membership in IAMA builds on CIT’s longstanding tradition of providing the highest quality aircraft modifications, and our IAMA involvement will allow us to share experience and best practices with the entire industry.”

CIT holds more than 200 STCs for upgrade of Part 25 aircraft avionics, systems, and special mission equipment from regulators globally. CIT is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 21 Design Approval Holder, has European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Organization Approval (DOA), and maintains multiple Part 21 manufacturing locations and Part 145 repair facilities. This allows CIT customers the flexibility to certify in the US, Europe, or anywhere else in the world, leverage global manufacturing while coordinating with design and qualification activities, and enjoy robust support for the aircraft modifications on site.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat confirmed the successful launch of GX5, the fifth satellite in its Global Xpress (GX) network that delivers the award-winning GX Aviation and Jet ConneX (JX) inflight broadband services. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. It will bring additional, focused capacity over Europe and the Middle East to meet growing demand for high-speed passenger Wi-Fi in the airline and business aviation markets.

GX Aviation customers include leading airlines such as Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines, while JX has been activated on more than 600 business jets. GX5 was built by Thales Alenia Space and launched by Arianespace at 21:24 UK time on Tuesday 26 November 2019. Following satellite separation from the rocket at 21:58 UK time on 26 November, telemetry was successfully acquired shortly after separation and the mission is proceeding to plan. In less than four years, GX has established itself as the benchmark for reliable communications across the fastest growing sectors for mobile connectivity.

Additionally, Inmarsat has been named the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Service Provider’ for the third year in a row at the prestigious World Travel Awards, in recognition of the company’s pioneering GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) connectivity solutions for the airline industry. The prestigious accolade was announced at a gala ceremony in Muscat, Oman last night, following a vote by travel and tourism executives from across the world. Inmarsat was hailed for delivering a major step-change in inflight broadband capabilities with GX Aviation, powered by the world’s first and only globally available broadband network, and EAN, which offers unprecedented performance over Europe’s well-traveled skies. Both solutions enable airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with connectivity onboard at comparable speeds to land-based broadband. Almost 1,800 aircraft are currently under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN, with a new business pipeline of approximately 3,000 aircraft worldwide. Inmarsat is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has outlined an ambitious development roadmap for its Global Xpress (GX) network, which commenced this week with the launch of its fifth satellite, GX5, providing focused capacity for airlines and business aviation over Europe and the Middle East. Seven additional satellites are scheduled to launch in the coming four years, making GX the most agile and flexible constellation ever built.


AIRBUS

Scandinavian carrier SAS has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation, highly efficient widebody aircraft (see image above). The airline has a total of eight A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 68 aircraft (51 A320 Family, 17 A330 and A340 Family aircraft). In the coming years, as part of an extensive fleet modernization, SAS will take delivery of 54 additional A320neo Family aircraft and the remaining seven A350-900s through direct purchase and lease contracts. SAS’s A350-900 features a modern and highly comfortable three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats. On 28 January 2020, the airline will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other international destinations including North America and Asia.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions. The A350 XWB’s Airspace by Airbus cabin is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crews the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable flying experience. Moreover, SAS will benefit from Airbus’ unique aircraft commonality. The incoming A350s will seamlessly integrate into SAS’s current Airbus fleet today in service at the airline. At the end of October 2019, the A350 XWB Family had received 913 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

On another note, Air Corsica has taken delivery of its first of two Airbus A320neo aircraft on lease from ICBC Leasing. With this delivery, the airline becomes the first French A320neo operator. The highly fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft will help reduce Air Corsica’s operating costs. The airline’s A320neo is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and is configured in a single-class cabin layout, seating 186 passengers.Each passenger will benefit from a modern cabin that includes USB ports to charge electronic devices during flight. In addition, the aircraft’s lavatories are designed to facilitate access for passengers with reduced mobility. The two Air Corsica A320neo aircraft will replace the older aircraft in its fleet and will operate on the airline’s main domestic and European networks. Air Corsica is currently operating a fleet of six A320 aircraft. Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver 20 percent reduced fuel burn as well as 50 percent less noise compared to previous generation aircraft.

Airbus has also celebrated the 100th A220 aircraft produced for a customer during a ceremony at the aircraft program’s headquarters in Mirabel, Canada. The aircraft, an A220-300, destined for Riga, Latvia-based airBaltic, features a brand new and comfortable cabin layout with 149 seats plus a modernized livery.

The A220 Family is assembled at Airbus’ main Final Assembly Line in Mirabel and more recently, also at the program’s second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The world’s first A220 (formerly called the C Series) was delivered in June 2016 to A220-100 launch operator SWISS. airBaltic became the A220-300 launch operator when the Latvian airline received delivery of the first ever A220-300 three years ago, on 28 November, 2016. airBaltic has since then re-ordered A220-300 aircraft twice – bringing its firm order to 50 aircraft to become the current biggest European A220 customer. The airline now operates a fleet of 20 A220-300 aircraft to various European and Russian destinations as well as to the Middle East.

And lastly, A WTO panel assessing the measures the EU and Airbus have taken to comply with the WTO recommendations has issued its findings. As a result of the panel’s findings, the US should immediately reduce the USD 7.5 billion in tariffs that the WTO authorized to the US in October by around USD 2 billion. This is the direct result of the panel finding that the loans for the development of the A380 no longer have an impact on Boeing sales and that therefore the value of the lost sales no longer exists.

The panel also asserts that the amendments already made to the A350 loan agreements are not sufficient to fully align the loans with market conditions. Based on these findings, Airbus would support to appeal this report, as per WTO rules. In May 2018, the WTO Appellate Body clarified that the EU and Airbus have achieved compliance with respect to the vast majority of measures at issue, but considered that some adjustments were needed to the A380 and A350 loans, or to remedy their market effects. Measures have therefore been taken on both programs relating to the respective loans of Members States or on the market effects those loans had on Boeing.

Airbus remains committed to working with the EU and its member states to comply with the WTO recommendations. With the wide range of additional steps to comply with WTO findings since 2018, the EU and Airbus have demonstrated their willingness to ensure a fair trade environment respecting international trade agreements.


OTHER NEWS

  • No doubt, you just don’t see how AI will change your life. Hey, AI is just math – as it is applied to a lot of real, daily, and not so daily problems. This video on PBS Frontline is one of the best. Why? Because they take real problems and show the AI solutions. This is really a great beginning application story to AI so don’t miss it! In the Age of AI | Watch S2019 E5 | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site
    However, the two hour video may just scare the heck out of you! As an example, they note US (and worldwide, for that matter) productivity is increasing under robotics, while medium household income has not grown with the increase in productivity. And thus, while productivity has grown, job growth has not – at least not at the same rate. No doubt, your challenge will be to envision how AI will affect aviation! And if you can figure it out, you may well secure your job of the future!
    We will go one step further and tell you that the second hour of the show scared us.  It wasn’t just what AI technology can do but the real kicker is how it is applied and information extrapolated. As Kai Fu Lee says; “AI technology can be used for good or evil.” However, be sure to watch the video and come to your own conclusions.
    And speaking of AI issues: How AI Will Go Out Of Control According To 52 Experts – CB Insights Research
  • We found an interesting (and free) newsletter from Avionics International and it is very good and up to date. Called the Skyport, again, it’s free and you sign up here: The Skyport: Your Guide to the World of Urban Air Mobility – Avionics It comes out every 2 weeks.

Newest AI product will help professionals in pharmaceutical, aerospace and automotive industries rapidly access the information they need to support decision-making

Montreal, QC | December 3, 2019–Element AI, a global developer of artificial intelligence-powered (AI) services and software that helps enterprises ‘operationalize AI’ today announced the general availability of its Element AI Knowledge Scout decision-support product, the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of AI-powered software solutions.

Focused on turning previously untapped information into actionable insights, Element AI Knowledge Scout organizes and manages both structured and unstructured data, and through deep AI opens up unparalleled access to knowledge for today’s industries as they tackle increasingly complex data-intensive problems. To be rolled out to customers in early 2020, Element AI Knowledge Scout will enable specialists to draw faster insights from existing institutional data to optimize operational responsiveness.

In an organizational setting, data is plentiful but insights are hard to capture. A great deal of this institutional knowledge is tacit and retaining it can be extremely challenging when an expert isn’t present or leaves the company. As such, when a problem arises, employees often don’t have the experience-based information needed to solve the problem because this knowledge has yet to be collected and centralized, which ultimately costs the organization time and resources.

Element AI Knowledge Scout alleviates this knowledge gap in organizations. Created as a decision-support AI product facilitated by original research by Element AI scientists, Element AI Knowledge Scout offers an intuitive interface, allowing users to ask questions in plain, sentence-based language. The product’s deep learning algorithms then formulates a response by pulling information from similar contexts through both structured and unstructured data sources. The user is then able to bookmark results, thus reinforcing algorithm learning to ensure better results are returned in the future.

“We created Element AI Knowledge Scout as part of our AI software solutions to help organizations realize the power of AI and navigate the repository of institutional knowledge which was previously held by employees and manual processes,” explains Anand Medepalli, Head of Products at Element AI. “Now, a simple query with Element AI Knowledge Scout is all it takes to unlock the power of AI and find answers to complex issues such as quality management in manufacturing, all within a matter of seconds.”

To learn more about Element AI and its AI-powered manufacturing products, visit this link.

Donations will be used to fund members’ personal development in aviation

November 26, 2019–Patricia Luebke, WAI 1954 and a regular and longtime contributor to Aviation for Women and Aviation for Girls magazines, passed away on November 22, 2019, after a brief illness. Pat was a proud member of Women in Aviation International and was the creative force behind many of the organization’s key programs and events including Take Your Daughter to Conference, which became Girls in Aviation Day; the annual female group photo at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh; a WAI time capsule for our 25-year anniversary; the conference Daily newsletters, the Annual Fund Pioneer Hall of Fame tote bag; and the Honor The WASP event on Memorial Day weekend.

Girls in Aviation Day, sparked by Pat’s creativity, has resulted in approximately 56,150 kids being introduced to aviation (to date) with more to come in the years that follow. Girls in Aviation Day events have been held in Australia, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United States, and Zambia. The annual WomenVenture group photo, which is in it’s 11th year, started with 700 attendees, and has grown into an event that thousands of women look forward to annually, with over 2,000 in the 2019 photo. Her ideas and creativity have impacted thousands in aviation and her legacy will live on in those she continues to inspire.

Her eloquent and creative writing in the WAI publications including her Personal Development column were a reader favorite and addressed a wide range of topics including the effects of social media, losing a job, asking for a promotion, and how to save money.

Pat’s valuable insights were drawn from her decades of experience as a New York City-based freelance writer, editor, and marketing consultant. Starting her aviation career as Flying magazine’s advertising assistant, Pat rose through the ranks and became a vice president for the publishing company leading a team of magazine staff with her quick wit and creative inspiration. With a dedicated work ethic and attention to detail, Pat shared her expertise with a variety of clients including Avionics News, Sporty’s, AOPA, Lightspeed Aviation, and many others.  She was especially proud of her work with WAI dedicated to ensuring the development of future leaders in the field and for encouraging women of all ages and backgrounds to be strong and confident.

To continue Pat’s legacy of candid and thorough aviation journalism, Women in Aviation International announces a 2020 scholarship in her honor to encourage WAI members to pursue their own best aviation-related personal development goal. Applications must be received via email to Donna Wallace (dwallace@wai.org) no later than Friday, January 10, 2020, midnight EST. Requirements include: an active WAI membership through March 2020, a WAI official scholarship application form, your resume (no longer than 2 pages) and a 500-word essay explaining how you would use the scholarship to further your own aviation personal development goal. If any of Pat’s stories inspired you, please include in your essay. The Pat Luebke Memorial Scholarship will be awarded at the 31st Annual International Women in Aviation Conference, March 5-7, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.

Donate online to the Pat Luebke Memorial Scholarship Fund at https://www.wai.org/memorial-pat_luebke

Questions? Email Donna Wallace, Scholarship Coordinator, at dwallace@wai.org

Fiji Airways has joined the community of A350 operators benefiting from access to AFI KLM E&M’s dedicated component solutions.

Paris, Amstelveen, Nadi | November 27, 2019– AFI KLM E&M is delighted to welcome Fiji Airways into its community of customers for A350 component maintenance solutions. The Fijian airline has opted for a long-term partnership, and will enjoy access to high-performance, expert services in component repair, logistics and access to spare parts (via the Main Base Kit and parts pool).

AFI KLM E&M flourishing across the Pacific

The signature of this agreement sees AFI KLM E&M extend its working relationship with Fiji Airways, which began in 2013 for the latter’s fleet of A330s. At the same time, the Airline-MRO is expanding its market leadership in the Pacific region, and has established a position as a trusted partner for major airlines in the area.

The beating heart of AFI KLM E&M’s regional network is the Singapore hub, which includes a parts pool and the Singapore Component Solutions repair shop.

Modern solutions for a modern aircraft

With around 170 aircraft being supported in all continents, AFI KLM E&M is now a leading player in the A350 component support market.

Fiji Airways is joining a vast community of customers who’ve entrusted AFI KLM E&M with components support for their A350 fleets,” explains Fabrice Defrance, SVP Commercial at AFI KLM E&M. “Our group designs tailor-made solutions for this ultra-modern aircraft, with targeted innovation to ensure our maintenance services remain at the forefront of efficiency and reliability. Wherever new-generation aircraft go, new-generation services must follow: thanks to our Prognos® system, we’re able to draw upon the vast wealth of data provided by these highly communicative aircraft in order to make predictive maintenance a reality.”

Welcome to the club!

AFI KLM E&M’s expertise in A350 component support now resonates on all the regions of the globe: “Our community of customers includes Delta Airlines, the only North American airline to operate this aircraft. In the Asia-Pacific region, we have three major Chinese airlines on board, as well as Thai Airways,” specifies Dominik Wiener-Silva, Vice President Sales Asia Pacific at AFI KLM E&M.

Fiji Airways will be joining the illustrious ranks of this international club, which now also includes Air France – whose first A350 made its maiden commercial flight on October 7th.

Mr. Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO said: “The faith that these major international companies have shown in AFI KLM E&M reflects the quality of the solutions it has developed. We now have the reassurance of being able to count on the expertise of a solid and reliable partner to support the A350’s arrival into our fleet.”