The crisis in Ukraine “undermined” business aircraft flying in Europe last month, with European flights to the CIS down 24 percent and East-West European connections down by 15 percent, according to the latest data from business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance. Overall, there were 68,048 business aviation flight departures in Europe last month, a 2.7-percent year-over-year decline, with July 11 percent below its 2008 peak and the least active July on record since 2005. Year to date, activity in the region is 0.7 percent below the 2013 trend.
A mounting body of visible evidence, plus reports from those on the ground, intercepted communications and preliminary analysis of electronic emissions, suggest that Russian-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH017 on July 17.
Though business aviation flying in Europe experienced a seasonal pick-up last month, there were 2.2-percent fewer departures from a year ago and year-to-date the market is 0.6 percent below 2013 levels, according to data released yesterday by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance.
Ukraine International Airlines on Friday operated its first ever transatlantic flight—a nonstop trip with a Boeing 767 from Kiev to New York—some seven months after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration reinstated Ukraine’s Category 1 status under its International Safety Assessment Program (IASA). UIA now flies a single round trip each day between Kiev Boryspil International Airport and New York JFK Airport.
Simferopol International Airport has sent a letter to Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) notifying it that the Crimean gateway will allow no service to or from Kiev, forcing UIA to cancel all flights between the cities until at least March 18. On Wednesday a UIA spokesperson told AIN that the airport has banned all flights into and out of Simferopol except for those to and from Russia.
Business aviation flights out of Ukraine saw a dramatic uptick in the third week of last month, apparently in response to the violent unrest in the country. According to Eurocontrol statistics tracked by online charter portal Avinode, there were 70 departures on February 19 and 137 on February 20–a day before ousted President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Average daily departures last year stood at 51 and the average so far in 2014 has been 41.
As series production of Antonov’s new-generation An-148 and An-158 regional jets gains momentum, the manufacturer and its close ally lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) are trying to raise the type’s temporary operational limitations.
Vector Aerospace, a Vancouver-based maintenance, repair and overhaul service, recently loaded four upgraded Eurocopter AS332L helicopters onto an Antonov An-124 at Vancouver International Airport. Two of the AS332Ls were bound for Australia for use in offshore oil rig servicing contracts and the other two were sent to Afghanistan for utility operations.
The Russian ministry of defense (MoD) has awarded United Aircraft (UAC) a firm order for 15 Antonov An-148 twinjets, according to UAC president Mikhail Pogosian, speaking at the Paris Air Show. The contract is worth Rouble 18 billion ($550 million). The delivery schedule calls for one aircraft this year, eight in 2014-2015 and six in 2016-2017. The Russian government has previously expressed a need for 130 jetliners for various government agencies. This requirement includes 59 An-148s, according to minister for industry and trade Denis Manturov.
Transport aircraft designer Antonov (Hall 1 H298) is presenting the An-70 short take off and landing (Stol) military freighter at the Paris Air Show. The company claims it is the world’s only aircraft that can take off from short unpaved runways of 600 to 700 meters with 20 tons of cargo over a 1,620-nm range.
The An-70 cabin “accommodates all types of CIS and NATO military equipment and armaments as well as construction machines and vehicles weighing up to 47 tons,” according to Antonov.
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