Luxaviation: first business aircraft operator under EASA European AOC

Luxaviation Group, one of the largest business aircraft and helicopter operators worldwide, has transferred its Portuguese entity to the safety oversight of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in a first step towards obtaining EASA regulatory supervision for all of Luxaviation’s European group businesses.

The European AOC, overseen by EASA, represents a major change for the entire aviation sector as it reduces operational costs for operators and paves the way for an increased competitiveness of the European market.

As a worldwide operator, Luxaviation Group currently manages 235 aircraft and 35 helicopters under the regulatory umbrella of 15 air-operating certificates (AOCs) of which nine are provided through European regulators.

Patrick Hansen, CEO of Luxaviation Group says: “We have been working closely with EASA in order to achieve a single AOC similar to the American FAA. Today we are particularly proud to take a part in this historical moment for European aviation and to start operating under an EASA AOC which we are confident to apply to all European operating entities of the group in the future”.

New meeting date for virtual EASA rotorcraft and VTOL symposium 2020

The Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) postponed its biennial MEBAA Show from early December to late February, citing “concerns related to the evolving Covid-19 outbreak.” Unlike most other airshows which had been due to take place since the pandemic began in March this year, its organizer's have rescheduled the biennial gathering for 22-24 February 2021 rather than cancelling outright.

Covid impact: Europe slips back, US gaining modestly

According to WINGX weekly Global Market Tracker Global business aviation activity is down by 16% in the first three weeks of October 2020 compared to same period in 2019. The trend remains far more resilient than for commercial airlines, which have seen a drop of 57% in October YOY, a deficit of 933,000 sectors vs October 2019. Year to date, the respective bizav and airline trends are 24% and 52% deficits vs 2019. Regionally, Europe has stronger trends in business aviation than the US, but this month they are converging as Europe weakens and the US modestly improves. Asia is relatively stable at 10 points below normal, whilst flights out of Latin America and Africa are trailing some 20% below normal.

As virus concerns mount, European business jet activity has slipped back as October progresses. As predicted, leisure demand is dimming, and corporate travel is not yet coming back to the market.

Shorter sectors, less than 3h, are most robust, less than 10% decline in the first 3 weeks of October. In Europe, some countries have seen an increase YOY in these sectors, notably Italy, Turkey, Austria, Russia, Sweden. Whereas from France and Spain, even short sectors are trailing by over 20%, and from UK and Netherlands, more than 40% drops. The UK is now the European backmarker, flights trending down by 32% in October YOY, and by 41% for the period since March this year.

People: Mariana Santos, VP strategic consulting Mente Group

Mente Group has hired Mariana Santos as Vice President of strategic consulting. She will head Mente Group’s strategic consulting activities, providing robust fleet planning and feasibility studies for business aviation owners and fleet operators.

Mariana brings 15 years of solid experience with aircraft OEMs, both in business and commercial aviation. Over the course of 8 years at Embraer Executive Jets, Mariana held multiple positions. Initially, as Product Strategist, she would build and recommend aircraft short- and long-term roadmaps. Later, she served as Sr. Sales Engineer in North America, developing aircraft technical and economic analysis in support to Sales. More recently, she co-created and managed their analytics-based fleet evaluation program tailored to Corporate Flight Departments. Between 2004-2010, she served as a Flight Operations Engineer at Embraer Commercial division where she would liaise with customer airlines’ Flight Operations and Operations Engineering teams, providing day-to-day technical support to a growing fleet of regional jets. Prior to Mente, she briefly ventured into the commercial supersonic world with Boom, the Denver-based start-up.

Mariana is a Brazilian native and has been in the US for the past 8 years. She earned her MBA degree in 2014 from Hult International Business School at San Francisco and her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Infrastructure Engineering in 2003 from ITA (Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica), Brazil's most prestigious engineering institution.

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