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Brexit & Business aviation: the FAQ

As the end of the Brexit transition period is approaching fast EBAA organised a webinar with the UK CAA to support operators in their preparation in view of the regulatory and policy changes ahead. The event started with a presentation by David Kendrick, Head, Airline Licensing, Consumer & Markets Group at the UK CAA on the future the UK regulatory and enforcement regime including air transport licensing and traffic rights in the case of no-deal scenario.

The Q&A session that followed proved to be useful as dozens of questions on traffic rights, certifications, VAT, EASA, reciprocal arrangements for block permit schemes and more were answered by the UK CAA. In case you missed it, the EBAA published the Q&A session on Brexit with the UK Civil Aviation Authority on its website. www.ebaa.org

Swissport completes financial restructuring, new shareholders

Effective 21 December 2020, Swissport has completed a comprehensive financial restructuring. Ownership of the company has been transferred from HNA Group to a group of established, global financial investors. The lead investors are investment funds managed by affiliates of Strategic Value Partners, LLC (“SVPGlobal”), Apollo Global Management, Inc., TowerBrook Capital Partners, Ares Management, Cross Ocean Partners and King Street Capital Management, LP – all of them former senior-secured lenders of Swissport.

The new shareholders will appoint Christoph Mueller as future Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swissport. Mueller will, with immediate effect, join the Board of Directors and, from the start of 2021, act as interim CEO of the company to provide leadership and continuity with Eric Born standing down as CEO after five and a half successful years, as was previously communicated. For this interim period until the appointment of a permanent CEO, David Siegel, an aviation industry veteran, will serve as the interim Chairman of the Board in support of Christoph Mueller and the Swissport management team. The search for a new CEO, led by the new shareholders and Christoph Mueller, is well advanced and an announcement in this regard will be made in due course. www.swissport.com

First Embraer Praetor 500 conversion in Europe

Embraer announced the completion of the first European conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500 for an undisclosed customer. The conversion was performed at the Embraer Executive Jets Service Centre at Le Bourget International Airport, in Paris.

The full process to convert a Legacy 450 (2,900 nautical miles range) into a Praetor 500 (3,340 nautical miles range) can be performed at Embraer owned service centres. In order to generate the range improvements, the level-sensing wiring in the fuel tanks was replaced, the over-wing gravity fuelling ports were moved, the fuel-measurement system was relocated, and the wing ribs were reinforced to hold additional weight. These adjustments entailed updates to the flight control systems, including a new avionics load for the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

Most noticeably, the swept winglets of the Praetor were installed, and the placards and logos were replaced to officially convert the Legacy 450 into a Praetor 500. In terms of technology, the Praetor 500 features the industry-first E2VS ― a head-up display that combines synthetic and enhanced vision. Plus, it’s the only midsize business jet with full fly-by-wire flight controls and turbulence reduction capability. www.embraer.com

People: Ashwin Bhat appointed CCO of Lufthansa Cargo

Ashwin Bhat will take over as member of the Executive Board in charge of Lufthansa Cargo's Product and Sales division on 1 March 2021. The 51-year-old will thus take over the current position of Dorothea von Boxberg, who will become chairwoman of the Executive Board and CEO on the same date.

As Lufthansa Cargo’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ashwin Bhat will be responsible for the external organisation of sales and handling, product, revenue management, pricing, network planning and sales management worldwide. Bhat has been Vice President and Head of Cargo at Swiss International Air Lines in Zurich since October 2015. He joined the former Swisscargo AG in February 1999 and has held various positions in revenue management, transport management and global area management, until his most recent position as Head of Cargo for Swiss International Air Lines.

Ashwin Bhat, born in 1969, graduated with a Bachelor in Science, Major in Chemistry from the University of Mumbai, India in 1990 and worked for several years as an accounting manager for an airline financial services provider in Mumbai before starting his career in Zurich. www.lufthansa-cargo.com

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