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Saudi Arabia confirms launch of new airline Riyadh Air

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) has officially announced it will launch a second national airline, Riyad Air. Owned by the PIF, Riyadh Air said it will purchase 39 Boeing 787-9s, with options for an additional 33 787-9s. Based in the capital city, Riyadh Air intends to play a key role in growing Saudi Arabia’s air transport network. In total, Saudi Arabian carriers last week announced their intent to purchase up to 121 787 Dreamliners in what will be the fifth largest commercial order by value in Boeing's history. The new national airline represents PIF’s latest investment in the sector, along with the recently announced King Salman International Airport masterplan. The airline plans to grow a global network that will include 100 destinations. Under its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has bold ambitions to attract boost tourism and attract 300 million visitors, which is tenfold the number Saudia carried in 2019.

The airline has already started recruiting Captains and First Officers with experience on Airbus and Boeing aircraft but doesn’t say when it expects to be ready to launch its first services. It is also recruiting for various management and technical roles, including engineers, cabin designers, cargo specialists, digital experts as well as for cabin crew, all with a deadline of April 11.


Dassault Aviation against “aviation bashing”

Dassault Aviation addressed concerns about sustainability in its results for the full year 2022 in a section headlined “aviation bashing”. It said business jets have been targeted “since mid-2022 in Europe and especially in France” and compared the emissions of private aircraft with other industries that it claims emit more carbon. Éric Trappier, CEO, Dassault Aviation said: “One year of global 2,100 Falcon fleet utilization is equivalent to 24 hours of global video streaming, five hours of worldwide truck traffic or 2.5 days of the German thermic power plants.” He added that all Falcon aircraft are certified to fly with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) mixes up to 50%. “We’re going to increase this capacity and we’re going to make sure that there are developments of new alternative fuels, especially E-fuels.” Dassault also takes part in research programmes in France and across Europe to reduce fuel consumption through optimized aircraft design, it said. Dassault said orders for its Falcon business jets increased by 25% in 2022 while its backlog rose to €4.7bn.


AAR acquires software developer Trax

AAR has acquired aircraft MRO and fleet management software company Trax USA.

Trax offers software applications to a global customer base of airlines, MROs, and government aircraft operators supporting approximately 5,000 aircraft. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Miami, with approximately 110 employees.

Trax’s ‘eMRO’ product is a web-based enterprise MRO software solution for managing aircraft maintenance and fleet management, including materials planning and purchasing, engineering, scheduling, regulatory compliance, work orders, and personnel. AAR said its acquisition of Trax accelerated its strategy “to offer digital solutions focused on its core aviation aftermarket customers”. The company stated: “Trax adds established, higher-margin aviation aftermarket software offerings with recurring revenue to AAR’s portfolio, and its complementary customer base provides opportunities to cross-sell products and services”.


People: Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, CEO ATR

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, CEO ATR

Nathalie Tarnaud Laude has been appointed by ATR’s Board Members, Airbus and Leonardo, as Chief Executive Officer, effective from 17 September 2022. Since joining Airbus back in 2005, Nathalie has held various positions in the Aerospace and Defence Industry. In October 2019, she was appointed Head of the NH90 programme for Airbus Helicopters and NHIndustries’ President, with core responsibilities covering the steering of main NH90 programme activities.

Prior to this, she was Head of Treasury at Airbus Helicopters and Head of Operations New Technology Ventures within the Airbus Group CTO organisation, with a wide range of missions encompassing notably the negotiation and follow up of major technology partnerships in the fields of Hybrid-Electric propulsion, Data analytics, AI etc., the strategic, business and financial support to the E-Fan 2.0 (2 seater full electric aircraft) development project and the management of the operations for the Testia entities (Non Destructive Testing subsidiaries of Airbus Group).

From 2005 till 2013 she has been leading M&A transactions for all Airbus Group divisions. Before this, she was an equity research analyst with Aurel Leven Securities in Paris and a risk manager on equity derivatives for CCF Securities in Paris. Academically, she holds an MBA from London Business School, a Masters in Finance from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris and the SFAF diploma. She also attended the INSEAD Transition to General Management course in 2013.

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