AviaDev Africa provides perfect platform to support connectivity to and within the continent

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While June has already been packed with aviation events, the end of the month will see airport and airline executives as well as suppliers heading to Cape Town for AviaDev Africa, which is set to deliver more than 300 route development meetings.

The event, which provides a perfect networking platform for airports, airlines and suppliers, such as Airbus, Swissport, Boeing, Embraer, SITA and Rolls Royce, is taking place at Century City in Cape Town, South Africa from 29 June to 1 July. This year will mark the sixth edition of the networking event which is themed: Connect. Collaborate. Change.

Commenting on the upcoming event Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access, noted, “We look forward to welcoming our industry delegates to Cape Town and the Western Cape. We thank AviaDev for the opportunity to showcase our world-class destination as a business hub at the forefront of essential conversations and collaborations, especially regarding increasing air connectivity within Africa.”

A comprehensive conferencing programme will be held alongside the route development meetings with sessions addressing the role of air cargo and diversifying airport revenues, building airline partnerships, financing African airlines and exploring the opportunities for OEMs. Meanwhile a pre-conference workshop specifically for airports and tourism authorities will focus on the skills needed to drive active route development and what airlines look for when placing a new route.

Underlining his support for aviation in Africa Jon Howell, CEO AviaDev Africa stated: “We have supported the industry through the pandemic with numerous digital engagements and will continue to do so, but it is clear the industry needs to meet and discuss future route development for Africa in person. AviaDev Africa provides the perfect mix between an educational programme, focused pre-arranged route development meetings and industry networking. We are confident that as a result of the event, new relationships will be forged that will deliver the connectivity that Africa deserves.”

Rolls-Royce marks a milestone with 100% SAF fuelled flight from Tucson

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Working alongside Boeing and World Energy, Rolls-Royce has marked a milestone in its lower carbon journey having carried out a successful test flight of its 747 Flying Testbed aircraft using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a Trent 1000 engine.

The aircraft flew from Tucson Airport in Arizona on 19 October with a Trent 1000 engine running solely on 100% SAF. The remaining three RB211 engines ran on standard jet fuel and the flight lasted three hours and 45 minutes before landing back at the same airport having passed over New Mexico and Texas.

Aircraft are currently only certified to operate on a maximum of 50% SAF blended with conventional jet fuel and Rolls-Royce continues to support efforts to certificate non-blended SAF.

The need to increase SAF production was recently recognised by the US Biden administration with the launch of a SAF Grand Challenge to produce 3 billion gallons of the fuel a year by 2030. Th European Commission has also created a ReFuelEU Aviation proposal that would mandate the incorporation of SAF supplied at EU airports. This would increase to 63% by 2050.

“We believe in air travel as a force for cultural good, but we also recognise the need to take action to decarbonise our industry,” said Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, Director Product Development and Technology – Civil Aerospace. “This flight is another example of our collaboration across the value chain to make sure all the aircraft technology solutions are in place to enable a smooth introduction of 100% SAF into our industry.”

The test flight was carried out in close collaboration with Boeing, which provided technical support and oversight on aircraft modifications and assurance the aircraft systems would operate as expected with 100% SAF. The low-carbon fuel for the flight was provided by World Energy, the world’s first and America’s only commercial-scale SAF production company.

“We’re grateful for the trailblazing work our partners are doing,” said Gene Gebolys, CEO, World Energy. “Rolls-Royce’s work to prove the viability of powering the jet engines they make with the 100% renewable SAF we make lays the groundwork for fossil fuel-free flight. This work is incredibly important, and we applaud and appreciate Rolls-Royce for working with us to do it.”

Black box found from Sriwijaya Air that went missing after taking off from Jakarta Airport

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Investigators have confirmed that they have found a black box from the Sriwijaya Air 737 that went missing shortly after take-off from Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta) Airport in Indonesia on Saturday 9 January.

Sixty two people, including seven children and three babies, were on the aircraft that is reported to have plunged more than 10,000 feet into the Java Sea between Lancang Island and Laki Island in the Thousand Islands area.  According to Flightradar 24 and based on ADS-B data, Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 was on route to Pontianak from Jakarta. It took off at 07.36 UTC and the signal was lost four minutes later at 07.40 UTC. After climbing to an altitude of 10,900 feet, the aircraft then began a sharp decline that saw it plunge to just 250 feet.

A low-cost carrier, Sriwijaya Air was Indonesia’s fifth-largest airline in 2019 with a network comprising 97 routes. Sriwijaya Airlines CEO Jefferson Irwin Jauwena said the aircraft, a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500, was in good condition before take off. In a statement Boeing said: “Our thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customer and stand ready to support them during this difficult time.”

Header image: Jakrta-based Sriwijaya Air operates an all Boeing fleet. Pictured is a Boeing 737-900ER, which Sriwijaya Air took delivery of in 2015.