Cardiff Aviation MRO, the fully-approved and certificated aviation maintenance company has recently appointed Phil Swanson as its Director of Sales and Marketing.
Phil is an aviation sales professional with wide experience of the aircraft industry. He began his career with an aircraft engineering apprenticeship at British Aerospace and worked as an engineer on new production aircraft and military fast jets before promotion to senior management. Phil established his aircraft maintenance sales career at BAE SYSTEMS in the nineties where he developed new business with Airbus operators in the US, China, India, Europe and the Middle East. Phil was appointed as a Director of Sales at BAE SYSTEMS Asset Management in 2003 where he successfully placed more than fifty aircraft with airlines and operators world-wide.
Academically Phil has studied marketing at university and management at business school. As a self-certified aviation enthusiast Phil has a current private pilot’s license, he is also a member of the historic Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society at Old Warden in Bedfordshire.
Cardiff Aviation’s Chief Executive Mario Fulgoni commented that Phil’s aviation sales career, his passion for the industry and his previous senior management experience make him ideal to lead the Sales and Marketing team at Cardiff Aviation MRO.
Robert Allison (pictured left), a budding young teenage pilot, has already notched up 15 hours PPL flying in a Robin light aircraft.
He was keen to explore the possibility of taking his passion for flying to the next level. To gain an insight into both the challenge and thrill of flying a commercial airliner, Robert booked a one hour flight experience session in the CATL 747-400 full motion simulator.
He was briefed beforehand by Captain Paul Jones about the main differences in handling technique between a light aircraft and a big jet. Paul also explained the function of some of the aircraft systems.
The flight in the simulator consisted of a takeoff, climb and then some general handling of the aircraft, including stall recovery. Robert then explored the use of the autopilot for an automatic landing and the use of the Flight Director. Subsequently, Robert then carried out a manual landing at Heathrow in good weather, a manual landing in marginal weather and the biggest challenge of all – a manual landing at night.
Captain Paul Jones commented “Robert has excellent aircraft handling skills and learns quickly. His level of natural flying ability is greater than some pilots with many more flying hours”.
We certainly wish Robert all the best for the future.
The RAF Tutor display team performed at this years Penarth Carnival on the 19th of July. Due to the threat of strong winds, thunderstorms and heavy rain in the South Glamorgan area, Cardiff Aviation Training were asked to provide overnight shelter for the teams’ two Grob Tutor aircraft.
Fortunately, the weather cleared and Flt Lt Andy Preece (pictured 2nd from left) was able to put on a very impressive display on the Penarth seafront, to the delight of the crowds.
With the first flight today of A350 MSN005, the five-strong development fleet is now complete. Being the second passenger cabin-equipped A350 and tasked with route proving and ETOPS validation, MSN005 embodies the operationally definitive configuration for Type Certification duties. This milestone means that the A350 XWB development programme is at full speed and on track for certification in the third quarter of this year, to be followed thereafter by delivery of the first customer aircraft to Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter.
As of today, the A350 XWB programme has already achieved more than 2,000 flight-test hours in around 500 flights, and with this the programme is demonstrating the highest flying rate ever achieved in Airbus flight tests, with around 80 flight hours per aircraft per month.
British Airways customers will have access to new destinations and scores more routes when the airline adds its flight code to more than 170 Vueling services.
This significant move for the two International Airlines Group (IAG) airlines heralds the beginning of a closer relationship with more codeshare routes planned for the future.
British Airways customers will be able to book Vueling flights through all BA sales channels, including ba.com, and collect Avios on these bookings. The codeshare routes are largely centred on Vueling’s operation in Italy with 37 international and 11 domestic routes available from Vueling’s Rome Fiumicino base. These include the destinations, new to BA customers, of Brindisi, Palermo, Lamezia, Valencia, Split and Nantes. Other new routes on offer through the codeshare include Heathrow to Bilbao and La Coruña, Cardiff to Malaga and Alicante, and Edinburgh to Barcelona. Tickets for the codeshare routes go on sale from 17 June for travel from 24 June, 2014.
Steve Ronald, British Airways’ head of alliances, said: “Our customers will have an even greater choice of routes, destinations and fares now that we have joined forces with Vueling. As we forge ever closer relationships with our fellow IAG airlines, Iberia and Vueling, our customers will be able to access all corners of Europe and beyond, with one simple booking on ba.com and the enticement of the collection of reward points for their loyalty. Vueling shares our commitment to excellent customer service and we are delighted that we can introduce more of our customers to their network.”
Fernando Estrada, Vueling’s director of strategy, alliances and business development, said: “We are very excited about this agreement with British Airways, which allows us to be more competitive in the market and concretely support the development of the Airport of Rome Fiumicino and tourism in the city of Rome. The agreement, which is part of the significant international expansion undertaken by Vueling, will soon be extended to other routes and markets”
Other routes in the codeshare include: Paris Orly to Catania (Sicily), Barcelona to Naples, Brussels to Venice and Copenhagen to Florence.
More of Vueling’s network will be accessible to ba.com users when further codeshare routes are added in the near future.
An express bus service to Cardiff Airport launched last year is to have its timetable scaled back this winter and in the evenings after a review into its performance, the government has said.
The Cardiff Airport Express service will run every 30 minutes rather than every 20 minutes in the less-busy winter months, after persistent criticism that it was running a “ghost train” service with very few passengers on it.
A review by transport expert Professor Stuart Cole, published in February, found the service has averaged fewer than four passengers a journey since its launch in August 2013.
But Economy Minister Edwina Hart said the service had already exceeded the initial projections on passenger numbers and was beating the already-established rail link to the hub.
However, in her formal response to Prof Cole’s report, she said she would accept recommendations made to revise the service, including the timetable revisions, research to identify passenger markets to grow the service and work to look at where extra stops and changed routes could be introduced.
Mrs Hart said: “This service was introduced in response to public demand and passengers expect a fast, frequent public transport link between the city centre and an airport.
“I am pleased that this report recognises the need for this service. As with any new venture like this, monitoring and evaluation is key and this report is part of that process.
“Professor Cole has made a number of recommendations for improving the service in both the short and long term and I am minded to accept most of them.
“I have already asked the Vale of Glamorgan council to begin the process of tendering for a revised service, to deliver some of those changes.
“I want to see Cardiff Airport thrive and having quality public transport links is vital to that aim.”
But Welsh Conservative leader and regional AM for South Wales Central, Andrew RT Davies, said maintained the T9 service was a “ghost bus” that had been “running empty for months”.
He said: “I am pleased to see these recommendations being implemented – but there is still far more to do.
“Concerns over the service’s subsidy were published earlier this year – when it had already cost the taxpayer a quarter of a million pounds in just four months.
“Labour Ministers produced no strategy to ensure the route was a success and targets are non-existent.
“Communities deserve better and viability must be urgently improved.”
The service – which runs from Cardiff Bus Station and stops at Custom House Street in the city centre and Cardiff Bay to the Rhoose airport – has been criticised by opposition figures for its low passenger numbers, with the report saying it carried on average 2,778 passengers a week since its launch.
It had an estimated annual cost of just under half a million pounds (£470,000).
The service was launched following the government £52m buyout of the hub at the end of 2012, following years of falling passenger numbers and concern over the viability of the airport under the previous Spanish owners.
Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales Central, Eluned Parrott, said: “I have long called for this bus route and was pleased when the government introduced it – but a bus every 20 minutes was too frequent given the low number of flights and passengers using Cardiff Airport.
“I am confident that the reduced frequency will still attract the same number of passengers as it currently does and I hope, over time, that with more routes from the airport more passengers will begin to use this service.”
Renaming Cardiff Airport after poet Dylan Thomas could improve Wales’s international recognition, says an MP.
Swansea West MP Geraint Davies tabled the idea at a parliamentary inquiry about the promotion of Wales as a brand and destination.
The names of singers Sir Tom Jones and Katherine Jenkins were also suggested at the Welsh Affairs Select Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The airport said it kept its options constantly under review.
Mr Davies asked tourism experts to back his idea at Tuesday’s meeting, saying: “The re-branding of [Liverpool] John Lennon Airport increased traffic 10-fold. Even [Doncaster Sheffield] Robin Hood Airport did well.
“I was wondering what you thought of the idea of renaming Cardiff Airport Dylan Thomas International Airport Cardiff?
“The idea would be to tag it with a global cultural brand that’s got longevity, to tag Wales as a cultural destination rather than another part of ‘England’,” he said.
2014 marks the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, whose works include Under Milk Wood. He died in 1953.
Hotelier Mike Morgan, who was giving evidence to the committee, suggested “Tom Jones Airport or Katherine Jenkins Airport”.
Cardiff Airport has seen an increase in passengers since it was bought by the Welsh government in March 2013 for £52m amid concerns about investment by its former owners.
Mr Morgan told MPs: “The airport is critical but I would stress that things are going in the right direction.”
A spokeswoman for the airport said the issue of renaming it has been raised previously and that it always kept its options open to review.
The Minister for Economy, Science and Transport has agreed the continued operation of the T9 Cardiff Airport Express bus service, based on a revised service as recommended by Professor Stuart Cole in his recent review.
The relevant powers are contained in Section 7 of the Transport (Wales) Act 2006, which empowers the Welsh Ministers to secure the provision of any public passenger transport services which it considers appropriate for the purpose of meeting any public transport Requirements within Wales which would not in their view otherwise be met.
An Ikarus C42 microlight similar to the aircraft involved in a near miss with a Cessna 404 above Usk
By Alan Selby-Wo
Two aircraft came within metres of a potentially deadly collision in Welsh airspace last year, a newly-published report has revealed.
Documents released by the UK Airprox Board show the pilots were lucky not to have smashed into each other in flight, given the “very high” collision risk created while they flew over Usk last November.
Their investigation was triggered when a microlight pilot said he suddenly saw another light aircraft shoot into sight on a collision course with his plane, just one second before it narrowly passed under him.
The Ikarus C42 Microlight, which set off from Gower Flight Centre at Swansea Airport, returned unharmed, as did the Cessna 404 which flew underneath it.
Its pilot said they had not been aware of the second plane, despite clear conditions, until the close encounter was reported days later.
But Airprox investigators, who probe events when aircraft safety appears to have been compromised, said the planes had been less than 200ft apart during the near-miss on November 23.
Their report said: “Because the C42 pilot did not see the C404 early enough to take any action and the C404 pilot did not see the C42 at all, it was considered that chance had played a major part in events, separation had been reduced to the minimum, and that this event had just stopped short of an actual collision.
“The Board unanimously agreed therefore that the Risk was Category A.”
They said both pilots were ultimately responsible but criticised Cardiff’s Air Traffic Controllers for not alerting the pair – despite it being likely an early warning system would have been activated on the ground.
They added: “Recognising that this was a potentially emotive issue that was open to interpretation, the Board expressed their disquiet that a safety barrier had been present but might not have been employed because it hadn’t been noticed or that it was deemed not necessary to do so because the aircraft wasn’t being controlled by Cardiff ATC. “
The controller on duty at the time had was not informed of the near miss until three days afterwards, and said they had no recollection of any alerts at the time.
Air traffic officials said neither plane had requested monitoring from ground crews, and they had acted in line with national policy.
A NATS spokesperson said: “In its consideration of the facts, the United Kingdom Airprox Board did not attribute this particular Airprox to NATS; rather, as neither pilot was receiving an Air Traffic Control service both pilots had equal responsibility for collision avoidance.
“The NATS controller was operating entirely correctly and in accordance with national and local ATC procedures.
“With regard to the content of the Airprox report, Part A of the Airprox report deals with the facts to hand, whereas Part B reports the Board’s discussion; it is not for NATS to comment on the thoughts and conjecture of the UK Airprox Board discussion.”
The emergence of their “chance” escape comes just weeks after a 61-year-old man died when in a microlight crash at Caernarfon Airport, North Wales.
The Dufry Group has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of The Nuance Group, which it says will make it the leader in the airport retail industry with a worldwide market share of 15%.
The CHF 1.55bn ($1.73bn) deal on a debt and cash-free basis, gives Dufry a presence in five continents, 63 countries, 239 airports and around 1,750 shops.
By making the acquisition, the Swiss firm says it will create ‘significant value and enhancing its global leadership in travel retail’, and it will reinforce its presence in Asia, Mediterranean, North and Central Europe and North America.
Nuance is the world’s sixth largest duty free and travel retail group by sales volume operating across 66 store locations in 19 countries, with more than 350 duty free and tax free stores, brand boutiques and concept stores.
A Nuance duty free store at St Petersburg-Pulkovo
Dufry will hold an extraordinary general meeting on June 26 2014 before which the definite terms of the capital increase will be determined.
The first trading day of the new registered shares is expected to be on July 9 2014, and the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.
Julian Diaz, Dufry’s CEO, explains it is a transformational step in the development of Dufry: “The acquisition of The Nuance Group by Dufry is a transformational deal not only for Dufry but also for the travel retail industry.
“This acquisition is a continuation of the global diversification strategy which we have communicated and executed for many years and that is based on profitable growth through three main pillars: like-for-like growth, new concessions and acquisitions.
“Dufry has been a key player in the consolidation of the fragmented travel retail industry and we have been delivering significant value through acquisitions.
“We have been consistently delivering synergies and diversified our concession portfolio worldwide step by step, thus avoiding concentration risk for any specific region or location.
“With this transformational transaction, we make another big step forward in this respect and bring our global scope to a new level. Also, the scale and breadth of our business will be changing the scope of the travel retail industry going forward.
“The combination of both organizations will further strengthen our current concession portfolio, adding new countries and operations that have a very strong fit with Dufry’s regional strategy.”
Dufry says it expects synergies at Nuance level to be generated starting in 2015, with a full impact of CHF 70 million ($78m) starting in the financial year 2016.
Additionally, it sees further synergy potential of the transaction for Dufry’s existing operations, in terms of gross margin improvement and economies of scale in logistics.
Diaz adds: “We have already prepared an integration plan with the core of this plan being the transition of Nuance’s operations into Dufry’s business model, and we will work closely with the local teams to ensure that we capture the best of the Nuance and Dufry worlds.