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n°2 - WINTER 2012

asl aviation group internal newsletter

ASL Aviation Group: Growing to 1,870 employees, 125 aircraft

Message from our CEO 2012: A Promising Year’s Performance Having seen the success of the inaugural copy of the ASL/ Indaba newsletter, it gives me great pleasure to announce the name of the newsletter ‘Altitude’. Congratulations to Delphine Bukva, Europe Airpost who suggested the winning name. In particular supporting the name which emulated from the naming competition in the first edition, reading ‘Altitude’ will, I trust, help us all at ASL to fly higher!! At the end of last year, it was hard to believe yet another year had just gone by, well, 2012 has passed even faster! Nevertheless, 2012 has been a great year for the ASL companies both individually and by improving synergies between them. This is particularly important given the difficult global economic climate we are confronted with. The ASL companies’ global reach and exceptional performance service standards have seen operations in both the Artic and Antarctica this year. We have seen contract renewals, new customers and fleet growth. With strong and sustained recognition from well across the aviation industry, it is not surprising due to the exemplary efforts of the ASL companies, we have been successful with new business and contract renewals.

France : 0,00€ , Ireland : 0,00€, United Kingdom : 0,00£, South Africa : 0,00 rand

With the prospect of challenges ahead but ‘armed’ with these strong attributes, I am confident we can continue to develop and grow the ASL Aviation Group and once again be winners in 2013! On behalf of ASL’s shareholders and management, thank you for your outstanding efforts in 2012 and let us focus on further success in 2013. Wishing you and your families a very blessed and happy Christmas and a healthy, happy and successful 2013! Regards, Hugh Flynn

our group of aviation services continues to grow with the addition of tnt airways and pan air líneas aéreas

The ASL Aviation Group announced, Thursday November 15, the signing of an agreement to acquire two airlines : TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas.


ollowing this agreement, TNT Airways based in Belgium and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas based in Spain, will be added to the existing air transportation activities of the ASL Aviation Group.

ASL will develop TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas in line with its business approach. While the airlines will continue to operate their fleets on their existing routes, every effort will be made to develop synergies between them all.

The addition of these two companies to Air Contractors, Europe Airpost and Safair will bring the number of airlines in the Group to a total of five, the staff to a total of nearly 1,900 and the fleet to 125 aircraft. This new acquisition reinforces the successful, strategic development of the Group through external growth, two years after the entry of Safair into the Group (November 2010). This new expansion of ASL increases the capabilities of the Group and strongly underlines our competitiveness globally.

ASL will take over all flights performed by TNT Airways and Pan Air Líneas Aéreas and become a key third-party provider of the combined UPS-TNT Express group. The Group will also be invited to bid for all the UPS’ future outsourced air business in Europe when this becomes open to tender.

TNT Airways TNT Airways was established in 2000. The company handles a fleet of about 40 aircraft and performs activities in Liège such as crew scheduling and training, flight dispatch and quality control. Independently of its TNT network role, the airline also offers a wide range of services such as cargo charters as well as cargo handling. In addition to operating the TNT’s European network during the night, the aircraft are also available for charter flights during the day for other customers. Every night, an average of 40 aircraft serves 68 European airports from Liège. The company operates five times a week to JFK airport in New-York and ensures four to six rotations per week to Singapore, Dubaï, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong. The company also performs services for NATO with a B757 combi aircraft. Staff : 530 : 230 ground staff + 300 aircrew Current Fleet: 36 aircraft 3 Boeing 777Freighter 2 Boeing 747-400ERF 1 Boeing 757 Combi 14 Boeing 737-300/400SF 16 BAe 146-200/300 QT

This transaction represents a unique opportunity for ASL to be in a position to provide services to the major integrators and postal providers as a neutral provider of airline services. The transaction is conditional on the completion of the intended UPS-TNT Express merger approval by the EU.

Pan Air Líneas Aéreas Pan Air Líneas Aéreas is a cargo airline based in Madrid, Spain. It operates on the TNT Express European Network.

Its main base is Madrid Barajas International Airport with hubs at Liège (Belgium), San Pablo, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza, Vitoria and Barcelona International Airport. The airline was established in 1987 and started operations in December 1988. Staff : 140 : 80 ground staff + 60 aircrew Current fleet : 8 aircraft 6 x BAe 146-200QT 2 x BAe 146-300QT

2 asl aviation group internal newsletter

air contractors

Company News

A dynamic forty year old Airline

been converted in Miami to a ten bay freighter configuration. All three are operating exclusively for DHL on routes within Europe, based at their aviation hub in Leipzig, Germany.

As Air Contractors approaches its 40th anniversary in November it is going through another period of significant and exciting change. The company has introduced new aircraft types, operating in new parts of the world and adapting some of its business processes to make them more efficient.

Further developments with DHL see us operating two Airbus A300-600 freighters based in Hong Kong on a wet-lease to Air Hong Kong. The aircraft will be operating routes to Saigon in Vietnam, Penang in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand. The contract is for a period of nine months and is the first time that Air Contractors has operated in this region.

Air Contractors has added three Boeing 737-400F aircraft to its fleet. They were previously owned by Qantas and have

europe airpost


IPad tablets for chief pursers

The Hercules is back in Entebbe

Europe Airpost is always at the cutting edge of innovation. It is one of the first airlines to provide iPad tablets to all chief pursers.

Additional services: iPad tablets will eventually provide chief pursers with full data (practical, cultural or other)


Back on the ground the process of ‘automating the office’ continues with the introduction of the Roster module within Acclaim to allow for seamless crew allocation. This combined with major advances in the Finance department with automated allocation of invoices adds to the whole programme of freeing up the flow of data across the organisation.  

After an eight month break, the Hercules is back ‘home’ in Entebbe for the United Nations.

Tested in spring and developed in summer, the service is currently fully operational. It enables cabin attendants to deliver reliable flight reports, optimise data usage and save time in flight management. Improved flight management: During the flight preparation, flight data (number of passengers, type of service to be provided, particularities etc...) are downloaded to the tablet as well as the regulatory and commercial documentation. Using the iPad during the flight enables immediate and much quicker access to flight management data. At the end of the flight, the chief purser uses the drop-down iPad menus to complete the flight report. Only remarks are to be entered manually. The electronic flight report is immediately sent and processed so all departments receive information that is relevant to them.

Both of these events are significant milestones in the development of our relationship with DHL and in the growth of the company.

Operations will consist of flights mainly within the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with logistical resupply as well as transportation of fuel in our bulk fuel tanks. The aircraft has also undertaken flights to Mogadishu and Baidoa, Somalia. The crews will be staying at the Lake Victoria Hotel in Kampala, whose staff welcomed the


A busy six months

on flight destinations in order to provide additional service to passengers. Training tool: Chief pursers will also shortly use their iPad as a training tool to maintain their skills and validate them every year.

From Spain to Myanmar A Swift return to maintenance Welcome back to our Spanish customer Swiftair after a long absence. The airline is putting four heavy maintenance checks through the ACE facility during the last quarter of 2012, two ATR72-500 passenger aircraft, an ATR72-200 cargo aircraft and one ATR42 cargo aircraft. The maintenance includes avionic modifications, engine boroscope inspections and X-ray structural inspections. ACE is looking forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with Swiftair. De-icer boot repairs ACE has now completed over 130 de-icer boot repairs for ATR aircraft.

Short Finals Mogadishu

Hercules return with open arms! Along with the B737-400 Combi which is also contracted to the UN, we are growing the Entebbe staff complement again, and certainly hope to add another Hercules there in the near future.

The aircraft was on site 26 August 2012. The initial contract terminated in November 2011. The UN put out a new bid early in 2012 as they had the requirement again, however it was only awarded in August.

tem was implemented by a focused team at ACLAS, a team of key ‘core’ users with a huge level of support from ASL IT and Component Control.

Investec own a large fleet of ATR72500 aircraft they leased to Kingfisher in India. Investec moved to recover their aircraft as a result of the financial problems of Kingfisher, and have chosen through ACLAS to be their key supplier of rotables, consumables and major components to help them remarket their aircraft. The ACLAS team have now shipped over 300 components for these aircraft, and continue to manage the repair and overhaul of many others. The recovery program will continue throughout 2013.

It has been a busy six months at ACLAS Global. Major improvements to the IT system with the introduction of Component Control, new business in the support of Investec and integrated support with ACE for customers in Myanmar. ACLAS has successfully implemented a new integrated business management system, Component Control’s Quantum. Quantum brings a new platform to ACLAS where inventory and business transactions are now linked, with the stock and sales systems now one, to become a state of the art distribution management system. Quantum tracks all the inventory movements at ACLAS and links any movement to our financial systems. In future, Quantum will provide a basis for internet sales and management of stocks. The Quantum sys-

This includes six units of the most difficult de-icer to repair, the notorious ATR72 air intake de-icer. The combination of our de-icer repair capability and our stock of leading edges, allow us, with ACLAS, to propose a global and complete offering to our customers.

During the last six months, ACLAS has emerged as the lead supplier of ATR, Beech and Embraer spares for a number of airlines in Myanmar (former Burma). In October ACLAS and ACE joined forces to provide a range of specialist maintenance services to airlines in Myanmar. ACE conducted and managed a number of borescope and x-ray inspections under the ACLAS sole supplier agreements for Myanmar Airways and Air KBZ in Yangon.

Flaps in a Highland jig ACE will soon have the ATR flight control repair jig in our Edinburgh workshop for repairing ATR flaps and flight controls. The jig tool, one of only four ever made, is essential equipment for ATR flight control repair and ACE will have the capability up and running by February 2013.

Broadening our scope We have completed two fuel tank boroscope inspections in Myanmar, South East Asia. The task, which is very specialised, was contracted through our group partners ACLAS. Following completion of the work the customer expressed extreme satisfaction with the results.

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Indaba Group News

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are ! HR

of respondents rated the newsletter as excellent or good for Value, Content, Quality and Layout.

A picture says a thousand words


he HR Group have continued to ask the question ‘what is the Group ?’ Each Company was asked to collect photographs of their part of the Group to represent to an outsider what their Company does and what it means to work for that Company. The results were fascinating, showing the different components of each of our business. You will be able to see them soon on your local intranet.

Newsletter Feedback

Thank you to everyone who completed the online questionnaire. Over 100 responses were received. Receiving and responding to feedback is very important. More than 85% tors, with the final aircraft entering service February 2013. What went on behind the scenes was a complex and co-ordinated effort by the airlines, companies and departments in the ASL Aviation Group.


B737-400 Project


t the beginning of October EISTB, a B737-400 freighter entered service, operated by Air Contractors flying for DHL in Europe. This is the first of three B737-400 freighters that go into service for Air Contrac-


A regular and efficient process


he Indaba IT governance role has been absorbed into the Group CIO function, and through the weekly Divisional IT meetings, and the fortnightly Group IT Steering Committee, all major IT issues throughout the Group are presented and debated at regular intervals. The project for better Communication within the Group has focussed on using Microsoft Lync. Implementation has progressed as planned, however there have been a number of technical challenges along the way. Air Contractors is progressing an approach to


The ASL Group marketing culture


ince the first issue of ASL internal newsletter, the members of the marketing group have maintained contact in order to build together a strong ASL Group marketing culture and to carry out joint actions in priority areas:

The project began with a visit by Europe Airpost and Safair to Australia to review their B737 HGW passenger airplanes. The team reviewed the status and prepared extensive reports and action lists. The legal and contracts teams then swung into action and contracts, terms and conditions were agreed. Legal trusts were set up in USA and the aircraft placed onto the American register for the conversion process. The airplanes were positioned to Victorville, USA by Qantas, and Safair then contracted ferry crews to move them to Miami to the AEI/Commercial Jet facility for the conversion. Workscopes were developed by the Engineering departments of Europe Airpost, Air Contractors and Sa-

A major challenge was distribution: there are a lot of staff who work at outstations, who we felt it was important to provide a physical copy to. However the packaging created confusion and the number of people who stated they did not receive a copy was high. A few people felt the cost of producing was at odds with some of the companies cost saving initiatives. Distribution methods have been revised and we shall again be issuing electronic copies of the newsletter.

fair sharing skills and experience. Modifications to allow the aircraft to operate in Europe were defined and accomplished at the same time. The Australian records and engineering processes are somewhat different to the rest of the world, and so bridging and extensive records research was needed. No small task with approximately three tonnes of paperwork per airplane! ASL played a critical part of the process by funding, and ensuring that the invoices were all paid on time. The Air Contractors team then got their ARC team and ferry crew together for the delivery and ferry process. A few minor items were addressed on arrival in Ireland and with very little fuss the airplane entered service. So for an aircraft arriving at the conversion centre June 10, and completed September 29, we must thank the whole team involved for their dedication, commitment and down, two to go!

move all telephone services to Lync, along with the other Lync features. Other companies in the Group are all in various stages of installing Lync. The Electronic Flight Bags project is on its way with Europe Airpost implementing the EFB2 flight bag on all aircraft. Safair are progressing with the Navteq EFB, and have overcome some technical difficulties. Air Contractors has this project on hold, awaiting EASA approval for the Jeppesens application. Information Sharing systems for Group Legal, Group Finance and Group HR are I ntra-group communication: with the help of the Group ICT, the members of the marketing group can now access a web forum system where they can share useful data for their work.  ross-training: the members of the markeC ting group gathered in Paris-CDG for an exchange session and specific training focused on Europe Airpost and its business, conducted by Laure Serraille, marketing manager for Europe Airpost. ATR as a single product: Ian Hilton is su-


Stronger and more visible


he three main areas of focus continue to gain momentum.

 e Group Communications Manual Th Master Template has been finalised and circulated to all Group companies for adaptation and adoption by the companies. Most individual manuals are either complete or in the final stages of editing. Once all have finalised their respective manuals, the rollout to staff will begin, via a practical based, open book questionnaire which can be completed in the field and which will prepare those employees for the related challenges they may face in such situations.  e ASL Aviation Group was represented at the annual International Th Aviation Safety Seminar, in Santiago, Chile by Costa Vouros, and this year’s agenda merged very well with the increased focus that the group has embarked upon in recent times, with regards to safety in the Aviation context. The strong safety message of the Group was showcased at this event and the various presentations and topics of benefit to all Group companies, will be circulated.  enewed efforts are underway to circulate monthly event reports R amongst the three airlines, with emphasis on lessons learnt, prevention and mitigation and safety synergy. Europe Airpost has developed online Safety Management System training for all Group companies. Lastly, risk assessment methodologies as a central theme continue to be reviewed and ideas circulated between all within the workgroup.

As the year end approaches with 2013 on the horizon, the Safety workgroup efforts continue unabated and we look forward to the various projects reaching fruition soon and safety within the group growing stronger and even more visible to all.


‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail’


uch of the time since the last publication has been spent on financial planning and analysis. We are consistently working on improving the quality of the financial information we have available and through the capable initiatives of the finance team we are making great strides in this area. These initiatives are important in providing the Group management with information to help us steer the Group financially and understand the complexities and peculiarities of the various unique businesses. Budget 2013 and the updated three year rolling forecasts are the next calendar events and will further update the Groups outlook. Other significant initiatives include assistance from the finance team in the implementation of the Group IT in conjunction with new Quantum Control software. This is an innovative product used by large spares companies including AJ Walters and will provide the spares business with a significantly improved platform to manage spares sales going forward.

now in place. The Group HR system services only Air Contractors, ASL, ACLAS and ACE as other Group companies have their own applications. These systems are resident on the new ASL server, providing for Group management of the resource. pervising the production of an e-brochure which will enable ASL Group marketing and sales specialists to show their customers or partners the Group’s know-how on all ATR products: leasing, air operations, spares, maintenance and repair.  frica: Following a sector study carried out by A Neville Desselss on ATR operators in Africa, contacts have been made in Southern Africa in order to explore new ways of cooperation. Furthermore, as initiated by David Slipper, marketing facilitator for Group Exco, external

The finance team has successfully agreed a substantial loan package with a leading bank to support the B737-400 investment program. Various elements of the team come together to facilitate this important initiative to support the Group’s capital expenditure programs. Finally, we are working with the various experts to revisit the Group structure and look for opportunities to optimise tax and financial planning. pathfinders have been selected in order to develop new markets in the airline industry. Pathfinders benefit from high-level contacts in the industry and are recognised experts in their field. Their priority is to help ASL find winter markets for passenger aircraft, search new outlets for Air Contractors A300 and enhance the sales development of ‘support’ subsidiaries ACLAS and ACE.

Altitude Altitude

asl aviation group internal newsletter

A leap of faith to support Irish charity In July 2012 ASL sponsored a Charity Skydive in aid of ‘Make A Wish Foundation’, one of Ireland’s most worthwhile charity organisations. Since 1992, MakeA-Wish in Ireland has granted wishes for over 1100 brave children. A wish granted is true magic for the child, providing respite from their normal routines of hospitals, doctors and treatment. This can make a real difference to a child’s life.

Edinburgh Festivals In August of each year, Edinburgh plays host to hoards of international visitors who come to see the many spectacular events held around the Capital. The Festival culminates in a fantastic firework display, obviously dependent on Scottish weather, which doesn’t realise that JulySeptember is supposed to be our summer!! The weather does not dampen the spirits of those visitors and the City has a constant ‘buzz’ about it for the duration of the Festival, and beyond. The International Festival was founded in 1947 to enrich European cultural life in the wake of the Second World War. The belief in the power of the arts to nurture and transform, lies at the heart of the Festival’s mission.

The world’s biggest scientific project The world’s largest telescope and one of the biggest scientific projects ever, the SKA Radio Telescope, will be shared between South Africa and Australia, with a majority share coming to South Africa.

1950 saw the first Edinburgh Military Tattoo take place with only eight items in the programme. Since then the Tattoo has been attended by more than 12 million people, the annual audience being around 217,000.

The festival fringe was created when a number of theatre groups turned up uninvited to the festival. Not being part of the official programme did not put them off, instead they performed in the streets of Edinburgh. As the years have passed, the number of acts performing in the Fringe has grown and grown. Province. The sparse aperture array will be built in Western Australia. The SKA are built in these remote locations as radio telescopes must be located as far away as possible from man-made electronics or machines that emit radio waves that will interfere

It is called the SKA, Square Kilometre Array, because it will be made up of thousands of large antennas linked together. The total surface area of the antennas will add up to approximately one square kilometre. The antennas - spread over 3 000 km - will work together creating a radio telescope at least 50 times more powerful, and 10 000 times faster than any other radio telescope currently in existence.

In October, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled his plans for an independence referendum

Back in the first century AD, after failing to crush the local Scottish tribes, the Roman Emperor Hadrian erected a wall to protect his English colony.

Our Air Contractors dare devils were: Mark Murphy, Jenna Hayes, Julie-Ann Twohig, Jennifer Dick, Eamonn Farrelly, Noel Kelly, Terry Richardson, Thomas Bambrick, Paul Kane, Alan Pepper, Loic Convalot and from ASL, Alan Duffy. To help raise money family and friends enjoyed a Charity BBQ. The night included a sponsored wax by our brave males who screamed when they had their body hair removed, causing plenty of laughs from the spectators. The skydive took place at Birr Aerodrome, Co Offaly. Looking pensive, the divers were kitted out in their Make A Wish Charity T-shirts and sky diving gear. Training over, one by one our courageous colleagues took the leap and were greeted on the ground by loud cheers from onlookers. I am pleased to say all landed safe and sound! The event raised over €10,000.00 for Make A Wish foundation. It’s safe to say our colleagues have brought plenty of wishes and smiles to children’s faces.

for Scotland to be held in the autumn of 2014. Under an agreement signed by the First Minister and UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, a legally binding, single-question referendum will be delivered to the Scottish people on whether Scotland should leave the UK. This is the latest confrontation in a 2000-year history of rivalry between England and Scotland.

Twelve of our ASL and Air Contractors employees decided to take the ‘plunge’ and put themselves forward for an experience of a lifetime.

However, the flow of trade between the two countries brought the then separate English and Scottish parliaments together under the 1707 Act of Union - creating the new state of Great Britain. That unity is now threatened.The First Minister

A leading country in aeronautical industry On 23rd October, French Prime Minister inaugurated the assembly line of the latest Airbus aircraft, the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body), in Toulouse, France. The A350-XWB is a long-haul fuel-efficient aircraft available in three passenger versions: the A350-900 (314 seats), the A350-800 (270 seats) and the A350-1000 (350 seats). The A350 assembly line is the fourth for Airbus in Toulouse where A320, A330 and A380 are already being assembled. For this fourth A350 assembly line, Airbus has built a new plant. At full production, it will employ 1,500 people and will build up to ten aircraft a month, which will account for 40% of Airbus revenue. The plant has been named after Airbus first boss, Roger Béteille, who created the

The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closingtime cry in the lowland inns during the 17th and 18th century – ‘Doe den tap toe’ (Turn off the taps), unusual that there should be some alcoholic link when speaking about Scotland!

The official closing ceremony of the Festival is a magical firework display which takes place within Edinburgh Castle and, on a clear night, can be seen for miles around the City.

with the faint radio signals coming from the distant Universe. The site should also be as high and dry as possible, because some radio waves are absorbed by the moisture in our atmosphere. The SKA will be built at an estimated cost of R20 billion. At least 13 countries and close to 100 organisations are already involved. Phase 1 construction is scheduled to begin in 2016, with Phase 2 built from 2019 to 2024. Radio astronomers will use the SKA to understand how stars and galaxies formed, and how they evolved over time, what the so-called «dark-matter» is that occupies 95% of the Universe, how magnetic fields formed and evolved in the Universe and how they influence astrophysical processes, to investigate the validity of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and perhaps detect life elsewhere in the Universe.

The majority of the SKA will be built in Africa. The core will be constructed in the Northern Cape

Independence for ACE (aka Scotland)

Country News


has embarked on what is seen in some quarters as a high-stakes game of chance by pitting himself against David Cameron. As Scotland begins gearing itself up for the referendum, the debate surrounding how the country would go forward alone has been heating up. A number of key issues will need to be addressed concerning defence, economic policy and other areas. What would happen to Trident (Britain’s current nuclear deterrent)? What currency would Scotland have? Who would own North Sea oil and gas? What would happen to Scotland’s membership of the EU, UN, IMF and NATO? Oh, and would there be border controls between England and Scotland? Which rather brings us back to where we started!

company in 1967 with a secretary and an engineer only. During the inauguration ceremony, Roger Béteille, who is 91 years old, placed the spotlight back on Airbus employees who “were able to reach the target which, in my youth, was impossible to even dream of: being the leading civil aircraft manufacturer”. The first Airbus aircraft was the A300, a two engine wide-body aircraft with two passenger aisles as is the A350, 45 years later. We can, however, notice some differences as the 2013 aircraft is made out of 53% of composites which have required advanced technology. Airbus is an EADS subsidiary headquartered in Toulouse, France. It is the leading aircraft manufacturer in the world with Boeing. Both manufacturers plan this year to deliver around 600 aircraft each. France has always played a key role in the history

of aviation, from the Montgolfier brothers to Louis Bleriot and Clement Ader, the pioneer engineer who invented the word ‘Avion’ (plane) until today with Airbus, Ariane, Thales and Safran.

Director of Publication: Hugh Flynn / Contributors: Alec Anderson, Marlouise Booyse, Vivienne Burch, Tom Dalton, Claude Foucault, Graham Gosling, Colin Grant, Linda Little, Cormac Martin, Frank Phillips, Ian Reece, John Rooney, Peter Scott, David Slipper, Wendy Velzian, Eric Vincent, Costa Vouros. Coordination: JetCom / Design: Oxalis média / Photos Credits: ASL, Europe Airpost, Safair, ACLAS, Air Contractors, TNT Airways, Xilostudios, Airbus,,, JL. Deru /photo-daylight, J. M. Dibbs.

Altitude No. 2 - Winter 2012-2013 English  
Altitude No. 2 - Winter 2012-2013 English  

Altitude No. 2 - Winter 2012-2013 English