Monarc Global flies through the pandemic and helps build air alliances

BRISBANE-BASED aviation technology company Monarc Global has been innovating to help airlines, private charter operators and aviation brokers work together during the global pandemic—and it is paying off in unexpected ways.

Monarc Global last year helped thousands of Australians stranded overseas by facilitating urgent repatriation flights from India to Australia.

Barely out of the start-up stage as the pandemic emerged, Monarc Global was able to reposition and utilise its newly-developed software Travech – an automated, accurate booking and pricing solution used predominantly by charter operators, private aviators and airlines alike.

This year the company is extending its global reach by providing another solution to the grimly affected travel industry.

Monarc Global is launching its Partnership and Alliance Program. 

The program allows operators to work together by partnering with other airlines, operators and aviation brokers, forming a global audience and syndicate.

“We are a company that is pretty good at listening to operators and helping them to solve some of their biggest problems,” Monarc Global CEO Royce Crown said.

“We want to help operators, however big or small their business or fleet size may be, to have the opportunity to continue running their business even during a pandemic,” he said.

The program allows users to access Travtech and its unique multi-point application programming interface (API).

Mr Crown said operators could partner with other operators to share their fleets, obtain global reach, and access the aircraft’s instant live availability and accurate prices.

“The last thing an operator wants is to have their fleet laying dormant. Why not allow another operator to have access to your fleet from anywhere in the world, and you can continue business as usual?” Mr Crown said.

The program elevates existing alliances and builds new business partnerships by connecting the industry to work together in a seamless motion, Mr Crown said.



Singapore Airlines kept workers afloat, why didn't Australia's carriers?

SINGAPORE had half as many aviation job losses as Australia during COVID according to a new analysis that was tabled today in the Senate, comparing how different governments supported workers.

The report, compiled by the McKell Institute for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), is part of a submission to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee, which today held hearings examining the aviation sector in the wake of COVID.

Australia’s remote location and its heavy dependence on international travel and trade meant federal assistance was essential for an aviation sector bought to its knees by a global pandemic. 

“The evidence of success is in the outcomes," ITF head for Sydney, Scott McDine, who presented the report said. "The number of job losses at Singapore’s major carriers has been roughly half of that in Australia – 15.6 percent instead of 31.1 percent. If that success had been replicated here, 6000 more people would be in work today.” 

Pre-pandemic, Australia's two big airlines employed 40,000 people, according to the report. About 30 percent of those jobs have been lost, and without targeted support more job losses could cripple the industry and seriously delay any recovery. A further 50,000 people were employed in supply chains and smaller airlines and are similarly at risk.

The McKell report examines four main areas of government aid: airline cash bailouts or loans; job support; cutting operating costs; and ensuring routes and capacity remain in place ahead of recovery. The report found the best response, by far, was specifically targeted job support.

Australia and Singapore both provided national job-subsidy schemes, but unlike Australia’s broad-brush JobKeeper, Singapore responded to COVID with a three-tiered wage subsidy depending on industry need.

Singapore recognised its unique reliance on aviation by supporting the sector’s workers with the top 75 percent subsidy.  

That nation has just responded to the subsidy’s success by extending it until late 2021, while Australia’s untargeted JobKeeper is about to be wound up.

The US backed its airlines with huge rescue packages, but also made them contingent on aviation-specific job guarantees. This kept job losses at major US airlines to 19.5 percent.

“Despite our relatively small population -- but because of our ‘tyranny of distance’ -- we are home to some of the busiest and most lucrative air routes in the world,” Mr McDine said.  “But those lucrative routes have flatlined.

“According to the OECD, Australia ranks 18th out of 28 countries in government aviation assistance programs. We can do better.

“That is why we advocate for an ‘AviationKeeper’ benefit to extend beyond the expiry of JobKeeper in March.”


Lloyds says aircraft auctions taking off in Australia

LLOYDS AUCTIONS is seeing strong interest in its upcoming aircraft auctions. In fact, the sector may be aided by the current pandemic.

According to Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer, Lee Hames, with the set-in reality of COVID-19, small aircraft operators are looking for avenues to offload surplus aircraft and it is providing a good opportunity for those expanidng their fleets, ready for when the industry takes off again.

He said helicopters, aircraft, parts and accessories will go up for auction this Saturday as COVID-19 takes its toll on the aviation industry.

“There are some extremely high-quality aircraft going up for auction this weekend featuring arguably one of the best Jetrangers on the market in Australia today,” Mr Hames said. 

The auction features a 1978 Bell Jetranger Helicopter with just over 8000 hours of airtime and no expense has been spared on its maintenance.

“The auction has received much enquiry nationwide where the current bid on the Bell Jetranger helicopter already sitting at over $500,000 with four days to go” Mr Hames said.

“The opportunity presents itself for many people who might be looking for a bargain at some high-quality aircraft with people taking the chance during this down time to adapt and plan their business model preparing for when things return back to normal,” he said.

He said another factor was that many aviation enthusiasts has found that in the past airspace has often been hard to come by. At the moment, hobby pilots or aspiring pilots "have the perfect opportunity to log some hours up in their log book across major airports around the country".

Lloyds Auctions have seen a huge boom in auctions across multiple categories including classic cars, fine art, high end jewellery and now aviation and aircraft over the last few months.

“We are seeing many people looking for alternatives to traditional methods of sales where we have seen an influx of people turning to online auctions for both selling and purchasing of items,” Mr Hames said.

He said the final call on the auction would be at 10am on Saturday, September 26.




US launch for Monarc Global’s Travech air charter software  

THE industry-transforming Travech air charter management software developed by Australian company Monarc Global is jetting in to the US.

Automated quoting air charter software Travech was launched in 2017 by Monarc Global, an aviation-tech company, to help private charter operators automate their quoting practices.

Monarc has since helped more than 40 charter operators within Australia in rapid automated charter quoting. 

“​The plan was always to launch in the US, but COVID-19 happened, and we had to put things on hold while continuing to build new and upcoming features for our software,” ​Monarc Global CEO and co-founder, Royce Crown said. 

He said Monarc Global’s automated quoting software would re-imagine the way many airlines are doing business. 

 “There’s a realisation from major airlines, who were 100 percent reliant on scheduled services, that had found themselves grounding fleets during the pandemic,” Mr Crown said.

“They can’t have this happen again. It makes sense that they should look for alternative solutions to continue generating business. This is something they will need to implement to keep business operating during such a crisis.

“Travech is the ideal solution for them,” he said. “It will help them to utilise their grounded fleets and allow opportunities for them to charter their aircraft.” ​

Monarc Global’s Travech software is currently one of the world’s leading – and accurate – live availability and live pricing solutions automating non-scheduled assets. 

During the pandemic, Monarc Global found a spike in interest in their Travech software from operators wanting to invest in new ways to do business. The isolation period forced many to rethink, relearn and implement solutions that would help them not only stay relevant after COVID-1, but also place them steps ahead of others within the industry. 

“We’re excited about bringing Travech to the US and helping more operators solve their quoting problems,” Mr Crown said. “A common problem with many charter operators is that they spend more time watching quotes they’ve completed not convert to a sale.

“Travech reduces the time spent on quoting. What could take up to three to four hours or even a day in quoting, can be completed in under a few minutes, using Travech,” he said. 

“This is exciting and crucial for operators because essentially it means they’re increasing their conversion rate using a software that’s also highly accurate compared to manual quoting.” 

Mjet Australia CEO Mark Pugliese, an operator currently using Travech, said, “I started using Monarc Global’s Travech software as a trial recently, and I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the quoting software. 

“Compared to other quotes, Travech has given me the confidence to be able to improve my business as I transition from my brokerage service to an operator for immediate and accurate results. It’s just so simple to use and won’t have to wait hours for return of quotes. I look forward to growing my business with them.” 

Monarc Global​ is launching Travech in the US in the next month, utilising an office based in Texas and their head office in Brisbane, Australia.

“With restrictions now easing, we’re ready to launch Travech into the US and help operators to find better solutions for their business,” Mr Crown said.

“Some may be skeptical about launching into a foreign country during such times, but I think now is a better time than never. Operators are using this time during COVID-19 to explore and implement new ways to do business.”



Could Virgin Australia's collapse trigger a better post-coronavirus scenario for national aviation?

THE FATE of Virgin Australia may be in the hands of administrators, but strong interest from major investors such as Wesfarmers and the Macquarie Group has created a sense the current situation may be the start of a story, rather than the end of one, according to an aviation industry researcher.

UniSA aviation industry expert, associate professor Kate Quigley, suggests the outcome of the Virgin Australia scenario may provide a glimpse into the future for the global airline sector, as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis forces operators to develop new, more resilient business models.
“The aviation industry has always been challenging, as there are large costs involved in keeping a fleet of planes in the air, and that often requires a very high level of debt,” Assoc. Prof. Quigley said. 
“So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some other airlines around the world go the same way as Virgin Australia, because the only way those companies can make debt repayments is to have their planes flying, and that is impossible at the moment. However, where one operator drops out, there becomes more space for other operators to work in, and for those companies with clever, innovative ideas, there is a really exciting opportunity to reshape the aviation industry for the better going forward.”
Although, she said, Sir Richard Branson has hit out at the Australian Government for not bailing Virgin Australia out of its financial woes, Assoc. Prof. Quigley suggested that doing so may have prevented the local aviation industry from adapting to the post-COVID environment, which may have sent the wrong message to other businesses.
“A bailout might have saved jobs in the short term, but Virgin Australia was already struggling before this pandemic, so if the government were to prop up a problematic business model, many other struggling businesses might then expect the same type of support, rather than addressing their operational issues,” Assoc. Prof. Quigley said.
“Instead, there is now a space in the Australian airline industry for an innovative new operator to establish a viable business model that responds to the current situation.
“Whether that is a reborn version of Virgin, or a move into the market by one of the many international operators who already had a stake in Virgin, or a new operator entirely, they will be able to structure that business differently than the old Virgin model, adapting to the new marketplace, and ensuring competition remains in the Australian industry.”
While Assoc. Prof. Quigley acknowledged that Australia’s domestic airline market is a challenging one, she highlighted the benefits of competition in that environment, and stressed there would be new opportunities as the nation moves out of lockdown. 
“Without a second airline to compete against Qantas, the risk is obviously that they might start to price gouge, and then the public carries the burden,” Assoc Prof Quigley she said. 

“Even before this pandemic, many people felt domestic prices were too high, so they would fly to Bali or Fiji instead of Cairns, and we don’t want to see that worsen.
“But, significantly for whoever fills the Virgin void, Australia may well come out of lockdown before international travel resumes, so more Australians could be exploring Australia than ever before, and the domestic market might see a post-pandemic boom.”



Best in the flying business: Aviation Week’s Laureate Award winners named

AVIATION WEEK Network has named the winners of its 63rd Annual Laureate Awards, honouring extraordinary achievements in global aerospace. 

The 2020 Laureate Awards will take place on March 12, 2020 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.  At that event, a Grand Laureate in each of the four categories will be named from among the winners. 

“These winners, selected by Aviation Week Network editors who reviewed dozens of nominations, embody the spirit of exploration, innovation and vision that will inspire others to strive for broad-reaching progress in aviation, aerospace and defence,” said Aviation Week & Space Technology editor-in-chief Joseph C. Anselmo. “We look forward to honouring them all, and announcing the Grand Laureate winners in March.”

The award categories are Business Aviation, Commercial Aviation, Defense and Space.  In addition, Aviation Week Network will bestow the Philip J. Klass Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

Four cadets and midshipmen from US military academies will be recognised as Tomorrow’s Leaders, honouring young men and women who have chosen career paths in the armed forces. 

In addition to the Laureate Awards, Aviation Week Network will recognize the ‘20 Twenties’ in partnership with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  This program recognises the accomplishments and drive of 20 science, technology, engineering and mathematics students in their 20s and currently enrolled in a master's degree or bachelor's degree program

Aviation Week Network is the largest multimedia information and services provider for the global aviation, aerospace, and defence industries, serving 1.7 million professionals around the world.

Aviation Week Network is part of Informa Markets, a division of Informa PLC.


The Laureate Winners are:


MRO - Robotic Skies
Anticipating widespread growth in commercial unmanned aircraft, Robotic Skies has created a global network of repair stations to maintain and service the burgeoning fleet.

Operations: Rega Swiss Air-Rescue
To operate in reduced visibility in mountainous terrain, Rega helped develop a low-altitude helicopter instrument route and approach system using satellite navigation.

Platform - Gulfstream G500/G600
Laying the foundations for a new generation of large-cabin, long-range Gulfstreams, the G500 and G600 feature the Symmetry flight deck including fly-by-wire, active sidesticks and touchscreen controls.

Propulsion - Pratt & Whitney PT6E
Pratt & Whitney’s next-generation PT6E is the first general aviation turboprop to feature dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control.

Safety - Garmin Autoland
The push of a red button in an emergency by a pilot or passenger activates Garmin’s Autoland, a virtual co-pilot that takes control and lands the aircraft automatically.

Technology & Innovation - Wing Aviation
A subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, Wing in April 2019 became the first commercial drone delivery service to be awarded a Part 135 air carrier certificate by the FAA.



Air Traffic Management – Aireon
Aireon’s satellite-based surveillance system for the first time provides continuous tracking of aircraft over oceans and remote regions.

Airline Strategy – Adel Ali, CEO, Air Arabia
In Air Arabia, CEO Adel Ali has built a sustainably profitable low-cost carrier pioneering the business model in the Middle East.

Leadership - David Neeleman, airline entrepreneur
Having established multiple airlines including Morris Air, JetBlue Airways and Azul Linhas Aereas, David Neeleman is preparing to get Moxy, his latest venture, off the ground.

MRO – Donecle
French company Donecle is the leader in performing aircraft visual inspections by automated drone, cutting inspection times by 90 percent.

Platforms - Airbus A321LR
The first long-range version of the Airbus A321neo, the A321LR is developing a new market niche – narrowbodies flying in secondary long-haul markets.

Propulsion - Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce’s surprise acquisition of Siemens’ eAircraft unit has catapulted the engine manufacturer into a leading position in the electrification of aircraft propulsion.

Sustainability – Boeing ecoDemonstrator
Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has completed six test campaigns, the aircraft serving as tools to accelerate development and testing of new technology.



Best New Product - Embraer KC-390
The first KC-390 tanker/transport, the largest and most sophisticated aircraft yet developed by Embraer, was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in 2019.

Manufacturing - Northrop Grumman F-35 Centre Fuselage Production
In 10 months, Northrop Grumman increased F-35 centre-fuselage production from six a month to 15. Part supply deliveries increased from 81,000 a year to 274,000.

MRO - BAE Systems Typhoon Total Availability Enterprise
Combining Eurofighter support packages into one program focused on management of the Royal Air Force fleet has lowered Typhoon support costs by around 38 percent.   

Platforms - Bell V-280 Valor
From low-speed agility to speeds beyond 280 kt., Bell’s V-280 advanced tiltrotor has met or exceeded objectives under the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role demonstration.

Propulsion: AFRL Medium Scale Critical Components Scramjet Program
In a test by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Test Center, a Northrop Grumman scramjet set a record for thrust produced by a US air-breathing hypersonic engine.

Technology & Innovation - Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie
Developed for the US Air Force Research Laboratory, Kratos’ XQ-58 Valkyrie blurs the traditional boundaries between a disposable cruise missile and reusable unmanned aircraft.

Weapons - Missile Defense Agency/Boeing Ground-based Midcourse Defense FTG-11
In March 2019, two interceptors launched from Vandenberg AFB, California, shot down two ICBM targets in the most realistic test yet of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.



Launch Services - Spaceflight Industries
Spaceflight Industries has created a new way to deliver small satellites to space by allowing government and commercial operators to share the ride.

Operations - HawkEye 360
US startup HawkEye 360 has launched the first commercial service for geolocating radio-frequency signals from space, using satellites that fly in a unique formation.

Platforms - Mars Cube One Mission
In the first demonstration of cubesats in deep space, the Mars Cube One mission relayed near-real-time telemetry of the entry, descent and landing of NASA’s Insight.

Propulsion - Reaction Engines
Reaction Engines has demonstrated its pre-cooler at temperatures representative of hypersonic speeds, a critical milestone toward development of its air-breathing rocket engine.

Space Science - Chang’e 4 Moon Landing
With the January 2019 touchdown of the Chang’e 4 robotic lunar lander in the Von Kármán Crater, China became the first country to soft-land on the Moon’s far side.

Supplier Innovation - OneWeb Satellites
In a unique transatlantic venture between mega-constellation operator OneWeb and aerospace manufacturer Airbus, OneWeb Satellites is bringing aircraft mass production to satellite manufacturing.

Technology & Innovation - RemoveDEBRIS Mission
In a groundbreaking series of on-orbit tests, the European-funded RemoveDEBRIS mission demonstrated active debris removal technologies designed to clean up low Earth orbit.



Robert LeDuc - President, Pratt & Whitney
LeDuc came out of retirement and used his leadership skills to shake up the corporate team and guide the PW1000G geared turbofan program through its challenging service introduction and production ramp-up and onto the road to success.



Scoot lifts customer experiences with Dell Boomi-fuelled data analytics

INTERNATIONAL budget airline Scoot has implemented cloud-based integration from Dell Boomi to aggregate data from customers and internal applications, a move other budget carriers are sure to look closely at.

Dell’s independent cloud business unit Boomi said Scoot was using the Boomi integration platform for uninterrupted data sharing across the expanding organisation. This allows Scoot to adapt more quickly to changing market conditions “and therefore improve passenger experiences”.

“Boomi gives us a dedicated, cloud-based integration tool that aligns to our all-cloud strategy, and is therefore able to handle the high volumes of system-to-system data transfer that our business model requires,” Scoot vice president of information technology, Jason Chin said.

Scoot, the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines, operates a global network of 66 cities across 18 countries and territories across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, offering customers a cheaper alternative for travel. To provide these affordable services, Scoot relies on extensive data generated from its customers’ bookings and various internal systems.  

“With the various features the platform provides, we will be able to connect our entire organisation to create a single source for our data, with the knowledge that this information is up to date and accurate,” Mr Chin said. “We will then be able to better understand our business and customers, and deliver the products and services that passengers want – before, during and after their flights.”

Scoot implemented the low-code Boomi integration platform to replace a series of outdated connectors which did not provide the level of automated data management the organisation required. Its former integrations limited communication between Scoot’s systems and restricted access to data, inhibiting the potential of its sharing capabilities. These bespoke integrations were also code-heavy, consequently demanding substantial maintenance.

Mr Chin said this had been particularly beneficial amid Scoot’s expansion – the airline has grown from 20-plus to 60 routes following the consolidation of TigerAir into the Scoot brand – accelerating the organisation’s time to market despite the significant increase in customers and employees.

Scoot has also been able to achieve this while maintaining its IT resources – as Boomi does not require the consistent upkeep of traditional integration technologies, it allows Scoot to achieve more with less.

“The airline industry contains among the most diverse sets of customers, and with that comes the ongoing challenge of adapting to the demands of passengers,” Dell Boomi managing director for Asia William Fu said.

“By creating a centralised data repository using the Boomi integration platform, Scoot is able to establish a greater level of insight into its business, and in turn make business decisions nimbly as the market changes to bolster its competitiveness.”



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