Saturday, 25 September 2021

Oman Air returns to London Heathrow

There have been celebrations this week as the national air carrier of the Sultanate of Oman,  Oman Air, resumed flights between the home base of Muscat and London Heathrow on Wednesday 22nd September. 

The boutique airline will operate flights three times weekly on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Muscat at 14:25 local time and arriving in London at 19:10 local time. The return flights from London will depart at 20:50 local time and arrive in Muscat at 07:15 local time on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. All flights are scheduled to be operated with Oman Air's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Oman Air has confirmed it will maintain its comprehensive safety program throughout all elements of the travel journey to ensure that guests fly confidently. Masks are required when guests are onboard the aircraft and in Oman's airports. Distancing is maintained while guests board and exit the aircraft, which are carefully cleaned after each flight and at the end of every day. Cabin crew all wear a full set of personal protective equipment, meal service has been modified to further ensure safety, and a number of other measures have been implemented to ensure that the airline's guests and crew are safe at all times.

165 Omani Nationals enrolled in various Oman Air Pilot Training Programmes



The airline has also been in a celebratory mood as it also confirmed this week that it had ramped up pilot training to meet growing demand for passenger and cargo flights, and to support its growth strategy for post-pandemic travel. 

JetBlue's new Head of Talent and Crewmember Experience named

New York's hometown airline JetBlue has appointed Edward Kayton to post Head of Talent and Crewmember Experience, starting from September 28, 2021. Kayton will report to JetBlue’s Chief People Officer, Laurie Villa, and will be responsible for leading talent acquisition, talent management, people data insights, organizational effectiveness, crew relations and values relations at JetBlue.

“Edward not only brings the expertise and passion that will benefit JetBlue at this time of evolution and growth in our business, but he is also a fantastic fit for our company’s special culture,” said Villa. “I’m excited to partner with him to ensure JetBlue remains an employer of choice for today’s crewmembers and the many we’ll welcome in the years ahead.”

“I’ve long admired the JetBlue brand and the company’s values so I’m very honored to be stepping into this role,” said Kayton. “I’m eager to get to know the team and get to work on the things that are most important to JetBlue’s crewmembers and its business success.”

With more than 20+ years of experience in talent leadership, Kayton has shaped effective people and talent acquisition and management strategies to support long-term business objectives in a number of industries, including aviation, specialty retail, and technology. He most recently served as the Vice President, Human Resources at Spirit Airlines. Prior to Spirit, he served as Vice President, Human Resources for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Kayton brings expertise across the HR capability spectrum, including oversights of learning and development, HR technology, workforce analytics, engagement and culture, corporate social responsibility and employee relations.





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Honeywell And Wood introduce new technologies in support of carbon-neutral sustainable aviation fuel

Honeywell and Wood announced this week a comprehensive package of technologies to support the effort to produce carbon-neutral aviation fuel. When used together, the technologies, which are based on Honeywell's UOP Ecofining process technology and Wood's hydrogen plant technology, could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 100% using certain feedstocks when compared to traditional petroleum aviation fuel.


Friday, 24 September 2021

Las Vegas and Miami back in the timetable for KLM this winter

Heading back to the states......

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be allowed to operate additional services to destinations in the United States this winter, thanks to the recent easing of travel restrictions by Dutch and U.S. authorities.

The easing of restrictions prompted KLM’s decision to resume service to Las Vegas and Miami from 7 December. The airline also previously announced that it would expand its winter schedule with services to four new destinations: Cancun (Mexico), Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), Bridgetown (Barbados) and Mombasa (Kenya).

The Dutch carrier says restoring it global network of destinations is the focal point of its strategy to emerge from the coronavirus crisis as a stronger and more competitive airline. From the start of the coronavirus pandemic, KLM has maintained as much of its network as possible. This ensured that passengers could continue to make (essential) trips and that cargo, including medical goods and vaccines, could be transported. This strategy was of great benefit to KLM during the pandemic and now makes it easier to scale up operations. KLM will continue to insist on greater consistency in policy on travel restrictions.

Flight schedules
KLM’s flight schedules to Miami and Las Vegas from 6 December 2021 will be as follows:

Miami

Flight number

From/to

Days of the week

Departure

Arrival

KL0627

Amsterdam - Miami

Tues./Fri./Sun.

10:20

14:20

KL0628

Miami - Amsterdam

Tues./Fri./Sun.

16:30

06:50*

*arrival the next day

Las Vegas

Flight number

From/to

Days of the week

Departure

Arrival

KL0635

Amsterdam – Las Vegas

Tues./Thurs./Sun.

12:35

14:10

KL0636

Las Vegas - Amsterdam

Tues./Thurs./Sun.

15:59

10:50*

*arrival the next day




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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Cyril Kongo partners with Airbus for a special ACJ TwoTwenty cabin edition


Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and contemporary French artist Cyril Kongo, a.k.a. Mr Colorful, have jointly designed an ACJ cabin – the ACJ TwoTwenty special cabin edition by Cyril Kongo.

Cyril Kongo has a strong pioneering spirit which perfectly complements the ACJ's team’s innovative mindset, turning the extra-large biz-jet into a flying contemporary art gallery, thus, offering a never-done-before novel ambiance.


Urban artist above all, Kongo is part of the first generation of French graffiti artists. Committed and revolutionary he was instrumental in defending graffiti as a school of fully-fledged art. Indeed when the painter talks about his discipline he evokes its technical and visual complexity and he describes it as a “savoir-faire”. Calligraphic abstraction, fluid lines and spontaneity allied with a committed and clear purpose made him an unprecedented artist. Cyril Kongo is mastering his urban vocabulary in order to achieve his vision. 

The entire signature cabin has been envisioned by the ACJ design team to deliver comfort, connectivity and functionality in one space while Cyril Kongo’s touch brings the cabin design to a next level of emotion.

Notably, the main lounge, which will be partly hand painted by Cyril Kongo, combines carefully chosen branded textures and fabrics, crafted to kindle the sumptuous comfort, space and luxury of your own private art gallery.

Finnair and Turkish Airlines launch codeshares, enabling more choice for travellers

Finnair and Turkish Airlines launch codeshares, enabling more choice for travellers


Finnair and Turkish Airlines today announced a codeshare agreement that brings more choice to the airline’s customers. Starting September 29, the Finnair AY code will be added to Turkish Airlines route between Helsinki and Istanbul, and from Istanbul to Athens, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Amman, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Antalya and Gazipasa.  Respectively, the Turkish Airlines TK code will be added to the following routes from Finnair’s Helsinki hub: Kuopio, Vaasa, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, Vilnius, Antalya and Gazipasa.

“We are happy to be able to offer more options to our customers, as travel now starts to recover and our customers are again able to fulfil their travel dreams”, says Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair. “We also welcome Turkish Airlines’ customers to explore the beautiful Nordics through our extensive network of connections from Helsinki.”

“We are glad to expand our current interline cooperation in terms of this codeshare agreement with Finnair. With the introduction of joint flights on several destinations in Finland, Turkey and Baltics, Iceland, South Europe, North Africa and Middle East, passengers would enjoy more travel alternatives through the combined flights”, said Ahmet Bolat PhD., Turkish Airlines’ Chief Investment & Technology Officer.

Turkish Airlines flies to more countries and international destinations than any other airline in the world, and currently operates to more than 300 international passenger and cargo destinations in total, in 127 countries.





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Australia chosen as Boeing's first final assembly facility outside North America

Boeing in partnership with the Queensland Government, has selected Toowoomba as the preferred site for the company’s first aircraft assembly facility of its kind outside of North America.

Boeing Australia will establish the facility in the Wellcamp Aerospace and Defence Precinct at Wellcamp Airport to produce and assemble the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (also known as Loyal Wingman), the first military combat aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in Australia in half a century. The aircraft made its first flight in February 2021.

The partnership to establish the facility will create new opportunities for Toowoomba, bringing jobs and skill development to the region and the state.

“In choosing Wellcamp Airport, Boeing have taken an important step towards delivering their purpose-built final assembly facility. This has the potential to greatly improve our state’s advanced manufacturing capability and help shape a workforce of Queenslanders with the skills to build some of the world’s most cutting-edge aircraft,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Wagner Corporation expects that this facility will support approximately 300 jobs during construction and will create highly skilled jobs, furthering Queensland’s status as a centre for defence industries.

SWISS offers attractive range of destinations in its winter schedules

SWISS will offer its customers a portfolio of destinations in its Winter 2021/2022 schedules that is as extensive as it was in pre-pandemic times. A total of 90 destinations will receive SWISS service from Zurich and/or Geneva, with the aim of offering travellers the widest possible range of routes and onward connections. The extent of the winter offer is further boosted by certain classic summer destinations, especially around the Mediterranean and in Eastern Europe, continuing to be served in the coming winter timetable period. SWISS also plans to resume service on its long-haul Geneva-New York route on selected days of the week from mid-December onwards. And the carrier will further increase its winter services at times of particularly high demand, such as the Christmas holiday period and the winter sports season. All in all, SWISS will be offering around half of the capacity it provided in 2019 in the coming winter schedules.

Despite the continuing and still-changeable travel restrictions, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) will be offering a wide range of services in its coming Winter 2021/2022 schedules, to perform its mission of keeping Switzerland connected with the rest of Europe and the world.

“We have crafted our schedules for the coming winter timetable period to give our customers the widest possible range of air services and connections while still maintaining a robust and reliable route network,” explains SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “Of the 92 aircraft that make up the SWISS fleet, our winter schedules will see us operating up to 47 short-haul transports plus four aircraft of our wet-lease partner Helvetic Airways, along with 22 long-haul aircraft.”

With 90 points served from Zurich and/or Geneva, SWISS’s winter destination portfolio will be as extensive as it was in Winter 2019, albeit with fewer frequencies. SWISS customers will be offered 81 destinations from Zurich and 26 from Geneva. All in all, SWISS plans to again be offering around 50% of the capacity it provided in 2019 in the coming winter schedules.

Brussels Airlines sees 30 to 40% growth in corporate travel out of Belgium


Since mid-august, Brussels Airlines notes a light increase in corporate travel out of Belgium. With a weekly increase in bookings between 30 and 40%, the airline expects to welcome around 28,000 corporate passengers out of Brussels in September. While corporate travellers normally book two to three weeks in advance, the trend of the last minute bookings since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis has changed the booking timing to only two to three days ahead of their travel date.

    
    Corporate travel out of Belgium slowly starts to pick up again
    Weekly increase in bookings of 30 to 40%
    Brussels Airlines expects companies to ease restrictions in their travel policies as of October
    European destinations most popular for business traffic
    Higher demand for flights to USA due to easing of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers
    Need for flexibility higher than ever before



Increasing demand for corporate travel

Some sectors are resuming corporate travel faster than others. The first sectors to pick up business travel again are the European and other political institutions, universities and the Marine business, followed by the automotive industry, international construction companies and producers of building materials. Also NGO’s and insurance companies performing repatriations represent a significant share of Brussels Airlines’ corporate customers.

While many multinationals still apply a (partial) homeworking policy, the airline expects its major corporate customers to ease their travel policies as of October.

Popular business destinations

SWISS welcomes easing of US entry provisions and expects further business travel growth

SWISS observes an increasing demand for leisure, visiting-friends-and-relatives and business air travel following the announcement of the easing of entry provisions for the USA. With its extensive route network, expanded Zurich lounge facilities, flexible rebooking options and status extensions for its Miles & More members, the airline offers a comprehensive air travel package for its business travellers.

North America is the most important air travel market of all for Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS). And the authorities in the USA have now announced the lifting from November of the present restrictions on entry to the country for Europeans, provided they are fully COVID-vaccinated. “We warmly welcome the easing of the US entry provisions that have recently been communicated,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “And we are now observing a strong increase in demand for leisure, visiting-friends-and-relatives and above all business air travel in the short term. We have a wide range of offers and services, especially for the changing needs and demands of our business travellers.”

SWISS is already reporting a substantial increase in the proportion of business travellers among its inflight guests, particularly among Swiss-based small and medium-sized enterprises with an international alignment, which traditionally have a very strong need for personal business contacts. The business community is evidently returning to greater travel activity, to and from both European and North American destinations. While still operating at lower capacities, the extensive SWISS route network has now been restored to cover more than 90% of the destinations which the airline was serving from Zurich and Geneva back in 2019.

Cathay Pacific commits to using Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10% of its total fuel consumption by 2030

             Cathay Pacific is reaffirming its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by pledging to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for 10% of its total fuel consumption by 2030.

Cathay Pacific has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than a decade. In 2014, it was the first airline investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy, from which the airline has already committed to purchasing 1.1 million tonnes of SAF over 10 years, which will cover around 2% of its pre-COVID-19 fuel requirements on an annual basis. Cathay Pacific expects to begin taking delivery of SAF produced by Fulcrum and using it on a wider basis for its flights departing the US from 2024 onwards, when Fulcrum can scale up its production. 

The airline was also the first to partner with Airbus to use SAF on new aircraft delivery flights from its facility in Toulouse, France. Since the partnership started in 2016, Cathay Pacific has taken delivery of over 40 brand new aircraft using blended SAF.

Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “The use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is key to decarbonising our operations over the next few decades. Cathay Pacific already has a head start in this space with our investment and offtake agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy. Our new commitment to have SAF comprise 10% of our total fuel consumption by 2030 is a clear signal of our determination to achieve our net-zero emissions target and to be a leader in the fight against climate change.

Airbus begins assembly of first future ‘eco-wing’ prototype

Programme will enhance understanding of wing manufacturing and industrialisation


 ‘Wing of Tomorrow’, a major Airbus research and technology programme, has reached a key milestone with the assembly of its first full-size wing prototype.

The Wing of Tomorrow programme  will not only test the latest composite materials and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture but, importantly, explore how wing manufacturing and industrialisation can be improved to meet future demand as the sector emerges from the pandemic.

Three full-size prototype wings will be manufactured in total:  one will be used to understand systems integration; a second will be structurally tested to compare against computer modelling, while a third will be assembled to test scaling-up production and compare against industrial modelling.

Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, said: “Wing of Tomorrow, a crucial part of Airbus’ R&T portfolio, will help us assess the industrial feasibility of future wing production. High-performing wing technology is one of several solutions - alongside sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen - we can implement to contribute to aviation’s decarbonisation ambition.  Wing of Tomorrow is also an example of how large-scale industry collaboration will be critical to achieving our sector’s agenda for a more sustainable future.” 

Wing of Tomorrow, part-funded by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute, is a fully transnational Airbus programme involving global partners and teams across Airbus’ European sites, including Bremen in Germany, where the ‘Wing Moveables’ team is based. The three wing demonstrators will bring together more than 100 new technologies to explore new manufacturing and assembly techniques with the goal of making aviation more sustainable.

Sub-assembly of the complex wing cover took place at Airbus’ Filton site, England, having been manufactured at the National Composite Centre in Bristol. The wing cover and a major component from GKN Aerospace - the Fixed Trailing Edge - were delivered to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Wales, facility on Airbus’ wing-production plant in Broughton, Flintshire, for assembly to begin.
 


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LATAM Airlines to upgrade more than 200 A320 family aircraft


LATAM Airlines is to upgrade their A320 Family fleet with Airbus’ “Descent Profile Optimisation” (DPO) function – a fuel-saving enhancement to the aircraft’s on-board Flight Management System (FMS) performance database. This upgrade will be performed on over 200 of their A320 family fleet, becoming the biggest Airbus fleet equipped with this powerful fuel saving solution.

All the equipment kits required for the installation of the DPO performance software on LATAM’s A320 Family fleet will start to be delivered from the end of 2021 until early 2022.

The DPO function allows aircraft to descend from cruise altitude using only idle engine thrust, which reduces fuel consumption, bringing proportional CO2 and NOx (nitrogen oxide emissions) reductions. To further enhance the fuel reduction DPO maximises the time spent at efficient cruise level -by not starting the descent too early- and subsequently minimising the amount of time spent at an inefficient ‘level-off’ stage at the bottom of the descent –when the aircraft’s engines generate thrust to maintain level flight in dense air prior to final landing approach.

Optimisation of the aircraft’s flight trajectory is one of the key factors to further improve efficiency in cooperation with Air Traffic Control. By optimising the descent trajectories of its aircraft and reducing the fuel flow to the engines -arising from the lowest ‘idle’ thrust setting during the descent phase- thanks to the DPO function, LATAM Airlines will generate over 100 tons fuel savings per year per aircraft across their network, including constrained airports like Lima, Santiago and São Paulo. This will reduce CO2 emissions by over 300 tons per year per aircraft, representing a significant contribution to more sustainable flight operations with 60,000 tons of CO2 each year for the entire LATAM Airlines’ A320 Family fleet.

DPO is one of the several flight operations optimisation solutions offered by Airbus and its flight operations services subsidiary Navblue. Together with improved Air Traffic Management, these fuel savings solutions enable operators to start aviation decarbonisation now.





To see how much fuel could be saved, play with the new Airbus Descent Profile Optimisation Calculator, please click here.
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World Air Transport Summit in Boston - speakers details and agenda released.



The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the programme and speakers for the World Air Transport Summit (WATS), which is being held in conjunction with the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boston, USA, 3-5 October.

“I’m very excited that the World Air Transport Summit will again take place as a live event for the first time since June 2019. Virtual forums are no substitute to the value created when people meet face to face. As we plan for the industry recovery from COVID-19 and address critical climate change issues, the in-person discussions and debates among the industry’s top leaders and stakeholders will be particularly significant,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Session topics include addressing the challenge of climate change, safely reconnecting the world during COVID-19, diversity and inclusion in aviation, collaborating with value chain partners, and air cargo. The always popular CEO Insight Debate will return, moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest, anchor of Quest Means Business.

Aviation’s response to climate change will top the agenda. The keynote address will be delivered by Rachel Kyte, Dean of the Fletcher School, Tufts University and former special representative of the UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All. Kyte previously was the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the run-up to the Paris Agreement.

This will be followed by a panel of key stakeholders focused on sustainability including:

Southwest Airlines Continues Companywide Commitment Toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Southwest Airlines Continues Companywide Commitment Toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion



Southwest Airlines shared an update this week with its Employees, Customers, and Partners on the progress the airline has made during the last year and its next steps within the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roadmap. In September 2020, Southwest Airlines announced Company goals to strengthen and improve efforts to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive job opportunities and candidate pipelines while championing a welcoming environment for all Employees.

"Summer 2020 was a season of learning for Southwest Airlines in many ways; it heightened our awareness of social injustice and initiated an increased focus on our own diversity and inclusion efforts. We started with evolving our existing Company Values around how we show up individually, how we treat each other, and how we work as a Team," said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice and incoming CEO at Southwest Airlines. "We identified that the first step toward accomplishing these goals was concentrating on key areas such as diversifying Senior Leadership, enhancing diversity in hiring, providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities, improving the retention and upward mobility of diverse talent, and training Leaders and Employees. In the past year, we have taken tangible steps to update the required infrastructure, processes, and practices to meet these objectives."   

Today, the carrier is making steady progress in its processes to increase racial and gender diversity in Leadership. The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Department formed an Executive Steering Committee to support the strategic direction of this progress. Additional strides include evolving the Company's talent acquisition processes by requiring diverse candidate pools, inclusion training for all hiring Leaders, and the creation of a Diversity Recruiting Center of Excellence (COE). Southwest Airlines is currently working with more than 188 community partners in support of its efforts to continue developing diverse and inclusive talent pipelines and expanding recruiting efforts. Southwest also recently launched a formal Sponsorship and Mentorship Program and is enhancing its existing Supplier Diversity Program.



Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Airbus will start delivering all aircraft from its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)


Airbus will start delivering all aircraft from its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on board later this year. The initiative is a further step toward fulfilling Airbus’ commitment to carbon-neutral growth in the aviation sector.

Airbus has reached an agreement with Signature Flight Support to supply SAF to its Mobile facility. No later than November 2021, all aircraft delivered to customers will be powered by a blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel. Signature Flight Support is working in partnership with World Energy to provide the U.S.-sourced SAF to Airbus.

“Delivering our Mobile-produced aircraft with SAF is an important, iterative step toward solving the carbon challenge,” said Jeff Knittel, Chairman, and CEO of Airbus Americas, Inc. “SAF is a positive contributor to enhanced sustainability in aviation since it enables up to an 80% reduction of CO2 across the fuel lifecycle.  We are committed to making sustainable fuels an everyday reality with use on an increasingly larger scale, and this announcement is further evidence of that.”

From its U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, Airbus delivers both A220 and A320 Family aircraft to U.S.-based customers. Since 2016, the company has delivered more than 260 Airbus aircraft from Mobile -- 54 of which have been turned over to airlines in 2021 alone.





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Magnus Thome Maursund named as Norwegian's new EVP Network, Pricing & Optimisation

Budget airline Norwegian has confirmed Magnus Thome Maursund will take up the position of EVP Network, Pricing & Optimisation on 1st October after holding several other managerial positions at the carrier for more than a decade.

“I am pleased to welcome Magnus Thome Maursund into the management team of Norwegian. His analytical skills, extensive aviation experience and personal style will be highly valued in the entire organisation,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.

Magnus Thome Maursund joined Norwegian in 2007 as a revenue analyst. He has since held several positions within revenue management, short haul route planning, charter and airline partnerships. He comes from the position as SVP Commercial Short Haul.

“I appreciate this opportunity, and I look forward to working with the team in my new capacity. The challenges ahead are truly exciting, in a time where the entire aviation industry will continuously change and develop following the pandemic,” said Magnus Thome Maursund, newly appointed EVP Network, Pricing & Optimisation.






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American Airlines makes a statement on the lawsuit filed by U.S. Department of Justice


In a statement today, American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker responded to the U.S. Department of Justice’s misguided lawsuit against American and JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance (NEA).

“Last summer, American and JetBlue announced an innovative alliance to increase competition in the Northeast. In just a few months, the Northeast Alliance has delivered on its promise to ensure growth and provide clear consumer benefits in New York and Boston.

“Since January, the alliance has brought new services to customers in New York and Boston, including 58 new routes, increased frequencies on more than 130 routes and codesharing on 175 routes, as well as new international flights to Tel Aviv, Athens and Delhi. Delivering on the promise of growth, the Northeast Alliance will offer more than 700 daily flights from New York and Boston this winter and continue investment to provide a seamless experience to customers.

“Before the alliance, Delta and United dominated the New York City market. The NEA has created a third, full-scale competitor in New York and is empowering more growth in Boston. Ironically, the Department of Justice’s lawsuit seeks to take away consumer choice and inhibit competition, not encourage it. This is not a merger: American and JetBlue are – and will remain – independent airlines. We look forward to vigorously rebutting the DOJ’s claims and proving the many benefits the Northeast Alliance brings to consumers.”





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JetBlue boss sends open letter to staff as the airline gets ready to battle the Department of Justice (DOJ)

The boss of JetBlue, Robin Hayes thas issued a message to staff this week about the up coming battle the carrier faces with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over its Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines.      

Hayes detailed how the alliance has reaped benefits for passengers and helped the budget airline cope positively with the biggest upset in travel demand for a generation -  the coronavirus pandemic.  

Here's the letter in full: 

Dear Crewmembers,

COVID-19 has thrown unimaginable challenges at us, and we’ve worked together to manage them every step of the way. We played defense to reduce spending and maintain our 21-year no furlough commitment, but we also went on the offense by investing in new routes and BlueCities that bring more of JetBlue’s competitive effect and low fares to the market. Our Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines is an example of how we played offense to not only get our fleet and Crewmembers flying again, but also set up JetBlue for long-term growth and bring more competition to the Northeast.

Given our focus on the NEA, I wanted to talk about the action the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking in federal court to unwind the NEA. Regardless of what the DOJ claims about us in court and in the media, it’s important you know that JetBlue’s commitment to competition and low fares remains as strong as ever. This is not at all like a merger with American – we have two different business models and are not working together on pricing. It’s also important that you have the full picture on benefits the NEA is already delivering, and I want to reassure you that the DOJ’s action will not affect our plans to continue implementing the NEA.

IAG Cargo makes some top level leadership appointments

  


IAG Cargo powers up its customer experience team with new leadership appointments

International Airlines Group (IAG) cargo division of  IAG Cargo has made two new key customer-focused appointments to its leadership team. Pat Dobie, previously Chief Transformation Officer, is appointed Chief Customer and Infrastructure Officer. George Efkolodis joins the business as Head of Customer Experience, with over 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry.
The new appointments will focus on the end-to-end customer experience, transforming the way customers engage with IAG Cargo
Pat Dobie becomes Chief Customer and Infrastructure Officer
George Efkolodis joins the business as Head of Customer Experience 
These appointments underline the business’s ‘always moving’ mantra and its commitment to ensuring customers are at the heart of the business. They will focus on the end-to-end customer experience as the business continues to increase capacity on its network whilst offering cargo-only services and its popular charter product.

Pat Dobie, who has been with IAG Cargo since 2017 and has over 30 years experience in the logistics and aviation sector, has been instrumental in the business’s strategic change and transformation initiatives, fostering an agile culture whilst advancing digital capabilities.

George Efkolodis has over 20 years’ experience in the aviation sector, having held senior roles at Munich Airport International, Heathrow and IATA. Pat and George will be supported by an expanding global customer services team.

Pat Dobie, Chief Customer and Infrastructure Officer commented: “The past year has been an eventful one for IAG Cargo, with many highlights. We celebrated our 10-year anniversary, transported more than 20,000 tonnes of PPE, delivered COVID-19 vaccines and created a new charter product - incredibly popular with our customers.

“Throughout the pandemic we have adapted for our customers as their needs evolved – and I am thrilled to be leading this team supported by George, as we work to create new ways to connect with customers at every touchpoint; supporting them every step of the way.”

George Efkolodis Head of Customer Experience commented: “My appointment comes at an exciting and crucial time for the business – I couldn’t be more pleased to join the team leading IAG Cargo into its next chapter. Our continued success depends on our customers and ensuring they get the most of out of IAG Cargo.

“I am looking forward to working with the team bringing my knowledge and expertise to establish a solid foundation for ongoing growth to drive the business forward.”





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make zero-emission flights a reality easyJet urges industry and government

Leading UK budget airline easyJet is urging industry and government to work more closely together to deliver on the zero-emission technology needed to transform the airline industry over the coming decade and beyond.

Speaking from Toulouse at the Airbus Summit earlier this week, easyJet's bombastic CEO Johan Lundgren, said the vision of zero-emission flying can only be brought ever-closer through coordinated action which should focus efforts on some key areas.

Firstly, governments need to support the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure at airports alongside investments into renewable energy to support the creation of green hydrogen for aviation.

Secondly, governments will not only need to provide financial incentives to support the development and scaling up of zero-emission technology but also should be ploughing funds raised through aviation taxes into the R&D that is required.

Thirdly, airlines choosing to become early adopters of the new technology should be incentivised through reduced airspace and airport charges and also provided with tax exemptions if they are operating zero-emission aircraft and be prioritised for airport slots. 

Lastly, easyJet has identified the priority need to make sure the right framework is in place to ensure progress and support for widespread adoption of zero-emission aircraft where these are feasible, such as on short-haul networks. easyJet will be using SAF in the interim, but the company believes the most sustainable long-term solution for a short-haul carrier are zero-emission aircraft.

easyJet has worked in partnership with Airbus since 2019 to support the development of a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035. A crucial part of easyJet’s role has been to work with the manufacturer to provide a commercial airline’s perspective in the development of new zero-emission propulsion technologies for passenger planes.

 
Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, said:  "Pioneering sustainable aerospace is a collective undertaking. It's great to see so many partners and customers join us this week for our first-ever Airbus Summit, as we explore the innovations transforming our industry and federate partners across the sector to make sustainable aerospace a reality.

I can only welcome easyJet's call for a strong collaboration between industry and governments as we establish our collective path to net-zero. As an early partner on our journey towards hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft, easyJet is playing an active role in shaping the future of flight and we are committed to our continued partnership in this field."


Airbus Helicopters starts flight tests with engine back-up system


Airbus Helicopters, in partnership with the French Civil Aviation Authority DGAC, has started flight testing an engine back-up system (EBS) onboard its Flightlab. The project opens the way to a future hybridised propulsion system for light helicopters while delivering concrete flight safety improvements in the short term. The campaign’s main target is to enhance flight safety of single engine operations by providing emergency electrical power in case of a turbine failure.

To conduct these tests the Flightlab was equipped with a 100 Kw electric motor connected to the main gearbox, which can provide electrical power for 30 seconds in the event of engine failure. By giving the pilot extra time to react and maintain rotor speed, the engine back-up system contributes to a safer and smoother autorotation maneuver to the ground. The current flight tests include the simulation of engine failure in different flight conditions, including takeoff and landing procedures and corresponding limitations.

While evaluating the safety margins and performance benefits, the flight campaign also aims to demonstrate a performance increase, thanks to the prompt electric power input. The potential benefit in terms of Maximum Take-Off Weight is to compensate for the mass of the EBS system itself and to provide helicopter operators with additional payload. 

“The engine back-up system is a good example of the incremental approach in our innovation strategy”, declared Tomasz Krysinski, Head of Research and Innovation at Airbus Helicopters. “The current EBS flights are a very important first step towards a future hybrid propulsion system and we already foresee a second phase of the project with more energy and power on board. We are looking at developing a fully parallel hybrid propulsion system mixing thermal and electrical energy together with the aim of optimising fuel consumption and enabling hybrid single engine flights over urban areas”. 

Because the EBS flight campaign also looks at ways of easing the possible introduction of this techno-brick onto future production aircraft, the various components of the system have been designed with serial production in mind.





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PLAY to receive four Airbus neo aircraft from GECAS’ orderbook

 

GECAS has reached an agreement to provide three A320neo and one A321NX narrowbody aircraft from its orderbook to PLAY, the newly operating Icelandic low-cost airline.  The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between autumn 2022 and spring 2023

Based in Reykjavík’s Keflavík International Airport and commencing operations in June of this year, PLAY’s current fleet of three A321neo connects passengers to ten locations across Europe. As Iceland offers a unique geographic location for transatlantic travel, these new technology narrowbodies offer greater capability to make connections within North America as well.

“We are delighted to add additional aircraft to the PLAY fleet. Our long-term objective is to make PLAY a leading brand in our market and we are very happy to have signed a partnership with GECAS, a leading international aircraft lessor. We appreciate the relationship with them through the early days of our airline,” Birgir Jónsson, PLAY’s CEO said. “We are consciously including environmental and ethical variables in our decision making. The addition of these fuel-efficient aircraft will help us meet our growth objectives as we look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

“GECAS has a successful track record of working with start-ups from their inception and are proud to support their success,” shared Alan Buckley, GECAS’ SVP & Region Manager. “GECAS is impressed with PLAY’s business plan and believe the airline is well positioned for growth. These neos will enable PLAY to build a broader network of routes to meet future travel demand and we are excited to join them on this journey.”



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Say hello to CityAirbus..................Airbus reveals the next generation of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft


Photo Airbus Helicopters/Productions Autrement Dit

The European planemaker Airbus has announced plans for a new CityAirbus as the emerging Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market begins to firm up. Ushering in the next generation of CityAirbus, the fully electric vehicle is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its uniquely designed distributed propulsion system. It is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero emissions flight in multiple applications.

“We are on a quest to co-create an entirely new market that sustainably integrates urban air mobility into the cities while addressing environmental and social concerns. Airbus is convinced that the real challenges are as much about urban integration, public acceptance, and automated air traffic management, as about vehicle technology and business models. We build on all of the capabilities to deliver a safe, sustainable, and fully integrated service to society,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO.

CityAirbus is being developed to fly with a 80 km range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions.
Photo Airbus Helicopters/Productions Autrement Dit



Gulf Air to start direct flights to Tel Aviv.


Gulf Air is getting ready to start a new direct service from its home base in the Kingdom of Bahrain to Tel Aviv, Israel, with effect from 30th September. The confirmation of the airline’s newest destination launch follows the announcement of peace between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel and the political, commercial and civil aviation agreements signed last year between the two countries.

Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Captain Waleed AlAlawi commented: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our Bahrain–Tel Aviv route as part of the historic Bahraini–Israeli relations. As the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain; we take great pride in supporting our leadership and Kingdom in their role of preserving peace and prosperity in the region. We hope this is merely the beginning of developing further opportunities.”

 






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