Saturday, 20 October 2018

Air France staff win 4% pay rise......

In a major concession to staff, the board of Air France have signed an agreement with the main French unions CFDT, CFE-CGC/UNAC, FO/SNPNC, SPAF and UNSA aérien Air France (Who combined represent over 76% of Air France staff) regarding staff compensation. 

The key provisions of the agreement include a general pay increase of 2%, retroactive to January 1, 2018, and a general pay increase of 2% on January 1, 2019. A major step forward in the ongoing unsettled relations between staff and the airline that has cost the carrier millions in lost revenue over recent times.

The next round of annual salary negotiations (NAO) will begin between the company and the representative unions in October 2019. These discussions will be based on the global economic environment, the present situation of the Air France-KLM Group, as well as the company's economic performance.

"I would like to thank everyone involved at Air France for the quality of our discussions over the past few weeks, and for the trust that has prevailed throughout," said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM and Air France. "This way of working between all parties provides Air France and the Air France-KLM Group with a new perspective going forward, and it is my hope that it will ensure the future success of our airlines."

Change in UK aviation secuirty......... Large phones, laptops and tablets are now allowed in the cabin on the majority of flights to the UK.

Large phones, laptops and tablets are now allowed in the cabin on the majority of flights to the UK.

The UK government has now lifted a ban on carrying large electronic devices in the aircraft cabin of some flights to the UK.  Restrictions on carrying large phones, laptops, tablets and accessories into the cabin of UK-bound flights from Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Tunisia were introduced in March.

However, after working with the aviation industry and international partners to introduce tough additional security measures, the UK government has begun lifting these restrictions on some UK-bound flights.

The vast majority of carriers operating out of these airports are no longer subject to these restrictions. Some airlines have decided to maintain the ban for operational reasons. This does not reflect the security standards at these airports, but is an operational decision by individual carriers. Passengers travelling from these airports should contact their airlines for advice about whether their flights are affected:

- Saudi Arabia:    Jeddah and Riyadh

- Lebanon:           Beirut

The restrictions are no longer applied on any airports in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Tunisia.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Ethiopian Airlines eyes investment oppotunities in Eritrean Airlines

Eritrean Airlines is the next target on the horizon for the pan-African airline investment programme from the management of the continents leading air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines.

 The Addis Ababa based airline is currently in negotiations for the purchase of part of Eritrean Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines confirmed on Thursday, October 18th. He told local media that an investigation would be done to decide upon the size and scope of the acquisition his company would make in Eritrean Airlines. 

Tewolde made the revelation during a visit to Asmara, the Eritrean capital on Wednesday following the first commercial flight from Ethiopia to Eritrea in 20 years. There has been a thaw in the decades of hostility and frosty relations between the two nations in recent times thanks in no small part to Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.  "It is beyond opening routes. This one is different because politically, economically and socially, the flight we flew yesterday is going to make radical changes between the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a game changer,” Tewolde told the media on Thursday. 

If all goes well, following demand Ethiopian will operate a twice-daily service between Addis and Asmara, with further expansion plans to operate services to Assab and Massawa. 

First 787-9 Dreamliner to Juneyao Airlines

US planemaker Boeing has delivered the first 787-9 Dreamliner for Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines. "This delivery is our airline's biggest milestone and marks a big step toward expanding our network in China and beyond," said Wang Junjin, Chairman, Juneyao Airlines. "As the market-leading widebody model, the 787-9 Dreamliner will play a key role in our global business growth."

Juneyao Airlines had previously been an all-Airbus operator before Boeing pursued the company aggressively to supply long-haul aircraft for Juneyao's international route network expansion plans. Currently the airline offers flights from Shanghai to more than 50 cities across China as well as a few regional routes.  

Long-range 787-9 Dreamliner will enable the carrier to
expand its international network

"We are delighted to welcome Juneyao to the growing 787 Dreamliner family. We are confident that the Dreamliner's fuel efficiency, range and passenger-pleasing features will power the next stage of Juneyao Airlines' expansion," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing at The Boeing Company. "This delivery marks the first of 10 787-9 Dreamliners for Juneyao and their emergence as an international carrier."

To ensure a smooth introduction of the Dreamliner, Juneyao Airlines will use Boeing Global Services' pilot training. The airline will also employ electronic flight bag in the flight deck to improve operational efficiency. On other aircraft, Juneyao uses Boeing's tailored charting services and flight planning solutions.

GOL launches flights to Florida

Following news of its large order for Boeing 737 Max aircraft, the Brazillian airline GOL has announced the launch of direct flights from Brazil to US destinations, including the Florida hotspots of Miami and Orlando.  These new services will start on 4th November this year and will be operated by carriers brand new 737 MAX 8 aircraft. 

"Our launch of direct flights to the U.S. marks a new era for GOL, as we expand our international operations beyond Latin America," says Eduardo Bernardes GOL's sales and marketing vice president. "Over the past 17 years as Brazil's largest airline, we have been leaders in punctuality and Customer satisfaction. We are now looking to replicate that success in markets abroad, where we see significant opportunities for growth."

Hainan Airlinea launch flights to Vienna from Shenzhen.

Hainan Airlines has announced today that it is launching flights between Shenzhen and Vienna, using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the new route.

The service starts tomorrow 20th October and will operate twice a week, and the non-stop service is yet another successful example of the growing cooperation between China and Austria this year. "The non-stop Shenzhen-Vienna service will not only make it more convenient for passengers in Guangzhou and Shenzhen who travel for business or leisure but also help promote economic cooperation and cultural exchanges between China and Austria," said a spokesperson for Hainan Airlines. "With the service, Vienna International Airport will have direct flights to 17 Asian cities, further complementing Vienna's international air route network and strengthening the airport's position as a gateway to Central and Eastern Europe."

Hainan Airlines has embarked on a period of growth in recent times with the introduction of a number of international routes from Shenzhen, Vienna becomes the 15th international and regional destination.  
Hainan Airlines' Shenzhen-Vienna Flight Timetable (All times are local):
Flight No.
Departure City
Departure Time
Arrival Time
Arrival City
1:30 am
6:50 am
10:45 am
0:50 am +1

Embraer delivers 15 commercial and 24 executive jets during the third quarter

During the third quarter of 2018 planemaker Embraer delivered 15 jets to the commercial aviation market and 24 business jets, being 17 light jets and 7 large jets. On September 30, Embraer's firm order backlog totalled USD13.6 billion.

Delta to start flights between Atlanta and Ontario, Southern Califonia

The Ontario International Airport Authority has welcomed news that Delta Air Lines will launch two daily, roundtrip service between Atlanta and the southern Californian airport next year. Delta is the third carrier to announce new transcontinental flights from Ontario International Airport in recent months.

"We are thrilled to add Delta's nonstop service to its Atlanta hub, a key development in Ontario's evolution as a gateway airport," said Alan D. Wapner, president of the OIAA. "The world's busiest airport, Atlanta offers Southern Californians a world of opportunities for air travel through Delta's extensive global network.  In just two years since the airport's transition to local control, we've made tremendous strides in improving our facilities, services and amenities and, as a result, airlines and air travellers are bullish on Ontario,".

GOL Renewing Fleet with 135 Boeing 737 MAXs

GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Brazil's largest airline, is renewing its fleet with a massive order of 135 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which should all be delivered by 2028. 

The deal is for 105 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 30 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft with the first three MAX 8 aircraft were delivered to GOL between June and October 2018 and are already operating on commercial flights. The company will add four MAX 8 aircraft to its fleet by the end of 2018, replacing its Next Generation (NG) models.

"We are pleased to be working with Boeing in the renewal of our fleet", says Richard Lark, GOL's chief financial officer. "The additional range of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft allows us to expand our operations abroad and to improve efficiency via a younger and more modern fleet."

Delta to introduce Boston - Edinburgh route and expand capacity to Dublin

A new international route between Boston's Logan International Airport and Scotland's Edinburgh International will be introduced next summer when US carrier Delta  Air Lines starts the service as part of its expansion programme.

The new route will be the eighth nonstop trans-Atlantic destination from Boston on Delta and its partners during the summer 2019 season. The Trump supporting airline already operates a direct service from Boston to London Heathrow along with joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic, of which it part owns, who also has a service to Manchester.

"Delta is Boston’s No. 1 carrier across the Atlantic, and we’re excited to be expanding our service to Edinburgh,” said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President - Trans-Atlantic. “Business and leisure travellers will both enjoy convenient nonstop service between Boston and Scotland, delivered with Delta’s unmatched reliability and renowned customer service.”

BA to give Heathrow staff iPads

London Heathrow's biggest airline, British Airways is handing out iPads to its customer service staff, known as 'Hosts', in an effort to provide a better experience for passengers.

Between now and next summer a huge training operation will get underway which will upskill all the hosts in a range of different areas – from ticketing to re-booking, changing reservations, finding delayed luggage or providing up to date flight information, with the iPads. The technology will be loaded with a number of specialist apps and the host will walk the terminal floor, reaching out to customers, rather than waiting at desks for passengers to come to them.  

Klaus Goersch, BA’s Chief Operating Officer said: “This will change the service we deliver at Heathrow, but at its heart, this is a really simple idea. It’s about trusting our people and empowering them - giving them everything they need to provide the very best service to our customers. We’re encouraging our hosts to treat customers as they would their own family and to own and resolve issues on the spot. It’s this exceptional customer service that will set us apart from other airlines.”

Some staff members have expressed concern that the enforced informality will alienate some passengers, especially those travelling on business and in premium cabins. Others see the upskilling of the hosts will also mean job losses in other areas of BA's operations in the Heathrow area. 

Norwegian to employ modern technology to reduce CO2 emissions by 16,000 tonnes each year

The low-cost airline that carries more than 5.8 million people from the UK alone will expand its cooperation with AVTECH Sweden AB to further reduce fuel consumption by around 5000 tonnes a year.

Norwegian had been running a test project with AVTECH Sweden AB, which uses Aventus Air weather service to provide Norwegian’s pilots with highly accurate wind and temperature information in accordance with their flight plan. Data is transferred to the aircraft’s systems, which makes it possible to optimise the flight path for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.  

A report by the Swedish Energy Agency, which partly financed the project, shows that fuel consumption was reduced by 22 kilos per flight. This equals an annual CO2 reduction of 16,000 tons - or a reduction of 5,000 tons of fuel per year, which in turn leads to reduced costs for Norwegian.

13.7 million passengers travelled with the Lufthansa Group during September 2018

Around 13.7 million people flew with the Lufthansa Group of airlines during September 2019 the latest figures from the European airline group shows. 

The airline is proud of that number, which is up by some 8.8% when compared to September 2017 figures month.  Also rising was the available seat kilometres, up 7.3% at the same time, sales increased by 8.3%. The airline groups average load factor was also up on last years figures to 84.5%.

The group also reported cargo capacity increased by 6.2% year-on-year, while cargo sales decreased by 1.6% in revenue tonne-kilometre terms. As a result, the Cargo load factor showed a corresponding reduction, decreasing by 5.0 percentage points to 63.4%. 

In total, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group carried around 108.5 million passengers in the first nine months of 2018 - a new record for this period. The seat load factor of 82.0 % also marks an unprecedented figure for the first three quarters of the year.

American Airlines appoints new officer to finance team

American Airlines announced on Thursday 18th October, the promotion of Greg Schwendinger to Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. Schwendinger replaces Heather Garboden, who will leave the company in November. He will report to Kenji Hashimoto, Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development.

In this role, Schwendinger will be responsible for the airline’s capital and operating budget, long-range financial planning and forecasting systems. He will also have oversight of the airline’s Labor Analysis, Financial Analysis and Fleet Planning teams.

“Greg’s experience across American prepares him well to lead our dynamic Financial Planning and Analysis team,” said Hashimoto. “Our group’s key function is to support our colleagues so they achieve their business goals while ensuring we have a financially healthy organization. Greg’s strong relationships throughout the airline, combined with his unique ability to see both the big picture and pay strong attention to detail, are tremendous assets to our team.”.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

KLM embark on expansion and awareness programme

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is embarking on an expansion programme that will see the company increase capacity to its winter mid and long-haul network by at least 1.4%. The airline is also engaging in an impressive worldwide brand advertising campaign that will appear in many forms, including online and outdoors on billboards. The company is even having a billboard in Times Square in New York. The new campaign has been designed to show that a warm, personal approach really does make all the difference between a “pleasant” and a “memorable” travel experience for its passengers.

Pieter Elbers - KLM President & CEO explains: "KLM's total capacity both on the long-haul and medium-haul networks will increase by 1.4% over the coming winter season, compared to the winter season of 2017."

Elbers says the airline will look further into South American operations, "KLM will continue to focus on emerging markets in South America where, after a successful start in the summer season of 2018, we will continue to fly to Fortaleza. This third direct connection to a Brazilian destination strengthens our position as a major European airline in the Brazilian market, where we serve business and leisure passengers and cargo customers. We continue to watch the North Atlantic market with a keen interest and are increasing flights to the Canadian cities of Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. From January 2019, KLM’s entire intercontinental fleet will be fitted with our full-flat seats in World Business Class. We will also continue to invest in our passengers’ comfort. Starting this winter season, we are introducing a number of lovely new products, including Douwe Egberts coffee and Rituals spa and cosmetic products."
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