Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Two more summer routes from Riga with airBaltic........... Naples and Santorini added to the carriers network......

Latvian state-owned airline airBaltic has announced two new routes to launch in early June, connecting Riga with Italy and Greece.

On June 4th, 2021 the airline will start a service between Riga and Naples, scheduled to operate twice a week. Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: "We are delighted to add Naples to our summer 2021 route map. We are eager to offer the best connections between Riga and sunny leisure destinations once the epidemiological situation improves this summer. We are optimistic about the summers and looking forward to offer more and more safe connections from the Baltics."

Roberto Barbieri, Chief Executive Officer of GESAC, Naples Airport Management Company: "The new connection introduces two important news: it is the first time that Naples has a direct flight to Riga and that airBaltic operates scheduled flights from Naples airport. It is an extremely positive message in this period as the enhancement of air connectivity stimulates the entire tourist industry. In order to ensure a safe transit, we have adopted passenger-friendly and technologically advanced health measures".

One day later,  airBaltic will launch its service from Riga to Santorini in Greece,   Gauss said:  "We are delighted to offer safe and convenient direct travel options for travellers between Riga and the well-known Greece island Santorini".

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Etihad Airways begins scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Israel

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates has launched regular flight service between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. The first scheduled operation took place earlier this week, just a few days after Israel was added to Abu Dhabi’s ‘green list’ of quarantine-free countries. 

The launch of scheduled operations comes as the next historic step in developing diplomatic, trade and tourism ties between Israel and the UAE, which were inked as part of the Abraham Accords in September 2020.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways EY598, the first scheduled flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport, took to the skies on Tuesday at 10:05 (UAE time). On board the flight was a diplomatic and economic delegation representing the UAE. The delegation includes H.E. Mohamed Al-Khaja, UAE’s first Ambassador to Israel, Eitan Nae’eh, Israel’s Head of Mission to the UAE, and Tony Douglas, Etihad’s Group CEO.

Birmingham to get five new routes to European beach destinations with easyJet

easyJet and easyJet holidays have confirmed it will operate new routes and package holidays to popular European destinations across Spain, Portugal, and Greece from Birmingham Airport starting at the end of June this year.

Great value fares are still available for UK travellers to enjoy a well-deserved and much-anticipated summer getaway
Flexible booking policies, including the Protection Promise, mean customers can book now with confidence that if their plans change, they're protected. 

The budget carrier easyJet and its package holiday operation have confirmed the launch of new routes and holidays from Birmingham Airport for this summer.  Starting from 29th June, flights and holidays will take off from Birmingham Airport to the popular beach destinations of Majorca, Málaga and Alicante in Spain, Faro in Portugal, and Corfu in Greece, offering customers in the Midlands region even more choice for enjoying a holiday this summer. All easyJet holidays ATOL-protected beach holidays include flights, accommodation, a 23kg bag allowance per person and transfers.

Thai Air Asia and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) team up to showcase Thailand's smaller cities and attractions

         The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is joining hands with Thai AirAsia for the “Must Visit Second-Tier Cities'' campaign, promoting further confidence in Thailand’s smaller cities as safe destinations ready to be visited all year-round.  

Mr Kritsana Kaewthamrong, Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing at TAT, and Mr. Krid Pattanasan, Head of Government Relations, AirAsia Thailand, jointly presided over the launch of the campaign, which included a workshop on travelling to second-tier cities led by popular influencers Bas-Panupat Sukanlayaruk, owner of the Go Went Go fan page, and Tel-Pachara Kriangkret of the Baagklongtiew fan page in Thanarat Hall of the TAT Building here today.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, Mr Kritsana Kaewthamrong said: “TAT has been supporting travel to second-tier cities since 2015 with our “12 Cities Not to be Missed Plus” project, which was later expanded to promote 55 provinces nationwide. The authority has since been raising awareness of and enhancing the profiles of those cities amongst the travelling public, highlighting each destination’s unique identity through various activities and campaigns. For 2021, as we travel in new normal, the TAT is supporting domestic tourism using the “Amazing Thailand, More Amazing” concept, focusing on encouraging travel among a more diverse array of people, including Gen Y and young adults, who are constantly looking for novel experiences.

Etihad Airways unveils year-long programme to celebrate the UAE’s ‘Year of the Fiftieth’

    50,000 prizes to be won, celebrating 50 years of the UAE
    Three phased programme commemorates the past, celebrates the present, and looks ahead to the future

Photo Etihad
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, today unveiled a year-long programme in celebration of the 50 years since the nation was established. The programme will launch in three phases, focusing on the past, the present and looking forward to the future.

The airline has launched a dedicated platform at, and aims to engage the local community in its participative programme which will be revealed in detail throughout the year. Citizens, residents and guests of the UAE will have the chance to participate and win one of 50,000 prizes that will be given away throughout the course of the year.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “This year-long initiative demonstrates Etihad’s celebration of the past, and commitment to the next 50 years of this incredible country. As one of the UAE’s leading brands, Etihad is proud to bring the world to Abu Dhabi to be part of this celebration.”

The first project in this series of celebrations is the ‘legacy of a nation’ which charts the untold stories of the nation from the past 50 years. Etihad will be seeking out and curating personal accounts of life in the UAE, both past and present.

airBaltic to offer NFTs.......

The Latvian government-owned airline airBaltic is all set to become the worlds first and only airline to issue the latest technological fad, non-fungible tokens, otherwise known as NFTs. 

The airline says it will issue a limited collectors special NFTs showing one of the carriers Airbus A220-300 with its registration as well as a piece of art depicting a Latvian city. The aim is to promote tourism to the region and open up Latvia to the world.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “The blockchain technology has proven to be here long-term. After being the first airline to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, it is the next step for us in blockchain technology to offer non-fungible tokens. NFTs are not only used for digital art transactions but may as well be expanded to tickets for concerts and other unique one-time pieces, including airline tickets. The issue of the limited collector NFTs will serve as a tourism campaign for Latvian cities, certainly still an undiscovered destination for many.”

Aeroflot puts into operation a new hangar to service aircraft

Aeroflot puts into operation a new hangar to service aircraft

 Aeroflot has put into operation a new 15,000-square-meter hangar. All types of Western- and Russian-built aircraft will be serviced there.

The hangar is located in the Northern Terminal Complex of Sheremetyevo International Airport. The hangar comprises three scheduled and unscheduled maintenance workshops, two cabin interior maintenance workshops, aircraft and component repair workshop. The complex houses two storage facilities for spare parts, materials, tools and equipment. The office space of the building will be occupied by the technical control division, the planning and priorities coordination division, and Chief Engineer’s Office. 

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Icelandair releases figures for March

Icelandair Group’s traffic data continue to reflect the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in Icelandair’s markets, like in previous months.

The total number of Icelandair’s passengers on international flights in March was around 7,800 decreasing by 94% from March 2020. The number of passengers to Iceland was around 4,300 and from Iceland around 3,300. The load factor was 27.7% compared to 61.9% in March 2020. It should be noted that in recent months, Icelandair has used Boeing 767 aircraft on several routes instead of Boeing 757 aircraft, in order to increase cargo capacity, which in turn negatively impacts the load factor. The total capacity was 89% less than in March last year. On-time performance was 85% in March compared to 93% the year before.

The number of passengers on domestic flights was around 16,000 in March, which is an increase by 52% year-on-year. The total capacity increased by 36%. The load factor was 63.2%, compared to 56.9% the year before. Passengers travelling to and from Greenland are now categorized as passengers on international flights, following the completion of the integration of Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect in mid-March. Last years figures have been adjusted accordingly.

Finnair releases March figures.

The COVID-19 pandemic impact was still clearly visible in the March passenger traffic figures, a very strong month for cargo

In March, Finnair carried 86,300 passengers, which was 82.7% less than in March 2020 even though the COVID-19 impact was visible already then. The number of passengers in March 2021 was 1.1% less than in February 2021.

The COVID-19 impact, including the exceptionally strict travel restrictions imposed by several countries, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was visible especially in the North Atlantic figures despite the first passenger flights since June 2020 and Asian figures.

The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) decreased in March by 81.3% year-on-year. Finnair operated 74 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average which was 34.6% compared to March 2020. The differences between capacity figures are explained by the shorter average stage length of operated flights and by the smaller gauge of operated aircraft compared to March 2020. Finnair's traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) decreased by 92.0%. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) decreased by 33.4% points to 24.6%.

Austrian Airlines enables choice of sustainable fuel

• Passengers can now compensate their flights with sustainable fuel
• CO2 compensation also possible through support for climate protection projects
• “Sustainable fuel is the future of climate-neutral flying”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech

Austrian Airlines passengers can now additionally select the use of sustainable fuel for their flight in the booking process. In doing so, they compensate for the CO2 emissions generated on their respective flight. The applied tool is called “Compensaid”, a development of Lufthansa Innovation Hub. It precisely calculates the amount of CO2 emitted and then offers a corresponding offset with sustainable fuel. Compared to conventional kerosene, sustainable fuel reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent. It can also be fed into regular flight operations without infrastructure adjustments.

“The future of climate-neutral flying lies in sustainable fuel. We have been emphasizing this for a long time. Electromobility, for example, will not be an option for aviation for some time yet, as the necessary batteries would be too heavy to get a plane in the air”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. “I am therefore very pleased that with Compensaid we are now giving our passengers the opportunity to make their individual journey climate-friendly by using sustainable fuel.”

One new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft delivered to Delta Air Lines

Air Lease Corporation  announced the first delivery on April 5th of one new Airbus A330-900 to Delta Air Lines under sale-leaseback with Blackbird Capital II. 

 This is the first delivery of two new A330-900s under sale-leaseback between Delta and Blackbird Capital II. In addition, in October 2020 ALC delivered one new A330-900 to Delta from ALC’s order book with an additional new A330-900 set to deliver to Delta from ALC’s order book this year.

“ALC is absolutely delighted with its growing relationship with Delta,” said John L. Plueger, Chief Executive Officer and President of Air Lease Corporation. “These transactions exemplify the complementary nature of ALC’s strong order book coupled with sale-leasebacks and the use of our management platforms. We are honoured that Delta entrusted ALC with this business.” 

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U.S. regional airline Silver Airways to start flights from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

America’s independent regional airline Silver Airways has confirmed it will launch a new service from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jacksonville, Florida from 3rd June. 

 In addition to nonstop service between New Orleans, Louisiana and North Florida, this new route will also provide convenient and seamless connections to Silver’s extensive network throughout the Sunshine State, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and destinations domestically and worldwide through codeshare and interline ticketing partners. Silver serves more intra-Florida destinations than any other air carrier.

Silver Airways, operates the most routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas from its gateways in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa. Silver’s Caribbean network connects Puerto Rico with the U.S. Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Dominica and Santiago, Dominican Republic. Silver is a codeshare partner with United, JetBlue, American, Delta, Avianca and Copa Airlines, and has interline agreements with Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Azul, Bahamasair, and Emirates. 

Passenger numbers down over 26 percent for Allegiant in March

The Allegiant Travel Company has reported preliminary passenger traffic results for March 2021 as well as first-quarter 2021.

"We are encouraged by the meaningful improvement in customer demand throughout the month of March," stated Gregory Anderson, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "Average daily bookings for the month exceeded average daily bookings during the same time period in 2019. The significant improvement in March demand coupled with our industry-leading cost structure enabled us to generate positive EPS and EBITDA for the month of March, excluding the benefit from the payroll support grant. For the March quarter, we expect adjusted1 CASM, excluding fuel, to be down 3 to 4 percent, year over two-year."

"Capacity was up roughly three percent, when compared to 2019, with March capacity up 14 percent," stated Drew Wells, senior vice president, revenue. "Although this caused some load pressure, our focus remains on generating positive cash flows and optimizing profits. We continue to expect first quarter total revenue to fall in the middle of our previous guide of down 35 to 40 percent, when compared with 2019. We remain optimistic about peak summer travel. With national vaccination rates steadily increasing and average daily bookings trending in the right direction, we expect sequential revenue improvements into the second quarter."

1 Adjusted to exclude the impact of the payroll support grant.

The first Andaz resort in Asia, the Andaz Bali opens.................

Hyatt Hotels Corporation 
announced this week the opening of Andaz Bali, marking the entry of the vibrant Andaz brand into Indonesia. Offering a contemporary take on the traditional Balinese village and its way of life, Andaz Bali is located in the heart of Sanur, a quaint seaside village known for its old-world charm, picturesque beaches and spectacular sunrises.

“As we continue to offer our guests new and immersive ways to rediscover Bali, we are honoured to introduce the Andaz brand to Sanur, where Indonesia’s first Hyatt-branded hotel opened more than 40 years ago,” said David Udell, group president, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt. “Andaz Bali is our first Andaz resort in Asia, adding to the brand’s growing urban portfolio in the region which includes Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Tokyo and Xiamen.”

A short 22-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Sanur is located along Bali’s south-eastern coastline. Andaz Bali pays homage to Balinese art and craftsmanship, weaving together the island’s rich heritage and the contemporary influence from artists who have been visiting Sanur over the decades.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Boeing 737 MAX grounded over electrical issues

More trouble befalls the flawed Boeing 737 MAX as airlines are grounding the jets once again, this time it is over electrical problems.

Top U.S. United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest and Canadian carrier WestJet are among the airlines being told to gound their craft to conduct urgent checks to verify “that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system”.

The company issued a statement saying it had recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX aeroplanes prior to further operations. The recommendation is being made to allow for verification that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system.  

Boeing was working closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on this production issue, the company was in the process of advising airlines of the particularly registration/tail numbers. 

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Airbus and TNO to develop aircraft laser communication terminal

Airbus and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) have launched a programme to develop a laser communication terminal demonstrator for aircraft, known as UltraAir.

The project, which is co-financed by Airbus, TNO and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), is part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ScyLight (Secure and Laser communication technology) programme. It covers the design, construction and testing of the technology demonstrator. Laser communication technologies are the next revolution in satellite communications (satcom), bringing unprecedented transmission rates, data security and resilience to meet commercial needs in the next decade.

The UltraAir terminal will be capable of laser connections between an aircraft and a satellite in geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the Earth, with unparalleled technology including a highly stable and precise optical mechatronic system. The technology demonstrator will pave the way for a future UltraAir product with which data transmission rates could reach several gigabits-per-second while providing anti-jamming and low probability of interception. In this way UltraAir will not only enable military aircraft and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to connect within a combat cloud, but also in the longer term allow airline passengers to establish high-speed data connections thanks to the Airbus’ SpaceDataHighway constellation. From their position in geostationary orbit, the SpaceDataHighway (EDRS) satellites relay data collected by observation satellites to Earth in near-real-time, a process that would normally take several hours.

Jet2 delays restart of flights and holidays to June

Parked up and nowhere to go - at least until 23rd June   Photo Jet2

Steve Heapy, the CEO of budget holiday carrier Jet2 and Jet2holidays is once again bemoaning the government's lack of clarity in the framework for recommencing international air travel and has put back the proposed restart of its flight and holiday programme to the last full week of June.

Heapy says the company had studied the government's framework carefully, but still can't decide when to start operating as normal,  "With a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23rd June 2021. Where customers yet to travel are affected by any programme changes, we will automatically cancel their booking with a full refund, and our team of travel experts will be in touch to help them to book their summer getaway for later in the year."  

Despite moaning about the lack of clarity, the firm says "the health and safety of our customers and colleagues will, of course, continue to be our number one priority, and we look forward to taking our customers on their well-deserved holidays once again. We welcome the Government’s ambition to reopen travel, however, the time has come for the industry to receive the necessary detail to make this happen."

New Routes......

Third Boeing 767 Freighter delivered to Raya Airways of Malaysia by ATSG

Air Transport Services Group, has confirmed the delivery by its Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) subsidiary of a Boeing 767-200 converted freighter to Raya Airways of Malaysia under a five-year lease. This is the third Boeing 767-200 freighter CAM has leased to Raya Airways.

As the global leader in 767 converted freighter dry leasing, ATSG provides dry leasing customers the opportunity to cost-effectively grow capacity to meet market demands.

“The Boeing 767 converted freighter is the ideal aircraft for our network,” said Mohamad Najib Bin Ishak, managing director of Raya Airways. “We are very proud of the continued growth we have been able to achieve with it thanks to the ATSG team.”

Raya Airways, a Malaysian scheduled all-cargo airline, specializes in express freight and air freighter charters serving more than 10 locations in its domestic, Southeast Asian, and North Asian network.

“ATSG is happy to be a part of Raya’s success story,” said Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “We look forward to extending our relationship further as Raya expands in the Asia-Pacific market.”

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Latest Commercial Aircraft figures from Airbus

European plane maker Airbus announced that it had made 72 aircraft deliveries to 34 customers during the month of March.  These deliveries comprised of 4 A220, 60 A320 Family (57neo), 8 A350.  The firm also recorded 28 new orders for aircraft. 2021 deliveries to date: 125 to 44 customers.

The company also recently announced a delivery of an A330-900, on lease via leasing giant Avolon.  By selecting a total of five A330neos, Corsair is executing its strategy to become an all-A330 operator. Thanks to the A330neo’s latest technologies, Corsair will benefit from cost-effective and eco-efficient solutions, while providing passengers with the best comfort standards in the quietest cabins in its class.  

The aircraft features 352 seats in a three-class layout, providing all the comfort and amenities of Airbus’ leading ‘Airspace’ cabin, including state-of-the-art passenger in-flight entertainment (IFE) and full WiFi connectivity throughout the cabin.

The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines. The Corsair aircraft will also be the first A330neo to feature an increased maximum take-off weight of 251 tonnes. This capability will allow the airline to fly long-haul destinations up to 13,400 km (7,200nm) or benefit from ten tons more payload onboard.

71,399 people flew with budget carrier Norwegian in March

Despite the airline's financial woes, remarkably 71,399 people flew with the Norwegian during March this year, a drop of some 94% on the same month last year. But that is still around 10,000 more than flew with the troubled airline in February. The carrier reports its load factor was 42.7 percent,  down 29% to the same month last year. 

“The effects of the pandemic continue to impact our operations due to government restrictions on travel to reduce infection levels. However, the clear progress that has been made with vaccine schemes, and other measures aimed at a gradual opening up of society, means that I am optimistic with regards to increased activity and demand both in Norway and the rest of Europe going forward.” said Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian.

The airline operated just nine aircraft during the whole month, the vast majority of flights were domestic operations within Norway.  99.4% of its scheduled flights we completed and 93.7 percent of those departed on or very near to time.

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