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

Friday, 3 December 2021

KLM receives World Class Award as best airline for passengers

KLM has been awarded the 2022 APEX World Class Award. This is a new APEX award and the highest category in its global awards for the airline industry. It represents exceptional recognition of achievements in areas such as safety well-being and sustainability.

The last 20 months have pushed new values to the fore that are explicitly important to customers. The focus on health and safety well-being in the overall customer experience has increased strongly, as has the importance of responsible and sustainable travel. With the World Class Award, APEX (the Airline Passenger Experience Association) measures and assesses airlines against new customer-experience benchmarks using more extensive and intensive data auditing. In addition to safety well-being and sustainability, high standards are also set for service, comfort, catering and performance.


"We are honoured and proud to receive this World Class Award. Over the last two years, we have done everything in our power to carry our passengers as safely, sustainably and comfortably as possible – from the start of their journey to their arrival at their destination. The fact that our passengers appreciate this to such a high degree makes this award extra special. Justifiably, they also expect our operations to be as green and sustainable as possible. This award is, above all, a huge compliment to all our employees, who have continued to work so hard with great dedication and passion throughout these difficult times. This acknowledgement also offers encouragement to KLM staff around the world to carry on the good work to achieve a sustainable recovery."
Boet Kreiken – Executive Vice President Customer Experience KLM

APEX is the largest international aviation organisation auditing airline-passenger experience. It has developed a renowned research and assessment organisation in this field. The World Class Award is being presented for the first time this year to seven airlines: KLM, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Emirates, Saudia, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.





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American Airlines gets APEX five star rating for the fourth consecutive year

American Airlines has won the prestigious Five Star rating in The APEX Official Airline Ratings™, Global Airline category for the fourth consecutive year. The award is based on customer feedback on their overall travel experience. Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is a global nonprofit and one of the world’s largest international airline associations.

“We are incredibly thankful for our customers and proud to be recognized for the fourth consecutive year with the Five Star rating,” said Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products. “The honor is a testament to the hard work of our team and the investment we’ve made in products and services that offer ease and enjoyment throughout the travel journey.”

The APEX Official Airline Ratings™ were created based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights gathered through APEX’s partnership with TripIt® from Concur®, the world’s highest-rated travel-organizing app. For the 2022 awards, passengers rated nearly one million flights across more than 600 airlines from around the world using a five-star scale. The APEX Official Airline Ratings™ were independently certified by a professional external auditing company.

American elevates the customer experience at every touchpoint, from booking to takeoff and more. To help customers plan, prepare and travel with confidence, American’s Prepared for the Air resources and Ready to Fly checklist offer customers a full suite of tools. Once at the airport, there are several ways for customers to unwind. Flagship Lounges began reopening in September 2021, offering a luxurious setting for eligible customers to enjoy new menus designed by local James Beard Foundation chefs, personalized service, specialty cocktails and premium wines. American has also reopened its Admirals Club lounges in all U.S. and select international locations.

Once in the air, American gives customers more entertainment choices to enhance their travel experience thanks to an exclusive partnership with Rosetta Stone and Skillshare, making American the first U.S. airline to tap into online/remote learning from 35,000 feet. American’s free wireless entertainment provides live TV and more than 600 movies and TV shows streaming to customer devices inflight. American offers customers the fastest Wi-Fi on more aircraft than any other U.S. carrier.





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Thursday, 2 December 2021

Ready for Takeoff: Air Canada and Chase Officially Launch New U.S. Chase Aeroplan Credit Card

Chase, the largest co-brand card issuer, and Air Canada, Canada's largest airline and a Star Alliance founding member, launched the new Chase Aeroplan® World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, with Mastercard as the exclusive payments network. Providing U.S. cardmembers the ability to earn Aeroplan points to unlock faster and better access to the world, Aeroplan is the industry's most globally connected program with more than 45 partner airlines flying to hundreds of destinations across the globe.

The new Chase Aeroplan Card, a World Elite Mastercard, offers cardmembers:

Opportunities to earn Aeroplan points on everyday categories:
3X points for every dollar spent on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases
Plus, 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month)
Carbon offsets: Aeroplan will purchase carbon offsets to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions associated with cardmember travel when they fly Air Canada using an Aeroplan flight reward. Applies to Chase Aeroplan primary cardmembers and travel companions on the same reservation for flight segments with Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge.
Unprecedented access to Aeroplan travel benefits:

Ethiopian Airlines Wins ‘Best African Airline’ Award at the 2021 Business Traveller Awards

Africa’s largest aviation group, Ethiopian Airlines, has been crowned as the 'Best African  Airline' at the 2021 Business Traveller Awards. The votes made by the business travellers for this year took into account the COVID period with key questions covering airlines’ effectiveness in communication, effective implementation of COVID precautionary measures, handling of loyalty program member passengers and flexibility of ticket changes. The questions for the survey allowed passengers to reflect on their experience before and during the various stages of COVID crisis. 

Regarding the award, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr Tewolde GebreMariam said  “We are delighted to win this prestigious award as it is the reflection of our customers’ satisfaction which shows the success of our daily efforts to deliver superior customer services at all points of contact with our customers. The award is a testament of the extra hard work and care exerted by each and every one of our more than 17,000 coworkers to ensure our customer’s delight, safety,  comfort and convenience every single day. Our esteemed customers have appreciated the extra biosafety we have been providing during the global pandemic crisis which has been the most challenging time for the world in general and our industry in particular. I would like to extend my gratitude to all who have expressed their vote of confidence on Ethiopian and for the award organizers. This award motivates us to excel at our customer service and meet the ever-changing customer expectations. We have always been committed to ensuring customers satisfaction  providing dependable and quality service. I would also take this opportunity to thank all my  colleagues at the Ethiopian Group family for their award-winning customer services and I  congratulate them all.” 

Business Traveller is the leading magazine for the frequent business traveller worldwide,  the 2021 Awards reflect a broader range of experiences than ever before as it covers a 24  months’ customer experience. 

Ethiopian Airlines has never stopped operations during the pandemic and has been serving its customers through repatriation and shipment of essential medical supplies across the globe. The airline garnered international support and commendations for the crucial role it played in the global fight against the pandemic. 






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Response to Omicron threatens the aviation industry's emerging recovery bemoans IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the recovery in air travel continued in October 2021 with broad-based improvements in both domestic and international markets. It also warned that the imposition of travel bans by governments, against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), could threaten the sector’s recovery. 

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to October 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

 
  • Total demand for air travel in October 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 49.4% compared to October 2019. This was improved over the 53.3% fall recorded in September 2021, compared to two years earlier.
     
  • Domestic markets were down 21.6% compared to October 2019, bettering the 24.2% decline recorded in September versus September 2019.
     
  • International passenger demand in October was 65.5% below October 2019, compared to a 69.0% decline for September versus the 2019 period, with all regions showing improvement.

​​​​“October’s traffic performance reinforces that people will travel when they are permitted to. Unfortunately, government responses to the emergence of the Omicron variant are putting at risk the global connectivity it has taken so long to rebuild,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

British Airways' owner IAG and Travelport reach new distribution capability agreement

Travelport, a global technology company that powers travel bookings for hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotels worldwide, and International Airlines Group (IAG) today announced a distribution agreement to enable modern travel retailing – by bringing New Distribution Capability (NDC) content from British Airways and sister airlines Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling to Travelport-connected travel agencies around the world.

By channelling its NDC content through the next-generation Travelport+ platform, British Airways will be able to offer travel retailers a wider range of content – including Additional Price Points and an expanded selection of ancillary products – while taking advantage of modern digital retailing tools such as intelligent storefronts to merchandize them effectively. 


Katy Cardwell, Head of Distribution and Payments at British Airways, said: “Our new agreement with Travelport is an exciting addition to NDC, creating greater opportunities for all partners in the travel ecosystem. This supports our vision of moving towards a more innovative way of travel retailing, giving Travelport subscribers access to a greater choice of new and better products and services, including Additional Price Points and ancillaries, which are only available via NDC and add significant value.”

ITA Airways firms up order for 28 Airbus aircraft

 

ITA Airways, Italy’s new national carrier, has firmed up an order with Airbus for 28 aircraft, including seven A220s, 11 A320neos and 10 A330neos, the latest version of the most popular A330 widebody airliner. The order confirms the Memorandum of Understanding announced on 30th September 2021. In addition, the airline will pursue its plans to lease A350s to complement its fleet modernisation.
 
“Today the strategic partnership with Airbus takes an important step forward with the finalisation of the order we announced last September. In addition to this agreement, possibilities for further collaboration have emerged, in particular regarding technological developments in the aviation sector and digitalisation, where Airbus is the market leader. All this is part of the actions to achieve our environmental sustainability objectives, " said Alfredo Altavilla, Executive President of ITA Airways.

"We are very proud to partner with ITA Airways in building its long-term future with the most efficient, latest technology Airbus aircraft. This agreement supports ITA Airways business objectives to develop its network in Europe and internationally in the most sustainable way,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

These new Airbus aircraft will expand the initial ITA Airways fleet with a new generation aircraft with better environmental performance, equipped with latest technologies and state-of-the-art cabins to guarantee maximum operational efficiencies for the airline and the best comfort to travelers.

LCI Acquires Nova Capital Aviation (Ireland)



LCI, a leading aviation leasing company has announced an agreement to acquire Nova Capital Aviation (Ireland) Limited, a division of the Nova Capital Group.

Nova Capital Aviation (Ireland) Limited represents the twin-engine rotary and fixed-wing aircraft lease division of the Nova Capital Group, with single-engine operations remaining within the Group.

The acquisition will result in a substantial expansion of LCI's leasing platform to over 140 twin-engine rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. It will also take the proportion of aircraft deployed on emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue (SAR), off-shore wind and utility missions, to over 80% of the entire leasing platform.

Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, said: "The Nova brand is highly regarded, and is a major presence in the mission-critical EMS market which perfectly complements our own.

"Our agreement reflects the current trend towards industry consolidation, and is testament to the robust leasing platform we have built. It expands our customer base, introduces new aircraft types to our fleet, and cements LCI's long-term commitment to growth."

Last year, Nova Capital further expanded its fleet with the addition of eight factory new twin-engine EMS helicopters valued at over US$90 million, reaching half-a-billion total fleet value at 2021 year-end. Nova Capital will now focus on the development of its single-engine helicopter, light utility fixed-wing aircraft, and other advanced air mobility operations, in partnership with LCI.

WestJet announces schedule for new service between London Heathrow and Calgary

New route to commence in March 2022, increasing global connectivity between Western Canada and Europe


The Canadian airline, WestJet announced a new non-stop service to London's Heathrow Airport (LHR), from the airline's largest, global hub, Calgary International Airport. The new route provides access to London's largest airport with close and rapid access to important destinations in London. Flights between the two global hubs are set to operate four-times-weekly, beginning March 26, 2022. 

"As the airline with the most flights from Alberta, this is an important recovery milestone as we forge new connections between Canada and one of the world's most sought-after global hubs," said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. "We continue to strengthen our network, offering more options for business and leisure travellers and these investments will expedite our industry's recovery while ensuring Western Canada builds back from the pandemic more connected than ever before."

As confidence in business and leisure travel continues to rise, WestJet's newest route will operate this spring on the airline's 787 Dreamliner. WestJet's 787 service features the airline's Business Cabin including lie-flat pods, dining on demand and elevated Premium and Economy Cabin options.

"We are committed to the expansion of our global hub in Calgary and supporting the recovery of many sectors who rely on travel and tourism," continued Weatherill. "As the airline with the most non-stop European destinations from YYC, we are looking forward to guests benefitting from more options and increased connectivity for travel between Canada and the UK."

Details of WestJet's service between Calgary and Heathrow:

Route

Frequency

Start Date

Calgary – Heathrow

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday

March 26 – October 28, 2022

Heathrow – Calgary

Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

March 27 – October 29, 2022


With the addition of Heathrow to WestJet's network this spring, WestJet will connect Calgary to 77 non-stop destinations throughout the year.  WestJet will also continue to offer non-stop flights between Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax to London, Gatwick.

"WestJet is a fantastic airline with a strong history of providing top-notch service and excellent value for money, making it a great fit for Heathrow. As travel begins to reopen, we look forward to working with WestJet to improve the UK's connectivity with Canada and give passengers even more choice when flying across the Atlantic."

- John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO said: "WestJet's new non-stop route from YYC to London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, is welcomed by those looking to access the world's premier financial and business centre and those eager for a direct connection to explore London's culture and landmarks. We look forward to welcoming guests from across the pond to experience the traditional Indigenous lands and warm hospitality our region is known for."

- Bob Sartor, President & CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority commented:  "Congratulations to WestJet for continuing to invest in new ways to connect Calgarians and our economy to the world. London Heathrow is a critical access point for business and leisure travellers and will be of great benefit to investors and tourists who want world class access to our region."

- Jyoti Gondek, Mayor of Calgary welcomed the news: "Air access is key to our province's economic recovery and growth of the tourism industry We look forward to welcoming back UK travellers and showcasing Alberta as a top destination."

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Air Canada Named Best Airline in North America for Third Straight Year by Global Traveller

  • Global Traveler's Best Airline in North America for the third straight year
  • Global Traveler's Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness for the second straight year
  • APEX Five-Star rating reflects performance based on passenger feedback
  • Business Traveler Magazine's Best North American Airline for International Travel
  • Air Canada also sweeps StudentUniverse's six Canadian travel awards voted in annual airline survey


Air Canada has been named the Best Airline in North America for the third straight year by the readers of Global Traveler. The airline also won for Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness for the second consecutive year in the 18th edition of the GT Tested Reader Survey of the magazine's readership of frequent business and luxury travellers.

Additionally, in its annual ratings for 2022, APEX has reaffirmed Air Canada as a Five-Star Global Airline in the APEX Official Airline Ratings, based on customer feedbackFor the 2022 awards, nearly one million flights were evaluated by passengers across more than 600 airlines from around the world using a five-star scale. The APEX Official Airline Ratings were created based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights gathered through APEX's partnership with TripIt from Concur and independently certified by an external auditing company.

"Thank you to our passionate employees who've worked tirelessly as we welcome our customers back. Without these dedicated employees and our loyal customers, being recognized with Global Traveler's Best Airline in North America and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness, as well as APEX's five-star rating and Business Traveler's Best North American Airline for International Travel wouldn't be possible," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

"The award-winning corporate culture we have built and cultivated over the past decade, rooted in resilience, teamwork, and empathy, is a key strength. It is our culture that allowed us to pivot quickly while keeping customers at the centre of everything we did as we responded early in the pandemic, and this continues. Our positive culture, combined with the appeal of Air Canada's iconic brand, is enabling us to reinvent ourselves to seize the many opportunities in the post-COVID marketplace."

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

NEOM and Volocopter establish joint venture to create the world's first bespoke public eVTOL mobility system

NEOM, the smart and sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia and Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility, have established a joint venture (JV) company to design, implement, and operate the world's first bespoke public vertical mobility system in NEOM. Air taxi and vertical logistics services will be fully integrated with the overall multi-modal and zero-emission public transit system in NEOM. The JV will be the sole operator of initial public transit routes across NEOM, while enabling an open eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) ecosystem for vertical mobility services including logistics, emergency response, and tourism. NEOM has placed a confirmed order of 15 Volocopter aircraft to commence initial flight operations within the next 2-3 years.


Nadhmi Al-Nasr, Chief Executive Officer at NEOM, said: "In designing cities and urban infrastructure for the 21st century, mobility is at the center of the equation. Through this joint venture with Volocopter, we are demonstrating to the world that NEOM is the ideal region to implement urban air mobility rapidly and create a fully integrated vertical mobility ecosystem. NEOM is on a mission to become a global living lab for future mobility, and we are very excited to see what the future holds as we grow."

The collaboration between NEOM and Volocopter will lead the design and development of a truly three-dimensional public transportation system, advancing the technical, regulatory, and infrastructure solutions for eVTOL operations across NEOM. The JV will offer vertical mobility services as an integral part of NEOM's multi-modal and zero-emissions public mobility system, providing seamless connectivity for passengers and goods.

United to Become First in Aviation History to Fly Aircraft Full of Passengers Using 100% Sustainable Fuel

Game-changing flight - in partnership with Boeing, CFM International, Virent and World Energy - set to travel today from ORD to DCA with more than 100 passengers;
Airline also announces new corporate participants joining the Eco-Skies Alliance, an effort to collectively purchase 7.1 million gallons of SAF this year including Microsoft, Salesforce and Visa
United has already committed to purchasing nearly twice the size of the rest of the world's airlines' publicly announced SAF commitments combined


United today will operate an unprecedented flight that will serve as a turning point in the industry's effort to combat climate change: for the first time in aviation history, a commercial carrier will fly an aircraft full of passengers using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Also today, United announced the second round of corporate participants in the airline's Eco-Skies AllianceSM program to collectively contribute towards the purchase of SAF.

United is the world leader in the usage and support for the development of SAF, an alternative fuel made with non-petroleum feedstocks, already having agreements to purchase nearly twice as much SAF as the known agreements of all other global airlines combined. SAF has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the country's vast feedstock resources are enough to meet the projected fuel demand of the entire U.S. aviation industry.

"United continues to lead from the front when it comes to climate change action," said United CEO Scott Kirby, who will fly onboard today's historic SAF flight. "Today's SAF flight is not only a significant milestone for efforts to decarbonize our industry, but when combined with the surge in commitments to produce and purchase alternative fuels, we're demonstrating the scalable and impactful way companies can join together and play a role in addressing the biggest challenge of our lifetimes."

United will be the first airline to resume service between Scotland and the United States



The U.S. mega-carrier United Airlines has confirmed it will resume daily nonstop services between Scotland and the United States starting 5 March 2022. United says it will resume its year-round daily nonstop service between Edinburgh and New York - Newark. 

The airline is also set to resume daily nonstop seasonal services from Edinburgh to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. on 7 May 2022. It is the first airline to resume service between Scotland and the United States and will offer more services between Scotland and the U.S. than any other airline. 

“We are delighted to return to Scotland in 2022 and resume nonstop services from Edinburgh to the United States,” said Bob Schumacher, United’s Director Sales U.K. and Ireland. “With the return of services, our customers in Edinburgh can once again take advantage of direct connections to the U.S., as well as an unrivalled route network from United’s hubs at New York/Newark, Chicago and Washington, D.C., offering convenient nonstop connections to 129 destinations across the Americas.” 

“It’s incredibly exciting to be resuming our transatlantic services with United to allow direct travel between Scotland and the USA for the first time in two years. It will allow families to reunite, friends to reconnect and re-open the strong tourism destinations on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive.  

 

Edinburgh (EDI) – New York/Newark (EWR) 

 

Flight 

From 

To 

Depart 

Arrive 

Frequency 

Aircraft 

Dates of operation 

UA37 

EDI 

EWR 

09:40 

12:20 

Daily  

Boeing 757-200 

5 March 2022 onwards 

UA36 

EWR 

 EDI 

20:20 

08:05 +1 

Daily  

Boeing 757-200 

4 March 2022 onwards 

All times are local and subject to change. 

 

Edinburgh (EDI) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 

 

Flight 

From 

To 

Depart 

Arrive 

Frequency 

Aircraft 

Dates of operation 

UA119 

EDI 

ORD 

11:30 

13:55 

Daily 

Boeing 757-200 

7 May 2022 onwards 

UA118 

ORD 

EDI 

18:15 

7:50 +1 

Daily 

Boeing 757-200 

6 May 2022 onwards 

All times are local and subject to change. 

 

Edinburgh (EDI) – Washington D.C. (IAD) 

 

Flight 

From 

To 

Depart 

Arrive 

Frequency 

Aircraft 

Dates of Operation 

UA979 

EDI 

IAD 

12:30  

15:10 

Daily 

Boeing 757-200 

7 May 2022 onwards 

UA978 

IAD 

EDI 

22:25 

10:40 +1 

Daily 

Boeing 757-200 

6 May 2022 onwards 




United’s year-round daily nonstop service from Edinburgh to New York/Newark and seasonal daily nonstop services from Edinburgh to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. will be operated with Boeing 757-200 aircraft, featuring a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United Polaris business class and 153 in economy, including 45 Economy PlusSM seats with added legroom and increased personal space.  

United Polaris business class is a premium travel experience that prioritises relaxation and comfort, featuring quality inflight dining, premium amenity kits and fully flat-bed seats.   

Located just 14 miles from Manhattan, Newark Liberty International Airport offers the fastest surface transfer journeys to many parts of the city, including the AirTrain service to New York Penn Station in midtown Manhattan, with a journey time of less than 30 minutes. 

United Airlines began serving Scotland in 1998. United will offer its Scottish customers year-round nonstop flights from Edinburgh to New York/Newark from 5 March 2022 as well as seasonal services from Edinburgh to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. from 7 May 2022. All flights are conveniently timed to connect at United’s U.S hubs with an extensive network of services to destinations throughout the Americas.





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