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

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Freedom Flight Prize Takes Off.....................

First Contenders, Technical Panel & Sponsors Announced for Carbon-Free Commercial Flight across the Atlantic

Sustainability experts Carbon Footprint's challenge to the aviation industry for the first transatlantic carbon-free flight – the Freedom Flight Prize - announces its first Contenders, Sponsors and a Technical Panel to judge the winning entry to decarbonise aviation and bring carbon-free flights to the general public.

The Freedom Flight Prize requires the winning team to complete a return trip from London to New York* in a 100+ seater passenger aircraft whilst releasing zero carbon emissions during the flight. The return trip must be completed within 24 hours of starting out. The prize fund is being supported by a growing number of sponsors and is expected to be in the £millions by the time it is won.

First contenders to be registered are ZeroAvia (based in the USA and UK), Okulu Aerospace (based in India) and The ePlane Company (based in India). The proposed solutions are focused on using hydrogen and electric based propulsion systems. Other organisations from across the World have expressed interest in the prize and are expected to be entering the competition over the coming months.

The Galileo Competence Centre of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR-GK) and Airbus signed massive €16.8million deal.

 The Galileo Competence Centre of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR-GK) and Airbus have signed a €16.8 Million contract for the hosting of DLR’s COMPASSO mission on the International Space Station (ISS) Bartolomeo platform.

DLR to use Airbus Bartolomeo Service for First-Ever In-Orbit Verification of Laser-Optical Clocks

Highly stable laser-optical clocks are fundamental for improved satellite navigation and inter-satellite links

COMPASSO will be the first in-orbit verification of compact and highly stable laser-optical clocks. Via a bi-directional optical link, these clocks are compared to and synchronized with highly stable clocks on Earth. In addition, the optical link between the ISS and the ground station is used for assessing the influence of atmospheric turbulence on the frequency and time transfer.

In combination with optical links, highly stable optical clocks are of particular interest for future generations of satellite navigation systems, such as Galileo, and the basis for new Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) architectures, such as the Kepler concept developed at DLR. Combined with the control of further parameters, such as accuracy in orbit determination and atmosphere modelling, a higher accuracy in position determination on Earth can be achieved while at the same time reducing the ground segment complexity and size.

Finnair buying back its own shares.

Helsinki based Finnair is in the middle of a huge programme to buy back its own shares to further solidify the companies assets, structures and financial position. 

Part of the buyback is to give senior managers and board members another perk, following the board's decision at a recent meeting to give them a pay increase, despite making record numbers of other staff redundant over the last two years.

The firm says it plans to buy 1,800,000, corresponding to 0.13% of the total number of shares and has budgeted EUR 1.8 million. Finnair currently holds a total of 170,660 of its own shares.   The shares shall be acquired through public trading on the Nasdaq Helsinki exchange at the market price prevailing at the time of purchase. The plan for this round will be concluded by the last day of March 2021, at the latest. However, there are plans to have another round of buying back its own shares later this year.

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Friday, 19 February 2021

Phase one of the JetBlue + American Airlines codeshare deal

Nearly 80 Codeshare Routes Now Bookable, 

Giving Customers More Choices & Enhanced Schedules

JetBlue Plans to Launch More Than a Dozen New Routes from Newark and LaGuardia, and Seasonal Service from JFK to Two All-New JetBlue Destinations

Together, JetBlue and American Introduce More Than 30 New Routes

JetBlue and American Airlines announced the launch of the first phase of their new Northeast Alliance, aimed at bringing customers more competitive choices in New York and Boston. Beginning today, nearly 80 routes sharing the JetBlue and American codes are available for booking as the airlines enhance schedules on key routes to and from the northeast. In addition, JetBlue today announced 15 new routes, including new service from Newark and New York-LGA as well as two all-new seasonal cities from New York-JFK. Together with American, the two airlines are introducing 33 new routes as part of the first phase of their alliance.

“Our alliance with American opens the door for JetBlue to successfully enter into new markets, introducing more choices and our award-winning service and low fares to more customers,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning, JetBlue. “The alliance is also essential to getting our planes back in the air profitably and crewmembers working again.”

“This is the first step to delivering the best customer proposition with the biggest network in New York and Boston,” said Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Revenue Officer. “In the months ahead, we’ll continue to create a seamless experience that’s easy for our customers, supports our communities and leads to more growth for our team.”

Delta Air Lines Taps IBM for Cloud Expertise and Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Platform

IBM  and Delta Air Lines announced a multi-year agreement under which IBM will help lead Delta to the public cloud, in order to increase its agility, speed to market and innovation capabilities around digital transformation.

As part of the expanded relationship, IBM will provide technology and industry expertise to modernize and migrate Delta's applications to the public cloud. IBM will transform Delta's computing environment to run on a hybrid cloud architecture built on Red Hat OpenShift, enabling a consistent, standards-based approach to development, security and operations across clouds. IBM's team of experts, spanning travel transportation and technology, are working with Delta teams to utilize the IBM Garage Methodology and IBM hybrid cloud software, such as CloudPaks, to modernize existing applications and co-create new solutions powering Delta's transformation. This will help Delta drive greater software engineering productivity and result in an enhanced customer experience in the future.

Alauda Airspeeder Mk II scale demonstrator loss of control resulting in a fly-away and eventual crash, Goodwood Aerodrome, West Sussex crash report released

Whilst performing a demonstration flight, the remote pilot lost control of the 95 kg Alauda Airspeeder Mk II scale demonstrator. After the loss of control had been confirmed by the remote pilot, the safety ‘kill switch’ was operated but had no effect. The Unmanned Aircraft then climbed to approximately 8,000 ft, entering controlled airspace at a holding point for flights arriving at Gatwick Airport, before its battery depleted and it fell to the ground. It crashed in a field of crops approximately 40 m from occupied houses and 700 m outside of its designated operating area. There were no injuries.

Jetcraft Starts 2021 Strong With Landmark Praetor 600 Sale

Jetcraft, the world leader in business jet sales and acquisitions, is celebrating the completion of the world’s first transaction of a pre-owned Embraer Praetor 600.

The sale of the super-midsize jet completes a landmark triple crown for Jetcraft, after the company facilitated transactions for the first pre-owned Gulfstream G500, and one of the first pre-owned Bombardier Global 7500s not long after certification.

Chad Anderson, President at Jetcraft, says: “The Praetor 600 is one of the world’s newest, and most disruptive private jets, capable of flying further than any other super-midsize with non-stop travel between London to New York, or Oslo to Dubai.

“As we continue to see fresh innovations from OEMs, we’re witnessing a step-change in ownership patterns. Some buyers are seeking to quickly upgrade their aircraft to the latest model, meaning a pre-owned jet can now be available a year or two after its original certification.”

The Praetor 600 transaction builds upon positive momentum for the company. Jetcraft’s 2020 sales were consistent with previous years despite the challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw an essential halt in aircraft sales during Q2.

Anderson adds: “We’re seeing a pent-up demand for travel, with a healthy number of sale acquisition and trade-in enquiries already this year, buoyed by growing market confidence.

“With business aviation utilization currently the closest it’s been to pre-Covid-19 levels, we’re equally enthused about the prospect of new entrants to our industry, who are beginning their path to aircraft ownership by first experiencing air charter, jet-card or fractional solutions. We’re ready to support them when they want to take the next step to owning their own plane.”

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Airbus releases its 2020 results showing 566 aircraft were delivered in one of the firms most difficult years ever...

566 commercial aircraft delivered in adverse market environment
Financials reflect the early business adaptation and cash containment plan
FY revenues € 49.9 billion; FY EBIT Adjusted € 1.7 billion
FY EBIT (reported) € -0.5 billion; FY loss per share (reported) € -1.45
No dividend proposed for 2020
FY FCF before M&A and customer financing € -6.9 billion
Net cash position at € 4.3 billion
2021 guidance issued

Airbus SE  reported consolidated Full-Year (FY) 2020 financial results and provided guidance for 2021.

“The 2020 results demonstrate the resilience of Airbus in the most challenging crisis to hit the aerospace industry. I want to thank our teams for their great achievements in 2020 and acknowledge the strong support of our Helicopters and Defence and Space businesses. I would also like to thank our customers, suppliers and partners for their loyalty to Airbus,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “Many uncertainties remain for our industry in 2021 as the pandemic continues to impact lives, economies and societies. We have issued guidance to provide some visibility in a volatile environment. Over the longer term, our ambition is to lead the development of a sustainable global aerospace industry.”
Net commercial aircraft orders totalled 268 (2019: 768 aircraft) with the order backlog comprising 7,184 commercial aircraft as of 31 December 2020. Airbus Helicopters booked 268 net orders (2019: 310 units), including 31 NH90s for the German Bundeswehr in Q4 and 11 H160s. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value increased 39% year-on-year to € 11.9 billion, a book-to-bill above one, mainly driven by major contract wins in Military Aircraft. This included a contract signed in November to deliver 38 new Eurofighters for the German Air Force.

More service cuts from WestJet

Canadian airline WestJet to temporarily suspend service to four domestic stations

WestJet has confirmed it will temporarily suspend operations to St. John's, N.L., London, Ont., and Lloydminster and Medicine Hat, Alta., as of March 19, until June 24, 2021.

"We have continued to operate in the face of uncertainty as domestic and international travel restrictions and quarantines have caused demand to plummet," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "Unfortunately, with new and increasingly restrictive policies, we are left once again, with no other option than to suspend service to these communities."

With the announcement, flights between St. John's and Halifax will be suspended as of March 21, while service between London, Ont., and Toronto will cease on March 22. WestJet Link service from Calgary to Lloydminster will end on March 19, and Calgary to Medicine Hat discontinued as of March 21.

American Express to Open New Centurion Lounge at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Expand Centurion Lounges in Seattle and San Francisco

American Express announced plans to open its 16th Centurion Lounge at Washington, D.C.’s, Reagan National Airport (DCA), and expand its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) locations. All three locations are expected to open by the end of 2022 with additional updates to be communicated closer to that time.

A recent Amex Trendex* survey found that a majority of consumers (62%) would feel comfortable travelling by plane domestically over the next 6 months. With this in mind, American Express is continuing to grow its premium Centurion Lounge network and enhance travel benefits to support Card Members whenever they choose to travel next. In addition to these updates, the company is continuing to offer elevated health-and-safety practices, as part of the “Centurion Lounge Commitment.”

“We’ve been steadily growing our lounge footprint around the world and are excited to bring a premium lounge experience to Reagan National Airport, and upgrade our lounges at San Francisco International and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports,” said Alexander Lee, Vice President of Travel Experiences & Benefits. “Historically, these are among the top airports our Card Members have travelled through and we want to ensure they have a safe, spacious and comfortable place to relax during their travels today and in the future."

The Nation’s Capital will Welcome a New Centurion Lounge

With floor to ceiling windows, airfield views and one-of-a-kind design elements inspired by the city’s history, the new Centurion Lounge at DCA will span more than 11,500-square-feet. The upcoming lounge in DCA is estimated to open in late 2022, following the airport’s completion of Project Journey, a $1 billion capital improvement project. Built from the ground up, the entrance will be located in National Hall near Terminal B, after security.

In addition to special local touches, the Centurion Lounge will feature signature amenities such as a complimentary custom bar1 and food menu, premium restrooms and shower suites, access to high-speed Wi-Fi, noise-buffering workspaces, and more.

Major Upgrades Coming to Seattle and San Francisco Centurion Lounges

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
The Centurion Lounge at SEA will soon triple in size to over 13,800 square ft and relocate to the mezzanine level of the Central Terminal. With a spacious entrance opening to the Central Terminal, the lounge will feature new seating areas that capitalize on the open-air atrium location. This expanded lounge will welcome Card Members with views of the airfield and Olympic Mountains, additional restrooms, private phone rooms and noise-buffering workspaces, cozy nooks, and more.

San Francisco International Airport
Located in Terminal 3, the Centurion Lounge at SFO will nearly double in size, increasing its footprint to almost 16,000 square feet. It will also introduce a new seasonal menu from Liholiho Yacht Club Executive Chef Ravi Kapur, which will offer clean and vibrant dishes celebrating local purveyors from the Bay Area. New amenities include a second bar and café area, additional restrooms, private phone rooms and even more private workspaces.

Card Members visiting The Centurion Lounges at SEA and SFO will also continue to benefit from elevated health-and-safety practices, as part of the “Centurion Lounge Commitment.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the recent new openings of The Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport and at John F. Kennedy Airport, showing American Express’ continued commitment to expanding and enhancing The Centurion Lounge network. American Express is also working towards opening its newest lounge location later this year in London’s Heathrow Airport.

Current locations of The Centurion Lounge include Denver International Airport, New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Miami International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Houston’s George Bush International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport. Please visit the Global Lounge Collection website to find a lounge and check on current availability and updated hours. For a contactless check-in experience, Card Members can download the American Express® App and use the Mobile Check-in Feature.

Lounge access is just one of the many ways American Express is backing Card Members’ journeys when they’re ready to travel. Additional offerings available for Platinum Card and Centurion Members through American Express Travel and Concierge, include: access to the Fine Hotels + Resorts program, The Hotel Collection, International Airline Program, The Global Dining Collection, and more.

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First Airbus A320neo delivered to Air Côte d’Ivoire

Air Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast’s flagship carrier based in Abidjan, has taken delivery of its first A320neo, becoming the first operator of the type in the West-African region. This latest generation aircraft will join Air Côte d’Ivoire’s existing Airbus fleet of six aircraft.

With improved levels of efficiency, this new aircraft will be deployed on Air Côte d’Ivoire’s regional network to serve Senegal, Gabon and Cameroon. Destinations like South Africa will be added at a later stage, highlighting the operational flexibility of the A320neo. Powered by CFM Leap-1A engines, the aircraft is configured in a comfortable two-class layout with 16 seats in Business and 132 seats in Economy Class. Passengers will benefit from the widest cabin of any single aisle aircraft, high-speed Internet connectivity and latest generation in-flight entertainment system.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Finnair Financial Statements Release 1 January–31 December 2020

Healthy financial position secured through extensive recapitalisation and cost reset says Finnair's management. 

October–December 2020

Earnings per share were -0.01 euros (0.03)*.
Revenue decreased by 86.8% to 102.0 million euros (774.9).
Comparable operating result was -162.9 million euros (31.2). Operating result was -14.6 million euros (34.7). The difference is mainly explained by a one-off effect of 132.8 million euros related to changes in Finnair pension fund’s defined benefit plans.
Net cash flow from operating activities was -178.6 million euros (120.1), and net cash flow from investing activities was 135.3 million euros (-185.7).**
Number of passengers decreased by 92.1% to 0.3 million (3.5).
Available seat kilometres (ASK) declined by 89.2%.
Passenger load factor (PLF) was 29.2% (79.0).
January–December 2020

WestJet welcomes Dr. Tammy McKnight as Chief Medical Officer

Canadian carrier WestJet has named Dr. Tammy McKnight as the airline's first Chief Medical Officer (CMEDO).

Dr. McKnight will be responsible for assisting WestJet in developing and implementing initiatives relating to the health and well-being of WestJetters and guests. This will include furthering the airline's commitment to mental health, advising on risk mitigation efforts, and making health recommendations to meet or exceed regulations and in line with the varying guidelines in which a global airline operates. This work was previously spread among multiple service providers and internal roles at WestJet. The position of CMEDO reports to Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President People and Culture.

"WestJet has always valued physical and mental health as core to our caring for our people and our guests, and 2020 only made the importance more evident, so much so that hiring a dedicated CMEDO to bring everything together and inhouse made a lot of sense," said Mark Porter. "Dr. McKnight is a highly accomplished, forward-thinking leader with demonstrated success in aviation, occupational and emergency medicine, and will be a valuable addition to the team." 

Finnair joins forces with air navigation service provider Fintraffic ANS to lower CO2 emissions New partnership to make Finland’s airspace the most environmentally friendly in the world

Finnair joins forces with air navigation service provider Fintraffic ANS to lower CO2 emissions
New partnership to make Finland’s airspace the most environmentally friendly in the world

Finnair and Finland’s air navigation service provider Fintraffic ANS have joined forces to reduce CO2 emissions and enhance commercial aviation’s environmental footprint.

Under the new initiative, Finnair will share fuel consumption data with Fintraffic ANS and the parties will together explore how to support airlines in their bid to drive down and meet new lower emissions targets. 

As part of its industry-leading commitment to sustainability, Finnair is committed to halving its net CO2 emissions by the end of 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality in 2045.

Finnair pilot, Captain Tom Hakala, is in charge of fuel efficiency of Finnair flight operations and advises how Finnair pilots can maximise their fuel-efficient flying techniques.

Canadian airline staff call for more federal help.

Canada's flight attendants are calling for more federal help and say their industry is on the brink of collapse, and they’re bringing their call for help to the doorstep of the prime minister and key cabinet members.

As part of a “Mayday” campaign, the union representing 15,000 Canadian flight attendants is launching billboards in key locations in Ottawa and the home ridings of key federal ministers, as well as an email drive that has already sent close to 6,000 messages to Prime Minister Trudeau’s inbox.

“The government called on us to help bring Canadians home when COVID-19 first struck, but they have ignored us at every turn ever since,” said Wesley Lesosky, President of the Airline Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). “We’re bringing this campaign to the prime minister’s doorstep because we’re tired of being ignored, and we’re tired of being used as a political football by the airlines and the government.”

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Two Airbus A320-200 aircraft placed with start up carrier Qanot Sharq Airlines of Uzbekistan

The global aircraft leasing giant, Air Lease Corporation has confirmed the placement of two Airbus A320-200 aircraft with Qanot Sharq Airlines of Uzbekistan. 

These two A320-200 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to Qanot Sharq Airlines in March and will be the first aircraft in the fleet of the Uzbek startup airline.  

“ALC is pleased to announce this lease placement of two A320-200s with Qanot Sharq Airlines,” said AJ Abedin, Vice President, Marketing of Air Lease Corporation.  ALC is a leading aircraft leasing company based in Los Angeles, California that has airline customers throughout the world.  Abedin continued “We have worked closely with the Qanot Sharq executive team and are thrilled to participate in the launch of the first Uzbek startup airline through the placement of their first two aircraft.”

“We are honoured and excited to work with one of the largest aircraft leasing companies in the world to assist with the launch of our airline,” said Nosir Abdugafarov, owner of Qanot Sharq Airlines.  “These two A320-200s are scheduled to deliver in March and will be the first two aircraft in Qanot Sharq’s fleet, ensuring the highest standard of safety and comfort for our passengers.”
About Qanot Sharq Airlines

Established as the first privately owned Airline in Uzbekistan, Qanot Sharq is led by a team of highly accomplished airline industry professionals with over 200 years of combined industry experience. The airline will operate from multiple regional airports in Uzbekistan, providing scheduled air service to international destinations such as Istanbul, Ankara (Turkey), Dubai (UAE), Jeddah, Medina (Saudi Arabia), Moscow, St. Petersburgh (Russian Federation) and Almaty (Kazakhstan).

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Virgin Red set to boost Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members in the UK can join Virgin Red from today, with the option to link accounts to unlock even more ways to earn and spend Virgin Points
Virgin Red is Virgin's new rewards club where members can earn on the everyday and save on the extraordinary from right across the Virgin family and beyond  
Each new Virgin Red member will receive 500 bonus Virgin Points when they complete their first earn in the app
In a boost for Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members in the UK can sign up to Virgin Red, Virgin’s new rewards club. Through the Virgin Red app and website, which celebrates its members for living a life more Virgin, Flying Club members will unlock a wealth of new earning and spending options overnight, across a wide range of products and services from the Virgin family and beyond.

New and existing Flying Club members in the UK can now enrol in Virgin Red and seamlessly link their Flying Club account, creating a shared Virgin Points balance that they can use across either programme. At the heart of the bolstered earning and spending opportunities are Virgin Points – the universal Virgin currency that unlike many other loyalty currencies, have no expiry date.

Whilst spending opportunities on travel benefits may be temporarily restricted, by opening its doors to Flying Club members, Virgin Red introduces many new partners for the first time, enabling Flying Club members to access everyday treats and even more extraordinary experiences, some available from as little as 200 points.

Canadian Flair expanding

The Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair is expanding service and will bring low fare air travel to 18 Canadian destinations by summer. 

The budget airline confirmed service to four of the new destinations will begin in May with more added in the coming months as non-essential travel within Canada safely restarts. Flair’s ambitious expansion focuses first on growing its domestic network. Flair’s network will expand beginning on May 1 st as service is added to Ottawa, ON; Kitchener-Waterloo, ON; Halifax, NS; and Saint John, NB. Flair will add service in June to Thunder Bay, ON; and Charlottetown, PE; in July to Victoria, BC; and in August to Abbotsford, BC. 

“Canadians have been paying too much for too long, and we are changing that with our ULCC model that makes getting around Canada affordable,” says Stephen Jones, President & CEO. “Providing affordable air travel within Canada is the first step in restarting travel and tourism, and Flair is uniquely positioned with the efficiencies of our low-cost model. When non-essential travel returns, Flair will be there to reconnect families and provide the low fares that have long been denied to Canadians.” 

airBaltic and Lufthansa announce codeshare agreement

Lufthansa and airBaltic are starting codeshare cooperation that will open new, seamless travel opportunities. As of March 28, Lufthansa will put its marketing codes on routes operated by airBaltic between Munich and Riga, Latvia as well as Munich and Vilnius, Lithuania. airBaltic customers will benefit from convenient access to Lufthansa’s worldwide network. At the same time, Lufthansa passengers will have more possibilities to travel from Munich to the Baltic states.

Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic: “Lufthansa is a strong connectivity provider globally, and we are pleased to strengthen our partnership and the air traffic ties between the Baltics, Germany and beyond. Germany is one of airBaltic’s key markets and we are looking forward to the partnership and through that offering better travel opportunities to the passengers around the world.”

Finnair to dismantle and recycle an A319 aircraft at Helsinki Airport

Finnair intends to dismantle and recycle an Airbus A319 aircraft, which has reached the end of its economic lifecycle at 21 years. The dismantling will begin at Helsinki Airport, where Finnair’s mechanics will remove parts that can be used elsewhere in Finnair’s fleet. These include the engine, seats, landing gear and avionics components.

“This is the first time that a Finnair aircraft is dismantled and recycled in Finland. We made the decision to take the plane apart at our home hub to optimise sustainability and economics”, says Juha Ojala, Vice President of Finnair’s Technical Operations. “This project allows us to improve the cost efficiency of maintenance operations and employ our mechanics during the pandemic when their normal workload has decreased.”