Saturday, 11 September 2021

Aeroplan Credit Cardholders Can Now Enjoy $0 Delivery Fees -and More With A Free Uber Pass Membership

Aeroplan announced this week a partnership with Uber Canada that gives eligible Aeroplan credit cardholders access to unlimited $0 Delivery Fees on eligible food and grocery orders, ride discounts and additional perks with a free Uber Pass membership. 

The free Uber Pass membership is available to eligible Aeroplan credit cardholders for a period of three, six or twelve months depending on the card.

"We are very excited to come together with Uber and our bank partners to offer our Aeroplan cardholders something that will benefit their everyday lives," said Scott O'Leary, Vice President, Aeroplan at Air Canada. "Uber Pass provides real savings and is one more reason why Aeroplan's credit cards are more convenient and rewarding than ever."

Aeroplan credit cardholders can save up to $120 in monthly membership costs and enjoy Uber Pass savings like unlimited $0 Delivery Fees and 5% savings off eligible restaurant orders over $15 on Uber Eats, and save on grocery orders through Cornershop over $40, where available. Cardholders will also unlock new Uber Rides perks each month with discounts available only to Passholders. To enjoy these benefits, Cardholders must activate their free membership by September 7, 2022.

Quick, tell Joey and to Dawson Creek take off........

Air service returns to Dawson Creek as WestJet Link launches flights from Calgary

Air service returns to Dawson Creek as WestJet Link launches flights from Calgary

The Canadian airline WestJet has opened up sales on its newest route launched its newest route linking Calgary and Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

The inaugural flight marked a new link for the regions' business, travel and tourism markets as WestJet becomes the only carrier to provide nonstop service between the Peace River Region and a major international largest Calgary. 

"Our guests in both Calgary and the Peace River Region have been patiently awaiting this important milestone and we are thrilled to bring air service to the community," said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. "As we continue to build back our network, Dawson Creek will benefit from lower fares and connectivity across our network as we strive to reconnect Canadians for business and leisure."

The airlines first flight, number 3027' was welcomed on arrival in Dawson Creek by Mayor Dale Bumstead alongside Chris Hedlin, WestJet's Vice-President of Network Planning and key regional business leaders.

"The City of Dawson Creek is so pleased to welcome WestJet into our city and the entire South Peace region of Northeast BC. This new direct service to Calgary is so important to the economic development of our city," said Dale Bumstead, Mayor, Dawson Creek. "The Energy, Forestry and Mining sectors are all very important to our region and this new service will be a welcome addition for industry while also providing our residents with nonstop air service to WestJet's global hub in Calgary for their leisure and business travel."

The new service and new route for WestJet operates four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  WestJet Link flights are operated through a capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines using its fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft.

With the addition of Calgary-Dawson Creek service, WestJet Link now operates five routes between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and three between Vancouver and Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Comox.

Fifteen new Airbus aircraft for budget U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines from ALC

Global aircraft leasing giant, Air Lease Corporation confirmed this week the long-term lease placements for ten new Airbus A321-200neo aircraft and sale and lease-backs of five new Airbus A320-200neo aircraft with Spirit Airlines.  

The five A320neos are scheduled to deliver to Spirit Airlines in 2021 and 2022 and will be owned by one of ALC’s managed aircraft ventures through funds managed by Waterfall Asset Management.  The ten A321neos are scheduled to deliver to Spirit Airlines from ALC’s order book with Airbus beginning in 2023 through 2024. 

“ALC is pleased to announce this transaction for fifteen Airbus A320 & A321neos with Spirit Airlines,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation.  “ALC is unmatched in our ability to offer highly customized fleet planning solutions to our airline partners.  Combining sale and leasebacks for near term deliveries of Spirit’s A320neos on behalf of our managed business with direct placement of ten of our A321neos from our order book with Airbus will further enhance Spirit Airlines’ overall operations and commitment to maintain a highly competitive, fuel-efficient fleet.”

“We appreciate our partnership with ALC on the financing of 15 new aircraft delivering now through 2024. This partnership helps us to achieve our previously announced capacity plans for 2022 and 2023, and our targeted growth in 2024, as we Invest in the Guest and deliver new exciting destinations,” said Scott Haralson, Chief Financial Officer of Spirit Airlines

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WestJet's budget carrier Swoop reaches tentative agreement with CUPE union

CUPE and Swoop have reached a tentative first collective agreement for flight attendants at the ultra low cost carrier. CUPE Local 4070 represents approximately 200 flight attendants at Swoop.

CUPE has represented flight attendants at Swoop since June 2019. The parties have been engaged in collective bargaining towards a first union contract since February 2020.

CUPE Local 4070 President Chris Rauenbusch called this “a remarkable testament to the hard work of the union bargaining committee particularly during the worst crisis our industry has ever seen.” Rauenbusch noted that COVID-19 travel restrictions and layoffs made achieving this milestone “an absolutely monumental task.”

“In the past seven months, we have achieved agreements for our members with WestJet, WestJet Encore and now Swoop,” said Rauenbusch. “To achieve constructive agreements for all three bargaining units, especially during a pandemic is remarkable.”

New luxurious 112 room Alila Hinu Bay Hotel opens in Oman........

Alila Hinu Bay hosts a seemingly endless bay and a private beach upping the ante on tropical oases. A stunning beachfront resort that radiates sophistication, vibrancy and vivacity, offering an indulgence of luscious lifestyle facilities, an ecological escape and a glimpse into the wildlife charm that the scenic Dhofar region has to offer

Alila Hinu Bay Resport

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has told us that the Alila Hinu Bay in Oman is now ready to welcome international guests for the first time, following the recent announcement of borders in Oman re-opening to tourists.

The property joins Alila Jabal Akhdar as the Alila brand’s second hotel in Oman along with 15 other Alila properties worldwide. Distinguished by a strong commitment to sustainable tourism, the award-winning brand features luxury hotels and resorts in some of the most spectacular natural locations.

The 112-key hotel is nestled on a secluded beachfront in Oman’s southwest region of Dhofar. The untouched area is best known for its lush landscapes, cool summers, and it is within easy driving distance from Salalah International Airport. Between Samhan mountain and the blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Alila Hinu Bay caters to well-travelled guests seeking reflection and impactful connections. Along with the breathtaking scenery, the area is known for its rich traditions and the renowned warmth of Omani hospitality. Combined with a personalized experience that is crafted for each guest, travellers can expect to be immersed in authentic yet bespoke journeys tailored to their preferences and interests.

“We are very excited to add Alila Hinu Bay to the Hyatt portfolio and welcome guests to this region of Oman, a true nature lover’s paradise full of stunning landscapes, waterfalls and greenery,” said Martin Persson, general manager, Alila Hinu Bay. “Dedicated to being responsible and sustainable, guests can enjoy exquisite culinary experiences evoking local and international flavours at one of our dining options or treat themselves to a customized spa experience that uses natural products.”

Accommodations with a View

Pool Villa 
Alila Hinu Bay boasts 112 guestrooms and private pool villas with interiors incorporating local materials which blend natural elements of the outdoors with clean, modern finishes. Guestrooms offer lagoon, or sea views, each with its own terrace with fixed seating and the option of booking connecting rooms for families. Pool villas offer the utmost in luxury with private plunge pools and outdoor bathtubs, enabling guests to feel in tune with the natural surroundings. Further, all of the pool villas boast direct access to the beach and plenty of space to relax and recharge.

Sustainable Dining Experiences

Each of Alila Hinu Bay’s dining venues is committed to sourcing the majority of its produce from local vendors. Seasalt offers views over the ocean and welcomes guests to indulge in a coastal dining experience. The Lobby Lounge serves light refreshments and welcome guests to indulge in authentic Arabian flavours. Guests are able to enjoy company and conversation over an Omani afternoon tea experience called “fuwala”, while relaxing with magnificent views overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Unique Experiences

WestJet Group to demand COVID-19 vaccination for all employees.....

The WestJet Group has finally agreed to instigate a mandatory requirement that all its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, full vaccination status will be a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group, this rule comes into effect at the end of October. 

Many travellers, industry analysts and staff have been calling for the demand for many weeks, if not months and follows Air Canada's recent announcement that it will require staff to be fully vaccinated by the end of next month. 

The WestJet Group says it will evaluate and accommodate those employees who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 either through medical or other exemptions. However, the airline also warned that any employees who fail to attest their vaccination status by September 24 or achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, will face unpaid leave or termination of employment. As part of its vaccine mandate, the airline will not provide testing as an alternative to vaccination.

"Protecting the health and safety of our guests and employees remains our number one priority and vaccinations are our best line of defense," said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President of People. "Aviation has been one of the hardest-hit industries and we believe requiring all WestJet Group employees to be vaccinated is the right thing to do and ensures the safest travel and work environment for everyone in WestJet's world."

Continued Porter, "The WestJet Group remains committed to building back even stronger to ensure a competitive aviation industry in Canada. Requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential to the safe restart of travel across Canada."

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Delta’s pre-flight testing significantly decreases rate of active COVID-19 infections on board

The risk of exposure to COVID-19 while travelling after all passengers test negative 72 hours in advance of your flight is less than 0.1 percent. That’s according to a unique study that examined real-world customer data on Delta’s COVID-tested flight corridors between New York-JFK, Atlanta and Italy’s Fiumicino International Airport.

The peer-reviewed study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed a single COVID-19 molecular test performed within 72 hours of departure could decrease the rate of people actively infected onboard a commercial aircraft to a level that is significantly below active community infection rates. For example, when the average community infection rate was at 1.1 percent - or about one in 100 people - infection rates on COVID-19-tested flights were 0.05 percent or 5 in 10,000 passengers. The Georgia Department of Health and Mayo Clinic conducted the study in conjunction with Delta.

United and Honeywell invest in new clean technology venture from Alder Fuels

United agrees to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over 20 years - which is one and a half times the size of the rest of the world's airlines' publicly announced SAF commitments combined.

Photo PRNewswire

United and Honeywell announced on Saturday 9th September, a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels – a cleantech company that is pioneering first-of-its-kind technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When used together across the fuel lifecycle, the Alder technologies, coupled with Honeywell's Ecofining™ process, could have the ability to produce a carbon-negative fuel at spec with today's jet fuel. The goal of the technologies is to produce fuel that is a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum jet fuel.

As part of the agreement, United is committing to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder when produced to United's requirements. United's purchase agreement, which is one and a half times the size of the known purchase commitments of all global airlines combined, makes this easily the largest publicly announced SAF agreement in aviation history. United's purchase agreement with Alder also surpasses the previous record set by the airline in 2015 through its investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy with its option to purchase up to 900 million gallons of SAF.

"Since announcing our 100% green commitment in 2020, United has stayed focused on decarbonizing without relying on the use of traditional carbon offsets. Part of that commitment means increasing SAF usage and availability since it's the fastest way to reduce emissions across our fleet. However, to scale SAF as quickly as necessary, we need to look beyond existing solutions and invest in research and development for new pathways like the one Alder is developing," said United CEO Scott Kirby. "United has come further than any other airline making sustainable travel a reality by using SAF to power flights. Our leadership gives customers confidence that they are flying with an airline that recognizes the responsibility we have to help solve climate change."

Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2021 - No. 1 Domestic Airline in the U.S. is JetBlue

The U.S. airline JetBlue has been named the No. 1 domestic airline in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 readers’ survey. Each year, the readers of Travel + Leisure vote on their favourite airlines, hotels, destinations and more, with airlines being rated on the following characteristics: in-cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service and value.

“Honors like this from Travel + Leisure serve as a powerful testament to the award-winning experience we set out to provide our customers with each and every day,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “Despite our most challenging year yet, it is clear that the work and dedication of our many crewmembers continues to make a difference and brighten the journey for those ready to take back to the skies.”

One wonders how JetBlue will rank in years to come after it embarks on an international with new, nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport. 

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 Remembering the 34 flight crew members who died on 9/11 (

Friday, 10 September 2021

Leisure Demand Continues to Drive Hyatt’s Brand Growth in Europe

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into six new management and franchise agreements for hotels in Europe across The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, and Hyatt Regency brands, further emphasizing a growing desire from travelers, World of Hyatt members, and owners for hotels that offer unique, differentiated experiences and foster genuine connections with people and cultures.

The announcement builds on Hyatt’s growth strategy to significantly expand its brand portfolio in Europe by the end of 2023 – the six new executed agreements are expected to increase Hyatt’s brand presence in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. This is in addition to the recently announced planned acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (ALG), which is expected to expand Hyatt’s European brand footprint by 60 percent.

“The newly executed agreements highlight the positive strides we are making towards our growth strategy in Europe, and the new projects sit alongside a strong pipeline of Hyatt-branded hotels scheduled to open over the coming years,” said Felicity Black-Roberts, Hyatt’s vice president development, Europe. “Confidence in the hospitality sector remains high among investors, and we are delighted to collaborate with leading owners and operators who recognize the value and profitability of Hyatt’s entire brand portfolio, with an emphasis on Hyatt’s independent collections, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt and JdV by Hyatt brands, and lifestyle brands, including Hyatt Centric. With these new deals, we are asserting our expertise in leisure destinations, reinforcing that Hyatt’s brands continue to resonate and cater to leisure travelers.”

Newly executed deals include:

JetBlue Names Ursula Hurley Chief Financial Officer

JetBlue has confirmed the appointment of Ursula Hurley to Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Hurley, a 17-year veteran of the airline, has served as acting CFO since June 2021.

As CFO, Hurley will be responsible for JetBlue’s overall financial strategy including accounting, audit, aircraft and engine transactions, cash management, corporate finance, fuel, and tax. She will also oversee the company’s real estate and strategic sourcing units and will continue reporting to Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s chief executive.

“Ursula has done an incredible job leading us through the pandemic,” said Hayes. “With a steady hand, she’s raised capital to allow us to weather the challenges and proven to be focused on helping us manage our cost structure. As we emerge from the pandemic, her continued leadership in managing costs will be fundamental to her role.”

Wizz Air looking for new cabin crew

The European budget carrier is currently looking for motivated candidates to become part of the WIZZ Cabin Crew team.

A Wizz Air Flight Attendant is:
Provides excellent customer service and creates a friendly atmosphere on board
Manages in-flight sales and cash handling
Properly executes the duties related to the safety of the aircraft and the passengers, while maintaining consistency with the highest ethical standards
Welcomes passengers with a smile and helps them during the flight
Arrives at work on time, adequately rested and properly presented in order to provide these services at the highest level

You can become one if:
You are aged 18 or over
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi - You are aged 21 or over
You are a minimum of 165 cm (ladies) or 175 cm (gentlemen) tall, with an arm reach of 210 cm while standing on tiptoes
You have high school degree
You are fluent – written and spoken – in English and in an additional Central Eastern European language (either Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish, Hungarian, German, Lithuanian, Latvian, Slovak, Czech, Macedonian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Georgian or Bosnian)
Wizz Air UK: You are fluent - written and spoken - in English, additional CEE language knowledge is an advantage
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi base): You are fluent - written and spoken - in English; Arabic language knowledge is an advantage
You have a valid passport without limitations (minimum 6 months)
You are able to swim
You live or are ready to move within 60 minutes of your chosen base and prepared to make this journey upon work schedule
You don’t have tattoos and/or piercing on parts of the body that are visible when wearing uniform
You are an enthusiastic person who likes working with people
Please note that if you wear glasses or contact lenses and your prescription is above +4 or below -4, you are unlikely to pass the mandatory medical examination

Airbus delivers first UH-72B Lakota helicopter to the U.S. Army National Guard

Airbus Helicopters, delivered the first UH-72B, the latest variant of its Lakota helicopter, to the U.S. Army National Guard from its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. This delivery is the first of 18 UH-72B Lakota helicopters currently on order to support the National Guard’s critical missions.

“With the addition of the UH-72B Lakota to our fleet, the U.S. Army increases our capability to save lives, protect communities, and provide disaster relief when it’s needed most,” said  Col. Calvin Lane, U.S. Army Project Manager for Utility Helicopters. “The Lakota helicopter has been a staple of the Army for more than 15 years now, and we look forward to benefitting from the latest technologies and performances that the newest 72B variant will provide, at no additional research & development costs for the Army.”

The UH-72B is the latest iteration of the proven commercial, off-the-shelf aircraft that has been the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter since the first Lakota contract award in 2006. The Army is leveraging the benefits of a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) program by receiving product improvements and enhancements through the evolution of the aircraft, without investing any government money into the development of those capabilities.

Rouge Returns to The Skies Offering More Choice for Leisure Travellers

              Air Canada Rouge resumed services this week with flights operating between Toronto and Las Vegas, Orlando, and Regina, with other destinations being introduced in September, including Cancun and Tampa.

"Air Canada Rouge remains integral to Air Canada's overall strategy. As we emerge from the pandemic, we anticipate increased demand for vacation travel and from customers flying to enjoy overdue visits with family and friends. Air Canada's leisure airline is ideally suited to serve this market with a compelling array of leisure destinations and an inviting travel experience so that the holidays begin as soon as customers board an Air Canada Rouge aircraft," said Jon Turner, Vice President Inflight Services and President, Rouge Operations, at Air Canada.

Air Canada Rouge also provided a sneak peek of the cabin interior that will be available on nine Airbus A321 aircraft of the 39-aircraft Rouge Fleet, with the first entering service later this fall.

These nine aircraft feature a new contemporary interior design with playful Rouge brand accents and will be configured with leather seats, with 30-inch seat pitch in the Economy cabin. The A321 Rouge aircraft also offer upgraded personal power options, including USB-C ports, and a convenient personal electronic device holder integrated into the seatback.

British Airways looking for a sustainable future with its BA Better World programme

This week the UK's British Airways launched "BA Better World", a new sustainability programme that will take the firm forward a long way into becoming a green aviation business. 

BA says this new programme will put sustainability at the heart of its business, reducing emissions and waste and positively contributing to communities, creating a great place for people to work in order to build a resilient, responsible business. 

At a publicity event taking place in British Airways’ Heathrow engineering base, the firm unveiled a new look for one of its Airbus A320neo aircraft featuring light blue lettering proclaiming it was the most important journey yet.  Although, energy used in both the paint creation, application and presentation was not disclosed or off-set.

At the lavish launch, BA announced a collaboration with bp, committing to source sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all its flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK’s COP26 climate change summit being held in Glasgow later this year*.

* British Airways has purchased SAF with respect to all its flights between London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports and Glasgow and Edinburgh. The fuel will be mixed with traditional jet fuel and blended to meet requisite certification requirements. In the case of the fuel bought for COP26 flights, British Airways has sourced the equivalent amount of SAF to attribute 100% of it for such flights
Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is blended with traditional jet fuel to comply with aviation fuel certification standards. The SAF sourced for the COP26 period provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. **

** This is because the emissions produced from SAF release carbon that has previously already been released into the atmosphere, unlike emissions produced from traditional jet fuel, which release carbon previously locked under the ground 

The collaboration with bp forms part of British Airways’ long-term commitment to the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel. The airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), is investing $400m over the next 20 years into the development of SAF, with British Airways forming partnerships with a number of technology and fuel companies to develop SAF plants and purchase the fuel, including with Velocys in the UK and LanzaJet in the US. British Airways, as part of an IAG commitment, recently stated it would power 10 per cent of its fuel needs with SAF by 2030.

Air Canada restarts passenger flights between London Heathrow and Calgary......

Air Canada has resumed passenger flights between London Heathrow and Calgary International Airport this week, with a three-times-weekly nonstop service. The outbound service from London Heathrow to Calgary will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and the return service from Calgary to London Heathrow on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Flights are operated with state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 30 Air Canada Signature Class, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy seats.  

In addition to the resumed service between London Heathrow and Calgary, Air Canada offers daily nonstop services from London Heathrow to Toronto and Vancouver, as well as a 4-times weekly nonstop service between London Heathrow and Montréal.

“The restart of our service between London Heathrow and Calgary provides our UK customers with even greater travel choice,” said Stephen Gerrard, Air Canada General Manager Sales, U.K. and Ireland. “The gradual return of our services from London Heathrow, connecting the U.K. and Canada, is an important step forward as we rebuild our international network."

More details and ways to book can be found here.... 

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Wright Electric successfully tests powerful new motor and announces plans for dedicated Wright lab

easyJet partner Wright Electric has announced that it has reached another key milestone along the way in the development and certification of its zero-emissions single-aisle aircraft, having now successfully produced and started testing a 2-megawatt electric powertrain motor - the most powerful electric propulsion motor of its kind in development and a key component for a zero-emission aircraft system. The news follows the successful testing of its next-generation inverter technology earlier this year.  

Wright will now launch the next phase of development including integration with an in-house developed highly efficient inverter, high altitude chamber testing, and gathering testing data for future aircraft certification. Wright remains committed to pushing the development of the electric powertrain to meet the requirements of the aerospace community, with progressive development over the next two years. The company plans for ground testing in 2021 and 2022, and flight testing as early as 2023.  

easyJet welcomes these important milestones which are crucial steps forward on the path to zero-emission aircraft
Wright’s next phase of development will be supported by a new dedicated laboratory and specialised motor test site
The airline continues to work with Wright Electric and other partners to support the development of zero-emission aircraft and is committed to transition to new technologies once available and viable

To achieve this, the company has also announced that it will be opening the dedicated Wright Laboratory and specialised motor test site. The site will be US-based and is set to be operational later this year. The site includes specialized equipment necessary for testing high-power and high-voltage motors and inverters. Wright has been funded by NASA, the US Department of Energy, the US Army, and the US Air Force in its development efforts.  

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Private air travel redefined with Instajet's new reservations app

New global private aviation community, Instajet, is launching a direct, transparent business model for private aviation, benefiting the entire industry. Its new app gives passengers the ability to search and select private business and leisure flights anywhere in the world, with instant, guaranteed fixed-price reservations. Established by an experienced team of aviation professionals, Instajet is redefining and uniting the private aviation community by providing an app that is easy to use, refer and share with its embedded QR code referral capability.

Instajet connects passengers and operators directly and transparently. The free app provides a shortlist of aircraft categories suitable for the required route. Once a passenger makes a reservation the Instajet operations team selects the best operator for the flight, prioritizing the passenger and choosing the operator offering the newest aircraft or complimentary category upgrades. 

With no membership fees, long-term commitments, or negotiating with intermediaries, Instajet makes private aviation immediately understandable and accessible to both new and long-established private fliers. With its per-flight business model and escrow-based unlimited financial protection for every flight, Instajet reassures passengers that they are making safe and secure risk-free, flexible, flight reservations. All operators are required to meet stringent safety and operational standards to provide complete peace of mind for passengers.

Airbus highlights space, defence and helicopters at DSEI

Airbus will showcase its leading range of products and services in the defence, space, secure communications and helicopter segments at the DSEI exhibition at Excel, London 14-17 September.

The Airbus stand H6-122 will feature models of the A400M new generation airlifter and Skynet 6A military communications satellite, plus a large new model of the H175M medium transport helicopter.

Visitors can learn more about Airbus Helicopters’ H175M-based proposal to meet the United Kingdom’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) needs.

Airbus’ expertise in secure communications will be a key theme at DSEI including the Skynet military satellite communications capability. Airbus is focusing on the UK MOD’s future milsatcom requirements including leading the consortium for future Skynet services with its partners KBR, Leidos, Northrop Grumman and QinetiQ.

New developments in secure communications will feature beyond line of sight (BLOS) through the rotor blade communications showcasing Airbus’ Proteus Unity Satellite Modem System. This new lightweight system utilises an adaptive waveform that ‘senses’ the blade position with no input from the platform itself, and adapts the transmission to always provide optimum communications.

Air Canada Joins 'The World's Most Magical Celebration' at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

Air Canada
is bringing the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration to Aeroplan members with new and exciting ways to experience the 18-month milestone event beginning October 1, 2021. From now until September 29, 2021, Aeroplan members can enter Air Canada's contest for a chance to win one of 50 magical prizes, including one of five Air Canada Vacations packages to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Air Canada is also adding Disney merchandise and Disney Gift Cards that can be redeemed using Aeroplan points on the Aeroplan eStore. Plus, Aeroplan members will continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan points when travelling with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations to Walt Disney World Resort.

New ways for Aeroplan members to experience the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration, including a contest from Air Canada for a chance to win one of 50 magical prizes

"Unforgettable experiences, lasting memories and excitement, this is what Walt Disney World Resort is all about no matter your age, and Air Canada is extremely proud to celebrate this wonderful milestone marking 50 years of magic, in close collaboration with Disney," said Andy Shibata, Vice President, Brand at Air Canada. "The magic also won't stop here, with even more ways for our customers to experience 'The World's Most Magical Celebration' to be announced soon."

With up to 33 weekly flights between Canada and Florida, including non-stop service to Orlando from Montreal and Toronto, Air Canada is the largest Canadian carrier into Orlando for Canadians. Later this year, Air Canada will also be offering non-stop service to Orlando from Quebec City, Ottawa and Halifax. Customers looking to simplify their vacation planning can take advantage of complete Walt Disney World vacation packages, including hotel and theme park tickets, when booking with Air Canada Vacations, a distributor of Disney travel products for over 15 years.

UK budget airline easyJet rejects WIZZ take over bid as founder mulls over new airline

The UK's travel industry newspaper,  TTG has reported that the Luton-based budget airline easyJet has rejected a take over bid from a rival low-cost airline, said to be Wizz Air.  According to various media sources, the unsolicited preliminary takeover approach has been rejected, however only after careful scrutiny and consideration. News that could make easyJet shareholders a tad nervous as it coincided with a £1.2 billion rights issue of new shares which devalues the airline, as well as a new hefty facility of credit to the amount of $400 million.

According to the low-cost airline, this money will give it the flexibility to capitalise on opportunities that now arise in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  It will also see the airline increase its fleet of Airbus aircraft.

Set against this barrage of changes at easyJet, its founder and shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is on the verge of founding another budget carrier in Europe. Stelios has, according to reports, been incredibly unhappy with the direction the airlines current management are taking for some time and is seriously ready to create a new pan Europe airline. According to one source,  the 54-year-old Greek Cypriot entrepreneur's associates have already held talks with an aircraft manufacturer as well as some potential financial investors 

Stephen Hester, former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland and More Than insurance parent company,  will become the chairman of easyJet at the end of the year. Many see Hester's appointment as proof the airline is being made ready for a takeover or merger with another airline.

The future, may not be orange at all. 

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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Want more space in economy on your next Ethiopian Airlines flight? .......... say hello to MyShebaSpace

Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest airlines in Africa, has announced a new digital option called 'My Sheba Space' that enables economy class travellers to purchase one or more empty seats on board to get extra space and relax.  

Ethiopian has responded to COVID 19 pandemic by introducing passenger safety guidelines implementing social distancing and sanitization measures in its ultra-modern  Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and within the aircraft. Reducing aircraft capacity and the introduction of end to end passenger journeys are among the initiatives  Ethiopian has taken in its continued pursuit for elevated customer experience. 

Remarking on MyShebaSpace, Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, said, “With our agility in customer-centric service offering and market responsiveness comes the need to provide convenience to those who need it. MyShebaSpace is introduced to allow esteemed clients who prefer to secure extra space and enjoy comfort while in economy class cabin. Whatever we do to make people comfortable flying again is a manifestation of our desire to stay up, to offer better and be at the fore. We believe that our customers will enjoy the feeling of being in control of their  journey.” 

With bundled on-demand services and predictive intelligence, MyShebaSpace will offer extra space with a reasonable top up starting from $30. MyShebaSpace is not just about letting passengers pay extra to guarantee an empty seat next to them, it is about the airline's unwavering commitment to offer diversified options in line with changing customers’ demands.  

MyShebaSpace requires a 72-hour window before flight time to secure an extra seat or seats and is accessible on the Ethiopian website and mobile app for convenience.  Find it at this address on the carrier's website

More details and faq's

First half to 2021 played well for PLAY - better than expected results.

Remarkably the brand new low-cost airline operating flights between Iceland and Europe, PLAY has had a good start to the year.  This new budget offering carried more than 17,300 passengers in August, which almost doubled the number of passengers carried in July.

Also in August PLAY applied for a permit and exemption authority with the US Department of Transportation to launch services to the United States in 2022. The carrier put in the application on 20th August asking to operate both scheduled and charter flights in and out of the U.S. on its A321 aircraft.

In April, PLAY raised USD 47.0 million through private placement and in June, three aircraft commenced scheduled flights under favourable power-by-the-hour lease terms.

Operation begins in a secure and efficient manner 
Cash position stronger than planned
Leasing six new aircraft - a major milestone in securing future fleet at terms better than anticipated in business plan
Positive demand trends and outlook
Focus is now on preparing for the hub-and-spoke operation in spring 2022 and adding destinations in North America and Europe

After receiving the Air Operator Certificate and launching ticket sales, there was strong demand making PLAY’s first summer schedule a success.

PLAY further solidified its funding in June, raising USD 34.9 million through an Initial Public Offering and is now listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Iceland.

The financials for first half reflect PLAY’S successful start of operations. The cash position is more robust than estimated as terms on credit card settlements are more favourable than anticipated. These improved terms reflect the solid financial position of the company and a successful start of operations.  

Positive Demand Trends Support Buildup

Ethiopian Airlines establishes a Boeing 767 passenger jet to freighter conversion base at its Addis Ababa centre

Ethiopian Airlines Group, the leading aviation group in Africa, establishes a global standard cargo Conversion program to convert the Boeing 767-300 ER to dedicated freighter services in partnership agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). 

Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, said, ‘’In line with our Diversified Aviation Business Model of Vision 2025, we have been increasing our cargo capacity in fleet, ground service infrastructure and cargo connectivity network.  Accordingly, we are partnering with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the Aerospace industry, in building a cargo conversion centre in our MRO facilities in Addis Ababa Airport.  The Cargo conversion centre will commence its first business with three Ethiopian Airlines owned  B-767-300 aircraft. The Cargo Conversion Center in Addis Ababa airport will expand its services to all airlines in Africa and the wider region. We are very happy that we are able to collaborate with IAI to enable us to expand our cargo and logistics services which is already the largest and leading cargo network in Africa. The capacity building will also help us expand our MRO services  with cutting edge technology and knowledge transfer.”  

Yossi Melamed, IAI's Executive VP and General Manager of Aviation Group on his part said: “We are witnessing a sharp rise in the demand for cargo aircraft as a result of the rise in e-commerce, which has peaked to record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. IAI has an excellent reputation as a conversion centre of passenger-to-freighters aircraft, and we are constantly receiving requests to open such conversion centres in more and more locations around the world.  I am excited by the opening of the current centre in Ethiopia and thank my colleagues in Ethiopian  Airlines for the trust they have put in IAI’s Aviation Group, as the world’s leader in conversions." 

The new passenger-to-freighter conversion centre, which will operate from the Ethiopian  MRO centre in Addis Ababa, will provide solutions for the rising demand for cargo aircraft of B767 models. The conversion line in Ethiopia will join existing conversion sites  IAI operates at its campus in Ben Gurion International Airport and in Mexico.  

It is to be recalled that Ethiopian MRO, with its internal capacity, temporarily converted  25 of its passenger aircraft to freighters to boost its cargo capacity as demand to transport emergency medical supplies soared.

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