Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Eclipse Air Charter expands client base as travellers turn to charter flights for peace of mind

Private aircraft charter company Eclipse Air Charter has enjoyed steady growth in 2021, attracting new clients looking for one-way flights to warm-weather destinations, and reliable, on-demand travel in uncertain times.

Particularly in Europe, where recent sudden changes or cancellations in airline services have thrown travel plans into chaos, Eclipse's brand of personalized, on-demand service and internationally recognized ARGUS Rated Charter Broker status presents a reliable and welcome alternative for clients wary of last-minute complications.

According to reports from aviation industry research company WingX, European business jet travel is up 25% in August compared to pre-pandemic August 2019. Surprisingly, even as more governments lift their pandemic-related travel restrictions, this industry trend shows no sign of slowing, suggesting that what travellers want above all else in 2021 is peace of mind. That and a warm locale in which to wait out the ongoing global malaise—Eclipse has seen a marked increase in the number of bookings to summer-climate destinations like Miami and Scottsdale in the U.S., Bahamas and Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean, and Nice and Mykonos in Europe. 

Nearly Three Quarters of U.S. Travellers Support the Introduction of International Vaccine Passports, According to OAG Research

Travellers are taking to the skies again, but the immediate future of air travel remains highly turbulent, according to OAG’s survey of 1,800-plus U.S. travellers in July and August. Domestic capacity in the U.S. is up 81% from June – August 2021, compared to the same period last year. The increase is being fuelled by strong consumer demand; 70% of consumers surveyed by OAG have booked flights for the future.

While travellers’ willingness to fly is increasing, the Delta variant, increased COVID transmission rates and vaccination preferences weigh heavily on the near and mid-term outlook. The large majority of consumers surveyed by OAG report being fully vaccinated. However, OAG found that only 15% of non-vaccinated individuals plan to get vaccinated before their next trip.

Many airlines and destinations are considering vaccine mandates to strengthen confidence and fight transmission. Sixty-eight percent of all survey respondents said they are interested in or want domestic vaccine passports, and 70% believe vaccine passports should be required for international travel. Alarmingly, of those that said they were not yet vaccinated, 56% said they still wouldn’t get vaccinated even if the airline, airport, or destination required it to travel.

“Vaccine mandates are a polarizing issue. Many airlines, governments and destinations are actively considering mandating vaccines to fly or enter, and the majority of travellers support the use of vaccine passports,” said Mayur Patel, Head of APAC, OAG. “While this may add fuel to hot fire, the ongoing strength and resilience of the entire travel market is directly linked to higher vaccination levels and lower transmission rates.”

Other takeaways from OAG’s research include:

Continued COVID-19 concerns keep some travellers grounded. Of the 30% of respondents who haven’t booked flights yet, 40% are waiting for vaccination rates and regulations to improve and 30% are waiting for vaccine passports to be required.
The business travel outlook remains cloudy. Only 62% of business travellers said their company is planning air travel in the next 12 months, while 38% said their company either has no plans (20%) or has not specified plans (18%).
Holiday travel expected to bounce back. The 2021 holiday travel season projects to be a lot stronger than 2020. Of the 38% of travellers surveyed by OAG that said they typically fly for the holidays, only 40% of this group did so in 2020. This year, the percentage of that group who do intend to fly more than doubled (85%). Planned capacity for Thanksgiving week tells a similar story, currently with 47% more domestic seats booked than last year.
Booking behaviour remains erratic. Nearly half of travellers surveyed are still booking on short notice (between two weeks to a month in advance), and half are booking between two-six-plus months out. Eighty-eight percent expect ticket prices to rise in the next 12 months.

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Vmo Aircraft Leasing Appoints Peter Watson as Chief Commercial Officer

Vmo Aircraft Leasing, a San Francisco-based aircraft leasing company, announced this week the appointment of Peter Watson as Chief Commercial Officer and Head of EMEA to lead the lessor’s worldwide commercial activity and spearhead the platform’s emerging presence in the EMEA region.

Watson will assume executive responsibility for defining and implementing the revenue, leasing, and sales strategy, as well as developing and growing the lessor’s relationships with key industry stakeholders. He will also oversee the opening of Vmo’s European office, which will be based in Dublin, Ireland, and guide the lessor’s strategic growth in the EMEA markets. Watson has taken over the responsibilities of the previous Chief Commercial Officer, Sean Sullivan, as part of his planned transition to Chief Executive officer announced originally in January 2021.

“We are excited that Peter is joining Vmo. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him from more than two decades across a broad range of executive positions at tier-one lessors, airlines, and banks,” said Sean Sullivan, Vmo Aircraft Leasing Chief Executive Officer. “Peter will play a strategic role in shaping the future of the business, including advancing Vmo’s commercial outreach and furthering our commitment to building long-term relationships while supporting airline operators as they navigate through the industry’s recovery.”

Peter Watson, Vmo Aircraft Leasing Chief Commercial Officer and Head of EMEA, expressed his excitement about taking on the challenge of being an integral part of developing a new platform, commenting: “I look forward to working closely with the executive and commercial teams as we grow Vmo’s global presence. Vmo has assembled a tremendously talented team, which, alongside its experienced and knowledgeable shareholders, puts Vmo in a unique position to shape the aviation sector’s post-pandemic chapter while working with the industry’s key stakeholders.”

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Finnair adds frequencies and destinations to Europe, Asia and North America

As the share of fully vaccinated people continues to increase and societies are opening, travel is picking up in several markets. Finnair is meeting the increased travel demand by adding frequencies and destinations in its network to Europe, Asia and North America for the upcoming winter season.

Finnair continues to serve its key Asian destinations, flying daily to Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok, and offers multiple weekly frequencies to Singapore and Hong Kong. Finnair’s Osaka service resumes in October, expanding Finnair’s presence back into the Japanese market, with Nagoya joining this route portfolio in February. Finnair will also start serving its Dubai connection with a wide-body aircraft.

Finnair will strengthen its North American services and will serve Chicago, previously a summer route, throughout the winter season. Finnair also serves New York daily from Helsinki and operates three weekly flights to Miami and Los Angeles respectively.In addition to serving North America from its Helsinki hub, Finnair will introduce direct routes to Los Angeles and New York from Stockholm, Sweden. Finnair will also introduce direct routes from Stockholm to Miami, Phuket and Bangkok, as previously announced. 

Finnair’s European network will rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter, with double daily services to key European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfurt, and three daily frequencies to London and Paris. Finnair also increases frequencies to St. Petersburg to support the traffic flows to Finnair’s North American destinations. 

Sydney Airport accepts higher take-over bid

Sydney Airport in Australia has accepted a new and improved take-over bid from the Sydney Aviation Alliance consortium, reports  

This is the third time lucky for the consortium which has seen its first and second bids for control of the airport rejected. According to the reports,  this latest deal is worth an estimated A$23.6bn in total. The deal is still some way off being fully agreed and completed, due diligence now has to be conducted and certain conditions need to be met before the airport's board will recommend all shareholders vote to accept the deal  

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WestJet launches flights between Calgary and Dawson Creek......

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.

Saan selected to provide Digital Air Traffic Control Towers for Belgium.......

Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions (SDATS) has been selected for a long-term framework agreement by skeyes, the Air Traffic Control organisation of Belgium, for their Digital Tower programme.

The agreement calls for a phased introduction of Digital Towers for up to six airports and three centres in Belgium. The framework agreement has a fixed part and a conditional part for a total value of just over 48 million Euro, spread over 18 years. The first phase will cover the airports of Liege and Charleroi and a centre in Namur. Delivery to skeyes will start in 2022, with initial operations to be started in 2024. Aviation is an integrated part of the infrastructure in Belgium, and the Digital Tower programme is a forward looking and innovative way of providing a sustainable service for many years to come, as well as a potential role model for Europe.

“We are proud to be trusted by skeyes to deliver SDATS’s Digital Towers and centres for their future air traffic control infrastructure. This agreement will include larger, more complex airports combined with a countrywide implementation. With our Digital Towers, Belgium’s airports and skeyes will possess new, world-class capabilities. We see skeyes as a long-term partner to further enhance our solution in the coming decade,” says Per Ahl, CEO of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions.

Latest sports team livery jet..... Allegiant's Las Vegas Raiders "Raider Nation"

Photo Allegiant / Raiders
Just recently the Las Vegas based budget airline, Allegiant puts its latest sports-themed livery jet into operational service. It is a sleek one-of-a-kind Silver & Black jet designed to capture the spirit and strength of Raider Nation. The low-cost carrier is the Official Airline of the Las Vegas Raiders and the Naming Rights Partner for Allegiant Stadium.

"As die-hard fans know, 'The Autumn Wind is a Raider,'" said Scott DeAngelo, Allegiant's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "As football season rolls in this fall, we're thrilled to have 'The Autumn Wind' bring this stunning aircraft to Las Vegas for all fans to enjoy. As Las Vegas' hometown airline, we're incredibly proud of our partnership with our hometown team. This distinctive jet brings together signature elements of both our brands, combining them to showcase our shared community pride."

The one-of-a-kind livery was designed to have a strong, powerful presence in Allegiant's fleet – as the Raiders do both on the field and in the Las Vegas community. The design incorporates Allegiant's signature livery elements – flowing ribbon encircling the fuselage, prominent logo and sunburst tail – but washed in the Silver & Black recognized throughout the world as representing the Raiders. The silver metallic paint was carefully matched to the team's distinctive helmets, and the engine cowlings call out Raider Nation, symbolizing the lift an incredible international fan base gives to this legendary franchise.

"We are pleased and excited to expand our partnership with Allegiant through the addition of this Raiders-branded aircraft," said Las Vegas Raiders President Dan Ventrelle. "Raider Nation and beyond is now able to travel to and from the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World in style."

Photo Allegiant/raiders

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Over one million passengers travelled with SAS during August

During the summer season, the customer demand has increased, and more than one million passengers flew with SAS in August. This is about the same level as in July, but an increase of almost 52% compared to the same month last year. Capacity was marginally lower than last month, but 65% higher than the same month last year. The total load factor for August ended at 61%, which is in line with July.

“Imposed travel restrictions remain and everybody at SAS are doing everything possible to make travelling easier for the customers. We continue to open new routes when travel restrictions and demand allow. However, there are still major uncertainties regarding the development of the pandemic, affecting the whole airline industry negatively. Flexibility during the ramp up phase to be able to respond quickly to changes in demand remains key,” says Anko van der Werff, President and CEO at SAS.

SAS scheduled trafficAug21Change1Nov20- Aug21Change1
ASK (Mill.)2,06858.7%12,080-39.2%
RPK (Mill.)1,239103.7%5,195--58.0%
Passenger load factor59.9%13.3 pp43.0%-19.1 pp
No. of passengers (000)1,03848.4%4,929-55.7%
Geographical development, scheduleAug21           vs.          Aug20Nov20- Aug21   vs.   Nov19-Aug20
SAS charter trafficAug21Change1Nov20- Aug21Change1
ASK (Mill.)168211.4%383-58.5%
RPK (Mill.)122183.3%279-65.0%
Load factor72.5%-7.2 pp72.8%-13.7 pp
No. of passengers (000)49172.2%113-57,4%
SAS total traffic (scheduled and charter)Aug21Change1Nov20- Aug21Change1
ASK (Mill.)2,23664.7%12,462-40.1%
RPK (Mill.)1,361108.9%5,473-58.4%
Load factor60.9%12.9 pp43.9%-19.3 pp
No. of passengers (000)1,08751.5%5,043-55.7%

1 Change compared to same period last year. pp = percentage points

Preliminary yield and PASKAug21Nominal change1FX adjusted change
Yield, SEK0.96-17.0%-17.5%
PASK, SEK0.576.5%5.9%
Punctuality (arrival 15 min)87.4%
Change in total COemissions, rolling 12 months-56,7%
Change in COemissions per available seat kilometer-13,1%
Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions54%


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Aeroflot to start flights to Punta Cana

Aeroflot has confirmed it will launch flights between Moscow and Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic from 1st October this year. 

Three weekly flights SU0156/SU0157 on the Moscow – Punta Cana – Moscow route will be operated on Airbus A350-900 aircraft on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The Airbus A350-900 is the most advanced wide-body in Aeroflot’s fleet. Aeroflot’s A350 has a spacious three-class cabin layout with 316 seats: 28 private business class Suites, including 2-metre full-flat beds; 24 Comfort economy seats with extra legroom; and 264 Economy class seats. The Suites offer an unprecedented level of comfort for business class, rivalling the first-class cabins of most major carriers. As well as a high level of privacy and personal space, the Suites also come fitted with a 54cm screen.

In addition to the latest generation multimedia in-flight entertainment system, HD screens and Wi-Fi connectivity will ensure an enhanced experience for all passengers on long-haul flights. Economy and Comfort class offer increased legroom and seat pitch. The spacious cabin, reduced noise and adaptive lighting create a relaxing atmosphere for passengers on board.

Punta Cana is a popular resort in the Dominican Republic famous for its white-sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise sea and stunning landscapes. Holiday-makers seeking outdoor activities will enjoy numerous diving opportunities and the rich underwater world: coral reefs, caves, shipwrecks.  The Dominican culture exquisitely blends the traditions of Native Indians (Taino) and Spanish conquistadors, African and European lifestyles. Tourists are attracted by museums, carnivals, Caribbean music, dance and cuisine.


Russia's Aeroflot named the world’s most punctual mainline airline in August 2021

Aeroflot topped August 2021 on-time performance ranking among mainline airlines globally. 

In August, Aeroflot operated 92% of flights on-time, according to Monthly On-Time Performance Report released by Cirium, a global provider of aviation data for the travel industry. Besides, Aeroflot has retained its position as the most punctual mainline airline in Europe for the second month running.

Cirium obtains data from hundreds of unique sources and tracks over 100,000 flights daily to report on the on-time performance of airlines and airports.

This month, Cirium has re-initiated its coverage of the global airline category, which was suspended with the onset of the pandemic. This is a sign of a return to normalcy for the world’s airlines, as Cirium’s experts outlined.

Aeroflot has consistently improved on-time performance through efficient measures, including strict implementation of flight boarding regulations. Future plans include innovations based on the latest digital technologies, such as biometric controls, that will significantly accelerate pre-flight airport procedures for passengers.

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Delta TechOps employee and veteran ships out 7,000th care package to military - video

Photo Delta

In a 24/7 operation, it is not unusual to spot a group of determined employees hustling about a hangar at 4:30 a.m. This time, they’re not on the clock. Rather, they’ve come in hours before their day shift to benefit strangers they may never meet, halfway around the world.  

The mission? Operation Care Package, a grassroots effort to pack and send goods to our service members abroad. Mark Norris, a 35-year Delta TechOps mechanic and Marine Corps veteran, started the project four years ago. Mark and his wife Doreta’s passion has motivated thousands of hours of volunteered service and generosity of Delta employees. In the early hours of September 8, they packed up and sealed their 7,000th care package.

This connection to military men and women is personal for the Norris family. The couple’s son is an active-duty Marine and through his connections, requests submitted by Delta employees, and word-of-mouth, Operation Care Package receives the names and addresses of individuals and groups of service members from all branches of the U.S. Military.

The process is simple, the addressee’s sacrifice is not. Mark and Doreta fill several shopping carts full of non-perishable food, personal care items, and even save space for some fun items like yo-yos and footballs to entertain service members during downtime. The supplies are then delivered to TechOps, where wonderful volunteers (who have no issue with a 4:30 AM call time) package and label the boxes, and then load them up for the post office – all before putting in a full day’s work.

When Operation Care Package began in 2017, the group was sending about 60 boxes per week with Doreta handwriting labels and custom forms. About two years ago, they moved to a monthly cadence -- sending packages to several addresses with 25 – 30 packages per address. The items and shipping costs quickly add up – most shipments average $2,000.  Funds are donated by Delta employees from all divisions and across the network. Many of Mark’s TechOps colleagues donate time and money every week toward supporting the operation.

Finnair saw passenger numbers rise over 24% in August

One of Europe's leading outsourcing airlines has continued to see growth in passenger numbers in August, according to the latest traffic results.

In August, Finnair carried 266,500 passengers, which was 38.1% more than in August 2020. The COVID-19 impact was already clearly visible then as Finnair operated a limited network due to strict and extensive travel restrictions. The number of passengers in August 2021 was 24.6% more than in July 2021.

The COVID-19 impact, including the strict travel restrictions imposed by several countries, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was particularly visible in the North Atlantic and Asian figures.

The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) increased in August by 63.3% year-on-year and by 17.0% month-on-month. Finnair operated 127 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average, which was 9.5% more than in August 2020 and 19.8% more than in July 2021. The differences between capacity figures compared to August 2020 are explained by the longer average stage length of flights operated and by the larger gauge of aircraft operated. Finnair's traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), increased by 64.6% year-on-year and by 15.9% month-on-month. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased by 0.3% points to 42.0% year-on-year but decreased by 0.4% points month-on-month.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Passenger numbers up at Allegiant

Passenger traffic for Allegiant in August was up by over 86% year on year the budget carrier revealed in its latest update. Slowly demonstrating that passenger demand in the U.S. is rapidly growing and close to pre-pandemic levels. 

"As we have transitioned from our peak summer flying season into the off-peak fall season we have seen a softening in demand," stated Drew Wells, senior vice president, revenue. "Consistent with industry trends, the increase in COVID-19 cases coupled with return to school and work for many has contributed to an increase in cancellations and a deceleration of demand. The off-peak periods continue to underperform, while peak periods remain strong, a trend that has persisted throughout the pandemic. By way of example, Labor Day weekend performed well with load factors of roughly 80 percent on peak days, consistent with levels observed in 2019."

"We expect third quarter capacity to be up roughly 13.5 percent as compared with 2019, a 4.5 percentage point reduction from initial expectations," stated Gregory Anderson, executive vice president, chief financial officer. "Although we did observe demand weakness, these reductions were driven primarily by operational challenges observed throughout the quarter. Given these capacity reductions, we have updated our guidance, which is included in the table below. We expect an increase in total operating revenue from 2019 of between 3.0 and 5.0 percent, which should yield an adjusted1 EBITDA margin between 16 and 18 percent for the third quarter. We will continue to monitor trends and tweak fourth quarter capacity accordingly but given peak-period performance, we remain encouraged about the upcoming holiday travel season."

Breeze Airways confirms order for 20 additional A220-300 aircraft from Mobile Final Assembly Line

Breeze Airways has revealed its new A220-300 livery, while confirming that it has reached a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 more of the aircraft. This previously undisclosed order for 20 brings Breeze’s total order book to 80 A220-300s, the first of which will be delivered in Q4 2021.

The aircraft’s fresh paint job was completed at Airbus’ facility in Mobile, Alabama, which will deliver approximately one A220 per month to Breeze over the next six-and-a-half years. The airline plans to begin flights with the Airbus fleet in the second quarter of 2022. 

The A220 superior efficiency will support the new airline’s business objectives to offer a great travel experience, with low fares and high flexibility. Breeze is expected to provide nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares.

Breeze started airline operations in May 2021. This first A220 is the first new aircraft that will be operated by the airline.

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market and brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines. Benefitting from the latest technologies, the A220 is the quietest, cleanest and most eco-friendly aircraft in its category. Featuring a 50% reduced noise footprint and up to 25% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, as well as around 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards, the A220 is a great aircraft for urban operations.

Over 170 A220s have been delivered to ten operators in Asia, North Americas, Europe, and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member.

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Sunday, 12 September 2021

Air Canada puts Rouge back in the skies.........

              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.

Minister for Civil Aviation launches India’s first Drone Medicine Delivery project ‘Medicines From The Sky’

.Mr. Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Govt of India launches ‘Medicine From The Sky, Beyond-Visual-Line-Of-Sight’ at a function held at Vikarabad, 75 km away from Hyderabad in Telangana on Saturday. 

Telangana's 'Medicines From The Sky' project can be a game-changer in using drones for healthcare. The project is the first of its kind in India. It is also a potential game-changer for using drones in the civilian sector in India. 

It is an initiative of the Government of Telangana led by the Emerging Technologies Wing of the IT Department in partnership with World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog and Apollo Hospitals’ HealthNet Global.

The Consortia partners Marut Drones’ HepiCopter, Blue Dart’s Sky Air and Tech Eagle’s Cure Fly showcased their capabilities and demonstrated the same to the guests. 

Out of the three drone companies, Marut Drones is a T-Hub incubated Startup. 

Hyatt Hotels opens new property in Oman’s southwest region of Dhofar

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

Say hello to Sunny Beach......

Bulgaria Holidays offer you great value for money and beautiful beach resorts. Situated on the southeastern Peninsula of the Balkans, Bulgaria has been dealt a generous hand by nature, with a range of holiday destinations to suit the needs of every holidaymaker.

Bulgaria's most popular beach resort, Sunny Beach was recently crowned best value holiday destination in the world according to the 2021 Post Office Travel Money Holiday Report making Bulgaria the true home of great value holidays.

Balkan Holidays Summer 2022 is now on sale offering the widest choice and the best value holidays to Bulgaria. Browse the full Balkan Holidays product range - we are confident that you will find a holiday to suit your taste and budget.

Situated on the southern Black Sea coast, near the town of Nessebar and approximately 30 minutes from Bourgas Airport, you will find Sunny Beach, Bulgaria's biggest and most popular summer resort. 

Air101 will earn a commission if you book holidays via the links above.

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Geneva comes back to the growing destination list from London City Airport .............

With Switzerland now on the UK Green List, and Swiss Air Lines back on the ever-increasing network from London City Airport.  So you can roam freely once again. And where better than the bejewelled city of Geneva. SWISS flights are operated by the comfortable and popular Airbus A220 aircraft with return fares coming out around £110. 

The old town is, without doubt, Geneva’s greatest gem. A cultured cluster of cobbled streets, city squares, big-name boutiques, museums, and churches. A place where getting lost is a lucky mishap, and the absence of a map just makes things more exciting.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays since 1970, the Plaine de Plainpalais teems with stalls and people. This is one of Switzerland’s largest flea markets. Bargain hunters and collectors graze on organic fare as they search bric-à-brac, books, clothes, jewellery, antiques and decorative items. Spectators and collectors flock to discover the most unbelievable objects, sometimes even vintage.

It could be said that Geneva is the gastronomic heart of Switzerland, it has over 1,000 restaurants which cater for almost every sort of world cuisine you can think of.  These eating places vary from wooden huts to posh Michelin starred restaurants, so something for all pockets. 

Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and 260 Aircraft gets EASA certification

Beechcraft King Air 360

Textron Aviation is celebrating another recent milestone with its newest twin-turboprop models, the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and King Air 260, as both aircraft achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification. This approval now paves the way for the delivery of these aircraft to customers throughout Europe.  and will begin deliveries to customers throughout the region.

“EASA certification begins a whole new era for the Beechcraft King Air in Europe,” said Tom Perry, vice president of Sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The King Air has been the turboprop of choice throughout this region for more than five decades, and the new 260 and 360 will build on that legendary reputation. We have incorporated innovative and next-generation technologies that enhance the flying experience for an already proven aircraft.”

Renowned for their versatility and reliability, King Air turboprops have been a popular choice across Europe with more than 460 aircraft throughout the region. Nearly half of all King Airs in Europe are owned and operated in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

A typical King Air 360 flight with four passengers and a single pilot has a maximum range of 3,345 km (1,806 nautical miles), allowing it to complete flights such as London to Athens or Frankfurt to Moscow without stopping to refuel. Similarly, the King Air 260 has a maximum range of 3,185 km (1,720 nautical miles), allowing four passengers and a single pilot to take complete flights such as Rome to Madrid or Paris to Stockholm without refuelling.

More about the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and 260

Fresh at the front........keeping it clean in the cockpit

The best way to ensure safe commercial flight operations is to have healthy and alert pilots working at the top of their game. It would then seem obvious that making the cockpit environment as comfortable as possible would be a design priority. Surprisingly, this is not the case but help is at hand from CTT Systems of Sweden.

The cockpit environment can be a challenge for flight crew, especially on widebody aircraft, where exposure time is longer because of the length of the sectors flown, with adverse conditions having an accumulative effect.

The biggest problem is low relative humidity (RH). Human beings are comfortable when RH levels are around 20% but cockpit RH levels can drop to below 5%. This is because the cruising altitude of most long haul flights is usually at a level where there is very little water vapour in the atmosphere, so the air coming in is very dry. In fact, the only source of humidity is from passengers and crew, which means economy class has RH levels around 12%, business class has RH levels around 7%, while premium passengers have to contend with similar RH levels to the crew, as there are fewer people in the cabin.

So, what are the effects of such low RH levels? Most importantly for crew, eyes become dry and itchy. The lack of moisture begins to dry out the nasal passages, mucous membranes, mouth and respiratory tract. The nasal cavity dries quickly, reducing the sense of smell, while the viscosity of saliva changes, reducing the sense of taste. A dry nasal cavity also increases susceptibility to colds and virus, as the activity of cilia, which work to keep the airways clear of mucus and dirt, are suppressed.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Airbus and Alstom sign cyber security cooperation agreement

                  Airbus CyberSecurity and Alstom, global leader in sustainable mobility, have signed a worldwide cooperation agreement focussing on rail transport cybersecurity.

The partnership will allow the partners to provide rail operators with solutions and services combining Alstom’s solutions and expertise in rail transport with Airbus CyberSecurity’s services and expertise in ensuring the security of industrial information systems.

“In the context of increasing worldwide cyber threats across all sectors, Alstom aims to protect its assets and those of its customers as effectively and as early as possible. The collaboration between Alstom and proven specialist Airbus CyberSecurity will ensure the future usage and success of green mobility worldwide,” Says Eddy Thesee, Vice President Cybersecurity at Alstom. 

"As specialist in the cybersecurity of industrial systems, particularly in the transport sector, we are keen to contribute to securing the information systems of the rail sector along with Alstom”, says Nicolas Razy, Director of Airbus CyberSecurity France.

ATSG subsidiary signs multi-year deal with United Airlines.

Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group Inc confirmed this week that it has signed a multi-year agreement to provide additional heavy maintenance capacity for United Airlines. This agreement supports Airborne’s continued facility and personnel growth.

Under the terms of the agreement, Airborne will provide heavy maintenance support for United’s Boeing 767 wide-body fleet and the airline’s Boeing 737, Boeing 757 and Airbus A320 narrow-body fleets. The work will be performed at Airborne’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in Wilmington, Ohio and Tampa, Fla.

Airborne President Todd France stated, “Our team is elated that United Airlines continues to recognize the value of our heavy maintenance services, including our flexibility to meet United’s evolving needs over the last year. We look forward to continuing to provide reliable on-time maintenance of their aircraft over the next several years.”

The agreement brings this portion of United’s maintenance work to Airborne from other MROs, and is expected to fill three heavy maintenance lines in Wilmington and four heavy maintenance lines in Tampa.

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British Airways extending local flights for winter......

The UK's British Airways has confirmed it is extending three of its newest domestic routes – Exeter, Glasgow and Leeds from Belfast this Winter season.  Customers will also be able to book flights direct to Birmingham as the airline further extends its UK network as domestic travel demand continues to increase.

Following a popular summer of domestic travel, the extended routes will continue to support vital business and leisure links between Northern Ireland and key cities across the UK. The additional services will be operated using BA CityFlyer’s existing fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft.

Flights between Belfast and Birmingham will operate twice daily, increasing to three times a day on Thursday and Friday.  Flights from Belfast to Exeter, Glasgow and Leeds will increase compared to the Summer season at 4, 13 and 10 a week respectively.

The airline has also launched a new route to Salzburg, operating from London City and Southampton. Offering customers a new destination idea for skiing this Winter, flights operate twice a week from London City, on Friday and Saturday from 10 December 2021, and once a week from Southampton, on Saturday from 11 December 2021.  Return fares start from £109 from London City and £75 from Southampton.