28 March, 2024

New digital tools to aid wheelchair users book the correct flight on United.....


New digital sizing tool helps customers determine the right aircraft for their wheelchair; airline will refund the fare difference if they have to pay more for an alternative flight with a larger cargo door

Industry-first initiatives, developed in collaboration with accessibility advocates and experts, reflect United's ongoing commitment to make the travel experience more accessible for everyone

Last year, United and United Express together carried more than 200,000 checked wheelchairs.



One of the leading airlines in the U.S.  United, has launched a new digital tool on its app and website that aims to make it much easier for customers who use wheelchairs to find flights that can best accommodate the specific dimensions of their personal mobility device.

United also says that eligible customers may be able to seek a refund of the fare difference if they need to pay more for a specific flight that can accommodate their wheelchair.

In addition to working with the airline's Accessible Travel Advisory Board, United collaborated with United Spinal Association and Numotion to develop these industry-first initiatives.

"The more we know about a customer's device, the more likely their experience will be a good one – from booking and check-in to the flight itself," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for United. "These new tools and policies also set our employees up for success, especially those working on the ramp or at the gate."

"United Spinal Association appreciates this strong first step toward improving the air travel experience for wheelchair users," says Vincenzo Piscopo, Chief Executive Officer and President of United Spinal Association, the largest disability-led membership organization representing our nation's 5.5 million wheelchair users. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with United Airlines to ensure that all wheelchair users can book a flight to their next adventure, business meeting, or visit with family or friends on the flight they choose, trusting they will arrive safely with their equipment intact."

27 March, 2024

Bombardier’s Global 7500 jet sets over 30 speed records

Record-setting flights include Farnborough to Muharraq and Phoenix to Paris which took place on Feb 28 and March 6
Records set as Global 7500 aircraft are actively flying worldwide on customer and demonstrations missions, showcasing this immaculate jet to the public
The Global 7500 business jet fleet has surpassed more than 100,000 flying hours and has celebrated more than 165 deliveries 
With an impressive top speed of Mach 0.925 and a range of 7,700 nautical miles (14,260 km), the Global 7500 business aircraft continues to push the boundaries of business travel


Bombardier has celebrated more impressive speed records on the Global 7500 aircraft, this week,  bringing the total to more than 30 and counting. The most recent records, including travelling from Farnborough to Muharraq and Phoenix to Paris, mark the latest accomplishment for the Global 7500 business jet, the undisputed leader in the ultra-long-range class – the most luxurious, reliable and productive business jet in the skies today. 

These records – pending approval by the FAI, the World Air Sport Federation – build on earlier speed and distance records already bestowed on this truly remarkable business jet, including an 8,225 nautical mile flight in October 2019 from Sydney, Australia to Detroit, Michigan – the longest-range flight ever in business aviation. The Global 7500 also set more than 20 new flight records (1) in the fall of 2023, including routes from Singapore to Anchorage, Alaska and Montreal to Geneva.

The Global 7500 business jet fleet has surpassed more than 100,000 flying hours and has celebrated more than 165 deliveries



“The Global 7500 aircraft is in a class by itself when it comes to performance – an immaculate business jet that was made to set and shatter records,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Aircraft Sales and Bombardier Defense. “With its impeccable design attributes and technological advancements, the Global 7500 aircraft offers customers precisely what they need to enhance their operations – unmatched reliability, productivity and style.”

With a top speed of Mach 0.925 and an industry leading range of 7,700 nautical miles (14,260 km), the Global 7500 aircraft features outstanding performance capabilities. Its Smooth Flฤ•x Wing is designed with a sophisticated slats and flap system that generates exceptional lift on takeoff and approach, maximizing aerodynamic efficiency and boosting performance while improving safety and offering a smoother, more restful ride. It also reduces fuel burn and lowers emissions and produces excellent short-field and high-speed performance.

My Freighter leases third 767 from ATSG

Air Transport Services Group, Inc confirmed this week that it has delivered a newly converted Boeing 767-300 freighter to My Freighter Cargo Airlines of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.


This delivery marks ATSG’s fourth newly converted Boeing 767-300 dry-lease delivery this year, as outlined in its fourth-quarter investor release on February 26, 2024.

ATSG's subsidiary, Airborne Global Leasing, executed this delivery in alignment with ATSG's Lease+Plus strategy, which provides freighter capacity and associated aviation services to meet demand within established and emerging global freight markets.



“Our expanding relationship with My Freighter exemplifies the tangible value of our Lease+Plus strategy,” said Paul Chase, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “The Boeing 767-300 continues to be the freighter of choice among e-commerce integrators and express carriers as it provides the operational flexibility and efficiency to build those networks.”

ATSG continues to focus on global market opportunities in Central and Southeast Asia to enhance its global leasing network. ATSG's freighter offering, including the Airbus A321 and A330 freighters, is poised to meet increased capacity growth demands in these growing global markets.


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SWISS new non-stop service from Washington D.C to Zurich starts this week

SWISS will connect Washington D.C. with Zurich with daily flights from this Thursday, 28th March.  The flights take around eight hours and offer a wide range of connecting cities from the centre of Europe.

Flights are on one of the carrier's 14 Airbus A330-300 aircraft. These jets can carry a maximum of 236 passengers. The capacity is divided into 183 Economy seats, 45 Business seats and 8 First Class armchairs. Following the introduction of the A330-300, SWISS was the first airline in the world to offer First Class tickets on all long-haul flights.

The innovative pneumatic seat technology provides maximum comfort in First and Business Class. The jets are powered by two Rolls Royce 772B-EP (enhanced performance) engines.

Special features -   The new SWISS Business seat on the A330-300 is probably the lightest of its kind. The air cushion alone makes the seat four kilograms lighter than the conventional version with foam padding. This weight reduction alone will help SWISS to save over 650 tonnes of kerosene a year. It will reduce the company's annual CO2 emissions by more than 2000 tonnes.


SWISS

Flight times Washington to Zurich  20:45 - 10:50*

Flight times Zurich to Washington  12:55 - 16:15


Technical details

Engines2 Rolls-Royce Trent 772B EP
Max. thrust per engine32,250 kg
Wingspan60.3 m
Length63.7 m
Height 16.8 m
Crew2/10
Passenger seats236 (3 classes)
Max. take-off weight235,000 kg
Max. landing weight187,000 kg
Maximum speed880 km/h
Max. range with a full load8,400 km

United adds new, larger overhead bins to Embraer E175 aircraft

The U.S. mega-carrier United Airlines has announced this week that it is installing new, larger overhead bins on its Skywest operated Embraer E175 fleet that will provide more room for passengers' roll aboard carry-on bags. These new bins will be available on 50 aircraft with a 76-seat configuration by the end of this year. United may expand the E175 larger overhead bins offering to more than 150 aircraft by the end of 2026. 

United is the first airline to offer these larger overhead bins on E175 airplanes and estimates this move will nearly eliminate the need for one million annual passengers to gate-check bags on more than 150,000 E175 flights.  

United is enhancing the passenger experience by adding larger overhead bins on the Embraer E175 fleet to increase customer convenience and improve operational efficiency. The new bins will accommodate up to an extra 29 carry-on bags on the regional jets, which is an 80 percent increase in space.

"Customer sentiment for the new overhead bins and signature interiors has been extremely positive. By helping to eliminate the need to gate check bags, we are seeing an increase in gate and boarding satisfaction," said Linda Jojo, United's chief customer officer. "This is just the latest way we're working to create an industry-leading experience for all our customers – whether they're on an international or regional flight."

Jet2 heading south with its next UK base........ Bournemouth

The UK’s largest tour operator and third largest airline, has this week put on sale 16 sunny destinations across Europe for Summer 2025 from its 12th UK base - Bournemouth!


New base for Jet2
This means that holidaymakers and independent travel agents across even more of the South of England, including Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and the wider region, can benefit from Jet2's great value holidays and flights.

In their first summer of operations from Bournemouth Airport, Jet2 and Jet2holidays will operate up to 27 weekly flights, including multiple weekly flights to popular destinations across the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Turkey and Greece as well as services to hotspots such as Mainland Spain, Portugal and Madeira. 

The inaugural flight from the airport will depart to Tenerife on 1st April 2025, and the firm plans to base two aircraft at Bournemouth Airport for the season.  The new base represents a significant investment for the region too. More than 100 new jobs will be created initially, with positions available across the flight deck, cabin crew, engineering, and ground operations. Find out more about those jobs at https://www.jet2careers.com/  

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2 and Jet2holidays said: “We know that customers and independent travel agents have been asking us for a long time to make this move, so we are absolutely delighted to be announcing today that Bournemouth Airport will become our 12th UK base airport. As Which? Travel Brand of the Year, we know that our award-winning flights and holidays will be enormously popular across the region, and we cannot wait to show everyone what we are all about.” 

He added: “This latest expansion is a further demonstration of our confidence, and it reflects our long-term strategy to be the UK's leading and best leisure travel business. We know that customers want to be properly looked after throughout their holiday experience, and we are making a significant investment in the region including the creation of over 100 new jobs to do exactly that. From today, we are counting down to the start of operations from Bournemouth Airport when we can delight customers, just as we have with millions of other customers from across the UK for so many years.” 

Andrew Bell, CEO of RCA, Regional and City Airports, who own Bournemouth Airport, said: “This is fantastic news for passengers and represents a huge vote of confidence in Bournemouth Airport by Jet2 and Jet2holidays, by choosing Bournemouth as their new base airport in what is a major expansion of their operations into the south of England. It will create new employment locally, add 16 fabulous new destinations from Bournemouth, up to 27 extra flights a week and will see an estimated additional 300,000 passengers using their local airport.” 

He added: “Together with our work on route development; our significant recent investments in new facilities, equipment and staff to build capacity; this exciting partnership with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays represents a step change in establishing Bournemouth Airport as a nationally significant regional hub for passenger air operations.” 

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays’ Summer 25 Programme from Bournemouth Airport: 

Tenerife – up to three weekly services  
Fuerteventura – weekly services (Wednesdays) – exclusive from Bournemouth Airport. 
Gran Canaria – weekly services (Sundays) 
Lanzarote – up to two weekly services (Mondays, Fridays) 
Alicante – up to two weekly services (Tuesdays, Saturdays) 
Palma (Majorca) – up to four weekly services (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays) 
Ibiza - up to two weekly services (Thursdays, Sundays) 
Menorca – weekly services (Sundays) 
Antalya – up to two weekly services (Wednesdays, Saturdays) 
Dalaman – up to two weekly services (Thursdays, Sundays) 
Faro (Algarve) – up to two weekly services (Mondays, Fridays) 
Madeira – weekly services (Thursdays) – exclusive from Bournemouth Airport.
Crete (Heraklion) – weekly services (Tuesdays) 
Corfu – weekly services (Wednesdays) 
Rhodes – weekly services (Tuesdays) 
Zante – weekly services (Thursdays) 




IFS Cloud picked by Joby Aviation to help shape the future of eVTOL aircraft

The IFS Cloud for Aviation Maintenance platform was chosen to accelerate Joby Aviation's ambitious growth plans to manufacture and deliver eVTOL aircraft for commercial passenger service on a global scale




IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company confirmed this week that Joby Aviation, the leading manufacturer of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial air taxi services, has selected the IFS Cloud for Aviation Maintenance solution for its pioneering eVTOL aircraft maintenance processes.

Joby continues to lead the way on the development of eVTOL aircraft, launching production in June 2023 and recently completing a series of piloted test flights, including an exhibition flight in New York City. Joby's all-electric aircraft has a maximum range of 100 miles and can carry a pilot and four passengers, giving it unparalleled flexibility to serve communities worldwide. Joby plans to start commercial operations in 2025, as it continues its progression from prototype to a fully operational fleet.

As part of its ambitious growth plans, the company recently announced plans to construct a scaled manufacturing facility in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. The establishment of the company's ground-breaking new facility, which will be capable of producing up to 500 eVTOL aircraft per year, represents a significant milestone in the field of advanced air mobility, and will lead to the creation of up to 2,000 high-quality manufacturing jobs. Joby also plans to expand its existing manufacturing facility in Marina, CA where aircraft production was launched last year.

Fighting deepfakes has become a billion pound industry in the UK

Photo by ThisIsEngineering
Digital identity security specialists, 
ID Crypt Global, reveals that to combat the rapid rise in deepfake technology interfering with life in the real world, the Fraud Detection Software sector has grown by almost 200% in the past decade to become a billion pound industry. But is it enough to avert social and political disaster as we enter what some are already calling the year of the AI election in the USA and UK?


ID Crypt analysed the changing market size, measured in annual revenue, of the Fraud Detection Software Development industry* and the Cyber Security Software Development industry* to see how they have grown over the past decade to combat the rise of deepfake technology and the manipulative powers it can have on a population. 


What is deepfake technology?


Deepfakes are synthetic media, often in the form of videos, audio, or images, created with artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning algorithms. 


Often, this technology enables deepfake creators to use the face, voice, or both of a chosen person, and create media in which they do or say anything the creator wants. It is a technology that is estimated to cost the global economy more than £60 billion a year.


One example is the series of dramatic photos supposedly depicting the arrest of Donald Trump. Another is the fake yet utterly convincing audio recording of Labour leader Keir Starmer screaming at an aide for forgetting an iPad


Recent data shows that the number of online deepfakes is doubling every six months, and such is the disinformation they’re creating in the political sphere ahead of this year’s elections in the UK and USA that some are already calling this the year of AI elections.


The deepfake process is becoming so sophisticated that it is now incredibly difficult to quickly differentiate between genuine and fake content. This poses a real threat to the world because of the speed at which news and images travel around the world via social media. Before a deepfake can be spotted, it has already reached and tricked millions of people. 

26 March, 2024

Another milestone in electric motor tech for H55

H55, a pioneering leader in electric aviation, is pleased to announce a significant milestone in its pursuit of certifying its electric motor technology. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has agreed to H55's Compliance Check list (CCL) for its electric motor and motor controller, demonstrating the safety and performance of the entire electric propulsion management system (EPS).

This achievement follows closely on the heels of H55's previous success in gaining approval for its battery packs and energy management systems. These two significant achievements positions H55 as the first company to satisfy all certification requirements for the entire EPS which includes the motor, motor controller, battery modules and energy management systems.

These certifications are tailored for general aviation and commuter applications with the first set of systems being integrated into certified flight trainers which will soon enter the market.

Headquartered in Switzerland, H55 is at the forefront of electric aviation, specializing in electric propulsion, battery storage, and energy management solutions. With a commitment to safety, performance, and sustainability, the company is committed to enabling the aviation industry to reach et Zero emissions, offering cutting-edge technologies for a greener and more efficient future of air travel.

The newly established agreement with EASA marks another important achievement in H55's mission to revolutionize clean aviation. It is a crucial step in securing formal certification of H55's complete electric propulsion system and an important recognition by the certification authorities on the reliability and capabilities of the company's propulsion solutions.

Air Canada Issues Annual Report Highlighting its Achievements in 2023

Record operating revenue, advanced strategic initiatives

 Air Canada today issued its 2023 Annual Report highlighting the carrier's achievements for the year. In addition to its strong financial results, including record annual revenue, the airline made progress on key strategic initiatives. The report is available in the Investor Relations section of www.aircanada.com.

Air Canada Issues Annual Report Highlighting its Achievements in 2023 (CNW Group/Air Canada)

"Air Canada delivered very strong results in 2023. We met key financial objectives and advanced or exceeded most of our strategic and operational goals for the year, demonstrating our ability to perform consistently," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

"We continued to renew our fleet with more fuel-efficient and comfortable aircraft, and we expanded our network and products to offer more choice and convenience to our customers. We also advanced our Environmental, Social and Governance programs through our sustainability, equity and accessibility activities and supported the communities we serve, including by providing thousands of employment opportunities.

"Air Canada has a solid foundation to build upon and a clear vision for the future as a leader in the global aviation industry, connecting Canada to the world, and as a trusted partner for all our stakeholders. I thank our customers for their loyalty, our 39,000 employees for their hard work and dedication to safe operations and our investors for their support throughout the year."

Among its key accomplishments, in 2023 Air Canada:

Sirius Aviation AG and PARQ Development Join Forces, Bringing 10 Hydrogen VTOL Jets to Bali

Partnership to Transform Sustainable Air Travel and Tourism in Bali, Indonesia

Trailblazing aerospace company, Sirius Aviation AG, is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership with PARQ Development, providing ten cutting-edge hydrogen-powered vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jets along with tailored support services to the picturesque landscapes of Bali, Indonesia. The agreement is estimated to be worth $50 million, reflecting a significant investment in advancing sustainable aviation initiatives.

Under the new deal, PARQ Development will receive five Sirius Millennium Jets and five Sirius Business Jets poised to revolutionize sustainable travel in Bali and the nearby islands. Additionally, Sirius Aviation AG will establish five vertiports and five hydrogen generators, facilitating VTOL operations, enhancing accessibility, stimulating eco-friendly tourism, and economic growth in Indonesia.

The Sirius Jet, the world's first hydrogen-powered, zero-emissions VTOL aircraft, will further PARQ Development's long-term commitment to sustainability in the region.

"Our partnership marks the dawn of a new era for Bali and its surrounding islands, emphasizing zero-emission tourism, sustainable development, and regional economic growth. With PARQ's tailored route planning and outstanding support services, we're setting a new standard," said Alexey Popov, the CEO of Sirius Aviation AG.

Airbus to acquire INFODAS and strengthen its cybersecurity portfolio

Airbus to acquire INFODAS and strengthen its cybersecurity portfolio

Airbus Defence and Space has entered into an agreement to acquire INFODAS, a Cologne-based, German company that provides cybersecurity and IT solutions in the public sector including for defence and critical infrastructures. The transaction is subject to the customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be finalised before the end of 2024.

This acquisition supports Airbus’ strategic ambition to strengthen its cybersecurity portfolio for the benefit of its European and global customers. With exponential cyber threats, along with the increasing digitalisation and connectivity of its products and systems, cybersecurity is a pivotal component of Airbus’ development. Over the last years, the group has continuously developed its cybersecurity capabilities and expertise, ensuring the best possible protection for its products, operations, customers, and ecosystem, including major programmes such as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

INFODAS is a company with around 250 employees and annual revenues of about 50 million euros. Besides its headquarters in Cologne, INFODAS has additional offices in Germany in Berlin, Bonn, Hamburg, Munich and Mainz. The company has been certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as an IT security service provider in the areas of information system auditing, consulting and penetration tests. The INFODAS’ SDoT Security Gateway product family is approved for classification levels up to secret. The products are also certified in accordance with Common Criteria and have other country-specific certificates.





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25 March, 2024

City of Doncaster Council agree terms on flagship production site for Airlander 10

Hybrid Air Vehicles to open flagship production site for Airlander 10 in Doncaster




City of Doncaster Council and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd reach agreement for major new Airlander 10 production centre at Carcroft Common site, for production, testing and certification operations.

Hybrid Air Vehicles’ plans for Doncaster will create a £1bn+ per annum export business, over 1,200 high-value green jobs and new supply chains within the South Yorkshire Investment Zone.

Announcement builds on a previous agreement with SYMCA, underpinned by a £7m investment by the region.


The City of Doncaster Council and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, the UK-based leader in sustainable aircraft technology, have agreed to locate the production programme for Airlander 10, the world’s most efficient large aircraft, at Carcroft Common. 

Carcroft Common is a 50-hectare site identified by the City of Doncaster Council for development to unlock new economic growth. The freehold for the site will be acquired by Hybrid Air Vehicles under the terms of the agreement.

Hybrid Air Vehicles will now initiate activities leading towards a planning application, working with the local community and other stakeholders as part of the planning and preparation process. 

Subject to planning approval, Hybrid Air Vehicles will develop new flagship facilities for Airlander 10’s production, testing, and certification operations, capable of producing up to 24 aircraft per year at the site. It will house cutting-edge aerospace production equipment, such as new assembly lines for Airlander’s composite-based airframe, propulsion systems, and electrical and avionics systems.

Airlander 10 is a new type of ultra-low emissions aircraft capable of carrying 100 passengers, or ten tonnes of payload. The reserved orderbook for Airlander 10 stands in excess of £1bn, with the first aircraft set to enter service from 2028 with the likes of Air Nostrum Group, the launch airline customer.

In partnership with the City of Doncaster Council, Hybrid Air Vehicles will establish Carcroft Common as a hub for advanced manufacturing and sustainable aviation in South Yorkshire, creating over 1,200 new jobs and thriving supply chains. Hybrid Air Vehicles will also work closely with important regional partners like the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and the Doncaster UTC. 

The announcement marks important progress toward the City of Doncaster’s Economic Strategy 2030, and the success of the South Yorkshire Investment Zone, which is focused on advanced manufacturing. The Carcroft Common site is part of the Investment Zone, launched by the Chancellor of Exchequer in July 2023, which aims to improve investment through planning, development, and skills support. 

Britten-Norman secures new investment

Britten Norman has secured new investment from a group of investors led by 4D Capital Partners LLP (“4D”), a Private Equity firm that focuses on operational improvement and business transformation. The new investors are making funds available to Britten-Norman to fund working capital and to drive successful long-term growth.



Britten-Norman Chief Executive, William Hynett OBE, commented: “The board has been in an extended process to secure the right investment that would allow Britten-Norman to deliver its plans to scale up output to meet demand. Britten-Norman is a brand with a rich and entrepreneurial aviation heritage which takes great responsibility in playing a vitally important role in supporting its world-wide customer base. These customers are the bedrock of their societies, often providing critical infrastructure or life-critical services such as maritime search and rescue and medical evacuation. Following a great deal of interest in the business, we are pleased to have identified a new investor that shares our vision and strategy.”



Alex Silk, founder of 4D, said:  “From the outset we saw the latent value in Britten-Norman, which has been underperforming since the pandemic. In addition to bringing working capital, our team will work closely with management to help the company ramp up production to meet the exciting demand for its sought after Islander aircraft”.


Britten-Norman is the original equipment manufacturer for the Islander, the world’s most iconic commercial light twin aircraft. In 2024 the company will be celebrating 70 years since it was first established at Bembridge Airport on the Isle of Wight, UK.

We would like to thank Chris Pole and Will Wright from Interpath Advisory for their support in securing the investment through the sale of the business and assets of Britten-Norman.





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Fly to the happiest country in the World with five direct connections from the U.S

According to the International World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world in 2024. Finland is a unique travel destination, and you can fly there with five direct connections from the United States.


The international World Happiness Report has released its annual listing of the happiest countries in the world. Finland has been named the happiest country in the world in 2024 for the seventh year in a row.

What makes Finland the happiest place in the world?


“You must experience the secret to Finnish happiness first hand. Year after year, Finland has been selected as the happiest country in the world, and it is great that there are excellent flight connections to Europe's northernmost destination. The sights of Helsinki, a city filled with experiences, and the archipelago of the Gulf of Finland, as well as the peace and quiet of mythical Lapland, are only a few hours away,” says Petri Vuori, Vice President, Sales and Route Development for the airport company Finavia.

You can fly to Helsinki with five direct connections from the United States. The Finnish airline Finnair flies to Helsinki Airport from New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Over 400,000 people flew between the United States and Finland last year.

Studies show that passengers appreciate Helsinki Airport, as it has received high ratings for its customer experience.

“In a recent survey, air passengers rated Helsinki Airport as the best airport in Europe in the size category of 15–25 million passengers. In addition, Helsinki Airport ranked as the world’s fifth best airport among business travellers. We are proud and grateful for the feedback,” Vuori says.

Lapland's airports are a gateway to the north


If you are already familiar with Helsinki as a tourist destination, head next to magical Lapland to experience its nature. In the last few years, Lapland's popularity as a tourist destination has increased.

“The past winter season 2023–2024 was record-breaking and European airlines opened almost 20 new direct flight connections to airports in Lapland. We believe that demand will continue to be strong in the coming years,” Vuori says.

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