AAV News in Brief 13 January 2022

Jet Luxe, marhaba, Vistara, Plaza Premium Group, Cathay Pacific, Riga Airport, Etihad, MRO Insider, Cirrus Aircraft, ALSIM, Iraqi Airways, Pratt & Whitney, BOC Aviation, Experia

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Jet Luxe partners with Forbes Travel Guide: Jet Luxe has announced the implementation of its Global Standards of Service Excellence, developed in partnership with Forbes Travel Guide. The announcement follows Jet Luxe’s completion of an extensive in-house service training programme led by Forbes Travel Guide’s Learning and Development team. Gabriel Madrid, CEO said, “We are here to give choice, knowledge and power to jet users. While there is ample data available to those seeking to benchmark hotels and dining experiences, there is little available information to qualify service standards in the private aviation sector. By working in partnership with Forbes Travel Guide to develop our service standards, we set ourselves apart giving discerning travelers a choice in line with their expectations.  Jet Luxe is delighted to have worked in partnership with the Forbes Travel Guide which highlights our commitment to global service excellence.” Jet Luxe’s new Standards of Service Excellence will be rolled out across its business units from January 2022 and will cover its charter, aircraft management, and global concierge service.

marhaba brings Meet & Greet Services to Australia: marhaba, part of dnata has launched its Meet & Greet Services in Australia to help travellers enjoy a safe and seamless travel experience throughout their journeys. Arriving and departing passengers can take advantage of marhaba’s services at Sydney Airport (SYD), Melbourne Airport (MEL), Adelaide Airport (ADL) and Brisbane Airport (BNE). marhaba’s dedicated agents, who have all been trained on health and safety protocols, will welcome customers and escort them through the airport formalities right up until the arrival area or the departure gate. Where possible, marhaba’s agents will also provide hand baggage trolleys or, for an additional fee, arrange porter service. In Melbourne, customers can further enhance their experience by booking the Gold package and relax and recharge in marhaba’s popular lounge before their flights at a special bundled rate. Located at the International Terminal (T2), the lounge features seating for 200 guests, a quiet zone for relaxation, and shower facilities. It offers Wi-Fi and all-day dining.

Vistara turns 7: Vistara, a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, celebrated its seventh anniversary on 9 January and announced key milestones of having flown 30 million passengers since inception and 50 aircraft-strong fleet. The airline registered a growth of 3.3 percentage points in market share, since July 2020, having grown from 4.2 percent (in July 2020) to 7.5 percent (in November 2021). Vistara expanded its fleet by over 25 percent since April 2020, to have 51 aircraft in its fleet as on date, and has significantly grown its global network to include seven new destinations across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The airline also ensured that all 4000+ jobs at Vistara remained protected from the impact of the pandemic. Over the last two years, the airline has also introduced multiple product and service enhancements, including but not limited to on board WiFi connectivity, Gate-to-Gate service, fully-flat beds in Airbus A321neo aircraft and Boeing Dreamliner 787, providing a premium and world-class flying experience to travellers.

Plaza Premium Group promotes Bora İşbulan: Plaza Premium Group announced the promotion of Bora İşbulan as the group’s deputy CEO, to lead the group’s global expansion plan and continue the successful execution of the company’s business transformation strategy. İşbulan, who joined Plaza Premium Group in 2020, has been instrumental in steering the group’s global expansion, which targets to expand from over 180 lounges to over 500 lounges by 2024-2025 through growing both the Plaza Premium Lounge venues and through affiliate lounge networks. In his new capacity, he will be taking on a greater leadership role across the company to help focus on ongoing growth, and also be responsible for creating a wider global network built via strategic consolidation and alliances with industry players, positioning the group within the top 100 busiest airports worldwide. İşbulan brings his international experiences to lead key projects and initiatives such as successfully expanding the group’s global network and strategic partnerships with industry partners in EMEA, India, Latin America, USA.

Cathay redesigns Economy fares in Middle East: Cathay Pacific has redesigned its Economy fares offering Middle East customers greater choice and flexibility when booking flights. The airline has developed new and simple-to-understand Light, Essential and Flex fares that are tailored to customers’ travel needs and will be introduced to customers travelling from Dubai starting 11 January 2022. Each fare brand offers more control and extensive benefits, from enhanced baggage allowances to flexible rebooking and upgrade options. Additionally, the consistent and clearly defined attributes associated with each fare type provides more visibility for customers on what they are purchasing, helping them choose the fare that suits them best. Cathay Pacific will also progressively introduce the redesigned Economy fares across the network in phases. Light fares enable customers to enjoy great value when they have confirmed travel plans and are travelling light. One piece of checked-in luggage is included and customers can always pay for additional luggage and other benefits like seat pre-selection after their booking is made. Essential fares offer the perfect balance of everything customers need, such as an extra piece of luggage, seat pre-selection and the option to upgrade using Asia Miles. This fare type is ideal for those travelling with family, heading for a longer trip or simply seeking more comfort and convenience. Flex fares give customers maximum flexibility for their next business trip or holiday, with full control over their travel plans as and when changes are needed. Greater convenience and peace of mind is assured.

Riga Airport handled 2.35 million passengers in 2021: Operational data on Airport performance show that the number of passengers handled at Riga Airport in 2021 exceeded 2.35 million, which is an increase of 17 percent as compared to 2020; in comparison to 2019, the number of passengers dropped by 70 percent. London, Tallinn, Frankfurt, Kiev and Amsterdam were the most popular destinations from Riga in 2021. Last year, the national airline airBaltic carried the largest share or 57 percent of passengers at Riga Airport. One-fifth or 21 percent of passengers were carried to and from Riga by the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, which strengthened its presence at Riga Airport last autumn by significantly expanding the range of destinations and launching them with Riga-based aircraft. Last year, the air cargo segment experienced stable growth, and it is characterised by several significant events at Riga Airport. Cargo traffic to and through Riga Airport was not only increased by existing carriers, but thanks to the rapid growth of e-commerce due to the pandemic, a new air cargo connection has been established between Riga and Hong Kong, which is operated twice a week by the international shipping company Venipak. The total volume of air cargo handled at Riga Airport last year reached 27.9 thousand tonnes, which is one-fifth more than in 2020. The result of 2019 with 27.3 thousand tonnes of air cargo handled was also exceeded by two percent. Due to the restrictions to limit the spread of the pandemic, the volume of cargo carried by passenger aircraft has halved, while the volume of cargo carried by cargo flights has increased by 70 percent as compared to 2019.

Etihad launches global sale: Etihad Airways has launched a global sale with exclusive offers for travellers looking to explore new destinations or visit friends and family overseas in 2022. From Abu Dhabi, guests can fly to any of Etihad’s select destinations, such as London, Paris, New York and more, with fares starting as low as AED 795 in Economy and AED 3,995 in Business. The global sale will run until 21 January 2022, for travel until 31 May 2022. Guests travelling with Etihad can make use of the airline’s innovative service to simplify the process of authenticating travel documents. With Verified to Fly, travellers can validate their documents before arriving at the airport, giving them the confidence that they have met all essential government and airline travel requirements before travelling to the airport.

MRO Insider announces new director of sales: MRO Insider announced that Aaron White has joined their team as director of sales. White has worked in the sales and hospitality industry for over a decade. After graduating with a Hospitality and Tourism degree from the University of South Alabama, he found entry into aviation working as a business development manager in aviation recruiting and SaaS start-up and then went on as a research analyst and sales associate for an aircraft sales/acquisition company. White will work out of Nashville, TN and cover the United States and Canadian territory for MRO Insider.

Cirrus Aircraft and ALSIM form alliance: Cirrus Aircraft and ALSIM Simulators announced an alliance to provide Cirrus customers with a complete flight training solution. The ALSR20 simulator, an exact replica of a new Cirrus SR20 G6, will be installed at the Cirrus Training Center in Knoxville after CX. ALSIM launched the ALSR20 simulator in December 2020. The Flight Training Device (FTD) is Level 5 compliant with the latest aviation standards from EASA and the FAA to Transport Canada and the CAAC. The high-fidelity device contains the latest G6 specific interior cockpit and flight deck including a real Garmin GDU 1050A and GFC 700 Autopilot. The ALSR20 is further equipped with a Garmin GMA 350C – All digital Audio Panel and a Garmin GCU 479 and can simulate the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). ALSIM will be adding the Cirrus SR22 and SR22T flight models to the ALSR20 simulator to help meet the training demand of Cirrus pilots and the Cirrus Training Centres. At the same time, Cirrus is providing input into ALSIM’s new streamlined SR-series Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD), which is currently being developed at ALSIM Headquarters in France. Like its larger simulator counterpart, it will contain elements such as real Garmin Perspective +, but will have a much smaller footprint, and be more affordable.

Iraqi Airways receives first GTF-powered A220: Pratt & Whitney announced that Iraqi Airways has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. The airline ordered five such aircraft in 2013. “We would like to welcome Iraqi Airways back to the Pratt & Whitney family,” said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer at Pratt & Whitney. “Our relationship with Iraqi Airways dates to their Boeing 707 fleet, which was powered by our JT3D engines. We look forward to supporting the airline’s growth with the world-class operating costs and environmental advantages that come with our revolutionary GTF engines.” The A220 offers lower operating costs compared to previous generation aircraft. The engines deliver double-digit improvements in fuel and carbon emissions. They also provide a 75 percent reduction in noise footprint and produce NOx emissions 50 percent below the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) CAEP/6 regulation.

BOC Aviation names new head of leasing and sales for Europe, Africa: BOC Aviation announced the appointment of Conor Stafford as head of airline leasing and sales (Europe and Africa), with effect from 10 January 2022. Conor will oversee all airline marketing and leasing activities for Europe and Africa. He reports to Paul Kent, Chief Commercial Officer (Europe, Americas and Africa). Conor brings with him more than 17 years of experience in the aviation industry, with expertise ranging from aircraft origination and leasing to legal and portfolio transaction management. “We are pleased to welcome Conor to his new role as we continue to strengthen our core aircraft operating leasing capabilities and deepen our management talent pool,” said Robert Martin, managing director and CEO.

Experia partners with Shephard Media: Experia, specialist trade event organiser and manager has named Shephard Media, the specialist defence marketing and business information provider, as Corporate Intelligence Partner for its entire aerospace and defence portfolio. Under this partnership, Shephard Media will provide their expertise in editorial content and defence industry insights for Singapore Airshow, IMDEX Asia and Rotorcraft Asia and Unmanned Systems Asia from 2022 through 2025. Industry watchers can also look forward to jointly produced thought leadership and market intelligence content. “Aerospace and defence is one of Experia’s key portfolios; with Singapore Airshow being a flagship and forerunner event since our inception. We are proud to be a trailblazer in establishing a portfolio-wide partnership with Shephard Media which further elevates Experia’s expertise and insight in the defence sector. I am confident that this partnership will strengthen our reputation as a trusted partner of choice for market intelligence and business growth in aerospace and defence,” said Mr Leck Chet Lam, Managing Director of Experia Events.

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