Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport to launch reward scheme: Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport and Arrture reaffirmed their partnership and readiness to launch ISG PORTPAL, Turkey airport’s first global rewards programme designed for all travellers. ISG PORTPAL by Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is a rewards programme that provides unique and personalised offers at the airport as well as globally in an easy-to-use app. The first phase of the programme will enable ISG PORTPAL users to earn and spend at Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Users of the app will be able to enjoy exclusive offers and benefits including food and beverage points, duty-free shops, lounges, fast-track points, airport hotel and airport parking lot, all on a single platform. The next phase of the programme will expand beyond Sabiha Gokcen Airport and will be covering a wide range of rewards globally. Speaking at the event, Song Hoi See, Founder of Arrture and CEO of Plaza Premium Group said, “Arrture is excited to partner with Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport to create ISG PORTPAL in providing Turkey’s first global airport rewards program. We are now in the final stages of the program development, and we are assured that travellers will be presented with the best end-to-end experience at every travel touchpoint. We look forward to the launch of ISG PORTPAL in May 2022. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our program partners and stakeholders who have contributed to this program and made it a success.”
Inmarsat announces new partners for UAV industry: Inmarsat has expanded the partner network for its Velaris UAV connectivity solution with the addition of software company Dimetor, which facilitates Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations in cellular networks, and Bellwether Industries, an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) solutions provider for intra-city travel. The partner network was established six months ago to encourage innovative collaborations using Inmarsat’s ground-breaking Velaris connectivity solution, which allows commercial UAVs – commonly known as drones – to operate long distance flights and access various applications, such as real-time monitoring, to ensure safe integration with aircraft in commercial airspace. In addition, it allows a single pilot to remotely operate multiple UAVs at scale, making operations more commercially viable. As the latest additions to the fast-growing Velaris Partner Network, Dimetor and Bellwether Industries have joined existing members Altitude Angel, a leading Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) technology provider, and Harvest Technology Group, a specialist in ultra-low bandwidth livestreaming technology.
Lufthansa Group selects FlightPath3D for fleet-wide installations: FlightPath3D, the global leader in moving map innovation and technology, announces today that their 3D map has been selected and will be integrated across Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet. The first launch of FlightPath3D’s product will occur on A350, 787, 747-800, and A330 aircraft. FlightPath3D President Duncan Jackson said, “We’re privileged to be adding the Lufthansa Group to our growing list of customers and helping them to deliver an outstanding passenger experience across their multi-OEM IFE fleet.” “We look forward to launching FlightPath3D on our first A350 in the second quarter of 2022 and across multiple IFE systems and mobile devices on board of Lufthansa aircraft,” says Lufthansa Group IFEC Product Manager Susanne Wawer. The map product is intensely used among our passengers on board. Enhancing their experience by offering an innovative, interactive 3D flight map adds value to our passenger journey.” “Our any device, any platform approach, is available on any IFE architecture (seat-back, overhead, and Wi-Fi streaming) and any OEM IFE platform. We’re proud of the integration, certification, and joint sales efforts with all of the industry’s major OEM partners,” says FlightPath3D CEO Boris Veksler.
China Airlines launches sustainability demonstration flights: China Airlines recently participated in “The Sustainable Flight Challenge” (TSFC) issued by SkyTeam, selecting flight CI-753 from Taipei to Singapore as the sustainability demonstration flight. Following the core philosophy of “ECO Service,” up to 100 environmental and carbon reduction initiatives, such as fuel-efficiency route planning, apron operations, online check-in, and in-flight catering and amenities, were pioneered. By working with travellers to build a sustainable flying environment, China Airlines hoped to set a new milestone for the domestic airline industry. SkyTeam is encouraging member airlines to embrace sustainable development. The first-ever “The Sustainable Flight Challenge” is a friendly competition that invites member airlines to share their knowledge. Participating airlines are challenged to operate their services in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner on any existing medium or long-haul route. For the CI-753 Taipei-Singapore sustainability demonstration flight, China Airlines adopted the team name “Plum Blossom.” The medium-haul route has a flight time of 4 hours and 35 minutes. An effort was also made to maximize the sustainability of the flight. Relative initiatives will be progressively rolled out where practical in the future.
Intelsat adds executives: Intelsat has named four seasoned aerospace and tech leaders to key financial and commercial roles. Anthony (Toby) O’Brien will become Intelsat’s next chief financial officer (CFO). Bringing a wealth of experience to the job, O’Brien most recently served as corporate CFO for Raytheon Technologies after a five-year stint as CFO for Raytheon Company before its merger with United Technologies. Michael DeMarco, currently Intelsat’s chief services officer will become the new chief commercial officer (CCO), responsible for all Intelsat commercial services offerings to include product management, sales activities, sales engineering, and pricing. DeMarco has been with the company for more than 20 years, previously leading Intelsat’s product, engineering and operations teams. He was also responsible for the company’s digital transformation strategy and the delivery of the company’s end-to-end service portfolio. Clay McConnell has been named the company’s senior vice president of Corporate Communications and Marketing. McConnell came to Intelsat after three decades in communications at Delta Air Lines. Jeff Sare joins the company as the new president of Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation division. Sare comes to Intelsat from his role as vice president and Connectivity Solutions business segment leader at Panasonic Avionics.
Volotea awards Iberia MRO to maintain its A320 fleet: Volotea, the airline for small and medium-sized European cities, has signed a contract with Iberia Maintenance to perform “C check overhauls” on Airbus A320s at its facilities in Madrid and Barcelona for the next five and a half years. Volotea will send its A320 aircraft to Iberia MRO for a comprehensive maintenance service to be carried out during the winter seasons. This agreement will come into force in January 2023. The airline selected Iberia Maintenance after an exhaustive bidding process in which the Spanish provider was the winner due to the excellent quality of its services. The contract includes the performance of “C-checks” at Iberia Maintenance’s facilities located in Madrid and Barcelona and reinforces Volotea’s commitment to the Spanish aircraft maintenance industry. The “C-checks” consist of the inspection, overhaul, maintenance, and replacement of aircraft parts, and include preventive maintenance, identified as “C-check”. C-checks, which must be performed every 14-16 months, are considered to be the most comprehensive evaluations in the market.
Emirates launches full Premium Economy experience in Australia: Australian flyers can look forward to another distinctive Emirates travel experience as the airline unveils its full Premium Economy offering onboard and on ground, and announces it will open this highly sought-after cabin for sale on Emirates’ Sydney route from 1 June 2022. The new cabin class, which offers luxurious seats, more legroom, and a service to rival many airlines’ business offering, will be available to Emirates customers travelling on popular A380 routes from Sydney, London and Paris from 1 August, and Christchurch from December. Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “As with everything we do, Emirates Premium Economy will be exceptional in its class, with minute attention given to every aspect of the customer experience. Customers trading up from Economy will be getting excellent value. “Since we first introduced our Premium Economy seats in January 2021, the positive response and demand has been tremendous. We currently have six A380s equipped with this cabin class, which limits our initial deployment, but our intention is to offer this experience to many more markets across our network. This November, we will begin our retrofit programme to install Premium Economy on 67 A380s and 53 Boeing 777s. At the end of the programme, Emirates will have 126 aircraft fitted out with Premium Economy cabins, as well as our latest interiors across other cabins. It is a major investment to ensure our customers continue to have the best experience in the sky.”
Goshawk delivers A350-900 to Lufthansa: Goshawk, the Dublin-based leading global aircraft lessor, has delivered its first aircraft to Lufthansa. The A350-900 will complement Lufthansa’s existing order book and is an exciting milestone for Goshawk as it opens a partnership with the German flag-carrier. Stephen Murphy, Head of Airline Marketing at Goshawk welcomed the news saying, “Lufthansa represents an instantly recognisable brand in global aviation. As an airline synonymous with market-leading customer experience, Goshawk is delighted to embark on this relationship with its first aircraft lease. This initial transaction with Lufthansa demonstrates Goshawk’s continued confidence in the global travel sector’s ability to navigate challenges.” Goshawk also announced the sale of one Embraer E190 aircraft (MSN 19000547) to ACIA Aero Leasing.
Jet Aviation extends line maintenance services to FBO in Zurich: Jet Aviation announced that it is offering a line maintenance service through its new hangar facility in Zurich. The facility is authorised to perform line maintenance on a range of business aircraft, including Gulfstream series, with immediate effect. Situated at Jet Aviation’s Zurich North FBO, the facility will initially receive approval under an extension of the company’s Basel site authorizations prior to undergoing an audit for Line Maintenance Repair Station approval by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Jet Aviation expanded its Zurich operation in June 2021 via the acquisition of the former ExecuJet Zurich FBO facilities. The acquisition added a multifunctional, state of-the-art terminal for passengers and crews, a 2,500 square-meter hangar adjacent to the terminal, a second near-5,000 square-meter arched hangar, and two approximately 5,000 square-meter private ramps to the company’s existing Zurich footprint. The Zurich line maintenance station supports services for a range of business aircraft, including the Gulfstream series. Jet Aviation has appointed AOG Engineer Michael Luethi to manage the station with the support of its global AOG team as required.
Air Astana takes delivery of Airbus A321LR: Air Astana has taken delivery of its eighth Airbus A321LR, with the latest aircraft arriving in Almaty on 5 May 2022. The aircraft is on an operating lease from Air Lease Corporation and will be joined by two more of the type later this year. Air Astana’s Airbus A321LR aircraft feature a two-class cabin layout, with 16 seats in business class and 150 in economy class. All seats are equipped with individual IFE screens. Airbus A321LR aircraft are operated on Air Astana’s international network, with destinations currently including Antalya (Turkey), Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Phuket (Thailand), Podgorica (Montenegro), Seoul and Sharm-El-Sheikh (Egypt). The aircraft will also soon be operated on the new service to Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete. The Air Astana Group now operates a fleet of 37 aircraft, including 29 Airbus, three Boeing and five Embraer family aircraft. The average age of the Air Astana fleet is 4.9 years.
iCoupon secures partnership with SAS: iCoupon has partnered with SAS to provide the airline and its customers with access to its digital vouchering platform. One of the most prolific airlines in Europe, SAS (also known as Scandinavian Airlines) has main hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm and flies to more than 100 destinations in Europe, USA and Asia. The contract signed with SAS will see iCoupon implement its automated vouchering system into SAS’s existing operations, offering an easy, simple vouchering solution for passengers on flights which have been delayed. Richard Bye, CEO of iCoupon, said: “SAS is a first-class name to add to our growing list of partners and we’re very proud to be selected by them. This venture adds further credence to our claim that we have the most seamless, efficient, and convenient digital vouchering solution to distribute value to 100 percent of your passengers at the click of a button. The use of digital tools within the travel sector is quickly becoming something that is not just desirable, but essential. Passenger needs have changed drastically in recent years, and it is vital that they are offered immediate compensation if flights are delayed or cancelled. The lack of time spent on the process also boosts customer satisfaction. We all know how frustrating these procedures can be, which is why it is so important to offer a simple solution.”
Vienna Airport and Lufthansa Cargo launch pharma cooperation: The Vienna Airport Pharma Handling Centre (VPHC) at Vienna Airport now also handles pharma freight for Lufthansa Cargo. As part of a cooperation between the Lufthansa Group’s cargo subsidiary and Vienna Airport, the handling of all pharma cargo transported on board Austrian Airlines aircraft to or from Vienna Airport will take place at the VPHC from now on. With the VPHC, Vienna Airport operates its own GDP-certified competence centre for handling temperature-sensitive air cargo without interrupting the cold chain. The VPHC will further strengthen Vienna Airport’s role as a pharma hub for Central and Eastern Europe with Lufthansa Cargo’s intercontinental network. Freight volumes here have grown significantly in recent years. Lufthansa Cargo, the Group subsidiary responsible for freight in the Lufthansa Group, is also responsible for the cargo business of Austrian Airlines. On board its passenger aircraft, the Austrian flag carrier also distributes transport goods in an extensive intercontinental network as belly cargo, including pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other temperature-sensitive goods. The cooperation further establishes Vienna Airport as a strong pharma hub for Central and Eastern Europe. Austria’s most important international airport has significantly increased its tonnages in this area. The airport’s own pharma handling center handled around 15 percent more goods in 2021 than in 2020, with growth of more than 66 percent compared to the pre-crisis year of 2019. In addition to ongoing uncertainties of ground-based global supply chains, the internationalisation of pharmaceutical productions also continues to drive this trend.
Etihad wins at Business Traveller awards: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has been recognised as the airline with the ‘Best Cabin Crew’ as well as being awarded the ‘Best First Class’ at the Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2022. The airline’s Cabin Crew are renowned for their authentic and personal service inspired by traditional, generous Emirati hospitality. Etihad has won many awards for its outstanding Cabin Crew service in the past and it has always been a hallmark of the brand. The airline’s crew are taken through an extensive training process before taking to the skies which focuses on safety, service and hospitality. Etihad is currently recruiting Cabin Crew to join its multinational team based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Etihad’s First class also took home the coveted Business Traveller award. The First cabin is designed as a private universe – a sanctuary in the sky – which provides guests with a highly personalised and bespoke service tailored to the guests’ individual preferences. This includes a tailormade dining experience allowing guests to create a bespoke menu in the sky. Guests travelling in First will also be given complimentary loungewear for comfort in flight as well as premium Acqua di Parma amenity kits.
Servy expands presence in Canada: Servy, the enterprise self-service platform for hospitality, has launched its second airport marketplace program in Canada at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) with the arrival of the Order Now service at this premier travel hub. YVR Order Now allows passengers to order their meals with the convenience of their phones through yvr.ca/ordernow. This mobile ordering platform lets users skip the wait, notifying them when their meal is ready for pick up to simply be collected at the restaurant pick up counter. YVR is on a journey to transform its food and beverage program to provide more fresh, local and authentic offerings reflective of the vibrant and diverse culinary choices in the Vancouver community. The introduction of YVR Order Now, powered by Servy’s Grab Airport Marketplace, provides another way for passengers and airport employees to easily access options available in the terminal – both pre and post security – all at the ease of their mobile phones. The web-based program is currently available at over 20 participating restaurants on YVR Order Now including Canucks Bar & Grill, Joe & The Juice, Pacific Farms Market, Subway, Tim Hortons, Vino Volo and Wendy’s, with more options to be added later in the year. YVR Order Now is available in both English and French.
IATA says mask guidance a step toward ‘normality’: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed new guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) removing its recommendation that masks should be required in-flight. EASA’s updated Aviation Health Safety Protocol, published 11 May, calls for the mandatory mask rule to be relaxed where rules have been relaxed for other transport modes. This important shift reflects the high levels of vaccination, natural immunity levels, and the removal of domestic restrictions in many European nations. The updated guidance also acknowledges the need to move from an emergency situation to a more sustainable mode of managing COVID-19. “We welcome EASA’s recommendation to relax the mask mandate, which is another important step along the road back to normality for air passengers. Travelers can look forward to freedom of choice on whether to wear a mask. And they can travel with confidence knowing that many features of the aircraft cabin, such as high frequency air exchange and high efficiency filters, make it one of the safest indoor environments,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. Several jurisdictions still maintain mask requirements. That is a challenge for airlines and passengers flying between destinations with different requirements. “We believe that mask requirements on board aircraft should end when masks are no longer mandated in other parts of daily life, for example theatres, offices or on public transport. Although the European protocol comes into effect next week, there is no globally consistent approach to mask-wearing on board aircraft. Airlines must comply with the regulations applicable to the routes they are operating. The aircraft crew will know what rules apply and it is critical that passengers follow their instructions. And we ask that all travellers be respectful of other people’s decision to voluntarily wear masks even if it not a requirement,” said Walsh.
Etihad Cargo names new VP for cargo: Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, has appointed Tim Isik as Vice President – Commercial. Based in Etihad Cargo’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Isik will oversee the carrier’s global commercial operations. Isik joins Etihad Cargo from American Airlines, where he gained over a decade of experience working within the aviation and air cargo sectors. In his new role with Etihad Cargo, Isik will oversee the development and deployment of the carrier’s sales strategy and be responsible for further growing Etihad Cargo’s strategic relationships, executing sales and marketing plans and driving team performance. Isik will lead Etihad Cargo’s commercial operations globally, supported by Latha Narayan, Etihad Cargo’s Director – Commercial Asia Pacific, Australasia and Indian Subcontinent, and Mark Faulkner, Director – Cargo Commercial West. Isik will report to Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Sales & Cargo. “Etihad Cargo is delighted to have Tim on the team. I am confident his knowledge and expertise will contribute to Etihad Cargo’s continued growth, enabling the carrier to further strengthen its position as the air cargo partner of choice,” said Drew.