AAV News in Brief 17 December 2021

Cargolux, IBS Software, Servy, Inflyter, Pegasus Airlines, PWI, FlightService, Avensis, China Airlines, Airport Dimensions, Sky Bridge Cargo, Awery Software, GPMS, ACJ TwoTwenty, Inmarsat, Thai Airways, utu, Aeromexico, Travelport, Etihad, Avia Solutions Group, SSP America, Pathfinder Aviation, Ramco Aviation

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Cargolux Selects IBS Software’s iCargo solution: IBS Software has signed a strategic long-term deal with Cargolux for the replacement of its cargo management system. Cargolux will deploy IBS Software’s iCargo SaaS solution to transform and manage its global air cargo business. The iCargo implementation will enable Cargolux to further deliver and improve services and streamline customer experience. iCargo’s air cargo ecosystem will allow the airline to realise improved efficiencies through lean business processes. With APIs providing enhanced rich data sharing, Cargolux will facilitate improved co-ordination with partners and deliver a superior experience to customers.

Servy, Inflyter announce strategic partnership: Servy, the enterprise self-service platform for hospitality, and leading travel retail technology expert Inflyter have formed a new strategic partnership that will see the companies work together to provide a fully integrated e-commerce platform offering travellers a more convenient and connected digital experience. The newly-created alliance aims to present an integrated online marketplace with a single online shopping and pre-ordering service showcasing all retailers, brands and products available at the airport – from food & beverage and travel essentials to duty free categories of fashion, cosmetics, electronics and more. Travellers will have the ability to browse all commercial offerings before they leave home and save time at the airport by pre-ordering and purchasing in advance or even while they are waiting to depart.

Pegasus Airlines sets interim carbon target: After joining the world’s leading airlines in The International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s resolution to achieve “Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050”, Pegasus Airlines has set its interim target for 2030 to reinforce its commitment. Managing its operations and activities under a ‘sustainable environment’ approach, Pegasus aims to reduce flight-related carbon (CO2) emissions per unit passenger kilometre (RPK) by 20 percent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. Pegasus Airlines, whose efforts focus on reducing emissions at source by implementing operational improvements such as operating a younger fleet, purchasing low-emission aircraft models, reducing aircraft weight and route optimisation, publishes its carbon footprint on a monthly basis on the investor relations website, within the framework of its transparency principle. Pegasus’ medium-term objectives focus on continuing the transformation of its fleet and supporting carbon offsetting projects; and in the long term, using Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), new technology aircraft and carbon capture technologies.

PWI’s LED Ice Light receives FAA PMA certification: PWI announced that the FAA has given the PWI LED Ice Light PMA approval for use in a wide variety of aircraft, from piston planes and turboprops to business jets. PWI’s LED Ice Light provides 100,000 hours of life compared to only 165 hours of life available with bulbs. Compared to other replacement LED ice lights, the PWI LED Ice Light provides 210 more lumens providing better contrast, which aids in the visibility of ice formation.  PWI’s LED Ice Light also eliminates the radiant heat that comes with factory-installed bulbs. Less heat means less lens discolouration, cracking and warping over the life of the light.  PWI’s LED Ice Light part number 7310009-000, is a bayonet mount that is a direct drop-in replacement for bulbs A7079B24, MS25338-7079 and WA7079B24. The Ice Light is approved for Beechcraft Baron 55 and 58; King Air 90 series, 100 series, 200 series and 300 series; 99 Airliner series, Hawker 400 and Beechjet 400A. The LED Ice Light is also approved for the Cessna Caravan 208 and 208B; Cessna Centurion 210, P210 and T210; Conquest 441; Citation 525 series, 550 Bravo, 560 V, 560XL, 650 series and the 680 Sovereign.

FlightService and Avensis partner on conversions: AELF FlightService (FlightService) announced it has partnered with Avensis Aviation to purchase 10 Medius passenger to freighter conversion kits for 2022. FlightService, operated by its sister company, Malta-based Maleth Aero, is focused on reliable, innovative air cargo solutions, with an emerging ground transportation segment. The company will work with Avensis to convert its Airbus A330 and A340 fleet beginning early 2022. The soon-to-be released Avensis Medius Class E Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), will allow the modified passenger to freighter aircraft to fly beyond the current EASA exemption deadline of July 2022. The STC approval will make FlightService one of, if not the only provider of ad-hoc charter/ACMI services approved to fly converted passenger to freighter aircraft beyond the regulatory deadline. Avensis’ solutions, including the Medius Class E Freighter modification that FlightService will utilise, add agility to fleet management, maximise aircraft freight capacity, and are fully reversible. When the modifications by Avensis are complete, FlightService will have 10 widebody aircraft operating in this configuration for ACMI and charter services.

China Airlines wins top awards: China Airlines has been named the Best Airline in North Asia by Global Traveler, the well-known American travel magazine, again for the ninth time. The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) also named China Airlines the 2022 APEX Five Star Global Airline for the fifth year in a row. For the Global Traveler “Annual Reader Survey”, entrepreneurs and international business travellers voted on a number of categories including best airline, best airport, best hotel of the year. China Airlines was once again named the “Best Airline in North Asia” for 2021. A poll was conducted by APEX on the TripIt platform to rate airlines out of five stars on five categories such as seat comfort, cabin service, catering, entertainment, and Wi-Fi. Only 22 airlines around the world made the shortlist and China Airlines received the highest possible 5-star rating again. China Airlines continues to elevate its services despite the challenges of COVID-19. International travelers praised the carrier’s introduction of new fleets, expansion of its network, contact-less services and rigorous epidemic prevention measures.

Airport Dimensions appoints new global marketing director: Airport Dimensions has announced the appointment of Ed Thorne as its new global marketing director. Thorne will bring 18 years of experience in the travel and hospitality sectors to the role, along with a passion for marketing gained at some of the world’s most recognisable and best-loved brands, including Radisson, Hilton and InterContinental. As director of Brand Marketing at Hilton, Thorne was responsible for driving brand awareness for all Hilton brands across the EMEA region. He later took the role of Director of Customer Partnerships, tasked with ensuring that Hilton’s portfolio of products drove acquisition, retention and engagement in the Hilton Honors loyalty program. Ed also helped lead the repositioning of the Hotel Indigo brand at InterContinental. Most recently, he was Global Head of Brand at William Hill.

Sky Bridge Cargo opts for Awery Software: Awery Aviation Software has rolled out its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform for cargo carrier Sky Bridge Cargo following a two-week implementation programme. The system streamlines Bahrain-headquartered Sky Bridge Cargo’s sales, operations, and finance functions, as well as supporting bookings through Awery’s CargoBooking system. Awery’s ERP platform provides full connectivity of all Sky Bridge Cargo’s business and operational activities and uses the latest AI (Artificial Intelligence) to automate previously manual tasks. Giving real time analytics enables Sky Bridge Cargo to better serve its customers, optimise flight management, and make more informed commercial decisions.

GPMS gets approval for Foresight MX on Mi-8/17/171 helicopters: GPMS International announced that it has received ODA approval to install Foresight MX on the Mi- family of helicopters. Foresight MX is GPMS’s next-generation Health & Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and the Mi- series kit is adapted to Mi-8, Mi-17, and Mi-171 aircraft and variants. The company is already accepting orders for this comprehensive helicopter performance monitoring system on the Mi- platform. The engineering and certification work is being done by GPMS in partnership with VTS Aviation, a U.S.-based specialist in the Mi- family of helicopters, and Avia-Grade, a Ukrainian avionics, aero engineering, and maintenance organization. The installation was performed by Avia-Grade on its Mi-8 at the Motor Sich engine manufacturing and overhaul facility in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. The Mi- series of helicopters were originally designed in Russia and over 11,000 have been produced making them one of the most popular platforms ever developed. Today, the aircraft is produced by Russian Helicopters and models have evolved from the Mi-8 to the Mi-171. The aircraft are flown in over 80 countries performing humanitarian relief missions as well as a wide range of utility applications including firefighting.

ACJ TwoTwenty completes first flight: The ACJ TwoTwenty completed its first flight from the Mirabel airport on 14 December 2021. The production test flight was performed by Christophe Marchand and Adam Mason as Test Pilots and supported by Romuald Scheling as Flight Test Engineer. The aircraft will be delivered to Comlux in the coming weeks and then outfitted with a VVIP cabin by COMLUX in Indianapolis, USA after the delivery. Comlux has been selected as an exclusive outfitting partner for the first 15 ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft. The ACJ TwoTwenty is a new value proposition to business aviation buyers. The innovative solution combines intercontinental range enabling the aircraft to fly up to 5,650 nm/10,500 km (over 12 flight hours), unmatched personal space providing comfort for each passenger  with 73m2/785 ft2 of floor space.

Inmarsat wins top award: Inmarsat has been crowned ‘World’s Best Inflight internet Service Provider’ for the fifth consecutive year at the World Travel Tech Awards in recognition of the company’s market-leading GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN). The prestigious accolade from the sister event of the World Travel Awards was announced yesterday following an extensive year-long search for the world’s top travel technology brands, which attracted a record number of votes by industry professionals and members of the public from across the globe. Inmarsat triumphed after experiencing its best ever year for passenger usage of its next-generation inflight broadband solutions in comparison to before the pandemic. The trend aligns with the results of Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, which found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimise their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence. In addition, 41% of the 10,000 respondents believed the ability to browse the internet, shop online, stream videos, enjoy social media and more during flights had increased even further in importance after the pandemic.

Thai Airways partners with utu: Thai Airways International announced it is partnering with utu to offer more choices and value for travellers eligible for tax refunds as a part of the biggest upheaval in the history of tax-free shopping. Currently, travellers are losing as much as half of the value of their VAT and GST refunds. However, from 2 December 2021, passengers registered with THAI’s Royal Orchid Plus loyalty program will receive a dramatic 25 percent uplift in Royal Orchid Plus miles for their tax refunds – even when travelling with another carrier. Travellers access the uplift simply by paying as usual for purchases with cash or a payment card, but choosing to receive their VAT or GST refund on the new utu Tax Free Card. By selecting the “upsize via Royal Orchid Plus” option from the utu Tax Free mobile application, THAI frequent flyers can now upsize their tax refunds on purchases made while travelling and convert them into Royal Orchid Plus miles.

Aeromexico extends partnership with Travelport: Travelport announced that it has renewed its alliance with Aeromexico through a value-based, multi-year distribution agreement. As part of the renewal agreement, Travelport-connected agents will have access to the full range of Aeromexico’s products including NDC sourced content, expanded options and ancillary services. This will increase customer choice and will allow both the airline and travel agents to deliver more tailored content for travellers, and in turn, more value. Aeromexico will also deploy Travelport Rich Content and Branding which provides agents with a graphically rich experience and ensures the airline’s branded fares are marketed effectively from anywhere in the world.

Etihad launces WorldPass: Etihad Airways has announced a new travel solution aimed at corporate and frequent travellers booking from the UAE. The newly launched Etihad WorldPass allows the airline’s customers to purchase a travel subscription which offers complete flexibility and ease with rearranging bookings throughout the year. Etihad WorldPass is available for travel between the UAE and select destinations including the GCC, India, Pakistan, UK and Ireland. Guests can choose between booking a subscription to a single destination or a cluster, for example, all three Etihad destinations in Saudi Arabia. Frequent flyers and corporate travellers will benefit from being able to pre-book between 6 to 40 flights to use in a 12-month period at preferential rates, available in both Business and Economy classes. Etihad’s WorldPass guests can enjoy unlimited free rebooking and cancellation. The booking portfolio can be self-serviced and self-managed through the website, or guests have the option to contact Etihad’s WorldPass dedicated 24/7 contact centre.

Avia Solutions Group raises funding: Avia Solutions Group said it has raised €300 million from Certares Management and Knighthead Capital Management. The transaction was completed after Avia Solutions Group received all required regulatory approvals in relation to the investment. Avia Solutions Group intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for strategic acquisitions, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes. Certares’ participation in Avia Solutions Group’s Board of Directors will further strengthen the governance of the organisation. Furthermore, the partnership will help support Avia Solutions Group’s future development plans as well as provide access to Certares’ complementary expertise and industry network.

SSP America Team wins ACI North America award: SSP America, a division of SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has been awarded two prestigious awards from Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA). The 2021 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Awards celebrate the resilience of airports, concessionaires, and business partners. SSP America team member Caroline (Suzie) Grider who works at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was (DFW) the recipient of the Heroes Award which recognizes a single person from an airport, concessionaire, or service provider who has gone above and beyond to make a positive impact on his or her peers, customers, or the airport community. SSP America was also the recipient of the Best Employee Recognition Program Award for a concessionaire. This category recognizes an airport, concession operator, or service provider with an outstanding employee concessions recognition programme.

Pathfinder Aviation signs deal with Ramco Aviation: Global aviation software provider Ramco Systems announced that it will implement its Aviation M&E MRO Suite V5.9 at Pathfinder Aviation, a heli-charter operator with services ranging from survey and exploration, firefighting, heli-skiing, Department of Defense contracts, oil and gas, utility support, aerial cinema and more. Ramco’s full suite Aviation Software will integrate and automate various operations at Pathfinder Aviation empowering them with a one stop solution to cater to all their complex business needs. The next-gen Aviation Software will offer Pathfinder modules covering Maintenance, Supply Chain Management, Flight Operations, Safety & Quality and Finance, and will seamlessly integrate with Pathfinder Aviation’s existing HR and payroll system, thus replacing multiple legacy applications. The solution will also automate the duty tracking of pilots thereby providing visibility across departments, tracking profitability at an aircraft level and enabling quicker turnaround time for aircraft.

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