AAV News in Brief 22 March 2021

Air New Zealand, Travelport, Qantas, Embraer, Vallair, M Jets International, dnata, Etihad, Sabre, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, IATA, Pelican BioThermal, IBS Software, LATAM, Cebu Pacific, FLYdocs

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Use this oneAir New ZealandAir New Zealand sets sights on Hobart: Air New Zealand has announced it is adding Hobart as its 10th Australian destination. The airline will be launching a non-stop service between Auckland and Hobart once quarantine-free travel is up and running. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says he expects this new route to be a great attraction for both Kiwis and Tasmanians. “This route will be a much-needed economic boost for New Zealand’s tourism industry. Our Hobart-Auckland route will open a direct link between 540,000 potential Tasmanian tourists and our biggest city, with regional hot spots like Queenstown and Rotorua a short skip away. We’ll be providing flights on Thursdays and Sundays to make the most of domestic connectivity and provide the best long weekend options for travellers.” Subject to final contract agreement, and government and regulatory approval, the airline will be flying year-round between Auckland and Hobart twice weekly using its A320neo fleet. Tickets will go on sale once quarantine-free travel across the Tasman is available.

Travelport celebrates Qantas NDC bookings: Worldwide travel retail platform Travelport has started the roll-out of bookings on Qantas using IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), the first such trips enabled by a global distribution system (GDS). The milestone comes ahead of NDC booking capabilities being extended gradually to agencies across Australia and New Zealand from April. Early adopters ATPI and Maxim’s Travel, using Travelport’s leading-edge technology, issued the first Qantas NDC tickets via Smartpoint, Travelport’s agency desktop solution. The first passenger to fly via an NDC booking travelled from Sydney to Melbourne on 18 March. With both Smartpoint and Travelport’s API connection now capable of booking Qantas’ NDC content, this successful step marks one of the final milestones in Travelport’s partnership with Qantas to launch its NDC-enabled Qantas Distribution Platform for agents. Starting from April, Travelport-connected agents in Australia and New Zealand who have signed up to the Qantas Channel will gradually be able to make NDC bookings using Smartpoint or Travelport’s API, with key servicing functions including refunds, automated exchanges, and schedule changes, now fully supported in Smartpoint.

Embraer delivers new Phenom to Australia: A new Phenom 100EV has been delivered to an undisclosed customer in Australia. With a list price of US$4.25 million, the Phenom 100EV is the second model of its kind to be delivered to an Australia-based customer in the last 12 months. “We welcome yet another Phenom 100EV to Australia,” said David Taylor, Embraer Executive Jets’ regional sales director for Asia-Pacific. “This outstanding entry-level jet will be a key business tool for its owners to get easier access to their business sites located across multiple regional locations in the country.” With a high-speed cruise of 406 knots and range of 1,180 nm, the Phenom 100EV combines the performance of a jet with the operating costs of a turboprop, transcending the perception of what an entry-level jet can do. There are currently 11 Embraer business jets comprising four different models in Australia and New Zealand. This includes the Legacy 500 and the Phenom 300 series, the world’s best-selling light jet for the ninth consecutive year and most delivered twin jet in 2020. This is according to numbers released by GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association) in February 2021.

Vallair places final B737-400 freighter with M Jets International: Vallair has placed its final B737-400 freighter with Malaysian start-up operator, M Jets. The B737-400 is a legacy product for Vallair and the company will now focus its future freighter conversion programmes on A321, B737NG and ATR variants. The aircraft, MSN 26605, will be the first freighter entered into M Jets’ fleet and will be operated under the brand Kargo Xpress. M Jets, a subsidiary of MMAG Holdings, is the fifth cargo operator in Malaysia and will serve to fulfil Malaysia’s burgeoning supply chain demands, as well as those of neighbouring countries which have seen a surge in air cargo driven by the demands of e-freight and e-commerce due to the pandemic. The conversion was carried out in 2018 and was carried out by PEMCO Conversions. Although Vallair will no longer be converting this aircraft variant, it has confirmed that it will continue to offer legacy support. Vallair recently placed another B737-400 aircraft with an African operator.

Dnata starts baggage cleaning at Changi: dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers, has partnered with the Disinfect Group and Ecas4 Australia to launch a safe, highly efficient and environment-friendly baggage disinfection service at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). Passengers arriving at Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 can take advantage of the innovative solution and have their baggage quickly and safely disinfected before leaving the airport. Disinfect Group’s advanced equipment creates an almost invisible mist that is 100 percent natural, non-toxic, bio-degradable, and can effectively kill over 99.99 percent of bacteria and pathogens, such as coronavirus, on all types of baggage. The mist technology uses Ecas4 Australia’s electrolysed water that consists of two ingredients: salt and water, which are activated with an electrical process. It is proven to be significantly more effective than bleach without the hazards of irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory systems. The technology has been independently tested in private laboratories in Australia, the European Union, UK and USA and deemed completely safe for adults and children with approvals as a hospital grade disinfectant.

Etihad achieves Level 4 NDC certification: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has been awarded the New Distribution Capability (NDC) Level 4 certification, by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). NDC enhances communication between the airline industry and travel agents, which allows for more effective merchandising, competitive propositions and product personalisation. The NDC standard allows Etihad to transform the way its products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travellers by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations such as time-to-market and product differentiation. Level 4 is among the highest NDC certifications awarded by IATA and demonstrates that Etihad’s NDC Offer and Order capability now includes full service and change capability. As a result, partners can now shop, order and amend the order using the NDC connection.

Sabre advances NDC capabilities: Sabre announced three milestones in its progress towards delivering NDC-enabled solutions: NDC content can now be booked through GetThere, Sabre’s corporate online booking tool; Sabre received NDC Level 4 certification as an IT provider; NDC offers from Singapore Airlines are now more widely available through Sabre’s global distribution system (GDS) to qualified agency customers; NDC Level 4 certification as an IT provider After last year’s certification as an aggregator, Sabre is now also certified as NDC Level 4 Capable by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The certification confirms Sabre’s technical ability to support a set of criteria related to full offer and order management capabilities. Sabre is currently piloting NDC capabilities within GetThere, the online booking solution trusted by corporations in more than 100 countries. Business travellers can select policy-compliant NDC offers in addition to traditional content. In the second quarter of 2020, Sabre launched NDC offers from Singapore Airlines, a member of IATA’s NDC Leaderboard and a Sabre Beyond NDC partner, to qualified travel agencies based in Singapore through the carrier’s KrisConnect programme.

Korean Air to trial IATA’s Travel Pass: Korean Air customers will now be able to access IATA’s Travel Pass  that provides a secure system to manage their COVID-19 testing or vaccination information digitally. The trial is planned for the airline’s Incheon-Los Angeles KE011 flight in May after an internal test in April. The IATA Travel Pass can show a passenger’s COVID-19 test results through a mobile phone application. The travel pass will be further developed to include proof of vaccination. “We believe the digital travel pass will improve customer experience for passengers as they can share health information in a convenient and secure manner, and save processing time at the airports,” said Korean Air Chief Customer Service Officer Seungbum Lee. “Korean Air will continue its efforts to provide a safe and seamless travel experience through initiatives such as the travel pass.” Korean Air plans to trial the IATA Travel Pass in May on the airline’s Incheon-Los Angeles KE011 flight. As part of the goal to “Test & Fly,” passengers can take a COVID-19 antigen test at the Incheon Airport’s testing centre, and receive test results within an hour on the Travel Pass mobile app, which passengers need to install in advance.

Pelican BioThermal wins award for packaging products: Pelican BioThermal was announced as the winner of the Best Temperature Control Packaging Provider – Passive category at the annual Asia-Pacific Bioprocessing Excellence Awards 2021. For the third year running Pelican BioThermal successfully scooped an accolade at the prestigious awards event, which celebrates industry leaders and trend-setters in the biopharma sector. Benson Teo, Pelican BioThermal’s senior director of sales for Asia, said: “We are honoured and delighted to win this third award in succession is a fantastic achievement. It is amazing to win an award for our outstanding passive packaging products, repeating our previous success in 2019 when we also won this award category. As the company expands its presence in Asia we are excited to accept this latest award which recognizes our ongoing commitment to delivering excellence and innovation to the biologics sector in Asia and the rest of the world.”

LATAM opts for IBS Software’s iFlight platform: LATAM Airlines Group has deployed IBS Software’s iFlight digital platform to optimise its flight and crew operations across all its Spanish speaking carriers (SSC) and cargo subsidiaries. All the LATAM SSC and cargo subsidiary carriers (LATAM Chile, Colombia, LanExpress, Peru, Ecuador, Chile Cargo, Cargo Colombia, and Cargo Brazil) are already operating on the integrated iFlight Ops and Crew SaaS platform. iFlight is a fully integrated technology platform developed as three specific modules to optimize Ops, Crew and Hub management, making IBS Software the first company to provide the aviation industry with this level of operational insight and management functionality. Through the implementation of iFlight, LATAM’s System Operations Team has a single integrated platform to proactively monitor Ops and Crew management and make informed, data-led decisions. The single view of Ops and Crew means that LATAM can respond in real-time to flight disruptions caused by external factors, improve customer service, reduce delays, and the impact of disruption and cancellation costs. iFlight’s comprehensive cost and KPI monitoring capability will allow LATAM to evaluate the full financial impact of operational decisions and reduce operational cost overruns.

cebu-pacific-joins-iataCebu Pacific adopts cloud-based FLYdocs platform: Cebu Pacific, the largest carrier in the Philippines, has selected the FLYdocs Aircraft Records Management platform for its fleet of 66 aircraft. The agreement will see the founding member of the Value alliance adopt a fully paperless approach to its records management. The FLYdocs platform has an enhanced integration with leading planning and maintenance software, AMOS, to seamlessly interface the two systems to deliver the world’s first and full digital aircraft compliance on-demand. Ian Wolfe, senior adviser for engineering and fleet management at Cebu Pacific said: “The FLYdocs project is a major part of our digitalization strategy and progression toward  becoming a world-class engineering business. Cebu Pacific is now an active user of the AMOS business system and this capability to transfer data between the two platforms seamlessly will really assist in streamlining our day-to-day processes, and enable more timely compliance and accuracy of technical records across our fleet.”

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