Japan’s Peach Aviation celebrates 9th anniversary: Peach Aviation is celebrating its ninth anniversary. Peach started out with just two domestic routes when it launched its first service 1 March 2012. Currently, it operates 32 domestic and 17 international routes, and has served some 37 million passengers in total so far. In this one year, it established 10 domestic routes, including the first LCC route serving Memanbetsu, and its first routes serving Nagoya (Chubu) and Oita. Representative Director and CEO Takeaki Mori said, “we would like to express our profound gratitude to every customer who has chosen to use Peach and the many other parties concerned who support us. Thanks to the support of all those passengers who travelled with us and many others, we are now able to celebrate our ninth anniversary in this way amid a significant change in the way we all travel. We will continue to cultivate new demand from our various bases at New-Chitose, Sendai, Narita, Chubu, Kansai, Fukuoka and Naha airports.”
Qatar Airways named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by eDreams: Qatar Airways has been acknowledged for its performance during the global pandemic as the best airline in the world by eDreams, one of Europe’s largest online travel agents. The accolade drew on feedback from over 61,000 customers across 667 airlines awarding marks for service quality not only on board, but throughout each customer touchpoint, including flight refunds, reliability, ticket flexibility, value for money, overall experience and safety. Qatar Airways topped the rating with a score of 4.4 / 5, reflecting the range of measures to support customers and trade partners during the pandemic, including the most flexible booking and refunds policy. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori welcomed the award from eDreams: “We are thankful and very honoured to receive this award coming from one of the leading global trade distributors. This reflects the uninterrupted and full commitment of Qatar Airways to our customers and the trade since the first day of the pandemic. We have worked hard to be the most trusted and reliable airline for our travel trade partners.”
Emirates offers new Economy Class options: Emirates’ Economy Class customers can now buy more personal space and privacy onboard with the ability to purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight. These seats will be offered to all Economy Class customers holding a confirmed booking. Customers will not be able to pre-book empty seats, as these are subject to availability. Empty seats will only be offered for purchase at the airport check-in counter prior to flight departure, and costs range from AED 200 to AED 600 (US$ 55 to US$ 165) per empty seat, plus applicable taxes depending on flight sector. Emirates has introduced this new seat product on the back of customer feedback, addressing the needs of a range of customers seeking extra privacy and space while still flying in Economy Class. This includes couples who wish to have the entire row to themselves (maximum of three seats in same row), parents travelling with in-lap infants, or those who simply want the added assurance of more space while travelling during pandemic times.
First ALSIM ALSR20 simulator in Germany: ALSIM announced the sale of an ALSR20 to IFR-Flugschule, based in Germany. Their ongoing cooperation with a Cirrus Training Center has led the ATO to choose the brand new ALSIM’s simulator. The ALSR20 is the latest device manufactured by ALSIM and is the exact replica of the Cirrus SR20 aircraft. This Flight Training Procedure Trainer (FNTP 2) is specifically designed for PPL and IR training needs. The device reproduces the Cirrus SR20 specific interior cockpit and flight deck and comes along with a Garmin GDU 1050A and GFC 700 Autopilot. The ALSR20 is equipped with a Garmin GMA 350C – All digital Audio Panel and a Garmin GCU 479. The device can also simulate the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).
Gazpromneft Aero completes blockchain test: Gazpromneft Aero, the aviation fuel operator of Gazprom Neft, has successfully completed tests of its Smart Fuel blockchain-based system for digital aviation refuelling which allows instant payments. The platform, which cuts payment processing times from 4-5 days to 15 seconds, has already been used for more than 100 scheduled flights and Smartavia, VTB Bank and Raiffeisenbank have become partners in the project operating at Murmansk international Airport. Refuelling requests, payment and the exchange of accounting documents are all carried out via applications installed on tablets held by pilots and refuelling operators. Blockchain technology guarantees transaction data is saved in the system and available to all the participants. Data from the Smart Fuel system is synchronized with an airline’s electronic flight bag and the digital aviation fuel accounting system of fuel trucks ensuring the refuelling and information exchange process is fully automated.
Bye eFlyer 2 Serial #001 assembly underway: Assembly of the fuselage for Serial #001 of Bye Aerospace’s two-seat all-electric eFlyer 2 is now underway, Bye Aerospace announced. George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, said images of the fuselage assembly illustrate important eFlyer 2 program progress. “We appreciate the high-tempo level of support that Steve Ruege and his great team at CUG are giving to this project,” Bye said. Ruege is CEO of Composites Universal Group (CUG), based in Warren, Ore. Bye Aerospace contracted with CUG to begin assembly of the production eFlyer 2 fuselage, the first major component being assembled. CUG will also assemble the Toray carbon composite wings for the production eFlyer 2 aircraft. In addition, Bye reported that most System Specific Certification Plans (SSCPs) are nearing completion and in final approval coordination with the FAA. “Even with the challenges presented to us by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, our team remains laser focused on collaboration efforts with the FAA on the eFlyer 2’s certification programme,” he said. Bye said he was also pleased to announce the company’s latest market update. “Bye Aerospace now has a backlog of 717 purchase deposit agreements for eFlyer 2, four-seat eFlyer 4 and other Bye Aerospace all-electric aircraft,” he said. “We are closing several new agreements and expect to make additional market announcements very soon.”
ICAO: Closer coordination needed for vaccine distribution: Speaking to European and North Atlantic Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) recently, ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu emphasised that while COVID-19 vaccines are now offering hope of a more imminent pandemic recovery globally, closer collaboration and procedural alignment among air transport stakeholders will be needed to get the billions of doses to their destinations safely, securely and rapidly. “We must continue to reinforce to decision makers that air cargo supply chains are critical to these efforts,” Liu said. “ICAO has published safety and security guidelines for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and we’ve also enacted our Vaccine Action Plan to more efficiently align vaccine efforts with applicable CART guidance and other ICAO provisions related to air cargo.” Vaccine distribution is consistent with the traditional expectation societies have placed on air freight for the global distribution of many pharmaceuticals, through well-established global procedures. Some COVID vaccines, however, pose exceptional temperature requirements far beyond what aircraft and supply chains were formerly expected to maintain. “Our latest vaccine planning takes on board economic considerations, as well as the relevant provisions of Annexes 6, 9, 17, 18 and 19 to the Chicago Convention which are relevant to efficient and safe transport of vaccine cargo by air,” Liu stated. “More will be required, however, including the adaptation of current infrastructure, procedures, and resources. These responses in turn will need to be tailored on the basis of whether a country is a vaccine supplier or recipient, or both in some cases.”
Taiwan’s ezTravel joins Amadeus NDC: ezTravel, Taiwan’s leading online travel agency (OTA), is implementing the Amadeus Travel API. This NDC-enabled solution gives OTAs in Asia-Pacific and across the world access to new content and fares from airlines via NDC connectivity. The new NDC-enabled Amadeus Travel API will give ezTravel access to aggregated NDC and non-NDC content. Through this solution, ezTravel will also have access to the main servicing capabilities that an agency requires once a booking via NDC has been made, such as changes, cancellations, or adding ancillaries. As the first travel agency in Taiwan to adopt an NDC-enabled web services solution to fit the needs of OTAs, ezTravel customers will be empowered to shop, order, and pay for flights and related services, and to add ancillaries and services to the booking, using the NDC standard.
BOC Aviation delivers final Airbus A320NEO aircraft to Air China: BOC Aviation announced that it has delivered the final aircraft of a 10 new Airbus A320NEO aircraft transaction with Air China. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF PW1100G-JM engines. Robert Martin, managing director and CEO of BOC Aviation, said, “this delivery reflects the level of cooperation that we have built with Air China, with significant teamwork on both sides needed in the delivery of all ten A320NEO aircraft. We look forward to further developing our long and successful relationship with Air China as we continue to provide our airline customers with more fuel-efficient and technologically advanced aircraft solutions.”