Volocopter conducts first crewed eVTOL flight in France: On 21 March Volocopter became a two-time pioneer as the first eVTOL developer to conduct both crewed and remotely piloted test flights in France. The crewed flights were part of a week-long urban air mobility (UAM) test campaign that will give Volocopter and its partners – Groupe ADP and RATP Group – key insights for subsequently launching the UAM industry in time for the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. Volocopter’s full-scale testing prototype, the 2X, was used to perform successful flight tests at Pontoise airfield in Paris to measure the aircraft’s noise emissions. This data will be used by the company’s partners to shape the future of urban air mobility services in and around Paris. “We have demonstrated our pioneering power once again here in Paris,” said Volocopter’s chief commercial officer Christian Bauer. “By flying our aircraft in a crewed configuration at a Paris airport, we are proving to one of our launch cities firsthand that our aircraft will offer a practical addition for potential airport-to-city routes.”
Awery Aviation Software reports ‘record’ growth: Awery Aviation Software has reported a 400 percent growth in transactions over the last six months with its CargoBooking and eMagic software processing over 4,000 transactions a month. CargoBooking supports airlines and their General Sales Agents (GSAs) to deliver instant air cargo quoting and booking with Application Programming Interface (API) integration to freight forwarders. EMagic converts emailed enquiries in different formats and languages into standard data formats, eliminating the need for manual processing. “After the uncertainties of the last two years, air cargo stakeholders understand the urgent need to digitise in order to ensure they have resilient supply chains that can deliver, whatever crisis they are facing,” said Vitaly Similanets, Chief Executive Officer, Awery. “Our platform can provide the scalable, cost effective solutions they need and our growth is testament to that. As the industry seeks to digitise stakeholders, including airlines and GSA’s, should all be taking a more collaborative approach to data sharing to assist in accelerating transformation.” Similanets went on to stress that although progress with air cargo digitalisation had been significant, there needed to be greater stakeholder understanding as concerns over data sharing and security could create unnecessary bottlenecks. Awery’s growth over the previous six months has been a testimony to its resilience planning as a large number of Awery’s staff had been Ukraine based. Over the past weeks Awery has helped move the majority of its staff and their families to new offices and homes in Sofia, Bulgaria, and other European cities.
Air New Zealand Airpoints renews its partnership with ANZ: Air New Zealand and ANZ Bank New Zealand have renewed their existing partnership relating to the Air New Zealand Airpoints programme for another five years. The strategic partnership between the two iconic brands was first established in 2010 and since then has provided thousands of ANZ Airpoints Visa cardholders with Airpoints Dollars and a range of other card benefits. Air New Zealand General Manager Loyalty Kate O’Brien says the re-signing of ANZ will breathe new life into one of the oldest partnerships in the Airpoints programme. This renewed partnership comes at a pivotal moment for the Air New Zealand Airpoints programme and we’ll be working closely with ANZ to explore new products and services to enhance the experience for our mutual customers.” The re-signing of ANZ strengthens the Airpoints programme. Following the recent announcement of a new Airpoints earning partnership with Smiths City and increased product range on the Airpoints Store, Air New Zealand’s loyalty programme offers more choice and greater rewards to valued Airpoints members.
Emirates to re-instate pre-pandemic flight frequencies to India: Emirates has re-introduced pre-pandemic flight frequencies to its destinations in India. The airline will be operating 170 weekly flights to nine cities in the country. The move comes on the back of the decision by the Indian government to restore international flights to and from the country in line with established bilateral agreements from the end of March 2022. Emirates will be operating the following flights: Mumbai- 35 weekly flights; New Delhi- 28 weekly flights; Bengaluru – 24 weekly flights; Chennai- 21 weekly flights; Hyderabad- 21 weekly flights; Kochi- 14 weekly flights; Kolkata – 11 weekly flights; Ahmedabad- nine weekly flights; Thiruvananthapuram – seven weekly flights. Emirates has also brought back its customer-favourite Airbus A380 on a daily basis between Dubai and Mumbai in March 2022. Emirates flight EK 500/ 501 is operated by the iconic double decker aircraft.
China Airlines prepares for increased services: As part of its continuous review of travel demand, China Airlines is planning to increase the number of passenger-carrying services in its summer schedule, starting with a 20 percent increase in services for April and May. Further adjustments will be made on a rolling basis in response to the latest quarantine policies. The global airline industry launched its summer schedule on March 27 and China Airlines will begin increasing its service frequency from the end of March. Cross-strait services consist of the Beijing, Shanghai (Pudong), Xiamen and Chengdu routes. The Songshan-Shanghai (Pudong) route in particular will be increased to six services per week; the Taoyuan-Shanghai (Pudong) route will be increased to five services per week; the Kaohsiung-Shanghai (Pudong) route will be increased to three services per week, while the Hong Kong route will be increased to five passenger-carrying services per week. On Southeast Asian routes from April onwards, Bangkok (Thailand) will be expanded to three services per week; Singapore will be increased to two services per week; Penang (Malaysia) will be increased to one service per week; Manila (Philippines) will be increased to four services per week; Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) will be increased to three services per week, Hanoi (Vietnam) will be increased to three services per week, and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) will be increased to two services per week.
Denmark’s Naviair selects Frequentis ATM: Naviair, the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) of Denmark, will replace its current Clear-The-Sky (CTC) backup Air Traffic Management (ATM) system with a PRISMA backup solution from Frequentis Comsoft, capable of providing continuous traffic handling, for unlimited time periods. The project will form part of an expansion of the Remote Digital Tower (RDT) contract between Frequentis DFS Aerosense GmBH and Naviair. This expansion of the RDT project will build upon the PRISMA APP solution integrated in the RDT system currently being implemented for Billund Approach and Tower. It will include PRISMA Enroute for Naviair’s Area Control Centre (ACC) and APP for approach/tower units in Copenhagen, Billund and Roskilde airports. Naviair selected the integrated digital tower and approach solution from Frequentis DFS Aerosense in early 2020 to manage increasing airspace demand and support the workload of Air Traffic Control Operators (ATCOs). The initial remote tower centre at Billund airport will house the system, which is a combination of a RDT and an approach automation solution (PRISMA APP).
Aergo Capital acquires three B737NGs from AerCap: Aergo Capital Limited has acquired three Boeing 737NG aircraft from AerCap, bearing manufacturer serial number 30692, 30674 and 30705 which are subject to leases with Enter Air, LAM and Ethiopian Airlines respectively. Fred Browne, Chief Executive Officer of Aergo, commented: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the acquisition with AerCap. With this transaction, Aergo has added two new customers to its growing portfolio. We look forward to completing many more transactions together in the future.” Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP acted as lead counsel to Aergo. Aergo is a fast-growing international aircraft leasing platform with established locations in Dublin, New York, Hong Kong and Nairobi. Since 2014, Aergo Capital has partnered with CarVal Investors and is now owned by funds managed by CarVal. Aergo Capital’s current fleet comprises of a mix of widebody, narrowbody and turboprop aircraft with an average age of 8.4 years. As of February 2022, Aergo Capital’s owned and managed portfolio comprised of 204 assets, valued at approximately $4.0 billion and diversified across a portfolio of 31 lessees and 26 countries.
Skandia awarded FAA STCs for acoustic soundproofing: Skandia has received FAA and EASA STC approvals for its acoustic soundproofing kit for the Bombardier Challenger 600 series of business jets. Skandia engineered and tested the soundproofing kit for the Challenger 600 series aircraft in 2020. The kit delivers an exceptional cabin experience, reducing overall dB(SIL) levels significantly with minimal net weight penalty. The remarkable acoustic qualities of the Skandia soundproofing system represent state of the art material and engineering technology. The available Challenger 600 series kit is provided as turnkey with installation schematics and instructions for a straightforward install process. Tanya Morris, Skandia’s Regional Sales Manager, has been key to the company’s efforts in bringing turnkey acoustic solutions to market. This includes the full-spectrum of business aircraft sizes and classes, from turboprop to large cabin jets. “The Bombardier Challenger 600 series STC approvals mark the company’s latest business class aircraft soundproofing STC to have received FAA and EASA approvals. Skandia began the program with approved kits for the King Air 200 and Pilatus PC-12. Now, as we move into larger jet aircraft, we continue to apply our state of the art engineering and material technology to business aircraft of every class. You can expect to see soundproofing kits for even more aircraft in the coming years. Skandia’s team of acoustic engineers and soundproofing materials are the best in the industry.”
Hans Airways targets summer launch: Hans Airways, the new British long-haul airline, has achieved some significant milestones, taking it closer to realising its plan to start commercial operations in early summer. CEO and founder Satnam Saini is extremely encouraged that India re-opened to international scheduled flights recently. The company formally confirmed its January 2022 Letter of Intent for its first Airbus A330-200 (MSN 950) with a committed contract. The aircraft is now in Abu Dhabi where it is undergoing maintenance checks with Etihad Engineering, overseen by a Hans Airways liaison engineer. The management team and Board is looking forward to securing a proving flight date imminently from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. This operational milestone will be a precursor to obtaining its Air Operator’s Certificate. Twelve newly recruited cabin crew members start their training at Birmingham and Manchester soon, engaged through the Resource Group and Neeru Prabhakar, former cabin service director/trainer/recruitment at British Airways for 30 years, joined Hans Airways last month. This follows the completion of pilot training at the end of January – specifically ground school at IAGO Flight Training, Crawley and simulator training at L3 Harris. Hans Airways is proud to have employed some exceptional commercial pilots, who have garnered experience with a variety of low-cost, legacy and regional airlines.
Collinson Partners with Visa to provide COVID-19 testing: Collinson announced that it has partnered with leading global payments technology company, Visa, to offer a range of pre-departure COVID-19 travel tests, including RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests, to all Visa cardholders. The partnership launched on 25 March and results in COVID-19 testing services being available to Visa cardholders in Singapore, other APAC markets and the United Kingdom. The partnership will allow for a seamless and secure COVID-19 testing process for Visa cardholders, who will be able to book a test at their preferred in-city clinic from a list of testing facilities through Collinson’s website. Upon completion of their test, customers will receive a test certificate with their PCR test results within 36 hours, and within an hour, from the clinic directly, for Rapid Antigen tests; which if negative, can then be used for travel.