Aviation News in Brief 14 August 2020

Unisys, Air New Zealand, Istanbul Airport, ACI Health Accreditation, Cebu Pacific, FL Technics, GAMA coalition, Cessna SkyCourier, Trip.com, AirAsia.com

Changi Airport
As passenger travel recovers, scenes like this near empty Changi Airort in Singapore are becoming fewer. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

Use this oneUnisys AirCore PSS recognised with IATA certification: Unisys announced it has received a ONE Order certification from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for Unisys AirCore, a modern Passenger Services System (PSS) with a range of offerings that allows airlines to optimise their sales and customer service capabilities across all aspects of the passenger journey. Developed by IATA, the ONE Order standard allows airlines to modernise the order management process by creating one standardised order record, instead of having multiple, disparate processes for booking, ticketing, delivery and accounting methods. By establishing a single point of access through which airlines can view the passenger’s full travel experience, airlines have the data and resources necessary to provide improved customer service. Awarded in the second quarter, this latest certification highlights AirCore’s ability to support comprehensive products and services ordering and delivery capabilities, allowing airlines to sell and fulfil customised offers to their customers. AirCore is a modern PSS with a full range of passenger services solutions that optimises airline customer and employee experiences at all stages of the air travel journey. The full range of core services – including inventory, order management, offer management, reservations, ticketing and departure control – results in a comprehensive, modular system that can complement, enhance and transform legacy airline passenger services systems into a full-service retailing platform. Fares and ancillary offerings are optimised by applying sophisticated business rules so that airlines can offer a wide range of products and services, ultimately delivering a better travel experience.

Air New ZealandAir New Zealand update on Australia flights: Due to Australian government restrictions Air New Zealand has put a further hold on bookings to Australia. The Australian government has extended its cap on international arrivals until 24 October. There is currently a cap of 25 passenger arrivals per flight into Brisbane and around 40 passenger arrivals per flight into Sydney. International passenger arrivals into Melbourne are not currently permitted. Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Cam Wallace says the airline is placing a hold on future bookings to Melbourne until late October to prevent further disruption to customer journeys. “We know this is not an ideal situation for people wanting to return home to Australia and our teams are working to minimise disruption to customers as much as possible. We’d like to thank our customers for their patience at this time as we work to comply with these government restrictions. When it comes to flights to Sydney, we do have availability from early September for those who wish to book. With Brisbane, while there is currently a hold on new bookings, we expect flights may become available as customers make changes to their bookings or no longer wish to travel, so customers should keep an eye out on our website.”

Istanbul Airport first to achieve ACI Airport Health Accreditation: Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI EUROPE have announced that Istanbul Airport is the first airport to be accredited through its new Airport Health Accreditation programme. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme assists airports by assessing new health measures and procedures introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with ICAO Council Aviation Restart Task Force recommendations and in alignment with the joint EASA and ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol and ACI EUROPE’s Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports. Topics covered by the accreditation include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing (where feasible and practical), staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities. “I am very impressed in how the industry has swiftly adapted to new realities to introduce new protocols based on globally-consistent protocols,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “We congratulate Istanbul for being the first airport to be accredited through our new Airport Health Accreditation programme which demonstrates that they are focused on the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public. This will be crucial as our industry begins to restart and then prepare to sustain continuing operations, providing to passengers and employees high globally-recognised standards on health and hygiene, which will help to restore public confidence in air travel.”

cebu-pacific-joins-iataCebu Pacific resumes flights for essential travel between Singapore and Manila: Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ largest carrier, has restarted flights between Manila and key Asian destinations in August. This is on top of its once-a-week flights from Manila to Seoul (Incheon), and twice weekly flights between Manila and Dubai. CEB has begun to operate flights to Singapore from Manila on 10 August 2020. “We are taking a conservative and agile approach to rebuilding our international network. While demand remains soft, there is latent demand for travel, particularly from stranded individuals and those who are eager to come home to visit their families,” said Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and customer experience of Cebu Pacific. Travel regulations issued by the governments of Singapore and Philippines will be implemented as necessary. These include a requirement to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 screening or test, and a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Additionally, in line with directives from the Philippine government, all Cebu Pacific passengers will be required to wear face shields during the entire flight, effective August 15, 2020. This is on top of the mandatory use of face masks upon entering the airport terminal until arrival at the destination.

FL Technics renews GCAA Part 21 (Design) in UAE: FL Technics, a global MRO services provider, has renewed its GCAA Part 21 (Design) certificate for yet another year. The news comes after a series of rigorous checks and audits performed by the GCAA of the UAE, prolonging FL Technics’ certification in UAE for the fourth year since 2017. The Part21 certificate is of great importance for FL Technics, as the MRO provider aims to offer clients the widest possible service portfolio. The certificate enables the company to continue carrying out interior, avionics and passenger cabin modifications as well as providing materials required for the projects implementation. During the years, FL Technics has performed various projects for a number of carriers located in the Gulf region with the most recent works for flydubai. The renewal of the certificate will also allow the company to keep supporting its long-term customer Wizz Air, with its newly established joint venture, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. Additionally the renewal will enable FL Technics to propose ideas and implement safety-oriented solutions related to the Covid-19 situation for all local operators to contribute to UAE airline market growth.

Aviation manufacturing industry coalition calls for support: A coalition representing the aviation manufacturing industry comprised of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced their collective support for the bipartisan Preserve Jobs in the Aviation Manufacturing Industry Act introduced by US Representatives Ron Estes (R-KS) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), the companion bill to S. 3705, the Public-Private Partnership to Preserve Jobs in the Aviation Manufacturing Industry Act of 2020 introduced by US Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Both bills would help protect jobs in the aviation manufacturing industry, its supply chains, and aircraft maintenance repair companies that have been devastated by the global drop in air travel. The impact of commercial and government sales on the workforce cannot be understated. Four jobs are created for every million dollars in direct sales revenue generated by the industry. “The aviation manufacturing and maintenance industry continues to face stiff headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud and are deeply grateful to Representatives Estes and Larsen for their work to support the industry’s highly skilled workforce as well as Senators Moran and Warner for introducing similar legislation in the Senate. Given that general and commercial aviation are significant contributors to the US economy, it is essential that both industry and government partner together to protect aviation manufacturing and maintenance jobs in this vital sector. I am very pleased to join with my fellow industry association leaders, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, in supporting these legislative initiative to sustain our incredible aviation manufacturing workforce and companies during these uncertain times,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA president and CEO.

Momentum builds for Cessna SkyCourier: Textron Aviation announced the successful flight of its second Cessna SkyCourier flight test article (P1). The milestone flight for the high-wing, large utility aircraft comes just two-and-a-half months after the prototype Cessna SkyCourier first took to the skies on 17 May. The P1 aircraft is the first conforming production flight test aircraft and is the first airframe configured as a freighter. The Cessna SkyCourier is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation. The first flight of P1, piloted by Peter Gracey and Todd Dafforn, lasted one-hour and 35-minutes reaching a maximum altitude of 14,200 feet with a maximum speed of 210 knots. The aircraft will be used for the flight test programme, primarily for systems testing, including propulsion, environmental control and avionics. The aircraft joins the Cessna SkyCourier prototype in the flight test certification programme, which will include three variations of flying aircraft. Since the Cessna SkyCourier prototype completed its first flight in May, the aircraft has successfully completed 38 flights and logged more than 76 flight hours. Through the flights, the team has been able to expand speed and centre-of-gravity envelopes, complete preliminary engine and propeller tests, as well as initial stability and manoeuvrability tests.

Trip.com and AirAsia.com announce strategic partnership: Travel services provider Trip.com announced a strategic partnership with AirAsia.com that will see the two companies collaborate on a range of products and services available on both digital platforms including cooperation in the areas of transit information for connecting flights, membership benefits and product marketing, to deliver an enhanced and streamlined experience for travellers. The cooperation is expected to generate synergies for both digital platforms, and is a joint initiative to spur greater demand for international travel by providing travellers with an end-to-end product offering, from flights to hotels, airport transfers, and activities. Trip.com Group’s Premium Members will also be able to enjoy upgraded privileges on AirAsia flights when they book on Trip.com Group platforms.

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