Aviation News in Brief 16 December 2020

Korean Air, Asiana, Amadeus, Singapore Airlines, Rex, Royal Flying Doctor, FlightSafety, OneWeb, AAR, Honeywell, FACC, EHang, RoyalJet, Utility Air, Diamond Aircraft

Planes taking off at sunset
(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneKorean Air, Asiana start inter-line check-ins; Korean Air launches chatbot: Korean Air has started IATCI (Inter-Airline Through Check-In) service with Asiana Airlines. IATCI is a service  that allows passengers to transfer their baggage to their final destination, issue a boarding pass and assign a seat for the connecting flight  while checking in with the first airline. With the implementation of the service, transit passengers using both Korean Air and Asiana Airlines would benefit from convenient customer services. Check-in for connecting flights is available 48 hours prior to departure, and the number of transit passengers between the two airlines at Incheon International Airport was  approximately 12,000 in 2019. Meanwhile, Korean Air also announced it has launched an English-language “Chatbot” service on Facebook messenger and Korea’s instant messaging application KakaoTalk. Chatbot, also known as a ‘conversational agent’, is an AI-based software application that communicates and interacts with users 24-hours a day year-round. Customers can now solve questions from the travel planning stage until the boarding process in a mobile environment using easily accessible SNS messengers. The airline launched its Chatbot in March in Korean and now has expanded it for English-language users. By launching the service on Facebook, a global social network service with 2.41 billion monthly users, Korean Air aims to improve the experience and convenience for customers around the world.

Amadeus signs deal with Singapore Airlines: Singapore Airlines has deepened its commitment to modern retailing supported by Amadeus technology by making its NDC offers available to travel sellers through the Amadeus Travel Platform. Travel agents worldwide connected to the Amadeus Travel Platform will soon be able to shop, book, and pay for all Singapore Airlines offers made available through NDC as part of the airline’s KrisConnect programme. This includes ancillary services such as seat selection, excess baggage, special fares, and personalised merchandising offers for loyalty members and corporate travellers. This is just the start of more exciting opportunities that NDC will bring, with more content becoming available soon such as dynamic fares. The content will be available in the Amadeus NDC-enabled solutions used by agents today, providing a familiar and efficient booking environment. The Amadeus Travel Platform includes critical servicing functionalities that agents need, such as the cancelation, void, refund and modification of NDC bookings.

Rex resumes flights between Adelaide and Mildura: Australian regional carrier Rex announced that it will resume flights between Mildura and Adelaide with effect From 4 January 2021. Rex was forced to suspend the service in April due to COVID-19 state government border restrictions. From 4 January 2021, Rex will provide the city of Mildura with two return services per week on Mondays and Thursdays. The service from Adelaide to Mildura will depart Adelaide at 12.20pm and arrive in Mildura at 1.55pm. The service from Mildura to Adelaide will depart Mildura at 2.15pm and arrive in Adelaide at 2.50pm. Rex General Manager Network Strategy Warrick Lodge said, “Rex has always been committed to resuming the Mildura to Adelaide service as soon as practical, after the relaxing of COVID-19 related state border restrictions. Rex well understands this is an important transport link for the City of Mildura and surrounding area.”

Royal Flying Doctor services adds FlightSafety trainer: FlightSafety has been selected by the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Central Operations to provide a MissionFit Flight Training Device for use in its Pilatus PC-12NG pilot training programme. The MissionFit FTD is scheduled to enter service in July 2021 at the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations in Adelaide. Due to its portability and ease of installation, the device may also be used for training at the organization’s Alice Springs facility or at other locations. “We are honoured to support the important programmes the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides throughout the central corridor of Australia.” said Nathan Speiser, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing. “The innovative design of MissionFit will help to increase the effectiveness of its Pilatus PC-12NG training program, while providing value and added flexibility.” This advanced technology training device will be equipped with a Synthetic Vision system, as well as Weather Radar and Terrain and Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems.  MissionFit is ideal for use in a wide variety of courses including ground school, systems integration, normal, abnormal and procedures training, general cockpit familiarisation, crew coordination, flight training, and more. MissionFit can be qualified as a Level 5 FTD by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia.

Fourth flight for OneWeb scheduled: OneWeb, the global satellite communications company based in the UK, has scheduled a new launch for its constellation of satellites. The 53rd Soyuz mission conducted by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate will be operated from Vostochny Cosmodrome and represents OneWeb’s fourth launch overall and the third for this year. The launch is scheduled for 18 December. This mission will deliver 36 satellites into orbit, bringing the total fleet to 110 satellites in low Earth orbit. By operating this fourth flight on behalf of OneWeb, Arianespace participates in the fulfilment of its customer’s ultimate ambition: providing internet access for everyone, everywhere, all the time. The first six OneWeb satellites were successfully orbited by Arianespace on Soyuz Flight VS21 from French Guiana in 2019. OneWeb’s mission is to bring internet everywhere to everyone, by creating a global connectivity platform through a next generation satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. OneWeb’s constellation will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity services to a wide range of customer sectors including aviation, maritime, backhaul services, and for governments, emergency response services and more. OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space, where OneWeb Satellites is the constellation’s prime contractor.

AAR named service centre for Honeywell’s B737 MAX: AAR has signed a 10-year agreement with Honeywell to be the sole channel partner licensee for component repair and overhaul services for the OEM’s suite of Electronic Bleed Air Systems (EBAS) covering 15 components on the B737 MAX aircraft. The new agreement supplements AAR’s existing Honeywell license agreement that covers over 1,200 Honeywell components. AAR is also authorised to offer Honeywell’s new product warranty on all of these components including MAX line replaceable units (LRUs) and will provide expert component repair and overhaul services with timely delivery and state of the art customer service. “This meaningful new agreement will allow AAR to support worldwide MAX operators as the fleet returns to service with our expert and proven component repair and overhaul services through our facilities in Amsterdam and New York,” said Ken Hein, AAR group vice president, Component Repair. “Our expertise in pneumatics makes AAR the logical choice to be Honeywell’s strategic partner. We look forward to providing MAX operators with the support they need to relaunch the fleet.”

FACC starts test flights with autonomous aerial vehicle EHang 216: FACC is setting another important milestone in the development of future urban mobility together with its strategic partner EHang. The EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle produced by FACC has completed a successful test flight under the supervision of Austro Control and was granted an experimental flight permit by the Austrian authorities based on the tests performed. This milestone enables FACC to advance further important flight test programs in cooperation with other companies in the industry, research institutions and authorities. The first test flight of the EHang 216 aircraft in national airspace was successfully carried out under the supervision of the Austrian aviation authority Austro Control at the FACC site in St. Martin im Innkreis (Austria). “The successful completion of the test flight of our autonomous aerial vehicle in Austrian airspace marks the start of a comprehensive test program of the EHang 216, laying the foundation for the approval of an innovative, highly flexible and sustainable traffic and transport solution for urban agglomerations. I am very proud of the entire team and would like to congratulate them on this ground-breaking milestone,” said Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC.

RoyalJet installs BBJs with KA band Internet from Honeywell: RoyalJet, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered private aviation company, has recently begun upgrading two more of its Boeing Business Jets with KA band high-speed Internet connectivity, making the two aircraft the third and the fourth BBJs in its fleet equipped with the highest internet speed available on the market. This advanced antenna system and operating software have again been delivered to RoyalJet by Honeywell, a major Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions, including aerospace products and services. The new system is being installed on both aircraft by Swiss-based AMAC Aerospace, one of the world’s foremost experts in the maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification and completion of VVIP aircraft and also a long term partner of RoyalJet. The first aircraft has recently been completed and entered back into service, with the second to follow after its full interior refurbishment is also completed by AMAC. As of today, RoyalJet’s fleet consists of 10 aircraft with a total of eight BBJs, positioning the aviation company as the largest operator of Boeing Business Jets in the world.

Utility Air named Diamond Aircraft parts distributor: Utility Air has confirmed it has been appointed as the exclusive parts distributor for Diamond Aircraft in Australia and New Zealand. The appointment comes as the regional market for general aviation (GA) aircraft strengthens post-COVID and Flying Frequency increases. Scott McFadzean, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Industries, said “we are excited about Utility Air taking on the responsibility for aircraft parts distribution in their region. This will surely improve the service network in the area, cut down lead times on parts, and ultimately support sales in Australia and New Zealand.” “Diamond Aircraft are the best GA Aircraft in the world,” said Utility Air Managing Director Stephen Pembro. “Now, with the introduction of our facility in Sydney, we will be able to provide our owner base with faster access to parts and a large stock holding in the country. This should be a game changer in the region for Diamond and our customers.”

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