BAA Training Vietnam to start 2020 with 90 percent of utilisation: BAA Training Vietnam announced it will end the year and enter 2020 with 90 percent utilisation of the first Airbus A320 full flight simulator. The branch of BAA Training has been established in Vietnam in 2018 as a response to growing pilot demand in Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific region. As the construction of modern and spacious 3,000-square-metre training facilities has been completed in 2019, BAA Training Vietnam started operating its first Airbus A320ceo full flight simulator at the end of the third quarter. Within three months of operations, BAA Training Vietnam used more than 1,400 hours of the full flight simulator providing wet and dry lease services for such airlines like Bamboo Airways, VietJet, and others. The academy prepared 34 pilots for Airbus A320 aircraft type entering from Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and other countries.
Juneyao Air takes off with full cabin Recaro seats: Juneyao Air revealed its new A320NEO aircraft during its first flight on December 15. The Shanghai-based carrier chose to equip its full cabin with Recaro seats: the BL3530 SWIFT will be offering passenger comfort in Economy Class, while the CL4710 seats will do the same in Business Class. Flying with the latter seat model on board also makes Juneyao Air the first airline to be featuring this seat in the APAC region. The two brands joined forces before to equip Juneyao’s flagship Boeing 787-9 fleet with Recaro CL3710 Economy Class seats.
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food opens at Hong Kong International Airport: SSP Hong Kong has partnered with world-renowned, Michelin-starred Chef Gordon Ramsay to bring Gordon Ramsay Plane Food To Go, to Hong Kong International Airport. Located at the East Hall, the seventh floor of Terminal 1, this new food destination offers travellers from all around the world an array of great quality food choices. The all-day menu features some of Gordon Ramsay’s signature dishes including Short Rib Burger and Californian Fried Chicken Burger. SSP also announced it has launched the second phase of its food and beverage openings at Mactan Cebu International Airport. SSP was named as master concessionaire at Mactan Cebu International Airport in 2018, with the group unveiling plans to launch 27 food and beverage units at the airport. The first phase of its plans began last July, which saw the opening of seven outlets – The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Ritazza, Burger King, Bon Chon, Cabin Bar, Camden food co. and Nippon Ramen. The latest outlets feature a combination of well-known global brands and popular local concepts to offer an even wider range of choices to customers. The brand mix was chosen after extensive research into passenger preferences and demographics in order to offer a selection that appeals to all tastes, from people who work locally to international travellers. Among the new facilities is a food court called Food Avenue, which boasts 426 square metres of space and includes five bespoke food and beverage brands – The Bakery, Filipino Delights, Taipei Tea, Lolo Pinoy Lechon de Cebu and Nippon Ramen.
AirAsia commences A321neo flights: Singapore welcomed the maiden flight of AirAsia’s first Airbus A321neo aircraft from Kuala Lumpur. The new aircraft, introduced in November, provides a further boost to AirAsia’s seat capacity for the busy Kuala Lumpur-Singapore sector. With 236 seats and more than 10 percent fuel savings, the A321neo enables AirAsia to meet the strong ongoing demand across the network with significant operational efficiencies, while opening up opportunities to explore new destinations. The A321neo will initially serve three out of 12 daily flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, bringing its weekly seat capacity to a total of 19,348 seats.
Jetstar announces new Air France and KLM codeshare: Jetstar Asia has announced it is launching a codeshare cooperation with both Air France and KLM, while Jetstar Airways will partner with KLM. The codeshare partnerships mean customers from Air France and KLM can now connect in Denpasar and Singapore, providing them more with options to choose from when travelling to and from Europe. Customers will benefit from an expanded network of travel options as well as a seamless travel experience with single ticket itineraries and through-checked baggage. Meals and refreshments are also included for Air France and KLM customers booked on a single itinerary when travelling on a Jetstar Airways or Jetstar Asia flight. Air France and KLM customers will now have access to a wider range of destinations in Southeast Asia by connecting onto Jetstar Asia flights in Singapore, as Air France and KLM place their KL/AF codes on 12 destinations operated by Jetstar Asia.
HAC takes delivery of first ATR 42-600: Regional aircraft manufacturer ATR has delivered the first of two ATR 42-600 aircraft to Hokkaido Air System (HAC), a JAL Group company. This delivery marks the first step in HAC’s replacement of its Saab 340 fleet. The delivery of this aircraft will ensure that essential regional air connectivity in Hokkaido can continue. The ATR 42-600 will offer HAC increased capacity for the same operating costs – generating opportunities for the airline to increase revenues. It will also provide HAC’s passengers with a modern, comfortable cabin featuring latest generation 18”-wide seats as well as more space for luggage in the overhead bins. Hokkaido Air System operates three aircraft and 26 daily departures on five routes.
Wego signs retailing deal with ATPCO: Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), announced it has signed a retailing agreement with ATPCO. Wego will integrate Routehappy Rich Content to enhance flight shopping displays across its meta-search site in 22 languages including – English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic. Through this partnership, Wego will provide Middle East travellers with a richer flight shopping experience in their local language. Wego will integrate all three of ATPCO Routehappy Rich Content types: Amenities, Universal Ticket Attributes (UTAs), and Universal Product Attributes (UPAs) into its shopping display; Amenities: provide at-a-glance information about flight features; UTAs (Universal Ticket Attributes) provide travellers with easy-to-understand benefits and restrictions such as cancellation, refund policies and boarding priority by fare; UPAs (Universal Product Attributes) provide relevant media, captions, and descriptions that define the airline’s products and services by aircraft type, cabin, time of day, etc.
Airbus orders and deliveries: European plane maker Airbus announced several deliveries and orders recently. Air Canada has taken delivery of its first A220-300, designed, built and delivered from the Mirabel A220 programme facilities in Canada. The first aircraft out of an order of 45 will enter service in January 2020, making Air Canada the first airline to operate the A220-300 in North America. Air Caraibes (a member airline of Groupe Dubreuil) has taken delivery of its first A350-1000, the largest member of Airbus’ new generation A350XWB family, making it the first French operator of the type. The airline plans to operate its A350-1000s alongside its three A350-900s and six A330s on routes from Paris to the French Caribbean. The Air France–KLM Group has firmed up an order for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft to modernise its single-aisle fleet. The aircraft are intended to be operated by Air France. Air France-KLM currently operates a fleet of 159 Airbus aircraft. Airbus also announced it has begun deliveries of the first A350s with touchscreen cockpit displays. Specially developed for the A350 together with Thales, they will confer enhanced operational efficiencies, greater crew interaction, cockpit symmetry and smoother information management. On 18 December China Eastern Airlines took delivery in Toulouse of the first A350 equipped with the new devices. To date, around 20 airlines have selected the option for their new A350s.
Magnetic MRO signs new Slot Reservation Agreement: Magnetic MRO, a Total Technical Care and asset management organisation, has signed a Slot Reservation Agreement with Austrian Airlines. Under the deal, Austrian Airlines is booking two nose-to-tail slots during the winter maintenance season, and it will be valid for three years during winter seasons from 2020 until 2023. Austrian Airlines has been using Magnetic MRO services since 2005 when the base maintenance services were provided for Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Since 2013, Magnetic started servicing Austrian Airline’s Airbus 320 family aircraft. By the end of 2019, a total of 60 Austrian Airline’s aircraft has been successfully serviced at the Tallinn facility.
Avion Express to lease four Airbus A320 aircraft to LOT: Avion Express, the largest narrowbody ACMI operator in the world, has reached an agreement to wet-lease four Airbus A320 aircraft to the Polish National Airline LOT. Under the ACMI agreement two Airbus A320 aircraft will start flying for LOT Polish Airlines from 14 of January 2020 and the other two will commence flight operations on 1 February 2020. All of the aircraft will be deployed in Warsaw, whereas flights are set to be conducted within the domestic and international area. Avion Express is the largest narrowbody ACMI operator in the world successfully working with clients in Europe as well as Africa, Asia-Pacific, South America.
ORIX Aviation and GE Aviation Sign asset transfer deal: GE Aviation has teamed up with ORIX Aviation to provide the Asset Transfer System (ATS) to enable ORIX Aviation to connect records and data across the global aviation community. Their trial service is expected to start this month. The Asset Transfer System is a collaborative tool that streamlines and simplifies the way that leased asset documentation is managed between airlines and lessors by allowing operators to organise records in accordance with industry standard. The system enhances the efficiency of lease returns several ways by helping operators harmonise and standardise files, perform collaborative document reviews with their lessor partners, and transfer files through an intuitive digital user interface.