Aviation News in Brief 21 October 2020

SSP, Hobart Airport, Sky Express, CFM LEAP, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Asiana, Emirates

Qatar Airways suit seeks US$600 million
The days of social distancing in airports are gone as the industry rapidly recovers. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneSSP gets deal for Hobart F&B: SSP Group has secured a four-year £15 million contract to redevelop the food and beverage experience at Hobart Airport. SSP has partnered with local brands Liv-eat, Coal River Farm and Cascade to bring the best of local and the wider Tasmanian region to Hobart Airport. Additionally, technology is being used to enhance the customer experience with mobile ordering being introduced to the airport for the first time, whereby passengers can order through the convenience of their mobile devices. Travellers will find a strong mix of local favourites, offering the best of locally sourced, Tasmanian ingredients, down-to-earth food and a selection of high-quality beer, along with healthy choices. Three renowned and local Hobart brands will join the line-up: Liv-eat Healthy Eating, a fresh and healthy eating quick service concept; Coal River Farm, serving modern Australian cuisine and its multi-award winning cheese and chocolate; and Cascade, Australia’s oldest operating brewery.

Sky Express selects CFM LEAP-1A: The Greek airline, SKY express, has selected CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1A engine to power four new A320neo aircraft. The engine order is valued at US$130 million at list prices. The airline will also to lease two additional LEAP-powered A320neos. The Athens-based airline was founded in 2005 and has mainly operated domestic flights until now. The acquisition of A320neos is in line with its strategy to open international routes in Europe. Since entering commercial service in 2016, the LEAP-1A engine has logged more than 7 million flight hours with 65 operators that benefit from the LEAP engine 15 percent better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared to the previous generation, along with a significant reduction of the noise footprint.

Qatar Airways to step up ops between Singapore and Doha: Qatar Airways announced that it will increase services between Singapore and Doha to twice-daily from its current once-daily schedule, starting from 25 October 2020. Services to the Lion City will be operated by the Airbus A350-900, offering 247 seats in Economy and 36 Qsuite Business Slass seats that feature individual suite for optimal social distancing onboard. Additionally, the airline also announced that it will be launching four-weekly flights to San Francisco, beginning 15 December. The airline currently operates over 700 flights weekly, and plans to rebuild its network by December 2020 to over 120 destinations including 21 in Africa, 10 in the Americas, 42 in Asia-Pacific, 38 in Europe and 13 in Middle East.

South Korean aviation sector shows positive signs: The South Korean aviation sector, which had witnessed a sharp decline in the first quarter (Q1) due to COVID-19 pandemic, is showing signs of recovery with the country’s two major carriers Korean Air Lines (Korean Air) and Asiana Airlines reporting positive results in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. However, a full recovery will take time considering the impact of the spread of the pandemic, according to GlobalData. Reportedly, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines had a market share of 19.24 percent and 13.64 percent, respectively, in Q2 2019. The companies reported operating losses in Q1 2020. However, the two airlines have turned it around in Q2 2020. Korean Air reported a year-on-year operating profit in Q2 on account of surge in cargo sales.

Emirates adds on-board services: Emirates is rolling out a redesigned on-board experience. The celebrated A380 Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa have resumed operations with the introduction of additional health and safety measures. The airline has also enhanced its offering, introducing a nutrient-rich welcome drink for the winter season. The A380 Onboard Lounge, which serves First and Business Class customers, will transform into a take-away bar with limited seating capacity and social distancing protocols in place. The bar continues to serve wines, spirits, soft drinks and pre-packaged lounge bites for customers to take and enjoy in the comfort of their own seats. Customers can also make their orders from their seats if they prefer. The social areas in Business Class on select Boeing 777 aircraft and in First Class also re-opened with pre-packed snacks for customers to grab and go. From November 1, Emirates’ onboard dining experience will return to its signature service while observing strict hygiene protocols. Customers in all classes will enjoy multi-course meals and choose from a complimentary selection of beverages including wine and beer, as well as juices and soft drinks. Cocktails will also be served in premium classes. In Economy Class, customers can choose from 2 wines; in Business Class, customers can choose from 6 wines including port and champagne, while in First Class, customers will have a selection of 11 wines including a dessert wine, port and Dom Perignon champagne.

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