Aviation News in Brief 4 Jan 2020

Airbus, Aston Martin, Embraer, Air Kiribati, VietJet, Air India, Sabre.

The  special edition of the ACH130 helicopter comes equipped with a range of four interior and exterior designs generated by Aston Martin. (PHOTO: Airbus Corporate Helicopters)

airbusAirbus teams up with Aston Martin on ACH130: The ACH130 Aston Martin Edition, the first offering from the recently-announced partnership between Aston Martin Lagonda and Airbus Corporate Helicopters, was revealed recently at Courchevel in the French Alps. This  special edition of the ACH130 helicopter comes equipped with a range of four interior and exterior designs generated by Aston Martin. Available in four external liveries with complementary interiors, the helicopters are embellished with Aston Martin signature elements, starting with the iconic Aston Martin wings, which are embossed onto luxury leather features positioned throughout the cabin. The Stirling Green-themed external scheme, which is already flying on the first aircraft, features a painted gradient, which fades down into Jet Black on the underside of the helicopter with Skyfall Silver around the cowlings. Further external liveries are available with other Aston Martin paint colours including Xenon Grey, Arizona and Ultramarine Black. Each of these special edition helicopters will have a plaque included on the instrument panel which shows the partnership logos, the registration of the aircraft, the edition number and the owner’s name, should they wish to have it included.

airbusAir Kiribati receives first E190-E2 Jet: Air Kiribati, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kiribati, has received its first E190-E2 jet. Embraer announced the contract with the government of Kiribati, in partnership with its national airline, Air Kiribati, in December 2018. The airline ordered two E190-E2s and has purchase rights for two more. Air Kiribati is the launch operator for the E190-E2 in Asia-Pacific. The aircraft will be configured in a dual class layout seating 92 passengers in total, with 12 seats in Business Class and 80 seats in Economy Class. Located in the central Pacific, Air Kiribati can now fly longer domestic and international routes than it currently does with its turboprop fleet. With a maximum range of up to 2,850 nautical miles, the E190-E2 can serve destinations throughout the vast expanse of Kiribati, including nonstop from Tarawa to Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, one of the most challenging routes in the Pacific. The current domestic flight from Tarawa to Kiritimati requires an international stopover in Fiji.

airbusVietJet receives 240-seat A321neo ACF aircraft: VietJet has received two new Airbus A321 aircraft registered as VN-A521 and VN-A542, increasing the total number of VietJet’s fleet to 80 aircraft. VN-A521 is the third 240-seat A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) aircraft in the world and the two first of its type are also currently operated by VietJet. The new aircraft feature leather seats and premium interior decoration. VietJet’s third A321neo ACF aircraft has an innovative cabin structure to increase the total number of seats to 240.

Air India exits Sabre GDS: Travel technology company Sabre said Air India has decided to discontinue distributing its content through the Sabre GDS. Consequently, Air India content is no longer available to Sabre-connected travel agencies. Sabre officials said they were  disappointed that Air India decided to withdraw from Sabre and that the companies had been working for a year to reach a new agreement. “Unfortunately, after extensive negotiations, we have been unable to come to a new agreement,” Sabre said. “Our teams will continue to work with Air India to finalise an agreement that meets the needs of Sabre, Air India and travel buyers.”

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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