Iberia Express first in Spain to offer Immfly W-IFE
Iberia Express, the low-fare arm of Iberia Airlines is to install Immfly, a wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) solution across its entire fleet in the coming months, becoming the first airline in Spain to offer the service for short to medium haul flights.
Following successful tests on eight aircraft this summer, Immfly has already had positive impact on Iberia Express’ NPS (net promoter score). Addressing an audience at September’s World Aviation Festival 2015, managing director, Gabriel Puig and the CEO and president of Iberia Express, Fernando Candela revealed Immfly is the beginning of Iberia Express’ cabin digital transformation. Through the sponsored entertainment platform video and destination guides have been the most consumed content.
Users access the network via their personal devices, making the service available to the 98% of passengers who already travel with a Smartphone, laptop or tablet and removing the need to install in-seat monitors across an airline's entire fleet.
With the support of over 50 influential multinational partners including Atresmedia Television, BBC, Bloomberg News, Vodafone, EsMadrid, Financial Times, Euronews, and Tripadvisor, Immfly has its eyes firmly set on 2018, when they envision 1,000 aircraft operating the system and 200 million passengers flying with Immfly.
Alcatel-Lucent provides network platform for European Aviation Network
Alcatel-Lucent is providing Deutsche Telekom with a complete LTE network for the provision of the first commercial hybrid LTE and satellite European network for airplane passengers – the first in the world to use LTE.
Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its Radio Access Network (RAN) technology using customised remote radio heads (RRHs) and the IP Mobile Core as well as network operations and field service support.
Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its Radio Access Network (RAN) technology using customised remote radio heads (RRHs) and the IP Mobile Core as well as network operations and field service support.
The system will complement Inmarsat’s S-band satellite services.
Wilhelm Dresselhaus, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Germany and head of the Deutsche Telekom sales account at Alcatel-Lucent, said, “For years, flying has been a communications black-out leaving both business and personal travellers alike feeling out of touch when in the air. We are proud to be an integral technology provider for Deutsche Telekom’s LTE-based ground network effort by adapting our LTE RAN solution to the Inmarsat S-band spectrum. Together, we are able to provide travellers in Europe with high-speed data connectivity in the air.”
Passengers will be able to use their Wi-Fi enabled personal mobile devices to enjoy mobile data access using the seamless transition between the LTE ground network and the satellite network.
Deutsche Telekom and Alcatel-Lucent have previously conducted test flights of the LTE-based network and are working with Inmarsat, a leading global satellite communications provider, which will operate LTE in the S-band. Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat recently announced a strategic partnership for the European Aviation Network to develop and commercially roll-out the network in Europe with a test flight program planned for the hybrid LTE and satellite network in 2017.
Rockwell certified for FANS 1/A upgrade on Bombardier Challenger 604
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Rockwell Collins (Rockwell) a supplemental type certificate (STC) for its Future Airspace Navigation Systems (FANS) 1/A upgrade for Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft equipped with Pro Line 4 avionics.
The FANS 1/A upgrade builds on the Challenger 604’s current flight management system (FMS) and control display units (CDUs) while incorporating a new communications management unit provided by Rockwell Collins.
It offers Challenger 604 operators access to more wind-efficient transatlantic routes to save both time and fuel. For operators requiring SATCOM, Rockwell Collins offers a solution that provides flight crews with reliable voice and data communications over all regions.
“This is the most cost-effective FANS 1/A upgrade available for the Challenger 604,” explained Craig Olson, vice president and general manager of business and regional systems, Rockwell Collins. “Installation is relatively quick, which brings labour costs down. Also, training is reduced since pilots will already be familiar with the FMS and CDU that will remain.”
The upgrade also includes a one-year subscription to Rockwell’s ARINCDirect flight planning solution and mobile application, which gives operators access to FANS 1/A FAA letter of authorisation assistance, flight planning, weather, VHF/SATCOM data link connectivity and 24/7 global support in real time.
Rockwell Collins has already installed several other FANS 1/A solutions for business aircraft, including more than 300 new Pro Line Fusion-equipped Bombardier Global 5000s and Global 6000s as well as and Gulfstream G280 aircraft. The company’s FANS 1/A solution is also part of Bombardier’s Pro Line 21 ‘Advanced’ flight deck for new Challenger 350 and Challenger 650 aircraft and aftermarket Challenger 300 and Challenger 605 aircraft.
fastjet to interline with Emirates
fastjet and Emirates have signed a sales and distribution contract which will enable Emirates' passengers access to fastjet's growing route network across East and Southern Africa.
Emirates passengers will be able to book fastjet tickets through all of Emirates' sales channels using a bespoke link between Emirates’ and fastjet’s reservations system.
The partnership will benefit both fastjet and Emirates with greater passenger traffic and will give travellers in Africa the opportunity to connect to the rest of the world through Emirates' Dubai hub with fastjet providing passengers from African towns and cities.
fastjet chief commercial officer Richard Bodin, commented, "We are absolutely delighted to be working with such a highly regarded and successful airline. Not only will it allow us access to the millions of passengers that Emirates carries, it is also a significant validation of our operation, service and proven low-cost model. We look forward to greeting Emirates passengers on board our aircraft."
September traffic figures announced by Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines has published its preliminary traffic statistics for September 2015.
The company flew 9,206,955,000 revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in September 2015, an 11.4% increase from the 8,267,245,000 flown in September 2014. Available seat miles (ASMs) were increased by 8.4% to 11,133,628,000 in September 2015, compared with the September 2014’s figure of 10,274,379,000.
The September 2015 load factor of 82.7% was a record for the month of September and was up 2.2 percentage points over the 80.5% achieved in September 2014. The airline carried 9,421,347 revenue passengers in September 2015, compared with 8,638,582 last September, a 9.1% increase.
Falko remarketing six Air Tahiti ATR 72-500s
Falko Regional Aircraft has received a mandate from Air Tahiti to remarket six ATR 72-500s as part of the airline’s fleet renewal programme.
Each of the aircraft has been operated since new by the airline and will make way for the ATR 72-600s that the airline has on order. The aircraft, with MSNs 719, 731, 751, 806, 829 and 862, will be available from the fourth quarter of 2015. Air Tahiti has already taken delivery of two ATR 42-600 and one ATR 72-600.
“Falko has an excellent track record of remarketing a wide variety of aircraft types with an extensive history in the regional aircraft market,” remarked Will van Zeventer, the company’s SVP portfolio development. “Our experience, expertise and market knowledge means that we are ideally positioned to help Air Tahiti facilitate the removal of the ATR 72-500 aircraft from its fleet.”
Francis Pierre, technical director of Air Tahiti, added, "We have chosen to work with Falko on this project, as we feel that by combining our resources, and experience in this market segment we can achieve successful placements of these aircraft on the best possible commercial terms."
Virgin America announces September operational data
Virgin America has reported its preliminary operational results for September 2015.
The airline's revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased 6.5% to 814,617,000 from 764,564,000 in September 2015. Available seat miles (ASMs) totalled 1,043,050,000 in September 2015, compared with 965,253,000 last September, an 8.1% increase.
The load factor was 78.1%, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from September 2014’s 79.2%. The number of passengers carried increased 13.9% to a rounded figure of 562,000 from 494,000 in the same month last year.
Great Lakes Aviation reports traffic data for September 2015
Great Lakes Aviation has announced its preliminary passenger traffic results for the month of September 2015.
Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) numbered 2,169,000, compared with 4,229,000 last September, a 48.7% decrease. Available seat miles (ASMs) were cut by 35.7% to 5,840,000 from 9,088,000 for the respective periods.
The load factor thus fell by 9.4 percentage points to 37.1% from 46.5%. The number of embarked passengers dropped by 47.6% to 7,942 from 15,149.
APEX 2015: Lufthansa to launch Spafax’s PROFILE IFE personalisation product
Lufthansa has been confirmed as the launch customer of PROFILE, one of two solutions revealed by Spafax at the APEX EXPO as part of its new ICON family of digital products, designed to provide a more personalised in-flight entertainment (IFE) experience.
PROFILE will complement Lufthansa’s existing IFE content, which is already provided by Spafax. It is scheduled to debut with the carrier in early 2016.
Alexander Feuersänger, Lufthansa’s director of product management for cabin interiors and in-flight entertainment noted, “Lufthansa’s vision is a fully personalised travel chain based on our customers’ preferences. Introducing PROFILE will be an important step for transforming our in-flight entertainment product into a personalised experience.”
Using a custom algorithm to deliver IFE recommendations for customers and build excitement pre-flight, PROFILE will also track the most popular shows across different routes, cities and countries to create passenger-generated recommendations using social media integration tools.
PROFILE also aims to increase ancillary revenue opportunities for airlines with its ability to feature pre-roll advertising, takeovers and other media possibilities.
Spafax CEO, Niall McBain, commented, “The APEX EXPO showcases the best in airline entertainment and ICON represents the best of Spafax’s content and digital expertise. We looked at the world’s leading streaming TV and music providers and decided we could make an even better experience for our airline customers. We’re thrilled that our client Lufthansa, already a customer-experience leader, will be the launch customer for PROFILE.”
APEX 2015: Zii’s RAVE products now line-fit option on Airbus A350 XWB
As an Airbus Contracted Supplier (ACS), Zodiac Inflight Innovations’ (Zii) RAVE in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions are now offerable as line-fit on the OEM’s A350 XWB aircraft.
Zii also revealed at the APEX EXPO that its embedded RAVE Centric IFE was delivered for the first time as a line-fit option on an Airbus A330 in September 2015. Furthermore, the supplier says its solutions are also being assessed as a line-fit option for the Airbus A320 family.
Larry Girard, Zii’s executive vice president, commented, “For too long, there has been very limited choice when it comes to IFEC. We have taken a fresh look at the design of IFEC and are offering airlines a lower cost choice without compromising reliability or features; we already know airlines – and their passengers – like it.
“This is the complete IFEC product,” continued Girard. “RAVE Centric and RAVE Wireless provide passengers with app-based browsing for on-demand movies, TV shows, music, radio and a moving map. Capacitive touch, high resolution screens are embedded in the seats and the intuitive graphical user interface mirrors the usability everyone is used to with smartphones and tablets. The integrated USB charger can be used to power personal electronic devices, which can be used as a second screen and even a passenger control device.”
Twenty five airlines with a total of over 200 aircraft in service are currently using Zii’s IFE solution. “Now that RAVE Centric is a catalogue option on the A350 XWB, we fully anticipate more and more airlines will take advantage of our highly innovative technology,” concluded Girard.
Norwegian continues long-haul growth
Norwegian’s September 2015 traffic figures show a load factor of 88.2%, with the airline stating that long-haul operations contributed considerably to the positive traffic figures.
The airline carried 2,435,240 passengers in September 2015, an increase of 9% year-over-year. The revenue passenger kilometres increased by 11% while available seat kilometres only rose by 3%, resulting in a 6.8 percentage point growth in load factor to 88.2% in comparison to 81.4% for the same period the previous year.
“Norwegian´s long-haul operation continues to make a positive contribution to our growth, with 96% of the seats filled in September. We also see that an increasing number of passengers are taking advantage of our extensive European network to connect onwards to the US or Thailand. This shows the excellent links and travel opportunities that a seamless long- and short-haul operation can create,” declared Norwegian’s CEO, Bjørn Kjos.
September 2015 also saw Norwegian take delivery of three new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operate 99.8% of its scheduled flights, with 84.3% departing on time.
GECAS Regional Aircraft does purchase–leaseback for 2 Nok Air Q400s
The Regional Aircraft Group of GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has delivered two new leased Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops to Nok Air under a purchase-and-leaseback transaction.
GECAS completed a similar purchase-and-leaseback with the carrier in 2014, also for two factory-new Q400 NextGens.
Formed in 2000, GECAS Regional Aircraft Group leases nearly 400 turboprop and regional jet aircraft to airline customers worldwide.
Avmax and True Blue Power gain STC for Li-ion battery on Dash 8 family
Avmax and True Blue Power have been granted a Transport Canada Civil Aviation Administration (TCCA) Part 25 Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for installation of the True Blue Power TB44 (44 amp-hour) lithium-ion aircraft battery on Bombardier Dash 8-100/200/300 aircraft.
The two companies have filed for US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 25 approval of the same STC.
"True Blue Power lithium-ion batteries are a significant technology upgrade from heavy, maintenance intensive NiCad batteries,” explained Tobin Shackelford, Avmax’s vice-president of business development and marketing. “Our simple modification has clear financial benefits visible to the bottom line. For operators focused on squeezing performance, this decision makes for a great day at the office.”
Avmax says the TB44 reduces empty weight and increases useful load by 56-80 lb when compared to NiCad and lead-acid batteries and also reduces maintenance cost significantly by creating 2-year maintenance intervals
The reduction in Dash 8 fuel and maintenance costs can be up to $5,000/year/aircraft when compared with NiCad, while the total value of all cost savings and benefits goes up to $25,000/year/aircraft when compared with NiCad. The lower weight also means carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by up to 3 tons/year/aircraft when compared with NiCad
The TB44 Advanced Lithium-ion Battery utilises a proprietary Nanophosphate Lithium-ion cell chemistry that offers superior energy density, delivering three times the energy per kilogramme when compared to lead acid or NiCad alternatives.
Jetstar launches Auckland–Rarotonga route
From 22 March 2016, Jetstar will commence a year-round thrice-weekly return service from Auckland to Rarotonga on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, becoming the first airline in more than 10 years to connect New Zealand with Australia’s Cook Islands.
All return flights originate from Sydney or Melbourne and Jetstar will offer Australian travellers connecting fares to Rarotonga via Auckland.
“We’re very excited to announce our first direct service from New Zealand to the beautiful South Pacific,” averred Grant Kerr, head of Jetstar New Zealand. “The Cook Islands is a favourite destination for many New Zealanders and we’re confident our low fares to Rarotonga will be warmly welcomed by holidaymakers throughout the country.
“Whenever Jetstar enters a market our low fares help to grow that market. We expect our new flights to Rarotonga will significantly lift passenger numbers from both New Zealand and Australia, delivering substantial benefits to Cook Islands tourism.”
“Rarotonga welcomes more than 82,000 visitors from New Zealand each year and the additional Jetstar capacity from March 2016 will allow the market to grow even more,” added Graeme West, general manager of Cook Islands Tourism. Jetstar estimates its new service will add around 25,000 new return seats a year on the route, representing a capacity growth of more than 15%.
In addition to the connecting flights from Sydney and Melbourne, Jetstar will offer connections from Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth and Palmerston North.
ELFAA passenger numbers continue to rise
The European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) has recorded a 37% increase in passenger numbers year-on-year from July 2014 to June 2015, with member airlines carrying more than 306 million passengers in total.
The total aircraft deployed by ELFAA airlines also rose by 44.4% to 1,353, but the average occupancy still rose by 2.3 percentage points to 86.4% across the same period. Part of this can be attributed to adding British Airways, Iberia and Iberia Express to membership of the association.
John Hanlon, ELFAA’s secretary general, stated, “In contrast to other sectors of the airline industry, ELFAA has recorded positive growth each year since its formation in 2004. Our low fares, combined with reliable quality service, will enable millions more European citizens to travel affordably by air, improving Europe’s connectivity and making a real enabling contribution to Europe’s economic development.”
ELFAA airlines between them employ over 90,000 directly-engaged staff.
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