Immfly introduces Cinema to its W-IFE solution
Immfly’s wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) platform now offers a selection of films for free under a new channel, Cinema, which has been launched by Iberia Express as part of its Club Express Onboard service.
Immfly has also begun offering branded entertainment channels such as Discovery Networks, National Geographic and The Huffington Post. All content is available in both English and Spanish.
The company has reported that one week after launching this new content, it’s already the most-consumed type of media onboard Iberia Express flights, and that both the number of branded entertainment channels and films are soon to be increased.
“Seven out of ten users access entertainment channels onboard,” stated Oriol Cagigós, Immfly’s head of content. “We place entertainment at the heart of the passengers’ trip and we are committed to providing them with the industry’s best onboard content. Through the Cinema channel we want to deliver the magic of movies onto each users’ very own laptop, tablet or mobile phone so that passengers feel at home while in the air.”
“The Immfly branded entertainment channels enable brands to connect with a previously unreachable audience, at a moment when they are highly captive and receptive,” added Jimmy M. von Korff, co-founder of Immfly. “The great thing is that not only can passengers really enjoy our partners' content during their flights, but they can find out more about their on-ground channels and preview new releases with the opportunity to sign up and continue that interaction after the flight. It’s a powerful, fun new tool for entertainment brands to connect with people flying in Europe.”
NewLeaf Travel begins commercial operations
NewLeaf Travel has completed its inaugural passenger flights to Kelowna and Hamilton from Winnipeg Richardson International Airport where the carrier has its headquarters.
“Today we have made history in Canada. There is now an ultra-low-cost air travel option for Canadians,” remarked Jim Young, president and CEO, NewLeaf Travel Company. “The journey to get here hasn't been without challenges, but today is proof that we are a dedicated group that is committed to providing Canadians with a good deal.”
The new low-fare airline will soon operate 12 times weekly from Winnipeg, flying to Hamilton and Kelowna as well as Abbotsford, Victoria and Edmonton. NewLeaf will also serve Halifax, Kamloops, Moncton, Regina and Saskatoon, making 11 cities in total.
Flights booked through NewLeaf will be operated by Flair Airlines, a licensed Canadian airline flying Boeing 737‐400s. In March 2016, the Canadian Transportation Agency's review of licensing regulations determined that as a reseller of air services, NewLeaf Travel Company is not required to hold an airline licence.
“Success in this venture and in this community is about working with partners to deliver the initiatives and services that our travellers desire,” commented Barry Rempel, president and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA). “Today's inaugural flights speak to both NewLeaf's and WAA's dedication to our community.”
Ryanair 1Q17 profits up 4% to €256m
Ryanair has announced a 4% rise in first quarter profit (1Q17, to the end of June 2016) to €256 million, as traffic grew 11% to 31 million while the average fare fell by 10% to €39.92, although this was offset by a 9% reduction in unit costs.
Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary commented, “This modest 4% increase in Q1 profit to €256 million is in line with previous guidance. The absence of Easter in 1Q17 and ongoing market volatility arising from terrorist events, and repeated ATC strikes (particularly in France) weakened fares on close-in bookings and caused almost 1,000 flight cancellations.
“We remain committed to our load factor active/yield passive strategy which is why 1Q17 fares fell 10% to under €40. Traffic rose 11% and load factor improved by 2 percentage points to 94% as our Always Getting Better (AGB) customer experience programme continues to win new customers and new markets,” O’Leary added.
“Cost control remains core, which is why unit costs reduced 9% (ex-fuel down 4%). Highlights of 1Q17 include: average fares cut 10% to €39.92; 16 new 737-800s delivered; and the share buyback programme (€886 million) completed in June.
“Year 3 of Always Getting Better (AGB) was unveiled in April and continues to improve our customer experience through service, digital and inflight developments. In addition to lower fares and wider destination choices, our customers now enjoy new initiatives such as Leisure Plus, improved Business Plus (with more flexible ticketing) and one-flick payments on our mobile app. In June, we simplified and cut checked bag fees for 92% of our customers.
“Our cost advantage over competitors increased in 1Q17 as unit costs fell 9%,” O’Leary continued. “Fuel fell by €42 million to €518 million in 1Q17. Ex-fuel unit costs were cut 4% due to lower cost aircraft, cheaper financing, discounted airport growth deals, lower sales and marketing spend, and weaker sterling, which was partly offset by slightly higher staff costs as 5 year pay deals kick in across our 84 bases and our headcount rises in line with fleet growth.
“FY17 fuel is 95% hedged at $622 per tonne (around $62 a barrel) which will (allowing for additional volumes) deliver fuel savings of approximately €200 million. Almost 55% of our FY18 fuel is now hedged at just under $500 per tonne (about $50 per barrel). We expect to pass on most if not all of these fuel savings to customers in lower air fares as we continue to grow traffic and routes strongly,” O’Leary stressed.
“The recent UK vote to leave the European Union (EU) was both a surprise and a disappointment. Ryanair, as the UK’s largest airline, had campaigned actively for a ‘Remain’ vote. We expect this result will lead to a considerable period of political and economic uncertainty in both the UK and the EU,” the CEO commented.
“This uncertainty will be damaging to economic growth and consumer confidence and we will respond as always with our load factor active/yield passive strategy. Until some clarity emerges over the next two years about the UK’s long term political and economic relationships with the EU, we will be unable to predict what effect it will have on our business and regulatory environment, but we have contingency plans in place for all eventualities.
“In the near term we expect that Brexit uncertainty will lead to weaker sterling, slower growth in the UK and EU economies and downward pressure on fares until the end of 2017 at least. Over the longer term, if the UK is unable to negotiate access to the single market/open skies it may have implications for our three UK domestic routes and UK nationals on our share register, but these risks are not material and will be manageable. There may also be some opportunities if our UK registered competitors are no longer permitted to operate intra EU routes, or must divest their majority ownership of EU registered airlines.
“In the meantime, we will pivot our growth away from UK airports and focus more on growing at our EU airports over the next two years. This winter we will cut capacity and frequency on many London Stansted routes (although no routes will close) where we are already significantly ahead of our multiyear traffic growth targets,” O’Leary reported.
“We see many growth opportunities for Ryanair’s lower fares and AGB customer experience across Europe. We are, on average, 1% better booked for 2Q17 than at this time last year albeit at significantly lower fares. We expect the load factor will be similar to last year at 93%. We now believe our FY traffic will grow by 10% to 117 million customers (up 1 million on previous guidance).
“At this time, we maintain our guidance, that full year profits will rise by approximately 12% to a range of €1,375 million to €1,425 million, but we caution that post Brexit there are significant risks to the downside during the remainder of the year,” O’Leary concluded.
easyJet to recruit over 1,200 new cabin crew
As part of its continued growth, easyJet is to recruit more than 1,200 new permanent and fixed-term cabin crew positions across all of its 27 European bases, but half of the roles will be based in the UK.
The news comes after easyJet’s announcement earlier this year that it was opening recruitment for more than 350 pilots and providing career opportunities for more than 150 of its current First Officers to be promoted into Captain positions.
Tina Milton, easyJet’s head of cabin service, stated, “We’re delighted to be opening recruitment for more than 1,200 cabin crew positions today. Being cabin crew is a very rewarding role – our teams are extremely professional and energetic with a real sense of fun. easyJet is a fantastic company to work for with everyone across the airline working together as one team to ensure we provide the highest standard of service for our passengers. We’re looking forward to welcoming more people into our growing team.”
New recruits will complete a series of online pre-coursework tasks, then undertake three weeks of practical demonstrations in areas such as safety procedures, aviation security and first aid.
easyJet currently employs over 5,500 cabin crew across its all-Airbus fleet, with the carrier’s onboard team made up of three flight attendants and a cabin manager who work closely with the Captain and First Officer.
Volaris reports strong 2Q16 results
Volaris has announced that its net income for the second quarter of 2016 (2Q16) reached Ps.935 million, an increase of 9.6 percentage points year-over-year.
The carrier booked 3.6 million passengers during the period, up 26.4% on 2Q15. Available seat miles (ASMs) grew by 19.3% on Volaris’s domestic flights and 19.9% on international routes against an overall rise in revenue passenger miles of 24%, resulting in a load factor increase of 3.2 percentage points to 86.1%.
However, the airline's 2Q16 operating income was Ps.388 million, with an operating margin of 7.6%, equal to a year-over-year operating margin decrease of 0.9 percentage points. One reason for this is the depreciation of the Mexican peso by 17.9% against the US dollar, putting pressure on aircraft and engine rent expenses, international airport costs and maintenance expenses.
The total operating revenues per ASM rose by 4.8% year-over-year to Ps.128.9 cents, but the benefits of this were mostly neutralised by a 5.9% increase in operating expenses per ASM to Ps.119.2 cents.
Elsewhere, non-ticket revenues for 2Q16 were Ps.1,317 million, an increase of 34.7% in comparison to 2Q15, which the airline attributes to an expanding product offering of dynamically priced ancillaries and an improved mobile presence.
The carrier also benefited from a decrease in the average economic fuel cost per gallon by 8.6%. After hedging 62% of its 2Q16 fuel consumption at an average strike price of $1.95 per gallon, and combining this with the 38% unhedged consumption, Volaris achieved a blended average economic fuel cost of $1.50 per gallon.
CEO of Volaris, Enrique Beltranena, declared, “Volaris's performance highlights the resilience of its ULCC model that combines high growth, expanding unit revenue, and managing unit costs down. These results reflect our ability to stimulate demand with low base fares, successfully switch bus passengers to air travel and further unbundle our product offering. We will work to continue balancing our growth with profitability to create shareholder value.”
British Airways gives passengers Headspace
British Airways has added a new in-flight entertainment channel to its long-haul routes, designed to help travellers unwind in the air, by practising simple meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Each exercise focuses on a different topic, such as enabling stressed parents and anxious travellers to feel happier and more relaxed, or overcoming jet lag.
Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said, “We know our customers really value making the most of their time on our aircraft and the new Headspace channel on our in-flight entertainment system offers them a fantastic way to make their flight more fulfilling and relaxed.
“Our new partnership with Headspace means their specially curated content offers customers a range of guided meditations to unwind, de-stress and feel happier and more relaxed, all from the comfort of their aircraft seat at 35,000 ft.”
Andy Puddicombe, Headspace co-founder, said, “We’re really excited to be launching the Headspace in-flight channel with British Airways. The content has been designed to enhance every stage of the journey, before, during and after the flight, with specific exercises to help passengers feel relaxed, refreshed and recharged.
“It is also an opportunity to learn a beneficial new skill, something you can use at your destination and beyond, for a healthier and happier life."
The new channel features nine specially-designed guided meditation programmes, each no more than ten minutes long, to cater to every type of customer’s needs.
To continue the meditation course on the ground, the Headspace app can be downloaded direct to a smartphone or tablet through the App Store or via Google Play.
Bombardier to continue providing heavy maintenance for SkyWest, Inc. CRJs
SkyWest, Inc. carriers SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines have extended their heavy maintenance agreements with Bombardier Services Corporation, covering CRJ Series aircraft, for a further 10 years.
“Bombardier's CRJ Series airliners continue to be essential to our two airlines' fleets and have helped our company become one of the largest regional jet operators in the world,” stated Wade Steel, CCO of SkyWest, Inc. “As we continue to concentrate on our fleet, we know that our CRJ aircraft heavy maintenance remains in good hands with Bombardier.”
The maintenance can be performed at any of Bombardier's maintenance facilities in the US, including the Tucson Air Center, West Virginia Air Center and Macon Air Center.
“We are proud that SkyWest, Inc. has once again placed its confidence in Bombardier for the heavy maintenance of its CRJ Series aircraft fleet,” commented Todd Young, VP and general manager of customer services, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We manufactured these aircraft, we know them best, and we are determined to provide SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet with the very best in maintenance to maximise their reliability and earning power. Including the fleets of aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet, we are now providing maintenance services for approximately 90% of the CRJ Series aircraft operating in the US.”
Together SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines operate a total of 433 CRJ Series aircraft, including 234 CRJ200s, 135 CRJ700s and 64 CRJ900s for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
Aurigny ready for Guernsey–Barcelona service
From 23 July 2016, Aurigny’s flagship E195 jet will begin operating the carrier’s first flights between Guernsey and Barcelona, which will continue each Saturday until 13 August 2016.
Set to leave Guernsey at 18.15, Aurigny is scheduled to arrive in Barcelona at 21:00 (local times). The E195 will be cruising at an altitude of 41,000 feet on the route, which is 17,000 feet more than the height it reaches on its daily Gatwick flights.
The inaugural service will be flown by Aurigny’s Embraer fleet manager, Captain Nigel Green.
“Barcelona is a big, busy airport with six runways and sits in an impressive location next to the Mediterranean,” notes Green. “I’ve flown there before with airlines I’ve worked for previously and it’s a great destination. The flight time will be around one hour and thirty-five minutes. We’ll climb out of Guernsey and across to Dinard in Brittany. We’ll track straight down through France to Toulouse and then across the Pyrenees to Barcelona.”
Malcolm Coupar, Aurigny’s commercial director, said, “95 passengers, many of them families, are booked to fly on our first Barcelona flight and the other three departures are similarly full. It shows that we made the right choice by offering locals the chance to fly direct to the Spanish city, thereby saving time on having to transit in the UK.”
Norwegian opens UK HQ
Norwegian has taken another significant step in its UK expansion by opening a new headquarters near London Gatwick Airport, where it is the third largest airline.
The carrier’s new office is the airline’s first permanent workspace outside of Norway. Key staff in flight operations, training, technical, safety and compliance, communications, marketing and sales in the UK are now based at the new HQ.
Asgeir Nyseth, CEO at Norwegian UK, remarked, “This is an exciting new milestone in Norwegian’s pursuit of substantial growth across the UK. Our new UK headquarters symbolises our commitment to this hugely important strategic market, and it allows us to grow steadily in an engaging work environment. That said, we intend to continue capturing the hearts of UK consumers through unmatched service, brand new aircraft and direct routes to the most exciting destinations – all at affordable fares.”
Norwegian plans to locate more than 50 new Dreamliner aircraft at an expanded Gatwick in addition to locating 100 short-haul aircraft at the airport if it’s granted a second runway. The carrier will launch its eighth US route from London Gatwick with new direct flights to Las Vegas from 31 October 2016.
Tecnam P2012 Traveller completes maiden flight
The 11-seat Tecnam P2012 Traveller, which is due to enter into service with Cape Air, has achieved its maiden flight in Capua, Italy, under the control of experimental test pilot Lorenzo De Stefano.
“After a smooth take-off, I climbed to a safe height to perform our pre-planned manoeuvres to check the basic behaviour of the aircraft, engine and flight controls” De Stefano explained. “The aircraft responded exactly as expected. After a couple of circuits around the airfield, I landed and the Traveller stopped in a very short distance. I am really excited about the Traveller programme.”
Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s managing director, added, “Today we have witnessed the beginning of new era for Tecnam. This next-generation aeroplane will deliver to operators not only profits but reliability, efficiency and off course passenger comfort. The Tecnam design team have answered all these customer needs with the P2012 Traveller. We feel we are contributing to real innovation in aviation!”
The 11 seat P2012 Traveller is expected to supply a replacement for ‘heritage’ aircraft in the FAR23/CS23 category currently in service and offers the flexibility to act as a hydro, VIP, cargo shipping, parachuting or medevac aircraft.
Bombardier renews ASF agreement with STAECO
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has renewed its Authorized Service Facility (ASF) agreement with Taikoo Shandong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (STAECO) for an additional three-year term.
In addition to providing maintenance services for CRJ Series aircraft, as done under the original agreement, STAECO will now also provide maintenance services for Q400 turboprops. Maintenance services include aircraft modifications, repainting, and avionics and cockpit upgrades.
“STAECO has been serving operators of CRJ Series aircraft for over 10 years with a variety of maintenance solutions, and we are pleased to add the Q400 turboprops to our portfolio,” stated Wang Chao, president of STAECO. “The renewal of our relationship with Bombardier as part of its growing customer support network permits us to continue serving our customers' needs together.”
Todd Young, VP and general manager of customer services for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, continued, “STAECO has an excellent reputation for providing reliable and professional support to operators of Bombardier CRJ aircraft, and I am confident that this level of service will continue as the company extends its expertise to cover Q400 turboprops. We're delighted with the renewal of our contract with STAECO as an Authorized Service Facility serving our customers close to their base of operations.”
The agreement reflects that the fleet of Bombardier aircraft in the Asia Pacific region is steadily growing, with 365 Q Series turboprops, CRJ regional jets and C Series airliners now ordered or in service with approximately 50 customers and operators.
Flying Colours standardises Venue CMS/IFE on all CRJ ExecLiner conversions
Flying Colours Corp. has selected Rockwell Collins’ Venue cabin management and in-flight entertainment (CMS/IFE) system for retrofit installation on all its future CRJ ExecLiner conversions.
The first installation has already taken place as part of a Bombardier CRJ200 conversion to a VIP ExecLiner format which is nearing completion. A further five CRJ200s are due to be converted, and each will have the Venue system integrated.
“Having over 25 CRJ conversions completed, we wanted to upgrade our CMS offering to ensure that we offer customers modern intuitive technology, that also supports improved functionality,” commented Eric Gillespie, EVP, Flying Colours. “From a passenger’s perspective it provides a whole lot more in terms of flexibility, reliability and innovation. This is why we are now incorporating it as standard. Rockwell Collins’ worldwide support is available to Flying Colours customers via their Global network.”
In addition, Flying Colours will set up a demonstration unit of the Rockwell Collins Venue product in the client design room of its Peterborough, Ontario facility.
This latest selection of a Rockwell Collins product further bolsters the established relationship between the two North American companies, as Flying Colours is already a preferred installation agent and recognised dealer of all Rockwell Collins products.
easyJet revenue down in third quarter
easyJet’s figures for the three months ended 30 June 2016 (3Q16) show a passenger increase of 5.8% year-over-year to 20.2 million, but a 2.6% drop in total revenue.
Available seat kilometres increased from 23,517 billion in 3Q15 by 3.6% to 24,366 billion in 3Q16, while revenue passenger kilometres grew by 4.6% from 21,707 billion to 22,701 billion, resulting in a load factor growth of 0.3 percentage points to 92%.
Business passengers grew by 9% during the quarter against a 4% increase in business capacity, helped by 25 new corporate agreements and a higher proportion of business bookings through the mobile channel.
Despite non-seat revenue growing by 12.3% from £19 million in 3Q15 to £22 million in 3Q16, easyJet’s seat revenue declined by 2.8% from £1,209 million to £1,174 million, meaning the carrier’s total revenue was also 2.6% down from £1,228 million to £1,196 million.
Specifically, revenue per seat at constant currency declined by 8.3% to £54.17 due to a high level of disruption, over-capacity in the Western Mediterranean and the financial impact of UK’s referendum decision to leave the European Union (also known as Brexit). Cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency remained practically the same, increasing by 0.1% from £36.08 in 3Q15 to £36.09 in 3Q16.
Due to the aforementioned disruption, the airline’s on-time performance decreased from 79% to 74% year-over-year.
During 3Q16, easyJet took delivery of six Airbus A320s. As of 30 June 2016, its fleet comprised of 253 aircraft consisting of 109 A320s – including four 186-seat variants – and 144 A319s. easyJet is retaining the flexibility to adjust its capacity plans through utilisation and lease exits on its A319 fleet.
“The economic and operating environment has been difficult in the third quarter due to a number of factors including air traffic control strikes and other industrial action, runway closures at London Gatwick and severe weather,” noted Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s CEO. “These factors, combined with industry capacity growth in short-haul, continue to have an impact on industry yields at a peak time of year. More recently currency volatility as a result of the UK’s referendum decision to leave the EU as well as the recent events in Turkey and Nice continue to impact consumer confidence.
“Despite this, easyJet carried more passengers and achieved higher load factors during the third quarter as easyJet’s brand continued to resonate strongly across Europe,” McCall continued. “easyJet is strongly controlling costs and driving continued improvement in operational and customer delivery. We are focussed on the opportunities that are inevitable from a tougher environment.”
Following the EU referendum outcome, easyJet says it has a well-developed contingency plan to obtain an EU Airline Operator Certificate (AOC) in the event the UK Government negotiation does not achieve the desired outcome of a continuation of a liberalised and deregulated aviation market.
Elsewhere, although easyJet estimates its unit fuel bill for the second half of the financial year is likely to decrease by between £75 million and £85 million compared with the six months to 30 September 2015, it claims exchange rate movements are likely to have around a £45 million adverse impact across the respective periods.
The carrier says approximately 65% of expected bookings for the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16) have now been secured, with booked average revenue per seat for the quarter declining by around 7.5% at constant currency. Capacity for 4Q16 is expected to grow by 6%.
Flybe begins London City–Rennes route
Flybe has begun operating a seasonal route to Rennes (RNS) from London City (LCY) six times weekly (excluding Saturdays).
The flights will take off from LCY at 15:40, landing in RNS at 18:05, before the return leg leaves RNS at 18:50 to reach LCY at 19:15. The service will continue until 4 September 2016.
Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer, commented, “We are delighted at the positive response to our new route from London City to Rennes. Londoners can take advantage of this convenient connection that saves them time and money by operating from the very heart of the city.”
“Flybe’s new service to Rennes offers the only direct flight from a London airport to the charming capital of Brittany, and is a great addition to London City Airport’s offering of French destinations,” added Matthew Hall, London City Airport’s CCO. “Our passengers can expect a warm welcome in Rennes, a city full of both culture and business opportunities, including a thriving university and growing hi-tech sector. It’s now possible to reach all of this within a couple of hours of central London, including a check-in time of 20 minutes or less.”
AceAxis selected by Thales for involvement with EAN
Thales has signed a development and manufacturing agreement with AceAxis, under which the latter will adapt its remote radio head (RRH) design for use as part of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity solution.
The AceAxis RRH will be a key component in the EAN’s Complementary Ground Component (CGC) terminal which is being developed and manufactured by Thales.
“The CGC terminal we are developing will be fitted onto aircraft to provide a crucial link with the LTE-based ground network, and the system will switch automatically between satellite and terrestrial connectivity to provide a seamlessly optimised broadband service to passengers, wherever they are flying within Europe,” remarked David Williams, procurement director, Avionics, Thales.
“Our RRH platform has proven performance and reliability in LTE networks around the world,” explained Steve Cooper, CEO of AceAxis. “Our established radio development platform strategy enables AceAxis to rapidly create new products to exacting standards using industry proven designs. This was a significant factor for Thales in selecting Ace Axis to supply such a critical part of their ecosystem for this advanced system.”
The European Aviation Network is expected to enter service during 2017.
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July 4, 2016
The Inflight team is delighted to reveal details of two upcoming panel discussions at MRO Asia-Pacific, the premier regional event for the commercial air transport maintenance, repair and overhaul industry.
May 19, 2016
Inflight caught up with a few of the new and returning exhibitors featuring in the IFEC Zone at the 2016 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg to talk about their latest developments. Watch the video highlights.
April 8, 2016
HMG Aerospace is delighted to announce that the Inflight IFEC Pavilion, Workshop & Awards will continue to be a part of the Aircraft Interiors Middle East event for a further three shows.