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Aer Lingus upgrades IFEC offering in business class cabin
Irish low-fare airline Aer Lingus has revealed the new in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system for its refurbished business class cabin on transatlantic flights.
The system, which is being installed on Aer Lingus’ Airbus A330 aircraft, will be available on flights beginning in March 2015. It features multiple new IFEC solutions.
Passengers will be equipped with a 16 inch Panasonic IFE touch screen system with access to on-demand films, 90 hours of television and over 1,000 music albums.
They will also have space to store their personal electronic devices (PEDs), as the seat configuration allows availability for both a mini-tablet underneath the IFE screen and laptop stowage in another, separate area.
Finally, USB outlets will allow passengers to keep their PEDs charged throughout the flight, so they can make use of the complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi.
Séguin to lead Bombardier's new Aerostructures & Engineering Services
Jean Séguin will oversee a brand new business segment at Bombardier concentrating on the design and development of complex composite and metallic aerostructures in his role as president of Bombardier Aerostructures & Engineering Services.
He will report to Bombardier Inc’s CEO and president Pierre Beaudoin, who commented, “Jean Séguin is a seasoned manager with a deep knowledge of the aerospace industry. As we focus on improving our performance and execution, his expertise will enable us to take full advantage of the business opportunities generated by our recent investments in innovative products and technologies.”
Séguin began his career as a composites material engineer for Canadair in 1981 before it became part of Bombardier. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Polytechnique Montréal and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University.
The new Aerostructures & Engineering Services business is one of four in Bombardier's new operating structure, alongside Commercial Aircraft, Business Aircraft and Transportation.
Online sales portal launched by flyvista
flyvista has officially announced the launch of its online sales portal, thus giving passengers the option to book either online at the airline’s website, or through flyvista’s sales agents.
flyvista began its twice weekly Tbilisi–Tehran flights on 4 August and will expand to serve Kiev, Almaty, Moscow and many other locations in the region.
Through its online sales portal passengers can learn more about their destination, reserve a seat and meal, manage their booking, check flight schedules and link up with flyvista’s social media.
flyvista is the scheduled airline brand of Vista Georgia which is working together with the Dubai based charter and leasing specialist Aerovista.
NokScoot announces CEO and company registration
NokScoot has announced the appointment of Piya Yodmani as the airlines’ chief executive officer (CEO), in additional to his current position as deputy CEO of Nok Air.
Meanwhile, Nok Air has reported on the progress of NokScoot. To develop the JV, Nok Air established a subsidiary, Nok Mangkang, to acquire shares and existing business in a company known as Pete Air. Nok Mangkang purchased and has been issued shares in Pete Air in the total amount to THB87,499,900, which represents approximately 43.75% of the total issued and paid-up share capital of Pete Air – which has subsequently been renamed NokScoot Airlines and was officially registered as such on 20 August 2014.
Finnair reveals cabin design for Airbus A350 XWB
Finnair has unveiled the cabin design for its new Airbus A350 XWB with Helsinki interior design firm, dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, who were also in charge of designing the airline’s new Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport.
Finnair is the European launch customer for the Airbus A350 XWB extra wide-body jet. The airline currently has 11 firm orders and 8 options, which will be the flagship aircraft on long-haul Finnair flights serving Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing. The Airbus A350 XWB is due to enter service with Finnair during the second half of 2015.
The airline has revealed that each new aircraft is to be fitted with in-flight Wi-Fi. Features for Business Class passengers include a 16-inch touch-screen in-flight entertainment (IFE) system equipped with on-demand digital content in numerous languages, as well as AC and USB power outlets.
Passengers in Economy have access to an 11” touch-screen IFE system complete with USB outlets. Those who book Economy Comfort seats will also receive high-quality headphones.
The airline hopes the ambient LED lighting systems it’s installing on the new aircraft – which will change gradually throughout the flight – will ensure a more relaxing passenger experience.
Hurley named new chief technology officer by Ryanair
John Hurley is to join Ryanair as chief technology officer from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 14 September this year.
Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, remarked, “We are pleased to appoint John Hurley as chief technology officer, to head up our Ryanair Labs team, as we continue to implement our programme of digital and customer improvements.”
Hurley will oversee a team of 200 people during the roll-out of the Ryanair Labs digital innovation hub based at Ryanair’s new Dublin Campus in Swords, near Dublin Airport, as the airline aims to develop and implement a world-leading digital and technology strategy.
“I am delighted to be joining Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline,” Hurley declared. “I look forward to working with the best airline and digital technology professionals as we develop a world-class infrastructure to further improve the Ryanair experience for our 86m customers.”
Five new Florida routes for Allegiant Air
Allegiant has announced plans to launch five new non-stop flights to destinations in Florida, with three services to the Tampa Bay area and one each to Punta Gorda and Orlando.
Flights to Orlando International Sanford Airport (SFB) will take off from Peoria in Illinois, whilst the Punta Gorda service will originate from Huntingdon Airport, West Virginia.
The three Tampa-bound routes will all arrive into St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) from Belleville, IL, Bloomington, IL and Concord, NC. All five routes will begin in November.
With the announcement of these new routes, Allegiant has inaugurated 16 new services to popular American vacation destinations this year. The airline also recently announced its 46th consecutive quarter of profitable operation.
AirAsia X reports strong revenue growth for 2Q & 1H14
AirAsia X (AAX) has announced its figures for the second quarter (2Q14) and first half (1H14) of this calendar year.
In comparison with the first six months of 2013, the airline has seen a 38.5% growth in revenue, along with a consistent gain in second quarter revenue of 36.7% year over year. The cumulative revenue for 1H14 came to RM1.42 billion.
During 4Q13 the airline increased capacity significantly by introducing flights into new cities within its core markets, as well as increasing frequencies on popular routes to Sydney, Melbourne and Shanghai among others.
“Although our capacity expansion has put short-term pressure on earnings performance, the long-term strategic advantages are very compelling. We now have our strongest route network, with multiple cities in each of our markets, and strong frequencies that lead to convenient transfer connections,” commented AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani.
AAX’s load factor has remained over 80% since the beginning of 2014, attributed to the airline’s tripled market share in passengers travelling between Australia and North Asia on a one-stop service.
The new services meant operating expenses rose by 61.5% for 1H14 in comparison with 1H13, and AAX recorded a loss after tax of RM140.1 million compared to a profit after tax of RM17.9 million in the first-half of 2013. However, the airline hopes to be back to profitability within the next 12 months.
Nominations open for 2015 Inflight Awards Middle East
The Inflight Awards are set to return in 2015 as part of the Inflight IFEC Pavilion and Workshop taking place during the Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) event, with nominations for these prestigious in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) awards now open.
The awards ceremony will be held on 2 February at the World Trade Centre in Dubai and consist of eight categories which recognise the achievements of operators and IFEC suppliers serving the Middle East. They will be judged by Inflight's independent expert judging panel.
Nominations for the awards will remain open from now until 15th December 2014. All entries are free, but must come from industry practitioners. Entrants are encouraged to include a supporting statement according to the judging criteria detailed alongside their particular award, and also have the option to include two additional supporting documents. For the complete list of rules and entry forms, please click here.
The award categories are as follows:
• Best seat-centric IFE system
• Best handheld and/or wireless IFE system
• Innovation in commercial airline cabins
• Middle East content innovation
• Best global connectivity provider
• Innovation in corporate jet cabins
• Best airline IFEC provider for the Middle East
• Airline of the Year (Inflight’s own award)
Amongst the 2014 winners were Zodiac Inflight Innovations, flydubai, Emirates, OnAir and Bluebox Avionics.
Running alongside the awards, the Inflight IFEC Pavilion provides leading IFEC manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to showcase their latest innovations and product developments to a captive audience of key decision makers from the Middle East, whilst the Inflight Workshop sessions host industry leaders debating on a wide number of IFEC topics. For the list of the 2015 sessions and an update on the pavilion developments, follow this link.
Earlier FO seat for pilots via new training solution
The Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) and Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) have formed a partnership in order to offer aspiring pilots an efficient training solution, helping them to take up a co-pilot position with airlines earlier than the FAA’s 1,500 hour requirement.
Students who make use of the joint venture will also have access to a “restricted privileges ATP certificate”. This means that after 1,250 hours, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will allow students to serve the remainder of their 1,500 flight hour requirement as a co-pilot.
This is a development which is sure to be welcomed by US regional airlines. “Commercial airlines, especially regional carriers, are facing growing challenges with identifying qualified candidates to fill needed pilot positions,” explained Jeffrey Forrest, professor and chair of the MSU Denver Aviation and Aerospace Science Department. “This agreement enables us to offer students additional options for flight training and academics, while addressing the latest update to FAA pilot-qualification standards.”
The new MSU Denver/CNCC agreement, while strengthening relationships within Colorado’s expanding aviation community, allows students to enrol on courses at either institution, giving them access to both MSU Denver’s Robert K. Mock Indoor Airport (an aerospace computer and flight simulator training laboratory) and CNCC’s Rangely Airport facility.
Pilots in training may also benefit financially from the agreement: CNCC has agreed to reduce fees for its courses by 10-15% and offer discounted rate housing near the airport (the CNCC campus is approximately two miles away from Rangely Airport). This means pilots will be able to complete their training more rapidly.
Current students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in aviation can already take advantage of the programme, with enrolment for new students opening in September 2014.
David Smith, vice-president of instruction and student affairs at CNCC concluded, “By combining MSU Denver’s stellar aeronautics programme with CNCC’s pilot training, the partnership creates a world-class opportunity for students that will be unsurpassed in the classroom and in the cockpit.”
ACSS’s SafeRoute gets FAA clearance for A320 ADS-B applications
ACSS has been granted a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) by the FAA for its SafeRoute ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) solutions on Airbus A320s.
SafeRoute is a set of avionics capabilities that uses ADS-B In to provide enhanced operational safety and efficiency in all phases of flight.
The certified SafeRoute applications for A320s are hosted on the TCAS 3000SP and include interval management (IM), cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI) to assist in visual separation (CAVS), and surface area movement management (SAMM). This follows earlier SafeRoute ADS-B In certifications on Airbus A330s for US Airways and Boeing 767s for Delta Air Lines.
“Achieving blanket certification for a major commercial passenger aircraft model like the A320 is another important milestone for us and our airline customers,” declared Terry Flaishans, president of ACSS. “This makes the process of installing SafeRoute onto any A320 much easier and faster.”
ADS-B is a GPS-based positioning technology that will help increase airspace capacity and throughput by providing more precise position information to the cockpit about an aircraft in flight and those operating around it. SafeRoute uses highly accurate ADS-B Out information, transmitted by aircraft transponders, and then applies the ADS-B speed, position and intent data to perform functions such as SafeRoute-IM, -CAVS and -SAMM. In addition to SafeRoute, ACSS supplies ADS-B Out transponders that are being mandated in many parts of the world beginning this year.
Rex tops Australia’s on-time performance table again
Regional Express (Rex) has followed its performance in financial year (FY) 2012/13 by again achieving the best on-time departure rate amongst all Australian carriers.
The results were published by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) in its 2013/14 Domestic Airline On-Time Performance Report.
Rex achieved an 88.6% on-time departure rate, ahead of Virgin Australia Regional (84.8%), QantasLink (82.3%) and Jetstar (78.8%). Additionally, Rex recorded the lowest cancellation rate (0.5%), five times lower than its main competitor, QantasLink, at 2.5%. The rest of the carriers cancelled flights three to four times more than Rex.
“Rex operates a vast network throughout South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland with extremely diverse operating conditions; this includes contending with winter fog and snow and with the highly congested airspace at Sydney Airport to which half our flights operate,” noted Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell. “The industry leading 88.6% on-time departure rate and 0.5% cancellation rate is testament to the dedication and efficiency of our frontline and operational staff who executed more than 63,000 flights within the past year.”
GEE to provide IFE for Royal Air Maroc
Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) has signed an agreement with Royal Air Maroc to provide in-flight entertainment (IFE) across the airline’s entire fleet.
From September 2014 GEE will supply Royal Air Maroc with a variety of films, TV and audio alongside specially customised content. The company plans to produce an exclusive microsite showcasing Royal Air Maroc’s IFE programme to passengers ahead of boarding, as well as offering African content in-flight.
"Through this agreement, we are committed to providing a complete range of services and a customised approach to content delivery aligned with Royal Air Maroc's business strategy and passenger experience objectives," commented Walé Adepoju, EVP and CCO at Global Eagle Entertainment.
Saïda Najioullah, marketing director at Royal Air Maroc added, "Our partnership with GEE will support our strategy to enhance the experience for our passengers through creative and relevant content."
JetBlue adds new service from DCA to Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida (JAX) is set to become the sixth new destination served by JetBlue from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) this year.
The airline will launch the direct twice-daily route on 18 December, the same day as it plans to inaugurate flights from DCA to two other Florida destinations: Fort Myers (RSW) and West Palm Beach (PBI).
Other JetBlue services which launched from DCA during 2014 include flights to Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), Hartford, Connecticut (BDL), and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS).
"Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a vital part of the JetBlue network and we are pleased to continue to grow our presence here,” explained Rob Land, JetBlue’s senior vice-president of government affairs and associate general counsel.
He continued, “With a sixth new service within just six months, we will offer up to 30 daily nonstop flights out of DCA by the end of the year.”
Interact extends IFE partnership with Avianca
Media solutions provider Interact, who have provided Avianca and its subsidiaries with a tailor-made in-flight entertainment (IFE) package for the past seven years, have announced that their partnership with the Latin-American group has been continued.
“Interact has been an essential and strategic partner for Avianca over the last seven years,” declared Rodrigo Llaguno, vice-president of client experience at Avianca. “The value they add as well as their relationships with different suppliers has helped us deliver amazing content for our customers.”
Interact’s IFE package is made up of films, television and audio. Throughout their partnership with Avianca, the company has also assisted in the launch of over half a dozen entertainment systems.
“It has been rewarding to work with Avianca and its team members as the airline has grown as an industry leader,” commented Stephanie Cooper, marketing and business development director at Interact. “We are honoured to continue this legacy and look forward to many more years of evolving alongside Avianca and its holdings.”
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