easyJet to launch Budapest–Lyon service
From 26 April, 2016, easyJet will operate a thrice-weekly service between Budapest Airport and its hub in Lyon, which is currently Budapest’s largest indirectly served destination in Europe.
Kam Jandu, chief commercial officer of Budapest Airport, commented, “We’ve realised so many of our expectations and targets this year. To bring our lobbying to fruition with the addition of easyJet’s new service is testament to hard work and commitment. We were missing the heart of France from the direct routes available from Budapest so Lyon fits perfectly into our destination network. It’s amazing to think of the numbers passing through our terminal, and we looking forward to welcoming easyJet’s new passengers next summer, in another year that is already promising extensive further development for us.”
The airport estimates the new Budapest–Lyon route will mean an extra 40,000 passengers passing through Budapest each year.
Flybe’s winter schedule to offer extra Southampton flights
Flybe has announced that next March it will operate additional flights on 14 key routes in its existing 2015-16 winter schedule to and from Southampton Airport.
The airline has added 81 extra flights in total to accommodate customer demand for business and weekend travel on certain routes and for those heading to Bergerac and Nantes over Easter.
The news will also result in an earlier start for two of the airline’s 2016 summer routes to La Rochelle and Rennes, which are scheduled to begin at the end of March.
WOW Air to connect Bristol with North America via Reykjavik
From 13 May, 2016, Bristol will become WOW air’s second UK departure point for flights to Reykjavik, where passengers can connect onwards to North American destinations including Boston, Washington DC, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Bristol–Reykjavik route will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on WOW Air’s Airbus A320 aircraft, with single-class A321 and A330-300 aircraft operating the routes between Iceland and North America.
“As one of our strongest markets we are delighted to continue to grow WOW air’s presence in the UK,” Skúli Mogensen, founder and CEO of WOW air, remarked. “Bringing our ultra-low-cost transatlantic model to Bristol will make flying to the US and Canada much easier for those in the South West and Wales. We hope our low fares will give holidaymakers in these areas the chance to travel further afield than previously planned, whilst enjoying great service, delivered with a smile.”
“We are thrilled that WOW air has chosen Bristol as its first UK regional airport, providing low cost flights to the USA and Canada via the world-class Reykjavik hub,” added Robert Sinclair, Bristol Airport’s CEO. “Currently, over a million people a year travel between the South West and Wales and North America, including an estimated 250,000 inbound visitors. Until now, the majority have flown to and from London airports to do so, clocking up additional time and costs in the process. This new link will enhance both the convenience and affordability of flights, giving people more reason than ever to choose to fly local.”
Bristol is WOW air’s 25th destination following the announcement of new services to Canada and California in October and November respectively. The carrier hopes its annual passenger capacity will more than double in 2016 to over 1.8 million, up from approximately 840,000 in 2015.
Azul enters strategic partnership with HNA Group
Azul Brazilian Airlines has announced a new partnership with HNA Group Company Limited which will see the latter acquire a 23.7% stake in the airline, thereby assuming the role of Azul’s single largest shareholder.
The aim is for both parties to benefit from the substantial passenger traffic between China and Brazil, which are strong global trade partners. Through the partnership, the companies will cooperate in the development of code sharing, new route development, and the expansion of loyalty programmes. Furthermore, as part of the investment, HNA Group will appoint new members to Azul’s board of directors.
David Neeleman, CEO of Azul, stated, “HNA Group sees in Azul a solid investment with high growth potential. The USD $450 million investment, considering Brazil’s current macroeconomic situation, demonstrates that we have a winning business model and that the HNA Group, as a large investor, has absolute confidence in Azul’s team. Moreover, this investment makes Azul the airline with the highest valuation in the Brazilian market, at more than R$ 7.0 billion.”
“HNA Group is committed to expanding in the airline industry through strategic investments in companies with strong market positions and excellent management teams,” explained Adam Tan, president of HNA Group. “We are pleased to partner with Azul in order to bring more choice and convenience to our customers traveling to and from Brazil. We eagerly look forward to working with Azul founder David Neeleman and his team for the mutual benefit of both airlines.”
During the deal, Bravia Capital served as financial advisor to HNA Group, while Seabury Securities LLC served as financial advisor to Azul.
First on-air voice call made using Cobham AVIATOR 200s
The first call has been made using Cobham SATCOM’s AVIATOR 200S system over Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband satellite communications service.
Carried out in a laboratory environment, the on-air voice call was achieved using the AVIATOR 200S CSDU (Compact Satellite Data Unit) and HELGA (combined HLD and Enhanced LGA) antenna over the Inmarsat LDR (Low Data Rate) bearer type.
Kim Gram, vice president of Cobham SATCOM’s aeronautical business unit, said: “The first call is particularly significant as it represents a new solution running on a new service – a double first! Our teams in Lyngby [Denmark] and Cape Town [South Africa] have worked hard to achieve this impressive landmark. This is a very big step towards our first customer shipment, and shows that we are on track for release of AVIATOR 200S as planned.
“We believe the significantly smaller, lighter and easier to install hardware associated with the SwiftBroadband ACARS data services, represented by our AVIATOR S series product range, will provide aircraft manufacturers and airlines with a route towards significant changes in operational efficiencies and, not least, in flight situation awareness and safety.”
Using SwiftBroadband safety services to transmit ACARS data, AVIATOR S Series enables secure data communication, IP connectivity and multiple voice capabilities. The combination of IP and ACARS data pipes allows network integration with a portfolio of data housing and transmitting components on the aircraft such as cockpit, Electronic Flight Bag devices (EFB), on-board maintenance computers and devices used by the crew to service passengers.
Joint EASA and FAA certification for PW-powered A320neo
The Airbus A320neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM engines, has received joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The EASA A320neo Type Certificate was signed by EASA’s certification director Trevor Woods and the FAA A320neo Type Certificate by Jeffrey Duven, FAA manager of Transport Airplane Directorate–Aircraft Certification Service. The Type Certificates were received by Airbus’s executive vice-president engineering, Charles Champion and A320neo chief engineer Pierre-Henri Brousse.
“This double seal of approval represents a great achievement for Airbus. It recognises the hard work performed by all the teams at Airbus and Pratt & Whitney. It demonstrates the A320neo is meeting all requirements,” declared Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO. “The A320neo is now cleared for its first delivery and ready to offer many airlines its winning combination of unbeatable economics and outstanding cabin comfort.”
The A320neo went through a rigorous certification programme which tested its airframe and systems beyond their design limits to ensure the aircraft successfully met all airworthiness criteria. The three flight test aircraft powered by the Pratt & Whitney engines accumulated more than 1,070 flight hours in some 350 flights. Of these 1,070 flight test hours, 300 were completed with the same aircraft in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service.
The A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines is the first variant in the new family to receive Type Certification. The A320neo with CFM LEAP-1A engines (which received FAA and EASA Type Certification recently) will be certified in the coming months. The A321neo and A319neo in both engines variants will follow.
Norwegian trials live TV with GEE
Using Global Eagle Entertainment’s (GEE) AIRCONNECT inflight connectivity solution, Norwegian has become the first European airline to offer live TV on board European flights.
Bjørn Kjos, Norwegian’s CEO, remarked, “We’re very excited to be the first airline in Europe to offer live television on board. Introducing Bloomberg Television and TV 2 News to our passengers opens the door to more content choices and a better overall inflight experience. By offering free WiFi combined with complementary live television, we are setting the stage for a passenger experience like no other in the sky.”
Passengers using Norwegian’s free inflight WiFi service can watch Bloomberg Television and Norway’s TV 2 News live on flights from the UK to 29 European destinations.
The trial was launched today on a Norwegian flight from Oslo to Berlin and will now be available for a twelve month trial period.
Aditya Chatterjee, chief technical officer and senior vice president of connectivity systems for GEE, explained, “This important collaboration between Global Eagle Entertainment and Norwegian marks an important component of next generation inflight connectivity offerings that Global Eagle is poised to deliver worldwide.”
The launch of live TV was developed by Norwegian’s frequent flyer programme, Norwegian Reward, and Norwegian cable television company RiksTV.
GECAS takes delivery of 500th Boeing aircraft
Boeing has delivered its 500th aircraft, a Next-Generation 737-800, to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
Due to be leased to Kenya Airways, the delivery also marks the 401st 737 delivered to GECAS by Boeing.
“This is a major milestone in our 20-year association with Boeing,” commented Norm Liu, president and CEO, GECAS. “We are proud to take delivery of our 500th Boeing aircraft. Boeing is a key business partner providing us with advanced, efficient and reliable aircraft that our airline customers need to be successful in today's competitive marketplace.”
GECAS has ordered a total of 645 Boeing aircraft, recently adding the 787-10 and the 737 MAX to its order book, and has taken delivery of a large portfolio of Boeing aircraft, including 57 777s, 30 767s, eight 747s and four 757s.
“We are honoured to celebrate the delivery of GECAS' 500th Boeing airplane,” exclaimed president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner. “Boeing values our 20-year relationship with GECAS and we look forward to continuing to be part of GECAS' growth and strengthen our partnership for decades to come.”
ATR opens Beijing office
ATR has announced the opening of a Representative Office at Tianzhu Airport in Beijing, enabling the OEM to further strengthen relationships with Chinese partners, potential customers and Chinese authorities.
The growing ATR team in Beijing – led by the company’s vice president of sales and chief representative in China, Wang Qi – will benefit from Airbus’ working platform and experience in the country to develop and consolidate its footprint.
“As China boosts short-distance regional air transport among small and medium-sized cities, fuel-efficient turboprops are being recognised as the perfect solution to China’s dispersed yet large population. With low running and maintenance costs, high usage rates and small-airﬁeld landing capability, the new generation ATRs are ideally suited to the Chinese short-haul flight market,” stated Tom Anderson, ATR’s SVP
commercial and customer support.
“We see many opportunities where the ATR aircraft can contribute to the development of regional operations and fill a need for optimised connectivity and frequency of service at very competitive cost,” Anderson added. “Opening ATR’s Beijing Office is a natural step forward in our efforts to build up partner relationships while enhancing our capabilities to meet the customer’s needs.”
China has been a strategic partner and supplier for ATR for nearly 20 years. Key airframe sections and some components of the wings of ATR aircraft are produced there by Xian Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of AVIC.
NBAA 2015: Satcom Direct launches SD FlightLogs
Satcom Direct has announced a new service, SD FlightLogs, which provides aircraft operators with an electronic flight log solution that automates the tracking of aircraft movement events, keeping every member of the flight team in sync with the aircraft.
“It doesn’t make sense when you have a multi-million dollar aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art technology and you’re still using paper flight logs,” expanded Jim Jensen, founder and CEO of Satcom Direct (SD). “SD FlightLogs is an electronic solution to the manual process of recording OFF/ON times. It auto-captures flight data so that you’ve not only eliminated the paper, you’ve created a database of movement and maintenance information that can be tracked over the life of the aircraft.”
SD FlightLogs is a smart-device compatible web-based system powered by SD’s FlightDeck Freedom (FDF). Designed to reduce manual user input, it auto captures data, calculating and recording flight time and cycle events while creating an electronic record documenting all flight information leg by leg. This creates an efficient, common platform for all operational users from pilot to maintenance and scheduler whilst virtually eliminating human error.
Team members access information from three primary screens: fleet overview, trip list and trip details, allowing them to view high-level summary data or detailed flight events for each leg of a trip.
Satcom Direct says this is a first in business aviation.
NBAA 2015: Satcom Direct rebrands as ‘SD’
Satcom Direct has changed its brand identity to ‘SD’ to better represent its expanded offerings beyond satellite communications solutions.
SD now delivers global connectivity using satellite, air-to-ground and 3G cellular networks via its SDR router. Furthermore, its proprietary value-added enhancements accelerate data speeds, improve voice call quality and enable use of smartphones at any altitude, anywhere in the world.
“From the beginning, SD has been an innovator, delivering numerous technology advancements to business aviation and government customers. We received a patent for our very first product, the Global One Number, and we’ve continued to bring new technologies to the marketplace. We’ve been Satcom Direct since 1997, and now we’re even more,” remarked Jim Jensen, SD’s founder and CEO.
In October, SD opened a new 42,000 square foot world headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. The move consolidates multiple locations in Satellite Beach and Melbourne into a single, more efficient facility. The LEED certified building houses a 24/7 network operations centre (NOC), technologies testing lab and advanced research and development centre.
“Our mission is to meet aircraft operators’ demands for better and more secure connectivity in both the cabin and the cockpit, wherever they fly. The NOC enables SD to monitor the performance of our services and applications, as well as airborne network providers, facilitating our world class support,” Jensen continued. “The next generation of SD services will help synchronise the aircraft with the flight department, bringing our customers a technology platform like nothing else in the industry.”
The official company name will remain Satcom Direct, while using the ‘SD’ mark and initials to represent its evolution as a company.
Comlux America chooses Astronics PGA Avionics’ IFEC/CMS for ACJ330 project
Comlux America has chosen to implement Astronics PGA Avionics’ in-flight entertainment and connectivity and cabin management system (IFEC/CMS) as part of its first wide-body interior completion on an ACJ330.
Astronics PGA Avionics’ IFEC/CMS includes full-HD screens, touch screens, audio and video sources and passenger control units as well as the latest DRM capability. The CMS simplifies control of the cabin environment from lighting and temperature to door closures.
“Being selected as the wide-body IFEC/CMS partner for Comlux is a testament to the quality, functionality and value of our innovative solutions,” commented Marc Piaulet, sales and marketing director, Astronics PGA Avionics. “With our complete system, passengers will benefit from a high level of connectivity and cabin comfort. We appreciate the confidence that Comlux has placed in us and are excited to commence our first aircraft project in the US market.”
Astronics PGA Avionics has also entered into a three year contract which will enable Comlux America to propose Astronics the former’s products to its customers during future completion projects.
Aeroflot replaces digEcor’s L7 IFE devices with Samsung tablets
As part of its 2015-16 winter schedule, Aeroflot has implemented upgrades to a number of services for its Business Class passengers.
Business class passengers travelling on Aeroflot’s A320 family aircraft to a number of destinations will see digEplayer L7 in-flight entertainment (IFE) devices have been replaced by 8.4″ Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets.
On flights lasting more than six hours, passengers will now be given luxury Salvatore Ferragamo branded amenity kits. On flights lasting over eight hours, the lavatories come with complementary products by Caudalie.
Norwegian becomes first European airline to offer live TV in-flight
As part of a new twelve month trial, passengers using Norwegian’s free in-flight Wi-Fi service can now watch Bloomberg Television and TV 2 News – Norway's only news channel – live on board 87 of its aircraft.
The trial was launched today on a flight from Oslo to Berlin and will be available on services departing Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester to 29 destinations around Europe.
Bjørn Kjos, Norwegian’s CEO, stated, “We’re very excited to be the first airline in Europe to offer live television on board. Introducing Bloomberg Television and TV 2 News to our passengers opens the door to more content choices and a better overall in-flight experience. By offering free Wi-Fi combined with complementary live television, we are setting the stage for a passenger experience like no other in the sky.”
The live TV is enabled by Global Eagle Entertainment’s (GEE) AIRCONNECT in-flight connectivity platform. Norwegian Air Shuttle also uses GEE’s portal-based on-demand service for a broad range of in-flight entertainment content, including movies, music and games.
Aditya Chatterjee, the company’s CTO and SVP connectivity systems, noted, “This important collaboration between GEE and Norwegian marks an important component of next generation in-flight connectivity offerings that Global Eagle is poised to deliver worldwide.”
The launch of live TV was developed by Norwegian’s frequent flyer programme, Norwegian Reward, and Norwegian cable television company RiksTV.
CFM's LEAP-1A jointly certified by EASA and FAA
CFM has announced certification of the LEAP-1A engine for the Airbus A320neo and in doing so has become the first engine manufacturer to gain dual original certification from both EASA and the FAA, rather one lead agency issuing a type certification and the second agency validating that certification.
The LEAP-1A flew for the first time on the Airbus A320neo on 19 May 2015. A second aircraft joined the test programme in September and, to date, the two aeroplanes have logged a combined total of more than 140 flights and 360 hours of flight testing.
The LEAP development and certification effort is the most extensive in CFM history. A total of 34 engines have been tested to date, logging more than 6,500 hours and 13,450 cycles. Test highlights include fan blade-out; bird ingestion tests, including medium, large, and flocking bird; ice slab ingestion; hail stone and hail storm ingestion; cross wind; icing; acoustics; emissions; triple-redline (maximum fan speed, maximum core speed, and maximum exhaust gas temperature) endurance test; and more than 700 hours of flight testing on modified 747 flying testbeds.
The LEAP-1A, which powers the Airbus A319neo, A320neo, and the A321neo aircraft, features some of the industry’s most advanced technology, including 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan case; a unique debris rejection system; 4th generation three dimensional aerodynamic designs; the Twin-Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor featuring additively manufactured fuel nozzles; ceramics matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine; and titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) blades in the low-pressure turbine.
The engine will provide operators with double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and exhaust gaseous emissions. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.
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