JetBlue announces January traffic figures
JetBlue Airways has revealed its preliminary traffic results for January 2016, with over 10% more passengers carried than in the same month last year.
Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) rose by 11.7% to 3,555,862,000 compared with 3,183,017,000 in January 2015. Available seat miles (ASMs) totalled 4,306,365,000, an increase of 10.8% over the 3,885,588,000 recorded in January 2015.
The load factor in January 2016 was 82.6%, up by 0.7 percentage points from last January’s 81.9%. Revenue passengers carried numbered 2,947,210, which was 10.8% more than the 2,659,113 carried in January 2015.
JetBlue’s preliminary revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for January decreased approximately 3.5% year over year, which includes a positive impact of about two points from winter storm Jonas. JetBlue now expects year-over-year ASM growth in the first quarter of 2016 to be between 13% and 15%, down from prior guidance of 14% to 16% due to winter storms.
kulula.com now offering Avios points
kulula.com has announced a new partnership with Avios South Africa which will allow kulula customers who join Avios, the global travel rewards programme, to collect Avios points at an earn rate of three Avios for every R10 spent on kulula flights.
As well as earning Avios points with kulula, local Avios customers will continue to be able to collect Avios points through their everyday spending, such as on groceries and fuel. Avios points collected can be used for travel experiences with Avios global travel and hotel partners.
Customers wanting to join will have to sign up by creating a kulula ID. By inserting their Avios membership number into the kulula ID, they will be validated by kulula to start earning Avios immediately. Customers with an existing kulula ID can simply add their Avios membership number to their current profile.
“We are pleased to join hands with Avios, as they are one of the most respected rewards currency providers affiliated to frequent flyer programmes. Our partnership with Avios allows us to give our passengers more value for their money by rewarding them for choosing to fly with kulula. This new partnership is a perfect fit for what the kulula brand stands for; simple, easy and rewarding,” commented Shaun Pozyn, head of marketing for kulula.
The new partnership will allow members to immediately earn Avios through booking kulula and build their balances; however the ability to spend Avios on kulula flights will be launched at a later stage.
Aurigny announces seasonal Guernsey–Barcelona route
Aurigny will soon put tickets on sale for a new weekly summer route between Guernsey and Barcelona.
The service will operate on Saturdays from 23 July to 13 August, using Aurigny’s Embraer 195. The aircraft will depart Guernsey at 18:30 and arrive in Barcelona at 21:15. The return flight will arrive back in Guernsey at 22:40.
“When we bought the jet we did strongly hint that we’d try to make some extra use of its range and seating capacity by trying out a Mediterranean destination,” explained Malcolm Coupar, Aurigny’s commercial director. “After a lot of background work, we’re pleased to be able to confirm that we’ll be operating high season flights to Barcelona this summer. The Embraer is an investment on behalf of the people of Guernsey and the service to Barcelona is designed as a treat for islanders. We believe this direct service is a first for Guernsey.”
Maiden flight made by first A321neo
The first Airbus A321neo, equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines, completed its inaugural flight on 9 February from the OEM’s facility in Hamburg, Germany.
The aircraft, registration D-AVXB, was flown by experimental test pilots Martin Scheuermann and Bernardo Saez Benito Hernandez. Also in the cockpit was test-flight engineer Gérard Leskerpit and monitoring the flight’s progress were flight-test engineers Sandra Bour Schaeffer and Emiliano Requena Esteban.
The flight lasted five hours and 29 minutes during which tests were performed on the engine speed variation (low/high), systems behaviour and to validate the aircraft’s flight envelope.
The A321neo now joins the family’s flight test fleet and will perform a partial flight test programme to validate the impact on handling qualities, performance and systems. The first A321neo is scheduled for delivery at the end of this year.
GECAS leases 3 Q400 NextGens to Air Berlin
The Regional Aircraft Group of GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has signed an agreement with Air Berlin for the airline to lease three new Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft.
The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in September with the other two to follow in October and November. The aircraft are part of GECAS’s current orderbook with Bombardier.
“The demand for economical turboprops continues to expand and we are thrilled to enter into this new lease with Air Berlin and help them expand their Q400 fleet,” remarked Alec Burger, president and chief executive officer, GECAS. “We’re pleased that the [GECAS] portfolio is broad enough to provide customers like Air Berlin the aircraft solutions they need, when they need them.”
Air Berlin currently operates a fleet of 150 aircraft with this transaction increasing the carrier’s Q400 fleet to 20.
Virgin America Reports January 2016 Operational Results
Virgin America has reported its preliminary traffic data for January 2016 including a 13% increase in passengers carried creating a small rise in the average load factor.
Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) totalled 834,331,000 in January, compared with 739,118,000 in January 2015, an increase of 12.9%. Available seat miles (ASMs) were increased by 11.8% to 1,080,461,000 from last January’s 966,399,000.
These figures thus created a 0.7 percentage point increase in the load factor, with January 2015’s figure standing at 77.2% compared with 76.5% in the same month last year. The rounded figures for onboard passengers showed an increase of 13.5% to 561,000 from 494,000 for the respective months.
New Havana service announced by interCaribbean Airways
On 3 May, interCaribbean Airways will begin a new nonstop service to Jose Martí International Airport, Havana, Cuba from Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
The twice weekly service (Tuesday and Thursday) will depart Providenciales (PLS) at 16:30 and arrive in Havana (HAV) at 19:20. Flights in the opposite direction leave Havana at 08:10 and reach Providenciales at 11:20.
“With the USA easing entry to Cuba, we look forward to welcoming aboard those who wish to enjoy two destination trips, and increase trade and travel between our Caribbean countries. Cuba is a beautiful country with so much to offer a visitor that one visit will not be enough. interCaribbean is well placed to facilitate entry to Santiago, and now to Havana, as we serve two of the most important cities of the country," remarked Lyndon Gardiner, chairman of interCaribbean Airways.
Flybe begins Manchester–Rotterdam service
Flybe has completed the inaugural flight on its new route between Manchester in the UK and Rotterdam The Hague Airport, which has been launched with a double-daily weekday service.
This is the only route from the UK to Rotterdam The Hague outside of London. As well as the two flights on each weekday, there are morning flights on Saturdays, and an afternoon service on Sundays.
“Flybe is delighted to offer this new double daily service to Rotterdam The Hague from our Manchester hub. We are really pleased by the customer response to our conveniently timed flights that offer time-saving travel between these two key European cities,” declared Flybe’s chief revenue officer, Vincent Hodder. “We are not only seeing bookings from those obviously travelling for business but weekend travel is also proving extremely popular, with our first Friday flight filling up fast. It bodes
well for the future as we seek to offer our Manchester customers an even wider choice of flights from their local airport and also as we establish a presence at Rotterdam The Hague.”
Between Monday and Friday, flights depart Manchester at 07:00 and 16:30 which arrive in Rotterdam The Hague at 09:30 and 19:00 respectively. In the opposite direction, flights leave Rotterdam The Hague at 09:55 and 19:25 with respective arrival times in Manchester of 10:35 and 19:50.
The Saturday morning service timings are the same as the weekday morning flights but the Sunday rotation leaves Manchester at 18:05 and arrives in Rotterdam The Hague at 20:35. The return then leaves Rotterdam The Hague at 21:00 and gets back to Manchester at 21:30.
January 2016 traffic announced for United Express
United Airlines (UAL) has reported January 2016 traffic results for United Express, combining the figures from all of its subsidiaries and partners which operate under the Express brand.
Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) were down 2.1% at 1,870,500,000 from the 1,911,562,000 recorded in January 2015. Available seat miles (ASMs), however, were cut by 2.6% to 2,357,966,000 from 2,421,651,000 for the respective periods.
The load factor thus rose by 0.4 percentage points to 79.3% from 78.9%. The rounded figures for passengers carried decreased to 3,181,000 in January 2015 from 3,331,000 in January last year.
Airstream to remarket one Widerøe Q400
Airstream International Group has been selected by Widerøe’s Flyveselskap to remarket for sale a Bombardier Q400 which was manufactured in 2007.
The aircraft has been operated by Widerøe since new and is available for delivery fresh from C check.
Airstream enjoys a longstanding relationship with Widerøe, having previously arranged the sale and leaseback of eight aircraft operated by the airline including Dash 8-100s, Q300s and Q400s. The company has been very active remarketing Dash 8/Q Series aircraft, successfully arranging the sale or lease of 21 of the family in the last three years.
British Airways refreshes passenger experience
The latest refurbished 747 from British Airways has re-entered service, the sixth out of 18 earmarked for a major make-over.
British Airways also took delivery of its 11th brand new double-decker A380, with the final 12th aircraft due for arrival later this year. The third aircraft to join the fleet last week was the airline’s sixth hi-tech Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said, “We know our customers appreciate the investment we are making in new aircraft and refurbishing our much loved Boeing 747s is also helping to make flying with British Airways an even more enjoyable and relaxing experience.
“The feedback from customers on our refurbished 747s has been extremely positive, as they are able to enjoy more comfortable seats, a better flying environment and the very latest state-of-the art in-flight entertainment.”
The refit of 18 of British Airways’ 747s is being carried out by British Airways’ engineers in Cardiff and involves a cabin interior refresh.
Each aircraft is being fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system. The ‘High Life Entertainment’ system gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, with of touch and swipe gestures like a tablet.
Customers in World Traveller Plus will also now have access to a universal power socket, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe, while those in flying in World Traveller will have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.
British Airways is due to take delivery of 16 787-9 Dreamliners, of which the airline has eight already in service.
All customers can enjoy mood lighting, larger windows with electronic dimmable blinds and a much more humid and comfortable cabin environment. Those flying in First can experience the airlines’ latest First cabin, which includes a 23 inch TV screen, a smartphone like controller, improved seating and bespoke stylish lighting.
As of 1 February, all passengers on BA’s long-haul flights are able to view SPECTRE, the latest in the James Bond franchise.
“We’re delighted to be bringing the best of British to our customers on long-haul flights around the world,” commented Warfield.
American upgrades IFE
As part of its fleet renewal programme, effective 1 February 2016 American Airlines is offering its domestic economy passengers an expanded range of complimentary in-flight entertainment (IFE) with a choice of 40 films, 60 TV programmes and 300 music albums through its embedded IFE system.
“We want customers to choose American every time they fly,” explained Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president of global marketing. “We are giving our customer more choices to enhance their personal flying experience by offering new service and new entertainment options in all cabins.”
American has also introduced free live television channels on its Boeing 777-300ERs and retrofitted 777-200ERs and 787-8s which are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi and flying on long-haul international routes. As a result, passengers in all cabins can access four live satellite channels.
Pentastar cleared to install IFC on Hawker 800XP and 850XP aircraft
Pentastar Aviation (Pentastar) has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install in-flight connectivity (IFC) capabilities on Hawker 800XP and 850XP series aircraft.
“We continuously look for ways to ensure our customers’ aircraft is updated with the most innovative technology available in the industry,” remarked Greg Schmidt, Pentastar’s president and CEO. “For decades, we have contributed our technical expertise to the development of STC’s. Our vast experience with aircraft avionics enables us to develop and obtain these STCs, which provide us the flexibility to install
cabin connectivity systems from any manufacturer.”
The STC, which allows operators to approve the use of portable electronic devices onboard aircraft with wireless networks or Wi-Fi hot spots for their passengers, compliments previous Pentastar STC’s issued for in-flight Wi-Fi compatibility on Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV and GV series aircraft.
Pentastar has also expanded its Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) on the articulating yoke mount for Apple iPad to include Cessna Citation models, allowing for the specially engineered iPad mounts to be installed on Citation 500, 550, S550, 560, and 560XL model aircraft.
“With technology ever evolving, we know accessibility to it is key for pilots. When our engineering team designs a product like our iPad mount, we want to make it accessible to as many users as possible,” Schmidt continued. “Adding Cessna models to the FAA Approved Model List allows us to do just that.”
ALTO offers cabin audio upgrade for Gulfstream aftermarket aircraft
ALTO Aviation has launched two upgrade programmes specifically designed to provide Gulfstream retrofit and aftermarket aircraft in the business aviation sector with a cost-efficient way to refresh their cabin audio and entertainment systems.
The Gulfstream Digital Audio Upgrade Program has been designed for G-IV (SN’s 1464 or higher), G-V (SN’s 635 or higher), G450 (SN’s 4002 or higher) and G550 aircraft (SN’s 5002 or higher).
The current production aircraft installs ALTO analog amps and non-ALTO speakers, but ALTO has a direct fit digital amp and direct fit speakers that allows an upgrade to a full ALTO system. By implementing a new digital amp with EQ compensation, ALTO can customise the sound system to exactly match the characteristics of the cabin. The digital amp allows to fine tune the system to maximise the system performance with little to no wiring changes.
The Gulfstream-Bose Replacement Upgrade Program is offered for G-IV (SN’s 1209 -1405) and G-V (SN’s 501-603). The Bose systems in these cabins are obsolete and no longer serviceable, but now they can easily be upgraded with a high-performance cabin audio system. ALTO’s PSU midrange/high enclosure is 100% compatible with the former Bose unit allowing no PSU modifications. The Bose upgrade program require new wiring harnesses to be installed in the aircraft.
ALTO offers three replacement options for this program. Operators can opt for a complete replacement of the entire system; an MH upgrade only; or a subwoofer upgrade only.
Lufthansa and Swiss ink EFB deals with GEE
Star Alliance partners Lufthansa Airlines (Lufthansa) and Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. (Swiss) have selected Global Eagle Entertainment’s Navaero electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions.
Lufthansa will equip at least 31 new Airbus A320 aircraft with GEE’s new power data interface (PDI), smart docking stations, and other interfaces for Microsoft Surface tablets that put mission-critical flight data at the fingertips of pilots and ground crews. The GEE Navaero solution meets Lufthansa’s requirement for a full gigabit Ethernet data connection aboard its new aircraft. Swiss will utilise GEE Navaero EFB mounts and data integration solutions across more than 70 Airbus short- and long-haul aircraft as it deploys Apple iPads for mission-critical applications and transitions to a fully paperless cockpit. GEE will also provide certification, deployment and support services.
“The reliable nature of the Navaero EFB solutions provides a flexible platform that will enable us to integrate the cockpit and airline operations into our comprehensive vision for in-flight connectivity,” said Martin Mohr, EFB project leader for Lufthansa Airlines. “We look forward to reaping the benefits of our move to GEE’s Navaero EFB solution for years to come.”
“By deploying GEE’s proven Navaero EFB across the global Swiss International Air Lines fleet, we have taken a major step forward to a fully paperless environment on our Airbus fleet and prepare for a fully connected aircraft,” said Elena Zanaboni, project manager for Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. “We look forward to working with GEE in the months ahead as we implement our EFB solution.”
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February 4, 2016
HMG Aerospace is proud to announce the winners of the third Inflight Magazine Awards, which took place at the Inflight workshop, during the Aircraft Interiors Middle East show in Dubai today.
January 28, 2016
HMG Aerospace publishing and events group is delighted to announce that Linda Celestino, vice president Guest Services at Etihad Airways, will make the welcome address at the Inflight Workshop and Awards next week (3-4 February) as part of Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.
December 10, 2015
HMG Aerospace has announced a strategic partnership with market intelligence provider, Valour Consultancy, that sees the publisher become the exclusive media partner for the firm’s IFEC research reports.