bmi regional to fly between Newcastle and Stavanger
From 31 May 2016, bmi regional will commence daily flights from Newcastle (NCL) to Stavanger (SVG) in Norway between Sundays and Fridays.
Jochen Schnadt, bmi regional’s CCO, commented, “We’re excited to be adding this route into our network and with it Stavanger as our latest addition to our growing network of key business locations. Stavanger has a varied appeal; the city is a hub for the oil and gas industry, as well as being a former Capital of Culture with great gourmet credentials. Our new Branded Fares including our new Executive product will be a perfect fit for this new market offering both business and leisure customers the right product and flexibility choice when travelling between Newcastle and Stavanger.”
Between Monday and Friday, the NCL–SVG leg will take off at 10:45 and land at 13:05 before the return service leaves SVG at 15:40 to arrive back in NCL at 16:00. On Sundays, flights will depart from NCL at 13:25 and reach SVG at 15:45 before returning from SVG at 16:15 to land in NCL at 16:35.
“This demonstrates a vast focus on the municipality of Rogaland, during challenging times for the industry in this region,” said Leif Anker Lorentzen, airport director of Sola Airport in Stavanger.
Leon McQuaid, aviation development manager at Newcastle International Airport, declared, “We are delighted that bmi regional will be operating this new Stavanger service. As well as anticipating further growth in outbound tourism we also expect this service to deliver a significant increase of inbound traffic to the region.”
JetBlue launches New York–Boston service
From 31 October 2016, JetBlue will operate a new route between New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) using Embraer 190 aircraft.
The airline will offer six flights each weekday as well as two roundtrips on Saturdays and three roundtrips on Sundays. With this route, JetBlue will operate flights between Boston and all three of New York’s major airports. It is part of its plan to surpass 150 daily flights in Boston.
The first weekday service will take off from LGA at 06:30, landing in BOS at 07:44. The return leg will leave BOS at 08:40 and arrive back in LGA at 10:00. The second return service will depart LGA at 10:59 to reach BOS at 12:03, but the next BOS–LGA flight isn’t until 15:10 and lands at 16:39.
Meanwhile, a JetBlue flight will also be leaving BOS at 06:35 to reach LGA at 08:00. The return service will then take off from LGA at 09:00, reaching BOS at 10:19. The next flight will depart BOS at 11:30 to get to LGA at 12:54 before returning from LGA at 14:29 and landing in BOS at 15:43.
The final daily return services will leave BOS and LGA at 17:10 and 17:30 respectively before both reaching their destinations at 18:44. The final weekday LGA–BOS and BOS–LGA flights will leave at 19:30, with the former landing at 20:45 and the latter landing at 20:50.
From 30 October 2016, JetBlue is also expanding its presence at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), enabled by the FAA’s recent decision to ease limits on scheduled flights. The airline will add two additional daily frequencies between Newark and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and one additional daily frequency between Newark and Orlando International Airport, Tampa International Airport, Palm Beach International Airport and Fort Myers’ Southwest Florida International Airport.
“Increased competition in the congested New York market opens the door to better service and lower fares for our hometown New York customers,” averred Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue. “The FAA’s decision to ease slot restrictions at Newark allows us to bring more low-fare, award-winning service to Newark, and clears the way for a long overdue alternative between LaGuardia and Boston for those who have been priced out of air travel and onto the roads and rails by high-fare legacy carriers.”
Air Côte D’Ivoire orders four A320 family aircraft
Air Côte D’Ivoire has become the first African airline to order an Airbus A320neo.
The carrier has signed a firm order for two A320neos and two A320 aircraft, also marking the first time Air Côte D’Ivoire has signed a purchase agreement directly with Airbus.
As part of its new order, Air Côte D’Ivoire has announced it has selected CFM engines for its A320 fleet, which will feature a two class cabin layout.
“With these new aircraft Air Côte d’Ivoire will position itself as a flagship airline in the region by offering its passengers the best onboard services. Air Côte d’Ivoire will also improve its punctuality and reliability thanks to these latest-generation Airbus aircraft,” commented General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, chairman of the board, Air Côte d’Ivoire.
“We are very pleased to welcome Air Côte D’Ivoire as our first customer for the A320neo in Africa. Our A320neo and A320 will offer Air Côte D’Ivoire the lowest operational costs and the highest seat comfort and widest cabins for its passengers,” added John Leahy, Airbus’s COO of customers. “This order will play a key role in the development of Air Côte D’Ivoire with new routes to West and Central Africa.”
The airline currently operates five Airbus aircraft on lease; four A319s and one A320.
Virgin America increases Elevate member benefits
Virgin America is expanding its popular Status Match programme by offering members of JetBlue's Mosaic programme instant upgrades to Elevate Gold.
This offers passengers perks such as priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline's exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary access to the airline's ViaSat in-flight Wi-Fi and the Virgin America Loft at LAX.
Members can enjoy Gold status perks for three months, plus gain the opportunity to retain Gold status through the end of 2017. This builds on the current programme which offers status match to status holders with United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.
Elsewhere, Virgin America is making it easier for passengers to achieve Elevate Gold or Silver status. Elevate Silver Members will now earn 50% more points above the base rate of 5 points per US$1 of spend, up from 25%. This represents a total bonus of 7.5 points per US$1 spent.
Elevate Gold Members will now earn 140% more points above the aforementioned base rate, up from 100%. This represents a total bonus of 12 points per US$1 spent.
In 2016, Virgin America travellers will earn status based on either the number of flights they take or the amount they spend purchasing flights. Reward flights will also be counted towards achieving status. The new flight counter will count all flight activity since the beginning of the year.
“Our loyal flyers have embraced our innovative approach to travel since the beginning, and we're pleased to announce these new benefits so they can strike status even faster and enjoy even more Bonus Points to put towards future travel with Virgin America and our partners,” declared Virgin America's director of loyalty, Stuart Dinnis. “And for anyone out there who is feeling a little ‘blue’ about their loyalty programme, we're offering instant status upgrades so they can enjoy more of the good life with our Gold status.”
Nordica joins ERA
Nordica has joined the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) with the hope of opening up Estonia to economic and social development opportunities.
Launched in September 2015, the airline was known as Nordic Aviation Group before it rebranded as Nordica in March 2016.
Simon McNamara, the ERA’s director general, noted, “Nordica embodies the true spirit of ERA – an entrepreneurial company that is dedicated to providing connectivity to one of Europe’s more remote regions. I am delighted that the airline has chosen to join ERA to better exploit business opportunities and benefit from regulatory advice and support.”
Within two months of launching, Nordica was operating scheduled flight connections on eight routes from Tallinn to Amsterdam, Brussels, Stockholm, Oslo, Kiev, Trondheim and Vilnius. It initially flew under a commercial agreement with Adria Airways in co-operation with Nordic Aviation Group.
However, Nordica has since taken delivery of the first of its own aircraft – a Bombardier CRJ-700 in January 2016 – and will have six CRJs in operation from July this year. Many new routes including Munich, Berlin, Paris, Nice, Split, Vienna, Odessa and Rijeka have also been introduced.
Nordica also offers regional aircraft capacity to other airlines or communities which need connectivity.
Vietjet launches three new domestic routes from Hai Phong
Vietjet has introduced three new domestic routes from Hai Phong (HPH) to Phu Quoc (PQC), Da Lat (DLI) and Buon Me Thuot (BMT).
From 12 May 2016, the carrier will begin operating a four times weekly service between HPH and PQC on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The outbound service will leave the former at 09:45 and land in the latter at 11:50. The return PQC –HPH leg will take off at 12:25 and arrive back at 14:30.
From 20 May 2016, Vietjet will commence HPH–DLI flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, departing Hai Phong at 09:45 to reach Da Lat at 11:30. The service will take off from DLI again at 12:05 and touch down in HPH at 13:50.
Finally, the HPH–BMV route will start with four times weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 June 2016. The outbound journey will take off at 15:45, landing at 17:25, while the return journey will leave at 18:00 to get back to Hai Phong at 19:40.
Wizz increases links between Budapest and Canary Islands
Wizz Air is adding another two links between Budapest Airport and the Canary Islands this winter with new routes to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote set to begin on 30 October and 2 November respectively.
The carrier, which already operates a service between Budapest and Tenerife, faces no competition on either of the new airport pairs.
Kam Jandu, Budapest Airport’s CCO, remarked, “Wizz Air has seen the potential in connecting Budapest to our missing links in the Canary Islands, meaning we can now offer our passengers a full service to the three main islands of the Spanish archipelago. We are continuing to charge ahead in the first quarter of 2016, and the ongoing support of our home-based carrier is another sign of the promising year ahead.”
Budapest Airport is aiming to reach a target of 10.9 million passengers for 2016.
Delta orders 75 firm Bombardier CS100s
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Delta Air Lines have executed a firm agreement for the sale and purchase of 75 CS100 aircraft with options for an additional 50 CS100s, although Delta may elect to convert a number of these aircraft into CS300 at a later date.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in spring 2018.
“As we reshape our fleet for the future, the innovative onboard experience of the C Series is a perfect complement for the top-notch service provided every day by Delta people,” explained Ed Bastian, Delta's incoming chief executive. “These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance.”
“Welcoming Delta Air Lines to the C Series family of operators is a watershed moment for our game-changing aircraft,” declared Fred Cromer, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “As an industry leader, Delta consistently ranks first with customers, business leaders and its peers – a benchmark for operational performance. This order is a resounding endorsement of the CS100 aircraft performance and its exceptionally low operating costs. In addition, its widest aisle, widest seats and largest bins in its class will be attractive features for Delta's passengers.”
Constant Aviation certified to install Wi-Fi on Global Express aircraft
Constant Aviation has received a supplemental type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration to install in-flight Wi-Fi on Global Express aircraft.
“With close to 100 registered Global Express aircraft in the country, we sought to expand our product offerings and amenities for the Global Express market,” explained Derek Morris, manager of avionics design and engineering, Constant Aviation. “Constant Aviation understands the demand for more reliable in-flight services with faster connectivity. We are excited to provide solutions to our customers’ growing needs.
“The approval of this STC allows the installation of a worldwide solution for in-flight Wi-Fi connections on the Global Express aircraft. This STC enhances the experience for the customer and allows for greater communication when flying internationally. The STC project was unique because it was the first time multiple Wi-Fi onboard access points have been certified at once. The in-flight networks are seamlessly handed off between 3G, satellite based internet and ground based internet, delivering a combination of maximum connectivity and reliability,” continued Morris. “In addition, the cabin management system personalises content storage of audio files and movies and it also allows for wireless control of the cabin environment, audio and lighting. The Global Express STC is another accomplishment to help us better service and support our customers, and can be installed at any of our three nationwide locations.”
ALTO Aviation unveils ALTO Acapella DZ-290
ALTO Aviation has debuted a new FAA-approved cabin audio amplifier, ALTO Acapella DZ-290, to upgrade new or legacy systems with outstanding sound.
The DZ-290 audio system can be controlled through an ALTO keypad, an existing legacy switch panel or optional software. It features chimes control for NS and FSB ordinance connections and was designed to minimise disruption to existing wiring. DZ-290 offers internal 4 source selection as well as volume and mute control.
ALTO Aviation says a unique feature of the amplifier is its ability to interface directly with speaker level outputs from a PA-AV Unit. Featuring an integrated 4 channel amplifier with over 160 W of power, it’s configured to bypass the existing PA/IFE amp. The DZ-290 amplifier interfaces directly to the Audio International RS-485 databus for control of the ALTO amp.
This interface allows former Audio International equipment to remain in the aircraft and may provide obsolescence support for legacy Audio International and Baker systems.
SD introduces WiFi Hub
Satcom Direct (SD) has launched a new connectivity solution for small to midsize aircraft, WiFi Hub, which functions as both a router and a wireless access point.
“By adding the SD WiFi Hub to our hardware line-up, SD now offers powerful connectivity solutions for any size aircraft. The Hub is the perfect platform for smaller airframes that previously were unable to utilise the SDR due to space constraints,” explained Ken Bantoft, SD’s chief technology officer. “Now, operators can access many premium services previously unavailable to narrowbody aircraft.”
The company has primarily designed the WiFi Hub for operators who have a regional mission where email access and text messaging are top priority. Consisting of advanced hardware and software features – including two ARINC 429 interfaces and configurable discretes – it supports multiple SATCOM bearers and Wi-Fi networks. This delivers features including GlobalVT, which enables voice and text on the user’s smartphone, at all phases of flight in any location.
Additionally, SD claims it will enhance the Satcom Direct Router (SDR) for ultra-long range aircraft, providing up to an additional 900 Mbps data rate to the cabin with both 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n radios. The Hub supports high definition media products and applications for all passengers, addressing buffering and gaps in cabin coverage.
Photo credit: Steve Nichols
Spring Airlines to adopt Amadeus Ticketless Access
Spring Airlines’ domestic and international routes and fares are to become available through Amadeus’ global travel agency network.
The carrier’s content can already be accessed by Amadeus travel agents in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Taiwan – key growth markets for the airline – and will be rolled out to Amadeus subscribers worldwide by the end of the year.
“We have big ambitions to expand both regionally and internationally, and the travel agency channel is a critical component to supporting that growth,” commented Wang Zhenghua, chairman of Spring Airlines. “We are pleased to partner with Amadeus to give the world’s largest network of travel agencies greater access to our low fares, which we expect to translate into increased flight bookings. We are confident in Amadeus’ position as a global leader to help us embrace a bigger role in the international market, bringing more travellers into China.”
Decius Valmorbida, VP distribution marketing, Amadeus, asserted, “Our light ticketing technology is unique in the marketplace. It allows travel agents to book flights with low-cost and hybrid carriers in the same way as they do with full-service carriers – bringing great possibilities for growth in the travel agency channel. We are very pleased to be partnering with Spring Airlines to support their international expansion with this technology.”
Bombardier renews strategic alliance with Fokker Services
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced Fokker Services will continue to provide operators of Dash 8/Q Series 100/200/300 aircraft with its ABACUS FLY programme for the next three years.
“For the past five years, Fokker's ABACUS FLY programme has provided our operators and their Dash 8/Q Series 100/200/300 aircraft with dedicated, comprehensive support via guaranteed availability of serviceable components,” explained Todd Young, VP and general manager of customer services, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Dash 8/Q Series aircraft are in service with more than 150 operators worldwide and our collaboration with Fokker Services has been instrumental in providing customers with the necessary service to run their operations efficiently and reliably for years to come.”
“As the top service provider in the industry, we celebrate the extension of the platform and are pleased that Bombardier and its operators continue to look to the ABACUS FLY support programme for their Dash 8 aircraft needs,” added Erik Geertsema, VP business and strategy development, Fokker Services. “This renewed alliance signifies Fokker's commitment to ensuring regional aircraft continue to operate competitively and efficiently while upholding the strong reputation of the Dash 8 aircraft fleet.”
bmi regional introduces new fare families
From 27 April, bmi regional’s customers will be able to book one of three flight packages depending on their individual needs.
The flexible fares are branded Classic, Classic Plus and Executive. Passengers opting for the Classic fare can check one bag weighing up to 20kg into the hold, but face a £50 fee plus fare difference if they wish to change their flights.
Classic Plus offers a few extra features. Alongside the aforementioned hold luggage, passengers will only pay the fare difference if they change their flights and can cancel flights for a fee of £100.
Passengers who purchase bmi regional’s Executive fare won’t have to pay a fee for cancellation; will benefit from complimentary lounge access, fast-tracked security and enhanced food and beverage service where available; receive seating towards the front of the cabin and a fresh fruit basket; and be allowed to place two bags of up to 20kg each into the hold.
The new fares run parallel with bmi regional’s recently launched ‘Business Powered’ four-tier corporate product structure.
Jochen Schnadt, bmi regional’s chief commercial officer, averred, “Our new fare structure further enhances our position as a flexible and bespoke airline for business, corporate and leisure travellers. We believe this new service innovation is the next logical step in further aligning our product offering to our customers’ needs and wants. Combined with our new Executive product, we are now in a position to offer customers with onward connections a seamless premium end-to-end product.”
AirAsia X increases flight frequencies to eight destinations
AirAsia X is to increase the frequency of flights on its Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Osaka, Sapporo, Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei routes.
The carrier’s Melbourne, Perth and Taipei routes will soon benefit from 14 weekly flights, while flights to Sydney, Beijing and Shanghai will increase to 11 times weekly. Finally, flights to Sapporo and Osaka will grow to nine and five times weekly respectively.
“As the pioneer for low cost long-haul travel, we are pleased to offer our guests greater value with additional flight options to selected destinations,” remarked Arik Kumar De, head of commercial for AirAsia X Berhad. “Our guests can now enjoy more flexibility in their travelling plans for the coming few months through the added flight frequencies which will be an added convenience factor.”
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February 18, 2016
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