Jozsef Varadi, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hungarian low-cost carrier, Wizz Air, has called on the airline industry to eliminate business class on flights under five hours.

“Business class should be banned,” Varadi stated. “These passengers account for twice the carbon footprint of an economy passenger, and the industry is guilty of preserving an inefficient and archaic model. A rethink is long overdue, and we call on fellow airlines to commit to a total ban on business class travel for any flight under five hours.”

Wizz Air’s longest flight is Dubai to Budapest at just over 4,000 km and 6 hours and 5 minutes.

As a result of the numerous fuel-saving initiatives, Wizz Air has one of the lowest emission rates in European airline industry. In the 2019 Financial Year, its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre were 58.5 grams, down from 59.9 grams in the prior financial year.
It expects to reduce this by 30% for every passenger in the next 10 years.

Since 2012 it has implemented several projects and initiatives, including the improvement of economic flying speed, descent optimization and zonal drying, which add up nearly 100,000 tons reduction of CO2 emissions per year, or over 3% per aircraft per year.

“We are already the greenest choice of air travel a passenger can make and have committed to reducing our carbon footprint by 30% in the next ten years, but while it’s a step in the right direction, we still have a very long way to go. The industry as a whole needs to be more aggressive in its ambitions if we are truly to make a difference,” Varadi added.

Etihad Engineering has collaborated with leading German-based 3D printing technology providers, EOS and BigRep, to open the region’s first additive manufacturing facility with Design and Production Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, the laboratory features two approved industrial 3D printers.

The laboratory’s primary machine is the powder-bed fusion technology system EOS P 396, which recently received one of the first airline MRO approvals from EASA for 3D printing and will be used to design, produce and certify additively manufactured parts for the aircraft cabin of the future.

Markus Glasser, senior vice president, Export Region, EOS, said: “Being committed to high-quality solutions and constant technology innovation, Etihad Engineering and EOS share the same mindset. Together, we want to bring the design and production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.” Glasser continues: “Producing cabin interior parts additively will offer a substantial value-add in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation, addressing some of the key challenges of the aerospace industry.”

The newest system installed by EOS produces serial parts from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR, and enables the manufacture of cabin parts for an aircraft’s heavy maintenance C-Check. Cabin defects can also be rectified within a short turnaround time which allows for the production of the required cabin parts during line maintenance.

EVA Air is to introduce new Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits for all Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel Class business passengers from the beginning of December, following the expiration of its seven-year cooperation with RIMOWA at the end of November.

EVA began offering RIMOWA kits in 2013 by providing five generations of the sought-after amenities in nine different colours in its luxurious business cabin.

EVA partnered with Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo to design new hard-case amenity kits in black, making them the ‘perfect accessories for the sophisticated dark coloured duvet and Royal Laurel/Premium Laurel Class design’. The new Ferragamo amenity kits will be available to all Royal Laurel/Premium Laurel Class passengers, departing from Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport on long-haul flights.

EVA began providing Ferragamo soft-bag amenity kits to Royal Laurel/Premium Laurel Class on long-haul flights to Taipei from the end of 2018. Now, it is presenting its second-generation of the amenity kits, blending Taiwan’s aboriginal rhombus totems with stylish western cultural elements. The new soft-sided bags were created to acquaint EVA’s passengers from around the globe with Taiwan’s art and culture. As a bonus, the new amenity kits come with exclusive Ferragamo key chains and will become available to passengers in mid-December.

EVA is also upgrading the amenity kit contents with Ferragamo’s Bianco Di Carrara fragrance by infusing the exclusive aroma into the body lotion, lip balm and hand cream offered in-flight. Created by well-known perfumer Alexandra Carlin and launched in 2018, the floral woody musk-scented Bianco Di Carrara has been conceived for women and men. The popular scent’s top notes are calabrian bergamot, white pepper and ambrette or musk mallow with middle notes of violet, iris and heliotrope and base notes of amber, tonka bean and white suede.

In the first quarter of 2020, EVA will begin offering brand-new Premium Economy Class amenity kits created by Belgian bag and accessory brand Kipling, the first time it has worked with an airline. Kipling’s exclusive Premium Economy Class amenity kits combine the brand’s most iconic design features in a stylishly shaped bag with a monkey key hanger and the landmark Taipei 101 Building. The new amenity kits will be offered to passengers, departing from Taipei.

EVA is also working with Italian fashion brand FURLA to introduce a second-generation overnight kit for Premium Economy Class passengers on long-haul flights to Taipei. The new kits are a larger version of FURLA’s “Owl Bag”. EVA will offer its second-generation FURLA Premium Economy Class amenity kits in the first quarter of 2020.

After partnering with prominent fashion designer Jason Wu to create pyjamas for Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel Class passengers on long-haul flights in 2019, EVA is repeating the collaboration to create a second-generation of in-flight sleepwear, to be introduced in January.

Designed to be comfortable and easy to wear, the sleepwear is made of a soft, cosy fabric with draw-string collar and trouser pockets. Available in medium, large and extra-large, the pyjamas accommodate different heights and body types and each size comes in a different colour.

EVA president, Clay Sun explained: “EVA is consistently dedicated to delivering the most comfortable and luxurious passenger services possible. We choose top global brands that complement our high standards and work in cooperation with them to create world-class amenities and service items as part of our never-ending mission to innovate and deliver increasingly better flying experiences for our passengers.”

Passengers flying with Emirates are now able to access global music streaming service, Deezer, which has created more than 20 playlists, including Arabic, for the airline’s in-flight entertainment system, ice.

Tarek Mounir, CEO, MENA and Turkey, Deezer, said: “It’s great to work closely with Emirates one of, if not the best airline in the world, to take our expertly-curated playlists to the skies. Music has the power to transport us and our curated music selection aims to get listeners to feel the thrill of discovery that comes from visiting a new destinations and new experiences.”

Patrick Brannelly, division VP customer experience, Emirates, added: “We welcome playlists by Deezer on ice. Movies and TV are super popular onboard, but a core of our customers love music. Emirates has supported the industry for many years by working with artists and record labels. Now we are pleased to be building relationships with music streaming services.”

Southwest Airlines has extended its partnership with Leon Logothetis, known as The Kindness Guy, for a new series created exclusively for the airline.

The five-part series follows Logothetis as he travels with Southwest to cities across the country to meet people and learn about their travels.

According to a press release, during every encounter, he greets each person with a simple question: “Where have you been?” This question is central to the theme of the series, inspiring a variety of responses: not only where they have visited, but also who they are, what their story is, and the kindnesses they have experienced in their travels.

This series is available to Southwest Customers on the airline’s in-flight entertainment portal on Wi-Fi-enabled flights through 2020. Additionally, “Where have you been?” is available on Southwest’s YouTube channel.

“Southwest Employees practice civility and kindness on a daily basis through their interactions with our Customers and with each other,” said Michelle Agnew, manager of Brand Partnerships and Entertainment Public Relations for Southwest. “This new series focuses on those moments of kindness that have made a difference in people’s lives. We’re proud of the partnership we have with Leon, which truly centres on values we each share–following The Golden Rule and treating others with kindness.”

“I am beyond excited to share the ‘Where have you been?’ series that includes amazing stories from my travels,” said Logothetis. “I’ve found that the more we travel, the more we experience the magic of life, and this series captures moments that have shown me how kind the world can truly be.”

Southwest plays a vital role in Leon’s journey, offering to fly him from San Diego, California, to San Jose, Costa Rica, via Houston. Logothetis experiences the Hospitality of Southwest Employees first-hand as he extends his kindness mission across the country.

Emirates is showing the Seven Worlds, One Planet documentary live at the same time as its BBC One broadcast in the UK – the first time any airline has streamed a show at the same time as its TV network timeslot.

The episodes of Seven Worlds, One Planet will be screened live on board 176 aircraft equipped with live TV for the next six Sundays at 10:15pm Dubai time (6.15pm UK time).

Customers can also choose to watch episodes on demand on all flights from December.

The natural history landmark series Seven Worlds, One Planet, explores a different continent in each episode to uncover the fundamental truth about what makes each one of our seven worlds so unique. Revealing how each of the continents has shaped the extraordinary biodiversity we see today, the series will also show how that precious diversity is being lost. Remarkable, new animal behaviour will feature in all of the continents including the baking plains of Africa and the frozen waters off Antarctica. In Asia, the biggest of all continents, the series will showcase life at the extremes, whilst in Europe it will reveal surprising wildlife dramas hidden right alongside us.

Turkish Airlines has selected Global Eagle and Profen as its in-flight connectivity provider across its fleet of B737NG and A321 narrowbody aircraft.

The contract sees Global Eagle integrate its Airconnect Global Ku satellite IFC solution, Airtime Portal, content, and satellite network with Profen’s substantial teleport, regulatory, billing, and security infrastructure.

Commercial service is expected within the next 12 months.

Onder Havuzlu, president, Profen, said: “IFC on narrow-bodies will become one of the key solutions to further improve the Turkish Airlines passengers’ flight experience. Global Eagle and Profen will provide an end-to-end solution that ensures passengers have the highest level of connectivity service.”

Recaro has installed its connected economy class seat BL3530 on a TAP Air Portugal A321 single-aisle aircraft.

The “iSeat” pilot project is the first ever economy class seat to be designed, certified and installed as an ‘intelligent seat’, and is equipped with numerous sensors to gather data on seat performance and generic behaviour during flight. This includes if the seat is occupied, how many times a passenger uses the tray table, raises the armrests, reclines the seat, and whether their seatbelt is fastened.

Data retrieval will take place every two months, and the collected data will be analysed for future investigations, such as tracking passenger preferences and maintenance. Slated for a six-month trial run, this is the first piece of Recaro’s larger “connected cabin” strategy.

This initiative marks the first time that Recaro designed, produced and certified an aircraft installation under its own Design Organization Approval (DOA) authority, granted to Recaro by European Union Aviation Safety Agency at the aircraft level.

“TAP Air Portugal has been investing throughout the recent years in developing an in-flight product aligned with the brand and consistent on the entire fleet. This product improvement process has been one the pillars of all TAP’s recent transformation. TAP has today a cabin that was specifically designed to match TAP’s identity and to provide the best in-flight experience to our passengers. Recaro is a strategic partner on this transformation process and the “iSeat” will provide further data regarding the passengers’ needs and behaviours that will help TAP Air Portugal and Recaro in the development of new generations of seats to further enhance the comfort and safety standards“, said Nuno Leal, head of Fleet Planning & Contracts.

Photo – from left to right: Ricardo Gaspar (TAP/fleet engineer), Rui Santos (TAP/cabin engineer), Caetano Almeida (TAP/fleet engineer – Narrow Body coordinator), Anthony Medaglia (RECARO/project manager customer support), Violina Mikova (RECARO/innovation manager), André Simões (TAP/fleet manager), Eduardo Sanz Garcia (TAP/ fleet manager)