British airways gin

British Airways introduces Aviation American Gin on board

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British airways gin

British Airways and Aviation American Gin have announced that the gin brand will be available on board the carrier’s long-haul and short-haul networks.

On long-haul flights, passengers will be offered the gin from the in-flight menu and short-haul customers will be able to buy it from the onboard Speedbird café.

British Airways says the partnership builds on the opening of the Aviation Gin bar in the airline’s Club Lounge at JFK Airport in October 2021.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “Offering our customers a premium experience throughout their journey is important to us. Partnering with Aviation American Gin is another great addition to our on-board service. We hope our customers join us in celebrating with a refreshing gin and tonic.”

Gareth Williams, International Brand Director at Aviation American Gin, said: “We’re so excited to get on board with the UK flag carrier British Airways and take Aviation American Gin to new heights – the sky! Through this partnership, we’re keen to enhance each traveller’s experience with a deliciously refreshing Aviation Gin cocktail for flyers to enjoy on journeys near and far, offering an American twist on this quintessentially British drink.”

The partnership is being launched with an alternative safety video starring Aviation American Gin co-owner Ryan Reynolds, which can be watched via @AviationGin’s social channels.

Air Asia

AirAsia X announces final completion of debt restructuring

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Air Asia

AirAsia X has lodged the sanction order for its debt restructuring with the Registrar of Companies and says the formalities of the restructuring are now completed.

According to AirAsia X, the lodgement of the sanction order means that the financial effects can be recognised in the financial statements of the company.

As a result, it will be able to reverse RM33 billion of liabilities and provisions for liabilities which have been waived under the scheme. The lodgement of the sanction order will now pave the way for the completion of the proposed fundraising.

AirAsia X CEO, Benyamin Ismail, said: “This is another significant step in rebuilding AAX, post-pandemic. We are returning to the skies in a robust position where we can once again offer the best value fares and customer service excellence which our customers deserve.

“Cargo has been a strong lifeline for AAX and our recovery is already under way as a combination carrier with equal emphasis on cargo and passenger revenues.

“We look forward to offering more value for money services across our core network in tandem with cargo and consumer demand.

’In the next two months we will recommence passenger services to several more international destinations in line with borders reopening, with exciting offerings for guests and particularly to our customers that have travel credits with us.”

The debt restructuring proposal was approved by the airline’s creditors on 12 November 2021 and by the High Court of Malaya on 16 December 2021.

STELIA EQUINOX copyright China Airlines

STELIA Aerospace announces customised Premium Business Class seat for China Airlines

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STELIA EQUINOX copyright China Airlines

STELIA Aerospace has revealed it has developed a highly customised version of its EQUINOX Premium Business Class seat for China Airlines’ A321neo.

The first aircraft will enter into service soon and the manufacturer says that thanks to the highest standards provided by the seat and the features specifically developed by STELIA Aerospace and China Airlines to fit the airline’s very stringent requirements, passengers can benefit from a full-flat seat on a single-aisle aircraft.

The seat’s features include a spacious 180-degree full flat bed with an enlarged bed width of 22.5 inches, retractable telescopic partitions between seats for enhanced privacy and a personal storage area under the TV screen which has doors that transform into a small cocktail table.

It also features a new LED control panel that allows passengers to electrically adjust the seat and maximise comfort throughout the flight, together with a new inductive charging for mobile devices – a rare feature on single-aisle aircraft – and night mood lighting projections around each passenger’s head, enhancing comfort at night and helping sleep.

The company has also designed a full-height front row monument specifically tailored for China Airlines. According to STELIA Aerospace, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus, the monument optimises storage space as well as the aircraft seat count, while providing a welcoming cabin ambience for passengers as soon as they board the aircraft.

Thierry Kanengieser, VP Cabin Interior, Airbus Atlantic, said: “In the name of STELIA Aerospace, I am very proud to have worked with China Airlines to develop this brand-new and highly customised EQUINOX Premium Business Class seat for their A321neo. This seat will no doubt contribute widely to passenger comfort on regional routes, complying with China Airlines’ tradition of excellence.”

Dnata appointed to manage easyJet’s in-flight retail services

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Dnata has revealed it has been appointed to manage easyJet’s in-flight retail services across the carrier’s extensive network.

Dnata says the contract marks a significant milestone for the company’s growing catering and retail business and cements its position as a leading end-to-end inflight and airport service provider globally.

As part of the partnership, dnata will deliver a tailor-made retail programme on board, in addition to innovative solutions that support easyJet to further enhance its retail range onboard.

Dnata will provide easyJet with a comprehensive suite of services covering retail strategy, product development and selection across food, beverage and duty-free, procurement, marketing, cabin crew engagement and financial management.

Robin Padgett, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President for Catering and Retail, said: “We’re immensely proud to become the in-flight retail partner of choice for easyJet across its European network. We will work closely with the airline’s teams to bring a modern, digital-led retail experience to easyJet’s customers, putting products people love on board and delivering value for passengers and the company.

“We know easyJet is a leader in its segment and we’re excited to lift the success of their retail programme even further, leveraging our experience and insights across in-flight and on-ground retailing, gathered across our global markets.”

Simon Cox, Director of InFlight Retail for easyJet, said: “We are delighted to be working with dnata on an opportunity to transform our in-flight retail service and we are confident they are the right partners to support us in realising our ambitions to deliver an industry-leading innovative onboard retail experience for our customers across Europe.”

Dnata has also been appointed to provide end-to-end logistics and last-mile services to easyJet at 11 stations across the UK and Italy.

Icelandair meals

Icelandair announces option to pre-purchase meals before flight

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Icelandair meals

Icelandair is offering the carrier’s passengers the option to pre-purchase meals before flight, with the airline saying the option is available during the booking process.

Economy customers travelling with Icelandair can now pre-purchase their in-flight food on flights between Iceland and Europe and between Iceland and North America.

Icelandair is also offering a wider range of meals and passengers are able to choose from a choice of a three-course menu, an open sandwich and vegan and low-carb options. Passengers who choose not to pre-purchase their meals can purchase light snacks on board.

Icelandair passengers can add meals in “My Journey” until 24 hours before departure for those pre-purchasing. The carrier says this new offering is in line with Icelandair’s sustainability goals, the objective of reducing food waste and aircraft load. Additionally, the airline has introduced new environmentally friendly food packaging on board.

United Airlines is to purchase 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft - the largest combined order in the airline's history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade

United launches Ukraine relief effort to support aid workers

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United Airlines is to purchase 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft - the largest combined order in the airline's history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade

United has announced a fundraising effort which aims to play a critical role in the mission to fly aid workers and supplies to regions in Ukraine that are most in need.

United’s MileagePlus members can donate cash or miles to the airline’s signature relief partners Airlink, Americares, American Red Cross and World Central Kitchen by visiting united.com/UkraineSupport.

United says it will match the first five million donated miles, which is the equivalent of hundreds of connecting flights to places such as Poland, Hungary and Romania.

The airline’s President, Brett Hart, said: “The human tragedy we are witnessing in Ukraine is horrifying and has shocked us all so we’re doing our part to quickly help get aid to the people who desperately need relief. Our partners have been on the ground for more than a week and it’s clear they need more resources to fulfil their mission of flying workers and supplies to and from the front lines of this crisis. We’re proud to do our part and will continue to look for ways to lend support where it’s needed.”

United has also paused Russian airspace transit, suspended interline agreements with Russian carriers and credit card payments from Russia will no longer be accepted on the United app or united.com.

Boeing 737 MAX 8

BOC Aviation to buy 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

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Boeing 737 MAX 8

BOC Aviation Limited has agreed to purchase 11 new 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Boeing. The company will be leasing the aircraft to Canadian carrier Lynx Air on long-term leases.

The aircraft will be powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines and are scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

“We are pleased to be partnering with BOC Aviation for the lease of 11 of our new aircraft,” said Merren McArthur, CEO, Lynx Air. “The financing of these aircraft is integral to our growth plans as we continue our mission to make air travel accessible to all Canadians. We are looking forward to welcoming Canadians on board these brand-new Boeing 737 MAX airplanes.”

Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BOC Aviation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lynx as a new customer and are pleased to support the airline’s plans to serve the Canadian travel market with the most fuel-efficient, technologically advanced aircraft. This transaction demonstrates the innovative financing solutions that we provide for our global customer base and reflects our disciplined investment strategy focused on a portfolio of latest technology aircraft.”

WIZZ Air external aircraft

Wizz Air supports Ukrainian refugees with 100,000 free seats

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WIZZ Air external aircraft

Wizz Air is supporting Ukrainian refugees by giving them 100,000 free seats on all of the carrier’s continental Europe flights that depart from Ukraine’s border countries – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Ukrainian refugees can book the flights by visiting https://wizzair.com/#/rescue. Wizz Air says it is committed to helping the refugees reach their final destinations and has already added larger aircraft and extra flights from border countries to Europe.

The airline also recognises that many refugees have already started moving and may be stranded in other locations, so it will also offer a €29.99 rescue fare on all other flights (excluding the UAE, Iceland and the Canaries), as well as a €69.99 rescue fare on all flights to the UAE, Iceland and the Canaries.

The free seats and the rescue fares will be available for travel throughout March and passengers are required to provide their Ukrainian passport/ID card number at time of booking and show their Ukrainian passport/ID card at time of check-in.

József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air, said: “Our hearts are with the Ukrainian people during this crisis. We are committed to helping as many Ukrainian refugees as possible to get to a safe place, which is why we will be offering them 100,000 free seats from the border countries and special rescue fares on all other flights. We have already seen great humanitarian efforts on the ground by our people across the network, and as a company we wanted to play our part in these efforts. We would be happy to provide a safe and welcoming journey for these refugees.”

Etihad Airways Greenliner

Etihad Airways records strong surge in passenger volumes

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Etihad Airways Greenliner

Etihad Airways recorded a strong recovery in passenger operations for 2021 in addition to a significant improvement in financial performance, posting a much-reduced loss of US$476 million for 2021 (2020: US$1.7 billion).

The carrier served 3.5 million passengers in 2021, with passenger loads doubling in the second half of the year. Etihad also recorded a particularly strong surge in passenger volumes in Q4 following the September relaxation of mandatory quarantine periods in Abu Dhabi.

The airline’s passenger revenue was US$1.07 billion in 2021, down by 14% year-on-year, and Etihad says that while ongoing travel restrictions and new variants of the virus dampened demand, it saw passenger revenues bounce back in the last quarter of the year, which recovered to 50% of 2019 levels in December.

Etihad’s cargo operations again outperformed expectations, with a 27% year-on-year increase in freight carried in 2021 and a rise in cargo revenues of 49% to US$1.73 billion, the highest figure in the history of the airline.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “In another year of global uncertainty, Etihad Airways has continued to move forward, strengthen its business, and build on its world-class travel proposition. As always, this has been thanks to our remarkable people who have gone above and beyond to make the most of every opportunity.

“Despite the slowdown caused by Omicron, we are confident that the spring and summer season will continue to see a resurgence in travel as more people return to the skies.

“We look forward to our guests being able to experience our state-of-the-art Airbus A350s when they debut later this year, taking pride of place alongside our Boeing 787s.

“With one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the world and with sustainability at the very top of our agenda, we will continue to pave the way for more sustainable flying in 2022 and beyond.”

In 2021, Etihad also continued its Etihad Wellness programme, a service developed at the outbreak of the pandemic to ensure passenger health and well-being at every touchpoint, and to provide peace of mind when travelling.

The programme has continued to be championed by trained wellness ambassadors who provide guests with care and essential travel health information on the ground and on board flights, as well as initiatives to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitisation, with complimentary wellness kits and covid-19 insurance cover for passengers.

SWISS presents its first aircraft with Premium Economy Class

SWISS unveils first aircraft to be equipped with Premium Economy Class

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SWISS presents its first aircraft with Premium Economy Class

SWISS presented its first aircraft to be equipped with the carrier’s new Premium Economy Class at Zurich Airport last week.

The new class is already bookable and will be installed on all 12 of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER long-haul aircraft.

The airline says SWISS Premium Economy Class travellers will be offered greater privacy and enhanced in-flight comfort.

SWISS’s Chief Commercial Officer, Tamur Goudarzi Pour, said: “Our SWISS Premium Economy Class is a top-quality standout product against our international competitors and I am delighted that we can now offer our customers this new best-in-class air travel experience. Our Premium Economy Class should be especially appealing to travellers who have flown Economy Class to date and would like to enhance their in-flight comfort and convenience, so it also helps us strengthen our premium-carrier positioning in the growing leisure travel market.”

The SWISS Premium Economy Class will have the latest-generation seats from seat manufacturer ZIM. The seats feature fabrics by the Bern-based Lantal company and a hard-shell design that enables them to be reclined easily without causing inconvenience to the passenger behind.

SWISS says it is the first airline in the Lufthansa Group to offer its customers this newly developed ZIM Premium Economy seat.

The carrier’s Premium Economy Class travellers will be given a complimentary amenity kit which makes innovative use of kraft paper and paper pulp in its contents to minimise plastics use.

“We put a strong emphasis at SWISS on making the whole travel chain as sustainable as possible because we don’t just want to be a premium carrier for our guests – we want to live up consistently to all our responsibilities to the climate and to society too,” said Tamur Goudarzi Pour.

Passengers will also receive high-quality noise-reducing headphones that the airline says will further enhance their experience of the in-flight audio and video entertainment available on their 15.6-inch at-seat screen.

The in-flight culinary offering has also been specially modified to accommodate the new class of travel, with Premium Economy passengers receiving a refreshing welcome drink and a choice of three hot meals.