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Qantas selects Pratt & Whitney GTF for its A220 and A320neo family aircraft

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Qantas Airways has selected Pratt & Whitney GTF engines to power its 40 Airbus A220 and A320neo family aircraft.

Aircraft deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2023 and include the A321XLR, which the airline will operate on domestic and short-haul international routes.

Pratt & Whitney will also provide Qantas with engine maintenance through a long-term EngineWise comprehensive service agreement.

“We thank Qantas for selecting us to power not just one, but two of their next-generation fleets,” said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer for Pratt & Whitney. “GTF engine technology will deliver unmatched economic and environmental performance, and for aircraft like the A321XLR, superior payload and range.”

Wizz air A321neo

Pratt & Whitney delivers 1,000th GTF engine powering the A320neo family

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Wizz air A321neo

Pratt & Whitney has delivered its 1,000th GTF engine powering the Airbus A320neo family.

The 1,000th aircraft was an A321neo delivered to Hungarian carrier Wizz Air which selected the GTF engines to power its 276 A320neo family aircraft. Pratt & Whitney also powers the airline’s fleet of 105 A320ceo family aircraft with V2500 engines.

Owain Jones, chief development officer at Wizz Air, said: “We are thrilled to accept the 1,000th GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft. The industry-leading technology in the GTF engine is helping to power our growth, while significantly reducing our impact on the environment and further reducing our already best-in-class operating costs. Our collaboration with Pratt & Whitney has helped us make air travel affordable for more people than ever before, and they are now partnering with us through our efforts to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters reach safe destinations.”

Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer at Pratt & Whitney, said: “Congratulations to the Wizz Air team on the 1,000th GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft, and on the success that we’ve achieved together since your first flight in 2004. We are honoured to work with you in connecting people and in making the world more sustainable.”

Air Canada carries more than 100,000 passengers in one day

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Air Canada has announced that the carrier has flown more than 100,000 customers in a single day for the first time since early in the pandemic as passengers continue returning to air travel.

Air Canada says the last time it carried more than 100,000 customers in one day was in March 2020. Passenger loads fell as low as to 2,175 during the pandemic as global air traffic ground to a virtual halt. Before the pandemic, Air Canada carried, on average, nearly 150,000 people daily in 2019 and its single-day passenger load record was 187,000 customers on 16 August 2019.

“We were very pleased to have had 100,701 customers board our planes on 15 April 2022, as travellers steadily return. Clearly there is a pent-up demand for travel that is matched only by our enthusiasm to welcome back our customers.

“It is also significant that we passed this milestone smoothly, indicating Air Canada has recovered operationally from COVID-19’s effects and is prepared to safely and conveniently transport customers during the busy summer ahead,” said Kevin O’Connor, Vice President of Air Canada’s Systems Operations Control, which manages the airline’s daily operation.

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Finnair selects Panasonic Avionics to upgrade its IFE systems

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Finnair has selected Panasonic Avionics to upgrade the in-flight entertainment systems across its widebody long-haul fleet.

Panasonic Avionics is installing its latest eX3 system in all cabins on Finnair’s eight Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Finnair’s A350-900 aircraft, which already have eX3 installed, will see their premium cabins upgraded to the latest version.

The project is part of Finnair’s cabin enhancements for its long-haul fleet, which feature the carrier’s brand-new Premium Economy cabin. The first upgraded aircraft has already entered service.

The Panasonic Avionics eX3 system on board every cabin of Finnair’s long-haul fleet includes HD screens with capacitive touch displays and handsets as well as USB and laptop charging facilities.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “Finnair’s innovative and eye-catching widebody cabin enhancements take their passenger experience to a new level. Panasonic Avionics is honoured to be contributing to this upgrade with our latest in-flight entertainment solutions, marking the latest chapter in our relationship with this industry-leading carrier.”

Harri Valkama, Digital Channel Lead at Finnair, said: “This upgrade for Finnair reflects our commitment to deliver a premium experience in every cabin on our aircraft. Having the latest technology on board will allow our customers to stay entertained as they travel long-haul. We chose Panasonic Avionics for its innovative solutions and ability to support [Finnair’s] digital in-flight ecosystem. We can rest assured that our customers will experience high quality state-of-the-art systems.”

Finnair’s in-flight connectivity services are provided by Panasonic Avionics and Finnair also recently became the European launch customer for the company’s Arc map platform.

airBaltic A220 seats

airBaltic increases seat count to 149 in its Airbus A220-300

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Latvian airline airBaltic has revealed its Airbus A220-300 fleet is undergoing a gradual change in cabin configuration to 149 seats, unblocking additional seating that couldn’t previously be used.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic, said: “In late February we received our first airBaltic Airbus A220-300 aircraft, which is certified to operate up to 149 seats. Until now we could use 145 seats on the aircraft. However, going forward also, our existing fleet will be adjusted to use the additional capacity, which will further drive efficiency of our operations.”

As of 5 April, the carrier has changed the cabin configuration for the first five of airBaltic’s 33 Airbus A220-300 aircraft and plans to unblock the additional seats on its entire fleet by summer 2023.

The first 20 aircraft will have 148 seats and the next 12 will have 149. All aircraft to be delivered between 2022 and early 2024 are planned to have 148 seats.

airBaltic has been operating all its flights with a single aircraft type, the Airbus A220-300, since May 2020. The carrier says this minimises complexity and provides additional efficiency and its Airbus A220-300 has performed beyond the company’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and staff.

The A220-300 has an air filtering system equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that provides the best level of filtration currently available for recirculated cabin air.

The new aircraft is also considerably quieter, with a four times smaller noise footprint and, according to airBaltic, is the greenest commercial aircraft in the world and the first aircraft to have a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO2 and NOX emissions by 20% and 50% respectively.

Norwegian wing

Norwegian passenger numbers topped 940,000 in March

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Norwegian has released its traffic figures for March which displayed a positive trend with growth in passenger numbers and a load factor of above 80%. The airline carried 940,149 passengers in March, compared with 71,399 during the same period last year.

The airline, which has now removed the requirement to wear face masks on board all flights, will operate almost 280 routes to popular destinations in Europe in the summer with a fleet of 70 aircraft. The carrier has recently reopened several bases and direct routes in Europe.

Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian, said: “We are particularly pleased that the load factor has remained above 80% despite the introduction of significantly more capacity in March. Booking figures have improved throughout recent weeks and we are pleased to see this continued upward trend in the market. We are seeing a busy Easter travel period with many travellers and several full flights. Towards the summer we will reopen and introduce new destinations and our customers can now choose from almost 280 routes in Europe.”

PEGASUS - GÜLİZ ÖZTÜRK & MEHMET T. NANE

Güliz Öztürk appointed CEO of Pegasus Airlines

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PEGASUS - GÜLİZ ÖZTÜRK & MEHMET T. NANE

Pegasus Airlines has announced that Güliz Öztürk, who has been serving as the company’s CCO since 2010, is succeeding Mehmet T Nane as CEO, with Mr Nane becoming Vice-Chairperson of the Board (Managing Director).

Nane and Öztürk will officially begin their new roles on 1 May 2022.

Nane said: “I am delighted to be passing the CEO baton, which I received in 2016, to Güliz Öztürk, who has made significant contributions to the growth and development of Pegasus for many years. I wholeheartedly believe that she will continue to wave the flag of Pegasus brightly in the skies. This appointment holds great value and significance also as Güliz Öztürk is to become the first woman CEO of an airline in the history of Turkish civil aviation.”

Öztürk said: “I am honoured to receive the baton from Mehmet T Nane. As Pegasus Airlines, we have accomplished many firsts and pioneering projects under his leadership since 2016, and we have made our country proud many times in the international arena. Together with all my colleagues, we will work tirelessly to progress our company further and crown its achievements.

“Investing in two important areas will continue to be the architect of our success: technology and people. As Turkey’s digital airline, we will continue to offer digital technologies and unique innovations that will enhance the travel experience, with our approach that focuses on guest experience. Without compromising the basic principles of our business model, we will continue to manage our operations and activities with a sustainable environment approach. One of the issues on which we will also be most focused will be gender equality.

“We will make every effort, institutionally and individually, to contribute to the equal participation of women and men in all areas of social life and to enable women to express their full potential. As a company, we have been committed to gender equality for many years, and we have been at the centre of the struggle. This change is also proof of the importance our company attaches to gender equality.”

China Airlines A350

China Airlines announces Inmarsat’s in-flight broadband Wi-Fi on board

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China Airlines A350

China Airlines’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft, which features Inmarsat’s high-speed GX Aviation in-flight Wi-Fi, has now entered commercial service.

The solution allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream video and audio, shop online and work from the comfort of their seat.

China Airlines has ordered 25 Airbus A321neos as part of a narrowbody fleet replacement programme and the aircraft will be equipped with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and SITA’s Internet ONAIR, alongside other new cabin features such as fully flat seats in Premium Business Class, the latest in-flight entertainment system and 4K displays.

Niels Steenstrup, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity Business, said: “We are delighted to welcome China Airlines as our latest GX Aviation in-flight broadband customer, especially at a time when the carrier is welcoming millions of its passengers back to the skies. The fact that this is our second new airline customer announcement with SITA in recent months is testament to our successful partnership and also reinforces strong demand for our market-leading connectivity, despite the challenges that Covid-19 has presented to the aviation industry over the past two years.”

Katrina Korzenowski, Asia Pacific Vice President at SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, added: “Providing a digital and touchless onboard experience will be the key to increasing passenger confidence as air travel recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Internet ONAIR technology, coupled with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation connectivity, offers China Airlines the perfect blueprint for a world-class inflight broadband offering onboard its Airbus A321neo aircraft and we’re proud to be working together to achieve this. It also means that SITA is now providing a full suite of services, from cockpit to cabin, to China Airlines.”

JetBlue A321neo tail fin

JetBlue and Qatar Airways plan to expand global partnership

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JetBlue has revealed it intends to expand its existing partnership with Qatar Airways to offer customers even more benefits when booking travel to and from international destinations on the global partner carrier.

The expansion plans include more code-sharing in additional markets in the coming months, as well as enhanced benefits for JetBlue TrueBlue and Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty members, expanded marketing opportunities and refinements to flight schedules which create new connections across both carriers.

JetBlue says Qatar Airways is one of its top partners for connecting customers across the Americas to its global network and the airline expects traffic to grow further through the new enhancements.

The expansion will create more options to travel between JetBlue’s 100-plus destinations across North America and the Caribbean and Qatar Airways’ network of 82 countries. The airlines also plan to develop an integrated airside transfer option for customers connecting at New York-JFK.

JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer, Robin Hayes, said: “For more than a decade, Qatar Airways has been an excellent partner, consistently delivering an elevated customer experience that aligns extremely well with the JetBlue brand and the expectations of our customers. Now, as we look to our next decade together, the enhancements and plans for growth announced today will put Qatar Airways on track to be our largest internationally-based partner.”

Qatar Airways Group’s Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: “The enhanced partnership between Qatar Airways and JetBlue is a further encouraging sign for the recovery of the aviation industry. We have focused on growing our partnerships with leading airlines such as JetBlue by bringing significant benefits to our passengers through an expanded global network. Both airlines have a strong commitment to excellence in customer experience and innovation, ensuring this closer relationship is a very positive step for our joint customers.”

Etihad 787-9 aircraft

Emirates NBD and Etihad Guest launch new co-branded credit cards

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Etihad 787-9 aircraft

Emirates NBD bank has expanded its long-standing partnership with Etihad Guest, the  loyalty programme of Etihad Airways.

The companies are introducing a new premium co-branded credit card programme in association with Visa. Emirates NBD Etihad Guest Visa credit cards are designed to appeal to frequent travellers and lifestyle enthusiasts across the UAE. The cards are available as Elevate and Inspire variants and offer amongst the highest Etihad Guest earning and rewards opportunities.

Etihad says cardholders can enjoy complimentary Etihad Guest Gold Tier status and up to 200,000 bonus Etihad Guest Miles instantly after signing up and earn up to 10 Etihad Guest Miles for every AED 10 spend. Customers can also take advantage of up to 50% Etihad Guest Miles discount vouchers on Etihad miles redemption for a limited period and 10% cashback on spend on etihad.com.

Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President & Group Head – Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD, said: “We are delighted to partner with Etihad’s award-winning loyalty programme, Etihad Guest, as part of our continued commitment to bringing invaluable experiences and benefits to our clients. As the UAE’s leading card issuer, Emirates NBD collaborates with best-in-class partners to offer customised card propositions based on our customers’ lifestyles and needs so they can get the most of their everyday card spend. We believe that this card proposition will appeal strongly to customers in Abu Dhabi and UAE and add unique experiences to them, especially as travelling returns to normalcy.”

Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing, Etihad Airways, said: “We pride ourselves on finding new solutions to create the best customer experience and products for members and customers. Following our successful partnerships with Emirates NBD and Visa over the years, we are excited to collaborate with the teams to bring these great products together for our members.”