EVA Air expands partnership with fashion desi..

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EVA Air has unveiled its updated collaboration with fashion designer Jason Wu, launching a second-generation of in-flight sleepwear and extending the previous collaboration led by design company Buzz.

The set will include sleeper-suits and slippers “designed for style and comfort”, created from soft fabrics and featuring a drawstring waist with pockets. The airline will provide three sizes to accommodate its passengers and is aimed at creating a refreshing, relaxed experienced. The new outfits will be loose-fitting with distinctive collars and buttons, featuring a mixture of black, grey and navy shades. 

The first launch of sleepwear was announced in 2019, exclusively for EVA Air’s Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel Class passengers. The updated Jason Wu for EVA Air collection will be available onboard from February 2020.  

Jason Wu incorporated his collection shown at New York Fashion Week with the designs for the in-flight sleepwear, ensuring that passengers could “make their way from the fashion runway to the airline runway and onto the street.”

“As a jet-setter myself, one of the most important criteria for my travel is comfort,” Wu said. “This collaboration was a great opportunity for me to marry form and function to address something that would improve the experience of the EVA passenger.”

Saudi Arabia + Inmarsat

Inmarsat brings connectivity services to Saud..

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Saudi Arabia + Inmarsat

Inmarsat has signed partner agreements with Sada Al Ammah and Global Beam Telecom to deliver cockpit safety services and passenger cabin broadband Wi-Fi connectivity (GX Aviation for commercial airlines and Jet ConneX for business jets) to companies based in Saudi-Arabia, enabling airline and business aviation passengers to browse the internet, stream video and music, check and update social media and more during their flights.

“We are delighted to be working closely with Sada Al Ammah and Global Beam Telecom to offer our world-leading services in Saudi Arabia for the first time,” said Mike Carter, President of Inmarsat Enterprise. “Our partners have a wealth of experience and understanding of the local markets, which coupled with the strength and reliability of Inmarsat’s services, make a powerful combination that we feel will provide a foundation for connectivity excellence and growth in the region.”

“Saudi Arabia is a fast-growing and important market for aviation connectivity solutions,” said Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation. “Inmarsat looks forward to working with commercial airlines in Saudi Arabia to upgrade them to the world’s leading aviation connectivity solutions, covering high-speed in-flight passenger broadband in the aircraft cabin and gold standard operations and safety in the cockpit.”

Bombardier GLobal 6500

Bombardier refocuses on business aviation

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Bombardier has confirmed its decision to focus exclusively on business aviation, following the transfer of its remaining interest in Airbus Canada Limited Partnership to Airbus and the Government of Québec, and the sale of its rail business.

The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the sale of its Transportation business to Alstom and has also transferred its remaining shares in the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership – completing its strategic exit from commercial aviation.

The agreement with Airbus brings the shareholdings in Airbus Canada (responsible for the A220) to 75% Airbus and 25% for the Government of Québec respectively.

As part of the agreement, Airbus acquires the Airbus A220 and A330 work package production capability from Bombardier in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, which will be operated on the site by Stelia Aeronautique Saint Laurent Inc – a newly created subsidiary of Stelia Aerospace (a subsidiary of Airbus).

Alain Bellemare, President and CEO of Bombardier said the transaction would support the company’s efforts to address capital structure and completes its exit from commercial aerospace, adding: “We are incredibly proud of the many achievements and tremendous impact Bombardier had on the commercial aviation industry.”

Commenting on the sale of its transportation division, Bellemare said: “Today marks an exciting new chapter for Bombardier. Going forward, we will focus all our capital, energy and resources on accelerating growth and driving margin expansion in our market-leading $7.0 billion business aircraft franchise.

“With a stronger balance sheet after the completion of this transaction, an industry-leading portfolio of products, a strong backlog, and a rapidly growing aftermarket business, we will compete in this market from a position of strength,” he concluded.

The company expect business jet deliveries to grow significantly, driven by the large cabin segment. This is also supported by continued global economic growth, the further expansion of charter and fractional ownership business models and a replacement cycle supported by newer and more efficient aircraft.

Last year, Bombardier brought the new Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft into service, aiming to offer new ranges, connecting long-distance destinations.

The company has a $14.4 billion backlog, which it suggests positions it well to compete and grow. For 2020, Bombardier Aviation expects to deliver 160 or more aircraft.

Pitch ultra slim

Pitch to showcase ‘Q Ultra-Slim’ ..

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Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems has unveiled a concept for what it believes is the “world’s thinnest aircraft seat” that it plans to showcase at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Utilising sustainable bio-resins in a compression moulding process to create a seat weighing just over 7 kg, the ‘Q Ultra-Slim’ concept offers an ultra-lightweight, slimline solution.

The concept was co-developed as part of a grant funded project through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in pursuit of innovative technologies to benefit the aviation sector. Pitch collaborated on the project with industrial design consultancy Design Q, and composite manufacturing and advanced engineering specialists Cecence with additional support from SHD Composite Materials, Wavelength NDT and Plyable.

“By using composite compression moulding, we can manufacture incredibly light yet strong, single piece seats from more sustainable raw materials,” explained Chief Designer for Pitch Aircraft Seating, Gary Doy. “The fitment is compatible with Pitch’s existing PF3000 frame, delivering optimum flexibility and an upgraded cushion system ensures a high level of comfort.”

Doy added: “This collaborative project challenges future aircraft cabin design and inflight service, as well as seating, so it’s truly innovative and potentially controversial but this is an important part of helping the industry improve its environmental credentials,”

By substituting aluminium structural seat components with Fire Smoke Toxicity compliant composite material, Pitch claims a short-haul Airbus A320 could reduce its operating weight by a minimum of 500 kg through the replacement of existing economy shipsets with ‘Q Ultra-Slim’ seats.

In order to achieve the ultra-slimline design, the traditional tray table was removed with the option of integrated cup and smartphone holders in its place.

“It is a very believable concept because it is based on our seat product, but we want to put it out there and see the reactions as people perceive comfort in a certain way – generally if there is a big thick seat they think its comfortable, where if it is a thin seat they think it is less comfortable,” Doy tells Inflight. “We made it as comfortable as a thick seat and we know we can make it strong, but there is a perception we will have to deal with in the marketplace.”

Comparing the experience of a short-haul flight with taking a two-hour bus or train journey, Doy suggests not everyone requires a tray table – particularly if there is no meal service.

He said: “Over 10 years ago Pitch and Design Q said to the marketplace; ‘Why do you need to have reclining seats, because not everybody reclines?’ We’re taking this to the next stage to suggest why a tray table is needed if not everybody uses them.

“When you question this, you create other solutions in the aircraft as well. If you don’t need the galley, you could potentially put another larger lavatory in the back which will cater for passengers with reduced mobility – another way of using that space,” he continues.

The designer believes there could be another class of seating on low-cost and ultra-low-cost carriers, creating more flexibility for airlines and greater choice for passengers.

The company will also be bringing a premium concept to AIX, the ‘Q premium’ concept which converts the middle seat in a row into a wide centre console.

David Rice, VP Sales and Marketing for Pitch, added: “We’re allowing airlines to differentiate across the cabin on one aircraft, offering a standard product and providing variations on that, enabling a much bigger marketplace for the same aircraft.”

Nominations open for the Inflight Europe Awar..

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The Inflight Europe Awards recognise exceptional contributions to passenger experience offerings from European airlines, manufacturers and suppliers. Of the six Awards, five are decided through nominations, giving industry professionals the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of their peers. The final Award is judged independently by the Inflight team, who deliver industry-leading coverage of the end-to-end in-flight experience through the Inflight international media portfolio.

The 2020 award categories are as follows:

  • Commercial Airline Cabin
  • IFE System Provider
  • Connectivity Enablement
  • Airline IFEC Experience
  • Content Provision
  • Supplier Innovation
  • Inflight Airline of the Year

The award for Commercial Airline Cabin recognises innovation in cabin interiors and on-board products. The judges will be looking for new features/functionality which improve passenger comfort and demonstrate revolutionary design aspects, whilst simultaneously reducing disruptiveness. In the 2019 Middle East edition of the Awards, Oman Air received the Commercial Airline Cabin award for its three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which impressed the judges with its blend of Omani culture and bespoke luxury. The award for IFE System Provider recognises the handheld, wireless or embedded IFE system delivering the most superior experience for passengers. Entries will be assessed on level of innovation, usability of the platform and system performance.

The Connectivity Enablement award acknowledges the leading IFC, satcoms or telemedicine service provider. Security of service, future-proofing, speed/bandwidth offered and delivered, geographical coverage and scalability are all factors which the judges will consider. The Airline IFEC Experience award acknowledges an airline which has elevated the passenger experience through in-flight entertainment and connectivity. The assessment criteria comprise design decisions, complexity of technical innovation, customisation/personalisation, quality of cabin Wi-Fi and connectivity and choice of platforms/content available. In the 2019 Middle East edition of the Awards, Saudia received the Airline IFEC Experience award for leading the way in the introduction of a complimentary social media messaging plan onboard flights in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The award for Content Provision celebrates an outstanding contribution to content creation, management and/or delivery. The judges will be looking for innovation in service, software and content, variety of content, relevance to region, customisation and language/accessibility. Through Inflight Middle East 2019, Global Eagle received the Content Provision award in recognition of its locally based teams, recruited from the region, who understand the tastes, trends and cultural sensitivities of each market. The award for Supplier Innovation recognises the most revolutionary IFEC or cabin technology development within the past 12 months. Entries will be assessed on uniqueness and inimitability, value to airline customers, benefits to passenger experience, sustainability and technical complexity.

Inflight Airline of the Year, the crowning and most coveted award, recognises the airline which best demonstrates an ongoing and sustained commitment to delivering the ultimate passenger experience combined with a creative and innovative approach to customer service. The Inflight team will evaluate IFE availability and content, IFC availability, cabin comfort and amenities, added values and uniqueness. ‘For a long time, flying somewhere was simply about getting there as quickly as possible. But today, the journey is just as important as the destination. Passengers want and expect to fly in comfort – even luxury – whilst being entertained and remaining connected. The Inflight Airline of the Year award, along with the other awards in the series, aim to both recognise achievement and inspire continued innovation within the constantly evolving in-flight industry.’ Mark Howells, Managing Director of HMG Aerospace, Publisher of Inflight

Nominations for the Inflight Europe Awards 2020 are now open. To nominate a European manufacturer, supplier or airline, follow the rules detailed below and then email your entry to emma@hmgaerospace.com. The closing date for nominations is 12pm on Wednesday 22 April.

 

Rules

All entries must adhere to the following regulations:

  • Entries are limited to a 500-word summary for each category.
  • Up to two A4 pages of additional supporting materials – including photos and videos – may be supplied.
  • Files over 10MB should be sent using a suitable file sharing website.
  • Nominations should outline the organisation’s suitability for the award based on the criteria outlined in this press release.
  • Organisations can enter multiple categories but must submit a separate entry for each category.

ANA selects new sake selection

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Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has partnered with sake sommelier, Yasuyuki Kitahara, to create a new menu for passengers. The updated menu will feature 46 premium brands and will be on offer starting March 2020.

“ANA strives to raise the standard in all aspects of the dining experience for our passengers, and we have spared no effort in curating one of the finest airline sake selections in the world,” said Executive Vice President of ANA, Hideki Kunugi.

The new menu will be available on domestic and international flights, as well as in ANA Suite Lounges. The range was selected through an in-depth tasting process led by the airline, aiming to reflect the opinions of the consumer. 319 sake breweries were evaluated and 46 were chosen to feature on the updated menu. Some of the premium sake selected included Jikon, Kamoshibito Kuheiji and Kokuryu.  

The airline said it aimed to create a menu that is compatible with the in-flight cuisines as well as seasonal palates, of all passengers. 

Kunugi added, “Like all aspects of ANA hospitality, we focused on delivering the best possible experience to our passengers throughout the selection process and believe this effort is evident in our updated menu. It is our sincere hope that passengers will gain a greater appreciation of sake and its important role in Japanese cuisine though the menu we have prepared.”

Acumen

ST Engineering and Acumen Design Associates l..

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Acumen

ST Engineering and Acumen Design Associates have partnered to announce the launch of ACCESS, a new aircraft lavatory to offer passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) more space.

The addition of a moving wall means the lavatory is able to expand, offering 40% more space for passengers. This will allow access for wheelchairs and  a carer if needed, to use the facilities with ease. It is also a solution which provides PRM with more privacy. 

Acumen Design Associates have produced this product drawing from feedback providing by disabled passengers in product testing sessions. Many of the introduced features are aimed to make transfers easy and quick as well as more hygienic and pleasant. The addition of more grab bars, anti-slip floors and innovative hygiene technology, plan to improve the experience for all passengers.

Mary Doyle, Founder and Owner of Rocket Girl Coaching, stated: “As an independent manual wheelchair user for many years, I’ve experienced the good and bad of aircraft lavatories… and believe there are four main things which can improve the on-board experience: more space, highly sanitised work surfaces, greatly improved physical supports for unassisted transfer and anti-slip flooring.”

Cassandra Sexson, Director of Business Development at ST Engineering, added: “Having worked with Acumen to identify the main accessibility issues with current lavatory designs, ACCESS is able to offer airlines an innovative new product that tackles one of the biggest issues faced by disabled passengers when they fly.”

The expansion can be easily maneuvered by a crew member using a latch on the outside wall and when not expanded, the lavatory can still be used as normal. There is no reduction in galley space or seating capacity with no necessity for airlines to change cabin layout to fit this new installment. 

“Many disabled passengers avoid flying because of the compromises they have to make – especially when using the on-board lavatory,” said Daniel Clucas, Senior Designer at Acumen Design Associates. He added, “ACCESS can ensure disabled travellers have the space, privacy and support features in place to never have to worry about that again.”

Alaska Airlines

Retail inMotion introduces new solution with ..

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Retail inMotion have introduced an updated version of their vPreo product to make ordering and selecting products faster and easier for all passengers.

Through the updated service, airlines can offer passengers the ability to pre-select products on offer, such as in-flight meals and duty free, to then be delivered to them during the journey.

Alaska Airlines is the first customer to introduce this new solution to their customers. All passengers are able to pre-order a meal up to three weeks prior to their flight by using the airline’s app or website.

In the case of Alaska Airlines, the data – meal availability and fulfilment, handled by the LSG Group – is integrated between Alaska Airlines, eGate IFX and Retail inMotion’s Vector via a set of connectors.

“This is a milestone for Retail inMotion to expand our end-to-end platform and enhance our technical solution to reduce our time to market for future developments”, said Giacomo Tomolillo, Engineering Manager at Retail inMotion.

The items on offer will be specific to location, aircraft types, destination and other factors. The business rules and offer availability through the programme can be easily managed by Alaska Airlines admin staff to ensure a successful implementation.

Retail inMotion aims to make the systems manageable to accommodate market changes and suggests the product could enable future clients to tap into new business opportunities.

Kosher meals

United Airlines introduces new Kosher menu

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United Airlines has introduced the latest expansion of its Kosher culinary choices, on flights between the US and Tel Aviv.

The changes to the food and beverage choices reflect the airline’s aims to “exceed” customer expectations and take in the results of customer feedback. United’s VP of Catering Options, Charlean Gmunder said, “We will continue to embrace suggestions as well as seek out ways to create the best possible onboard dining experience for everyone we proudly serve.”

United is also trialling a child’s menu for their younger customers in all cabins between Tel Aviv, Newark and San Francisco. If the testing is successful, there is potential for its addition to other Tel Aviv routes.

The airline is working in partnership with companies such as Royal Wine to provide Kosher wine in the Polaris Cabin, and Illy Coffee which is upgrading its Kosher coffee to offering regular and decaf Illy Coffee. Fresh food provider, Fresko is providing flights from Newark to Tel Aviv with a new, wider menu for their passengers.

Improvements can be seen in Polaris and United Premium Plus, with the enhancements in snack choices during the flight and at the airport lounges. Also, the addition of a hot Kosher a la carte meal in the Newark Polaris lounge aims to improve the airport experience.

“All of these new menu items…are the result of our on-going efforts to exceed customer expectations,” comments Charlean Gmunder, United’s VP of Catering Options. Then added, “We will continue to embrace suggestions as well as seek out ways to create the best possible onboard dining experience for everyone we proudly serve”.

Kosher meal
Kosher snacks
Kosher meals
Kosher wine
Emirates Valentines

Emirates celebrates Valentine’s Day wit..

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Emirates Valentines

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Emirates’ will serve 40 unique Valentine’s Day themed desserts and treats on board and across its network of lounges spread over six continents.

The airline’s chefs have created Valentine’s Day desserts for most of its 41 lounges worldwide from 13-15 February. Creations include an orange-ginger panna cotta served with berries and pistachios in Hamburg; heart-shaped shortcake served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream in Cape Town; Chocolate and Raspberry petit fours in Auckland; a chocolate St Valentine’s cake in Narita; and chocolate-covered strawberries sprinkled with coconut in the lounges in the US.

The seven Emirates lounges in Dubai are also putting on a full Valentine’s spread from 13-15 February. Frequent flyers can enjoy a champagne treat with the lively and generous notes of Moet & Chandon Rosé Impérial. This will be accompanied by a selection of Valentine’s inspired cakes and desserts including a passion fruit cake with raspberry, red velvet cake and red velvet ice cream. Coffee lovers can also look for three Valentine’s Day coffee infusions by Coffee Planet – rose kissed mocha, orange crush latte or a white latte mocha.

On Valentine’s Day itself, Emirates will serve a special selection of desserts on longer flights across its network. In First and Business Class, customers will be offered a heart-shaped passion fruit cake. In the iconic A380 onboard lounge, customers can enjoy a drink while snacking on pastries as well as strawberries dipped in dark and white chocolate, while snack baskets in First Class will feature the limited edition strawberry & cream flavoured Lakrids liquorice. In Economy Class, customers will be served a white chocolate passion fruit cheesecake for dessert.