Etihad aircraft in flight

Etihad Airways to divest several entities as part of accelerated transformation

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Etihad aircraft in flight

As part of its ongoing transformation, Etihad Airways is to divest several businesses providing airline support services to ADQ, a regional holding company.

Once the transaction is complete, the businesses, Etihad Engineering, Etihad Airport Services Cargo, Etihad Airport Services Ground, Etihad Aviation Training, Etihad Secure Logistics and Etihad Technical Training, will become part of a new ADQ aviation company.

Additionally, the proposed transaction will see two Etihad businesses join Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC). Etihad Airport Services Catering will combine with ADNEC’s catering business Capital Hospitality, and Etihad Holidays will join ADNEC’s tourism promotion business, Tourism 365.

Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, CEO of ADQ, said: “With the proposed addition of Etihad’s experienced aviation support businesses to our new dedicated aviation company, ADQ is primed to develop an integrated aviation platform that is driven by performance and a robust financial foundation through its new company. With an integrated mobility and logistics portfolio that plays a leading role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s global connectivity, we are well-positioned to unlock the growth potential of these aviation services businesses. We see potential to capitalise on growth opportunities, attract a wider client base of airlines and drive the future expansion of Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector.”

Tony Douglas, Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We’re excited to partner with ADQ on the next stage of our transformation. The past two years have changed the face of aviation and the proposed agreement marks a significant milestone in how we are repositioning Etihad Airways and our subsidiaries for long-term success. This agreement will allow us to place 100% of our focus on Etihad Airways to capitalise on recovering travel demand and will benefit our staff, the millions of guests who fly with Etihad Airways every year, and Abu Dhabi’s wider aviation sector. We are working closely with ADQ to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. With a new, single-minded focus on our airline business, we will continue to deliver on the best-in-class and sustainable travel experience that our guests expect of Etihad Airways.”

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) said: “The inclusion of Etihad Airport Services Catering and Etihad Holidays supports Abu Dhabi’s strategy which aims to achieve integration between various business units across exciting economic sectors. This move will enable us to go above and beyond the customers’ expectations by building on what has been done already. Our focus remains on achieving milestones and continuing to work to enhance competitiveness at the regional and international levels, as well as increase contributions to the economy of Abu Dhabi and support sustainable development.”

The businesses joining ADQ’s new aviation company and ADNEC will remain key long-term strategic partners to Etihad Airways.

IAMA, the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, has appointed Nina Schulz as its new Managing Director.

Nina Schulz to lead IAMA

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IAMA, the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, has appointed Nina Schulz as its new Managing Director.

IAMA, the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, has appointed Nina Schulz as its new Managing Director.

“The executive board and I are thrilled to have Nina lead the alliance’s day-to-day operations so that we can continue to pursue our vision and build our profile in the aviation ecosystem,” said Marc Pinault, IAMA’s Chairman. “Her extensive aircraft modification sales background and customer service focus are the perfect fit with our philosophy on inclusivity. Nina’s sales experience will also bring a new dimension to our approach as an organisation, and we are fortunate to have her experience on our team.”

Schulz joins from Lufthansa Technik where she was most recently Head of Product Sales and Key Account Management Base Maintenance Services for EMEA.

“I am super excited to take on this new challenge with the alliance,” she said. “I am looking forward to the many opportunities to learn, but more importantly to foster and be a part of the ongoing dialogue with current and prospective partners and members. IAMA has already accomplished so much and built a strong foundation. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to keep building the alliance’s profile, to help connect the right people to make things better so that IAMA becomes that ‘go-to’ place.”

A wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic, has been officially established.

Airbus launches new aerostructures subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic

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A wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic, has been officially established.

A wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic, has been officially established, unifying the strengths, resources and skills of Airbus’s sites in Nantes and Montoir-de-Bretagne, the central functions associated with their activities, as well as the STELIA Aerospace sites worldwide.

This unification is part of the transformation project announced in April 2021, aimed at strengthening the value chain of aerostructure assembly within Airbus’s industrial setup, this activity being considered as core business. It marks the intention to gain competitiveness, innovation and quality for the benefit of Airbus’s current and future programmes.

“At the heart of Airbus, Airbus Atlantic aims at meeting the great challenges linked to a sustainable aviation industry, pioneering new technologies”, said Cédric Gautier, CEO of Airbus Atlantic. “Our first mission will be to ensure the satisfaction of all our customers and to establish new standards of excellence in terms of quality and operational efficiency. I have full confidence in the talent, enthusiasm and commitment of the Airbus Atlantic teams to write this new chapter of our history with success.”

JetBlue has launched a partnership with Genius Brands International and Spafax Inflight Entertainment, to feature Kartoon Channel! content as part of its in-flight entertainment experience.

Genius Brands added to JetBlue’s IFE library

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JetBlue has launched a partnership with Genius Brands International and Spafax Inflight Entertainment, to feature Kartoon Channel! content as part of its in-flight entertainment experience.

JetBlue has launched a partnership with Genius Brands International and Spafax Inflight Entertainment to feature Kartoon Channel content as part of its in-flight entertainment experience.

The partnership includes a sampling of Genius Brands’ hit content, including Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rainbow Rangers and Pluto TV KC! Pop Quiz.

Jon Ollwerther, President of Kartoon Channel, said: “We are honoured that Kartoon Channel has been selected by JetBlue as part of their in-flight entertainment offering. We believe our shows were selected due the quality of the programming, which appeals to children, while providing parents comfort that the programs are both safe and enriching. JetBlue is committed to providing the best experience to its customers and, consistent with this goal, it’s a true privilege to share our content with JetBlue kids and families as we expand our footprint into the skies.”

SAS' first Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft has completed its first long-haul flight from Copenhagen to Washington, ahead of entering into official service on 27 March 2022, on routes from Copenhagen to Washington, Boston and New York.

SAS’ new Airbus A321LR takes flight

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SAS' first Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft has completed its first long-haul flight from Copenhagen to Washington, ahead of entering into official service on 27 March 2022, on routes from Copenhagen to Washington, Boston and New York.

SAS’ first Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft has completed its first long-haul flight from Copenhagen to Washington, ahead of entering into official service on 27 March 2022, on routes from Copenhagen to Washington, Boston and New York.

The new aircraft is equipped with a service concept with three travel classes, like the rest of SAS’ long-haul fleet, and will increase SAS’ flexibility to meet Scandinavian travel patterns. The A321LR is part of SAS’ ongoing fleet renewal and will reduce climate-impacting emissions in comparison to previous generations of similar aircraft.

This narrow-body, single aisled aircraft is specially configured to fly longer distances than a standard A321neo. The smaller aircraft gives SAS the opportunity to fill the aircraft on new routes and will be a welcome addition to the SAS long haul fleet. The A321LR will increase the SAS’ flexibility to adjust to changes in the demand for new routes and destinations.

The aircraft has 22 Business, 12 Plus and 123 Go, meaning a total of 157 seats. The seats are especially chosen for the A321LR to optimise the comfort in all three travel classes to meet the expectations of frequent travellers. Seats in SAS Business are fully flat seat beds and there are different mood light scenarios in the cabins, as well as high-speed Wi-Fi. Every seat is equipped with IFE screens, PC-power and/or Hi-power USB. The reduced noise level inside the cabin will further enhance the travel experience onboard.

“This is an entirely new aircraft type for SAS, which is incredibly well suited to the Scandinavian market and emerging travel patterns to and from the region. It gives SAS an opportunity to offer travelers more intercontinental routes, fewer stopovers, and shorter travel times to and from Scandinavia. The new aircraft is equipped with a service concept at par with the rest of SAS’ long-haul fleet, offering passengers all the benefits, level of comfort and choices of our traveling classes,” says Karl Sandlund, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer.

OneWeb capped off a successful 2021 with the launch of a further 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 27 December.

OneWeb brings total in-orbit constellation to 394 satellites

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OneWeb capped off a successful 2021 with the launch of a further 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 27 December.

OneWeb capped a successful 2021 with the launch of a further 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 27 December.

This latest launch, the company’s twelfth overall and ninth since December 2020, brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 394 satellites. This represents more than 60% of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

The company plans to launch global service by the end of 2022.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb Executive Chairman, said: “OneWeb now has over 60 per cent of its global satellite fleet in space. It is an extraordinary achievement for a company that was reborn just a year ago. OneWeb’s shareholders, management, staff and distribution partners all share a common goal – connecting communities everywhere. Together we are delivering on our promise to achieve digital transformation on a global scale, through our robust, secure and resilient satellite broadband network.”

Gogo Business Aviation has completed construction of its seven-tower 5G testbed

Gogo completes 5G network testbed construction

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Gogo Business Aviation has completed construction of its seven-tower 5G testbed

Gogo Business Aviation has completed construction of its seven-tower 5G testbed on schedule and on budget.

“These seven sites will serve as a testbed for our 150-tower nationwide network,” said Mike Rupert, Vice President of Network Operations for Gogo Business Aviation. “The testbed includes sites in both remote and populated locations in order to validate the network is operating as designed in all types of environments.”

Additional sites will be completed at a rapid pace throughout the first half of 2022 and Gogo remains on track to launch 5G in the second half of 2022.

Gogo 5G is expected to deliver ~25 Mbps on average with peak speeds in the 75-80 Mbps range and has been designed to deliver high throughput with very low latency to address the increasing demand for data-heavy interactive services like video conferencing.

“I’m proud of our team for completing this major milestone,” said Dave Glenn, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations. “We’ll now begin testing and fine-tuning our network performance, including tower-to-tower handoffs, range, and coverage.”

SpiceScreen, a wireless IFE platform was developed in-house by SpiceJet with local partners

SpiceJet brings Dolby to SpiceScreen

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SpiceScreen, a wireless IFE platform was developed in-house by SpiceJet with local partners

Low-cost airline SpiceJet has become the Indian airline to partner with to bring a cinema-like experience to passengers via its in-flight entertainment system.

In 2020, SpiceJet launched a complimentary IFE system, SpiceScreen, developed by Indian technology start-up MojoBoxx. Passengers can download and access the SpiceScreen app on their hand-held devices and enjoy various content including films, TV shows, stand-up comedies and podcasts.

To cater to the evolving consumer appetites, MojoBoxx worked with content partners like Eros Now & Earshot, to extend their content library comprising blockbuster Bollywood films and podcasts in Dolby Atmos to SpiceJet flyers.

Commenting on this development, Debojo Maharshi, Chief Marketing Officer, SpiceJet said: “As a majority of Indian travellers prefer watching Bollywood, regional movies, original shows and podcasts, Dolby’s revolutionary immersive audio technology Dolby Atmos will add to the entertainment quotient on SpiceScreen.”

“At Dolby, our goal is to enable spectacular entertainment experiences, and this is a great opportunity to cater to our audiences not just on the go but also when they fly,” said Pankaj Kedia, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories.

Emirates festive service

Emirates serves up Christmas spirit onboard

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Emirates festive service

Emirates has revealed details of its festive onboard service.

Passengers in first and business class will be served a Christmas dinner beginning with lemon and herb king prawns served with fennel salad and cocktail sauce, or a classic salmon gravadlax. This is followed by roast turkey with chestnut stuffing, turkey bacon, paprika potatoes, and creamy Brussels sprouts with a cranberry jus lié. The menu is finished with a choice of delicious festive dessert.

Economy class passengers can enjoy roast turkey drizzled with cranberry jus lié, served with peas, roast potatoes, and pan-fried smoked chicken sausage. This is rounded off the feast with a chocolate mousse with mandarin compote topped with a festive chocolate button.

Those travelling on 24 and 25 December will also be offered a complimentary baked treat.

According to the airline, Emirates’ crew will be happy to take pictures of “your special moments onboard with your family or friends” and present it in a festive frame as a travel keepsake.

Those in first and business class will be offered Emirate’s new amenity kit bags featuring fresh fragrances and new pamper products from Italian luxury brand Bulgari. Passengers in economy class on long-haul flights, can take home kit bags inspired by Expo 2020 Dubai, and packed with comforts including socks, eyeshades, a dental kit and handy bookmark.

Young travellers up to 12 years old can also look forward to collecting a range of new Expo2020 inspired toys and bags, featuring Emirates’ Little Traveller pilots and cabin crew.

Holiday-themed boarding music welcomes passengers to their seat, with further festive music available on Emirates’ library of audio channels on ice, which also includes a wide variety of on-demand festive films and television programmes.

British Airways festive

British Airways celebrates Christmas onboard

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British Airways festive

In the run-up to Christmas British Airways has surprised passengers with upgrades to Club World (business class) and exclusive lounge access at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Across the London airports served by British Airways, passengers also received gifts including complimentary coffee vouchers, special chocolates and KidZania tickets for young flyers.

On board, passengers travelling on the airline’s short-haul flights can purchase festive snacks through the Speedbird Café. A small number of passengers travelling on every short-haul flight will be surprised with a special gift from the Café. Customers travelling to long-haul destinations on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be served a traditional roast dinner at 35,000ft, with all the trimmings.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Customer Experience said: “After what has been an incredibly difficult two years for everyone, we know how much our customers have been looking forward to being reunited with loved ones over such an important time. We wanted to treat our customers and go that extra mile to make their journey, wherever it may be, extra special.”