Singapore Airlines operates blended SAF flight

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) and GenZero, an investment platform dedicated to accelerating decarbonisation globally, announced the delivery of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to Changi Airport via the airport’s fuel hydrant system on 7 July 2022.

The carrier says this was the first time blended SAF is uplifted onto SIA and Scoot departing flights at Changi Airport as part of a pilot programme. Lee Wen Fen, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning, Singapore Airlines, said at the time: “Today marks an important milestone in the SIA Group’s decarbonisation journey, as we uplift a blend of sustainable aviation fuel and jet fuel into our aircraft departing out of Singapore for the first time. Sustainable aviation fuels are a key decarbonisation lever, and this pilot demonstrates our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Working together with our partners, we will continue support the adoption of SAF in Singapore.”

Under this pilot, 1,000 tonnes of neat SAF will be supplied by Neste and blended with refined jet fuel at ExxonMobil’s facilities in Singapore.

The pilot, which is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2,500 tonnes, was announced in November 2021 and aims to advance the use of SAF in Singapore. It is a follow-up to a study conducted by the Singapore Government and industry players on the operational and commercial viability of using SAF at Changi Airport.

As part of the pilot, CAAS, SIA and Temasek also announced the sale of 1,000 SAF credits from July 2022. This provides customers including corporate and individual travellers, as well as freight forwarders, an avenue to reduce their carbon footprint, stimulate demand for SAF, support the development of the nascent SAF industry and advance the adoption of SAF for aviation sustainability.

Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President of Renewable Aviation for the Asia-Pacific region, Neste, said: “We are excited to see Singapore Airlines starting today the use of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel in their flight operations. The collaboration with ExxonMobil, Singapore Airlines, Temasek and CAAS demonstrates the potential of SAF in reducing aviation’s emissions and helps accelerate its use in Singapore and globally. Neste is committed to play its part as we are starting SAF production in Singapore in the first quarter of 2023 with one million tonnes of production capacity per annum.”

LOT Embraer fleet

J&C Aero to produce leather seat covers for LOT’s Embraer fleet

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LOT Embraer fleet

LOT Polish Airlines has contracted J&C Aero to produce more than 3,000 highly durable leather seat covers for the carrier’s Embraer 170/175/190/195 fleet.

According to J&C Aero, the contract covers the production of full seat cover sets, covering the headrest, literature pocket, backrest, and the bottom part of a passenger seat.

The covers will be produced from fine Scottish leather sourced from Muirhead. J&C Aero says it will develop a set of modification documents that are required for installing and proper maintenance of the new covers.

The company’s engineers and cabin designers will also support LOT Polish Airlines during the initial seat cover installation process that is due to be conducted at LOT’s base at Warsaw Chopin Airport.

“This agreement is the successful culmination of a very thorough, complex tender process that lasted for most of the pandemic. The process covered negotiations on every detail of the materials, their performance, hygiene, durability, and other characteristics. And we are extremely proud of our team and very grateful to our long-time Polish partners for the opportunity to contribute to LOT’s Embraer cabin renewal,” says Vitalijus Malyška, COO of J&C Aero.

Maciej Wilk, COO of LOT Polish Airlines commented: “The comfort and aesthetics of the cabin play a pivotal role in the overall flight experience of our passengers. Under this project, we will have refurbished several thousand seats in 25 of our Embraer 170/175/190/195 aircraft. And since this is not our first cooperation with J&C Aero, we are certain that after the renewal our cabins will look perfect, just as new.”

J&C Aero and LOT have a long-standing cooperation history that includes a recently completed project to provide almost 6,000 seat covers for the carrier’s widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.

Rumours of the demise of the A380 appear to have been premature

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The announcement earlier this week that Lufthansa will bring some, or possibly all, its A380s back into service by next summer’s schedule means that over half the world’s fleet have been returned to service following the trauma of the last two years.

Always beloved by passengers, if not by accountants, some airlines, notably British Airways have been bullish returning their entire fleet as traffic demand has surged. Others have remained reticent but nevertheless appear to the priming their fleets for a comeback.

The key player in the mix is, of course Emirates who have 89 aircraft back in service and while they have retired two aircraft and have two more ‘inactive’ 33 remain in storage primed for a return to operation. It’s worth noting that EK’s Chairman Emeritus Sir Tim Clark said recently that he believes that for operations on ‘fat routes’ between slot constrained airports “it is hard to see how aircraft like the A350-1000 will cope with demand”. This of course, mirrors the philosophy put forward by Airbus when the type was in development. It is hard to deny the logic of the argument.

Meanwhile, adherents of the big twin lobby have advanced the idea that growth will be sustained and demand satisfied through expansion point-to-point hub bypass services.

Time will tell which argument carries the day but for now at least rumours of the A380s demise appear premature.

SITA launches Flex-as-a-Service platform

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SITA has launched its SITA Flex-as-a-Service, a next-generation “beyond common-use” platform that allows airlines to provide a completely mobile experience to passengers while enabling the flexibility to rapidly respond to passenger’s changing needs.

SITA Flex APIs will enable airlines to create new and bespoke passenger processing features and streamline their app development process, allowing them to scale far faster than in the past, meaning that carriers don’t have to undergo lengthy and costly certification through their common-use providers to ensure smooth integration.

The speed of deployment was demonstrated in a recent hackathon hosted by SITA and Microsoft where developers were able to build a working application within 24 hours. This means airlines can implement new services such as self-service bag tagging within days.


ZeroAvia announces new agreement with MHIRJ

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Commercial aviation zero-emission solutions provider ZeroAvia has made a big leap forward in plans to deliver hydrogen-electric engines for regional jets thanks to its newly-announced agreement with MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ).

This expanded agreement follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties at the end of last year and will see MHIRJ providing engineering services, aircraft integration and OEM experience to support the certification of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain for retrofit onto airframes in the regional jet markets.

ZeroAvia says it is already well advanced in plans to certify its ZA600, 600kW powertrain for 10-20 seat aircraft with entry into service planned for 2024. Concurrently, the company is working on ZA2000, a 2-5MW modular powertrain which targets support for 40-80 seat turboprops by 2026.

The company’s ZA2000RJ powertrain will be expanding this technology to enable passengers to fly in zero-emission regional jets as early as the late 2020s.

This agreement places the CRJ Series aircraft as a frontrunner for the earliest operations using true zero-emission engines. Over 2,000 CRJ Series aircraft have been built since the launch of the programme, effectively establishing itself as the backbone of regional aviation in the United States.

Val Miftakhov, CEO and Founder of ZeroAvia, said: “There are hundreds of CRJ Series aircraft in daily operation across North America, transporting millions of passengers. All these flights can and should be zero-emission well before the end of this decade. This agreement is a giant step forward in delivering hydrogen-electric engines to the regional jet segment.”

Hiro Yamamoto, President and CEO of MHIRJ, said: “We are very excited about this agreement with ZeroAvia as it furthers two important goals for MHIRJ. The first is to continue to grow our AEC business through working with other companies and using our vast engineering expertise to advance this state-of-the art project. The second benefit is that we are part of the value chain in bringing innovative sustainable technology into the regional space.”

Octax® Hybrid connector

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies launches Octax Hybrid

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Octax® Hybrid connector

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies has launched Octax Hybrid, the latest addition to the company’s signature line of Octax high-speed data connectors.

Ideal for use in the defence, commercial aviation, and industrial markets, this new series of high-performance, multi-port connectors is available in six standard key configurations to prevent mis-mating with adjacent connectors. There are multiple finishes to suit every application and the product combines 10 Gb data with additional discretes in a single 38999 shell.

Jeff Behlendorf, Director of Product Management, Integrated Products at CarlisleIT, said: “This connector series combines multiple signal needs in a single package and maintains the data port shields through the connector to ensure excellent noise rejection on multiple data ports. It is high density data and signal in a compact footprint. Built with top quality materials and designed for easy installation and maintenance, this product truly embodies the CarlisleIT vision of ‘Performance with Purpose’.”

WTCE passenger experience conference

WTCE to shine a light on Passenger Experience Conference sessions

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WTCE passenger experience conference

The organisers of the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo have announced the sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) taking place on 13 June in Hamburg that will be of particular interest to their audience.

The conference will explore ways that the passenger experience community is helping to rebuild the industry following the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years.

Aviation stalwarts such as TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, Safran Cabin and Inmarsat are confirmed to speak, with interactive Q&As set to follow each session, allowing attendees to gain valuable insights into the current trends and challenges facing the industry.

Event director Polly Magraw said: “Complementing the innovation anticipated at this year’s WTCE, we are delighted to announce the line-up for this June’s Passenger Experience Conference. The pandemic has fundamentally shifted how the aviation sector does business, with an increased focus on building a new for the future and not simply repairing the past. This year’s speaker line-up will help us answer how we should be responding to the different cohorts of passengers who will be in the vanguard of travel recovery while creating flying experiences that meet their needs and addresses their values.”

The “Building Value and Values into the journey” session will look at how to imbue delight into the passenger experience and create onboard services that travellers will truly value because they are aligned to their needs and respond to their values. It will also examine what processes need rethinking and where the opportunities lie to make the passengers’ onboard experience easier and analyses how best airlines can establish connection, trust and meaningful engagement with passengers as well as the strategies that open up revenue opportunities for airlines and their partners.

The Customer Experience Investment Dilemma session, featuring Seth Miller, Editor at PaxEx.Aero and Konsta Hansson, Managing Director at Reaktor Aero will look at ways for the industry to reach the ideal balance for better business outcomes.

The Revitalising Air Travel session will delve into the critical passenger experience strategies that will transform travel and support airline renewal.

Jennifer Newlands, Vice President, Head of Strategy, Brand, Content at Airbus, Silvia Mosquera, Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer at TAP Portugal and Anthony Woodman, Vice President – Customer Journeys & Reward at Virgin Atlantic will examine how innovative airlines are mapping out the routes to more seamless and efficient journeys with human values at their heart.

This session will provide visitors with the opportunity to hear directly from airline experience chiefs on how they are responding to the needs of those passengers who will be in the vanguard of travel recovery and building sustainable businesses.

The Carbon Budgets – A New Way to Address the Environmental Footprint of Business Travel session will be led by Andrew Doyle, Senior Director Market Development at Cirium, and will offer context to the challenges and opportunities ahead. It will centre around evaluating how corporate travel spending is being shaped by the carbon emissions of individual flights, discussing solutions to give travellers more agency and a better understanding of the carbon cost of their flight as well as evaluating the potential impacts on aircraft routes, fleet and, ultimately, cabin classes onboard.

Featuring experts including Joe Leader, CEO at the Airline Passenger Experience Association & International Flight Services Association, Guillaume Vivet, Vice President Digital Commerce & Experience at Inmarsat, Jonas von Kruechten, Head of Strategy & Business Development at AERQ and Christian Grou Co-Founder, Neutral Digital, the Differentiating by Delight – Mapping the Future for Digital Experiences session will take a deep dive into the impact of creating more nuanced and targeted connections for new business opportunities and revenues. It will also detail the key strategic and practical requirements for airlines seeking to elevate their digital passenger engagement.

Delegates are also invited to the Passenger Experience Conference networking party, which is free to attend for conference delegates.

passenger experience conference

Passenger Experience Conference returns to Hamburg

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passenger experience conference

The Passenger Experience Conference will be returning to Hamburg, Germany, on Monday 13 June.

The event will be hosted at the newly renovated Congress Center Hamburg, with aviation companies such as Air France, TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, Finnair, Collins Aerospace, Boeing Commerical Airplanes, Safran Cabin and Inmarsat confirmed to speak.

Interactive Q&As will follow each session, allowing attendees to gain valuable insights into the current trends and challenges facing the industry.

Event director Polly Magraw said: “Complementing the innovation anticipated at this year’s AIX and WTCE, we are delighted to announce the line-up for this June’s Passenger Experience Conference. The pandemic has fundamentally shifted how the aviation sector does business, with an increased focus on building anew for the future and not simply repairing the past.

This year’s speaker line-up will help us answer how we should be responding to the different cohorts of passengers who will be in the vanguard of travel recovery while creating flying experiences that meet their needs and addresses their values.”


BOC Aviation orders 80 Airbus A320neos

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Aircraft operating lessor BOC Aviation has entered into an agreement with Airbus to purchase 80 new Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

The aircraft are scheduled for delivery between 2027 and 2029.

Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BOC Aviation, said: “We are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with Airbus, with whom we have partnered for more than 26 years. This is the largest single order that we have ever placed and it will bring our total Airbus aircraft purchased since inception to 546.

“It underscores our continued confidence in the A320neo family for its reliability and operational efficiency and reflects the popularity of the aircraft amongst our airline customers. We look forward to continuously providing our customers with such fuel-efficient and technologically advanced aircraft solutions.”

Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, said: “Airbus thanks BOC Aviation for its unwavering trust and endorsement of the A320neo family with its single largest order ever placed. This significant long-term order for 80 additional aircraft is a great testimony of the sustained value of our single aisle products by one of the world’s leading lessors, BOC Aviation. We salute its vision and foresight in securing future delivery positions of these most desirable assets in the single-aisle segment now and in the longer run.”

Mirus extends capabilities of Hawk economy seat

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Lightweight aircraft seating manufacturer Mirus Aircraft Seating has launched its latest derivative of the company’s Hawk economy seat.

Mirus says its new-generation Hawk seat, designed at Mirus’s Norfolk HQ, doubles the range of aircraft types the seat is certified for and will be applicable for both Boeing 737 and A320 family aircraft. The seat is certified for multiple aisle widths, providing greater choice for airline customers.

The Hawk is designed to offer maximum leg room and tailored comfort options to enhance and optimise the passenger experience. The seat features a mechanical recline system, extending tray table and a choice of lower literature pockets.

Additional customisation options include a range of sustainable seat cover materials, USB charging points for passenger convenience and a built-in personal electronic device holder.

According to the manufacturer, the seat weighs significantly less than many of the older seats seen operating on the Boeing and Airbus fleets, offering substantial fuel saving opportunities and driving down aircraft CO2 emissions. In addition, the seat is made primarily of recyclable materials.

Ben McGuire, CEO of Mirus Aircraft Seating, said: “Our next generation of the Hawk seat will double our market range as we’ve tailored the design to make it available for the Boeing 737 family, to serve alongside the existing Airbus A320 family offering. We are attracting commercial airline clients seeking a dynamic mix of light weight, stylish design and modern in-seat features whilst also being sustainable.

“Our seats come with the Mirus Care Extended Warranty, which can be secured for a low annual fee. Typically, this means that our customers can expect to have their investment returned within five years of purchase, which is around half the standard lifetime of the seat. There is no other warranty programme like this in the aircraft seating space, and we are immensely proud to offer such a service.”