Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite and seat from Adient.

Qatar Airways introduces new business class suite on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

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Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite and seat from Adient.

Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite, on a number of key routes to Europe and Asia, starting with its Doha to Milan service on 25 June 2021.

The ultramodern aircraft is scheduled for services from Doha to Athens, Barcelona, Dammam, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid and Milan and has a total passenger capacity of 311 seats – 30 business class Suites and 281 seats in economy class.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al-Baker, said: “In-line with our commitment to offering our passengers an unparalleled travel experience, we are pleased to introduce this much-anticipated business class suite on Qatar Airways’ newest wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 which will debut onto a number of key routes within our network.

“The new business class suite sets yet another industry standard with a uniquely private experience for premium passengers travelling with us, which is becoming increasingly valuable during this pandemic, while showcasing Qatar Airways’ 5-star standards of excellence and Qatari hospitality that are quintessential on all of our flights.

“Our passengers deserve the best and I am confident that they will appreciate the larger Dreamliner variant for its unmatched comfort in the sky. Passengers can rest assured that its responsible impact on the environment fully aligns with our ambition to achieve the highest levels of sustainability.”

Arranged in a herringbone pattern, in a 1-2-1 configuration, each Adient Ascent business class suite has direct aisle access with a sliding door to ensure the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Passengers seated in adjoining centre suites can slide the privacy panels away at the touch of a button to create their very own enclosed private space.

The business class suite transforms into a 79-inch fully-flat bed. Personal mobile devices can be stored safely in a dedicated phone holder, equipped with a wireless charging technology compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

The suite is complemented with by the onboard service, which includes a wide selection of international cuisine, food and beverages, as well as healthy vegan meal options that are a part of Qatar Airways’ à la carte dine-on-demand menu. Products and Amenities come from Narumi, BRIC’S, diptyque, TWG Tea, Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio and The White Company to name a few.

Economy class features Recaro seating, with each seat equipped with a 13-inch Panasonic IFE touch screen in addition to a personal electronic device holder for both mobile and iPad devices. The seat features a rotatable armrest that can be completely stowed away to the backrest, providing a more comfortable and spacious experience. Passengers can also enjoy the full dining experience ‘Quisine’.

As a warm welcome on-board the new aircraft, Qatar Airways Official Composer, Dana Al Fardan has created new boarding music portraying the mutual vision Qatar Airways and Dana share in bringing people together.

AirFi will develop an API and software developer kit that integrates the Transferz taxi booking engine into its airline customers' wireless IFE platforms, providing carriers with new ancillary revenue opportunities.

AirFi and Transferz offer new route for airline ancillary revenues

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AirFi will develop an API and software developer kit that integrates the Transferz taxi booking engine into its airline customers' wireless IFE platforms, providing carriers with new ancillary revenue opportunities.

Passengers will soon be able to reserve airport transfers during flight following a partnership between AirFi and global ground transport marketplace, Transferz.

AirFi will develop an API and software developer kit that integrates the Transferz taxi booking engine into its airline customers’ wireless IFE platforms, providing carriers with new ancillary revenue opportunities.

“We see the wireless IFE portal as a gateway to broader e-commerce success and enhanced ancillary revenue for our airline partners. This partnership is a great example of how we help airlines improve their bottom lines,” said AirFi CEO Job Heimerikx. “We have been in talks with Transferz for quite some time and are impressed with their business model, high standard of ground transport partners, suite of integration tools, and global reach and client base that includes airlines, airports and OTAs”.

The Transferz application can be easily added to the IFE portal of existing AirFi customers and will be a pre-integrated option for new customers. Passengers connected to the wireless onboard network can access the engine with one click, enter their destination hotel (or residence, office, etc.), the number of people in their party, the amount of luggage they have, or any other special need to view suitable rides and prices. Payment can be completed in both online and offline cabin scenarios, and passengers can also add a note for the driver. Upon arrival, the Transferz systems will communicate with the passenger through every relevant moment during the journey.

“The market for ground transportation to and from the airport is immense, and in the case of low-cost carriers, the combined price of ground transfers is often higher than the fare itself. Airlines should be looking at every opportunity to tap into this part of the journey for revenue opportunities and better customer care,” said Johan van Vulpen, CEO at Transferz. “We have six years of experience working with only the most reputable and well-established ground transfer companies at over 1,500 airports globally. Each of our transfer partners must comply with our strict service level agreements, with tough criteria for driver checks, cleaning standards, fleet sustainability, safety, and more. This makes it possible for us to give the passenger true peace of mind, which is especially important when they arrive at a new destination for the first time.”

Geven's Premium Economy Comoda seating for Uganda Airlines A330-800neo

Uganda Airlines takes off with Geven seating

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Geven's Premium Economy Comoda seating for Uganda Airlines A330-800neo

Geven has outfitted the first A330-800neo of Uganda Airlines with Piuma AQ Economy and Comoda AQ Premium Economy Class sustainable seats.

“The enthusiasm and outstanding integration of Uganda, Airbus and Geven teams have played a significant role in this successful delivery. We have worked closely with a cooperative approach from the early stages of this 9 months process. Grateful for Uganda Airlines’ trust, we look forward to continue and strengthen our collaboration in the future” said Alberto Veneruso Managing Director of Geven.

“We are proud of our beautifully equipped plane which features a three-class layout, including a fully lie-flat business class” said Cornwell Muleya, CEO of Uganda Airlines.

“Outfitting the Economy Class of the A330-800neo with 210 Piuma AQ in a 2-4-2 layout, brings total seat number installed of this model up to 80,000 units,” said Giovanni Vitiello, Program Manager (PMP) at Geven. “This ergonomic shaped-seat has a reclining backrest up to 6”. Piuma AQ has been providing comfort on board aircrafts representing the choice that delivers remarkable passenger experience and cost efficiency,” continued Vitiello.

With a full integrated IFE by SPI with 10.1-inch video, the light weight Piuma AQ (Italian for feather) also features a headrest, generous in-arm table, and charging points. There is also a coat hook, literature and amenity pocket. The orange and bronze leather seat covers, and headrests are branded for the airline.

Installed in a 2-3-2 configuration, the premium economy Comoda AQ (Italian for comfortable) is a passenger-centric comfort seat with large and reclining 8-inch backrest.

A leather central console design features a soft touch 4.5-inch armcap and an integrated PED holder.

The adjustable four-way headrest has differential friction on headrest lobes for easy adjustment and proper head support.

Comoda AQ also features a soft touch 2-inch armrest for passengers with disabilities.

Each seat features a fully integrated 11.6-inch IFE screen from SPI, while each seat also offers a rigid bottle holder device, separate coat hook, power supply for electronic charge, lower literature and amenity back mounted pocket.

The in-arm table is in a single leaf configuration. The colours of Africa inspire the customised design cushions. Horizontal striped fabric with black fine stitching and Harvest-Gold Leather Cover for headrests.

Passenger using a PED

Delta takes significant step towards free Wi-Fi with Viasat deal

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Passenger using a PED

Delta Air Lines has this week finalised a deal with high-speed Wi-Fi provider Viasat for the airline’s future connectivity needs.

Adding Viasat’s next-generation satellite technology (Ka-band) to the fleet will give the airline more options to modernise how customers stay connected and enjoy content while flying high. According to Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director of Brand Experience – In-flight Entertainment and Wi-Fi, it is also “a significant step on the airline’s path to free Wi-Fi for its passengers.”

Discussing how the new partnership and technology will unlock the future of Delta’s onboard experience, Dimbiloglu said: “Staying connected is a key part of our customers’ lives both at home and during travel, and we are taking big leaps forward to deliver an unparalleled experience that puts connectivity and personalisation front and centre. Best-in-class connectivity takes our vision for a reimagined brand experience to the next level and has long been a focus for us as a business.”

The agreement with Viasat comes following Delta’s decision last summer to amend its exclusivity agreement with Gogo. The move enabled the US airline to work with a competing Wi-Fi provider.

“Delta is committed to optimising the customer journey, and we’re committed to helping them build a foundation toward a better in-flight internet and entertainment experience,” said Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s President and CEO, commenting on the deal.

“We have a proven in-flight connectivity solution that is high-quality, streaming-capable and can scale to meet Delta’s growing customer demand. We’re proud to be part of their connected ecosystem,” he added.

Delta’s aircraft will be fitted with Viasat’s latest Ka-band IFC system and will be compatible with Viasat’s complete fleet of satellites, including Viasat’s first-generation spacecraft and partner satellites; its second-generation spacecraft ViaSat-2, and the forthcoming ViaSat-3 class of satellites, which are expected to offer global coverage with nearly eight times more capacity than Viasat’s current fleet.

Glenn Latta, Delta Air Line’s Managing Director – In-flight Entertainment & Wi-Fi, explained that Viasat’s high-speed satellite-powered technology changes the game for what the airline can offer. “We now have additional capability and next-gen technology too make sure [customers] have a more consistent connection to their favourite sites, including the ability to stream the entertainment of their choice on their flight. It also lays the groundwork for future enhancements and personalisation with the seatback screen that customers will love.”

Noting that the airline has come a long way since CEO Ed Bastion delivered a keynote address at CES 2020, in January last year – when he shared the airline’s vision to focus on a seamless, connected customer experience rooted in personalisation – Dimbiloglu added that: “Though 2020 required some shifts in focus areas as a result of the pandemic, we still clearly see a future rooted in deepened customer interactions with technology.

“As Ed said at CES, delivering free Wi-Fi that is high-quality and streaming capable requires thorough testing to ensure our technology can handle the demand.”

While there’s no indication of when free Wi-Fi might be available, Viasat’ technology will begin appearing onboard Delta aircraft this summer, starting with its new delivery of A321 ceo, 737-900ER and select 757-200 aircraft. That is more than 300 mainline narrow body aircraft.

 

 

Passengers in Economy Class will be able to indulge in a festive meal of roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié prepared by Emirates’ award-winning chefs.

Emirates unveils festive onboard menu

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Passengers in Economy Class will be able to indulge in a festive meal of roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié prepared by Emirates’ award-winning chefs.

Until 31 December, passengers travelling from Dubai to select routes in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, the US, Brazil, South Africa and the Philippines, can enjoy a taste of Christmas on board.

Passengers in economy class will be able to enjoy roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié prepared by Emirates’ chefs. For dessert, Emirates will serve chocolate mousse with a Mandarin orange compote.

Customers in first and business class can enjoy roasted turkey breast and apricot stuffing, roast potatoes with creamy brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and cranberry jus lié. For dessert, passengers will be served festive sweets such as a Santa inspired chocolate cranberry cake or a chocolate gingerbread cake.

From 23-25 December, customers travelling in first and business class can enjoy mulled wine served with garnishes like cinnamon sticks, red currants and orange slices. In premium classes, customers can also enjoy a hot chocolate with special trimmings to customise as they wish like marshmallows, white and dark chocolate, strawberries and raspberries. The hot beverage is served with fresh Christmas bakes including cranberry, pistachio & white chocolate cookies, spiced gingerbread snowflake cookies and gingerbread houses.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Emirates’ cabin crew will give away edible holiday gifts in all classes: in first class – a special holiday cupcake; business class – gingerbread Christmas tree cookie with marzipan cane; economy – chocolate truffles.

Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system, ice, will also show Christmas favourites like Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Miracle, along with TV specials like the Christmas Episodes from the Big Bang Theory and Friends and Modern Family: The Last Christmas.

VVIP aircraft entering a hangar for Greenpoint Technologies

Greenpoint reasserts VVIP Boeing 787 completion credentials

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VVIP aircraft entering a hangar for Greenpoint Technologies

Greenpoint Technologies has completed its latest VVIP Boeing 787-8 interior completion to an undisclosed client.

To date, Greenpoint has contracted six VVIP Boeing 787 programs and completed four.

Working closely with the client’s representatives, Greenpoint crafted the bespoke cabin which features state-of-the-art technology and in-flight entertainment and is finished with what Greenpoint says is “an attention to detail beyond a typical V-VIP completion.”

The interior caters to this particular client’s needs with open, multi-functional living space and distinct, private rooms.

Klaus Koester, CEO of Greenpoint Technologies and the Custom Cabin Division of Safran Passenger Solutions, states: “This delivery represents a continuation of Greenpoint’s unmatched 787 accomplishments. More importantly, our entire team is both humbled and grateful to work with such an amazing client, and we thank all involved for their dedication and hours spent to support this success.”

Collage of new enhanced amenities from Mint experience

JetBlue refreshes Mint experience

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Collage of new enhanced amenities from Mint experience

JetBlue has announced the first major refresh of its JetBlue Mint service, introducing a completely new lineup for Mint, including Delicious Hospitality Group, Tuft & Needle, Wanderfuel and Master & Dynamic.

The new partners will transition into all Mint flights over the next six weeks, appearing on flights as early as 18  November.

“JetBlue’s reimagined Mint is turning the journey itself into a destination, offering the comforts of a premium travel experience at a more affordable price point,” said Elizabeth Windram, Vice President of marketing, JetBlue. “This onboard refresh allows us to reset that high bar we set in 2014, with the very best in dining and hospitality, comfort and wellness at 35,000 feet. And for those who can’t wait to see what we have in store for our London flights, well let’s just say this is a little teaser for what we have in mind.”

JetBlue tapped SoHo-based Delicious Hospitality Group (DHG) to bring their inventive culinary style, extraordinary wine and cocktail programs, and tactile dining aesthetics to the skies. Developed in partnership with Chef/Owner Ryan Hardy and Wine Director Grant Reynolds, the new Mint dining experience was created by reimagining elevated hospitality in-flight. It will feature a rotating menu of small plates that customers can choose from, individually inspired by each of DHG’s three restaurants, starting with Charlie Bird. Once onboard, customers will enjoy high-quality fare prepared with seasonal ingredients, alongside a selection of international wines and craft cocktails to be shaken on-board. To complete the experience, DHG redesigned plate ware to mimic their New York City table tops and has shared access to their revered music playlists capturing the ambiance synonymous with dining in one of their restaurants.

JetBlue has also collaborated with Tuft & Needle, the digitally native mattress company that pioneered the bed-in-a-box trend, to develop a cohesive sleep experience onboard. Travelers can relax with a convertible blanket with a built-in foot pocket, a memory foam lined pillow with a pillowcase and snooze kits that include a matching eye mask and ear plugs.

JetBlue is introducing its new “wellness kit” concept. Developed in partnership with Wanderfuel, a brand that specialises in carefully curated travel kits designed with leading nutritionist Sarah Wragge, the airline’s four wellness kits will provide customers with a rotating selection of healthy snacks, supplements and personal care items. Travelers will receive one of four kits catered to the time of day and destination they are flying to: Awake, for breakfast and morning flights; Flow, for lunch and dinner flights; Sleep, for shuteye flights; and Renewal, for Caribbean flights.

Mint customers will enjoy premium headsets from New York City’s luxury audio brand, Master & Dynamic. The custom-for-JetBlue MH40 Over-Ear headphones come with noise reduction, a brilliant, genre-agnostic sound profile, and a vintage aviation-inspired design.

A single, intuitive, integrated platform allowing airlines to manage their ancillary revenue operations efficiently (Source AOE)

AOE to acquire SHIFTEO

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A single, intuitive, integrated platform allowing airlines to manage their ancillary revenue operations efficiently (Source AOE)

AOE is to acquire on-board sales and supply chain specialist SHIFTEO. The agreement includes SHIFTEO’s In-flight ePOS, Supply Chain Management and Back Office for Catering Management solutions.

When complete the unique functionality of the vendor-independent platform will integrate with simplified vendor management to give airlines the freedom to select and manage multiple caterers and duty-free suppliers right across location hubs and service stations.

Michael Raasch, CCO AOE Aviation commented: “AOE’s new platform provides airlines with powerful operational and competitive advantages that will drive new and stronger ancillary revenue opportunities.

“Additionally, in a new strategic cooperation with on-board technology experts Airfree, we also offer airlines complete connection and digital solutions on in-flight and IFE transactions. This completes an inflight solution that can not only accelerate airline recovery from the current crisis but also deliver stronger long-term performance.”

Peter Coelho, co-founder of SHIFTEO, added: “With sustainability the second-biggest priority on airlines’ minds after recovery, this model also has the potential to create immense savings in food waste, stock management, inefficiencies, last-mile delivery, fuel cost and theft/fraud,” he added. “Transforming just 20% of buy-on-board to E-Commerce and ten percent of passengers to pre-order their meals could result in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars per year across the airline ecosystem.”

AOE has also incorporated stronger IFE accessibility to support the integration of all aspects of its digital solutions following a partnership agreement with Airfree, the leading specialist provider of on-board E-Commerce frontend and caching technology.

Kian Gould, founder and CEO of AOE, outlines the potential influence of the new platform: “Connectivity is the golden key to future incremental revenue and these agreements gives us the agility to integrate our proven solutions into the entire value-chain of the world’s most forward-

“The global crisis has accelerated both digital behavior and the obsolescence of the traditional revenue models and, as we all know, digital behavior never regresses. The only one path to recovery is the one that the passenger is already treading – the digital path.”

The AOE-SHIFTEO transaction remains subject to additional regulatory approvals and is subject to final binding agreements.