Qantas to establish pilot academy

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The academy will initially train around 100 pilots a year.
Photo: Qantas

(From Qantas)

SYDNEY — Qantas will establish a pilot academy capable of training up to 500 pilots a year, to help meet the increasing need for skilled aviators in one of the fastest growing global industries.

The Qantas Group Pilot Academy is expected to open its doors to students during 2019 and is likely to be established near an existing airfield in regional Australia to provide easy access to uncongested airspace.

It will represent an initial investment of up to $20 million to establish the new facility.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the academy would become a critical part of the national carrier’s long term talent pipeline – and an important resource for Australian aviation.

“Qantas has a proud history of having some of the best pilots in the world and we want to make sure it stays that way. By creating our own academy, we can train the next generation of pilots to the Qantas Group standard,” Joyce said. (Full Story Here)

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Lufthansa, Munich Airport testing humanoid robot

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“Josie Pepper” to provide information to passengers.
Photo: Lufthansa

(From Lufthansa)

She is 120 centimeters tall, with sparkling, round eyes and a pleasant voice: Starting today, “Josie Pepper” the robot will be answering questions for passengers in Terminal 2 of Munich Airport.

Whether they need directions to their gate or want to stop at a certain restaurant or shop – Josie Pepper will look them in the eyes and give them a prompt answer.

With the rollout of Josie Pepper, Munich Airport and Lufthansa are breaking new ground: It is the first-ever test of a humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence at a German airport.

For the next few weeks, Josie Pepper will welcome travelers to the non-public area of Terminal 2, which is jointly operated by Munich Airport and Lufthansa.

In her initial deployment, Josie Pepper, who speaks English, will await passengers at the top of the ramp leading to the shuttle connecting the main terminal to the satellite building.

This test phase will be used to show whether Josie Pepper is accepted by passengers. (Full Story Here)

Air Canada is Eco-Airline of the Year

Air Canada-Air Canada Named Eco-Airline of the Year in Air Trans
Air Canada named Eco-Airline of the Year in Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards.
Photo: Air Canada

(From Air Canada)

MONTREAL — /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada has been named the 2018 Eco-Airline of the Year by the respected airline industry publication Air Transport World in its 44th Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards.

In recognizing Air Canada’s environmental accomplishments, ATW cited the carrier’s commitment to emissions reductions through supporting the development of alternative fuels and its numerous green programs and partnerships, including being the first airline in the world to voluntarily join the World Bank’s IMF Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.

Air Canada Named Eco-Airline of the Year in Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards (CNW Group/Air Canada)

“Air Canada has made sustainability central to its decision-making and business processes, and this includes acting responsibly with respect to the environment. We are very pleased that ATW has recognized the effectiveness of our environmental programs, including our participation in the development and support of alternative fuels in Canada, and our efforts to contribute to healthier communities. We have made great strides, improving fuel efficiency by 40 per cent since 1990, and this award will further spur us on to the goals we have set for ourselves to continually improve our environmental performance,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada. (Full Story Here)

Emirates buying 36 A380s worth $16 billion

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Emirates firms up its latest order for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft worth $16 billion.
Photo: Emirates

(From Emirates)

Dubai, U.A.E. — Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, signed a contract for 20 additional A380 aircraft and 16 options, firming up the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was announced in January.

The total agreement for 36 aircraft is valued at $16 billion based on latest list prices. Deliveries are to start as early as 2020.

In the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai; and Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France, the agreement was signed on the sidelines of the World Government Summit by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group; and Mikail Houari, President Airbus Africa Middle East.

During the event, Sheikh Ahmed and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also discussed the strong aviation ties between the UAE and France, and the expansion of air services between both countries.

Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, worth over $60 billion.

Emirates’ A380 fleet operates both GE and Rolls-Royce engines, and the airline is evaluating engine options for its latest A380 order. (Full Story Here)

Philippine Airlines certified as international 4-star airline

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PAL President and COO Mr Jaime Bautista and PAL Chairman and CEO Dr Lucio Tan receive Philippine Airlines’ 4-Star Plaque from Skytrax President Edward Plaisted in a presentation ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Singapore on February 8, 2018.
Photo: Philippine Airlines

(From the Philippine Airlines)

MANILA — Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been certified as a 4-Star airline by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization.

PAL, joining 40 other well-renowned airlines in this prestigious category, is the first and only airline in the country to have a 4-Star Rating.

PAL achieved this coveted rating after Skytrax conducted a rigorous audit of the airline’s inflight and on ground service for both international and domestic flights and noted major enhancements on its end-to-end passenger experience and distinct wholehearted service called Buong Pusong Alaga.

“This is a big win for the Philippines,” said PAL Chairman and CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan. “We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country’s achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe.”

This 4-Star Airline rating is a mark of quality distinction that recognizes excellent standards of Product and Staff service across different assessment categories for both the Onboard and Airport environment. (Full Story Here)

Emirates, Qantas reach aircraft maintenance deal

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Emirates Engineering announces maintenance deal with Qantas.
Photo: Emirates

(By Emirates)

DUBAI, Unites Arabs Emirates — Emirates Engineering has announced an agreement with Qantas for aircraft maintenance.

Under the terms of the agreement, Emirates Engineering will strip and repaint eight Qantas A380 aircraft starting March 2018.

The aircraft will be repainted with the latest Qantas livery at the state of the art Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre in Dubai.

The agreement also covers the replacement of landing gears for one Qantas A380 aircraft by Emirates Engineering in February 2018. (Full Story Here)

Southwest Airlines has new Managing Director Ground Operations

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Southwest Airlines
Photo:PlanespotterA320 (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(By Southwest Airlines)

Southwest Airlines Co. announced Chris Johnson as the new Managing Director Ground Operations effective February 1, 2018.

Johnson will be responsible for the daily operations of a Team of more than 18,000 Employees who work in our domestic locations across the United States.

His key responsibilities include ensuring these Employees have the resources and tools they need to deliver the safest, most reliable, and most hospitable airport experience.

Johnson joined Southwest Airlines in 1993 as a Ramp Agent in Detroit.

Since that time, he has held Leadership positions across Southwest’s Ground Operations network, most recently serving as the Senior Director over the Western Region of Ground Operations. (Full Story Here)

Japan Airlines expands ties with Qatar Airways

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Japan Airlines Expands Network to the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia with Qatar Airways.
Photo: Japan Airlines

(By Japan Airlines)

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced the expansion of its codeshare cooperation with Qatar Airways (QR) on routes to the Middle East (4 routes), Africa (6 routes), and Central Asia (1 route), starting April 1, 2018.

JAL`s codeshare partnership with Qatar Airways (QR) on Japan = Doha routes have been in place since December 2013.

Reservation and ticket sales for the new codeshare flights will start from March 14, 2018.

JAL will continue to enhance its network in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia to provide business and leisure customers with more convenience and an enjoyable experience on every journey. (Full Story Here)

Qantas’ new service from Melbourne to San Francisco to start in September

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Qantas
Photo: Qantas

(By Qantas)

MELBOURNE — Qantas announced that its new Melbourne to San Francisco service will start on September 1, 2018 with fares already available for sale.

With an evening departure from Melbourne and an overnight flight on the return, Qantas’ schedule means customers can arrive in each city ready to make the most of their stay.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said the new nonstop Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner service reflects strong demand in travel to the popular Californian city.

“We expect this flight to be popular with tourists and also corporate travelers looking to do business with San Francisco’s world-leading technology companies,” Webster said.

“With connections to 17 codeshare destinations including Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver, the new service also provides another gateway for Australians traveling into the US,” she added.

The Qantas Dreamliner features 236 seats across three cabins including the Business Suite, nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers, as well as a next generation Premium Economy seat and a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and device charging outlets. (Full Story Here)

Airbus’ 2017 delivery reaches new company record

(By Airbus)

Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft deliveries in 2017 were up for the 15th year in a row, reaching a new company record of 718 aircraft delivered to 85 customers. Deliveries were more than four percent higher than the previous record of 688 set in 2016.

The 2017 total comprises: 558 single aisle A320 Family (of which 181 were A320neo – an increase of 166 percent over 2016); 67 A330s; 78 A350 XWBs (up by nearly 60 percent from 2016) and 15 A380s.

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Photo: Airbus

Furthermore, to cap this resounding annual production achievement, Airbus achieved 1,109 net orders from 44 customers.

At the end of 2017 Airbus’ overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft valued at US$1.059 trillion at list prices.

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft commented: “A new Airbus delivery record coupled with our fifth best order intake wraps up a remarkable year for us. This outstanding achievement is testimony to the dedication of all our teams, and makes the company fitter, stronger and ready for the opportunities ahead.”

With this year’s performance Airbus has steadily built on deliveries year on year – with 15 consecutive years of production increase.

From its four A320 Family plants in Hamburg, Tianjin, Mobile, and Toulouse, Airbus is on track to achieve rate 60 per month on single-aisle by mid-2019.

Meanwhile, the A350 XWB is equally on track for rate 10 by the end 2018. Airbus’ healthy order intake in 2017 resulted in a ‘book-to-bill’ ratio of 1.5. (Full Story Here)