American, Qantas move to form joint business

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Photo: American Airlines

(From American Airlines)

American Airlines and Qantas have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approval to form a joint business to better serve customers flying between North America and Australia and New Zealand.

The proposed joint business will significantly improve service, stimulate demand and unlock more than $300 million annually in consumer benefits that are not achievable through any other form of cooperation, including:

– Up to $221 million in value from expanding codesharing between American and Qantas – opening more connections to more destinations.

– Up to $89 million in value by offering a wider range of fare classes across each other’s networks, including lower fares and discounts.

The joint business will also give American and Qantas the opportunity to launch additional routes between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand, including new flights to city pairs currently not served by either carrier.

An expanded relationship will encourage significant improvements in the overall customer experience, including additional frequent flyer benefits and investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure designed to better serve the carriers’ joint customers.

All these benefits will stimulate significant demand for new travel – generating up to 180,000 new trips between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand every year. (Full Story Here)

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Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, Airtel form Seamless Air Alliance

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The alliance will enable airlines to empower passengers with seamless in-cabin connectivity experience.
Photo: Delta Air Lines

(From Delta Air Lines)

Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announce the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance – which will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes.

By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high-speed, low-latency connectivity from ground to air and back again.

It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user experience.

The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.

“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. (Full Story Here)

Air Canada bares pricing of private offering

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Air Canada
Photo: Air Canada

(From Air Canada)

MONTRÉAL — Air Canada announced today the pricing of a private offering of two tranches of enhanced equipment trust certificates (the “Certificates”) denominated in Canadian dollars.

The two tranches of Certificates, which have been rated, have a combined aggregate face amount of approximately $301 million and a weighted average interest rate of 3.76 percent.

The private offering is comprised of Class A certificates and Class B certificates. The Class A certificates will have an interest rate of 3.67 percent per annum and the Class B certificates will have an interest rate of 4.19 percent per annum.

“This Canadian dollar private offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates has terms and conditions comparable to our U.S. dollar 2017-1 Series EETC transaction,” said Michael Rousseau, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

“Our ability to conclude an EETC transaction in Canadian dollars is an important development for us as it represents new opportunities for future aircraft financings and contributes to lowering the overall cost of debt and risk profile of the company.” (Full Story Here)

Cebu Pacific now accepts applications for pilots

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A Cebu Pacific Airbus A330
Photo: Laurent Errera from L’Union, France (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Cebu Pacific)

MANILA — The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific is now accepting applications for the second batch of cadet-pilots.

CEB will be recruiting 16 candidates to join its corps of pilots, after completing a 56-week training program, including 52 weeks at Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia, in a “study now, pay later” scheme.

The Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program is a 56-week program that recruits candidates from ab initio, and puts them on a 56-week integrated flying training; flight theory and education course to become licensed Commercial Pilots.

After completion of the program, the cadet-pilots become First Officers at CEB, and join the corps of aviators at Cebu Pacific, flying domestic and international routes.

The program is open to all Filipinos who are college graduates, proficient in English and hold passports valid for at least two years prior to the start of the program. (Full Story Here)

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)

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

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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)