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)

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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)

British Airways hosts Aerobility Aurora flight

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A British astronaut joined 142 lucky stargazers on the Aerobility Aurora flight.
Photo: British Airways

(From British Airways)

British Airways hosted a special Aerobility Aurora flight last to view the northern lights at 30,000 feet.

Aerobility supporters, volunteers and British Airways crew enjoyed a spectacular evening hosted by Tim Peake.

The British astronaut joined 142 lucky stargazers on the Aerobility Aurora flight that took off from Gatwick and headed North to take in the natural light display.

Starwatchers started the day at Gatwick airport, where they heard from Aurora expert and BBC The Sky At Night presenter Pete Lawrence before enjoying a special guest lecture from Tim Peake.

At sunset they boarded the A320 aircraft and headed to 61 degrees North to the coast of the Shetland Isles, in the hope of witnessing the celestial spectacle.

As customers prepared for the evening’s events and adjusted their eyes to the night sky, Pete Lawrence entertained those on board with a running commentary over the PA system throughout the flight, pointing out star constellations as well as the glowing light formation visible through the aircraft windows. (Full Story Here)

Aeroflot starts ticket sales for Naples and Verona flights

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An Aeroflot-Russian Airlines Boeing 777-3M0/ER lands at Sheremetyevo Airport.
Photo: Sergey Kustov (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Aeroflot)

Moscow — Aeroflot has released tickets for flights to Naples and Verona. Regular flights on both routes are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2018.

Italy has traditionally been one of Aeroflot’s most popular destinations. Direct links with Verona and Naples will bring passengers closer to the Italian cultural and artistic heritage.

Verona will be especially popular with admirers of William Shakespeare – it was in this very city that the action of Romeo and Juliet unfolds, and travelers can visit Juliet’s House, where the heroine of the tragedy lived with her family.

Naples is the third largest city in Italy, famous for its Baroque architecture and unique museum collections.

Passengers traveling with Aeroflot have access to the extensive network of Sky Team alliance flights, as well as convenient connections to airports around the world. (Full Story Here)

Delta, Aeromexico launching new Detroit-Leon route

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The opening of this route reflects the commitment of the Aeromexico-Delta alliance.
Photo: Delta Air Lines

(From Delta Air Lines)

Delta Air Lines and its partner Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, will launch new nonstop service between Detroit and Leon, Mexico, beginning April 30.

The state of Guanajuato, where Leon is situated, is known for its significant industrial activity, with strong automotive, leather and footwear, agroindustry, tourism, and pharmaceutical sectors, among others.

Detroit, the Motor City, is the center of the U.S. automobile industry and home of leading auto companies.

This new route creates an important economic bridge between the dynamic industrial centers of the two cities and connects customers to an expansive network of destinations via Delta’s Detroit hub.

Service on this new route will be operated by Aeromexico using Embraer 190 aircraft with 99 passenger seats, including 11 in Clase Premier—Aeromexico’s Business Class cabin—with the following schedules: (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)

ANA bares “Seven Allergen-Free Child Meal”

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Automated ticketing and check-in machines at All Nippon Airways’ check-in counter in Hakodate Airport.
Photo: J o (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From All Nippon Airways)

TOKYO — All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s only 5-Star airline, will start providing a “Seven Allergen-Free Child Meal” from March 1, 2018.

The special meal is designed for children with allergies and is made without the use of seven common allergens (wheat, buckwheat, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, shrimp, and crab.)

Currently, ANA has a “Seven Allergen-Free Meal” and a “27 Allergen-Free Meal” for adults, and a “27 Allergen-Free Baby Meal,” which is for infants aged under two.

In response to the increasing number of passengers with food allergies, especially children, ANA decided to introduce a new meal dedicated for those children.

Elementary school meal advisors, as well as people with food allergies, were consulted to compose a special meal that appeals to children both in appearance and taste.

ANA will continue to enhance its customer service and provide a safe and pleasant journey to all passengers onboard. (Full Story Here)

Emirates A380 resumes service to Houston

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The Emirates Airbus A380
Photo: Emirates

(From Emirates)

Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Emirates will resume its flagship A380 service between Houston (IAH) and Dubai (DXB) from 1 June 2018.

This follows the airline’s recent adjustments to its US services with the launch of a new non-stop Dubai-Newark service from 1 June 2018 and the resumption of daily services to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from 25 March 2018.

Houston will join more than 40 destinations on Emirates’ extensive global network served by its highly popular A380 aircraft, including Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Kuwait.

Emirates will deploy its three-class A380 on the Houston route, offering a total of 516 seats, with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flatbed seats in Business Class seats and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class, increasing capacity per flight by more than 160 passengers compared to the current Boeing 777-300ER.

Emirates celebrated 10 years of service to Houston in December 2017, and has carried nearly two million passengers since its inaugural flight in December 2007.

Services to Houston were upgauged to an A380 in December 2014, but as part of Emirates’ fleet optimization, the decision was made in July 2016 to operate the route with a Boeing 777-300ER. (Full Story Here)

Emirates bares second daily service to Lisbon

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An Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Photo: Emirates

(From Emirates)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Emirates announced it will resume a second daily service to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, from 1 June 2018.

The flight will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class, and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

Portugal boasts a warm temperate climate and a long coastline of beaches, scenic villages and a rich culture and history, attracting visitors from all over the world.

According to Turismo de Portugal, a record 21 million people visited the country in 2017, an increase of 10 percent when compared to the previous year, while Lisbon recorded a 16 percent increase. (Full Story Here)