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)

Singapore Airlines’ new 787-10s to serve Perth in Australia

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Singapore Airlines
Photo: Singapore Airlines

(From Singapore Airlines)

SINGAPORE — Perth, Australia will become the second scheduled destination to be served by Singapore Airlines’ new Boeing 787-10 fleet.

Flights are expected to commence in May 2018, subject to regulatory approvals, initially on one of the Airline’s four daily flights between Singapore and Perth.

The 787-10s will feature Singapore Airlines’ new regional cabin products and will seat 337 customers in two classes, with 36 Business Class and 301 Economy Class seats.

Prior to the launch of services to Perth, the 787-10s will be operated on selected flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes, before the first scheduled service to Osaka in May 2018.

The first aircraft in Singapore Airlines’ livery completed its flight testing at Boeing’s North Charleston, South Carolina production facility on 9 February 2018.

Singapore Airlines will be the world’s first airline to operate the 787-10 and has 49 firm orders for this aircraft type. The Airline will take delivery of its first 787-10 from Boeing in March 2018. (Full Story Here)

Philippine Airlines strengthens lineup to sustain 4-Star rating

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PAL Airbus A320, with additional “75” anniversary titles, touching down on at Bangkok airport in Thailand.
Photo: Alec Wilson (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Philippines Airlines)

MANILA — After receiving the 4-Star Certification from Skytrax, Philippine Airlines (PAL) will undertake major initiatives within 2018 to follow through on this historic milestone and sustain the 4-Star rating.

First in the lineup is the introduction of a new line of aircraft tailored for mid-size markets on medium-range routes.

The new Airbus A321neo is slated for delivery starting March, to be deployed on the new Manila-Brisbane nonstop route by May. With the
A321neo, PAL becomes the first Asian airline to utilize a narrow-bodied aircraft equipped with 12 full-flat Business Class seats.

All 168 seats (Business Class and Economy) on the A321neo have in-seat video monitors – another first for PAL’s single-aisle aircraft fleet – loaded with more than 300 hours of inflight entertainment. Economy seats are more spacious with wider legroom.

The eco-friendly and powerful A321neo engines generate less noise and can fly up to a maximum of eight hours. The whole cabin also offers free Wi-Fi connectivity.

A total of six A321neo and four Airbus A350-900s will be delivered within 2018.

The A350-900s – equipped with exciting cabin features in PAL’s most luxurious Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins to date – will start arriving in June, allowing PAL to deploy non-stop flights to the US East Coast through the polar region, along with more routes to European cities. (Full Story Here)

Cathay Pacific Group bares January’s traffic figures

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Cathay Pacific
Photo: Cathay Pacific

(From Cathay Pacific)

Cathay Pacific Group has released combined Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon traffic figures for January 2018 that show a decrease in number of passengers carried and an increase in cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month in 2017.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 2,911,355 passengers last month – a decrease of 1.9% compared to January 2017.

The passenger load factor dropped 2.3 percentage points to 84.2%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs), increased by 2.6%.

The two airlines carried 172,622 tons of cargo and mail last month, an increase of 14.2% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 3.5 percentage points to 65.4%.

Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail ton kilometers, was up by 4.6% while cargo and mail revenue ton kilometers (RTKs) increased by 10.5%. (Full Story Here)

Southwest Airlines to start shipping cargo to int’l destinations

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A Southwest 737-800 in the Heart livery at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
Photo: Colton Henline (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Southwest Airlines)

Southwest Airlines Co. announced its intention to begin shipping cargo to select international destinations beginning in May 2018, subject to requisite government approvals.

The first international destinations Southwest Airlines Cargo expects to serve are Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta with more international destinations planned for 2018.

“By offering the cross-border services that our Customers are looking for, we’re able to help meet the needs of businesses throughout the United States and, soon, in Mexico,” said Matt Buckley, Southwest Airlines’ Vice President of Cargo and Charters.

“As we enter the international cargo market for the first time, Customers will have more opportunities to experience the friendly and reliable service for which our Cargo Team is known,” Buckley added. (Full Story Here)

Japan Airlines announces fare fuel surcharge

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Japan Airlines
Photo: Arpingstone (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Japan Airlines)

Japan Airlines (JAL) will maintain current levels of fuel surcharge on all international passenger tickets purchased between April 1 and May 31, 2018.

JAL sets fuel surcharge levels bimonthly based on the 2-month average price of Singapore kerosene-type jet fuel.

The price of Singapore kerosene-type jet fuel during the two month period of December 2017 and January 2018 averaged US$78.29 per barrel, which accounted for 8,762 yen in the average exchange rate of 111.92 JPY/USD during the same period.

As a result, with reference to the fuel surcharge benchmark list for FY2017 in Japanese yen, this corresponds to Zone C of fuel surcharges.

From April 1 to May 31, 2018, it will range from 500 yen on a Japan – Korea ticket to 10,500 yen on Japan – USA ticket per person per sector flown, on tickets for travel originating in Japan. (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)