31.05.12 | China Travel Retail unveils world-class speaker line up and agenda for inaugural event in Shanghai from the 24th – 25th July 2012
Today, China Travel Retail (CTR), the most focused networking event for travel retail brands, concessionaires and retailers targeting Chinese travellers, unveils the lists of world-class speakers and companies that will be involved in its inaugural event taking place in Shanghai on 24th and 25th July, 2012.
Joining the Moodie Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie, who together with Deputy Publisher Dermot Davitt will moderate proceedings, will be a host of world renowned industry speakers and panellists including:
- Sinclair Lu – President Hurun Report
- Wolfgang Weil – Chief Operations Officer, Xi’an Xianyang International Airport Ltd Co
- Jason Cha – Executive VP and Head of The Shilla Duty Free Group
- David Au – Group Chief Marketing Officer Lifung Trinity Limited
- George Horan – President Dubai Duty Free
- Mathieu Daubert – Head of Retail Aéroports de Paris
- Chris Rayner – Executive Director SSP International
- Jérôme Goldberg – President JMG-Research
- Gary Mey – Sales Director Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
- Glenn Wedlock – GM Commercial, Auckland Airport
- Steffen Brandt – CEO Asia Pacific, Gebr. Heinemann
- Kevin Miller – Global Head of Insight, Ink
- Johnnie Voutsas – Vice President Folli Follie Group
- John Woodhouse – Head of Business Development, China & East Asia, Aer Rianta International
“We are delighted to have so many well respected industry speakers and companies participating at CTR”, said Jeffrey O’Rourke, Chief Executive of Ink. “This world-class line up of speakers, the superb agenda and the number of Chinese airports and duty free operators already attending, is fast establishing CTR as a definitive date in the Travel Retail calendar. We are hoping that over the coming weeks we will be able to announce more high profile speakers, delegates and sponsors coming to shanghai in July to attend our event”.
The China Travel Retail event and exhibition, taking place at the prestigious Marriott City Centre in Shanghai, will showcase best practices both domestically inside China, at Chinese airports and airlines, at sea, as well as how companies are successfully selling to Chinese consumers travelling overseas. The two-day schedule for this event will include a mix of keynote speeches and master classes that will cover topics including:
- China’s Influence on the Rest of the Travel Retail Market
- How to Create Strong Local Partnerships
- The Luxury Goods Market: Chinese Perspectives
- The Changing Travel Retail Landscape for Chinese Travellers
“We believe that there is a need for an event that does not just showcase existing best practise within Chinese travel retail, but also helps companies to network, develop relationships and establish a footprint in this ever increasingly influential market”, said Nick Tan, President of GIS Events. “At CTR we will be bringing together for the first time, the most important decision makers from the Airports, Airlines, Duty Free operators, brands and Concessionaires in china and looking to break into this market. “
For further details about the event, the speakers and the two-day schedule, please go to www.chinatravelretail.com, or contact the CTR team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
31.05.12 | Lufthansa improves its in-flight entertainment service
Good news for sports fans: Lufthansa‘s in-flight entertainment service now includes a first integrated live TV channel: Sports 24. The signal is transmitted directly on board by satellite via Lufthansa’s FlyNet broadband Internet service and from there to the entertainment system. Unlike the Internet, this service, which is already available on three recently delivered Airbus A330s, is free of charge for passengers.
Sports 24 has special airline rights for all major sports events such as the UEFA European Football Championship (opening match, all German matches, finals) and the Olympic Games in London. The English-language channel will also broadcast Bundesliga (as of the 2012/13 season) and Premier League matches, all Formula-1 races, the NFL Superbowl, tennis with Wimbledon and the French Open, and golf with the Ryder Cup and US Open.
In addition, Lufthansa is investing in cutting-edge hardware for in-flight entertainment and will equip its long-haul fleet with the Rave system by the California-based producer The IMS Company. As of next spring, passengers on board B 747-400s, A340-600s, A340-300s and A330-300s will successively be able to use the system with the familiar ease of a tablet. They can navigate simply by stroking or wiping a touch screen (Economy Class) or by using a remote control with so-called one-finger navigation in First and Business Class. Image resolution is higher than that of the existing solutions and the system reacts much faster to user input. As all the programme content is stored in each seat display unit, it can even be used without connection to the server.
31.05.12 | Icelandair selects Row 44 to provide fleetwide Wi-Fi and premium entertainment content
Row 44, the leading provider of inflight WiFi and device-based entertainment content for airlines around the world, announced today that it has partnered with Icelandair, the leading carrier of Iceland serving Europe, the United States and Canada, to enhance their passengers’ travel experience.
Row 44 will equip Icelandair’s fleet with high-speed WiFi, starting this year. Upon rollout, Icelandair will be the first North Atlantic airline to operate WiFi fleet wide.
According to Iceland’s tourism board, there was a 16 percent increase in foreign visitors last year from the year prior. A breathtaking island, Iceland is known for its hot springs, geysers, waterfalls and volcanoes, and with a growing economy and continued increase in tourism, Icelandair desired to provide its passengers with a travel experience as inspiring as their destination. In partnering with Row 44, Icelandair enhances the exceptional atmosphere and flight experience that it strives to deliver to customers.
“Icelandair has built a system of outstanding flight services between Iceland and other countries, and Row 44 now allows us to continue to build on that system, and our present inflight entertainment system, by equipping our flights with an outstanding passenger experience inside the cabin,” said Birkir Hólm Guðnason, Icelandair CEO. “Row 44 was the only provider to offer the breadth and depth of services we favored that will allow our customers to get connected and be entertained, and to do so in a way that we believe they desire – straight to their own devices.”
With Row 44’s inflight WiFi, passengers get connected quickly and reliably. An additional benefit is that it is the only device-based service that operates over land and water, making it a particularly desirable provider for airlines like Icelandair with numerous Transatlantic routes.
Among the list of growing services Icelandair customers will enjoy on their own WiFi-enabled devices:
• High-speed Internet connectivity
• Shop in-flight specials
• Research and book local services at their destination
“Icelandair has earned a stellar reputation as an innovative, passenger-focused airline that is committed to providing safe and efficient air travel, and unique services,” said John LaValle, Row 44’s CEO. “We look forward to enriching these services and continuing to delight their customers, a top priority for both Icelandair and Row 44.”
31.05.12 | Emirates Reveals New Industry-Leading Screens for its Inflight Entertainment System, ice Digital Widescreen
In its on-going efforts to invest in the latest entertainment content and newest systems, Emirates has recently upgraded the hardware on its new Boeing 777 fleet to bigger, much wider, and digitally-enhanced screens for its winning inflight entertainment system ice (Information, Communication and Entertainment); bringing it in premium quality to every seat in Emirates First, Emirates Business, and Economy Class.
Passengers will now be able to enjoy Emirates’ award-winning entertainment with wider personal TV screens: 27-inch in First Class, 20-inch in Business Class and 12.1 inch in Economy Class-an increase from the 10.9 inch screen-making the latter the biggest in the world. Additionally, Emirates’ new screens feature high definition (HD) resolution, developed by Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), making it one of the world’s first commercial airlines to install such state-of-the-art technology. With the new cutting-edge HD-enabled screens, Emirates passengers will now enjoy video content in bright, vivid colour and ultra-sharp detail.
The new hardware will complement Emirates new, enhanced Graphical User Interface (GUI), developed by Panasonic and Emirates, which was recently launched and designed specifically to make content and system features easier to navigate; bringing the huge range of choice across information, communication and entertainment to the passenger’s fingertips. Through a staggering choice of over 1300 channels of entertainment, including over 300 movies from around the world, hundreds of TV choices and thousands of music tracks from contemporary to classical, ice Digital Widescreen provides passengers with one of the world’s best inflight experiences.
The GUI, which is unique to Emirates, includes a wide range of advanced capabilities that enhances the distinctiveness and elegance of Emirates’ inflight system, ice Digital Widescreen. The new experience includes the ability to move around the entertainment system by “swiping” or “scrolling”, just like a consumer tablet device and discovering the vast library of media and entertainment that is available on Emirates, send SMS and email messages, explore the moving map application, watch the in-flight landscape cameras, and access live text news.
The enhanced screens and GUI will be introduced on all new Boeing 777 joining the Emirates fleet and subsequently over the next year on Emirates’ A380 aircraft. The system will be available in all classes of service, an Emirates standard.
“Emirates’ goal is to ensure maximum comfort and choice for passengers during their in-flight entertainment, communications and inflight experience,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President Operations and Engineering. “In this, like other areas of its operation, Emirates seeks to lead the industry; enabling our customers to get the very most out of their Emirates journey.”
As a top airline for family travel, the new ice system is an integral part of providing an entertaining experience to Emirates’ young ‘globalistas.’ The children’s travel experience will soon be further enhanced with a complete range of new toys aimed at both pre-school and older children. Pre-school children can look forward to a range of colourful monster characters in the exclusively designed ‘Fly With Me Monster’ collection. For older children, Emirates will soon offer a range of new products co-designed with iconic brand Quicksilver which include a branded travel journal, wallet and playing cards. This new offering along with an existing dedicated children’s menu onboard with its own colourful livery, will provide for an entertaining and memorable travel experience for Emirates’ young passengers.
30.05.12 | JAL Introduces Domestic First Class on Haneda=Okinawa Route and Adds More Flights with Domestic First Class to Fukuoka and Sapporo
Japan Airlines (JAL) will be introducing its domestic JAL First Class service on a portion of daily flights between Tokyo, Haneda and Okinawa, Naha from August 1, 2012. Reservations and sales begin June 1, 2012.
JAL currently offers First Class service on routes between Haneda and Sapporo, Fukuoka and Osaka. Of the 17 daily flights between Haneda and Fukuoka, JAL will increase the number of flights fitted with First Class from seven to 13, starting July 1 this year. JAL also plans to add more flights with first class on the Haneda=Sapporo route from the second half of the year.
Domestic JAL First Class customers can check-in at exclusive counters for first class passengers, enjoy priority boarding and baggage handling, as well as have access to the Diamond Premier Lounge refurbished in October 2010. Onboard, they will be served with a wide range of quality food, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks as they enjoy the comforts of a 53cm wide sofa-like seat upholstered in fine leather. Arranged in seven pairs in the front of the aircraft, JAL First Class seats reclines to a maximum angle of 132° and offers a generous amount of legroom for each customer with a 130cm space before the seat in front. Cloak services and extra amenities such as slippers and blankets are also available at their request.
To celebrate the launch of JAL’s First Class service on flights to Okinawa, eligible customers will receive an exclusive giveaway, including Imperial Hotel’s original chocolate drink packages.
Passengers who have purchased a domestic fare ticket can upgrade from economy class to first class by paying just 8,000 yen for each sector of their journey, subject to seat availability. Ticket rules and conditions apply.
29.05.12 | Advanced Inflight Alliance AG announces acquisition of minority stake in Row 44 Inc.
Advanced Inflight Alliance AG announces acquisition and resolves capital increases:
- Acquisition of minority stake in Row 44 Inc.
- Resolution to execute a capital increase in kind in course of the acquisition of the minority stake in Row 44 Inc.
- Resolution to execute a cash capital increase for future acquisitions
The Board of Directors of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG (ISIN DE0001262186, WKN 126218, located at Schellingstr. 35, 80799 Munich), with the approval of the Supervisory Board, today made a resolution to increase the company’s share capital by EUR 5,255,170.00 by issuing 5,255,170 new shares in the course of a capital increase in kind by using the authorized capital and by excluding the subscription right for shareholders.
The new shares issued in the course of the execution of the capital increase in kind will be signed completely by PAR Investment Partners L.P., Boston, USA.
The new shares will have an entitlement to a share of profits as of January 1, 2012. In return for the new shares of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG, PAR Investment Partners L.P. will contribute 84,695,034 shares of Row 44 Inc., Westlake Village, USA, to Advanced Inflight Alliance AG. This represents a stake of approximately 12.5 percent in Row 44 Inc. The shares of Row 44 Inc. to be contributed are valued at US-Dollars 25,000,000. The formal audit of the shares of Row 44 Inc. to be contributed will be executed after the appointment of the appraiser by court. With the registry of the capital increase in kind in the public register PAR Investment Partners L.P. will increase its’ amount of holdings in Advanced Inflight Alliance AG from presently below 30 percent to over 45 percent. This would trigger the obligation for PAR Investment Partners L.P. to launch a public tender offer.
The company plans to finalize and sign the contractual agreements to acquire the minority stake in Row 44 Inc. as well as initiate all necessary measures to execute the capital increase in kind promptly. The capital increase in kind will be effective with the entry in the public register. The filing for the new shares generated in the course of the capital increase in kind to be listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the Regulated Market (General Standard) will be executed at a later stage.
Row 44 Inc. provides so called inflight connectivity solutions for aircrafts. Inflight connectivity solutions enable an electronic connection between the aircraft and the ground to be established. This electronic connection allows passengers on board an aircraft to access the internet, use mobile phones, watch live TV programs or utilize many additional applications during their flight. Row 44 Inc. provides a satellite based inflight connectivity solution that is already installed on more than 250 aircraft. Customers of Row 44 Inc. are Southwest Airlines, one of the biggest airlines in the USA, as well as Norwegian Air Shuttle, an airline that recently placed the biggest order for planes in the history of European aviation. Row 44 Inc. plans to substantially increase the instalment base of its inflight connectivity solutions in the coming years.
For the inflight entertainment solution provider Advanced Inflight Alliance AG the acquisition of a minority stake in Row 44 Inc. represents an important strategic step. Advanced Inflight Alliance AG expects that the combination of traditional inflight entertainment solutions with inflight connectivity solutions will become the standard in the future. Advanced Inflight Alliance AG, together with Row 44 Inc., plan to develop and market the next generation of intelligent inflight entertainment solutions and therefore to create new opportunities for growth. The minority stake in Row 44 Inc. is to substantiate this partnership.
Furthermore, the Board of Directors of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, today also made a resolution to increase the company’s share capital from presently EUR 16,688,091.00 by up to EUR 1,854,232.00 to up to EUR 18,542,232.00 by issuing up to 1,854,232 new shares with a calculated proportion of the capital stock of EUR 1.00 per share and with an issue price of EUR 3.00 per share by using the authorized capital.
Shareholders will be granted their legal subscription right. The subscription ratio is 9:1. All shares not subscribed by the shareholders will again exclusively be offered to existing shareholders for subscription (oversubscription). Trading in subscription rights shall not take place. The subscription period will last two weeks. The subscription offer will be published in the Federal Gazette presumably on May 31, 2012. VEM Aktienbank AG will accompany the transaction.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the cash capital increase with subscription rights to finance potential future acquisitions. The company is presently analysing several potential options for acquisitions. With the cash capital increase the company will be provided with the necessary financial flexibility to be able to act quickly to execute potential acquisitions.
Advanced Inflight Alliance AG
Board of Directors
29.05.12 | Innovative side entry repair sleeve delivers first permanent solution
TE Connectivity launches the new C-Wrap side entry repair sleeve for use in aerospace, defense and marine applications. The repair sleeve delivers an environment resistant repair to damaged primary wire with nicks, chaffed and radial cracks, while providing superior long-term performance.
“Our innovative C-Wrap device was designed specifically to meet the requests of the MRO community,” said Janeann Avants, product manager, Global Aerospace, Defense & Marine, TE Connectivity. “Our design engineers focused on pushing the functionality and performance to deliver a great, permanent solution for wire repair. This cannot be found anywhere else.”
The easy-to-install solution consists of two pieces, the outer tubing and adhesive. The C-Wrap device is small in diameter and short in length, providing easy installation. With its wrap-around design, the repair sleeve eliminates the need to de-pin the connector for repair, saving time, cost and manpower. Its environment-resistant qualities prevent galvanic corrosion and allow use in a temperature range of -65°C to +175°C, all while meeting the performance requirements of D-6201.
Made of a meltable adhesive and radiation cross-linked modified fluoroelastomer insulation sleeve, the C-Wrap device meets the performance requirements of TE Connectivity D-6201 specification. Designed for long-term performance, the repair kit offers a permanent repair to the chaffed or cracked wire insulation. The C-Wrap device is color-coded, which provides proper sizing for each application, as well as ease of use.
For more information on TE’s C-Wrap side entry repair sleeve, contact the Product Information Center at (800) 522-6752 or visit www.te.com/adm.
TE Connectivity and the TE connectivity (logo) are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies.
28.05.12 | Enjoy Japanese Hot Springs and Earn JAL Mileage with JAL ONSEN MILE
Japan Airlines (JAL) today announced the launch of JAL ONSEN MILE – a new mileage program tie-up with some of Japan’s finest onsen (Japanese hot spring) hotels and inns which enables customers to soak up JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) miles when they enjoy at any of the currently selected 57 onsens where JAL COUPONs can also be used.
The new JAL ONSEN MILE program will reward JMB members for pampering themselves at a wide range of quality onsen hotels and inns throughout the country, where they would be able to accrue 2 miles for every 100 yen spent on day-use plans or overnight stays. Mileage is accruable for reservations made through the official websites of accredited onsen operators, by phone, or through JAL’s website, for check-ins from June 1, 2012.
JAL COUPONs, initially only redeemable for JAL Group airline tickets, tour packages, in-flight items as well as JAL Hotels, may also be used from October 1, 2012, at these chosen onsen hotels and inns located from Iwate in northern Japan, down to the Kyushu region.
Japan is situated in a volcanically active region and endowed with thousands of natural hot springs all over the country. Many onsen hotels and inns are built atop hot spring sources, offering traditional Japanese rooms, authentic cuisine and onsen facilities. Bathing in an onsen is a common and effective stress-reliever for many locals, and stay-overs at these establishments have become a popular short getaway with family or friends. For overseas visitors, it would make a memorable, unique experience and an opportunity to take a dip in traditional Japanese culture.
JAL plans to expand the number of participating onsens in the future, to provide customers with more choices and opportunity to earn and redeem mileage through one of Japan’s all-time favorite recreation.
25.05.12 | Delta Releases 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report
Delta Air Lines (DAL) today released its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, which details the airline’s financial, safety, community and environmental performance.
The report documents Delta’s progress since its 2010 report that was published last June.
“We continue to ‘raise the bar’ with respect to external reporting but recognize that there is still more to be done,” said Helen Howes, Delta’s managing director – Safety, Health and Environment. “This year’s report adds more information about employee programs and gives a more complete description of our greenhouse gas emissions as well as actions Delta and its employees are taking to reduce those emissions.”
Significant accomplishments in the 2011 report include:
Participating in natural disaster relief efforts, including raising more than $1 million worth of combined aid for Japan after its earthquake.
Rewarding the efforts of Delta employees by distributing more than $324 million in Profit Sharing and Shared Rewards for 2011.
Joining the Business Environmental Leadership Council for the prestigious Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as the sole airline among 35 large companies discussing ways to find affordable and responsible energy.
Continuing a tradition of support for a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross and The Nature Conservancy.
Promoting efforts to reduce greenhouse gases through retiring older and less fuel-efficient aircraft from the fleet and by improving greenhouse gas emissions reporting.
Earning recognition as top airline in the Business Travel News annual survey and Travel Weekly’s readers’ choice as airline of the year.
The full report, as well as the 2010 and 2009 report, is available at http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=18&cat=49
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic “Airline of the Year” by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the “Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology and won theBusiness Travel News Annual Airline Survey. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and theDelta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 350 destinations in 62 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline’s service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
24.05.12 | TE Connectivity joins edge innovation network
TE Connectivity announced today it has joined the EDGE® Innovation Network, a collaborative, open-environment initiative enabling industry and academia, with government input, to work together towards enhancing the delivery cycle of new technologies and innovative capabilities to warfighters and first responders.
TE Connectivity is committed to helping design engineers early in the design process to find better solutions, build smarter technology and get their products to market faster. Becoming a member of EDGE allows TE to gain additional perspectives in the defense marketplace, and provides a way for TE to better support their customers and provide smarter and faster solutions.
“We are excited to join EDGE and bring our technology to bear in providing optimum connectivity solutions for our customers,” said Greg Powers, Market Development Manager, TE Aerospace, Defense & Marine. “We are all about now and see EDGE as a primary vehicle to speed those solutions to deployment.”
Pete Palmer, EDGE Innovation Network director, said, “EDGE provides a new military and government acquisition paradigm by using both physical and virtual environments where EDGE members and users can collaborate and innovate together to deliver gap-filling capabilities in months rather than years.”
Sponsored by General Dynamics C4 Systems, there are eleven EDGE Innovation Centers worldwide and over 250 EDGE members. Recent new members include Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Alexandria, Va.; NSM Surveillance, Inc., Spring Valley, Calif., Aurizon Ultrasonics, LLC, Kimberly, Wisc., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Phoenix, Ariz. More information can be found online at www.edge-innovation.com.
24.05.12 | Astronics Corporation and Thales Avionics Sign Multi-Year Agreement for EmPower® In-Seat Power Systems
Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leader in advanced, high-performance lighting, electrical power, avionics databus interfaces, and automated test systems for the global aerospace and defense industries, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp. (AES), signed a multi-year agreement with Thales Avionics, Inc. to provide Astronics’ world leading EmPower® In-Seat Power Systems and other power conversion product lines for integration with Thales’ In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Systems on all major aircraft platforms including B787 and A350.
Peter J. Gundermann, President and CEO of Astronics Corp., commented, “We believe that our intelligent power control, distribution and conversion systems are excellent complements for Thales Avionics’ innovative IFEC technology. We recognize this agreement as a testament of their confidence in our capabilities to consistently provide highly reliable, low weight power solutions and outstanding customer service. Strategically, we continue to innovate and develop new products in order to build our content value on aircraft.”
Astronics began providing EmPower® products to Thales in 2007 under various commercial agreements. Since then, Astronics has developed multiple, unique power products to fulfill Thales IFEC system requirements.
For more than 15 years, Astronics has developed innovative intelligent power management systems. The patented EmPower® System is currently in service with over 150 Airline/OEM customers at more than 500,000 seat locations.
24.05.12 | IT apprentices begin their journey with British Airways
The first wave of IT apprentices have joined British Airways and are already active members of the IT operations team while studying for their BTEC Level 3 qualification in conjunction with Uxbridge College.
The apprentices work in the 24/7 Service Support role in IT and are mentored throughout the two-year scheme to provide developmental support and guidance while at work and at college.
Two of the successful candidates were Laura Anderson and Chris Goodrich who both started at British Airways in March this year. They each demonstrated a great interest in IT and the travel industry and the apprenticeship scheme offered them an exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunity.
Laura Anderson said: “I’m looking forward to a long and successful career with British Airways, there are so many opportunities and the best part is that everyday day is different.”
Chris Goodrich said: “We are very much on the frontline of IT operations, if a problem arises we are there to fix it.”
Applications are already being accepted for the next scheme, which is open until the end of the first week of June. British Airways is also accepting applications for a new IT security apprenticeship, which will run alongside the current programme.
Rory Gillies, British Airways IT resource manger, said: “Last year through word of mouth alone we received over 180 applications for eleven places.
The IT apprenticeship schemes are all about finding the IT talent of the future. In conjunction with Uxbridge College we are ensuring that talented young individuals are getting the best start to their career in the world of IT.”
British Airways plans to recruit more than 200 people into its apprenticeship programmes in 2012, which includes schemes in IT, engineering and operations. This will add to the 340 students already undertaking apprenticeships or completing college courses in preparation for beginning apprenticeships.
24.05.12 | Eritrean Airlines relies on NetLine SP from Lufthansa Systems
Lufthansa Systems today announced that Eritrean Airlines has opted for its comprehensive NetLine SP planning and control system. The two companies recently signed an agreement to this effect. NetLine SP combines the industry-renowned performance of the NetLine suite with professional system operation in the Lufthansa Systems data center, enabling Eritrean Airlines to benefit from lower capital expenditure and quick amortization.
NetLine SP – short for NetLine Service Providing – is a clearly structured package consisting of NetLine/Sched, NetLine/Crew and NetLine/Ops. These basic components provide Eritrean Airlines with an easy way to cover key operational areas such as flight planning, crew management and operations control. In addition to the three basic components, the contract also includes the additional NetLine/Ops Maintenance Control module for efficient and cost-effective maintenance planning.
“We are delighted that we were able to win Eritrean Airlines as the second African customer for NetLine SP and further enhance our market presence in East Africa,” says Peter Ahnert, SVP Regional Management Middle East & Africa at Lufthansa Systems. “Offering maximum flexibility for a relatively low investment, NetLine SP is an ideal solution especially for smaller airlines with limited resources.”
Eritrean Airlines is Eritrea’s flag carrier. Operating a fleet comprising one Airbus A319-100, two Airbus A320-200 and one Boeing 767-200ER aircraft, the airline connects the national capital of Asmara with the cities of Lahore, Dubai, Jeddah, Cairo, Khartoum, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Frankfurt and Rome.
23.05.12 | KuStream® 1000 celebrates one million flight hours
TECOM Industries, Inc. announced today that the KuStream® 1000, a Ku band SATCOM antenna system, recently completed one million flight hours aboard commercial aviation aircraft. KuStream 1000 is available through Row 44.
“TECOM is extremely pleased to have reached this remarkable milestone,” stated Arsen Melconian, TECOM president. “Customer demand for in-flight connectivity, particularly for higher speed and bandwidth hungry services, continues to grow and drives new rollouts across several airlines. TECOM is proud that the KuStream 1000 SATCOM antenna flies on more than 275 commercial aircraft to date with additional installations occurring every week. Mango Airlines just joined the existing users, Southwest Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle, with Ku band SATCOM connectivity services.”
John LaValle, Row 44 CEO, added, “Achieving one million flight hours is indeed a remarkable feat. I thank the dedicated employees, partners and customers of Row 44 who made it all possible. Ku band SATCOM connectivity services has proven to be a commercially viable business, and with our recently announced new customers we expect the customer list to continue to grow.”
23.05.12 | American Airlines Announces Initial Boeing 777-300ER Schedule
American Airlines today announced the flight numbers and markets for its first group of Boeing 777-300ERs that will enter the airline’s fleet starting this December. On Dec. 13, the Dallas/Fort Worth – Sao Paulo route will be the first to feature the newest addition to American’s fleet. In February, the aircraft will fly to London Heathrow from both Dallas/Fort Worth and New York JFK.
American is the first U.S. airline to order and take delivery of the Boeing 777-300ER. The 777-300ERs will complement American’s fleet by offering additional network flexibility in the future, as well as providing increased efficiency due to better seat mile economics and performance characteristics.
“American is proud to be among the first in the industry to offer a combination of fully lie-flat seats with all-aisle access, international Wi-Fi, and top-of-the-line in-seat entertainment,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer. “On Dec. 13, our customers can experience these firsts on flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sao Paulo.”
As part of its international widebody strategy, American anticipates taking delivery of 10 Boeing 777-300ERs beginning in December 2012. The 777-300ERs will be configured as three-class aircraft and will include fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats, Main Cabin Extra, and Wi-Fi capability to keep customers connected while traveling internationally.
The three-class cabin configuration in the new 777-300ER will provide American with more customers and cargo capacity than any other aircraft in its fleet today. Customers will be welcomed into the aircraft by unique mood lighting. American will be the first airline to use a dramatic archway and ceiling treatment on the 777-300 to create a feeling of spaciousness. A walk-up bar in the premium cabin stocked with snacks and refreshments will be a first for any U.S. airline and adds another unique element of luxury to the 777-300. Entertainment options include up to 120 movies, more than 150 TV programs and more than 350 audio selections that will be offered throughout the aircraft. Also, every seat will feature individual 110-volt AC power outlets and USB jacks for charging personal electronic devices. For more information, visit www.AA.com/Fly777.
23.05.12 | Delta Expands Economy Comfort Seating to More Markets
Delta Air Lines (DAL) will build on the success of its Economy Comfort seating on long-haul international flights by selling the premium Economy Class product on all flights longer than 750 miles. This expansion puts Economy Comfort on all of Delta’s dual-class aircraft and is now available for purchase on all mainline domestic and international flights departing on or after June 7.
“Our expansion of Economy Comfort gives customers more premium seats to choose from no matter where they fly on Delta,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president – Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing.
Customers seated in Economy Comfort enjoy three to four inches of additional leg room as well as Priority Boarding. The product is available in the first three-to-five rows of the Economy cabin on more than 550 of Delta’s mainline aircraft, including its Boeing 767, 757, 737, MD88, MD90, DC9, Airbus A320 and A319 aircraft, and on more than 250 two-class regional jets including the CRJ900, CRJ700, E170 and E175 aircraft types.
Customers who have purchased an Economy ticket on Delta can upgrade to Economy Comfort for an additional introductory fee of $19-$99 each way on flights within the domestic U.S and on short-haul international markets. Economy Comfort seats are available for purchase for flight through delta.com, Delta check-in kiosks, and Delta reservations for flights that depart June 7 or after.
Similar to Delta’s long-haul international Economy Comfort product, complimentary access to domestic and short-haul international seats will be available to all SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallions and customers purchasing full-fare Economy class tickets. Gold Medallion members will also have free access to these seats after they place their reservation, while Silver Medallions can purchase them at a 50 percent discount after purchasing a ticket or can access these seats for free at check-in.
The expansion of Economy Comfort is the latest in Delta’s more than $3 billion investment in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013. In addition to Economy Comfort, Delta is adding more First Class seats and in-flight entertainment to its domestic product; offering full flat-bed BusinessElite seats on its entire international widebody fleet; adding personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all long-haul international flights; is nearing completion of its plan to install in-flight Wi-Fi service to all domestic two-class aircraft — including regional jets – that have a First and Economy class cabin; updating Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system; and building new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – the new international terminal in Atlanta now open and the expanded international terminal opening next May at New York-JFK.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic “Airline of the Year” by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the “Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology and won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 350 destinations in 62 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline’s service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground.
Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
22.05.12 | Spafax adds two more experts to its industry leading team of IFE professionals
Spafax is delighted to announce two new appointments to its business development and software development teams:
Sam Still has been appointed to the position of Director, Business Planning, based in the Spafax London office. Sam joins the new business team, in which she will play a key role in planning the implementation and delivery of new products and services, in both the core IFE business and in the fast growing digital business areas that Spafax is delivering for new and existing clients.
Sue Pinfold, Executive Vice President of IFE for Spafax says that “I am really delighted to welcome aboard someone with Sam’s wealth of experience and knowledge across so many key areas of the business. At this exciting time in Spafax’s continued growth and development, she will make a great addition to our new business team”.
Before joining Spafax, Sam spent 17 years at Inflight Productions, where she worked as International Licensing Manager and before that in a range of account management positions. This included a number of years as Account Director for Air New Zealand. Her responsibilities ranged from the development of content licensing strategies to the management of key client service and programming activities, for clients as varied as American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.
Also joining Spafax in London is Dan McInerney, where he recently took up the post of Software Development Manager. Dan was also previously at Inflight Productions, where he spent 12 years leading the team that developed and implemented tools for the efficient online administration of IFE operational procedures and metadata management. He will now be working with the Spafax software team to support the continued enhancement of Spafax’s existing IFE management products and the rollout of even more features to support the integration of future system developments.
Tony Taverner, Group Technical Director and himself a recent addition to the Spafax leadership team, welcomes Dan to the group, commenting that “Dan’s highly specialised understanding of the inner workings of the IFE business will be a great asset to all of us at Spafax and of course to our clients”.
22.05.12 | Delta to Take Delivery of Boeing 717 Aircraft Upon Ratification of Pilot Tentative Agreement
Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin taking delivery of Boeing 717 aircraft as early as 2013 upon ratification of a new tentative agreement covering Delta’s more than 12,000 pilots. The tentative agreement was approved on May 21 by the Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Delta Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and now will be presented to pilots for review and ratification through June 30.
The tentative agreement provides career growth opportunities as well as pay and benefits improvements for Delta pilots, while providing Delta productivity gains and additional aircraft flexibility, including an opportunity to accelerate its domestic fleet restructuring to provide a better customer travel experience.
If ratified, the agreement will accelerate Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring strategy. To this end, Delta has reached an agreement in principle with Southwest Airlines and Boeing to lease 88 Boeing 717 aircraft currently in service at Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways that is conditioned upon pilot ratification of the tentative agreement. The aircraft will primarily replace inefficient 50-seat regional jets and some older DC-9 aircraft still in service, on a capacity-neutral basis.
The tentative agreement also provides Delta with additional flexibility to acquire up to 70 larger two-class, 76-seat regional jets as the Boeing 717 aircraft are delivered to Delta. Delta currently operates 255 larger two-class regional jets; the fleet will be increased to 325 aircraft.
“These actions pave the way for us to restructure and upgauge our domestic fleet, which will lower our costs, provide more pilot jobs and improve the onboard experience for our customers,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “The addition of the Boeing 717s, additional large regional jets and the planned replacement of 50-seat aircraft continue Delta’s commitment to operating an efficient, flexible domestic fleet that offers customers even more opportunities to upgrade to our First Class and Economy Comfort cabins.”
In addition to aircraft flexibility, the tentative agreement will provide for productivity enhancements as well as improvements to the total compensation package for Delta pilots, including increases to base pay. The agreement also provides for a modification of the profit sharing program for pilots so that it pays 10 percent of profits, compared with 15 percent today, on the first $2.5 billion of profits effective Jan. 1, 2013. The plan will continue to pay 20 percent of profits above $2.5 billion. A voluntary early retirement option recently offered to Delta’s other employee groups also will be available to Delta pilots upon ratification of the tentative agreement.
“Delta, our pilots and ALPA continue to benefit from a very constructive, proactive relationship, one that is unprecedented in our industry,” said Mike Campbell, executive vice president – Human Resources and Labor Relations. “This tentative agreement represents an investment in our pilots and our company as it gives Delta significant fleet flexibility, the ability to continue running a reliable operation for our customers, and a profitable enterprise for shareholders and for all Delta people. The fleet changes provided by this agreement, coupled with the productivity and profit sharing changes, cover the investments in our employees.
“We strongly support the Delta MEC’s endorsement and are optimistic that Delta pilots will ratify the tentative agreement,” Campbell said.
Pilots have approximately five weeks to review and ratify the tentative agreement. If approved by the June 30 deadline, the agreement would take effect July 1, 2012. The agreement becomes amendable Dec. 31, 2015.
Negotiating committees for Delta and ALPA announced on May 15, 2012, that a tentative agreement had been reached. During the next several days the tentative agreement was reviewed and subsequently approved by the Delta MEC on May 21.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic “Airline of the Year” by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the “Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology and won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 350 destinations in 62 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline’s service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground.
Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
22.05.12 | Alaska Airlines Offers Customers Self Bag-Tagging Option at Sea-Tac Airport
Alaska Airlines is debuting self-bag tagging for customers traveling out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The process allows customers to print and attach their own luggage tags from a self-service kiosk in the airport lobby and then, in one step, show their identification and drop their bag off with an airline representative for security screening and loading onto an aircraft. Following a successful trial at Redmond/Bend Airport in Oregon last year, the airline intends to offer customers self-service bag-tagging options at more airports across its route system this summer.
“Customers who have used the service are delighted to be able to help themselves by tagging their own bags, dropping them off and going on their way,” said Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of customer service-airports. “We are committed to making Alaska the easiest airline to fly on and self-bag tagging is another step toward that goal.”
Alaska Airlines has received permission from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement self-bag tagging at other airports where Alaska and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, operate. Alaska is the first carrier to offer the service at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, its largest hub.
Self-bag tagging is part of the airline’s customer-focused initiative toward making travel easier. The airline launched a new mobile website last month that allows customers to access their boarding pass from any mobile device, and recently began offering expedited security screening for ‘known travelers’ at its airports in Seattle and Portland in partnership with the TSA.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
18.05.12 | Boeing Announces Final Leg of 787 Dream Tour
The Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dream Tour will draw to a close with a seventh leg of international trips. During the tour, a refurbished flight test airplane has demonstrated the Dreamliner’s capabilities to more than 59,000 guests with an estimated 6,000 more to see it during the upcoming stops.
On May 23, the airplane known as ZA003 will depart Boeing Field for Sydney, Australia. Airline officials, government representatives, Boeing employees, suppliers and members of the media will tour the airplane during this leg of the tour. Below are the landing dates for each stop during leg seven.
May 24 – Sydney, Australia
May 29 – Auckland, New Zealand
May 31 – Darwin, Australia
June 1 – Tashkent, Uzbekistan
June 3 – Casablanca, Morocco
Upon completion of the tour, ZA003 will go through a scheduled maintenance period and resume its duties in the 787 flight test fleet. While certification of the baseline 787 models has completed, additional testing is being conducted on airline-specific features, product enhancements, and technologies that will be introduced on the next member of the 787 family, the 787-9.
The Dream Tour airplane is outfitted with the 787′s special cabin features including a welcoming entryway, dramatically larger dimmable windows, bigger bins and dynamic LED lighting. The airplane is configured with a luxurious business-class cabin, an overhead crew rest compartment and an economy class section.
Thousands of fans have followed the progress of the Dream Tour at www.newairplane.com/787/dreamtour, which will continue to be updated throughout the seventh leg of the tour.
Contact: Lori Gunter787 Communications+1 206 931 5919
More information: www.newairplane.com/787/dreamtour
18.05.12 | Gogo Partners with AeroSat to Bring Ku-Satellite Service to Market
Gogo, a leader of in-flight connectivity and a pioneer in wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions, announced today that it will partner with satellite equipment provider, AeroSat, to bring a Ku-satellite solution to commercial airlines. A Ku-satellite solution will allow Gogo to offer airlines connectivity services that extend beyond the United States, including transoceanic routes, and will serve the needs of some of our airlines partnersin the near-term until Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-satellite service becomes available.
“As a company, Gogo has always considered itself technology neutral. Our goal is to provide the right technology to meet the connectivity needs of any aircraft size and any aircraft mission,” said Gogo’s president and CEO Michael Small. “By adding a Ku-based offering, we will be qualified to offer our airline partners a wide range of technology solutions. Whether it’s by using our exclusive air to ground and ATG-4 technologies, Ku-satellite or, in the near future, Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-satellite technologies, we expect to be able to service all aircraft.”
AeroSat will deliver the Ku-satellite antenna, radome, antenna control and modem unit and high power transceiver to Gogo. The AeroSat equipment will be coupled with Gogo’s onboard hardware and software (server and access points) to deliver a complete solution to the airlines. The components have already been developed and are currently going through the airworthiness qualification and certification process. Gogo expects to be able to install the Ku-systems on commercial aircraft as soon as the fourth quarter of 2012.
“Ku is the here and now satellite technology and will allow us to service airline clients who want an overseas solution today,” added Small. “However, in many cases we see this as a bridge technology that will allow us to offer overseas service until Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka satellite service is available.”
“AeroSat has been a proven leader in the development of aviation communications solutions for more than a decade and we are delighted to work with Gogo on addressing their equipment needs as they bring a Ku-satellite solution to market,” said AeroSat CEO, Dennis Ferguson. “AeroSatnow has developed antenna systems for more than 380 corporate and commercial aircraft operating in every region of the world using multiple commercial satellites.”
Gogo also recently announced that it will be one of two global service providers of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress™ Ka-satellite service. Working with Inmarsat, Gogo expects to begin testing of the Global Xpress Ka-aeronautical services after the launch of the first of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites, which is scheduled for mid-2013.Gogo expects to offer Global Xpress Ka-satellite service after the launch of all three I-5 satellites starting in late 2014 or early 2015.
17.05.12 | Embraer reinforces it’s support for the regional airline market at RAA
Over 1,000 Embraer aircraft operate in North America and that number continues to grow with each additional delivery from Embraer’s highly successful E-Jets family of aircraft. To support this large fleet, Embraer provides industry-leading customer services its clients, which include many of the leading North American airlines. Embraer remains firmly committed to the largest and most important regional market in the world – North America.
Embraer plans to have a strong presence at the Regional Airline Association (RAA) convention in Minneapolis, MN, from May 21-24, 2012, including events sponsorship and a display at booth number 835 on the exhibit floor. Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and Technical representatives will be on hand.
“The North American regional airline market is the largest of it’s kind, and continues to be an essential component of the network airlines,” said Charlie Hills, Embraer Vice President Sales & Marketing, North America – Commercial Aviation. “As fleets transition to larger regional aircraft in the 70+ seat range, Embraer is very well placed to meet the demands of the 70- to 120-seat market. We have the whole package – we offer the all around best aircraft in their class, a mature and reliable product, world class customer support, continuous product improvements, and finally, the security of doing business with a strong, reliable and flexible business partner. No other manufacturer offers this in the market we compete in.”
During the RAA convention, Embraer will focus on its strong and mature customer service and support network. Embraer Aircraft Customer Services has served the industry since the 1980s, and has evolved to meet the changing needs of our customers. Through innovations such as the AHEAD System, which monitors fleet health in real time, the Services and Support division specialists provide industry-leading support in the technical, flight operations, modifications, materials, maintenance and training fields, affording wrap-around customer care.
16.05.12 | LAN’s first 787 Dreamliner enters Boeing’s final assembly factory
LAN’s first 787 Dreamliner entered final body join Tuesday at Boeing’s final assembly factory in Everett, Washington. Final body join is the first step in final assembly of this super-efficient airplane. Major parts for LAN’s 787 entered Boeing’s factory last week. LAN will be the first Latin American carrier to operate the 787 when they take delivery of the first airplane later this year.
The 787 assemblies come to Everett in several completed sections from around the world by Boeing’s custom-built 747 Dreamlifter. After going through Pre-integration, where some assembly work was performed, LAN’s 787 was moved into what is called Position 1, or final body join. During final body join, the seven major pieces become one including the wings. Systems installation also begins in Position 1.
The next steps include the airplane going to the paint hangar, the installment of the interior of the cabin, and final tests before delivery to LAN towards the end of 2012.
LAN Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
LAN will be the first airline in Latin America, and one of the first in the world, to receive this aircraft, with the first delivery expected in late 2012 and delivery of 32 total aircraft over the next 10 years. This represents an investment of U.S. $3.5 billion and marks one of the largest investments in the Company’s history. The configuration of the cabin on the first LAN 787-8 aircraft will include 217 Economy class seats and 30 seats for Premium Business class.
The destinations the LAN 787-8 will service during its first year of operations will be Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lima, Peru, Los Angeles, California, Madrid, Spain and Frankfurt, Germany. These routes will be gradually integrated during the aircraft’s first year of service.
The passenger’s experience on LAN’s 787
Committed to caring for our customers and the environment, this aircraft offers:
• An innovative, modern and harmonious design.
• With electronic auto-dimming windows and dynamic lighting to create a better atmosphere. Thus, preparing the passenger for the different stages during the flight (day, night, etc.), and for the time zone to which it is arriving.
• Larger windows: the windows of this aircraft have up to 40% more surface area than current windows, which will allow all passengers (in all rows) more visibility during the flight, giving them a better view.
• Overhead bins with 30% more storage space for carryon luggage.
• The aerodynamics of the Boeing 787 incorporates technology that reduces the impact felt by the passenger due to turbulence. In addition, the pressurization of the cabin to a lower altitude (6,000 feet instead of 8,000) would result in the reduction of headaches or other symptoms a passenger might experience when flying.
• The cabin includes new air humidification techniques, significantly reducing fatigue and dryness associated with long trips.
• The passenger may have a more enjoyable trip thanks to the technology in their engines that make them less noisy from both inside and outside the aircraft.
Some of the environmental benefits of the 787
• An emission of up to 20% less of CO2 than similar aircraft.
• Up to 40% less noise footprint than similar aircraft on takeoff, the period of greatest noise in flight.
• 50% of the structure is a carbon fiber composite material, which makes it a first in the industry, this material being more resistant to fatigue and corrosion. This allows, moreover, that the manufacturing process will produce less non-recyclable waste.
16.05.12 | American Airlines applies for additional Brazil frequencies
American Sees New Opportunities to Increase its Presence in Brazil and Add Service from its Miami and New York – JFK Hubs.
American Airlines today filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for the right to fly 17 additional U.S. – Brazil weekly frequencies later this year.
American said it will use these frequencies to add service from its Miami and New York – JFK hubs to cities in Brazil. American proposes to increase its current service between JFK and Sao Paulo, as well as between Miami and Rio de Janeiro. American also proposes to convert its daily Miami to Recife-Salvador, Brazil one-stop service to non-stop flights five days per week between Miami and Recife and between Miami and Salvador.
“Brazil is a very important and growing market for American Airlines,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer. “With these additional frequencies, we plan to begin operating new service as soon as Oct. 1, giving our customers even more travel options to Brazil which is Latin America’s largest economy.”
American proposes to start a second daily JFK – Sao Paulo flight on Oct. 1; increase its Miami – Recife and Miami – Salvador service Nov. 15; and add a second daily Miami – Rio de Janeiro flight Dec. 15.
American also serves Brazil from Miami to Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Sao Paulo; from JFK to Rio de Janeiro; and from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. With more than 80 weekly flights, American operates more service to Brazil than any other U.S. airline.
American will increase the total number of weekly flights between DFW and Sao Paulo from seven times per week to 12 times per week beginning June 14. Also on June 14, flights from Miami to Brasilia (BSB) and Belo Horizonte (CNF) will increase from five and three times per week, respectively, to daily.
American also will launch new service that connects its Miami hub to Manaus, Brazil beginning in June.
In total, American will offer nearly 800 weekly flights to more than 40 cities throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Central and South America, this June.
14.05.12 | IMDC Management Training Event 2012 Inflight Entertainment & Passenger Connectivity
Today, Monday 14th May 2012, IMDC announced its next Industry Training Event for Inflight Technologies, Communications and Media. Over 2 days IMDC will give an independent perspective on the key issues of IFE Hardware & Content, Passenger Connectivity on airlines.
The long running training course will this year focus on recent topics of most interest to airlines and their partners in inflight technologies namely:
• Passenger connectivity now and in the future
• Wireless IFE to passenger devices
• Revenue potential of inflight technologies
• Seat centric & server centric IFE architecture
The IMDC Management Training Course 2012 will be held on the 6th & 7th June – at The Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach, California. There will be an evening welcome reception on the 5th before 2 full days training, with an evening networking event held on the 6th. This established course has educated over 150 executives in the inflight entertainment sector for over ten years and is equally popular with delegates from airlines and their partners. The course serves as an excellent introduction to inflight technologies and also as an update to the latest developments in this fast changing industry.
Further information is available by contacting email@example.com
14.05.12 | Interact appoints Rebecca Warth (nee Smith) as Sales & Client Services Manager
Interact, a global in-flight service company providing airlines with award winning, tailored entertainment packages, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Rebecca Warth to the Interact team. Rebecca brings to Interact more than a decade of IFE experience having worked for another CSP and several airlines.
“Bec is not only an extremely experienced IFE specialist, she brings with her an impeccable reputation in the industry. Understandably Bec was in hot demand when she recently became available for hire, and we are delighted to have her join Interact! Having worked with Bec for several years, from the launch of
V Australia and then at Air Australia, I know she will fit perfectly into the Interact family”, says John Bruckman, CEO, Interact.
Rebecca will be based in Brisbane, Australia and work closely with Interact’s Sydney team. “The Asia-Pacific region is a major focus for us currently and into the future. Having staff now based in two Australian cities will assist hugely with our account servicing in the region”, John says.
14.05.12 | Aircalin selects Interact to design their graphic user interface (GUI) and safety video
Interact, a creative content service provider (CSP), offering unique inflight entertainment solutions to global airlines, has been selected by Aircalin to design their GUI and Safety Video for their newly retrofitted aircraft with Panasonic AVOD onboard. With this appointment, Interact will bring our award-winning design expertise to Aircalin.
Aircalin is New Caledonia’s flagship carrier offering service to twelve destinations in and around the South Pacific, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Aircalin has important code share agreements with airlines such as Qantas and Air New Zealand, further expanding their expansive network of destinations.
Aircalin’s first AVOD equipped aircraft with the new custom production produced by Interact, will arrive in Q3 2012, and will be accompanied by new galleys, seat and other cabin upgrades. Interact’s Creative Director, Michaela Bolzan, will head the creative project from Interact’s offices in Sydney, working with her team of award-winning designers and animators. “For us at Interact Creative, this is a dream job! Finding ways to capture the natural beauty of this country, with it’s multi-cultural people, and incorporating the airline’s vibrant corporate color palate and hibiscus logo into our design work, is a creative delight”, Michaela said recently. She will closely collaborate with Panasonic though to the launch of the new system later this year and will be supported by Interact’s head office in Irvine, California.
If you have any questions regarding Interact’s creative design service, please contact:
Phone: +61 417 668 595
14.05.12 | JAL Group Announces Consolidated Financial Results for Full Fiscal Year 2011
The JAL Group (JAL) announced today the consolidated financial results for the full fiscal year of 2011 – the period from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
As JAL entered the fiscal year that began shrouded in economic uncertainty due to the then-recent Great East Japan Earthquake and the debt crisis in Europe, the company continued with its endeavors from the previous year to review aircraft and route plans, and enforced measures to maximize revenues. At the same time, with an unwavering commitment to safety, JAL examined every cost category, such as rent and service expenses, to strive for greater cost savings. Meanwhile, the divisional profitability management system was strongly put in place from April to raise the profit consciousness of each department so as to increase efficiency.
The Group’s other consolidated non-core businesses have also improved in earnings for the reporting period through cost savings in various areas and active measures to maximize revenue. Consequently, the JAL Group achieved a consolidated net income of 186.6 billion yen based on consolidated operating revenue of 1,204.8 billion yen, operating expense of 999.8 billion yen and operating income of 204.9 billion yen.
After terminating underperforming routes and reducing the number of aircraft types in the fleet the previous year, JAL continued to review aircraft used for operations, to improve profitability by striking a better balance between demand and capacity, and to also improve the capability of responding swiftly to changes in the operating environment.
Despite the event risks such as the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and the severe flooding in Thailand in October, JAL minimized the decline in profitability by temporarily suspending and reducing affected flights and downsizing aircraft. On the other hand, frequency on the Delhi route was increased from 4 to 5 flights a week from October 30 to meet the robust corporate demand on this sector. To improve profitability, JAL reacted swiftly to capture more traffic and deployed larger aircraft and operated extra flights to Honolulu when demand recovered from summer due to the strong yen.
In the joint business agreement with oneworld alliance partner American Airlines launched in April 2011, JAL cooperated in various areas such as establishing joint fares for applicable flights boarded on either carrier across the Pacific, adjusting flight schedules, and co-locating in the departure terminal at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. From December, the joint business was further expanded with the introduction of joint fares between North America and Asia (via Japan). Meanwhile, JAL and British Airways have plans for a joint business between Japan and Europe, and applied to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for antitrust immunity (ATI) in February. JAL launched code-sharing agreements with other oneworld alliance members such as LAN Airlines and airberlin to gain connecting passengers by expanding the alliance’s global network and improving customers’ convenience.
To boost demand during the shoulder season and maximize revenue, attractive fares for Business Class and Economy Class were offered during specific periods. Additionally, to increase product competitiveness and thus the customers’ preference for JAL, more collaboration was done with well-known restaurants to present passengers a series of enjoyable in-flight meal choices on select routes.
Consequently, international capacity for the reporting period on a consolidated basis declined year-on-year by 16.8% when measured in available-seat-kilometer (ASK) and demand declined year-on-year by 20.3% in terms of revenue-passenger-kilometer (RPK). Load factor was 3.1 points less at 70.4% from the same period last year. Revenue from international passenger operations in FY2011 on a consolidated basis was JPY385.2 billion.
Profitability in domestic passenger operations improved owing to appropriate responses to changes in the operating environment and by better matching demand with capacity.
While reducing frequency of scheduled flights due to the dramatic post-quake decline in passengers from April to June, many extra flights were operated to the Tohoku region as surface transportation was disrupted. Following the recovery in domestic demand from July, larger aircraft were used and extra flights were operated between Haneda and Sapporo, Okinawa, etc. where demand was remarkably stronger, so as to maximize revenue. In the winter schedule from the end of October, flight frequency was increased on six routes such as between Haneda and Akita.
The closing date for purchase of “Tokubin” discount fares between Haneda and Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kita-Kyushu, and Okinawa was extended, from three days before departure to one day, for departures from May. Applicable routes were also expanded to Haneda = Oita, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima for departures from October. Availability of “Sakitoku” discount fares was expanded to the year-end period, as well as throughout the summer holidays and on all routes with the aim to boost demand and increase revenue.
To create new demand for travel, unique attractions of select local regions in Japan are introduced monthly through JAL’s inflight magazines and meals under the JAPAN PROJECT in collaboration with local governments and businesses. Furthermore, the “JAL Tabi Plus Navi” travel information website was launched in October and made accessible on smartphones from February. In addition, special fast lanes and security checkpoints exclusively for JAL Global Club members and JMB Sapphire members, similar to the one offered at Haneda airport’s domestic passenger terminal, were opened at Itami and Fukuoka airports from March to enhance customer service.
The resulting domestic capacity for the reporting period on a consolidated basis declined year-on-year by 13.5% in terms of ASK and demand declined year-on-year by 12.3% in terms of RPK. Load factor was 0.8 points up at 62.7% from the same period last year. Revenue from domestic passenger operations in FY2011 on a consolidated basis was JPY481.1 billion.
International and Domestic Cargo
Amid the decline in overall cargo demand from overseas, JAL moved quickly to meet the sudden increase in demand for air transportation of automobile parts, cigarettes, etc. after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Larger aircraft were also utilized in response to the urgent need for transport of goods after the severe flooding in Thailand in October. In cargo sales, JAL provided transportation for temperature-controlled, high added-value goods such as pharmaceuticals, and endeavored to capture new inbound cargo from overseas as well as cargo from regional Japan through domestic-international connection services at Haneda airport. As a result of the suspension of freighters and large capacity cuts due to downsizing of passenger aircraft by November 2010, the comparative volume of international cargo transported in this reporting period on a consolidated basis in revenue-cargo-ton-kilometer (RCTK) declined by 36.9% from the same period a year ago, and revenue was JPY53.7 billion.
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, demand for transport of cargo shifted from surface and marine modes to air, which JAL made efforts to meet. From July, JAL transported perishables from Hokkaido, Kyushu and Okinawa, for which there was robust demand, and fresh flowers using the belly space of unoccupied chartered passenger aircraft operated at night, in order to meet domestic cargo demand as much as possible. The volume of domestic cargo transported during the reporting period in RCTK terms declined year-on-year by 11.4% due to the downsizing of network and aircraft, as with the international network, and revenue generated from domestic cargo operations was JPY25.0 billion.
Forecast of JAL Group Consolidated Financial Results
The outlook for fiscal year 2012 is uncertain due to the prevailing economic situation faced by the company, such as concerns of a downward swing in the global economy due to the European financial crisis and rising fuel prices caused by geopolitical risks in the Middle East. The operating environment is also entering a new phase with the launch of JAL’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the entry of Low Cost Carriers (LCC) into the Japanese market.
Nevertheless, the company is strongly committed to maintaining flight safety – the foundation of its existence, and will steadily implement the measures set out in the Mid-Term Management Plan, announced in February in order to achieve stable profits, and provide customers with unparalleled quality of service.
Management indicators for fiscal year 2012 were provided in the Mid-Term Management Plan. To raise as much as possible, the probability of achieving them, measures set out in the Plan were more deeply scrutinized and consolidated results for the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 are forecast to be as below.
The forecast in this document represents estimates of future results based on the information available at the time of release and the company’s reasonable judgment on this information. They are inherently subject to risks, which may result in a divergence in the actual result from the forecasts and estimates contained herein.
14.05.12 | China Travel Retail to publish unique new research into the world’s fastest growing travel retail market
Today China Travel Retail (CTR), the conference and exhibition for brands, travel retail concessionaires, airports and airlines targeting Chinese travellers, has announced that it will be publishing exclusive weekly highlights of the “Consumer Behaviour in Airports” study in conjunction with JMG-Research, the travel retail consulting and market research company.
Every week from now until the conference in Shanghai on 23-25 July, CTR will publish relevant findings from JMG’s “Consumer Behaviour in Airports” study, providing delegates, exhibitors and sponsors with unique new insight into travel retail behaviour of Chinese consumers. In addition, key findings from this study will inform discussions at the conference itself.
Each weekly update will focus on a key travel retail category, such as Beauty Skin Care, Make-Up & Fragrances, Wine & Spirits, and Tobacco. The first instalment will be email to industry leaders and published online at www.chinatravelretail.com/insight on Tuesday 22nd May, where users can simply and immediately view the content by registering their interest.
Jeffrey O’Rourke, speaking on behalf of CTR event organisers Ink and Ink’s local Chinese partner GIS events said: “We are pleased to be able to share new insights into the buying habits of Chinese passengers at travel retail locations both inside China and at overseas airports. The market clearly needs more research, and this is especially timely given that airports representing over half of the Chinese market are already attending the China Travel Retail event. In addition, there are also a number of retailers and landlords from airports all over the world coming to Shanghai to better understand the market.”
“We are delighted to be associated with CTR”, said Jerome Goldberg, founder of JMG-Research. “Up until now, the travel retail industry calendar has failed to address the Chinese market. We felt also the need for market research on consumer behaviours regarding the much talked about, highly sought after, and little understood Chinese traveller”.
The “Consumer Behaviour in Airports” study, produced by JMG-Research now in its second year, is drawn from interviews with 5,600 international passengers from 20 countries across China, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, including the 4 BRIC countries. The survey investigates the travel retail habits of flyers, focusing on product category consumption, purchase planning, consumer attitudes and perceptions of the travel retail industry. Most usefully, the results can be analyzed by territory and journey type, allowing comparison of consumer behaviour by nationality, giving insights into trends in different markets.
The China Travel Retail event and exhibition will take place at the prestigious Marriott City Centre Hotel in Shanghai and will showcase best practices both inside China at Chinese airports, on airlines and at sea, as well as showing how companies are successfully selling to Chinese consumers travelling overseas.
For further details about the event, please go to www.chinatravelretail.com, or contact Adrien Collilieux at Adrien.firstname.lastname@example.org.
11.05.12 | OnAir connectivity now available across entire Emirates’ A380 fleet
OnAir Wi-Fi connectivity is now available on all 21 of Emirates’ Airbus A380s – the world’s largest A380 fleet.
Inmarsat SwiftBroadband’s worldwide coverage means passengers can access the internet through their smartphones, tablets and laptops when flying anywhere across the globe. And OnAir’s inflight GSM mobile phone network will be deployed on the Emirates A380s from summer/autumn this year, the first time the combined GSM mobile phone and WiFi service will be available on A380s.
Internet OnAir has now been used on A380 flights since the formal service launch at the end of 2011. ”We have taken two key learnings from the Internet OnAir service on Emirates’ A380s so far,” said Ian Dawkins, chief executive of OnAir. ”The first and more obvious is that inflight connectivity is here to stay.
“The second is that we can meet passengers’ requirements, even on the largest aircraft, with our SwiftBroadband service. ”Not only does it have the right capacity at the right cost, but also, combined with our network of regulatory authorisations and roaming agreements, we provide consistent global coverage.”
The bulk of usage – which averages slightly below 20MB per user per flight – is focused on social media, news and travel-related sites, such as hotel, taxi and restaurant bookings, with passengers typically using the internet during the first half of the flight.
10.05.12 | Boeing Solution Speeds Delivery of Critical Data to Flight Deck
A new flight data delivery solution for airlines developed jointly by teams at Boeing (NYSE: BA) subsidiary Jeppesen and Boeing Information Services slashes the time required to deliver and load vital flight data to an airplane. Application Data Enhanced Loading (ADEL) is a solution that reduces overall workload, network bandwidth requirements and costs associated with airline data operations. ADEL supports Boeing and Jeppesen Electronic Flight Bags
“In a challenging business environment where airlines are looking to reduce costs and workload wherever possible, the Application Data Enhanced Loading solution provides an important competitive advantage,” said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management. “About ten percent of terminal chart data is changed per revision cycle, meaning this optimized system for delivering flight data eliminates a large amount of data transmittal and increases operational efficiency for airlines.”
ADEL enhances the delivery of frequently changing airport terminal charting information, Windows-based airport moving maps, electronic document browser (EDB) and onboard performance tool (OPT) data associated with electronic flight bag (EFB) use in the flight deck.
Previously, airlines were required to dispatch a maintenance technician to load a digital file of up to 150 megabytes of updated EFB data to each airplane on a weekly basis. Now, only the “delta set,” or the EFB data that has been changed, is required for wireless transmission, and the update can be activated by flight crew. With ADEL, what would take technicians up to an hour to perform can now be done by a flight crew in less than one minute.
Korean Air is the first commercial aviation operator to integrate the Application Data Enhanced Loading solution to enhance its EFB-related data operations.
The ADEL solution incorporates Jeppesen’s industry-leading data delivery management (DDM) system and integrates other Boeing technology to vastly improve the delivery and loading of EFB data to the airplane.
“This is another step in Boeing’s drive to enable the Digital Airline,” said John Maggiore, Director of Airline Performance Management in Boeing Commercial Aviation Services’ Information Services business. “Enabling airlines to manage the distribution of digital data on their fleets more efficiently and at lower cost via ADEL will give our customers a competitive edge.”
10.05.12 | Row 44 and Wireless G Bring Cyberspace to South African Airspace
Row 44, Inc., provider of the world’s leading In-Flight Broadband Entertainment Ecosystem, and its African partner, Wireless G, in association with Mango and Vodacom, launched G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi on Africa’s first broadband Internet-enabled flight. The service provides Mango’s passengers with full Internet connectivity through their personal WiFi-enabled devices. Services include email, web browsing, access to all social networks, and a web-based air-to-ground SMS service.
On the launch, Wednesday evening at Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg, Wireless G and its South African partners made the following statements:
“The G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service is offered in a totally new, integrated model which is a first of its kind in the world and which can be regarded as a new carrier-grade telecommunications access medium,” said Wireless G CEO, Carel van der Merwe. “Social networks and the tsunami of next generation Wi-Fi enabled devices and the related converged ecosystems makes in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity more relevant. Moreover, the specific way in which it is offered as an integrated telecommunications Internet access medium, is essential for our future convergence plans,” said van der Merwe.
Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said that the introduction of on-board connectivity fulfils the airline’s on-going ideal of innovation in aviation and its desire for product differentiation. “In a highly competitive market where everything tastes like chicken, it’s important to taste like beef. Innovation is a cornerstone of our business along with sustained affordable fares that are relative to the prevailing market.”
Vodacom provides the satellite infrastructure to ensure that the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service will keep people connected even as they travel at over 800km/h. “This takes the notion of a mobile device to a whole new level – literally. We know how much customers value being connected; in fact 88% of people surveyed said they’d like to have broadband access when they fly. Vodacom prides itself on having the widest network coverage and thanks to our satellite technology the sky is no-longer the limit,” said Sipho Maseko, CEO of Vodacom.
“Row 44 congratulates Wireless G and its partners, Mango and Vodacom, on this impressive accomplishment in being the first partnership to deliver a true in-flight broadband experience to South Africa, one of the world’s most important commercial and cultural centers,” said Row 44′s CEO, John LaValle. “We are proud to be part of this partnership and look forward to supporting continued innovation with this team.”
The roll-out of the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service is underway and Mango’s entire fleet will be outfitted by the end of the year.
10.05.12 | IFE Services produces new promotional film for sight saving charity, ORBIS
IFE Services, a leading in-flight entertainment (IFE) provider, today announced that it has helped produce a new promotional film for the sight saving charity, ORBIS.
ORBIS prevents and treats blindness by providing quality eye care to transform lives. The international charity delivers the tools, training and technology necessary for local partners to develop their own capacity to provide eye care services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.
At the heart of ORBIS’s efforts is the Flying Eye Hospital – the world’s only airborne eye health training and surgical centre. The Flying Eye Hospital has conducted eye health treatment and training programs in more than 77 countries since 1982.
The promotional film, for which IFE Services offered their post production facilities free of charge, aims to inform people about the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital and the need for funds to finance a new plane that will continue this sight saving legacy. The film is currently being used during one-to-one meetings with current and prospective supporters of the charity to update them on the next generation Flying Eye Hospital project.
“It’s a real privilege to help ORBIS get their very deserving message out to more people,” said Andy McEwan, CEO of IFE Services. “They do a fantastic job of bringing sight to people in some of the most challenging parts of the world and we hope this new promotional film will help them generate the funding they need to continue their excellent work.”
See the new ORBIS promotional film below:
For more information about Orbis visit: www.orbis.org.uk
09.05.12 | Calling all travelers: the airline industry wants to hear from you!
With summer fast approaching, airlines will be gearing up for children off from school, college graduates planning trips abroad, and vacationers flying to exotic summer getaways. Are you one of the millions traveling this summer?
Now is your chance to tell the airline industry what you really think about the passenger experience! Whether you had a good or bad flight, the airline industry wants to hear from you.
Passengers are encouraged to fill out the Passenger Choice Awards survey and speak up about their last trip.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) would like to remind folks who are traveling over the next few months that their feedback is important and can now be captured in an online survey that takes just a few minutes to complete.
“The Passenger Choice Awards provides a platform for passengers to determine which airline is the best in the industry,” said Dominic Green, Chairman of the APEX Awards Committee. “The passengers—the people who fly every day for both business and pleasure— are whose opinions matter most and will ultimately help us judge the awards.”
APEX launched the Annual Passenger Choice Awards to provide airline passengers the opportunity to give direct feedback on every aspect of the flight: in-flight publications, connectivity and communications, food and beverage, informational videos and entertainment, cabin ambiance and pre-departure experience.
The survey was adapted this year, with APEX introducing a new format that allowed voters to provide specific feedback in just one or many categories at a time—such as food or movies offered on the flight.
Travelers can complete the survey multiple times throughout the year, so every flight experience counts. The survey is open year round.
Winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony at the APEX EXPO, which is held annually in the fall. This year’s APEX EXPO will be held in Long Beach, CA, USA, 17-20 September.
Join the conversation! Become a fan of the Passenger Choice Awards on Facebookand follow APEX on Twitterfor air travel tips and information, and updates about the Passenger Choice Awards!
For more information about APEX, please visit www.apex.aero
09.05.12 | Spafax brings media division under global brand umbrella
Spafax, the branded content, publishing and media provider and part of WPP’s tenthavenue group of companies, is rebranding its media operations under the Spafax Networks banner which launched in New York last December.
This move aligns Spafax’s global media interests under one brand to fully capitalize on the potential of measured, cross-channel, multi-screen opportunities and audience solutions. This move supports the Spafax mission to reach consumers worldwide through relevant content – at the right time and the right place along their consumer journey.
“The roll out of Spafax Networks places us in a highly competitive global position,” says Niall McBain, Spafax CEO. “By leveraging our skills and expertise on a worldwide footing, we will deliver measurable platforms for the on-the-go consumer across the growing footprint of social, mobile and digital place-based environments alongside our existing media.”
“We are getting beyond the rhetoric of how So-Lo-Mo is changing consumer media behavior, and we are building a solution today that will position us for leadership in this new media market, building on relevance to usefulness,” adds John Connolly, CEO, Spafax Networks USA.
“We can build our portfolio based on those forward-thinking clients who know their consumer is vastly digital today,” says Rupert Day, CEO tenthavenue. “We know that the consumer is in control of how, where and when they seek and consume content in today’s rapidly changing communication landscape and will deliver performance across an entire campaign.”
Spafax Networks will operate alongside Spafax’s content services divisions across its nine international locations.
09.05.12 | American Airlines to refresh its international widebody fleet
American Airlines today took the next step in its fleet modernization plan – to ensure that its customers are flying onboard one of the most modern fleets in the industry. Today’s progress includes the redesign and refresh of the airline’s international widebody aircraft – a demonstration of the forward movement of the company’s business plan, which includes the investment of several hundred million dollars per year in enhancements to the customer experience. As part of this redesign, American’s entire fleet of 777-200ERs will have fully lie-flat Business Class seats with aisle access for every seat, international Wi-Fi, in-seat entertainment throughout all cabins, and Main Cabin Extra seating offering more legroom. The 767-300ERs will have fully lie-flat Business Class seats with aisle access for every seat, and Main Cabin Extra seating.
“This redesign will comprehensively improve our future international widebody experience through fully lie-flat all-aisle access seats, inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi, and will place our product among the industry leaders. This is something our people are excited to see as we work toward a new and modern American Airlines,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Our decision to invest in our international widebody aircraft demonstrates significant forward progress, consistent with our plan, and paints a picture of the future for our customers and people.”
American’s entire fleet of 777-200ERs will be redesigned to a two-class cabin configuration to better match capacity and demand. The aircraft cabin will feature unique mood lighting and a dramatic archway and ceiling treatment to create a feeling of spaciousness similar to the 777-300ERs, the first of which American plans to receive later this year. A Business Class walk-up bar stocked with snacks and refreshments is for premium customers. International Wi-Fi will also be available inflight.
Up to 45 new fully lie-flat Business Class seats will provide customers among the largest living spaces of any 777 Business Class seat offered by U.S. airlines. The new seat will be an industry leader, giving travelers up to two times more living space than American’s current 777-200ER Business Class seat. Seats will feature a large tray table, a work surface, and every component of the seat – including the seatback, head rest and leg rest – can be individually adjusted using intuitively designed, simplistic seat controls.
Direct aisle access from each Business Class seat will allow customers to easily move about the cabin without impacting other customers. In-seat entertainment will feature more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment, which gives customers an enormous selection during their flight. Up to 120 movies, 180 TV programs, 350 audio selections and 30 games will be available on a 15.4-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor positioned in each Business Class suite. A premium handset will serve as a remote that will allow customers to easily select programming without touching the monitor. Also, every seat will feature individual 110-volt universal AC power outlets and USB jacks for charging personal electronic devices.
Throughout the Main Cabin, new seats will provide increased knee room and improve overall customer comfort. American’s retrofit will include installation of up to 45 Main Cabin Extra seats and up to 170 Main Cabin seats. The Main Cabin Extra seats, located in the forward portion of the Main Cabin, will offer four to six inches more legroom than the standard Main Cabin seat, allowing greater personal space and convenient access when boarding and deplaning.
Every Main Cabin seat will have universal AC power outlets, USB jacks and HD-capable touchscreen monitor – nearly 9 inches – loaded with up to 120 movies, 180 TV programs, 350 audio selections and 30 games. Once redesigned with the new Inflight Entertainment, the 777-200ERs will have more than nine times the number of entertainment options that are currently available in the Main Cabin on today’s 777-200ER.
The 777-200ER is intended to fly mid- to long-haul international markets in Europe, Asia and South America.
“American will be among the first in the industry to offer the combination of fully lie-flat seats with all-aisle access, international Wi-Fi, and top-of-the-line in-seat entertainment,” added Vahidi.
American intends to retrofit up to half of its existing 767-300ER aircraft. Those that are redesigned will operate the new configuration with fully lie-flat Business Class Seats and all-aisle access. The remaining 767-300ERs that are not redesigned will be retired over time.
Customers will enjoy an enhanced onboard experience with the installation of up to 28 fully lie-flat Business Class seats, each with aisle access. The Business Class seats will offer individual tray tables with a work surface, and universal AC power outlets. Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 devices will continue to be available for customers seated in Business Class, offering access to a wide variety of movies, TV programs and audio selections.
The retrofitted 767-300ERs will also feature 14 Main Cabin Extra seats with four to six inches more legroom than a standard Main Cabin seat. The Main Cabin of the retrofitted 767-300ERs will have 167 seats.
The airline intends to use retrofitted 767-300ERs on flights to existing markets.
The redesign is slated to begin in early 2014. American is currently working to determine the installation timeline and will have more details on anticipated completion dates in the future.
As part of its international widebody strategy, American anticipates taking delivery of 10 Boeing 777-300ERs beginning at the end of 2012 through 2013. The 777-300ERs will be configured as three-class aircraft and include fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats, Main Cabin Extra, and Wi-Fi capability to keep customers connected while traveling internationally.
Not only is American’s anticipated aircraft delivery and redesign part of the company’s network focus and international network plan, it is a tangible opportunity for customers to experience American’s focus on modernization and innovation when they travel.
For more information on how American is modernizing the travel experience, including the latest enhancements to the international widebody fleet, visit www.aa.com/flybetter.
09.05.12 | CNN: 6 of the 12 best inflight magazines in the world published by Ink
Today, CNN has named 6 publications published by Ink, the world’s leading inflight media house, in its “Top 12 Best Airline Magazines” list. Recognising the great work produced by Ink offices all round the world, CNN has named publications from its offices in Atlanta, New York, London and Singapore.
Out of the 12 named publications, half of them are produced and published by Ink. The six Ink publications include; Ryanair Magazine, Go (AirTran), Holland Herald (KLM), Smile (Cebu Pacific), Voyager (bmi) and Indwe (SA Express).
“We are absolutely thrilled to have so many of our publications recognised by CNN”, said Jeffrey O’Rourke, Chief Executive of Ink. “The teams working on all these recognised publications are doing a fantastic job. However, it is not just these 6 that should take the plaudits, as all 36 of our inflight publications continue to raise the bar and deliver a world–class experience for their readers. Needless to say we are incredibly proud to be recognised in this way.”
For more information about “The World’s 12 Best Airline Magazines” list, go to: http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/worlds-12-best-airline-magazines-523957?page=0,0 and to read more of our publications please go to: www.ink-live.com.
07.05.12 | Gogo to Acquire 1 MHz Spectrum License Held by LiveTV
Gogo, a leader of in-flight connectivity and a pioneer in wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions, announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire the Airfone business unit from LiveTV, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways Corporation. The acquisition will give Gogo a 1 MHz spectrum license currently held by LiveTV.
The 1 MHz license will be used as a supplement to Gogo’s existing 3 MHz license and is expected to enhance its’ Air-to-Ground network, which is used to provide connectivity service to commercial airlines and business aircraft over the contiguous United States and portions of Alaska. The agreement is subject to approval by the FCC and is currently under review. If approved by the FCC, the deal is expected to close later this year.
“In many ways, Gogo has continued to expand its Air-to-Ground network and will soon launch ATG-4, which is expected to significantly improve capacity,” said Gogo’s president and CEO Michael Small. “Acquiring the 1 MHz spectrum license from LiveTV will play an integral role in our continued expansion activities and help us deliver a performance boost for end users.”
In addition to acquiring the 1 MHz spectrum license, Gogo also will acquire all of the network infrastructure and back-office operational assets of Airfone and looks forward to working with current Airfone customers now and in the future.
07.05.12 | Row 44 and Transaero Airlines Bring Innovative In-Flight Broadband to The Russian Federation
Row 44, Inc., provider of the world’s leading In-Flight Broadband Entertainment Ecosystem, announced today that Transaero Airlines, Russia’s first private airline, will soon enable its passengers to enjoy broadband Internet access and innovative in-flight services aboard the company’s narrow-body and 767 fleets.
Transaero selected Row 44′s broadband entertainment platform to deliver a wide variety of in-flight services – ranging from true broadband Internet access to live television, e-commerce, video on demand, and bookable destination services. All services will be accessible through the passenger’s own Wi-Fi devices across the airline’s routes within and from Russia to North America, the Caribbean, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
“This is an exceptionally exciting time for Transaero and for our customers,” said Alexander Krinichansky, First Deputy General Director and Executive Director. “We are most pleased to be able to deploy such innovative services for the enjoyment of our customers. Row 44′s services are a great complement to the superior-quality experience for which Transaero is well known.”
“We are honored that Transaero has selected Row 44 to deliver its customers a uniquely innovative in-flight broadband entertainment experience,” said Travis Christ, Row 44′s Chief Marketing & Sales Officer. “Row 44 always seeks to work with the most innovative airlines, and Transaero continues to demonstrate its leadership in innovation. We are pleased to support Transaero in creating an unparalleled broadband entertainment experience to its customers wherever they fly.”
07.05.12 | JAL Group Passenger Traffic Results for 2012 Golden Week Vacation Period
JAL Group (JAL) announced today, passenger traffic results for the annual Japanese “Golden Week” vacation that stretched from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, May 6, 2012 this year.
Compared to the holiday period last year, capacity this Golden Week was 5.0% and 5.3% more on JAL’s international and domestic networks respectively. JAL carried a total of 225,743 passengers on its international flights and 935,381 on the Group’s domestic flights, which represent a 17.7% increase in travellers that went abroad, and 8.3% increase in travel within the country versus a year ago.
Long-haul routes such as to the US and resort spots such as Hawaii and Guam, were attractive destinations owing in part to the strength of the Japanese yen. The longer span of this year’s Golden Week also boosted travel to nearer destinations in China, Taiwan and Korea. Within Japan, flights to Kansai and Okinawa were doing notably well. As a result, load factors improved by 8.6 percentage points to 80.3% full on international flights, and by almost 2 percentage points on domestic flights to 69.8%.
28 extra flights were operated to overseas leisure destinations like Honolulu, Guam, Saipan, Palau as well as Incheon while domestically, the JAL Group flew 61 extra flights to popular regions as Hokkaido, Kyushu and Okinawa during this peak travel season.
04.05.12 | Scoot ‘Gets Outta Here’ With IFE Content And Technical Services Powered By Stellar
Stellar Inflight is pleased to announce its appointment as the inflight entertainment content and technical services partner by Scoot, the new low cost, medium to long haul airline wholly owned by Singapore Airlines, but independently managed and operated.
With its tagline ‘Get Outta Here’ – Scoot will commence operations in June 2012 using B777 aircraft linking Singapore initially with Australia, China and Thailand, with more destinations to follow as the fleet grows.
Under the multi-year agreement, Stellar Inflight will be responsible for delivering all content and technical services as well as advertising sales across the digital and print IFE platforms of Scoot.
Stellar Inflight Chief Operating Officer Michael Reilly says: “We’re thrilled with Scoot choosing Stellar, and with our presence in both Singapore and Sydney (their launch destination) – we felt we were strongly placed to work together on this exciting launch of a new airline brand with a leading edge IFE program. With our investment in and focus on media technology, we’re excited in playing a major part of one of the early partnerships delivering content wirelessly and we will be there to support Scoot every step of the way.”
Stellar Inflight is the longest established supplier of entertainment content and technical services to the airline industry, commencing operations in 1974. The company has 5 offices and technical facilities and also jointly owns Sky Victory Technology in China. The company specialises in:
• Content Creation, Programming/Licensing for Film, TV, Music, Games, e-Books/Magazines and more
• Advertising sales for IFE platforms – Digital and Print
• Video Production, Post Production, Motion Graphics & Branding
• Complete IFE Technology Management & Delivery – Compilation, Editing, Encoding and Duplication
• Complete IFE Digital Content Management – Metadata, QC, Integration & Rack Testing
• Print & Digital Design and Production
• IFE Technology Consultancy
Scoot will provide medium and long haul no-frills flights from 04 June 2012. With an initial fleet of four Boeing 777 aircraft, Scoot’s first year routes will link Australia, Singapore and China, with other destinations to be announced. Scoot will provide – in addition to fantastic value airfares – a safe, reliable and contemporary travel experience with a unique attitude – Scootitude. Scoot is passionate about changing the way people travel long distance. Book your tickets at Flyscoot.com or call +65 3158 3388 (Singapore), +61 2 8520 1888 (Australia), 400 120 3055 (China) and +66 2105 5754 (Thailand). Check us out on facebook.com/flyscoot and facebook.com/flyscootAU.
04.05.12 | Inflight Productions appoints consultant to bolster its content acquisition plans
World-leading content provider Inflight Productions (IFP) has appointed former Warner Bros. International Senior Manager Jenny Sims to assist its Content Acquisition Projects. Jenny will be assisting IFP’s content acquisition team in reviewing, proposing and developing content deals that meet the changing needs of the airline industry.
Jenny has over fifteen years’ experience in deal structuring and the movie content market, working for United International Pictures, where she was responsible for a number of Theatrical territories and International Non-Theatrical for Universal, Paramount and DreamWorks. Following this, she spent seven years as the Non-Theatrical Senior Manager for Warner Bros. International where she looked after International Non-Theatrical, back catalogue Theatrical re-releases and film festivals.
“Jenny’s experience in the content industry will assist us in implementing our strategy to evolve the in-flight content market through more diverse and dynamic business models,” explained Rob Hunter, CEO of Inflight Productions. “As IFP evolves into a progressive content service provider, so too will we help push the industry to embrace a new approach to delivering airlines with appropriate and relevant in-flight solutions in today’s changing industry.”
04.05.12 | Lufthansa CityLine optimizes crew management with IT from Lufthansa Systems
Lufthansa CityLine has expanded its crew planning system to include the NetLine/Crew Pairing xOPT and NetLine/Crew Preferences xOPT modules from Lufthansa Systems. By using these solutions to optimize their processes, airlines can reduce their personnel costs and thus increase their productivity in this area by up to five percent. They can also boost the satisfaction and motivation of their crew members by taking crew duty preferences into account. Lufthansa CityLine is already a long-time user of the basic NetLine/Crew solution.
“Our customer has been using the new-generation NetLine/Crew optimizers successfully for several months, and both the airline and its crews have been enjoying noticeable improvements in day-to-day operations,” said Stefan Auerbach, Senior Vice President Airline Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.
Staff costs are among the largest cost items for airlines. They include salaries as well as hotel and transfer costs and expenses. The foremost goal of crew management is to plan crew deployment as cost-efficiently as possible. However, airlines are bound by a variety of legal, logistical and wage-related requirements, and the more crew members an airline has, the more complex the crew planning process is. The NetLine/Crew optimizers take all of these factors into account.
With NetLine/Crew Pairing xOPT, airlines can generate anonymous, optimized, cost-efficient rotation plans. The roster optimizers then assign these rotations for a fixed planning period to crew members who are actually available. With NetLine/Crew Preferences xOPT, the airline can also take certain employee preferences into account in its planning.
“Crew costs play a decisive role for Lufthansa CityLine, one of the world’s leading regional airlines. The new crew optimizers offer efficiency improvements that make an important contribution to the profitable operation of our airline. Using the new generation of crew optimizers, we have been able to lower our operating costs while accommodating our crews’ wishes when generating rosters – a classic win-win situation,” said Elke Holin, Director Crew Planning at Lufthansa CityLine.
Mark Nowak, Director IT at Lufthansa CityLine, also emphasized the flexibility of the solution: “These new optimizers give us the option of taking several different wage agreement conditions into account in a single system and planning process.”
03.05.12 | The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Hidden Journeys Project and Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg interactive flight path
Hidden Journeys aims to reignite the magic and wonder of flying by providing interactive guides to airline passengers about the parts of the world which they fly over from departure to arrival.
The guides are illustrated with images, text and video created by the Royal Geographical Society using its rich archive and network of experts.
The current delivery platform for the project is the Hidden Journeys website: there are currently guides to 19 flight paths from around the world including Los Angeles to New York, Denver to Seattle, and our most recent flight path from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg.
We are also working towards incorporating the Hidden Journeys content into the moving map section of the IFE system. With the Society as a specialist point-of-interest content provider, we see a huge opportunity to improve the moving map offering through the inclusion of content that is expert, accurate, yet entertaining for the regular airline passenger.
The website is a not-for-profit resource free for public use, and one part of the Society’s public engagement programmes which aim to foster an informed knowledge of our world. We encourage users to contribute their own photos from flights that they have been on through the “Contribute” section of the website or through the project’s flickr page (http://www.flickr.com/groups/hiddenjourneys/).
Ben Jarman, Project Coordinator, says ‘Millions of passengers fly every year, unaware of the fascinating parts of the Earth that they cross between departure and arrival. The Hidden Journeys Project allows people to explore the patchwork of people and places under a particular flight path, transforming an aerial jaunt from A to B into a fascinating journey through the scale and diversity found along the route.’
LATEST FLIGHT PATH: The Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg interactive flight path
The latest guide to be released explores the stunning landscapes, wildlife and human history of eastern and southern Africa between two of the continent’s fastest growing cities: Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg.
In the southeast corner of Africa lie some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and wildlife found anywhere on the continent. From the dazzling cichlid fish in Lake Malawi/Nyasa, to the more well-known antelope, zebra and wild dogs of Nyanga and the Ruvuma basin in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique.
The flight path also contains relics of eastern and southern Africa’s human history from the last 1,000 years. For example, beneath the route in Zimbabwe lies the Kingdom of Mapungubwe which ruled from 1075 – 1220. Across other parts of the flight path are remnants of more recent colonial history, such as in Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Malawi.
03.05.12 | British Airways announces new route to Asia
British Airways is delivering on its promise to increase long haul flying to Asia following IAG’s purchase of bmi, by announcing a new route to Seoul in South Korea.
British Airways begins selling flights to the capital city today (May 3, 2012) and the service will begin on December 2, 2012.
A Boeing 777, with First class, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) cabins, will serve the six flights a week to Seoul.
The outbound flight to Seoul arrives at the beginning of the working day there and the flights have been timed in order to allow convenient connections to British Airways’ extensive domestic and European short haul network to and from Heathrow.
Drew Crawley, British Airways’ commercial director, said: “We have seen significant growth in customers wanting to travel to Seoul for both business and pleasure. It is a vibrant city with a strong economic base, rated eighth in the Global Cities Index this year.
“Equally, there are vast numbers of South Korean companies wishing to come to the UK to do business as Asia’s economies continue to grow. We want to ensure that we do our bit in bringing as much business and tourism to the UK as we can.”
Prices from Heathrow will start from £798 return for a World Traveller seat, £1,196 for World Traveller Plus, £2,599 in Club World and £5,775 for First class.
There are also great fares from the UK regions, including Manchester from £799, Glasgow from £798 and Newcastle from £797 return.
Accommodation is also available through British Airways, with the 3* Novotel Seoul Ambassador Doksan starting from £94 per room per night, the 4* Hyatt Regency Incheon starting from £143 per room per night and the 5* InterContinental Seoul Coex starting from £183 per room per night.
02.05.12 | Lufthansa Systems launches new website
Lufthansa Systems relaunched its website at www.LHsystems.com today with a new look. The company’s new website is fresher and more innovative. Thanks to a technical overhaul, it is now easier for users to access the various areas of the site, making the website even more attractive to customers and other interested visitors.
One key aspect of the new site is its higher information density. The content has been bundled from a user perspective, giving users a comprehensive overview of the services and products offered by Lufthansa Systems. The portfolio is clearly organized and features individual access for airline and industry customers. The “Airlines” section presents the entire range of IT solutions for all of an airline’s processes. These include planning and control solutions as well as flight operations systems, accounting and cargo solutions and the award-winning wireless in-flight entertainment system, BoardConnect.
The “Industry” section provides an overview of the services for industrial customers in German-speaking countries. This portfolio is oriented on the key fields of industry, transportation and logistics, media and publishers, tourism, energy and healthcare. There is a special focus on the extensive range of SAP consulting services offered by Lufthansa Systems.
The site’s technical and structural modifications offer considerable user advantages as well. These include an expanded search functionality which returns the right results even if the user has not entered the exact name of a product. This fast, accurate search function is an important component of the website relaunch.
The more user-friendly navigation is another key feature. Users can enter the site either via Solutions & Services or via Industries to find out more about Lufthansa Systems. The structure of the site is thus more closely aligned with the needs of the user. Journalists will also find a comprehensive information portal with background texts and a photo archive.
A flexible content management system will present content in several places within the navigation, so users can quickly and easily reach the information they need and get a complete view of the services offered by Lufthansa Systems. The new website also highlights Lufthansa Systems’ extensive range of cloud services.
The new site has been optimized for display on smartphones and tablet computers to make it attractive for mobile users as well. All of the content is presented in a clear, appealing way on iPhones, iPads, Android and Blackberry devices
01.05.12 | DTI Software teams-up with EA to take the world’s favorite games to the skies
DTI Software and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) announced today plans to provide airlines with several of the world’s most popular games for play on traditional seat back entertainment and Android-based devices. In addition to already flying PopCap games such as Bejeweled® 2 and Zuma®, as well as Hasbro games YAHTZEE™ and BATTLESHIP and EA Pogo games Poppit!™ and Phlinx, passengers can look forward to enjoying many more EA games in-flight, including Need for Speed™ SHIFT, Madden NFL 12, MONOPOLY, SCRABBLE as well as The Sims™ 3 and SimCity™ Deluxe . The companies plan to add additional games throughout the year.
The partnership with EA is part of a broader strategy by DTI Software, the world’s leading in-flight games provider, to make high quality gaming brands accessible to the airline industry and their passengers. The company’s internal findings suggest that the in-flight entertainment industry could mimic current ground-based entertainment trends where games have overtaken movie and TV viewing in some markets.
“As our expertise continues to expand, we remain very much in-tune with the passenger experience and the content needs of today’s airlines,” explained Lisa Linnenkohl, Vice President Licensing & Business Development at DTI Software. “Providing high-quality and popular licensed games through partners such as EA, allows in-flight entertainment to remain relevant and attractive to passengers around the world.”
“EA’s mission is to provide people with the best games anywhere they are, on whatever device they have which is what makes this such a natural partnership,” said Glenn Roland, Vice President of New Platforms and OEM at EA. “DTI Software’s presence on airlines around the world is a powerful distribution channel for us and helps us entertain that many more people with our popular, fun-filled games.”
01.05.12 | Astronics Corporation Reports Net Income Up 17.0% on 18.2% Increase in Sales for First Quarter 2012
Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leader in advanced, high-performance lighting, electrical power, avionics databus products and automated test systems for the global aerospace and defense industries, today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2012.
Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The first quarter was a strong start to fiscal 2012. We set a quarterly sales record for the sixth consecutive quarter, and profitability remained solid. We had bookings during the quarter of $60.8 million, which is confirmation that demand for our products remains high.”
Sales in the first quarter of 2012 were $65.1 million, up $10.0 million, or 18.2%, from the prior year first quarter sales of $55.1 million. Aerospace sales, which represented approximately 95% of total first quarter sales, increased 23.5% over the prior year period to $62.0 million. Test Systems sales decreased to $3.1 million for the first quarter 2012 compared with last year’s first quarter of $4.9 million.
Net income in the first quarter of 2012 was $6.1 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, compared with net income of $5.2 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, in the same period of last year. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2011 have been restated to reflect the impact of the one-for-ten Class B stock distribution to shareholders of record on August 16, 2011.
Consolidated operating margin in the 2012 first quarter was 14.2% compared with 14.8% in the prior year period. Leverage from increased aerospace sales was partially offset by increased engineering and development (“E&D”) costs and increased selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) costs. E&D costs were $10.0 million in the 2012 first quarter compared with $8.3 million in last year’s first quarter and are included in cost of products sold.
SG&A increased $2.5 million compared with the prior year, primarily as a result of $1.2 million in additional SG&A costs associated with the November 2011 acquisition of Ballard Technology as well as increased compensation and legal costs.
Aerospace Segment Review
Sales to the commercial transport market increased primarily on higher demand for cabin electronics products, as well as increased sales of aircraft lighting, airframe power and the addition of Ballard Technology’s (“Ballard”) avionics databus products. Military sales were down primarily as a result of lower sales of aircraft lighting products partially offset by the addition of Ballard’s avionics databus military sales. Sales to the business jet market were flat when compared with last year’s first quarter. Increased aircraft lighting and avionics databus sales were offset by decreased sales of airframe power products to the business jet market. The increase in first quarter FAA airport sales reflects the timing of projects as this tends to be a nonlinear flow product line.
Aerospace operating profit for the first quarter of 2012 was $11.9 million, or 19.2% of sales, compared with $9.3 million, or 18.6% of sales, in the same period last year. The increase in the 2012 first quarter margin reflects leverage gained from increased sales volume partially offset by higher E&D and increased SG&A expenses. The SG&A increase was due to the addition of Ballard’s SG&A as well as higher legal and compensation expenses.
Bookings for the Aerospace segment during the first quarter were $58.6 million, up 20.3% from $48.7 million in the first quarter of 2011, and up 8.5% from bookings of $54.0 million in the trailing fourth quarter of 2011. Backlog at the end of the first quarter was $94.5 million.
Test Systems Segment Review
Sales in the 2012 first quarter decreased to $3.1 million when compared with $4.9 million for the same period in 2011.
Test Systems operating loss for the first quarter of 2012 was $1.1 million compared with break even in the same period last year.
Test Systems bookings in the first quarter of $2.3 million were down when compared with $5.8 million in the first quarter of 2011, and down from the trailing 2012 fourth quarter, which had bookings of $2.5 million. Backlog was $7.5 million at the end of the first quarter.
Cash at the end of the 2012 first quarter declined by $2.7 million to $8.2 million compared with December 31, 2011, primarily as a result of the early extinguishment in January, 2012 of a $5.0 million, 6% subordinated note and increased investment in net working capital assets.
Capital expenditures during the first quarter of 2012 were $1.7 million compared with $0.8 million in 2011.
The Company expects capital spending in 2012 to be approximately $18 million to $20 million which includes approximately $12 million to $14 million to complete the Kirkland, Washington facility acquired last year for the Astronics AES operation.
On March 31, 2012, backlog was $102.0 million, down from backlog of $106.3 million at the end of the trailing fourth quarter of 2011 and improved over backlog of $99.1 million at the end of the first quarter of 2011. Approximately $84.7 million of this backlog is expected to ship by the end of 2012 and $89.4 million is expected to ship over the next four quarters.
Mr. Gundermann concluded, “Based on feedback from customers and our existing backlog, we are raising our revenue expectations for the year to $250 to $265 million. We believe we have the plans in place to make 2012 a very good year.”
Astronics anticipates that approximately $240 million to $253 million of forecasted revenue will be from its Aerospace segment, while approximately $10 million to $12 million of the forecasted revenue will be from its Test Systems segment.
E&D spending for 2012 is expected to be in the range of $36 million to $40 million.
First Quarter 2011 Webcast and Conference Call
The Company will host a teleconference at 11:00 AM ET on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. During the teleconference, Peter J. Gundermann, President and CEO, and David C. Burney, Executive Vice President and CFO, will review the financial and operating results for the period and discuss Astronics’ corporate strategy and outlook. A question-and-answer session will follow.
The Astronics conference call can be accessed by calling (201) 689-8562. The listen-only audio webcast can be monitored at www.astronics.com. To listen to the archived call, dial (858) 384-5517 and enter conference ID number 392763. The telephonic replay will be available from 2:00 p.m. on the day of the call through Tuesday, May 8, 2012. A transcript will also be posted to the Company’s Web site, once available.
01.05.12 | To Fly. To Serve: British Airways cabin crew service reaches new heights
Ahead of welcoming the world to London this summer, British Airways is trialling two unique new initiatives designed to take service in the skies to new heights. The ‘onboard travel advisor’ and ‘golden ticket’ trials are both taking place from April and will be offered to thousands of British Airways customers in all cabins.
ONBOARD TRAVEL ADVISOR
With the successful rollout of over 2,000 iPads for senior cabin crew, British Airways has also now equipped a group of crew with iPads crammed with top travel apps, designed to help customers.
Announcements are being made on selected longhaul flights to offer the services of an ‘onboard travel advisor’ and the designated crew member is able to provide travel information on request.
From hotels to restaurants, theatre shows to shopping hours, British Airways cabin crew will be able to provide information and top tips on a range of destinations. Onboard travel advisors are currently offering information on nine routes including: New York, Johannesburg, Mumbai and Sao Paulo.
To recognise the importance of exceptional service, British Airways is also giving its most frequent travellers the chance to commend individual crew members through ‘golden tickets’ that can be handed over inflight.
During the trial, British Airways has given 3,000 of its top UK customers two golden tickets to recognise cabin crew at any time. British Airways managers will then be able to thank individuals personally for their contribution in delivering exceptional service.
Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands & customer experience, said: “Our cabin crew are travel and service experts, and these new initiatives give us the perfect opportunity to share and recognise their unique talents with our customers.”
Both trials are underway and British Airways will make a decision before Autumn about whether to roll both services out on further flights.