Aviation

Aviation Wrap: JetBlue to go carbon-neutral, Alaska Airlines gets creative + MORE!

Plenty of pretty pictures, a healthy helping of flight deals and a few announcements of aeronautical success: what’s not to love about this week’s Aviation Wrap?

Alaska Airlines’ Northern Lights sale

Alaska Airlines is discounting American fares to Anchorage or Fairbanks based on the intensity of the aurora borealis.

Between 13 and 17 January 2020, travellers can purchase discounted airfares based on the intensity of the Northern Lights, up to 35 per cent.

Discount amounts are determined by the Kp-index (the predicted level of geomagnetic activity that fuels the aurora) as measured by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

Travellers can expect to see the following discounts for the corresponding levels on the Kp-index:

  • 0 to 3 Kp = 15 per cent off
  • 4 to 5 Kp = 20 per cent off
  • 6 to 7 Kp = 25 per cent off
  • 8 to 9 Kp = 35 per cent off.

The new sale follows last year’s similarly creative ‘surf sale’ from Alaska Airlines, which saw fares to Hawaii discounted based on the height of waves around the archipelago.

JetBlue to go carbon-neutral by mid-2020

JetBlue Airways plans to become carbon-neutral on all domestic flights by July 2020, using an alternative fuel source for flights leaving from San Francisco. The announcement comes amid rising pressure on airlines to cut greenhouse emissions.

The airline will reportedly favour renewable sources and will begin using sustainable aviation fuel in mid-2020 on flights from San Francisco International Airport.

“By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation – and all sectors – must plan for,” CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Emirates and Australian Open renew international partnership

(Image credit: Getty Images/Daniel Pockett)

The new multi-year deal elevates Emirates to Associate Partner of the Australian Open (AO), as well as the official international airline.

In 2019, the AO delivered Emirates international brand exposure to a global broadcast audience of more than 900 million homes across 220 territories and on more than 75 TV channels, reinforcing the worldwide reach of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Tuesday, 21 January will be ‘Emirates Day’ at the AO, with activations planned across the entire precinct, from Federation Square to Richmond Station.

Emirates will also have a focus on families, presenting both the expanded AO Ballpark along with the popular Kids Tennis Day.

During January, Emirates is celebrating Veganuary on board its aircraft, with additional plant-based options on menus for Australian travellers.

While vegan meals can be pre-booked on all flights and classes, this is the first time Emirates is including a readily available vegan option on its menus. The airline has over 170 vegan recipes in its kitchen and for January will be serving some new dishes, including tofu jalfrezi, shitake ravioli, ancho three-bean chilli, shitake fried rice, and misir wat.

In a separate announcement, the airline has also reflected on its successes in 2019, including close to 58 million passengers on its modern fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777 aircraft.

Moreover, Emirates also reinforced its global network of 159 destinations in 2019, with the addition of three new passenger routes.

These include Dubai to Bangkok through Phnom Penh, facilitating a new connection between Cambodia and Thailand; a non-stop service to Porto, the airline’s second destination in Portugal; and most recently, a new service to Mexico City through Barcelona.

In 2020, the airline is now preparing for Expo2020, which will open its doors to global visitors in October, with Emirates as a premium partner and the official airline of the event.

Munich Airport reports 10th consecutive record-setting year

Munich Airport has reported an increase of 1.7 million passengers in 2019, up four per cent from the previous year, with 47.9 million passengers.

Based on current projections, and despite a “downturn in economic indicators”, Munich Airport reported passenger traffic will remain on course for growth in 2020.

AerSale receives FAA approval to overhaul Boeing aircraft landing gears

AerSale Component Solutions, a division of AerSale, Inc., has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to overhaul landing gear on Boeing 737, 757, and 767 series aircraft.

FAA approval to overhaul landing gear for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft is expected in the coming months.

Fiji Airways’ first sale of 2020 sees fares drop up to 45 per cent

Image: (Supplied)

Fiji’s national airline, Fiji Airways, has launched its ‘New Year’s Sale’ with special fares for holiday-makers, including return fares starting from $599 to Fiji and onwards to the United States.

Fares are up to 45 percent off, with travel periods through to November 2020,  meaning flights can be booked for later in the year – perfect for clients that get the winter blues.

Moreover, travellers seeking a tropical stopover on their way to the US can fly from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to LA by Nadi, Fiji with fares starting at $999.

Fiji Airways’ New Year’s Sale ends 17 January, or until sold out.

Singapore Airlines to boost Kolkata services

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced it will introduce a fifth weekly flight to Kolkata, India, from 29 March 2020.

On the same day, the airline’s regional wing, SilkAir, will cease services to the city. Currently, SIA operates four weekly flights and SilkAir operates three weekly flights to Kolkata.

SIA’s Kolkata services will continue to be operated by the Airbus A350-900 medium-haul aircraft, which is equipped with the airline’s latest regional cabin products for business and economy class.

In addition to Kolkata, SIA operates to five other points in India – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. Scoot, SIA’s low-cost subsidiary, operates to seven points in India.

These are Amritsar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Trivadrum, Tiruchirappalli and Visakhapatnam.

Following the announced change, SilkAir will continue to operate to four points in India – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi. From 29 March 2020, the SIA Group airlines will operate more than 140 weekly flights to India.

Travelport becomes sole GDS provider of Air India’s domestic flight content in India

Travelport has confirmed it is now the sole global distribution system (GDS) provider of Air India’s domestic flight content in India.

The contract, which was awarded to Travelport following a competitive bidding process, came into effect in November 2018 and was fully implemented as of 1 January 2020.

As part of the deal, Travelport is now the only GDS provider through which travel agents in India can receive both Air India’s domestic and international flight content.

The company also continues to provide all domestic and international flight content from the carrier to its wide network of travel agents across the world.

Featured image: Flame-like Aurora borealis, in Alaska (iStock.com/Elizabeth M. Ruggiero)

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