Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Rex expands across WA, Delta extends middle-seat blocks + MORE

Proving we don’t just favour news from Australian carriers, this week’s Aviation Wrap has plenty of updates from airlines all over the globe.

Rex and WA expand regional routes

Regional Express (Rex) and the Western Australian government have collaborated to deliver more flights to Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon, and Monkey Mia.

From 31 August, Albany will receive 14 services a week (a 75 per cent increase up from eight services), and Esperance services will increase from eight services a week to 13.

The Gascoyne will also receive additional flights, with an increase from five to eight services weekly for Carnarvon, and an additional flight per week for Monkey Mia, taking it up to four air services per week.

According to the WA government, the one-way community fare is priced at $139 for Albany, $138 for Esperance, $158 for Monkey Mia and $199 for Carnarvon.

The community fare is available to all passengers, including visitors, providing an important additional boost for the tourism sectors of these regions.

Delta extends middle-seat blocks into January 2021

Delta Air Lines is extending a key health and safety protocol into the winter season by blocking its selection of middle seats and limiting the number of customers per flight through to “at least” 6 January 2021.

The US-based carrier is also extending its change fee waiver for new flights purchased through 30 September.

Warsaw becomes 25th European city to return to Emirates network

Emirates will resume passenger flights to Warsaw from 4 September starting with twice-a-week services, and increasing to three-a-week from 7 October.

The resumption of flights to Warsaw will expand Emirates’ current network to 75 cities in September, offering travellers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific connections via Dubai to the Polish capital.

The news comes as Emirates’ iconic A380 flew a one-off service, becoming the first commercial flight utilising the iconic aircraft to operate to the Luzon-based airport.

The special service from Dubai to Clark, operating as flight EK2520, took off from Dubai International Airport at 2:40am and landed in Clark at 3:23pm, where it was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute upon arrival at the airport.

Meanwhile, Emirates has continued operating repatriation flights to Bengaluru, Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram, which began on 20 April and will continue until 31 August.

The flights will facilitate travel for Indian citizens in the United Arab Emirates wishing to return home, and for residents of the country currently in India to return to the UAE.

LATAM reports 76pc revenue drop

LATAM Airlines Group has reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2020, with revenues of US$571.9 million ($798.9 million), representing a 75.9 per cent fall year on year due to “unprecedented reductions” in operations following COVID-19-related border closures and travel restrictions.

This decrease was partially offset by an 18.4 per cent increase in cargo revenues.

During the quarter (April to June 2020), total operating costs decreased 45.6 per cent, reaching US$1,266.7 million. As a result, the group reported an operating loss of US$694.8 million with net losses of US$890 million.

Etihad Guest unveils new deals and offers for members

Etihad Airways’ loyalty rewards program, Etihad Guest, has launched new offers for members, including points transfers and discounted redemptions, among other features.

Members who convert a minimum of 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles from other loyalty programs between now and 31 August 2020 will receive one Tier Mile for every mile transferred, encouraging guests to help maintain or even upgrade their tier status, which will enable them to enjoy additional benefits.

Points can be transferred from other loyalty programs, including Air Miles, Citibank, Emirates NBD, Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Click here for a full list of participating partners.

Agoda and AirAsia.com announce strategic partnership

Agoda and AirAsia.com have announced a strategic partnership to spur travel activity in Southeast Asia and strengthen AirAsia’s super app offering.

The partnership between the two major travel service providers of the region harnesses the strengths of both digital platforms through the sharing of flight and hotel inventories, to deliver an extensive multi-product selection, greater convenience and superior value for travellers.

The initiatives from the collaboration include travel bundles, membership privileges as well as joint product marketing.

Customers of AirAsia.com can now enjoy an enhanced variety of over 600,0000 Agoda properties by booking through SNAP, which is a flight and hotel package offered with a best price guarantee.

Recaro Aircraft Seating, Airbus meet to exchange ideas on how to manage crisis

Recaro Aircraft Seating and Airbus leadership met to collaborate on ideas, including various cabin and product topics through the lens of creating a safer and more hygienic flight experience.

Airbus leadership also toured the Recaro production facility and new space2grow expansion site, which features a new crash facility, flame lab and new customer service centre.

Recaro and Airbus have worked jointly on numerous projects through the years. Most recently, Recaro collaborated on a smart cabin concept with Airbus, which aims to provide guests with a more personalised travel experience.

Recaro has seating solutions on all Airbus aircraft models, including the A350 and A330, which are equipped with the Recaro business class seating products.

skyticket and American Airlines to launch Japan’s first air ticket sales for B2C via NDC

skyticket and American Airlines have commenced sales of air tickets through New Distribution Capability (NDC).

Offering search options in 32 different languages and with more than 13 million downloads of its smartphone application, skyticket is a reservation and booking platform for domestic and international air tickets (including LCCs), domestic and overseas hotels, domestic car rentals, highway bus travels, ferry cruises and overseas Wi-Fi rental services.

Sales of air tickets through the NDC program with American Airlines enables users of skyticket to quickly search for the airline’s best airfares with the prospective of providing new ancillary services such as paid seat selections in the near future to meet the needs of users.

SITA announces most extensive biometric deployment to date

SITA has announced the most extensive biometric deployment of its Smart Path technology to date and a new completely contactless experience for passengers travelling through Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA).

As the busiest airport in China and the second busiest in the world, BCIA has completely automated the entire passenger journey using SITA technology – from check-in and bag drop through to immigration, security, and finally boarding.

Passengers only need to enrol once during check-in, then experience a journey through the airport enabled by facial recognition.

Improved processing efficiency means shorter queuing time and more social distancing for all passengers. An added benefit during the COVID-19 era is that the process removes the need to touch any airport equipment, reducing the risk of infection.

Singapore Airlines reports July operating results

July operating results for Singapore Airline Group (SIA) revealed that passenger capacity (measured in available seat kilometres) was down by 94.3 per cent year on year.

Overall passenger carriage (measured in revenue passenger-kilometres) was down 98.6 per cent, resulting in a group passenger load factor of 21.6 per cent, representing a decline of 64.2 percentage points year-on-year.

SIA’s capacity was 93.1 per cent lower compared to last year’s, with only a skeletal network in operation connecting Singapore to 25 metro cities.

Passenger carriage declined 98.2 per cent, resulting in a passenger load factor of 22.5 per cent.

SilkAir’s passenger carriage decreased by 99.6 per cent year-on-year against a 99.3 per cent cut in capacity.

The airline’s passenger load factor was 43.3 per cent. SilkAir only operated flights to Chongqing, Kuala Lumpur and Medan in July 2020.

Scoot’s passenger carriage declined 99.6 per cent year-on-year against a contraction in capacity of 97.1 per cent, which led to a passenger load factor of 12.6 per cent.

In July 2020, Scoot increased the number of destinations served to nine (Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Ipoh, Kuching, Nanjing, Penang, Perth, Surabaya and Taipei).

Operations to West Asia and Europe remained suspended.


Featured image source: iStock/Ryan Fletcher

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