We skipped a wrap with yesterday’s public holiday, but fear not because Travel Weekly has looked after you and got all your airline news here for you anyway. Double wrap day!
Etihad Airways A280 Goes Double Daily to Sydney
Etihad Airways announce all 14 weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi – Sydney route will be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft, effective October 29. Featuring the carrier’s revolutionary The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner – the additional deployment of the 496-seat double decker aircraft means one of Australia’s largest cities will join London and New York as an all-A380 operation.
Business and leisure travellers will enjoy increased capacity, and the airline will meet the growing demand from the UAE and connecting cities across the Gulf region, the Middle East and Europe.
The Sydney – London Heathrow route, via Abu Dhabi, will also offer guests the consistency, convenience and comfort of a seamless all A380 service in both directions. Beginning June 1, the second daily New York service will be upgraded to the superjumbo.
Qatar Airways announce in flight broadband & launch of new destinations in 2018
Qatar Airways announced it will be the first airline in the Middle East to launch high-speed broadband on flights starting this summer, along with a brand new graphic user interface (GUI) for improved usability and a complimentary new entertainment application for early access to thousands of entertainment options.
Qatar are also adding an additional 12 new destinations to be launched in 2018: San Francisco, U.S.; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Utapao, Thailand; Chittagong, Bangladesh; Mykonos, Greece; Málaga, Spain; Accra, Ghana; Lisbon, Portugal; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Prague, Czech Republic; Kiev, Ukraine and Mombasa, Kenya.
This news comes after the airline had already announced an impressive 14 new destinations for 2017-18, further adding to the airline’s global network of more than 150 destinations.
The launch of the new high-speed broadband in partnership with Inmarsat (GX Aviation) enables both premium and economy passengers the ability to stream content and browse the internet with the same speed and efficiency as if they were on the ground. Initially available on the Boeing 777 and Airbus 350, Inmarsat’s ‘GX Aviation’ product will offer seamless connectivity through its proprietary Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network.
Malindo Air take Perth Based Travel Agents to Sabah, Malaysia
Malindo Air is a full service Malaysian airline, operating 12 flights weekly from Perth to Kuala Lumpur.
They recently partnered with Sabah Tourism and CHM Hotel Group and hosted a group of adventurous- Perth based Travel Consultants on a fun filled trip to Sabah, Malaysia.
The group consisted of Consultants from Flight Centre Limited, Infinity, Travel Mantra , Asia World, Travel Hotspot and Houston Turner.
Malaysia Airlines is the world’s first carrier to enlists SITAONAIR, Aireon and FlightAware for 100% Global Flight Tracking
SITAONAIR, Aireon and FlightAware today announced that Malaysia Airlines will be the first SITAONAIR airline customer to benefit from a revolutionary flight tracking partnership. Under the agreement, all Malaysia Airlines aircraft will have access to minute-by-minute, 100% global, flight tracking data, delivered by SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker.
This solution will enhance the existing SITAONAIR AIRCOM® FlightTracker by adding Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data to the existing data from FlightAware’s multiple global sources, complementing active Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Future Air Navigation System (FANS) activity data.
By incorporating this data, Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft operations centre will receive real-time position updates of its airborne fleet globally. Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data will also resolve any existing data feed coverage gaps that remain, particularly over oceanic and remote airspace, where there is currently no surveillance.
No new avionics or modifications are needed for aircraft to take advantage of this service.
Virgin Australia introduces inflight entertainment for vision impaired
Virgin Australia has become the first airline in the Asia Pacific and the second airline in the world to introduce an in-flight entertainment (IFE) user interface for passengers who are blind or have low vision. Designed to make the customer experience more accessible for vision impaired passengers, the new interface increases accessibility to IFE content through simplified screen layouts, larger icons and voice prompts.
Developed by globally recognised IFE innovator CoKinetic Systems, the interface is available on Virgin Australia’s entire fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which feature a seatback entertainment system and will be rolled out on the Airbus A330 fleet in the first half of 2017. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fly from Australia’s east coast to Los Angeles, while the Airbus A330 primarily fly between Australia’s east coast and Perth.
Virgin Australia’s wireless IFE system is available on its Boeing 737-800 and Embraer E190 fleets, and is accessible to vision impaired guests via screen reader software available on guests’ own devices.
Adelaide Airport to trial new body scanner
Adelaide Airport have started a month-long trial of a high-speed full body scanner to help passengers clear the central security screening point faster. The Rohde & Schwarz Quick Personnel Security Scanner completes a scan in a matter of seconds, automatically detecting potentially dangerous items. It will operate in addition to the current four screening lanes at Adelaide Airport.
Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mark Young, said the new scanning technology, which was already in place across the UK and Europe, would make it easier and quicker to scan customers.
The trial will take place from 19 April to 19 May.
Air France-KLM Signs Codeshare Agreement with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir
Air France-KLM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Airlines (SIA) and regional subsidiary SilkAir to codeshare on each other’s flights as of April 27, 2017.* Air France will add its ‘AF’ designator code to Singapore Airlines-operated flights beyond Singapore to Melbourne and Sydney (Australia), as well as on SilkAir-operated flights to Kuala Lumpur, Penang (Malaysia) and Phuket (Thailand).
On a reciprocal basis, Singapore Airlines will add its ‘SQ’ designator code to Air France-operated flights beyond Paris-Charles de Gaulle to 10 destinations – Aberdeen, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Marseille, Newcastle, Nice and Toulouse. Airlines will be able to offer their customers seamless transfers on their shared routes with only one booking and a one-stop luggage check-in through to their final destination.
Air France and Singapore Airlines will later on explore the opportunity to expand the codeshare to other airlines within their respective groups and examine the possibility for Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue and Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem miles when travelling on the codeshare flight segments.
Solomon Airlines first all-female crew takes the helm
Making Solomon Islands aviation history, for the first time an all-female crew has taken command on a Solomon Airlines’ aircraft operating on the carrier’s domestic services. The two pilots, Captain Linda Tito Owen and Frist Officer Patricia Avosa took to the skies last week at the helm of a Twin Otter aircraft operating on the carrier’s busy domestic schedules.
A Solomon Airlines spokesperson said the event was a benchmark moment for the carrier’s equal opportunity development for its female pilots, Captain Owen and First Officer Avosa’s joint success representing a major achievement especially in the context of a traditionally male dominated Melanesian environment.
Captain Owen and First Officer Avosa follow hard on the footsteps of New Zealander Captain Claudia Walding who became the first female pilot to take command of Solomon Airlines’ flagship Airbus A320 last year. A statement from the Solomon Airlines’ Human Resources Department said the airline was immensely proud of all its female pilots.