Southwest Airlines, TWU 555 hammer out possible agreement

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has announced a new tentative agreement with Transport Workers Union Local 555, the union that represents more than 12,000 Southwest Ground Operations, Provisioning, and Cargo Agents, the company said.

The Union´s Executive board reviewed an Agreement in Principle that negotiators reached December 23rd and decided to conduct a ratification vote that could end more than four years of negotiations.

The company said that the new contract not only improves wages and benefits, but it also enhances Southwest´s competitive standing within the industry.

Over the next few weeks, the Union will share the terms of the agreement with its members and conduct a ratification vote. If approved, the contract will become amendable in 2021.

Southwest operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season.

Paramount Business Jets marks 10th anniversary

Worldwide aircraft charter provider Paramount Business Jets (PBJ) recently marked 10 years of assisting clients across the United States and around the globe with their charter aircraft needs by establishing a new scholarship opportunity for college students considering careers in aviation and aerospace.

Founded July 1, 2005 in Manhattan, New York and now headquartered in Leesburg, Virginia, Paramount Business Jets is committed to providing the safest, most reliable and best value private jet charter customer experience to all clients, from single-time charter users to members in the company´s well-regarded Platinum Services Jetcard and Paramount Black Card Membership programs.

The PBJ Team consists of aviation professionals, pilots and engineers. In addition to developing a proprietary quoting system, airport proximity tool, and Time and Distance calculator in-house, PBJ has built and developed the most sophisticated central Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that connects team members locally and worldwide with every charter they organize, allowing them to manage every detail of every trip efficiently and seamlessly on a global scale.

Global Traveler votes United Airlines MileagePlus best 12th year in a row

Readers of Global Traveler voted United´s MileagePlus loyalty program the Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program in the world for 2015, marking the twelfth consecutive year that MileagePlus has received the award.

Global Traveler readers who participated in the 2015 GT Tested Reader Survey bestowed United with the honor, affirming MileagePlus´ position as the industry´s leading loyalty program.

Global Traveler readers also selected United as the Best Trans-Pacific Airline and, for the second straight year, named MileagePlus the Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program. Thomas F. O´Toole, United´s senior vice president, chief marketing officer and president of MileagePlus, accepted the honors at the annual Global Traveler awards dinner in Beverly Hills, California, earlier this month.

MileagePlus members earn award miles by flying United, United Express, Star Alliance airlines or other airline partners, and by purchasing products or services from partners around the globe. Members enjoy a host of options for using those award miles, including to pay for travel, hotel stays, car rentals and merchandise.

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 352 airports across six continents. In 2014, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 138 million customers.

Mountain Aviation announces Telluride Air Club

The newly launched Telluride Air Club aims to transform traditional charter flight operations into the Telluride Regional Airport.

The Telluride Regional Airport, approximately three miles from Telluride proper, currently does not offer commercial flight service.

The Telluride Air Club has a membership format that is aimed at offering the safety, reliability and luxury of private jet service at a fraction of customary costs. With a membership, Air Club affiliates are offered discounted pricing on key routes between Telluride and Texas and Telluride and Denver. Beginning with these four key routes, the Telluride Air Club is looking to expand over time with subsequent routes to additional key markets, such as Phoenix and Los Angeles.

In addition, the Telluride Air Club offers members a variety of perks, including: a virtual club house, discount rates on customer charter and perhaps most importantly, the opportunity to aggregate travel with other members that have a similar itinerary. Such ride sharing reduces the cost of a Telluride Air Club flight even more significantly.

Mountain Aviation headquartered at the Rocky Mountain Metro Airport (BJC) in Broomfield, CO is a primary partner for Telluride Air Club flight operations. Mountain Aviation, founded in 1993, is based in in Denver, Eagle/Vail, Fort Collins, Aspen, and Telluride Colorado as well as Boise, Idaho.

Finnair expands, modernises its European fleet

Finnair Plc (HEX:FIA1S) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with BOC Aviation Pte Ltd to lease four new Airbus A321-200 narrow-body aircraft, the company said.

BOC Aviation is a Singapore-based subsidiary of Bank of China, specialising in aircraft leasing. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery to Finnair during the first half of 2017. The lease agreements have a minimum term of eight years.

In November, Finnair had announced the temporary damp-lease of two A321 aircraft from summer 2016 onwards. This arrangement is intended to cover the transitional period until the delivery of the four A321 aircraft now dry-leased from BOC Aviation for the longer term.

The transactions are part of Finnair´s fleet renewal, the first phase of which consists of replacing aging long-haul A340 wide-body aircraft with modern A350s.

Hasso Plattner Institute tracks 35 million pieces of stolen identity data

In special Internet forums, German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) security researchers have tracked down nearly 35 million pieces of stolen identity data this year, the company said.

Cyber criminals had published the data in 15 cases, thus making it available for possible further illegal activities.

HPI director Prof. Christoph Meinel stated that anyone can use the Institute´s “Identity Leak Checker” to check if his or her personal identity data has been affected. By entering an email address at https://sec.hpi.de/ilc it is possible to find out immediately, after a comparison has been made, whether the address has been disclosed in connection with other personal data (e.g., passwords or bank account numbers).

Since the launch of the service in May 2014, to date approximately 1.7 million visitors have made use of the HPI Identity Leak Checker. Up to now, 160,000 warning messages informing visitors about published identity data have been sent.

Terreno Realty buys 4 buildings for USD 37.3m

Terreno Realty Corporation (NYSE: TRNO), an acquirer, owner and operator of industrial real estate in six major coastal US markets, acquired an industrial property located in Union City, California on December 29, 2015 for a purchase price of approximately USD 37.3 million.

The property consists of four recently constructed rear-load industrial distribution buildings containing approximately 301,000 square feet on approximately 16.4 acres in the East Bay of San Francisco adjacent to Interstate 880 between California Highways 92 and 84.

The property, which was placed under contract in December 2014 as part of Terreno Realty Corporation´s USD 23.8 million purchase of three adjacent existing buildings containing approximately 170,000 square feet, is at 1550 Pacific Street, provides 80 dock-high and six grade level loading positions and parking for 490 cars. The estimated stabilized cap rate of the property is 5.5 percent.

Terreno Realty Corporation announced that during construction of the four buildings it has executed three leases totaling 193,560 square feet as follows:

A full building lease of 94,046 square feet to a global third-party logistics company that expires March 2021;
A 64,324 square foot lease to an international distributor of natural stone that expires May 2026; and
A 35,190 square foot lease to an automobile glass distributor that expires April 2026.
As a result, the property is approximately 64.4 percent leased to three tenants.

Estimated stabilized cap rates are calculated as annualized cash basis net operating income stabilized to market occupancy (generally 95 percent) divided by total acquisition cost. Total acquisition cost includes the initial purchase price, the effects of marking assumed debt to market, buyer´s due diligence and closing costs, estimated near-term capital expenditures and leasing costs necessary to achieve stabilization.

Terreno Realty Corporation is an acquirer, owner and operator of industrial real estate in six major coastal US markets: Los Angeles; Northern New Jersey/New York City; San Francisco Bay Area; Seattle; Miami; and Washington, D.C./Baltimore.

Cheetah Mobile, Tencent expand strategic cooperation agreement

Mobile internet company Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE: CMCM) has entered into a new strategic cooperation agreement with Tencent Holdings Limited subsidiary Shenzhen Tencent Computer Systems Company Limited for the two-year period from January 1, 2016 until December 31, 2017.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Cheetah Mobile and Tencent will continue to provide promotion services for each other.

On December 27, 2013, Cheetah Mobile and Tencent Shenzhen initially entered into a strategic cooperation agreement, which was amended on July 31, 2014, January 30, 2015, June 30, 2015 and November 5, 2015.

Pursuant to the agreement, Cheetah Mobile would, through its PC and mobile products and platforms (including licensed products and platforms), provide various forms of promotional services to Tencent for various types of products. Under the amendment on November 5, 2015, the annual cap with respect to the fees payable by Tencent to Cheetah for the year ending December 31, 2015 was increased to RMB340 million.

Additionally, on January 30, 2015, Cheetah Mobile and Tencent expanded scope of strategic cooperation agreement, pursuant to which Tencent agrees to provide promotional services to Cheetah Mobile, subject to an annual cap of RMB100 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.

The original strategic cooperation agreement will expire on December 31, 2015.

Cheetah Mobile provides apps for mobile users worldwide, while building a global mobile ad platform for advertisers. Cheetah Mobile had approximately 567 million global mobile monthly active users in September 2015.

Cota introduces simultaneous transmission of wireless power, data

Ossia, Inc. said it has announced another key breakthrough to the company´s Cotaâ„¢ remote wireless power system: the ability to carry device related data through the Cota power transmitter to cloud based applications or to enable IoT devices to interact with each other directly.

The patents-pending innovation addresses two major hurdles for the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables markets. First, the need for a standardized networking technology allowing devices to communicate with one another and the cloud, and secondly, the ability to supply remote wireless power to increasingly complex devices limited by both battery reliance and the sheer footprint of the batteries themselves.

With Cota´s artificial intelligence-enabled platform, and the Cota transmitter´s functionality as a data aggregator and processor, the Cota system becomes an IoT hub, allowing all of the things comprising the IoT to stay charged and to work in tandem. This new level of connectivity sets the stage for intelligent IoT systems.

Technology manufacturers can design Cota-enabled receivers and products using ubiquitous Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee standards. For device-makers, this means IoT connectivity and true wireless power without the need for additional antennas and components. Only minor tweaks to a device´s circuitry and firmware are needed to support Cota. Third-parties will be able to rapidly develop Cota-enabled IoT systems using machine learning APIs and development kits.

The Cota technology charges many devices at once, regardless of whether a device is stationary or moving — such as a wearable bracelet on someone´s wrist. A single Cota charging station can simultaneously power the battery-operated devices in an average size room in a home or an office suite.

Headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., Ossia operated in stealth since its founding in 2008, and publicly launched at Disrupt San Francisco 2013.

Coolpad launches secure, dual-system smartphone

Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad has announced the launch of its 2016 flagship smartphone, the Coolpad Max, for global markets.

The Coolpad Max comes equipped with a dual-system: an external open system that has all features normally expected in a cellphone plus an internal security system which allows for encryption of the phone user´s calls and texts.

Users can download fully secure apps via the exclusive software stored into the internal system that comes equipped with secure financial applications, including mobile payment. In an era when information security is gaining increasing attention worldwide, the Coolpad Max is a smartphone fully equipped to ensure theprivacy and security of the user´s private information.

Coolpad Group Limited is a Chinese telecommunications equipment company headquartered in Shenzhen.