United Airlines to utilize IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps for front-line employees

United Airlines is partnering with IBM to deliver a robust suite of enterprise iOS apps to the airline´s front-line employees, through the use of IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, the airline said.

Over the past several years, United has increasingly sought to untether its global workforce by putting the unique capabilities of iPhone and iPad in the hands of employees. This collaboration will further heighten that strategy, with IBM set to develop a suite of both market ready and custom iOS apps. These made-for-business apps will be powered by analytics, and customized to further drive the airline´s digital transformation.

United´s mobility strategy is designed to empower its employees to better meet customer needs in real time. With data and insight at their fingertips, flight attendants will have greater visibility into which customers are connecting in order to assist them in finding their gates upon arrival. Customer service agents, long tied to their work stations and gate podiums, will have more freedom to move about the concourse assisting customers instead of being tied to a fixed position.

United Airlines is leveraging Mobile at Scale for iOS, a new IBM app design and development model for the rapid development and deployment of multiple iOS apps. This unique, integrated approach enables United to work closely with IBM to quickly and efficiently design, develop, deploy and maintain iOS apps over their lifecycle.

United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2016, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 143 million customers. The airline operates 737 mainline aircraft and its United Express partners operate 483 regional aircraft, and is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines.

Delta reports January 2017 operating performance

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has reported operating performance for January 2017, the airline said.

Consolidated passenger unit revenue (PRASM) for the month of January declined 2.5% year over year, consistent with the company´s expectation for the quarter. A modest benefit from holiday timing in the month was offset by a 2.5 point headwind from calendar placement and 2 points of pressure from the lapping of 2016´s winter storm Jonas.

Delta Air Lines serves nearly 180 million customers each year. Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 323 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry´s leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic.

Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground.

Declaration Networks Group chooses GTT to enhance local broadband networks

High-speed broadband services provider Declaration Networks Group, Inc. (DNG) has selected GTT Communications, Inc. (NYSE: GTT) to provide IP Transit services, the company said.

DNG will use GTT´s IP Transit services to support delivery of broadband services to its customers in underserved communities. Under the NeuBeam brand, DNG provides high-speed residential and business Internet and voice services through state-of-the-art fiber and wireless local access infrastructure.

DNG is utilizing GTT´s IP Transit service for its broadband network on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, securely connecting customers to GTT´s Tier 1 IP network which spans over 300 points of presence worldwide.

DNG deploys and operates broadband local access solutions in underserved markets with a combination of advanced fiber and wireless to deliver high speed Internet and voice services to residential and business customers.

GTT provides multinationals with a better way to reach the cloud through its suite of cloud networking services, including wide-area networking, Internet, managed services and voice services.

DISH acquires DBS, OTT assets from EchoStar

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and EchoStar Corporation have agreed to transfer certain EchoStar assets and operations, including its EchoStar Technologies hardware and software development group, its national and regional uplink business, its managed fiber backhaul network serving all US DMAs and its OTT development group to DISH in exchange for DISH´s 80 percent economic interest in Hughes Retail Group held in the form of a tracking stock, the company said.

This transaction also transfers to DISH the 10 percent stake in Sling TV held by EchoStar, wireless spectrum licenses covering four markets in the 28 GHz band and certain real estate properties.

DISH will continue to market satellite broadband under the brand dishNET to rural customers.

The transaction is structured in a manner to be a tax-free exchange and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to satisfaction or waiver of closing conditions.

DISH Network, through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.643m pay-TV subscribers, as of September 30, 2016, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners wins award for innovative financing for LaGuardia terminal redevelopment

LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) was named ´Americas Transportation Deal of the Year´ by the Project Finance International (PFI) Awards for the redevelopment of LaGuardia Central Terminal B, LGP said.

The PFI Awards honor achievement and ingenuity in the global project finance market. LGP has made history with the financial structure of the deal. Valued at USD 4 billion, the agreement is one of the largest public-private partnerships in the history of the United States, and the largest in US aviation.

The traditional approach to funding airport projects — through government grants and passenger fees — cannot keep pace with the growth in passengers and cargo going through airports, making public-private partnerships key for successful redevelopment. Capital raises consisted of USD 2.5 billion in project bonds, USD 1.5 billion supplied by the Port Authority, and USD 200 million in equity was split between the three principal shareholders of the consortium. The bonds were oversubscribed by a factor of ten, reflecting the strong interest by investors in the project.

LaGuardia´s Central Terminal B currently serves nearly 15 million passengers annually, but was designed to accommodate just eight million. The redevelopment project includes a new 35-gate Central Terminal B and is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification for sustainable design. It will also feature dual pedestrian bridges spanning active taxi lanes — the first in the world — that connect the terminal to two island concourses.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners was selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to deliver an extensive capital redevelopment project at LaGuardia Airport that will provide world-class terminal facilities and operations for passengers and airlines.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners is composed of equity and development partners Vantage Airport Group, Skanska, and Meridiam. LGP members have worked on more than 350 aviation and transportation projects globally and domestically, including international airports in New York (JFK), Chicago, Doha, Delhi, Los Angeles, Santiago, and Nassau.

General Cable declares USD 0.18 dividend

General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of USD 0.18 per share on all outstanding common shares.

The dividend is payable on March 31, 2017, to all common shareholders of record at the close of business on March 10, 2017.

General Cable provides development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, and communications markets.

South African Airways celebrates Ghana's Independence Day with USD 679 fare sale

In celebration of Ghana´s 60th anniversary of independence, South African Airways (SAA) is offering a special sale fare of USD 679.00 round-trip (restrictions apply) from Washington Dulles International Airport to Accra, Ghana, the airline said.

Travel on this fare is applicable from February 20 to March 30, 2017. Tickets must be purchased by February 10, 2017.

The Republic of Ghana declared its independence from the United Kingdom on March 6, 1957 and was the first country in Africa to establish a democratic government. Ghanaians celebrate Independence Day every March 6th, as a day to commemorate the sacrifices that were made to achieve freedom, to strengthen democratic ideals, and to reflect on the country´s success in fostering equality.

South African Airways provides the only nonstop service between Washington, DC and Accra. Convenient connections are also available from over 50 cities in the US & Canada through code share flights with United Airlines and JetBlue Airways, and interline partnerships with American Airlines and Virgin America.

Flights are offered four-days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday aboard wide-body Airbus A340-600 and A330-200 aircraft. On-board, SAA provides world-class service, warm African hospitality, and pure comfort for long-haul travel.

South African Airways serves over 75 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink, and its low cost carrier Mango. In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg.

SAA has partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada and JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Virgin America, which offer convenient connections from more than 100 cities in the US and Canada to SAA´s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-Star rating for 14 consecutive years.

xG Technology acquires Vislink Communication Systems

Wireless video solutions provider xG Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: XGTI, XGTIW) has completed the acquisition of Vislink Communication Systems and has now assumed full ownership of the business, the company said.

The acquisition, as originally announced on October 20, 2016 was a USD 16m binding asset purchase agreement. The acquisition was paid for with USD 6.5m in cash and a USD 9.5m promissory note.

xG presently plans to pay the promissory note off with a combination of new debt and internal funding.

Based in Sarasota, Florida, xG Technology is a provider of wireless video solutions to broadcast, law enforcement and defense markets, and private mobile broadband networks for use in challenging environments.

Vislink specializes in the wireless capture, delivery and management of secure, high-quality, live video from the field to the point of usage, serving broadcast & media and public safety & surveillance markets.

Amazon to build new air cargo hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) plans to build a new centralized air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) in Hebron, Kentucky that will support its growing fleet of Prime Air cargo planes, help the company meet demand from Amazon Prime members for fast, reliable delivery, and create more than 2,000 new jobs, the company said.

Last year, Amazon entered into agreements with two carriers to lease 40 dedicated cargo airplanes to support Prime members with fast, free shipping. Today, 16 of those planes are in service for Amazon customers with more planes rolling out over time. Amazon´s Prime Air hub at CVG will support Amazon´s dedicated fleet of Prime Air cargo planes by loading, unloading, and sorting packages.

Amazon has launched several initiatives to ensure great delivery speeds and supply chain capacity for its customers, including Amazon Flex, the company´s mobile application that allows individuals to sign-up, be vetted and begin delivering for Amazon, a dedicated network of 4,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity and a network of air cargo planes.

These efforts join Amazon´s robust worldwide network of 149 fulfillment centers and over 20 sortation centers where the company uses algorithms, robotics, machine learning and other technological innovations to increase delivery speeds for customers. Amazon is now bringing the same technological expertise to efforts in the transportation space to increase shipping capacity for its customers.

Amazon engages in the retail sale of consumer products in North America and internationally. It operates through the North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) segments.

Lumos Networks acquires DC74 data centers for USD 23.5m-28.5m

Fiber-based service provider Lumos Networks Corp. (NASDAQ: LMOS) has signed and closed a transaction to acquire Charlotte, North Carolina-based DC74 Data Centers (“DC74”), the company said.

Lumos will acquire DC74 for a total cash consideration of USD 23.5 -USD 28.5m, depending on future growth earn-out projections, implying a multiple of approximately 8-10x adjusted EBITDA in 2016.

Lumos Networks provides services in the Mid-Atlantic region serving carrier, enterprise and data center customers, offering end-to-end connectivity in 24 markets in Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky. With a fiber network of 9,204 fiber route miles and 475,507 total fiber strand miles, Lumos Networks connects 1,297 unique Fiber to the Cell sites, 1,642 total FTTC connections, 36 data centers, 1,984 on-net buildings and approximately 3,300 total on-net locations.

Founded in 2008, DC74 provides high quality co-location, disaster recovery, managed services and managed hosting at its three fiber-fed facilities in Charlotte.