Best 2017 airfare, hotel booking sites announced by Frommer's

Frommer´s has revealed the results of its 2017 Best and Worst Airfare and Hotel Booking Sites study, the company said.

Frommer´s compared airfare and hotel booking engines in multiple rounds of competition to determine which sites were best at delivering the cheapest prices, the most useful results, and the best user experience.

Lesser-known underdogs like Agoda and Skyscanner have claimed medals while big names like Expedia and Trivago failed to crack any top spots.

In airfares, Momondo and Skyscanner came out on top, while in hotels, the big winners are Booking.com, Agoda, and Priceline.

Frommer´s has been in continuous publication since the 1957 debut of Arthur Frommer´s revolutionary “Europe on $5 a Day”. The Frommer´s collection of travel products has expanded to include nearly 100 guidebooks, a nationally syndicated radio show, mobile apps, and its website.

Southwest Airlines' loyalty program wins top honors at Freddie Awards

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) loyalty program, Rapid Rewards, has been named Program of the Year by the Freddie Awards for the second consecutive year, the airline said.

Additionally, Rapid Rewards was recognized for providing the Best Loyalty Credit Card, the Best Airline Redemption Ability and, for the fifth consecutive year, the Best Customer Service.

InsideFlyer magazine´s Freddie Awards give voice to the frequent flyer and honor the most respected travel loyalty programs in the world. Nearly three million ballots are cast annually as travelers vote for the program they feel provided the best value and services during the previous year.

Rapid Rewards members earn points through qualifying Southwest Airlines flights or through qualifying purchases with its partners. Points can be redeemed for flights with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and eight additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Its 53,000 employees serve more than 100 million customers annually. As of December 31, 2015, it operated 704 Boeing 737 aircraft.

WestJet names Cummings to lead new ultra-low-cost airline

WestJet has appointed Bob Cummings as Executive Vice-President responsible for the yet-to-be-named ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) which will launch late in 2017 or early 2018, the company said.

Cummings, with WestJet since 2005, will have accountability for all aspects of this new venture, including planning, branding, pricing, product development and operationalization.

Ed Sims will join WestJet on May 29, 2017 as Executive Vice-President, Commercial, with responsibility for all aspects of the commercial function within WestJet including sales, marketing, product, network planning, revenue management, corporate development, airline partnerships and WestJet Vacations.

WestJet offers scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Through its regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, the airline offers more than 150 destinations in over 20 countries.

Gulfstream G200 added to Silver Air's Texas fleet

Silver Air has added a mid-size, long range Gulfstream G200 to the company´s latest base of operations in Dallas, Texas, the company said.

Silver Air´s fleet features light to large-cabin jets including: Gulfstream G450, GIV-SP, GIV, G200, Dassault Falcon 2000, Cessna Citation X, Lear 60, Beechjet 400A, Citation CJ3, Citation CJ2, and Phenom 100 models.

Silver Air´s charter operations have earned the ARGUS Platinum Rating for their demonstration of the industry´s highest safety practices. The company manages privately owned aircraft around the US from Southern California to the Bay Area and Dallas.

Silver Air is a private jet manager and charter operator. Based in Southern California with corporate offices in Santa Barbara, the company manages a comprehensive fleet of luxury aircraft from light to long-range heavy jets.

Ilyushin Finance leases two Bombardier Q400 aircraft to Jambojet

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has confirmed that Moscow-based leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co. has converted an option on one Q400 aircraft to a firm order, and has concluded a leasing agreement with Jambojet Limited of Kenya for two Q400 aircraft, the company said.

Jambojet is expected to take delivery of the first leased Q400 aircraft in May 2017, and the second aircraft later this year. The delivery of these two aircraft will increase the fleet of Q Series turboprops in Africa to over 120 aircraft, including about 70 Q400 aircraft.

Jambojet, a low cost airline and a subsidiary of Kenya Airways, operates on domestic routes from Nairobi to Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi and Ukunda (Diani). It set a regional record in 2016 by handling over 1,000,000 customers in less than two years of operation.

Montréal, Canada-based Bombardier (TSX: BBD) is a manufacturer of both planes and trains. Together with its subsidiaries, it manufactures and sells transportation equipment worldwide. The company operates in four segments: business aircraft, commercial aircraft, aerostructures and engineering services, and transportation. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the company posted revenues of USD 16.3bn.

North West Company agrees to purchase North Star Air for CAD 31m

The North West Company Inc. (TSX: NWC) has entered into an agreement to acquire North Star Air Ltd. (NSA), a Thunder Bay based airline, providing cargo and passenger services within northwestern Ontario, the company said.

North West will acquire NSA for approximately CAD 31m (subject to customary closing adjustments) plus closing expenses. North West also expects to make immediate follow-on investments of approximately CAD 14m for additional airplane and hub capacity.

In aggregate, these investments are expected to deliver approximately CAD 8m of annualized EBITDA, plus approximately CAD 2m in avoided carrier cost increases.

North West will pay for the purchase price and follow-on investments in cash, financed through existing credit facilities.

NSA is a privately-held airline that operates a fleet of 11 aircraft providing cargo and passenger services, primarily within northwestern Ontario, with bases in Thunder Bay, Pickle Lake, and Red Lake.

The North West Company, through its subsidiaries, is a retailer of food and everyday products and services to rural communities and urban neighbourhoods in Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean, with annualized sales of approximately CAD 1.8bn.

Icelandair selects Avionica communications solution for B737MAX aircraft

Avionica Inc. has been contracted by Icelandair to provide products and services to e-Enable Icelandair´s 16 new B737MAX aircraft, the company said.

Beginning this year and continuing through 2019 when final aircraft deliveries are made, Icelandair will install Avionica´s e-Enabled avionics that include satLINK MAX Iridium satellite communications system and aviONS Onboard Network Server.

satLINK MAX is the industry´s only 4-channel, FANS-1/A and ATC Voice Safety Service approved Iridium SATCOM system.

aviONS provides an open-platform network solution supporting airline and third party e-Enablement systems.

Headquartered in Miami for 25 years, Avionica is an aircraft data collection and data transmission manufacturer. The company designs and produces safety-qualified, state-of-the-art solutions for the air transportation industry.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol using Red Hat in effort to become best digital airport

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), a provider of open source solutions, has announced that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Europe´s third largest airport, is using Red Hat solutions to expand the range of services it offers passengers, supporting its goal of becoming the world´s best digital airport, the company said.

With help from Red Hat, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is creating a self-service, multi-cloud platform for its internal IT team and its business partners, slashing development time as it creates new services for travelers.

Servicing more than 63.6 million passengers and processing more than 1.7 million tons of cargo last year, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is Europe´s third largest airport in terms of passenger number and cargo volume.

The 100 year-old airport aims to continue its position as a top airport in Europe and to do so, the airport set forth its bold ambition to become the world´s best digital airport by 2018.

To create a great passenger experience with technology, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has focused on creating digitally-minded culture, introducing a range of new technologies and digital services – all aimed at simplifying and improving the passenger journey and the airport´s operations.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is creating a hybrid, multi-cloud development platform based on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform deployed across Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its on-premise virtualized environment.

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is the first and only container-centric, hybrid cloud solution built from Linux containers, Kubernetes, Project Atomic and OpenShift Origin upstream projects and based on the trusted backbone of the world´s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform provides a more secure, stable platform for container-based deployments without sacrificing current IT investments, enabling mission-critical, traditional applications to coexist alongside new, cloud-native and container-based applications.

Key to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol´s digital strategy are the services it delivers via APIs, including its Flight API, which provides information for passengers such as gate, terminal and check-in time.

Red Hat provides open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT.

Certified Aviation Services inks MRO service agreement with APOC Aviation Europe

Certified Aviation Services, LLC (CAS) is proud to announce its signing of an exclusive business agreement with APOC Aviation Europe to become its strategic partner in North America, the company said.

APOC is one of the world´s newest aircraft part-out companies. Today APOC allows CAS to put their official stamp on the creation of a total service solution.

Under the terms of agreement, CAS will provide parts storage, component repairs, aircraft evaluations, maintenance and logistics support. This strategic partnership program is a unique platform, for aviation total solution providers, to build a strong customer relationship between service providers and their end customers.

CAS (Certified Aviation Services) is a leading provider of MRO services for fleet operators around the world. Throughout our nationwide network, CAS offers a wide range of aircraft and component repair services that provide our customers innovative, cost-effective solutions when and where they need it. Backed by more than 200 world-class A&P mechanics and 25+ years of service, CAS is one of the most experienced MRO services providers in the world.

Crane acquires Westlock Controls from Emerson

Crane Co. (NYSE:CR), a maker of engineered industrial products, has acquired Westlock Controls from Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) for cash consideration of USD 40m, the company said.

Westlock is a global leader in the manufacturing and sale of switchboxes, position transmitters and other solutions for networking, monitoring and controlling process valves. With primary operations located in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, Westlock had 2016 sales of approximately $32 million.

Crane is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products. Founded in 1855, Crane provides products and solutions to customers in the hydrocarbon processing, petrochemical, chemical, power generation, unattended payment, automated merchandising, aerospace, electronics, transportation and other markets.

The Company has four business segments: Fluid Handling, Payment & Merchandising Technologies, Aerospace & Electronics and Engineered Materials. Crane has approximately 11,000 employees in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.