Boeing scoops major Emirates 787 Dreamliner order

Boeing has announced a major new order of 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Emirates Airline, according to BBC News.

The $15bn (£11.3bn) deal was made public on the first day of the Dubai Airshow. It had been expected that the airline would announce a deal to purchase the Airbus A380 superjumbo, but chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said the Boeing had been chosen instead.

The order will be a blow for Airbus, which is in pressing need of more orders for its A380. Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East. It already has 165 Boeing 777s in service and a further 164 on order.

Some of the 787 Dreamliners on order will be used to replace existing stock, while others will expand the airline’s fleet. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled to begin in 2022.

Kevin McAllister, head of Boeing’s commercial aviation division said the deal was welcome and would sustain a large number of jobs in the USA.

Boeing also announced a contract to sell five Dreamliners to Azerbaijan Airlines, in a deal worth around $2bn. Boeing has won around 65% of all global new orders for aircraft so far this year.

Peer calls for investigation into finance behind failed Monarch airline

A Labour peer is calling for an investigation into the financial arrangements of collapsed airline Monarch, according to BBC News.

Lord Myners has said the preferred creditor status of Greybull Capital, which is owed £150m by Monarch, could be a matter of “fraudulent preference.” Greybull will be repaid before other creditors when Monarch’s landing slots and other assets are sold.

Greybull purchased Monarch three years ago. In the months leading up to the failure of the Luton-based company, the investment firm tried unsuccessfully to find a purchaser. Lord Myners has told peers he would like the private equity firm’s actions to be investigated.

A spokesman from Greybull Capital said: “Greybull’s involvement with Monarch since 2014 kept the airline flying and its employees in work for three years when no other rescue bid was on the table. Greybull provided significant capital to Monarch and did not receive dividends, interest or any repayments of its loans.”

The aviation minister Lord Callanan said that the administrators handling Monarch would report on the directors’ actions within three months, confirming that “if there is any evidence the directors have acted improperly we will not hesitate to take action against them.”

The collapse of the airline has made 1,800 employees redundant and left 110,000 travellers in need of rescue flights. More passengers still are seeking to recover tickets for future travel.

Monarch goes into administration

Monarch Airlines has gone into administration, following a failure to agree a renewal of its package holiday licence with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), according to Business Traveller.

The carrier, which operated scheduled and charter flights, cancelled 300,000 bookings for future flights and holidays, affecting up to 750,000 people. Monarch employs around 2,100 people.

Around 110,000 customers are overseas and will require assistance from the CAA to return home in an operation Transport Secretary Chris Grayling described as the UK’s ‘biggest ever peacetime repatriation’.

Monarch reported a £291m loss for the year ending October 2016. In the year ending October 2015 it made a £27m profit. The administration was announced at 4:00 BST on Monday morning – at a time when no passengers were midair.

Grayling said: “Together with the CAA, we will work around the clock to ensure that Monarch passengers get the support they need. Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA.”

The Monarch website now redirects visitors to the CAA’s page offering advice for affected consumers.

Ryanair announces more flight cancellations

Ryanair has announced a further slew of flight cancellations and amended its growth plans amid continued negative publicity, according to Reuters.

The budget airline said that hundreds of thousands of customers would be told their flights had been cancelled due to a shortage of pilots in the coming months. In September and October over 2,000 flights have been cancelled due to rostering problems.

The latest announcement raises the number of affected passengers to 400,000 from 300,000. Ryanair has taken a nosedive in reputation and share price due to the cancellations.

CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today.”

The fast-growing airline had been aiming to reach 142 million passengers by March 2019 but this figure has now been scaled back to 138 million. Average ticket prices will also fall as the airline launches seat sales promotions. Ryanair also said that it was shelving plans to bid for bankrupt Italian airline Alitalia.

Ryanair had previously said that it would tackle the staff shortages by compelling some pilots to postpone leave and by offering cash incentives to work additional days. Some pilots responded by joining trade unions in a bid to force an improvement of their working conditions.

 

Travelling Like a Boss

For the frequent business traveller, it is common practice that to travel business class. Due to the recent economic crisis, there have been strong signs of first class travel disappearing, with business class being the more reasonable luxury choice of preference. As a result of this trend, business travellers have frequently seen, depending on the carrier and route, drastic reductions in business class fares. As many companies have been more conservative with their budgets since the breakout of the economic crisis in 2008, airlines often offer considerable discounts in order to fill business class cabins. A further recent development in travel has been the rise of a new intermediate class filling the gap between economy and business classes, also known as ‘premium economy’.

Travel alternatives

As the majority of industries, including airlines, have been hit by the recession, business travellers now actively seek discounted alternatives. Often a business class train fare is cheaper than the same business class airfare, so often business travellers will opt for rail travel despite rail travel taking longer. Of course, not all routes are covered by rail, for instance transatlantic routes. Here, many former business class travellers are now downgrading to premium economy or economy classes on long-haul flights so as to save money. For many top business executives, however, downgrading and abandoning the perks of business class just isn’t an option.

Business class for a reason

For those who can afford business class travel, there are of course huge benefits travelling to doing as so. Business class passengers benefit from the personal flight attendants, greater legroom and excellent food, not to mention the added privacy and equipment necessary for conducting business on the flight.  Dedicated business class travellers can even extend this quality service to the ground, so to speak. Limousine services such as Blacklane.com provide high quality, private business class travel services, be it airport transfers or for limousine services for the duration of a day.  Luxurious vehicles, personal chauffeurs and efficient service are only a few of their guarantees, making it the premium transportation option within a large number of cities.

GuestLogix Inc to deploy technology with Jet Airways in India

Global provider of onboard retail and payment technology solutions to airlines and the passenger travel industry, GuestLogix Inc (TSX:GXI) announced on Tuesday that it will deploy its onboard retailing technology and point-of-sale (POS) handheld devices to power Jet Airways’ in-flight duty free programme, JetBoutique.

Global provider of onboard retail and payment technology solutions to airlines and the passenger travel industry, GuestLogix Inc (TSX:GXI) announced on Tuesday that it will deploy its onboard retailing technology and point-of-sale (POS) handheld devices to power Jet Airways’ in-flight duty free programme, JetBoutique.

The technology and POS handheld devices are being deployed in conjunction with Inflight Sales Group (ISG), a pioneer of airline concession operations.

Implementation by Indian carrier Jet Airways is said to represent more than 14 million annual passenger trips for GuestLogix. The Indian carrier is expected to use the integrated solution to manage cash and credit card payments of duty free items onboard.

Currently Jet Airways operates a fleet of 102 aircraft, which includes 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 12 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 60 next generation Boeing 737-700/800/900 aircraft and 20 modern ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft.

GuestLogix Inc aims to help carriers and other travel operators create, manage, and control onboard retail environments tailored to their needs and their passengers.

DataCash to manage Volotea’s international payment processing

DataCash Group Ltd (part of MasterCard Incorporated) a provider of multi-channel global payment processing services and advanced fraud prevention and risk management solutions to merchants and banks, announced on Monday that new European low cost carrier Volotea has selected DataCash to manage its international payment processing.

DataCash Group Ltd (part of MasterCard Incorporated) a provider of multi-channel global payment processing services and advanced fraud prevention and risk management solutions to merchants and banks, announced on Monday that new European low cost carrier Volotea has selected DataCash to manage its international payment processing.

DataCash said it has initially deployed its comprehensive Global Payments Gateway to provide Volotea with multi-currency bank card processing and online transaction security technology and 3-D Secure, while further services are to follow. DataCash’s payment processing integrates with Navitaire’s New Skies reservations system which powers many of the world’s low-cost carriers. DataCash’s Global Payments Solutions also incorporates EuroCommerce expertise and technology.

Volotea is headquartered in Barcelona and serves European mid-sized cities with direct connections that bypass large hubs. Its operations will include nine 125-seat Boeing 717s based in three locations: four in Marco Polo airport, Venice; three in Nantes and two in Ibiza. The carrier will serve a wide domestic and international network of destinations from each of the three airports.

The new airline has been founded by Carlos Munoz and Lazaro Ros, who also previously co-founded European low-cost carrier Vueling Airlines. Munoz holds the position of CEO of Volotea, while Ros is the airline’s general manager.

Clear Channel Airports collaborates with SapientNitro on new version of FlySmart: Be an Airport Insider app

Airport advertising company Clear Channel Airports (CCA) announced on Monday that it has partnered with SapientNitro, an integrated marketing and technology services firm, to launch the latest version of “FlySmart: Be an Airport Insider,” a mobile travel application that provides information to air passengers.

Airport advertising company Clear Channel Airports (CCA) announced on Monday that it has partnered with SapientNitro, an integrated marketing and technology services firm, to launch the latest version of “FlySmart: Be an Airport Insider,” a mobile travel application that provides information to air passengers.

The company said the FlySmart application combines SapientNitro’s mobile, marketing and technology expertise with Clear Channel Airport’s expertise in airports, air travel and airport technology, delivering a unique service to travelers, airports and advertisers. FlySmart has been enhanced to provide new features such as flight push notifications and Bing Maps capabilities.

FlySmart provides information about flight status, gate location, baggage claim, current weather conditions, parking availability, security wait time and ground transportation options. It also monitors multiple flights across various trips in real-time and travelers are immediately notifies if travel details change. The app also provides consumer ratings about restaurants, shops and services at the airport.

The new FlySmart app will be available in 96 US and international airports including the official partner airports in Boston, Denver and Minneapolis. It is now available for free download from iTunes, Google Play and Blackberry App World for consumers using iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones.

Clear Channel Airports is a division of outdoor advertising company Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc (NYSE:CCO). It currently operates more than 270 airport programmes around the world and has a presence in 32 of the top 50 US markets with major airports.

SapientNitro is part of Sapient (NASDAQ:SAPE) that combines multi-channel marketing and multi-channel commerce, to influence customer behavior across content, communication and commerce channels.

Platte River Ventures sells PRV Aerospace

Denver based private equity firm Platte River Ventures on Monday announced the sale of its portfolio company, PRV Aerospace LLC, to an affiliate of Court Square Capital Partners, a private equity firm with headquarters in New York.

Denver based private equity firm Platte River Ventures on Monday announced the sale of its portfolio company, PRV Aerospace LLC, to an affiliate of Court Square Capital Partners, a private equity firm with headquarters in New York.

Headquartered in Everett, PRV Aerospace is an aerospace and defense group which supplies components, subassemblies and assemblies to manufacturers of aircraft, aero-equipment and other defense platforms. Made up of six operating facilities, PRV Aerospace performs complex machining of hard metals and aluminum, sheet metal fabrication, assembly and test, repair and overhaul, and lower tier supply chain management.

Platte River formed PRV Aerospace in January 2010 by consolidating four aerospace operating companies it had acquired between 2006 and 2008, and PRV Aerospace subsequently completed two strategic add-on acquisitions in 2010 and last year.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP served as legal counsel to Platte River, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch served as the exclusive financial advisor to PRV Aerospace during the sale.

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

Universal Aviation opens fourth Italian office

Ground support division of Universal Weather and Aviation Inc Universal Aviation on Monday announced that it has opened a fourth office in Italy at Venice’s Marco Polp Airport.

Ground support division of Universal Weather and Aviation Inc Universal Aviation on Monday announced that it has opened a fourth office in Italy at Venice’s Marco Polp Airport.

Universal Aviation Italy already has three offices in Italy, in Rome at Rome Ciampo Airport, and in Milan at Milano Malpensa Airport and Milan Linate.

Universal Aviation currently has over 40 locations in 20 countries, and is said to be known for adherence to standards for consistent, professional, personalised services, and regional expertise.

Available 24/7/365, Universal Aviation Venice is able to provide and arrange services which include: full VIP meet-and-greet service; customs and immigration coordination and assistance; diplomatic and VIP passenger coordination; UVair contract fuel; arrangement of all concierge and tourist services; VIP catering; dedicated passenger lounge; passenger and crew transportation as requested; taxi boats services; flight following and other communications; standard weather briefing and NOTAMs; ground handling services; and Internet access.