Compiled by Willie Bodenstein
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AIRLINK-WE ARE EXPANDING COMMERCIAL FOOTPRINT IN LATIN AMERICA
We are known as Southern Africa's premier, independent airline and we are increasing the Latin American marketing and sales presence to include Ecuador, Panama and Peru.
We have appointed AVIAREPS as its General Sales Agents (GSA) in Latin America to promote its convenient schedule of flights which serve an unparalleled network of routes currently connecting 45 destinations throughout Southern Africa.
AVIAREPS will represent and raise our brand visibility in the three new markets and will support the airline's drive to increase its share of inbound travel to Southern Africa from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico, where Airlink already enjoys a presence.
"South America represents a significant market, not just for us, but for businesses, entrepreneurs and leisure travellers. South-South economic activity is increasing, including trade, investments in mining and manufacturing, commerce and tourism. With our reach, choices of routes, service and reliability, we are ideally-suited to support everyone who wants to explore and take full advantage of the opportunities that exist on both sides of the South Atlantic," said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.
We are delighted to have been selected by Airlink, which is an important and dynamic carrier, to support it with our GSA services. This new partnership will add value to our firm and we look forward to working closely with Airlink to increase its penetration in these Latin American markets," said Marcelo Kaiser, Chief Operating Officer of AVIAREPS.
We have an established relationship with AVIAREPS in the European and African region representing Airlink. I too look forward to continuing working with Aviareps, said Airlink Sales and Marketing Executive Manager.
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SAA CONFIRMS IASC DECISION AND THE ADDITION OF NEW DESTINATIONS
South African Airways (SAA) is pleased to confirm that the International Air Services Council (IASC) has ratified that SAA retains all its historical route traffic rights, following SAA's voluntary relinquishing of the number of frequencies on the destinations it is not currently servicing.
In accordance with legislated and prescribed procedures SAA meets with the IASC on a quarterly basis to review and justify its route network plan and traffic rights to destinations it is not yet flying to.
Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Professor John Lamola, says "SAA, as a buoyant national airline, has an important enabling role in the South African economy. Those routes and frequencies that are not part of SAA's medium-term plans will progressively be released to the Council for the benefit of the industry."
In the coming weeks the airline will be announcing the addition of more routes to its growing network. SAA will be introducing flights to Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi, Windhoek in Namibia and Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe before the start of the festive season.
Together with increased frequencies to Accra in Ghana, Cape Town, Durban, Harare in Zimbabwe, Lusaka in Zambia, Mauritius and Kinshasa in the DRC, these changes represent the second phase of SAA's post-Covid restart operations which commenced thirteen months ago.
The airline is on course to re-enter some of its traditional regional markets and enter new routes which remain underserved. Plans are also underway to launch SAA's first post re-start intercontinental route during the first quarter of the new year.
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ETHIOPIAN COMMENCES PASSENGER FLIGHT TO BULAWAYO, THIRD DESTINATION IN ZIMBABWE
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's leading carrier, has launched a new flight to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, via Victoria Falls starting from 30 October 2022. Ethiopian has started four weekly flights to Bulawayo, a third destination city in Zimbabwe after Harare and Victoria Falls and a third new destination opened after the pandemic. With the addition of Bulawayo, Ethiopian global destinations reach 131. The new flight will be operated with B787 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Bulawayo, also known as "The City of Kings" is rich in cultural history and is the second largest city in Zimbabwe after the capital, Harare.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew, said "We are continually growing our network in Africa to provide affordable and convenient air connectivity and facilitate trade within Africa and beyond. The commencement of flights to Bulawayo is crucial in connecting Southern Africa to the world with our 130 destinations in five continents. We are glad to serve Bulawayo, the industrial hub of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa accelerating trade with our cargo and passenger services. Our flights to multiple cities in a country indicate our solid commitment to serve our customers and support our continent as the best pan African carrier."
Bulawayo is an important trade and tourist hub for travellers from all corners of the world and Ethiopian will provide the best connectivity service along with African flavoured hospitality. Ethiopian has been flying to two other cities in Zimbabwe -Harare and Victoria falls, with its first flight to Harare in 1980. The airlines' new flight to Bulawayo is aimed at providing a convenient and affordable service to the growing post pandemic business and leisure travellers to and from Bulawayo and the Southern African region.
Bulawayo is the second largest city with the second largest airport in the country. The suitable geographical location, road infrastructure and hotel businesses have made the city a center of tourism. The city also hosts an international trade fair where people from different parts of the world gather attracting tourists and business travellers. However, the airport is underutilised with only few carriers operating to Bulawayo. Ethiopian Airlines commencement of flights brings about additional connectivity options with competitive fares for the people of Bulawayo and the southern African region.
Ethiopian Airlines growing connectivity is backing the utilisation of the huge potential of the continents tourism industry. The new flight to Bulawayo will add convenience to travellers, thereby activating the trade activities in the industrial hub of southern Africa.
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IATA-SEPTEMBER PASSENGER DEMAND STAYS STRONG.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger data for September 2022 showing that the recovery in air travel continues to be strong.
Total traffic in September 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 57.0% compared to September 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 73.8% of September 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic for September 2022 was up 6.9% compared to the year-ago period. Total September 2022 domestic traffic was at 81% of the September 2019 level.
International traffic climbed 122.2% versus September 2021. September 2022 international RPKs reached 69.9% of September 2019 levels. All markets reported strong growth, led by Asia-Pacific.
"Even with economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the demand for air transport continues to recover ground. The outlier is still China with its pursuit of a zero COVID strategy keeping borders largely closed and creating a demand roller coaster ride for its domestic market, with September being down 46.4% on the previous year. That is in sharp contrast to the rest of Asia-Pacific, which, despite China's dismal performance, posted a 464.8% increase for international traffic compared to the year-ago period," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.
International Passenger Markets
Asia-Pacific airlines saw a 464.8% rise in September traffic compared to September 2021, the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions. Capacity rose 165.3% and the load factor was up 41.5 percentage points to 78.3%.
European carriers September traffic climbed 78.3% versus September 2021. Capacity increased 43.8%, and load factor moved up 16.3 percentage points to 84.1%, second highest among the regions.
Middle Eastern airlines posted a 149.7% traffic rise in September compared to September 2021. September capacity increased 63.5% versus the year-ago period and load factor climbed 27.6 percentage points to 80.0%.
North American carriers had a 128.9% traffic rise in September versus the 2021 period. Capacity increased 63.0% and load factor climbed 24.6 percentage points to 85.4%, which was the highest among the regions for a fourth consecutive month.
Latin American airlines' September traffic rose 99.4% compared to the same month in 2021. September capacity climbed 73.7% and load factor increased 10.8 percentage points to 83.5%.
African airlines saw a 90.5% rise in September RPKs versus a year ago. September 2022 capacity was up 47.2% and load factor climbed 16.7 percentage points to 73.6%, the lowest among regions.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Japan's domestic RPKs rose 127.9% in September and are now at nearly 75.6% of 2019 levels.
US domestic traffic climbed 16.8% in September compared to September 2021, pushing it to 0.4% above the September 2019 level. The 85.4% load factor was the highest among the domestic markets.
The Bottom Line
"Strong demand is helping the industry cope with sky high fuel prices. To support that demand in the long-term, we need to pay attention to what travellers are telling us. After nearly three years of pandemic travel complexity, IATA's 2022 Global Passenger Survey (GPS) shows that travellers want simplification and convenience. That's an important message for airlines but also for airports and governments. They own many of the facilitation processes that let passengers down at some key airports over this year's northern summer travel season. According to the GPS, a majority of passengers want to use biometric data rather than passports for border processes. 93% of passengers are interested in trusted traveller programs to expedite security screening. Modernising the facilitation experience will not only help alleviate the choke points, it will create a better experience for all," said Walsh.
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LUFTHANSA GROUP COLLECTS DATA ON CLIMATE RESEARCH WORLDWIDE: THIRD AIRCRAFT TAKES OFF IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE
The Lufthansa Group continues to expand its long-standing commitment to climate research and together with the Jülich Research Centre, has equipped a third aircraft in its Group fleet with measuring instruments. Effective immediately, an Airbus A330 from Eurowings Discover is continuously collecting measurement data in the atmosphere. The retrofitted long-haul aircraft of the Lufthansa Group's leisure airline with the registration D-AIKE, "Kilo-Echo," flies in worldwide scheduled service with destinations in North America, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Africa.
For more than seven years, Lufthansa has been operating two long-haul aircraft equipped with the measuring system from the European research project IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System). Due to the now additional A330, the Lufthansa Group will be able to collect climate data for science on additional flight routes around the globe.
"We are proud to now be able to support the IAGOS project with a third long-haul aircraft. Over the past 30 years, the data collected with our aircraft has contributed significantly to building one of the world's most comprehensive data sets of ozone and water vapor content in the atmosphere. With our commitment, we are making an important contribution to climate research," said Christina Foerster, Member of the Lufthansa Group's Executive Board, responsible for Brand and Sustainability.
Under the leadership of the Jülich Research Center, IAGOS bundles the expertise of partners from research, weather services, the aviation industry and airlines. IAGOS Germany is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
"Thanks to the long-standing support of the Lufthansa Group, IAGOS has been able to develop into a research infrastructure of international standing and occupies a central place in the global system for observing the atmosphere. We welcome the 'Kilo-Echo' as a new member of the family and look forward to further deepening cooperation with the Lufthansa Group. We hope that our measurements will also help to reduce the climate impact of air traffic in the future," said Prof. Andreas Petzold, coordinator of IAGOS Germany at the Jülich Research Centre.
The compact system of the European research project is permanently installed below the aircraft cockpit. A short connection leads from there to two measuring probes installed in the aircraft fuselage. After each flight, the recorded measurement data are automatically transmitted to the central database of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) research center in Toulouse. The findings are freely and openly accessible for global research and are currently used by around 300 organisations worldwide. They help researchers gain new insight into climate development, the composition of the atmosphere and determining long-term changes to make climate models more precise and to improve weather forecasts.
30,000 Lufthansa flights for climate research
The Lufthansa Group's first IAGOS aircraft, the Airbus A340-300 "D-AIGT," has already been in service since July 8, 2011. On that day, Lufthansa became the world's first airline to take-off with the new IAGOS measurement system. The predecessor system, MOZAIC, was also installed on two Lufthansa Airbus A340-300s and reliably collected measurement data in cruise flight until 2014. In February 2015, the second IAGOS system was installed at Lufthansa on the Airbus A330-300 "D-AIKO". Together with the converted third aircraft, a total of ten aircraft at seven airlines worldwide are now equipped with the IAGOS system. Around half of the more than 60,000 flights with MOZAIC and IAGOS measuring devices were operated by Lufthansa.
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EMIRATES EXPANDS ITS CARGO FLEET WITH FIVE BOEING 777 FREIGHTERS.
Boeing [NYSE:BA] and Emirates today announced the Middle East carrier is further expanding its all-Boeing dedicated freighter fleet with an order for five 777 Freighters, valued at more than $1.7 billion at list prices.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: "Emirates is investing in new freighters so that we can continue to serve customer demand with the latest fuel-efficient aircraft. This order reflects Emirates' confidence in air freight demand and overall aviation sector growth. It lays the ground for our continued growth, which is driven by the reach of our diverse global network, the advanced handling infrastructure at our Dubai hub, and the tailored transport solutions that Emirates has developed to serve our varied customers' needs."
The airplanes will be operated by Emirates SkyCargo, adding to its fleet of 11 777 Freighters. At last November's Dubai Airshow, Emirates announced a $1 billion investment to expand its air cargo capacity, including two new 777 Freighters that joined Emirates' fleet this year.
Emirates was a launch customer for the 777 Freighter and is currently the world's largest operator of the 777 family, with nearly 150 of the airplane type in its fleet. Boeing's best-selling freighter, the 777F is the world's largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter flying today, with 17% lower fuel use and CO2 emissions compared to prior airplanes.
"We value the trust that Emirates has repeatedly placed in its all-Boeing freighter fleet," said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The expansion of Emirates' fleet with these additional fuel-efficient 777 Freighters will enable the airline to support its growing cargo market demand, transporting goods rapidly and efficiently from origin to destination in the Middle East and around the world."
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defence products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity.
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'THE LOFT BY BRUSSELS AIRLINES AND LEXUS' WINS 'EUROPE'S LEADING AIRLINE LOUNGE IN 2022' FOR FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
For the fourth year running, THE LOFT at Brussels Airport - created and managed by Brussels Airlines and Lexus - has been named 'Europe's Leading Airline Lounge 2022' at the prestigious World Travel Awards. The award is voted on by both lounge guests and travel industry professionals.
The unique airline lounge concept, centerd on guests experiencing comfort, technology and design with a blend of 'Belgitude' and Japanese hospitality, THE LOFT has won this prize for the fourth consecutive year.
"Receiving this prestigious award - voted on by travel and tourism professionals as well as customers - for the fourth year, is a true recognition for our welcoming staff. They are invested in offering our guests a unique experience in THE LOFT, even in challenging circumstances. It has always been our mission, together with our partners who are driven by the highest quality, to make our guests feel taken care of every day. Thank you to the team and all involved partners for their relentless commitment in putting our customers first."
Peter Gerber, CEO at Brussels Airlines; "This award is an endorsement of The LOFT as a tangible expression of our brand promise to 'experience amazing'," comments Pascal Ruch, Toyota Motor Europe Vice-President in charge of Lexus Europe. "With its blend of Belgian creativity and Japanese Omotenashi hospitality, the lounge champions a peerless guest experience for the business traveller."
The Loft continues to develop and created a brand new kid's corner
Mid-September, a separate kids' corner - inspired by the Belgian Smurfs - has been opened. The guests' children can now play, read or create in their own private nook.
This area will also welcome 'Unaccompanied Minors', minors travelling with Brussels Airlines without their parents and who sometimes have a few hours to spare at the airport during their lay-over.
The unique lounge welcomes guests since 2014
This airline lounge concept for international travellers was inspired by Lexus luxury, design and the traditional Japanese 'Omotenashi' hospitality.
Covering an area of more than 2,000 m², THE LOFT offers seating for up to 500 guests. It is divided into areas with distinctive ambiences and features, including a central bar, seating zones and a break-out space that is ideal for those who need to work while on the move.
Lounge guests are provided with a wealth of facilities to make their visit feel relaxing and enjoyable, together with opportunities to immerse themselves in the world of Lexus. They are invited to indulge in Belgian delicatessen with a masterclass hosted by a Neuhaus maître chocolatier. Or feel more relaxed in SPA Grohe shower suites', nap rooms with starlit ceilings and LS Shiatsu-effect massage chairs. Or even feel more inspired by award winning arts and design elements by Lexus, including a Lexus Boardroom with its Mark Levison® audio system.
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SWISS REINTRODUCES DUTY-FREE SHOPPING ON BOARD
SWISS is reintroducing its inflight duty-free shopping, which was suspended for the past two-and-a-half years in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is being restored with an innovation: Miles & More award miles can now be used to purchase items aloft. The new inflight sales range also puts a particular focus on Swissness, sustainability and travel-related items.
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is reintroducing its inflight duty-free shopping today (Tuesday 1 November). Following the suspension of the service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two-and-a-half years, travellers on all SWISS flights of 55 minutes or longer can now again purchase premium items aloft at substantially reduced prices that are tax and duty-free.
In an innovation for the restored inflight shopping service, SWISS travellers can also use Miles & More award miles they have earned to purchase items aloft, either entirely or in combination with a credit card payment. The same applies to any articles they purchase from the SWISS Saveurs inflight food and beverage range. Customers also newly earn Miles & More award miles for any credit card purchases on board.
"Our resumption of our inflight duty-free shopping is a further major step back to our full premium service," says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. "Having had this facility suspended for two-and-a-half years, we are delighted that we can now offer our guests an inflight shopping experience that is even more diverse and is geared even more closely to their individual wishes and needs. Wth the new additional option of using Miles & More award miles, our digital payment process is now even easier and more convenient, too."
A focus on Swissness, sustainability and travel-related items
The newly redesigned SWISS inflight duty-free selection puts a particular emphasis on Swissness, sustainability and travel-related items. In addition to such classic premium articles as watches and sunglasses, the new inflight sales range includes a tin of selected Swiss chocolate specialities, a deodorant packaged in a sugar-cane bioplastic tube and children's headphones inspired by endangered species from all over the world. Further information on SWISS's new inflight duty-free shopping and details of the individual sales items are available on swiss.com.
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