Airbus and Neste sign MoU to advance the use of SAF

Airbus and Neste sign MoU to advance the use of SAF

Airbus and Neste sign MoU to advance the use of SAF

 

On 30 November, Neste announced their agreement with Airbus. The pair are seeking to advance the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The partnership is aimed at accelerating the aviation industry’s transition to the sustainable alternative to traditional jet-fuel. Together, Neste and Airbus are focusing on the technical development of SAF, fuel approval, testing of current and future production technologies, and investigating how “100% SAF” use can be enabled.

Neste is growing quickly. Already the world’s leading producer of SAF, the company is developing a new facility that will grow its production capacity to around 1.5 million tonnes of SAF per year. The scaling up of SAF production is fundamental to bringing down its price.

Discussing their latest partnership with Airbus, Thorsten Lange, Executive Vice President, Renewable Aviation, Neste said:

“Neste is at the forefront of accelerating the aviation sector’s journey to a more sustainable future. That journey requires cooperation across the industry’s value chain. This collaboration with Airbus connects a pioneer in the aerospace industry with a leader in renewable fuels. The combined knowledge and expertise of the companies will help advance the use and availability of SAF as a means of transitioning aviation towards more sustainable energy sources and reducing the climate impact of aviation.”

The EVP Communications, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Airbus Julie Kitcher said:

“At Airbus, we believe SAF is one of aerospace’s most promising decarbonisation solutions that can be used in both in-service aircraft fleets and those of tomorrow. We are proud to partner with Neste and drive forward the development and uptake of SAF, stimulating the creation of a commercially viable market for renewable aviation fuels. All Airbus aircraft are already certified for flying with up to 50% SAF, and this partnership will be instrumental to reaching certification for 100% SAF by the end of the decade.”

SAF is widely recognised as playing a critical role in achieving the aviation sector’s net-zero by 2050 targets. Partnerships like these are crucial for facilitating the industry’s transition to a sustainable future. For more articles exploring Neste’s partnerships read here.

Alongside SAF, hydrogen has been a significant focus for cutting emissions. Read about the recent industry breakthrough here.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Dubai International (DXB) “change waiting time into gaming time”

Dubai International (DXB) “change waiting time into gaming time”

Dubai International “change their waiting time into gaming time”

 

Last week, Dubai International (DXB) introduced their new gaming lounge ‘Game Space’. By converting waiting time into gaming time at the airport, DXB hopes to enhance the customers’ experience.

Positioned in Family Zone at B Gates in Terminal 3, Game Space has 40 game stations. Each has 50-inch screens and side-by-side seating for solo and multi-player gaming options. Passengers can choose from 20 leading games to play including Fortnite, League of Legends, Gran Turismo 7, and more. Accommodating for the significant number of football fans visiting during the FIFA World Cup, Game Space also offers multiple football-themed games.

The gaming lounge attempts to reshape the waiting time at the airport into a fun, novel experience. Explaining the concept, Errol McGlothan, Co-Director at Game Space said:

“We are excited to work with Dubai Airports to deliver an innovative new gaming experience for travellers at the world’s leading hub. We know that gaming is incredibly popular in the region and Game Space will allow travellers to change their waiting time at the airport into their gaming time.”

Frédéric Briest, Co-director at Game Space added:

“Working with strategic gaming partners like ASUS, we believe that we have a unique collaboration to push the boundaries of what the lounge experience can be. We are delighted to provide unique and fun moments for beginners to experienced gamers transiting from Dubai.’’

Highlighting where this new addition sits in the airport’s already extensive offering, Eugene Barry, Executive Vice President of Commercial at Dubai Airports, said:

“We are delighted to partner with Game Space to launch this new gaming lounge for our global guests, which adds an exciting new element to our existing range of retail, food and hospitality partnerships across the airport.”

Game Space is open 24/7 with food and drink options also available. This will be accessible to all travels for a fee.

As CEO Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths oversees DXB. Paul joined us at the World Aviation Festival this year in October, check out the full interview here.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Mastercard and Sabre’s Conferma Pay partner on virtual cards

Mastercard and Sabre’s Conferma Pay partner on virtual cards

Mastercard and Sabre’s Conferma Pay partner on virtual cards

 

On 28 November, it was announced that Mastercard is partnering with Sabre Corporation’s Conferma Pay on virtual cards for the travel economy.

Back in August 2022, Sabre acquired Conferma Pay to advance virtual card payments in the travel industry. Sabre Corporation is a leading software and tech provider powering the global travel industry. The recently acquired Conferma Pay is a leading UK-based FinTech company and a pioneer in virtual card technology.

In big news for the payments industry, Sabre’s Conferma Pay will now partner with the global pioneer in payment innovation, Mastercard. The partnership will include a minority investment in Conferma Pay by Mastercard.

Discussing the partnership, Roshan Mendis, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions said:

“Companies in the travel space […] need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections. Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfil the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay. Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers.”

Virtual cards have huge potential for the entire payments industry but hold a particular value for business payments in the travel industry. Sabre reported that the digitisation of travel payments with virtual cards helps address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. The securely generated, single use card numbers provide a link between booking and associated payments to third party suppliers. Travel buyers and supplier are therefore able to easily track and reconcile payments, as well ad benefit from flexible pricing, finance options, and enhanced security through card payment guarantees.

Explaining the prospects for virtual cards, Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard said:

“A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector. Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential.”

The partnership is an exciting development for travel industry payments.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Rolls-Royce and easyJet achieve a world first for sustainable aviation

Rolls-Royce and easyJet achieve a world first for sustainable aviation

Rolls-Royce and easyJet achieve a world first for sustainable aviation

 

On 28 November, Rolls-Royce and easyJet confirmed they successfully ran an aircraft engine on green hydrogen. This is understood to be a world first for the aviation industry.

Back in July 2022, the pair announced their partnership for developing hydrogen combustion engine technology capable of powering a range of aircraft. Since then, the companies have been trying to prove that hydrogen can safely deliver power for civil aero engines.

When hydrogen is used to generate electricity or combusted for motive power, the only waste product is water. Provided the hydrogen used is generated by renewable sources, it can offer a tangible reduction in emissions. In fact, hydrogen has previously been described by Grazia Vitaldini, Chief Technology Officer at Airbus as “one of the most promising technology vectors to allow mobility to continue fulfilling the basic human need for mobility in better harmony with our environment.”

Detailed in the press release, the test took place at an outdoor facility at MoD Boscombe Down, UK using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine. The green hydrogen was supplied by EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre) generated by renewable energy at their hydrogen production and tidal test facility.

Thrilled by the milestone the pair had reached and its significance for the environment, Johan Lundgren, CEO easyJet said:

“This is a real success for our partnership team. We are committed to continuing to support this ground-breaking research because hydrogen offers great possibilities for a range of aircraft, including easyJet-sized aircraft. That will be a huge step forward in meeting the challenge of net zero by 2050.”

Committed to reducing emissions, developments in technology harnessing the power of hydrogen have been closely watched by the aviation industry. This breakthrough by easyJet and Rolls-Royce is therefore of great significance.

One of the other key developments that the industry has set its sights on for reducing overall carbon emissions is sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Watch an interview with the President of Shell Aviation here discussing SAF.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

How Emirates is reimagining retail

How Emirates is reimagining retail

How Emirates is reimagining retail

 

Emirates is well known for its luxury and excellent hospitality on board. Now, the airline is developing another aspect of its customer experience: retail.

Yesterday, on 28 November, Emirates officially opened its ‘Emirates World’ retail store experience in Jumeirah Town Centre. The airline has redesigned their 3,000 square foot retail store as an “open and fluid space for customers to shop for all of lounge their travel needs in a lounge-like environment.”

Describing the store, Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said:

“Emirates World sets a new standard for the travel retail store experience and embodies our commitment to provide customers best-in-class products and services across every touchpoint. The opening of this latest concept store is an expression of our retail vision for the future and marks the first of several stores we’ll be opening in the coming years across our network. It’s also part of our larger retail strategy to make the store experience more convenient, engaging and personal.  We’ll employ a mix of the latest technology coupled with personalised one-to-one service from our highly knowledgeable travel consultants. Our open, welcoming, and functional space will also allow customers to discover our products like Premium Economy seats, in addition to a host of other elegantly displayed experiences.”

Once in the store, customers can engage in multiple interactive experiences. One option uses virtual reality, allowing people to immerse themselves in the airline’s cabins. Another is the Emirates’ Premium Economy Class seat display which lets passengers experience the comfort on offer in the airline’s Premium Economy.

Using technology to promote retail, there are LED screens across the store showcasing the latest Emirates products and promotional offers. Complimenting the use of technology across the store, there are also in person travel consultants on hand providing one-to-one service discussing airline ticketing, Emirates Holidays and Skyways consultant support, and more.

Blending technology and personal touch, the new Emirates store reimagines retail in line with their brand. The Emirates World retail stores concept is set to roll out across the airline’s network over the next three years.

Read here to find out about how Emirates is capitalising on the metaverse.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

AirAisa India partners with Sugarbox to launch in-flight entertainment ‘AirFlix’

AirAisa India partners with Sugarbox to launch in-flight entertainment ‘AirFlix’

AirAisa India partners with Sugarbox to launch in-flight entertainment ‘AirFlix’

 

AirAsia India has announced their partnership with Hyperlocal Cloud platform Sugarbox. The pair are launching ‘AirFlix’, a first-of-its-kind in-flight experience hub across the entire fleet.

 

What is it?

‘AirFlix’ provides over 6,000 hours of high-resolution content with access to more than 1,000 International and Indian films, short films, and over 1,500 web series episodes. The service is available for free to all passengers and simulates on-board WiFi for passengers even without in-flight connectivity.

The hub operates together with AirAsia India’s in-flight ancillary platform which opens up huge possibilities for the future. Discussing the launch, Siddhartha Butalia, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), AirAsia India, said:

“We’re excited to introduce the ‘AirFlix’ experience hub for fliers and to partner with Sugarbox on their pioneering technology platform, offering a wider and more diverse range of captivating content and a literally elevated user experience. We’re looking forward to leveraging the potential of this platform, introducing innovative features and technological integrations even beyond in-flight dining, entertainment, and shopping, and enabling personalised experiences that provide a distinct, differentiated flying experience in a hyper-competitive market.”

 

How does it work?

Sugarbox’s patented Cloud Fragment technology powers ‘AirFlix’. It works at a speed of up to 1 Gbps and has a storage capacity of 8 TB. Rohit Paranjpe, Co-founder & CEO Sugarbox said:

“We are delighted to partner with AirAsia India on their journey to revolutionise the flying experience with ‘AirFlix’. This is a first of its kind initiative globally, where we are bringing the power of the Cloud to aircrafts, using Sugarbox’s patented Cloud Fragment technology. It enables ‘AirFlix’ to offer many firsts in the industry – access to OTT Apps, E-commerce, News, Podcasts and In-flight F&B ordering. This is just the beginning of unlocking limitless opportunities for consumers through contextual, hyperlocal experiences. I’m very excited with what’s to come for ‘AirFlix’ and eager for fliers to start experiencing it.”

As AirAsia India embarks on this exciting chapter of their in-flight entertainment journey, it will be interesting to see how they leverage the platform and technology in the coming years.

Siddhartha Butalia, CMO, AirAsia India quoted above will be attending Aviation Festival Asia both delivering a presentation and sitting on a panel.

For content on the challenges of in-flight connectivity read here.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Keynote LLC CEO Panel: As we approach pre-pandemic levels how is the low cost landscape evolving and what are the key trends emerging when it comes to digital technology, sustainability, and ancillary revenue?

Keynote LLC CEO Panel: As we approach pre-pandemic levels how is the low cost landscape evolving and what are the key trends emerging when it comes to digital technology, sustainability, and ancillary revenue?

Keynote LLC CEO Panel: As we approach pre-pandemic levels how is the low cost landscape evolving and what are the key trends emerging when it comes to digital technology, sustainability, and ancillary revenue?

 

This 45-minute panel was moderated by John Strickland, JLS Consulting and composed of four CEOs, three from low-cost carriers (LCC) and one from a travel company.

  • John Strickland, JLS Consulting
  • Eddie Wilson, CEO Ryanair DAC
  • Robert Carey, President Wizz Air
  • Marcel de Nooijer, CEO Transavia
  • Mary Li, CEO Atlas

The session was filled with debate and packed with interesting ideas.

With a heavy focus on distribution, the dynamics of the panel elevated their discussion with Mary Li and Eddie Wilson presenting opposing approaches from one another. The session explored a range of topics from digitisation to ancillaries, inclusivity to personalisation, and e-commerce to sustainability.

Eddie, Robert, and Marcel proposed diverse opinions in answer to LCC specific questions and Mary enhanced their overall discussion firstly with a non-airline perspective and secondly by drawing on an Asia-Pacific viewpoint.

No avoiding tough questions, John also pushed the panellists to answer on the rising prices of airline fares and reconciling growth and sustainability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Airways grows CO2llaborate with the introduction of carbon removal credits

British Airways grows CO2llaborate with the introduction of carbon removal credits

British Airways grows CO2llaborate with the introduction of carbon removal credits

 

On 23 November, British Airways announced a new way for customers to fly more sustainably. The British flag carrier is offering passengers an additional method through which to offset their emissions. Adding to the existing options of carbon offsets and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), passengers will now be able to purchase carbon removal credits against their flight. This can be done via the airline’s online platform CO2llaborate built in partnership with Norway-based start-up CHOOOSE.

Carrie Harris, Director of Sustainability, British Airways said:

“By choosing carbon removals projects as part of their action to address the emissions associated with flying, our customers are not only joining us on our journey to a more sustainable future, but also helping accelerate the development of the vital carbon removal industry.”

 

British Airways’ CO2llaborate online platform

Learn more about the carbon offset platform here.

 

How do carbon removal credits work?

The airline explained in a press release that carbon removal credits are issued by projects that remove CO2 from the atmosphere or from the carbon cycle, and the credits are recognised by scientists, governments, and regulators as a vital tool in helping to address climate change.

 

Which carbon removal projects are available?

For now, passengers can select a blend of two recognised and certified carbon removal projects. In time the airline has ambitions to add more projects to their platform.

Blue Carbon Mangrove Project

The Blue Carbon Mangrove Project is a nature-based project (where plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis) in the Indus Delta Area in Pakistan. The project will support greenhouse gas removal by reforestation and revegetation of approximately 225,000 hectares of degraded tidal wetlands with mangrove and other species to absorb carbon dioxide, stabilise the area and protect the coastal area and communities.

Freres Biochar Project

The Freres Biochar project in Oregon, USA, sees the company’s biomass power production plant produce biochar, a carbon-rich charcoal-like material that is created when agricultural and wood waste is used as fuel. The process locks carbon into the solid material and prevents it from naturally decaying, locking carbon away and keeping it out of the atmosphere for several hundreds of years.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports – Keynote interview

Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports – Keynote interview

Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports – Keynote interview

 

Last month at World Aviation Festival the CEO Dubai Airports joined Ben Thompson for an interview. In just 15-minutes, Paul Griffiths answered questions on a wide range of topics in depth. Thought-provoking, relevant, and perceptive this interview with the Dubai Airports CEO is packed with insight.

Firstly, the pair discuss Dubai’s rapid pandemic recovery and the factor which Paul attributes to their success. The positive changes that emerged from the adversities of COVID-19 are also identified, looking especially at the pandemic as a catalyst for the adoption of biometric technology. This interview covers significant ground discussing a range of themes from the importance of aviation to the challenges of being a hub.

 

 

Sean Donohue, CEO DFW Airport Board’s interview is mentioned in this interview, watch this here.

 

Technology and reaching net-zero by 2050. An interview with Yann Cabaret, CEO SITA FOR AIRCRAFT

Technology and reaching net-zero by 2050. An interview with Yann Cabaret, CEO SITA FOR AIRCRAFT

Technology and reaching net-zero by 2050. An interview with Yann Cabaret, CEO SITA FOR AIRCRAFT

 

At the World Aviation Festival in Amsterdam, Yann Cabaret CEO SITA FOR AIRCRAFT talked about sustainability and technology in this five-minute interview.

SITA FOR AIRCRAFT has “a focus on enabling safe, efficient and sustainable aircraft operations, providing systems, data, and applications to customers across the world.”

The interview’s discussion was constructed around these three questions:

  1. What would you say the most important factors will be for reaching the net zero by 2050 target?
  2. Can you name any collaborations or partnerships within the industry which have been particularly effective with regards to sustainability?
  3. Which exciting upcoming trends will we be seeing surrounding technology in the next five years?

The scope of the interview was purposely reduced to a maximum of five years into the future. This allowed the discussion to be predominantly centred around existing technology and the steps that must be taken right now. Although looking forward is important, this must not detract from progress that can be made today.

Yann highlighted this in the interview saying:

“We aren’t waiting for someone to invent something huge that doesn’t exist. There is technology today, let’s make sure we use it properly.”

That said, Yann pointed out there are many developments which will play a significant role in the push for sustainability that have not yet come to fruition.

With regards to how sustainability could be achieved, Yann suggested a diverse array of initiatives would be required, including but not limited to:

  • Lighter aircraft
  • Sustainable fuel
  • Efficient engines
  • Hydrogen technology

The message from the SITA FOR AIRCRAFT CEO was inspiring, emphasising the measures that can and should be taken right now to “leverage what exists today.”

 

 

One of the ways SITA’s technology has been used to improve aircraft sustainability is through SITA OptiClimb® technology. This optimisation technology can save up to five per-cent of fuel per trip. Calculations estimate an annual reduction of carbon emissions by 5.6 million tons if every airline used this SITA technology. Singapore Airlines recently deployed this technology, read more here.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Keynote CEO panel: As airports rescale following the pandemic, how can they rebuild to a smarter future whilst prioritising innovation and sustainability?

Keynote CEO panel: As airports rescale following the pandemic, how can they rebuild to a smarter future whilst prioritising innovation and sustainability?

Keynote CEO panel: As airports rescale following the pandemic, how can they rebuild to a smarter future whilst prioritising innovation and sustainability?

 

This 45-minute panel was hosted at the World Aviation Festival in October. Moderated by BBC Journalist Ben Thompson, the discussion involved these prominent leaders from the airport industry:

  • Sean Donohue, CEO DFW Airport Board
  • Julia Simpson, President and CEO WTTC
  • Julie Shainock, Global Leader Travel and Transportation Industry, Microsoft
  • Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports
  • Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO Brisbane Airport

Ben expertly moderated with the session covering the current state of the industry as well as expectations for the near and distant future.

One of the topics discussed in depth was the issue of passenger confidence and how to increase predictability to enhance passenger experience. Here, the panel had differing opinions on the severity of the problem however they offered the same broad solution. Developing from this topic the panel explored data and how real time data is currently shared with passengers as well as plans for the next few years.

Inevitably, technology was woven into the entirety of the discourse. When explicitly addressing technology, the conversation explored how to “do more with less” to prevent spending on technology from draining companies. The more distant future was also explored alongside a moment of introspection, looking at how tech has changed lives in unexpected ways.

The final predominant theme was sustainability. Here the panel explained how they interpret sustainability and how to grow sustainably. There was discussion on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and Hydrogen.

In the 45-minutes, the panellists also touched upon advice for start-ups to help get noticed, eVTOL aircrafts, security technology, digital twins, the metaverse, smart buildings, and more.

 

 

Two important BNPL partnerships announced this week

Two important BNPL partnerships announced this week

Two important BNPL partnerships announced this week

 

This week, two significant ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) partnerships were announced. One between United States (US) based online travel shopping company Expedia and BNPL leader Afterpay. The second is with UK-based Fly Now Pay Later and Worldline integrating the payment tech to their TravelHub. These two partnerships highlight the considerable growth of BNPL in the travel industry. Although more BNPL solutions were already being integrated, current economic hardships are catalysing the roll out of these initiatives. For more detail on BNPL in aviation read here.

 

Expedia Group and Afterpay

On 21 November 2022, Expedia Group “the world’s leading traveller technology platform” announced their partnership with BNPL provider, Afterpay. Now, US-based customers booking flights and hotels will have the option to pay in four interest-free payments over six weeks.

The partnership comes at a time of considerable economic hardship worsened by soaring cost of living prices. These shifts are influencing consumer behaviour. One survey by PYMNTS found that nearly 22 per-cent of consumers are planning to spend less of holiday travel this year.

Announcing the partnership, Alex Fisher, Head of Revenue, North America, Afterpay said:

“As consumers prepare for the peak holiday travel period, we are excited to provide an easy and flexible service that will allow our customers to book and pay in four instalments for their preferred flights and accommodations, interest-free and over time.”

Highlighting the technology in use, Christian Gerron, Senior Vice President Media and Brand Partnerships, Expedia Group said:

“Expedia Group is proud to become Afterpay’s first major US travel partner […] This highlights our ongoing growth in developing cutting-edge traveller technologies that provide our partners with new ways to deliver great experiences to their customers which, in turn, drive customer loyalty.”

 

Worldline and Fly Now Pay Later

On the same day, a partnership between Worldline and Fly Now Pay Later was announced. Worldline is a global leader in secure payments and trusted transactions. Fly Now Pay Later, ‘the travel industry’s leading BNPL provider’ has been integrated into Worldline’s TravelHub. Customers will now have the option to spread the cost of their travel.

Jasper Dykes, CEO and founder Fly Now Pay Later said:

“As a dedicated team of travellers committed to making paying for travel simpler and fairer, we are delighted to announce the partnership with Worldline as a highly respected pioneer in secure payments and trusted Transactions. We’re all about making sure that travel payments work for everyone, so welcome the opportunity to work with merchants to help their customers spread out the cost of a hotel, flight or holiday.”

Guillaume Tournand, Head of Growth, Worldline highlighted the additional benefits for their company:

“Partnering with Fly Now Pay Later has provided us with access to a wealth of travel expertise. As the partner of choice for merchants, banks and acquirers, operating in 50 countries, we pride ourselves on providing a world-class service for those seeking secure payments and trusted transactions when booking their holidays, business trips and more.”

As the cost of living increases around the globe, and travel companies continue to integrate more BNPL options to keep pace with other retail sectors, we can expect to see more BNPL options within the industry.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Birgir Jonsson, CEO PLAY – Keynote interview

Birgir Jonsson, CEO PLAY – Keynote interview

Birgir Jonsson, CEO PLAY – Keynote interview

 

At last month’s World Aviation Festival, John Strickland interviewed Birgir Jonsson, CEO of start-up airline PLAY.

PLAY is an Icelandic low-cost airline, founded in 2019 by executives from WOW Air. Only running for 1.5 years, the airline has already weathered one of the toughest periods in aviation history.

In the short, 15-minute interview, Birgir explores the benefits of starting in such tough conditions, explains the traps that often catch start-ups, and discusses how the airline has prepared for the next wave of challenges.

Additionally, the PLAY CEO discusses the airline’s model and how their niche enables them to remain laser focused on costs. Other points of discussion include PLAY’s expansion plans, lessons learned from WOW air, and getting the attention of investors.

 

 

Paris airports adopt 37 second bag drop technology from an Amadeus company

Paris airports adopt 37 second bag drop technology from an Amadeus company

Paris airports adopt 37 second bag drop technology from an Amadeus company

 

On 17 November, it was announced that over 100 state-of-the-art self-service bag drop units were to be delivered to Paris Aéroport at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports.

 

What is the technology?

The new Auto Bag Drop (ABD) machines from Amadeus company, ICM Airport Technics allow passengers to opt for time saving self-service bag drop at the airports.

 

How does this benefit the airports?

A range of self-service bag drop technology is being integrated into airports internationally. In the face of staff shortages and queues developing at bottlenecks in the airports, self-service is one way technology can improve efficiency in airports. On average, self-service bag drop with these machines takes 37 seconds. The technology can help optimise staff distribution across the airport, reduce queues, and allow for a more seamless journey.

Yannick Beunardeau, SVP Airport & Airline Operations, EMEA, Amadeus said:

“Airports and airlines have experienced significant operational challenges as they adapt to rapidly rising passenger numbers. At the airport, automation offers a proven route to reduce queues by allowing passengers to take control of their own experience. That’s why Groupe ADP is placing self-service at the heart of its passenger service strategy.”

360 ABD machines are already in operation across Paris Aéroport at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports. This addition of over 100 more hints at the success of the technology.

Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO Groupe ADP said:

“We are happy to work with Amadeus to increase the number of passengers checking-in their own bags at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports. While they will always have the choice between this automated service or a traditional experience at the airline’s check-in counter, we are seeing an increasing number of passengers choosing to check-in their own luggage. Our goal is to help them save time.”

 

ICM ABD technology

ICM Airport Technics have a range of solutions for automating the bag drop process. The Series 1 Type 1 self-service bag drop is an entry level technology and integrates with the front of the existing check-in desk. This machine can switch from self-service to agent operated as required.

More advanced ABD technology is also produced by ICM Airport Technics. The Series 7 is a fully automatic bag drop solution incorporating high security and safety features including biometrics and ergonomics. This model is designed to be complete replacement of traditional check-in counters.

For more on self-service bag drop technology read ‘Efficient Technology at Terminal 4 Changi Airport.’

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

2022 FIFA World Cup has airports preparing for 1.7 million visitors

2022 FIFA World Cup has airports preparing for 1.7 million visitors

2022 FIFA World Cup has airports preparing for 1.7 million visitors

 

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Sunday, and all eyes are on Qatar. With a population of 3 million and a total geographic area of approximately 11,586 km², the host nation is the smallest country in this year’s World Cup. Across the course of the tournament, Qatar is expected to receive upwards of 1.7 million visitors with the majority of fans arriving by air. How are the host and neighbouring countries planning to accommodate this?

 

Qatar

Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Doha International Airport have been intensely preparing for the World Cup. The airports are anticipating approximately 200,000 people a day and the air traffic in both airports has reached an estimated 90 take-offs and landing per hour.

HIA underwent a series of expansion projects to increase the facility’s overall capacity from 29 million to 58 million passengers per annum Badr Al-Meer, airport chief operating officer, confirmed to Qatar News Agency (QNA). The projects included the “provision of 34 aircraft parking spaces on an area of 250,000 square meters.”

The airport also has a new transfer hall on concourse C, which is expected to reduce waiting times at through efficient security and customer service.

To alleviate some of the pressure on HIA, Doha International Airport has been reopened to passenger airlines. It is estimated that Doha International will receive approximately 12 per-cent of all flights to/from Qatar during the World Cup. Before September 2022, the airport had been closed to passenger airlines for eight years.

Flag carrier, Qatar Airways will also be providing Passenger Overflow spaces outside the airports for free use. The area will offer storage space for luggage as well as football festivities and live entertainment for fans.

Despite the extensive preparation, Qatar alone does not have the capacity to accommodate expected number of fans. Instead, people have been encouraged to stay in neighbouring states with daily shuttle services available. Consequently, Doha is expecting 20,000 daily visitors from the gulf to Doha. One key state offering this service is Dubai.

 

Dubai

120 shuttle flights will fly in and out of Dubai World Central (DWC) airport daily during the course of the tournament. This is set to increase DWC’s passenger traffic three-fold. According to Gulf News, to accommodate these forecast passengers, the airport has:

  • A dedicated front-line team to facilitate efficient processing at every service touchpoint, ensuring a consistently smooth experience and on-time departures.
  • More than 60 check-in counters.
  • 21 boarding gates.
  • 60 passport control counters (departures and arrivals).
  • 10 smart gates.
  • 4 baggage belts on arrivals.

Discussing the pressure that the World Cup will bring, Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports said:

“A spike in demand of this magnitude would pose a challenge for any airport, but we have had some recent practice. In May-June this year, we orchestrated the almost flawless temporary relocation of more than 1,000 flights a week from Dubai International (DXB) to DWC for the 45-day long DXB northern runway rehabilitation project, while managing an exceptionally strong recovery throughout.”

The Qatar hosted 2022 FIFA World Cup will run 20 November to 18 December. For more content relating to the World Cup read  ‘How Qatar Airways are maximising their ancillary revenue from the World Cup.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Sean Donohue, CEO DFW Airport Board – Keynote interview

Sean Donohue, CEO DFW Airport Board – Keynote interview

Sean Donohue, CEO DFW Airport Board – Keynote interview

 

The Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport Board CEO joined Ben Thompson for a keynote interview on ‘Reimagining business models and reinvigorating innovation tactics to meet unprecedented sustainability targets by 2030’ at the World Aviation Festival.

In this 10-minute interview, Sean explained the mindset allowing the airport’s remarkable response to COVID-19 as well as the key to the airport’s innovative sustainability solutions.

Casting his mind back to scenario planning, Sean told the interviewer, “We never anticipated this [the pandemic].” Despite not having a crystal ball, the airport had extraordinary foresight. Reflecting on previous dramatic changes to the industry, including 9/11, the conclusion was reached that travel would eventually recover. Holding this view, no staff were laid off or furloughed, small businesses were taken into account, and conversations were had with the airport’s partners. As the industry recovers, DFW have given themselves a head start with their approach during the crisis.

Looking at the airport’s sustainability track record and ambitious future, Sean broke it down simply.

  1. From a practical perspective: It is good business. For further detail on this see the interview with the VP Environmental Affairs & Sustainability at DFW, Robert Horton ‘Sustainability is complimentary to good business.
  2. As a steward: It is the right thing to do.

But importantly, innovation can be also fun. In the interview Sean outlines some of the exciting sustainability initiatives and technology helping the airport on their journey to Net Zero by 2030.

 

 

Interview with Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion – The APAC distribution landscape is “progressing but conservative”

Interview with Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion – The APAC distribution landscape is “progressing but conservative”

Interview with Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion – The APAC distribution landscape is “progressing but conservative”

 

In anticipation of the upcoming Aviation Festival Asia, Daniel Friedli answered some questions relating to distribution, new distribution capability (NDC), ONE Order, and the transition to modern retailing in the region.

Daniel is a Managing Director and Partner at Travel in Motion, a company which, with their partner Oystin Advisory, has years of experience bridging the gap between GDS business, the vendor, and the airline.

In this twenty-five-minute interview Daniel gave his perspective on the huge topic that is distribution in the Asia-Pacific region. Tackling this extensive subject, the Travel in Motion Partner identified areas of variation across the region providing a useful overview of the transformation, uptake, and challenges. Additionally, Daniel highlighted catalysts and barriers to change in the region, shedding light on the current landscape and cautiously drawing comparisons against other areas of the globe.

An important takeaway from the discussion was that many of these changes are costly and have repercussions that must be considered before integrating new systems. With all the future facing conversations concerning implementing updated systems, the complexities and costs around successfully installing new technology and systems cannot be understated.

The full list of questions asked is:

  • Could you give an overview of the distribution landscape in Asia?
  • Would you say the distribution is an area in which airlines are slightly hamstrung by legacy systems?
  • How have we seen COVID-19 impact the APAC region and how is this different to the rest of the world?
  • Can you explain the transformative impact NDC has had on distribution in the industry.
  • In what ways does NDC uptake vary from region to region?
  • ONE Order is still in its early stages, how do you see this developing in Asia?
  • Have there been problems transitioning to modern retailing with offer and order technology?
  • Why is it such an important time for the Asian aviation market to meet and discuss challenges in the industry?
  • What are you looking forward to at Aviation Festival Asia

 

 

Articles written by Travel in Motion include Tickets – Can We Live Without Them? The (Bleak?) Future of Departure Control Systems, Hey Airline Exec – Put your bum in my seat!

 

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

 

Turkish Airlines have recently recorded impressive third quarter results. The airline is currently operating even stronger than it was in 2019 before the pandemic. Demonstrating profitability, growth, and a strong engagement with sustainability, Turkish Airlines appears to be going from strength to strength.

 

Third quarter results

Turkish Airlines reported generating a net profit of more than $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2022. This figure was up 131.3 per-cent from the pre-pandemic results of 2019.

Disclosing their success, the carrier said:

“Turkish Airlines finished the third quarter of 2022 with $1.5 billion net profit thanks to its operational agility and ability to meet the increasing demand with its highly skilled workforce and wide flight network it preserved during the pandemic.”

The Turkish flag carrier was able to hit the ground running as restrictions eased having retained their staff during the pandemic. In 2021, the then Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci explained:

“In addition to the many measures we have taken, we owe our success to the dedication of our employees. While other airlines employees are facing layoffs, we have not parted ways with any of our employees during this process; we have decided not to lay off staff in order to provide better service and faster recovery than other carriers.”

Turkish Airlines have also seen an increase in international passengers travelling with the airline since the pandemic. The airline flew to 335 destinations worldwide as of the end of October, up from 316 destinations in the same month of 2019.

 

New routes

The airline currently flies to more countries than any other in the world, connecting 278 destinations across four continents from 53 Turkish cities. Despite this, the airline has announced further expansion plans to fourteen additional destinations in September, building upon the cities identified as points of expansion in August.

The geographic breakdown of these are:

  • Ten in Europe
  • Seven in Africa and the Middle East
  • Six in Asia-Pacific
  • Five in the Americas

 

Sustainability

Acknowledging the scale of their operations, Turkish Airlines have been furthering their sustainability efforts and have been internationally recognised for doing so. The airline recently won the Airline Sustainability Innovation of the Year award by CAPA.

The award was for their innovation with Microalgae Based Sustainable Bio-Jet Fuel Project (MICRO-JET) which helped to develop the world’s first carbon negative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The airline’s Chief Investment & Technology Officer Levent Konukcu said:

“’As the airline that flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, we appreciate the sustainable aviation fuel as a key element in our sustainability strategy on reducing aviation’s environmental impact. […] Beyond the use of biofuels, the fact that our support to scientific studies in the production of this fuel is crowned with an award here today makes us proud as it proves the correctness of the steps we have taken.”

Once the airline is able to use this biofuel it will be using the cleanest type of biofuel.

Turkish Airlines has recently dominated headlines with their profits, growth, and sustainability efforts. The carrier has hit the ground running following the pandemic and has been labelled one of the key airlines to watch in the future.

To read about the use of technology at Istanbul Airport read here.

Turkish Airlines will be speaking at Aviation Festival Asia in 2023, speaking on the CIO Panel: How are airline CIOs in Asia prioritising investments as we head further into 2023 to meet passengers digital demands and deliver on sustainability efforts? The airline will as be speaking on digital ambition.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

HSBC Star Alliance’s world-first Credit Card

HSBC Star Alliance’s world-first Credit Card

HSBC Star Alliance’s world-first Credit Card

 

On 15 November 2022 Star Alliance launched the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card powered by Ascenda. This is the world’s first airline alliance credit card. It is big news for the industry so here are the who, what, where, and whys.

 

Who is involved?

Star AllianceThe Star Alliance network, established in 1997 was the first truly global airline alliance. It offers the largest and most comprehensive airline network. The member airlines participating in the loyalty programme include: Air Canada, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, THAI, and United Airlines.

AscendaAscenda is a global rewards technology company with a cloud-based loyalty platform. The company ‘deploys reward solutions that enable brands to grow revenue and build deeper customer connections across the entire financial relationship.’

 

What is it?

The card is the first of its kind, bringing together seven of the world’s leading airlines on a single credit card platform. Traditionally, these cards are linked to a singular airline’s reward system. However, the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card allows customers a choice from multiple airlines with whom they can redeem points for frequent flyer programs.

Importantly for customers, they are able to earn Star Alliance Points on everyday eligible credit card purchases.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance said:

“Star Alliance is delighted to launch this industry-first loyalty product together with HSBC and Visa. This is very much consistent with a key strategy of Star Alliance which is to offer a loyalty proposition that others talk about.

This unique product is an outcome of strategic discussions with our member airlines for the Australian market. It will offer a new world of loyalty experience with not only the ability to earn points, but also a fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status through everyday spending. Star Alliance Gold Status offers a range of benefits such as lounge access and priority boarding across all Star Alliance member carriers.”

 

Where is the card active?

For now, the card is only available in Australia.

 

Why has this been introduced?

An HSBC Travel and Finance survey found that although Australians are prioritising travel in 2023, they are simultaneously looking to keep travel costs low. The survey revealed 24 per-cent of respondents who intended to travel overseas said they would pay for flights with credit card rewards and points.

The same survey also revealed 96 per-cent of respondents travelling overseas said they would consider tips and tricks to keep travel costs down.

Looking at the results, the Australian market appears primed for the introduction of a credit card which enables them to collect points for flying through every day purchases.

For more articles relating to earning points through everyday spending read ‘Catching a lift, ordering groceries, and now grabbing a coffee. Delta’s loyalty partnerships turning everyday life into miles.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Keynote Digital Product Panel: How do airlines create end-to-end digital products and services that can compete with other industries?

Keynote Digital Product Panel: How do airlines create end-to-end digital products and services that can compete with other industries?

Keynote Digital Product Panel: How do airlines create end-to-end digital products and services that can compete with other industries?

 

At World Aviation Festival in October, a panel of specialists gathered to discuss ‘How do airlines create end-to-end digital products and services that can compete with other industries?’

The panel was chaired by Henry Harteveldt and included:

  • Rogier Van Enk, SVP Customer Engagement, Finnair
  • Mark Nasr, SVP Marketing, eCommerce, Products, Air Canada
  • Kevin Macfarland, Managing Director, Digital Platforms & UX, American Airlines
  • Kevin Clark, CEO, Bluebox Ltd
  • Juliana Rios, Chief Information and Digital Officer, LATAM Airlines
  • Robert Mulet, eCommerce and Ancillaries Director, Avianca

The well-rounded panel held a wide variety of perspectives, visions, and suggestions leading to thoughtful and fruitful discussion. Exploring digital product and digital passenger experience, one resounding message was: the basics still need work first.

Where discussion of digital products and services can often result in conversations around flashy extras and eye-catching new technology, the panel had a general consensus that the industry must focus on developing the basics. Improve, simplify, make seamless.

There was also conversation surrounding the extent to which digital experience defines the passenger experience now. The panel acknowledged that the companies setting public expectations are outside of the aviation sector and that these companies are rapidly accelerating customer expectations.

Other topics discussed include:

  • Data
  • Digital as a differentiator
  • The pursuit of consistency
  • Creating a seamless experience
  • Infrastructure
  • The service business
  • Onboard retail
  • What the future will look like

The panel discussion is 45 minutes long and is packed with a wealth of knowledge and ideas.