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SAS and Airbus to develop hybrid-electric aircraft

SAS and Airbus have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding for hybrid and electric aircraft eco-system and infrastructure requirements research. The project aims to gain an understanding of the introduction of hybrid-electric aircraft for large-scale commercial use.

The partnership involves a joint research project where SAS and Airbus will work together to build knowledge of the opportunities and challenges regarding operations and infrastructure linked to large scale introduction of hybrid and electric aircraft in commercial traffic.

Rickard Gustafson, CEO, SAS said

We are proud of our ambitious sustainability work and are now pleased that Airbus has chosen SAS to partner up with us for this future project. If this becomes a reality, it will revolutionise emissions

SAS has for decades worked to reduce emissions and worked hard and focused towards a more sustainable flying. SAS’s goal is to reduce emissions by 25% by 2030, mainly by modernising the fleet and increasing the use of biofuels. The company envisages electric aircraft as the next step beyond the current technology.

The Chief Technology Officer of Airbus, Grazia Vittadini said

We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership with SAS. Leveraging our respective expertise to explore the potential of hybrid-electric propulsion opportunities in our aviation eco-system.

The collaboration also includes an “ambition to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero emissions operations”.

Bristol: easyJet launches second daily Paris flight, increases aircraft count and adds Milan, Brindisi and Biarritz flights

easyJet has announced a number of expansion developments at its Bristol base. The airline will position a 17th aircraft at its South West base and has added three brand new routes to the Bristol network. easyJet will also provide even more frequent flights to some of Bristol’s most in demand destinations, providing great value trips or low-fared commutes for even more passengers.

Brand new easyJet routes to Milan and Brindisi in Italy and Biarritz in France will launch in July. The airline will add a second daily flight between Bristol and Paris from July to allow day trips for business travellers

A further 186-seat Airbus A320 aircraft will now be based in Bristol and joins seven 156-seat Airbus A319 and nine 186-seat A320 aircraft currently serving the airline’s customers in the South West. The additional aircraft will provide 93,000 additional seats for customers looking to travel to and from Bristol this summer.

Three new routes have joined the easyJet Bristol network, bringing the total routes now available to 74.

A route between Bristol and Milan Malpensa will operate four times a week throughout the year on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with first flights taking off on 1 July. Flights between Bristol and Brindisi in Southern Italy will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays and will launch on 3 July and flights between Bristol and Biarritz in the South of France will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays with flights launching on 2 July, both operating throughout the summer season.

easyJet will also increase its Bristol – Paris Charles de Gaulle frequency, adding an additional daily flight to and from the French capital, providing even more opportunity for customers to enjoy a city getaway and a convenient schedule will allow for great value day trips for commuters from businesses across the South West.

The airline now operates up to 770 flights a week from Bristol across 74 routes, 10% more flights compared to summer 2018.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said:

We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating further expansion at Bristol Airport. The addition of another aircraft and even more routes will help us to deliver long term, sustainable growth at the base providing passengers with an even greater range of convenient flights to a fantastic variety of destinations across our network – all with low fares and great service.

We’re putting flights on sale, allowing our customers to book early and take advantage of our lowest fares to some of our most popular business and leisure destinations.

Our ongoing growth at Bristol demonstrates easyJet’s long-term commitment to providing connectivity for the South West. We continue to be the largest airline at Bristol and in the coming weeks we will carry our 55 millionth passenger, showing that our customers continue to book with confidence.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director for Bristol Airport said:

This is fantastic news as easyJet continues to invest in Bristol Airport and basing seventeen aircraft at its second largest base. The additional aircraft will provide extra flights to Paris, and an additional three new destinations of Milan, Brindisi and Biarritz to the route network from Bristol Airport. The additional flight to Paris will provide twice daily flights to this hub city, particularly required by businesses in the region for the long-haul route connectivity. These new routes increase the choice of destinations available to passengers in the South West and Wales region, selecting to fly from their local airport.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management commented:

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management Sales Director

easyJet’s expansion at Bristol gives passengers greater flexibility and more options. At Global Travel Management, we take care to create the most efficient flight itineraries for customers. These added services will mean we can create travel itineraries that match our customers’ requirements even better. So, as well as the great value that low-cost airlines like easyJet provide, we can tailor trips that perfectly match customers’ travel requirements by combining routes across any carrier.

easyJet’s expansion gives Global Travel Management even more opportunities to create cost-saving, time-saving trips for customers.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to book an easyJet flight, or when you have a trip from, to or via Bristol.

Finnair introduces new business class amenities by Marimekko and L:A Bruket

Finnair has introduced a new range of amenities for business class passengers, designed by world-famous Finnish design house Marimekko.

The amenities will be rolled out for all trans-continental flights on Airbus A350 and Airbus A330 aircraft. They are designed to complement the new sleep textiles in Finnair’s long-haul business class, which feature the classic Kaivo print in a dark blue tone on tone colourway, designed by Maija Isola, one of the most iconic Marimekko designers.

The amenity kits and eye shades feature four different Maija Isola designs from the 1960s – Rautasänky, Joonas, Jenkka and Pieni Melooni, with each pattern in two different colourways.

Finnair will introduce two new designs at a time, changing them for another two every six months.

David Kondo, Head of Cabin Interior Development at Finnair said:

We wanted to introduce more patterns more often, so there is something new and fresh for our frequent flyers. The new kits have also been sized so they can live on after the flight for a variety of uses.


Finnair and L:A Bruket are both Nordic brands that value sustainability.

We view this partnership as a great initiative to increase the appeal of our amenity kit. We’re also trying to connect the lounge and in-flight experience more and more for our customers, and offering organic and natural L:A Bruket products both on the ground and in the air is a great step in that direction.

As sleep is such an important part of the business class experience, Finnair has also upgraded the business class eye shades with soft-touch fabric and higher-quality straps and the ear plugs in the kit are designed to be more effective too.

Each new amenity kit comes wrapped in a cardboard band – instead of plastic – with a QR code that customers can scan with a personal mobile device to read more about Isola’s inspiration for the patterns.


L:A Bruket skin care products in lounges, aeroplane cabins and amenity kits

Improved sustainability with recycled plastic, bio plastic and on-demand concept Sustainability in all its forms is key for Finnair, and environmental considerations have played a big part in the product design of the new amenity kits as well. The toothbrush is made from bio-plastic containing cornstarch, and plastic wrappings for the earplugs have been replaced with wax paper. In addition, the new business class slippers are a Nordic-style design made entirely from recycled PET plastic bottles.

As with the amenity kit, each new pair of slippers comes wrapped in a cardboard band instead of the previous plastic packaging.

With these changes, Finnair will be able to reduce plastic waste by almost 4,500 kg per year.

Finnair also provides an on-demand concept for some of the less commonly used amenity items, including razors, socks and combs. Memory-foam pillows are available on demand too, along with shawls made of a modacrylic-wool-blend with a soft and warm feel.

The new amenity kits will have products from L:A Bruket – the natural and organic skincare brand from Sweden. Each amenity kit includes aluminium tubes of almond-coconut lip cream and a chamomile-lavender facial hydrator from L:A Bruket.

Finnair will also offer L:A Bruket hand soap and hand cream in its on-board business class lavatories, as well as L:A Bruket products in its airport lounge bathrooms and shower suites.

Scents of cucumber-mint, lemongrass and grapefruit leaf have been chosen to help customers feel refreshed and invigorated.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to book a business class flight on Finnair.

How we fix the aircraft type for passengers

How we fix the aircraft type for passengers

At Global Travel Management, it is quite common for a passenger to ask what type of aircraft a specific flight is going to use.  The good news is that this is information we can provide.

From time to time we have travellers with specific requests about their flights.  Most passengers need to know the departure and arrival times, of course.  And some passengers make choices based on flight times.  But some passengers also want to know what type of aircraft will be used on a given flight.

Sometimes we get requests to make sure the flight booked is a certain aircraft type; other times we have passengers who want to avoid specific models.

We are able to help out passengers with these requests, in two ways.

First, whenever we search for airline fares, we use a system that provides lots of information including the aircraft type used on that flight.  We can see what plane the airline intends to use and can use graphical displays to determine which seats are still available to book.  So, whenever a passenger wants to make sure their booking is on a certain aircraft model, we can confirm that for them.

Second, once the booking is made, we send the passenger a full itinerary that gives them everything they need to know about their flight booking, including an explanation of the aircraft make and model.

Sometimes, for a number of reasons, an airline may need to change the type of aircraft used for a particular flight after the booking is made.  But it is very useful for passengers who have specific preferences to be able to know what aircraft is planned for a journey before making the decision to book.

This is another way we are happy to help passengers have the best experience on business trips.

Airbus to stop production of the A380

Chief Executive Tom Enders has confirmed that Airbus will stop building the A380. 

Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft. Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years. As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380  in 2021.

Emirates has decided to continue growing with Airbus’ newest generation, flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

Enders said,

As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021.  The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results.

The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators.

Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO, said:

The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family.  Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.

Airbus will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of internal opportunities.

1,500 children take-off with British Airways

More than 1,500 children were given a unique insight into a career in aviation when they attended a careers event hosted by British Airways and KidZania. The two-day event saw them take the controls of an aircraft and try out the airline’s safety demonstration with cabin crew.

The children were provided with replica uniforms and taught on board the British Airways A319 aircraft, learning some of the important skills needed to become real life flight and cabin crew.  Many received a lesson on the flight deck simulator where they were given the opportunity to fly around London and land into Heathrow Terminal 5.

  • British Airways teamed up with KidZania in Westfield to inspire children to pursue a career in aviation
  • More than 1,500 children from 19 schools visited the Aviation Academy at the two-day careers fair
  • British Airways customers receive 15% discount to the KidZania activity centre

The British Airways Aviation Academy is the most popular activity with children visiting KidZania, and the behind-the-scenes, hands-on training aims to both inspire and enthuse children about future careers they might previously not have considered.

Currently more than 6% of British Airways pilots are women, which is double the national average, but the airline is actively seeking to encourage more women into the profession.

Mel Kose, British Airways’ Community Education Manager said that events like this aim to inspire and excite young girls to see a career as a pilot to be an achievable goal and to pursue STEM subjects at school:

We’re delighted that so many students attended the event, which is just one of many initiatives we offer to inspire children and young girls to enter a STEM career. Last year 600 students took part in our work experience programme across 30 departments at British Airways, and this year we will host more young people than ever before. We’ve also introduced ‘Teacher Take-Off Days’, with teachers taking part in one-day work experience sessions and taking their learnings back to the classroom. Plus, we’ve launched a scheme we call Your Flying Future, where we regularly run events for children to meet our pilots, to encourage them to feel that this is a career available to them.

Goodyers End Primary School in Bedworth, Warwickshire was one of almost 20 schools that attended the event at KidZania. Year 6 Teacher Adele Johnson said:

Lots of our children will have never even been a passenger on a plane before, let alone thought about a career in aviation, so this event provides an invaluable opportunity to inspire the children and raise their aspirations for the future – coming to KidZania is one of the most important things we do all year.

Rachel Woods, Head of Brands Development at KidZania London, said:

The British Airways A319 aeroplane is a big hit in the city, and it was fantastic to have ambassadors offering insights into their careers through a STEM-based interactive activity. The workshop offered hands-on opportunities to support and inspire key-stage 1-3 children through real life experiences.

Air New Zealand extends free Wi-Fi offer

Air New Zealand’s complimentary inflight Wi-Fi summer offer to customers has been such a hit the airline is extending it. 

Wi-Fi is now available on 12 international aircraft, including six Boeing 777-200s and four Boeing 777-300s which predominantly fly the airline’s trans-Tasman, US and London routes and two A321neo aircraft which operate Tasman and Pacific Island services. 

Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne says more than 80,000 people have connected to complimentary Wi-Fi on international flights since 1 December, which is the equivalent to the population of Palmerston North. 

We’re so pleased with the uptake of our summer Wi-Fi offer and the feedback we’ve received from customers during this period that we’ve decided to extend it until the end of March.

 Standard Wi-Fi on Air New Zealand services is charged at $30 NZD for a full flight to Australia and the Pacific Islands and $40 for the duration of a flight to North America, Europe and Asia destinations.  There is also a 1-hour pass available for $9 on North America, Europe and Asia services.