¦ Mumbai International Airport Private Limited has chosen Twisted Pair Solutions’ WAVE™ software technology to turn Nortel IP telephones deployed at Mumbai International Airport into push-to-talk radios. By allowing IP telephones to work directly with radios, and vice versa, WAVE software unifies communications for enterprises and enables them to use their existing communications technology in new ways while avoiding unnecessary investments in additional hardware. Mumbai International is India’s busiest airport, having catered to 22.2 million passengers and 470,000 tons of cargo in 2006-07.
¦ A memorandum of intent has been signed by American Airlines and AirCell LLC, a provider of airborne telecom services, which will reportedly make it the first US airline to enable passengers to use AirCell’s high-speed broadband connectivity. The broadband connectivity test is due to be conducted on the airline’s Boeing 767-200 aircraft, flying mainly transcontinental routes, available in all classes for a fee. American Airlines said the service could be extended to the rest of its domestic fleet if the solution proves successful. The solution will provide a high-speed Internet connection, VPN access and e-mail capabilities through WiFi-enabled laptops and PDA devices, allowing passengers to access real-time in-flight broadband communication.
¦ JetBlue Airways Corporation and Deutsche Lufthansa AG announced an agreement for Lufthansa to make a minority equity investment in JetBlue. This transaction represents the first significant investment by a European air carrier in a US point-to-point air carrier. Under the terms of the agreement, Lufthansa will purchase in a private placement approximately 42 million newly issued common shares of JetBlue, or 19 percent of JetBlue’s equity after giving effect to the issuance.
¦ MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Army Airfield opened its doors to the flying public. The airport is a recent addition to the exclusive list of joint-use airfields in the US. The new “state of the art” terminal building contains a total of 13,825 square feet, which includes both a civilian FBO terminal and military administration offices. In addition to the terminal, other structures were constructed to include 12 T-hangars, five box hangars and a 10,000-square-foot bulk hangar with a 30-foot door. The civilian general aviation part of the development also includes a large ramp and plans for a self-fueling facility.
¦ UPS launched a simplified global portfolio for shipping air freight, including a substantially expanded express freight option with guaranteed door-to-door service. The new air freight portfolio features a greatly expanded international express service called UPS Express SM Freight. It more than triples the number of express lanes currently served and provides guaranteed time-definite, overnight to three-day door-to-door delivery including routine customs clearance to major global metropolitan areas. For less time-sensitive global movements, UPS offers two non-guaranteed alternatives: UPS Air Freight Direct SM is a one- to three-day airport-to-airport service, and UPS Air Freight Consolidated SM is a three- to-five day airport-to-airport service. Both services are available worldwide and offer pickup, delivery and customs clearance as optional features. Freight shipments may move on either UPS or third-party aircraft.
¦ Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of global air cargo services, announced that Polar Air Cargo Worldwide Inc. will begin service into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, effective Feb. 21, 2008. Polar will operate five times weekly between Chicago and Osaka using B747-400 freighter equipment. This new service will also provide connections from Osaka to Shanghai, as well as connecting Osaka with Polar’s US destinations and the fast growing South American region.
¦ Andrews Space disclosed details of its Andrews Cargo Module, a cargo logistics system capable of addressing NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) cargo logistics requirements, as well as the needs of emerging customers like Bigelow Aerospace and the Department of Defense. The Andrews Cargo Module is a reusable spacecraft capable of delivering 3.7 metric tons of cargo to and from the ISS. It comprises a common Service Module, a Pressurized (PCM) or Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM), and a Recovery Module. This modular approach allows the system to cost-effectively address a wide range of mission requirements and customers.
¦ Banyan Air Service recently hosted Grob Aerospace’s spn LJ mock-up display at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The spn has a full carbon fiber construction, which avoids fatigue or corrosion issues that affect aircraft built of metal. It is the size of a mid-sized jet, such as a Lear 60 or Hawker 800 and is powered by two Williams FJ44-3A turbofan engines. It seats six or eight people and is certified for single-pilot operation. The spn can fly to more airports, can also land on grass or gravel runways, has an 1800 nautical mile range, and can use a balanced field length of 3000 feet. The spn costs approximately $7.4 million dollars.
¦ Palmer Johnson Power Systems announced expanded drivetrain service and remanufacturing capabilities. The company, established in 1977, now has 13 service centers throughout the United States that offer full service and remanufacturing for off-highway transmissions and axles. In September 2006, Palmer Johnson opened a new, state-of-the-art service and remanufacturing center at its headquarters near Madison, Wis. Since that time, the company has increased service sales by more than 50 percent. The 65,000-square-foot facility, winner of the nationwide 2007 Varco-Pruden Best of Manufacturing award, has allowed Palmer Johnson to expand the scope of its operations from transmission repair and remanufacturing to include axle service as well.
¦ Aviapartner Handling announced it has signed a major contract with Lufthansa and Swiss for the provision of full handling services in Venice. The contract, effective Jan. 1, 2008, covers about 5000 flights per year for both airlines combined. Lufthansa operates 10 flights each day out of Venice with 50- to 300-seat aircraft and Swiss three daily flights with RJ100 aircraft. The length of the contract will be three to five years. The set of full handling services which Aviapartner will provide to Lufthansa and Swiss in Venice includes passenger services, aircraft handling and traffic operations.
¦ DHL kicked off its support for Variety, a multi-million dollar philanthropic organization that assists children with disabilities through the efforts of volunteers, corporate contributors and local businessmen and women. DHL will be delivering heart-shaped pins to thousands of movie theaters around the country for the Gold Heart Pin Campaign, Variety’s signature fundraising endeavor, with in-theater sales of the pins benefiting children with special needs. Running through March 2008, the Gold Heart Pin Campaign is a partnership between Variety, DHL and the motion picture industry that raises approximately $2 million annually for children across the US.
¦ Aviapartner announced it has signed a joint-venture agreement with the Cypriot handling company 2Serve. This joint venture deal creates a joint company, with a view to tendering for a full ramp handling license at Larnaca and Paphos airports. With Cyprus’ accession to the EU, the market for ramp handling services in Cyprus is being opened and licenses for both Larnaca and Paphos are up for tender for a concession of seven years, commencing May 1, 2008. 2Serve currently provides passenger services, flight operations and cargo handling services at Larnaca and Paphos airports in Cyprus. Under the terms of the partnership, 2Serve will transfer its existing business to the joint venture with Aviapartner, holding a 51 percent share in the new business. The joint venture will trade as Aviapartner Cyprus and will be headed by Ian Hay, general manager of 2Serve.
¦ Systems Integrators LLC announced the acquisition of Allstar GSE. Through this acquisition, Allstar GSE has gained financial strength, additional infrastructure and a quality management system supported by five years of ISO certification, conforming to AS 9001:2000 and ISO 9100. A primary goal of the acquisition was to improve upon an already solid design and bring additional products to the ground power industry.
¦ Boeing and London-based British Airways have finalized an order for eight Boeing 787-8s and 16 787-9s, raising the total number of 787s ordered worldwide from 766 to 790 and taking the 787 order book past the 787th mark. The order is valued at $4.4 billion at list prices. British Airways also placed options for 18 787s and purchase rights for an additional 10.
¦ Standard Aero, a leading MRO service provider, announced two new contracts with Lufthansa CityLine for maintenance on auxiliary power units. The contracts together are worth $9 million. One contract is a Standard Aero trademarked Total Engine Asset Management (TEAM) program. The contract is a five-year, pay-by-the-hour agreement for service on Lufthansa CityLine GTCP36-150RJ APUs produced by Honeywell, on the carrier’s fleet of CRJ200 aircraft. The other contract is a 10-year TEAM maintenance cost guarantee program for Lufthansa’s Honeywell RE220 APUs on the carrier’s Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft.
¦ British Airways has signed a contract with the Met Office for their unique aircraft deicing forecast service to be used at four of its key regional airports in the UK. The airline deicing forecast service uses site-specific forecasts to warn the airline up to five days in advance when deicing of aircraft on the ground is required. The accurate forecasts enable airlines to plan ahead — improving operational efficiency, reducing costs and delays while minimizing environmental impact caused by unnecessary spraying.
¦ Nordic Aero signed a three-year ground handling contract to handle Air France, KLM, City Hopper, City Jet, Regional and Brit Air at Copenhagen Airport. With a start date of April 1, 2008, the contract includes all passenger and baggage handling at Copenhagen Airport, with 75 weekly flights. In addition, an agreement has been extended for another three years for deicing service at Stockholm-Arlanda, Copenhagen and Oslo airports.
¦ After an absence of four years, Fraport Cargo Services (FCS) welcomed long-time customer Japan Airlines (JAL) in its handling again. JAL Cargo agreed with FCS upon a long-term contract for air cargo handling. The Japanese airline has already moved into the FCS warehouse at CargoCity South, where export and import shipments are physically handled by FCS. JAL Cargo is in charge of the document handling of shipments as well the general supervision and coordination.
¦ Nigerian Aviation Handling Company PLC, Nigeria’s foremost ground handling company, has become a full member of Aviance with effect from January 2008. NAHCo offers comprehensive handling services to 26 out of the 35 airlines operating in Nigeria through the major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Jos, Enugu, Kano and Yola.
People in the News
¦ ASIG announced it has named J. Andrew Reeves as vice president, operations for all of ASIG’s North American locations reporting to Keith P. Ryan, president. Under Reeves’ direct leadership will be ASIG’s five regional vice presidents who are responsible for 57 US and Caribbean airports. In his new role, Reeves will guide managing and monitoring operations to achieve the company’s safety, service, financial and growth objectives. Other key areas of responsibility will be setting strategic operating policies and standards to ensure that ASIG’s commitment to delivering quality service and achieving high levels of customer satisfaction are realized. He will also direct ASIG’s sales department in close coordination with growth, customer service and finance objectives. Reeves has been with ASIG and Signature Flight Support since 1990.
¦ In its board-meeting held in Marrakech on Nov. 28, 2007, the Aviance board unanimously re-elected Ignacio Garrido, managing director of Flightcare, as chairman of Aviance, the first international alliance in airport services. Ignacio Garrido has been the driving force of the commercial alliance since 2003, and the Aviance board honored Ignacio’s work during its last board meeting. Garrido will chair the board for a period of another two years.
¦ Mesa Air Group Inc. announced changes to its senior management team. Jorn Bates has been appointed chief operating officer, Mesa Airlines. Bates joined Mesa Air Group in January 2007 as vice president east coast operations and later as president Freedom Airlines. Joe Serratelli joined Mesa as chief operating officer Freedom Airlines, following a career of more than 25 years with Delta Air Lines.
¦ Alaska Air Group announced the election of Gary Beck to the position of vice president of flight operations for Alaska Airlines effective Jan. 7, replacing Kevin Finan, who retired from the airline. Beck is a 34-year veteran of the airline industry with more than 15,000 flight hours. He comes to Alaska from Delta Air Lines, where he served as senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot responsible for 2,000 daily departures and 8,500 pilots at six pilot bases. He was also president and CEO of the Delta Connection Academy in Orlando, Fla., one of the largest pilot training facilities in the world.
¦ Alaska Airlines announced that Elizabeth Ryan has been named managing director of labor relations - air. She is responsible for overseeing the relationship between Alaska and its pilot, dispatcher and flight attendant unions. Ryan, who joined Alaska Airlines in 1998, has more than 20 years of experience in the airline industry in a variety of labor relations roles, representing company and union positions.
¦ US Airways announced the appointment of two executives, pending board of directors’ approval, who will oversee key parts of the airline’s east coast operation. Suzanne Boda has been named senior vice president, east coast, international and cargo operations and Robert Ciminelli has been named vice president, Philadelphia operation. Boda will have responsibilities for the airline’s hub at Philadelphia International Airport, shuttle operations, international operations and the airline’s cargo business. Ciminelli will be responsible for all aspects of the airline’s operations at its Philadelphia hub and will report to Boda.