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March 17, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Lufthansa prepares to launch City Airlines

Lufthansa is moving ahead with plans to launch a new brand, City Airlines.  The website cityairlines.de talks about it being, "the youngest member of the Lufthansa group", and that it will serve European destinations from Munich while offering connections to the wider Lufthansa network. Citing German trade websites and a Lufthansa spokesperson, Air Insight says that recruitment is underway for ground staff, though the final launch date is dependant on successful negotiations with pilot unions. The new City Airlines brand will help Lufthansa recapture inter-European market share, and also offer employment opportunities to 250 former German Wings pilots.

Air Insight Group | Related

Lufthansa-Tochter City Airlines soll schon im Sommer abheben - Reisetopia



Jazeera Airways To Launch New Saudi Low-Cost Carrier

Kuwait's Jazeera Airways has confirmed that it is looking to create a new airline to serve the Saudi Arabian market. This comes just days after the Saudi Government announced the launch of a new airline, Riyadh Air, or RIA. The new airline will be based in Dammam at King Fahd International Airport.  This is in contrast to SAUDIA, primarily based out of Jeddah, and RIA, whose main home will be Riyadh. Jazeera Airways was established in 2004 and currently has 20 aircraft in its fleet, flying to 60 destinations from its base at Kuwait International Airport (KWI). It seems likely that the new airline will make use of the A320 and A321 aircraft, currently in use by Jazeera Airways.

Simple Flying | Related Jazeera Airways to establish new Saudi low-cost carrier - Airways



Airports can be the epicenter of the robot revolution

Many airports are seeing an increase in passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) due to aging populations. One solution to help these passengers get to their gates and to their aircraft is robotics, via automated people movers. This was one of the main points to come out of a SXSW panel session called, “Airports: The Epicenters of the Robot Revolution!”  Other use cases described by the panel included robotic dogs to patrol airport perimeters, automated luggage tugs, and autonomous food delivery units that bring snacks, beverages and retail items to so-called "gate huggers" at the gate. As well as improving the passenger experience, these new automated and robotic solutions have the potential to ease indusry staff shortages.

APEX | Related

6 Travel Innovations We’ve Covered: Did They Live Up to the Promise? - Skift



United Airlines wants to turn algae into jet fuel

United Airlines has announced a $5 million investment into the biofuels company, Viridos. The company specialises in producing Algae Oil, which could be used as the basis for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).  The investment in Viridos is the first to be made as part of the new UAV fund, which United Airlines started in participation with partners that include Air Canada, Boeing and GE Aerospace. Other investors in Viridos as part of a $25 million Series A round include Bill Gates' clean energy VC fund, Breakthrough Energy and Chevron Corporation. Viridos CEO Oliver Fetzer says that the company has increased the productivity of algae by a factor of seven, which is more than halfway to the levels needed for commercial production.

The Hill | Related

Viridos Secures $25M Funding Round From Breakthrough Energy, United Airlines, Chevron - Carbon Herald



Consumer group claims UK passengers owed millions in unpaid refunds and expenses

The UK consumer group 'Which', has claimed that UK passengers are owed £4.5 million ($5.4 million) in County Court Judgements (CCJ) for claims submitted by passengers. In an investigation, Which says that LCC Wizz Air accounts for almost half of that sum.  According to the Which report, the airline has 1,601 ‘outstanding’ county court judgments  – adding up to a total of £2.1 million ($2.55 million).  Large amounts are also outstanding against Ryanair, TUI and easyJet. In response, Wizz Air said that it had settled over 400 cases since December, and that many delays were due to the airline not having received notification from the courts.

The Guardian | Related

Airlines rack up millions of pounds in court judgments – after passenger expenses and refunds aren’t paid - Which



Is cleaner flying possible? Four insiders give their view

An industry panel at this year's SXSW Festival looked at the question of whether, "aviation can be truly clean."  Chaired by ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov, the session included United's Chief Sustainability Officer Lauren Riley, Kirsten Poon of Edmonton Airport and Phoebe Wang of Amazon's Climate Fund.  With 700 new aircraft having been ordered by United from Boeing, Lauren Riley stressed the importance of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), as the kind of planes flying today will largely be the ones flying in 2050. The panel also praised the impact of the US Inflation Reducation Act, in providing the right regulatory framework and incentives for new sustainable aviation technologies to emerge.

SimpliFlying | Related ZeroAvia reveals record breaking hydrogen fuel-cell performance tests - Future Flight



Akasa Air comfy uniform with sneakers goes viral

When it launched last year, Akasa Air made headlines for not going for a traditional cabin crew uniform, but instead embracing "athleisure" style wear including sneakers, an orange top and black trousers.  Now, an Akasa Air passenger has shared an image of a female cabin crew member wearing the uniform, which drew 29,000 reactions and comments on LinkedIn alone.  Comments included praise for "the airline's progressive approach to gender equality", while lauding Akasa Air for a company culture that is "employee friendly, yet effective."  In response to the social media posts, Akasa Air said that, "We believe that providing outstanding service requires a high level of comfort."

India TV | Related

Passenger praises Akasa Air's uniform, airline responds - Hindustan Times




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> Quote of the Day

"Lufthansa Airline has lost a significant share in the European market in recent years. In a highly competitive and fast-paced environment in the short- and medium-haul sector, stable and sustainable solutions are needed to make hub-contact traffic viable for the future."

Lufthansa Spokesperson by email
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The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members are improving every aspect of the airline experience, from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. Visit apex.aero for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.


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