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S UE 0
066 JUNE 2019

Rolls-Royce’s Alan SITA’s latest advances
Newby talks within the smart
aircraft engines airport environment

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Aviation Business connects with Vipula Gunatilleka, group

CEO of SriLankan Airlines, to discuss the future of the carrier


THE A330neo.

The A330neo shares many of the same
innovations as the groundbreaking
A350 XWB, delivering a 25% saving in
fuel consumption compared to others
in the category. Both aircraft also
benefit from a common type rating,
which means pilot training costs are
significantly lower too. And on top
of that, they can be fitted with our
beautifully designed Airspace cabins,
setting a new benchmark in passenger
comfort and wellbeing.

Innovation. We make it fly.


M 8 IS
0 JUNE 2019

Rolls-Royce’s Alan SITA’s latest advances
Newby talks within the smart
aircraft engines airport environment

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June 2019
free Aviation
Business app
and be the first

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Volume 18 Issue 06 CONTENTS
Aviation Business connects with Vipula Gunatilleka, group
CEO of SriLankan Airlines, to discuss the future of the carrier


Etihad Airways unveils customisable economy experience 8
Emirates inks codeshare partnership with LATAM Airlines Brazil 9
SriLankan Airlines moves to increase frequencies to Narita 10
Emirates airline’s chief commercial officer resigns 10
IATA and ACAO join forces to improve aviation in MENA 11
Forwarding arm revenue grows 24% for UPS in first quarter 12
Flynas eyes upgrade to its Airbus A320neo order 13

During last month’s Arabian Travel Market 2019,
Aviation Business got the chance to connect with
Vipula Gunatilleka, group CEO of SriLankan Airlines,
to discuss the carrier’s future and its role in restoring
Sri Lanka’s reputation as tourist hotspot
An inside look at Africa’s largest air cargo
terminal managed by Ethiopian Airlines

Acciona ME’s Jesús Sancho on the challenges
of maitaining an airport

Jihad Boueri, SITA, shares the latest on
smart airport technologies June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 3


MRO Finnair selects Magnetic MRO to oversee ATF aircraft maintenance 37
GROUND SERVICES Etihad Cargo announces Emirati leadership appointments 38
TECHNOLOGY Air Arabia launches ‘SkyTime’ IFE platform 40

32 35


The airline has introduced several improvements to the cabin The two organisations will work closely together to advance
experience, particularly within its business-class offering infrastructure systems for hybrid and electric aircraft



PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE
Tel: + 971 4 444 3000
Offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London & Mumbai


CEO Ali Akawi

EDITOR’S LETTER Managing Director Alex Reeve

Group Editorial Director Greg Wilson

Pay attention EDITORIAL

Editor Alexander Sophoclis Pieri

Tel: +971 4 444 3305 email:

and listen ADVERTISING

Group Sales Director Mark Palmer

Tel: +971 4 444 3398 email:
ragedy struck the world of aviation last month with Sales Manager Siobhan Gillespie
the death of 41 people, who were killed after the crash Tel: +971 4 444 3671 email:

landing of an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet-100 at Moscow’s

Sheremetyevo airport. Facing technical difficulties early
General Manager Ahmad Bashour
into the flight, the flight crew were forced to turn back towards Tel: +971 4 444 3549, email:
the airport, where Flight SU1492 experienced a bumpy landing
that led to an engine catching fire. Carrying 73 passengers and PHOTOGRAPHY
five crew, a total of 37 survivors managed to get off the aircraft Senior Photographers Rajesh Raghav,
on time. Efraim Evidor, Adel Rashid

While the investigation into the tragedy is still ongoing, the Staff Photographers Aasiya Jagadeesh, Yuliya Petrovich,
Fritz Asuro, Ajith Narendra, Jessica Samson
incident ignited backlash around the world after it came to light
that a number of survivors took extra time to retrieve their hand PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION
carry baggage before exiting the aircraft. At the time, there was Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith
speculation as to whether the actions of these passengers re- Production Manager Basel Al Kassem
sulted in the deaths of other travellers on board. Production Coordinator Imad Aad

I do have to agree that one’s life is more valuable than any- Senior Image Editor Emmalyn Robles

thing found in the average hand carry, though I will admit that CIRCULATION
not everyone thinks clearly in such situations. The important Head of Circulation Vanessa D’Souza
thing is to keep as calm as possible and to follow the instruc- CIRCULATION EXECUTIVE Loreta Regencia
tions of the flight crew.
So here is my PSA for the month. I know as a frequent flyer it MARKETING
Director of Awards & Marketing Daniel Fewtrell
is all too easy to ignore that safety video at the start of the flight.
Events Manager Teri Dunstan
Surely, since I have seen it a thousand times, I’ll remember what
to do in case of emergency, right? Well, just to be safe, consider ITP GROUP
giving it your full attention from time to time. You may be sur- Chairman Andrew Neil
prised at what you learn. CEO Ali Akawi
CFO Toby Jay Spencer-Davies

Safe Travels!
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RedCargo, Oman Air ink e-commerce deal
RADAR The partnership is expected to expand Oman Air’s reach into the markets of Asia

Etihad Airways unveils

customisable economy experience
Unveiled during this year’s Arab Travel Market, the revised cabins will be featured
initially on regional Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft

Boasting a selection of over 300 hours of content, passengers will be able to connect to the platform via a browser.

As part of its participation at last brand, shaping the future of travel as the perior, commercially wise and sustain-
month’s Arab Travel Market 2019 market constantly changes. We are bring- able service offering.”
(ATM), Etihad Airways, the national ing the leadership and innovation to Econ- The economy class cabin upgrades that
carrier of the UAE, has unveiled a com- omy travel which we have long established are being added on the carrier’s fleet of
prehensive economy transformation in our award-winning Business, First and A320 and A321 aircraft, which have tra-
programme that will bring substantial The Residence cabins,” said Tony Doug- ditionally been utilised for short-haul re-
changes to its infl ight experience. las, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad gional services, will also feature a spacious
Set to be deployed on the carrier’s Aviation Group. seat design that was put together by Acro,
fleet of 23 narrowbody Airbus A320 and “As part of our ‘Choose Well’ prom- a UK-based aircraft seat manufacturer.
A321 aircraft, the retrofit programme ise, we are empowering our guests with In addition to the novel seat improve-
features personalised wireless stream- more control of their travel experiences, ments and entertainment platform, the
ing that can connect with smartphones through onboard digital transformation, airline has also revealed it is transform-
and tablet devices. improved choice and redesigned cabins ing the Economy dining experience on
The idea is that passengers will be and products. all of its fl ights. The move is seen as the
able to log on and connect via a browser “As a leading full-service airline, carrier’s latest efforts in refi ning its in-
to Etihad’s onboard Panasonic eXW sys- Etihad is adapting to meet the specific fl ight catering.
tem. With a selection of over 300 hours of needs and requirements of all travellers, The announcements were made as
inflight entertainment, travellers will have providing more of what they really want part of a new advertising campaign ‘Go
the option to stream the content directly to to enjoy infl ight. This not only delivers Your Own Way’ that was showcased at
their device of choice. greater choice and personalisation, but it ATM against Fleetwood Mac’s classic of
“Etihad has always been a challenger also ensures we continue to provide a su- the same name.


Air India plans more Dubai Flights
The airline will add two flights daily on its Delhi-Dubai and Mumbai-Dubai routes RADAR

Emirates inks codeshare partnership

with LATAM Airlines Brazil
Passengers flying with Emirates will now be able to connect with 17 cities under
LATAM’s domestic network
LATAM Airlines Brazil and Emirates
Airline have signed a new codeshare
partnership that covers domestic ser-
vices in Brazil.
As per the agreement, passengers
flying with Emirates to and from Bra-
zil will now have access to 17 cities in
LATAM’s domestic network.
Similarly, passengers travelling
from Brazil will have the opportunity
to fly to Emirates’ Dubai hub and con-
nect on to the Middle East’s global
network of 150 destinations. Addition-
ally, passengers flying to Dubai have c Passengers flying with Emirates to and from Brazil will now have access to 17 cities in LATAM’s domestic network.
the option of booking a Dubai stopover
package, along with being able to take SVP, Strategic Planning, Revenue Opti- Emirates’ current Brazil offer-
advantage of a 90-day, free of charge mization and Aeropolitical Affairs. ings consist of daily services to Dubai
visa on arrival. “We continuously invest in providing from Sao Paulo, served by an A380,
“We’re pleased to establish a partner- more benefits to our customers. With along with fl ights to Rio de Janeiro,
ship with LATAM Airlines Brazil pro- our award-winning product and strong which will soon be operated by Boe-
viding our passengers with increased partners in Brazil, we look forward to ing 777-200LR from 1 June 2019. Once
choice, flexibility and ease of connection continuing supporting the country’s deployed, travellers can fly with the
to different cities within Brazil,” said growing inbound tourist numbers and Boeing 777-200LR to Buenos Aires and
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ divisional business trade opportunities.” Santiago de Chile from Rio de Janeiro.

SpiceJet ups game with business class offering

The low-cost carrier’s business class package features priority check-in, lounge access, as
well as a spacious seating, gourmet meals and beverages during the fl ight
INFLIGHT Travellers flying with the airline will
Announced in a pre-launch message on its be able to purchase business class tickets
official Twitter account, Indian low-cost on domestic routes between popular desti-
carrier SpiceJet has unveiled the launch nations, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata,
of a new business class offering. Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Going into effect from 11 May, Spice- Back in April 2019, the Gurugram-
Jet will offer business travellers priority based carrier inked a memorandum of
check-in and lounge access, along with understanding (MoU) to enter into a code-
spacious seating, gourmet meals and bev- formerly operated by Jet Airways and share agreement with Emirates Airlines.
erages during the flight. received on lease. Once approved, the codeshare would
The new business class seats will SpiceJet will offer eight, 12 and 28 initially add six Indian destinations into
be introduced on the carrier’s newly business-class seats on B737-700/800/900 Emirates’ network: Amritsar, Jaipur,
acquired Boeing 737NGs, which were aircraft respectively. Pune, Mangalore, Madurai and Calicut. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 9

Air Arabia to acquire 100 new planes
The airline is exploring options between aerospace manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing

SriLankan Airlines moves to increase

frequencies to Narita
The announcement was made as part of the national carrier’s celebration of flying to Narita
for the last 35 years
As part of its 35-year celebration of servic-
ing its Colombo to Tokyo route, SriLan-
kan Airlines has announced an increase
in frequencies of up to five per week.
As the only carrier to operate non-
stop from Tokyo to Colombo, SriLan-
kan Airlines continues to serve as the
carrier of choice for Japanese travellers
heading to Sri Lanka. In 2018 alone,
the country welcomed nearly 50,000
Japanese travellers.
The newly-announced frequencies will
be added to the airline’s current operation
of four flights a week, which is serviced by
its Airbus 330-300 fleet.
Starting from 16 July 2019, the fifth
frequency will depart Narita on Tues-
days at 1120 hours and will arrive in Co-
lombo at 1710. The route will continue to be serviced by the airline’s fleet of A330-300 aircraft.
Each Airbus 330-300 on the route
features 28 business class flatbeds, along those aiming to visit during the upcom- operates a route network of 111 cities in
with 269 economy class seats. ing 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 48 countries from Colombo. Additionally,
The added flights are expected to Tokyo Olympics. the airline connects to over 1,000 cities in
prove favourable with South Indian trav- SriLankan Airlines, a member of one- 160 countries as part of its membership
ellers hoping to visit Japan, particularly world global airline partnership, today with the oneworld programme.

Emirates airline’s chief commercial officer resigns

Frenchman Thierry Antinori joined the Dubai-based carrier back in 2011
Prior to joining Emirates, Antinori
Emirates airline’s chief commercial of- held senior commercial positions at both
ficer Thierry Antinori has resigned from Lufthansa and Air France.
his position, the airline confirmed today. The resignation comes just days after
Antinori, the executive vice president the airline announced its full year results
and chief commercial officer at Emir- that revealed a 69% fall in profit.
ates, managed commercial operations While Emirates saw revenues increase
and products, Emirates Skywards and commercial officer. With an aviation career by 6 percent to AED97.9 billion ($26.7
Emirates Skycargo. that spans nearly 30 years, Frenchman An- billion), profits declined year-on-year to
The airline has appointed Adnan Ka- tinori joined the Dubai carrier in 2011, first AED871 million. Antinori oversaw a part-
zim, divisional senior vice president, Stra- as executive vice president for Passenger nership alignment last year that saw Emir-
tegic Planning, Revenue Optimisation and Sales Worldwide. In June 2013, he was pro- ates Skywards become the loyalty pro-
Aeropolitical Affairs as the acting chief moted to chief commercial officer. gramme for both Emirates and Flydubai.


flynas heads to Riyadh
and New Delhi

IATA and ACAO join forces to

improve aviation in MENA
Under the terms of the MoU, the two parties will exchange
information and expertise across various aspects of aviation

c The two parties will collaborate on activities related to aviation safety and flight operations, to name a few.

PARTNERSHIP will be key. This MoU will strengthen

The International Air Transport Associa-
tion (IATA) and The Arab Civil Aviation
IATA’s historic and strategic relationship
with ACAO”.
Organization (ACAO) have inked a memo- As per the agreement, the two parties future airports!
randum of understanding (MoU) that will will exchange information and expertise
focus on advancing the Middle East and across various aspects of aviation. This in-
North Africa’s aviation market. cludes safety and flight operations, regula- 22nd
“Aviation and related-tourism already tory harmonisation, environment, treaties International Exhibition
support some 2.4 million jobs and contrib-
ute $130bn to the MENA region’s GDP.
and ICAO standards, the value of avia-
tion and future trends in air transport, as
for Airport Equipment,
With passenger demand expected to dou- well as infrastructure, capacity building Technology,
ble by 2037, these benefits could reach 4.3 and training. Design & Services
million jobs and $345bn, respectively,” “ACAO aims to strengthen cooperation
commented Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s and coordination among Arab countries
Regional Vice-President for Africa and the
Middle East.
in the field of civil aviation. The MoU
with IATA will strengthen the coopera-
8 – 11 OCTOBER
“But aviation’s ability to deliver this tion between states and the aviation in- 2019
growth is dependent on enhancing already dustry, a key partnership for the advance-
high safety levels, achieving a harmonized ment of civil aviation and the promotion Munich Trade Fair Centre
regulatory environment and improve- of universal standards. Twenty-one coun- Germany
ments to infrastructure and capacity- tries across the Arab world will ben-
building. And we must accomplish this efit from this important step taken with
while ensuring environmental sustainabil- IATA,” said Abdennebi Manar, director
ity. Strong partnerships with governments general of ACAO. Organisers: Mack Brooks Exhibitions June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 11

Emirates Pass returns with 50% discounts
Those flying between 1 May - 31 August will have access to the discount for 500 UAE destinations

Forwarding arm revenue grows 24%

for UPS in fi rst quarter
UPS’ first-quarter 2019 earnings were strengthened by higher-quality revenue and benefits
from investments in its global network
UPS’ first-quarter 2019 earnings were
strengthened by higher-quality revenue
and benefits from investments in its glob-
al network, with the forwarding arm one
of the strongest performers.
First-quarter adjusted results exclude
a pre-tax charge of US $123 million, or
$0.11 per share after tax, due to Transfor-
mation-related charges. These projects First-quarter adjusted results exclude a pre-tax charge of $123m, or $0.11 per share after tax.
will create efficiencies across the enter-
prise and produce higher-quality revenue daily volume and higher-quality revenue. in the quarter and will continue to gain
growth, it said in a release. U.S Domestic continued a positive momentum going forward.”
“The first quarter marked a good start trend, increasing business-to-business vol- Supply Chain and Freight produced
to the year, as we executed against our ume once again this quarter. Revenue grew strong profit growth in the quarter. The
strategy and generated solid performance to US $253 million or 2.5% over 1Q 2018. segment also expanded operating margins,
across our business,” said David Abney, Additionally, investments in new automat- driven by disciplined cost-management ini-
UPS chairman and CEO. ed hubs contributed to improvements in op- tiatives and the flexibility of the network to
“Our Transformation initiatives are en- erational measures including productivity adapt to changing market conditions.
hancing revenue quality and creating net- gains and slower growth in unit costs. “Supply Chain and Freight generated
work efficiencies that will increase our long- “We are bending the cost curve in excellent operating profit this quarter, with
term earnings power. We are on a path to our U.S. Domestic segment as highly strong contributions from Coyote and the
take advantage of growth opportunities and automated hubs come online, produc- rest of our Forwarding unit,” said Abney.
enhance our future performance,” he added. ing improved productivity benefits,” “We continue to execute our asset-light
Consolidated revenue increased to said Abney. “These improvements con- strategies, while providing our customers
$17.2 billion, driven by gains in average tributed to the segment’s performance with the high-quality service they expect.”

SriLankan Airlines announces executive appointments

Joshua Bustos and Shaminda Samaraweera will serve as CCO and CFO, respectively
industries that includes telecommuni-
Expanding its executive leadership, cations, banking and navigation, Sa-
SriLankan Airlines recently announced maraweera has held leadership positions
the appointments of Joshua Bustos as in organisations, such as Etisalat Lanka,
chief commercial officer and Shaminda Ceylon Tobacco Company, Dialog Axiata
Samaraweera as chief financial officer. work sounding board and revenue man- PLC, and NAVTEQ North America.
A veteran with over 20 years of experi- agement advisory board at Star Alliance The new CFO is currently a member
ence working in the global aviation sector, during his time at South African Airways. of the Chartered Global Management Ac-
Bustos has held a number of key positions Appointed as the national carrier of count (USA) and a fellow of Chartered In-
in a number of airlines across the world. Sri Lanka’s chief financial officer, Sa- stitute of Management Accountants (UK).
This includes tenures with American Air- maraweera brings over 15 years of senior- Both Bustos and Samaraweera’s ap-
lines and Safi Airways, to name a few. level corporate experience to the role. pointments were officially confirmed at
Additionally, Bustos served on the net- Having worked across a variety of the close of April.


Emirates’ profits drop 69%, no staff bonus
While revenue increase by 6% to reach AED97.9bn, profits declined 69% y-o-y to AED871m

Flynas eyes upgrade to its Airbus

A320neo order
The low-cost carrier has also unveiled plans to launch a possible Africa, Balkan hub
within five years

c The airline – which is partly owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding – placed the $8.6 billion order for the A320neos in 2017.

ORDERS 10 wide-body jets. The decision to choose Flynas also has plans to open a hub in
Saudi airline Flynas is considering up- Airbus A330neo or Boeing 787-9 planes West Africa or the Balkans within five
grading an existing order for 80 Airbus depends on the engine makers. years to expand beyond its oversupplied
A320neo jets to also include the larger “If Rolls Royce doesn’t resolve the domestic market.
A321 model, CEO Bandar Abdulrahman problem with its Trent 1000 engine, we The carrier has 20 percent of the do-
Al-Mohanna said on Tuesday. won’t be signing with them,” he said. Rolls mestic market and expects to grow pas-
The airline – which is partly owned is the only supplier for the Airbus plane. sengers by at least 6 percent in the next
by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Flynas is currently in talks with inter- five years.
Holding – placed the $8.6 billion order for national banks to raise between $250 mil- “Since we are a short-haul carrier, we
the A320neos in 2017. lion and $300 million to finance aircraft seek to link those hubs with the current
“We [have] started evaluating and are order payments. hubs in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Mohanna said.
in discussions with Airbus,” he told Reu- Mohanna added that the airline ex- “The demand is high but there’s
ters in an interview, adding that the larger pects a report a profit for the fifth consecu- overcapacity so ticket prices are less
aircraft would be used for flights to the In- tive time this year, although he said that than the cost.”
dian sub-continent and North Africa. overcapacity in the kingdom’s domestic The carrier competes with three other
Mohanna did not disclose how many market is driving down ticket prices. Saudi-based carriers on internal routes,
A321neos it could place in an upgraded “The situation in the domestic market which weighs on fares.
order or when a decision would be taken. is not healthy. The overcapacity is huge,” “Last year we started exploring mar-
Additionally, the carrier is expected he said. kets that are untapped by other Saudi
to conclude negotiations with Airbus or The airline is expected to take delivery airlines, such as Georgia, Azerbaijan and
Boeing by the end of year to buy at least of five A320neo aircraft this year. Vienna,” Al-Mohanna said. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 13


THE IN AND OUT OF Ethiopian Airlines’ new


air cargo terminal in
Addis Ababa features over
38,000sqm of space that can

store up to 600,000 tons of
fresh food

aunched back at the start of vestment, we want to establish our capital heavy aluminium containers weighing
2019 as part of a collaboration not only as a freight hub for the African up to 6.8 tons.
ACUNIS, who helped implement continent, but also as an international Another key feature of the facility is
the project, Ethiopian Airlines’ cargo hub. This puts us in direct competi- the deployment of a warehouse manage-
new 38,000sqm air cargo terminal is re- tion with hubs like Dubai,” said Tewolde ment system (WMS). Powered by a
portedly the largest in Africa. GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines UniWare software platform, the control
With a space that equates to the size during an interview with Logistics system manages all warehouse slots and
of five soccer pitches, the new facility Middle East. coordinates all automatic and manual
features refrigeration zones and a dry At the heart of the new complex is the movement of goods. This includes the
storage space capable of processing up to freight centre, which is divided into a re- transportation of goods between landside
600,000 tons of fresh food and dry goods. frigeration zone comprising of 17,000sqm and airside.
Products such as dry goods, coffee, with temperature ranges from 2 to 10 de- “Our WMS has interfaces to all cargo
meat, flowers, fruits and vegetables can grees Celsius, as well as a non-refrigerat- hosts and thereby ensures reliable
be now be sorted and shipped around ed dry zone boasting 19,000sqm of space. processes in the sophisticated cargo
the world via Addis Ababa. Additionally, Featuring two automatic warehouses logistics. UniWare is currently in use
the new air cargo facility has expand- for air cargo containers (unit load de- at more than 12 international airports,”
ing the capacity of the existing air vices, ULDs), containers of various sizes commented project manager Sebastian
freight terminal, also constructed by can be combined in the 20 foot compart- Sommer of ACUNIS.
the ACUNIS Group. From 350,000 tons ments. This then allows up to 1,000 10ft Not resting on its laurels, Ethiopian
per year, Ethiopian Airlines now has the ULDs to be stored simultaneously. Airlines has shared plans for future ex-
capacity to manage nearly one million Four fully automatic elevating trans- pansion of the facility that will include a
tons annually. fer vehicles (ETV) are also present planned addition to boost capacity to 1.2
“In the long term, in making this in- onsite that are utilised to transport million tons per year.



38,000m2 600,000 1 million

The size of
Number of tons that Ethiopian Airlines’
Ethiopian Airlines’
can be processed by revised annually
new air cargo
the new facility capacity in tons

Comprehensive ETV at the fore

Four fully automatic elevating transfer
freight centre vehicles (ETV) are on site that can
handle aluminium containers weighing
up to 6.8 tons.




EARLY BIRD Aviation Business

Awards 2019

GETS THE WORM Categories

This month’s coverage of Support, this year’s AVB Middle East
the upcoming Aviation Awards will be held on the 9 October 2019. • TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION OF
Business Awards 2019 To submit nominations for the upcom-
takes a quick look at ing awards, or to make an advanced table
booking, firstly, please visit - www.aviation-
nomination submissions
and table bookings Nominating is once again free and sim-
ple to do. The awards website will pro-

his month, our coverage for vide you with a number of questions that
the 13th edition of the Aviation you must answer in under 500 words. • GROUND SUPPORT SERVICES
Business Middle East Awards, Each nomination must be accompanied PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
we will take a closer at the by a single PDF file, no larger than • ENGINEERING INNOVATION OF
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We would also like to quickly point out the nomination directly through • FBO OF THE YEAR
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Jesús Sancho, regional manager of Acciona ME, discusses the complex
challenges of delivering facilities management at an airport facility

ubai International Airport was convention, trade and exhibition com- ist aviation department, Perkins+Will
named the busiest interna- plexes, as well as office buildings that looks at maximising a destination’s eco-
tional airport for the fourth accommodate travel-intensive executives nomic opportunity by focusing on the end
consecutive year in 2017, and professionals. The rapid expansion user experience — in the case of aviation,
measured by total passengers at 88.2 of airport-linked commercial facilities is it is the passenger. So, how can we influ-
million, an increase of 5.5% from 2016. making it one of today’s drivers of met- ence purchasing decisions, from which
Therefore, it makes sense for the UAE to ropolitan development where travellers airline to take, to what to purchase from
maximise economic opportunities for its and locals alike can conduct business, ex- duty-free to your destination, through de-
tourist industry by looking at how to pos- change knowledge, shop, eat, sleep and sign? There is a multitude of factors, but
itively affect the passenger experience. be entertained without going more than the driver? Understanding your audience.
Major airports have become key 15 minutes from the airport. This func- Airports are a stressful place, often
engines powering local economic devel- tional and spatial evolution is transform- people are charged with emotions when
opment, attracting aviation-linked busi- ing many city airports into airport cities, departing or arriving, they are a place
nesses of all types. These include hotel, also known as the Aerotropolis. that in this day and age effects many
entertainment, retail, food and beverage, As an architecture firm with a special- people. Only a few decades ago, air travel



was a rare experience for the privileged ‘strictly for travel’ purposes. This, to me,
few. Today, most people have travelled seems a very obvious and natural step,
on an aeroplane, and many people fly and I am looking forward to seeing who
frequently. We look to understand a pas- the pioneer will be.
senger’s stress points, their way of find- While stress points in airports are
ing a preference, physical movement and an element of contention, there are
emotional connections with space. many ways to alleviate this factor. A re-
Effective emotional design speaks to search document published by Rutgers
two main elements: Business School in 2016 shows that
The identity and feeling of an airport consumers in a state of stress are far
can install initial trust in a passenger less willing to spend than consumers in
or indeed lose their trust and create a positive state of mind, specifically feel-
anxiety. If there is an aspect of design ing in control of their environment. So,
that evokes negative emotions with c Jesús Sancho, regional manager of Acciona ME. as designers it is our job to create that
the normal person, that memory will positive feeling and reduce stress in or-
stay with them forever, but, conversely, Airports should be der to encourage passenger spending,
positive signals and calming designed amount of dwell time in an airport and
spaces will have a positive impact on designed not as large their likelihood of a return visit. Stress
passengers. It is more than a ‘welcome warehouse space with can be affected by anything from long
to this airport’ sign - it’s how the prop- queues to colours, or travel distance.
erty functions. Once a passenger is just stuff in them but a For example, passengers do not like to
past a favourable first impression, they place that welcomes and walk further than 250 metres at any given
will look for that next pulse point sig- time, so what can we do about this? We
nal - what do they need to do next and excites, that promotes a can break up long distances by install-
why. Clear navigation and intuitively- sense of pride in a place ing travellators or adding an experience.
designed elements will prepare them Stress is impacted by almost every touch
for the next process in their journey, and a venue where point a passenger will experience includ-
guiding them to the destination point. passengers are excited to ing ease of wayfinding, security transpar-
Because the average human atten- ency and the development of a sense
tion span is short, you need to address go to and be in.” of location. Because all passengers are
‘what’s the value of the space? Is the different, it is also important to ensure
space worthwhile spending time in? a venue where passengers are excited to space remains flexible, physically and
Is the product or service worth pay- go to and be in. They should be timeless, technically, space should be experiential.
ing for?’ Making the answers to those they should be adaptable, flexible, and Bringing the balm of nature indoors is
questions easily attainable will facilitate they should be about and for the pas- a key objective within an airport terminal.
positive feelings. senger. Therefore, we as architects and Research shows people’s ability to focus
It is important to remember that not designers, need to think outside the box and relax goes up when they see and ex-
every airport has the same function, so of ways to make the journey through the perience nature. As an example, a space
there are scales of airports to consider. airport as enjoyable and intuitive as pos- that mimics an outdoor nature experi-
Airports can be big aerotropolis cities sible. For the greater good of the passen- ence would have a much higher success
or they can be part-time used air fields ger, the investor and for the community. and occupancy rate should it be free to
in remote areas. Whatever the size and A few key focus areas can make a the passengers to make use of and spend
function, airports need to consider their huge difference. Let’s take retail as an time in it. Thus also giving operators a
passengers more effectively, the context obvious one, with traffic in 2018 forecast return on their investment.
of their location and the service that they to grow 2.4% to 90.3 million in Dubai An airport is basically a large proces-
are providing. International Airport alone, there is a sor, there are of course compulsory
Airports should be seen as a destina- huge opportunity to increase consumer processes that need to be followed for
tion space, the business card of that spending. For retail to truly evolve, it international security and safety and
country or region so to speak. Airports needs to be more inclusive of non-pas- there are many think tanks on how to
should be designed not as large ware- sengers. We should look to create a des- break down these processes to make
house space with just stuff in them but tination where, not only can passengers it easier for the passenger. However,
a place that welcomes and excites, that spend more time with their loved ones, there is still a large element of the un-
promotes a sense of pride in a place and but the space can be used outside of known for the passenger. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 19


Jihad Boueri, vice president of Airports and Airlines, SITA, shares his company’s
latest advances within the ‘smart airport’ environment

VB: Can you quickly delve at more than 400 airports in more than
into the various platform 100 countries spanning the globe from
solution that you have Anchorage to Auckland.
designed to help airline SITA AirportHubTM is an airport-wide
connectivity in the “smart airport” shared connectivity platform that en-
environment? sures airports can provide their airlines,
Jihad Boueri: Airports are the centre ground handlers and other tenants with
of the industry’s communications and secure and reliable bandwidth, including
are becoming ever more connected. wireless connectivity to access off-airport
By 2030, 18,000 airline communica- applications.
tion connections will be needed at the AirportHubTM makes it easier than
world’s airports. The smart airport ever before for airlines to connect all
market in the Middle East region is their applications and IT systems at an
expected to reach $850m in spending airport quickly and easily. It removes the
by 2020. complexity of dealing with local telecom
The number and size of airports is providers and adds flexibility and agility
also rising; 500 new airports — a 30% to route management.
increase over today — and a 40% ca-
pacity growth in existing airports. The AVB: Last year, SITA was tapped by
challenge the industry faces with this Saudi Arabia’s GACA to help modern- Jihad Boueri, VP of Airports and Airlines, SITA.
expansion is having reliable, secure, high ise the country’s airports. Can you
performance communications — consist- share details on the collaboration As part of the technology upgrade,
ently across the world’s airports – for and the various areas SITA will work SITA is deploying its AirportConnect
airlines, ground handlers, maintenance on improving? Open platform, which can be leveraged
companies, other airport tenants and JB: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of by airlines to work seamlessly at airports
the airports themselves. Civil Aviation (GACA) partnered with using common facilities. It also offers a
One way SITA is meeting this demand SITA to support the modernisation of self-service experience from check-in
is by rolling out AirportHubTM — its 26 airports across the country. to boarding.
shared communications platform — to The collaboration marked a major Additionally, the platform delivers
a growing number of airports. Today milestone in the partnership between future-proof infrastructure that will sup-
SITA has implemented AirportHubTM the GACA and SITA. port the implementation of new solutions
such as biometric single-token travel and
common-use payment systems.
It has also been supported by the intro-
By 2030, 18,000 airline communication duction of Wide Area Network (WAN) and
connections will be needed at the world’s air- Local Area Network (LAN) connectivity
ports. The smart airport market in the across all airports.
SITA is also offering GACA a baggage
Middle East region is expected to reach management solution that allows GACA
$850m in spending by 2020.” airports to meet the baggage tracking



requirements of IATA’s Resolution 753. nology. We have Smart Path in use at more we can automate the passenger
SITA’s technology will enable airlines to five airports globally now, including process, the better and faster the
track and capture baggage data at check- Brisbane; Muscat, Oman; Orlando and travel experience, as we have seen at
in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer Boston (with JetBlue) with several other Orlando and other airports globally.
and on arrival. US and European airports coming on What we have also seen is that the
Simultaneously, SITA is installing its stream this year. more passengers use technology, the
airport management solution and flight happier they are. The 2017 Passenger IT
information display system at Jeddah’s AVB: In 2018, SITA unveiled its Air Trends survey showed that, for example,
King Abdulaziz International Airport. Transport IT Insights. What were passengers who used biometrics over
The new solutions will offer real-time some of the key lessons learned from face-to-face transaction were more sat-
information to help GACA proactively the research? How have you moved to isfied. In fact, they rated the biometric
manage their resources across the air- capitalised on those revelations? experience 8.4, well above the ratings
port. JB: The Air Transport IT Insights 2018 for face-to-face transactions at passport
The airport management solution will survey showed that overall, invest- check (8) and boarding (8.2).
be implemented at an additional 21 GACA ment in technology is rising, with air- Airports are exploring various tech-
airports before the end of the year. port spend rising almost 6% year on nologies and establishing innovation
SITA has also installed Airport iVali- year to US$ 10 billion. partnerships to develop their capacities.
date gates at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz Technology which helps airports bet- Looking specifically at IoT, our The
International Airport and Riyadh’s King ter manage the growth in passenger Air Transport IT Insights 2018 survey
Khalid International Airport. iValidate, numbers is an area SITA is strong focused shows implementation of Internet of
a passenger document authentication on. We are investing in technology to Things (IoT) initiatives for airport-based
system, automates verification of all automate, and even, eliminate tedious passenger services remains low. Instead
types of boarding passes, including mo- processes in the airport making air travel we see initiatives for operational ser-
bile boarding and home-printed passes easier at every step. vices at airports have seen higher im-
As an example, in the US, SITA’s biom- plementation with 27% having adopted
AVB: One novel solution introduced etric technology is being used in place of ‘geographic information systems’, and
in recent memory by SITA is its Smart the traditional boarding pass, ID check 15% having adopted each of ‘monitoring
Path solution. Could you share some and a government border check. This airport-based equipment’ and ‘monitor-
more insights on what Smart Path is the airline and government check in ing location/condition of assets’.
does and its impact on the overall air- one step. IoT, together with other technologies
port experience? We trialed this technology at Orlando such as artificial intelligence will allow
JB: SITA Smart Path is unique in the airport with British Airways and the US airports to better understand what is
market: designed to meet the de- Customs and Border Protection (CBP). We happening in their airport and manage
mands of the world’s airlines for a gave British Airways’ passengers the op- their resources better. Baggage is a good
common-use, biometric, passenger tion of biometric boarding at the gate, on example where IoT could be used to track
self-service solution. Any airport and flights from Orlando to London Gatwick baggage across the journey and using
any airline using any common-use and there was almost 100% take up. The AI to make intelligent decisions on how
platform can use SITA Smart Path and airline was able to board a flight with baggage should be managed.
the biometric solution can be extend- 240 passengers in around 10 minutes. Blockchain is fast emerging as the pri-
ed throughout the airport to include Based on this success, Orlando airport ority technology for future exploration
any processes and checkpoints that have now chosen SITA’s solution to be among airport and airline CIOs globally.
require document checks. deployed at all of their 30 international One of the key benefits of blockchain
This technology will be instrumental gates and will be used by several airlines. technology is the ability to have multi-
to achieving a walkthrough passenger enterprise applications. These work
experience by allowing passengers to AVB: From your viewpoint, what across multiple organizations locking
quickly complete each step in the journey technologies will become increas- data immutably into the blockchain
using their biometric as identity. What ingly relevant in future designs of rather than having individual applica-
this means for capacity is that more airport terminals and what factors tions running separately and exchanging
passengers can be processed through are driving their development? data on a case-by-case basis. This is how
the same check point, ensuring a steady JB: Digitization offers a wide range of this technology can provide a ‘single
flow of passengers through the various possibilities. New technologies can be source of truth’ to all stakeholders. Today,
travel steps. used to make airport processes more 59% of airlines have pilot or research
Increasingly airports globally are efficient, almost automatically result- programs planned around blockchain
seeing the benefit of this sort of tech- ing in an increase in capacity. The for implementation by 2021. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 21





During last month’s Arabian Travel Market 2019,

Aviation Business got the chance to connect with Vipula
Gunatilleka, group CEO of SriLankan Airlines, to
discuss the carrier’s future and its role in restoring
Sri Lanka’s reputation as tourist hotspot
By Alexander Sophoclis Pieri June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 23


SriLankan Airlines has laid plans to increase frequencies to destinations in the Middle East, such as Jeddah, Muscat, and Abu Dhabi.

t is difficult to discuss the current source markets to Sri Lanka hailed
state of the country of Sri Lanka We are currently from the countries of India, China, UK,
without touching upon the recent
Easter Sunday bombings that took
pursuing the Germany and France.
While there isn’t much data on the cur-
place back on 21 April 2019. The hor- expansion of cargo rent state of tourism in Sri Lanka follow-
rific attacks that cost the lives of 258
people and injured another 500, has
operations ing the attacks, the fact that travel advi-
sories are still in place across the world,
had a significant impact on the nation’s for potential as well as reports from local media that
tourism market.
According to figures from the 2017
destinations paint a stark picture, things are not look-
ing up for the Asia-Pacific nation.
Annual Statistical Report produced by for freighter In an effort to restore the country’s
the Sri Lanka Tourism Development
Authority (SLTDA), the countr y re-
operations, to reputation as a premium holiday destina-
tion, the government of Sri Lanka and
ceived 2.1 million international tourists support exports on key players active within the tourism
in that year alone.
Contributing $3,924.9mn in foreign
the home base segment have stepped up their efforts in
revitalising the nation’s travel industry.
exchange earnings and 4.5% to Sri exports into One of those parties aiding the gov-
Lanka’s GDP for 2017, the countr y
also saw the total foreign guests nights
Europe and the ernment’s efforts in this endeavour is
SriLankan Airlines, the national car-
surpassing 23 million. The top tourist United States.” rier. Present at last month’s Arabian



Travel Market 2019 (ATM), Vipula come to Colombo and then go on,”
Gunatilleka, group CEO, reaffirmed said Gunatilleka.
his airline’s commitment to promoting Of course, the Middle East is not the
travel and tourism to Sri Lanka. only region that the carrier is currently
“Sri Lanka as the national carrier focused on. Back at the start of April,
is working very closely with the tour- SriLankan Airlines unveiled a new five-
ist board and various industry groups year strategic plan aimed bolstering
to promote our online destinations the airline group’s brand visibility and
through joint marketing programs and reputation within the global market.
special promotions,” said Gunatilleka. A central focus of the plan is on the
A familiar presence at the ATM continued development of its route
travel and tourism exhibition held network, through the launch of new
annually in Dubai, Gunatilleka high- destinations, as well as strategic code-
lighted the rising importance of the share partnerships and alliances. And
GCC market for the carrier. Though while the recent events in Sri Lanka
the number of GCC tourists travelling will force the airline’s leadership to
to Sri Lanka has always been low, the rethink some of their objectives, the
value of the region lies with its size- plan to expand network reach is still in
able expat population. the cards.
“I would say if you look at the total “When we were looking at the strat-
number of tourists arrivals and distri- egy for the next five years, we looked
bution from the GCC market, it has at the growth in tourism as a major fac- Vipula Gunatilleka, group CEO, SriLankan Airlines.
been about four to five percent. But tor for Sri Lanka, so we were tr ying to
that is without taking into account capitalise and harness tourism,” Paris, in a phased manner. Additionally,
the expats from India and others who said Gunatilleka. the airline, through its codeshare
are located in the Middle East, who “Once the situation settles down, we partnerships, is also looking at gaining
come to Sri Lanka. If you take those, will revisit those all these things. We more traffic from North America, a
the numbers are quite significant,” will then have to come out with a plan B market where 200,000 Sri Lankans live,
explained Gunatilleka or combination of new strategies, which according to the CEO.
“When we did up a business plan a includes maybe looking better use of He went on to add that the airline
couple of months back, we looked at our fi fth freedom rights, which have not is also looking at expanding its share
enhancing the market, tapping into been exploiting in the past greatly.” within the global cargo market.
the Middle East traveller … With In terms of global destinations, “Presently, cargo utilises the belly ca-
the incident that happened, the pur- SriLankan Airlines has set out to add pacity deployed throughout the network
pose was to come to ATM and give Sydney, Ho Chi Minh, Frankfurt and in generating 10% of the airline’s air traf-
reassurance that we will bounce back fic revenue,” explained Gunatilleka.
ver y soon.” “We are currently pursuing the expan-
In terms of what the airline has LONG-STANDING HISTORY sion of cargo operations for potential
planned for the Middle East, the move Serving as the national carrier of destinations for freighter operations, to
now is simply to increase frequen- Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airline is today support exports on the home base ex-
cies. Aiming to add at least 45 more the largest airline operating in the ports into Europe and the United States,
flights to the region, the CEO shared country. Launched back in 1979 as Air as well as connecting the key cargo
that the frequencies will be added to Lanka following the end of operations markets in the Far East, Indian Sub-
destinations, such as Jeddah in Saudi of Air Ceylon, the original Sri Lankan continent, Europe and Africa. This will
Arabia, Muscat in Oman, as well as flag carrier, the airline was rebranded help enhance the overall cargo revenue
Abu Dhabi in the UAE. following a partial acquisition by contribution to the airline.”
While not covering the African mar- Emirates in 1998. Ownership of the SriLankan Airlines’ five-year plan in-
ket as a whole, the airline is looking airline changed back in 2008, when cludes a provision to expand the carrier’s
to expand traffic to Nairobi, Kenya. the government of Sri Lanka acquired fleet, which currently numbers 27. The
“From Colombo, it [Nairobi] is a all the shares from Emirates. As a airline’s goal is to increase the size of the
one-and-a-half-hour flight. It is a good notable member of the Oneworld fleet up to 34 aircraft within the next five
midway point for all the Chinese traf- airline alliance, SriLankan Airlines years. This will comprise of 19 narrow
fic and even Indian traffic, who can maintains a fleet of 26 aircraft. body and 15 wide body aircraft. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 25


The flag carrier’s fleet currently comprises of a mix of A320-200, A320neo, A321-200, A321neo, A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft.

Long favouring Airbus, the flag carri- current considerations on the business Exploring technologies that include
er’s fleet currently comprises of a mix of class, because for the long-haul market, fast travel systems, CRM-based ser vice
A320-200, A320neo, A321-200, A321neo, the premium economy is also in big de- deliver y, data security, system availabil-
A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft. With mand,” explained Gunatilleka. ity, as well as the automation of manual
new A330-900 set to be added in the Other focus areas for the carrier processes, the airline is moving to im-
near future, one of the new features of includes an ongoing restructuring plan prove both operational efficiency and
the upcoming aircraft will be the intro- focused on improving overall financial staff productivity.
duction of a premium economy. performance and streamlining opera- Process improvement is also a top
“If you look at all the wide body air- tions that are undercapitalised. While area for SriLankan Airlines, which
craft, they have modern business class. part of this includes pure cutting of looks to expand direct online sales and
What we are doing on the new fleet, with $35m and renegotiations of leases ac- generation of revenue from new digital
the new order from Airbus, we will look cording to the CEO, there has also businesses. Additionally, the carrier
at premium economy without reducing been a big push towards digitalisation. is exploring novel digital payment op-



What we are doing on the new fleet, with

the new order from Airbus, we will look at
premium economy without reducing current
considerations on the business class, because
for the long-haul market, the premium
economy is also in big demand.”
“We have invested on several digi- to introducing new ways of approaching
talisation projects to add value to the challenges and streamlining day-to-day
customers by streamlining our existing operations, technology can also help air-
processes and systems in areas such lines reduce their respective costs.
as e-commerce, airport operations, Equally as important, however, is the
social media platforms and SriLankan value of technology in transforming the
Holidays,” he added. passenger experience. Both in how they
According to the CEO, technology will book and manage their journeys but also
play a key factor within the global aviation in evolving the inflight experience once
market in the coming years. In addition the flight takes to the sky.

tions, such as e-wallets, online-mobile
commerce and community-based sell- Last month saw an expansion Airways, to name a few. Similarly,
ing. This, in turn, will encourage the of SriLankan Airlines’ executive Samaraweera brings with him over
development of a digital marketplace. leadership with the additions of 15 years of senior-level corporate
“Another initiative is on driving the e- Joshua Bustos as chief commercial experience to his new role as chief
commerce. Our online penetration was officer and Shaminda Samaraweera financial officer for the national
very low compared to an airline of our size. as chief financial officer. Bustos, carrier. With experience in working
Our online contribution was about 11% last a 20-year veteran of the aviation in different industry segments, such
year. Over the last six months, it has gone sector, has held a number of high- as telecommunications, banking and
up to about 15%. So we will actively pursuit profile positions in other carriers navigation, Samaraweera has worked
to increase the online revenue. That will across the world, such as American in firms that includes the likes of
also have direct benefits like reducing Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Safi Etisalat Lanka and Ceylon Tobacco.
GDS costs,” said Gunatilleka. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 27


Alan Newby, director of Aerospace Technology and Future
Programmes at Rolls-Royce, sheds light on his company’s
latest developments within the aviation engine space

In 2018, more than half of Rolls-Royce’s revenues came from the aftermarket services



VB: Could you start by body engines around the world. aviation. The first trend is a growing
sharing any details on Last year, Delta TechOps, based in demand for technology to make
recent orders related to Atlanta, became a Trent authorised the sector cleaner, safer and
commercial aviation maintenance centre, carrying out more competitive.
that you’ve secured over the past services on our Trent 1000, Trent The second trend is electrification.
couple of years? 7000 and Trent XWB engines. We As we move to a low-carbon global
Alan Newby: We’ve made good have also increased our testing ca- economy, our engines will become
progress in the past couple of years, pacity, signing partnerships with part of broader, hybrid systems with
with further growth in our wide- Delta TechOps, American Airlines lower emissions. To provide solutions
body fleet. We’ve achieved several and Thai Airways International. for our customers, we will act as a
milestone achievements: the Trent Work continues to progress well on system integrator, combining our
1000 TEN entered service in 2017, the construction of a new testbed in traditional mechanical technology
and in 2018 we launched a new fam- Derby, UK, where we will test our with electrical technology.
ily of engines for business aviation next generation of engines, such The third trend is digitalisation.
with the Pearl 15. Our Trent XWB-97 as UltraFan. Advances in sensors, communica-
engine, the newest, higher-thrust UltraFan is the foundation of our tion, data storage, machine
variant of the Trent XWB, entered future large civil aero engines, and learning, robotics and additive layer
service on the Airbus A350-1000 and we are making excellent progress. manufacturing are combining to
the Trent 7000 entered service on Earlier this year we successfully create new insights, processes
the A330neo with TAP Portugal. tested our Advanced Low Pressure and opportunities.
So far this year we have an- System (ALPS), which is a key Finally, we believe engines will
nounced that Lufthansa Group se- UltraFan technology. be increasingly integrated with the
lected Rolls-Royce engines to power We’ve also made good progress in aircraft and continue to work closely
40 new aircraft. Our Trent 1000 our strategy to champion electrifi- with manufacturers to achieve this.
engine will power 20 Boeing 787 cation. We are developing
Dreamliners, and our Trent programmes to demonstrate AVB: What are some of the ways the
XWB will power 20 Airbus A350- small scale full-electric and company is using technology to better
900 aircraft. hybrid-electric flight. observe the performance of engines
We also announced an order These are just a few examples, but and predict service requirements?
by Air Premia for our Trent 1000 to summarise, our focus is on con- AN: We continue to design and de-
TEN engines, to power its ten new tinuing to develop advanced, world- liver new digital services under the
Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Most re- leading technology alongside inno- banner of our IntelligentEngine
cently, we announced an order with vation in services. All of this is done vision. We are working towards a
Fiji Airways to power two Airbus in partnership with our customers, world where our engines will be con-
A350-900 aircraft with our Trent and we believe this will future-proof nected, comprehending, and even
XWB engine. our business for years to come. contextually aware, which will ulti-
In 2018, more than half of our mately make them more reliable
revenues came from aftermarket AVB: What are some of the latest and efficient.
services. Around 90% of our engines developments/trends related to Engines will be digitally connected
are covered by our TotalCare ser- modern aircraft engine design? with the Rolls-Royce availability cen-
vices agreements. How are you addressing the needs tre, with other engines, and with the
of your target market? airline who operates them. This will
AVB: How has Rolls-Royce contin- AN: In the coming years, we believe allow for regular, two-way flow of
ued to improve the capabilities of that three key trends will define information between many parties.
its civil aerospace division?
AN: We are continually improv-
ing our capabilities in our Civil
Aerospace division, and are in-
Our focus is on continuing to develop
vesting in new technologies and advanced, world-leading technology
partnerships that will benefit our alongside innovation in services. All of
customers for years to come.
In terms of Maintenance, Repair
this is done in partnership with our cus-
and Overhaul, we are expanding tomers, and we believe this will future-
our service network for wide- proof our business for years to come.” June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 29


According to Newby, more than two-thirds of Rolls-Royce’s annual researh expenditure is dedicated to reducing the negative environmental impact of its

Our Pearl 15 engine is our most intel- We will manage engines using a
ligent yet, using a new two-way flow digital twin, an exact digital replica
We will manage of information through our Engine of each engine. From this we can
engines using a digital Health Monitoring service. model various scenarios, complete
twin, an exact digital Engines will be contextually aware,
knowing the environment they will
a variety of tests, accurately predict
service requirements before they are
replica of each engine. operate in and adapting to it without needed, and ultimately improve fu-
From this we can human intervention. Already, Rolls- ture engine designs.
model various scenari- Royce teams have created a new data
tool which draws on weather condi- AVB: Considering the increasing de-
os, complete a variety tions from around the world, helping mand to reduce the negative impact of
of tests, accurately pre- us plan maintenance schedules for air travel on the environment, could
dict service require- the Trent XWB.
Finally, engines will be compre-
you share some insights on Rolls-
Royce’s efforts towards sustainability?
ments before they are hending, learning from their own AN: As leading industrial technol-
needed, and ultimate- experiences and network of peers, ogy company, we have an irrefutable
ly improve future from which they will adjust their
behaviour so that they can achieve
role to play in addressing the risks
and opportunities associated with
engine designs.” their best performance. climate change. Our technology will



gines have the power to overcome

the challenges facing the industry,
and ultimately shape the future
of aerospace.
For Advance, we are evolving our
unique three-shaft engine archi-
tecture and combining this with a
wealth of technological improve-
ments. The high-efficiency core
compression and turbine system in-
corporated into Advance will deliver
the highest overall pressure ratio
of any commercial turbofan engine
ever made. This will result in greater
play a fundamental role in enabling XWB. We are also working with the efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
the transition to a low carbon fuels industry to accelerate the use UltraFan will redefine the world
global economy. of sustainable aviation fuels, such as of jet engines. It will be 25% more ef-
More than two-thirds of our annu- biofuel-kerosene blends. ficient than a first-generation Trent
al research expenditure is dedicated Electrification and hybrid solutions engine. UltraFan will be engineered
to improving the environmental per- will deliver a step-change in emis- for both narrowbody and widebody
formance of our products. sions performance. One of the ways aircraft, and will have the world’s
We are constantly driving fuel ef- we are supporting this is to invest in most powerful aerospace gearbox. It
ficiencies in our existing products, our electrical capabilities, including takes the evolution of Advance fur-
achieving a 1% increase in fuel ef- launching focused graduate and ap- ther, featuring all the same technol-
ficiency per year through round-the- prentice development programmes. ogy and more to enable us to deliver
clock monitoring. Our Trent 7000, a step-change increase in bypass
which entered service this year, AVB: What are Rolls-Royce’s projec- ratio. This will deliver further fuel
builds upon the industry-leading tions in terms of future engine de- efficiency and CO2 reductions, and
performance of the Trent XWB to signs? How will they differ from the provide a further significant reduc-
deliver 10% better fuel efficiency current generation? tion in engine noise.
than the engine it is designed to re- AN: We are working on two signifi- Both programmes are progressing
place. Our UltraFan engine will be cant new engine designs: Advance well, and we look forward to sharing
10% more efficient than the Trent and UltraFan. We believe these en- further updates later this year. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 31

Cathay Pacific kicks of f ‘Move
Beyond’ inflight campaign
Revamping its overall service, the airline has introduced several improvements to the
cabin experience, particularly within its business-class offering
“Over the last seven decades we have gently to expand the reach of its net-
Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier of Hong grown to become one of the world’s leading work, adding 12 new routes since 2018.
Kong, has launched a new campaign focused airlines, and our goal now is to continue Additionally, the airline’s fl eet has re-
revamping its overall service. In addition to move forward by becoming one of the cently been bolstered with the addition
to adopting a progressive outlook to their world’s greatest service brands,” said of a technologically advanced Airbus
approach to service, the campaign has seen Rupert Hogg, CEO of Cathay Pacific. A350 aircraft.
an overhaul of several inflight features. The launch of a new campaign also “Move Beyond is our call to action,”
This includes the implementation of new saw the re-opening of Cathay Pacifi c’s adds Rupert. “For us, it is to have an
seats, the availability of Wi-Fi across its lounge in Shanghai Pudong, as well as ambitious leadership mindset. We choose
long-haul fleet, improvements to its food & the reveal that the airline will launch a to lead and blaze a trail of progress. It
beverage offering, as well as the introduc- new Business Class experience in the represents our continued commitment to
tion of an enhanced infl ight entertainment second half of 2019. delivering personal service that moves
(IFE) system. Cathay Pacific has also worked dili- people emotionally. To never stand still.”

c In addition to the re-launch of its lounge in Shanghai Pudong, the airline will launch a new Business Class experience in the second half of 2019.


Gulf Air hots Ramadan Ghabga
The evening included a number of entertaining activities and a raffle

Etihad Airways extends free

Abu Dhabi stopover offer
Etihad Airways says the offer of two free nights of hotel accommodation in
UAE capital is now available until the end of 2019
December 1 for travel until December 31. NETIC MRO FOR ATF
Etihad Airways on Tuesday announced “We are extremely pleased that our Abu WORK
it is extending its free Abu Dhabi stopover Dhabi stopover has appealed to so many of The MRO company will
campaign to the end of the year due to the our guests and exceeded our expectations manage the airline’s ATR
popularity of the special offer in its open- in the first month since it launched. This 72 fleet
ing month. incredible promotion allows us to showcase P37
Travellers flying through the capital of our extraordinary home to more visitors
the UAE with the airline are invited to enjoy worldwide. Guests can explore the emir-
a free two-night hotel stay to break up their ate’s many highlights as well as relax and
journey and explore the city’s attractions. rejuvenate as they break up their journey,”
Etihad is offering two free nights of said Robin Kamark, chief commercial of-
hotel accommodation in Abu Dhabi for ficer Etihad Aviation Group.
all guests booking fl ights to and from all
Etihad destinations via Abu Dhabi.
Guests can choose from a range of
hotels located across the city including
the five-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers,
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi and Dusit Thani
Abu Dhabi, as well as the Pearl Rotana, SETTING UP SHOP
Courtyard by Marriott WTC, Crowne Plaza Bombardier looking to set up
and Radisson Blu. Dubai MRO hub
The free Abu Dhabi stopover promotion P36
is available for bookings online through or via a travel agent made by EMIRATI TALENT
Etihad Cargo announces Emi-
rati leadership appointments
Emirates airline fl ies Indian cricket P38
team to ICC World Cup 2019
The team was previously booked to fly with Jet Airways
EVENT Air Arabia launches
and switch to Emirates air- “It’s a challenge but we ‘SkyTime’ IFE
Emirates airline has flown line, according to Indian are addressing it. The team P40
India’s World Cup cricket media reports. will leave as planned on or
squad to London for the ICC The team, led by cap- before May 22,” a BCCI of-
World Cup 2019. tain Virat Kohli, depart- ficial was quoted as saying
India, one of the favour- ed for London on May by India media at the time.
ites for the competition, 22 on an Emirates fl ight India’s fi rst warm-up
were booked to fl y with from Mumbai, via Dubai, fi xture took place back
Jet Airways but following to London. on the 25 May against fel-
the recent grounding of all Since the grounding of Jet low cup competitor, New
flights, the Board of Control Airways, airfares from India Zealand. India’s opening
for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been soaring, which match in the tournament
had to make a last-minute meant switching carriers was against South Africa
change in the travel plans wasn’t as easy as normal. in Southampton. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 33

Emirates launches Arabic version of app
This brings the total number of languages supported by the app to 19

Airbus delivers Bell leads Air Medical

12,000th aircraft
The A220-100 aircraft was
handed over to US-based
Services training in China
Delta Air Lines China’s government plans to build a modern healthcare system
which will include an extensive air medical services network

Bell Helicopter, in collaboration with ticipated in the exercise which covered

Shaanxi Helicopter Co. and Shaanxi aviation safety practices and culture,
Provincial People’s Hospital, have com- functions and responsibilities for medi-
pleted an Air Medical Services (AMS) cal transport, fl ight planning and decision
training exercise in China. making, crew resource management and
This exercise is an initial step toward fl ight physiology. In addition, an introduc-
developing air medical capability for the tion to the cross-functional coordination
Implementation Program for a Joint Pilot among emergency response, medical care,
c The airline received its first A220 in October, of Aviation Medical Rescue launched dispatch and aviation was provided to
earlier this year by the National Health create a safe and effective air medical
French aerospace manufacturer Airbus
Commission of China and the Civil Aviation network solution for China.
recently celebrated the delivery of the
12,000th aircraft produced over its
Authority of China (CA AC). Research from the Association of Air
50-year history. Assembled in Mirable, “Together with SHC, we are excited Medical Services (AAMS) and ASCEND,
Canada, the A220-100 was the 12th to be leading the development of an Air has shown that air medical services can
aircraft of the same family delivered Medical Services network in China,” said significantly reduce the mortality rate of
to US-based Delta Air Lines, since the Jacinto Monge, Bell managing director patients and improve the outcome of treat-
carrier received its first A220 back in for North Asia. ment. At present, there are more than 1,200
October 2018. “During the two-week event, expertise civilian air medical helicopters serving 320
As the first US airline to oper- on best practices was shared through million people in the United States; China
ate the A220, Delta’s started A220’s academic seminars and practical training currently has less than 100 civilian air medi-
scheduled service back in February
using real-life simulations.” cal helicopters serving 1.4 billion people.
2019. According to Airbus, Delta is
With the support from Med-Trans China’s central government plans to
currently the largest A220 customer
in the world, with a firm order for 90
Corporation, a US air medical service com- build a modern healthcare system which
aircraft. pany, more than 50 people from Shaanxi will include an extensive air medical
With the increasing success of its Helicopter and the People’s Hospital par- services network.
A220 programme within the North
American market, Airbus has already
moved to expand its manufacturing
base on the continent. Back in January,
the company broke ground in Mobile,
Alabama for the construction of a
second A220 final assembly line. Once
completed, the line will begin deliver-
ies to US customers from 2020.
Looking back at Airbus’ long his-
tory, the aerospace manufacturer
delivered its first aircraft, an A300B2
to Air France, back in 1974. Roughly
36 years later, in 2010, Airbus reached
a major milestone with the delivery
of its 6,000th aircraft. Remarkably,
in just a mere nine years after that,
Airbus managed to double the num-
c More than 50 people from Shaanxi Helicopter and the People’s Hospital participated in the exercise .
ber, reaching 12,000 aircraft delivered


DHL extends lease at Bahrain International
110-year lease extension for 5.7-hectare facility comes as the new terminal nears Q3 2019 launch

Airbus and SAS sign MoU for hybrid and

electric aircraft research
The MoU agreement was signed by Grazia Vittadini, chief technology officer, Airbus, and
Goran Jansson, deputy president of EVP Strategy & Ventures, Scandinavian Airlines

c The two organisations will work closely together on research into hybrid and electric aircraft systems and infrastructure requirements.

As part of the many topics discussed at and infrastructure opportunities, as well ment of a renewable energy supplier,
last mont’s Airbus Innovation Days, the as the challenges associated with the who will be instrumental ino ensur-
French aerospace manufacturer revealed large-scale introduction of hybrid and ing zero CO2 emissions operations
that it had inked a Memorandum of full electric aircraft, for airlines and are accessed.
Understanding (MoU) with Scandinavian their respective operations. Despite the fact that aircraft have
Ailrines (SAS) for research into hybrid “It’s not enough to build a zero-emis- become 80% more fuel effi cient per pas-
and electric aircraft systems and infra- sion aircraft. We need to be able to oper- senger kilometre over the past 50 years,
structure requirements. ate it in a given environment. And so this the rising demand of air travel continues
The agreement, which was previously MoU will be about analysing the impact to grow and will likely double within the
signed by Grazia Vittadini, chief technol- of ground infrastructure and logistical next 20 years.
ogy offi cer, Airbus, and Goran Jansson, charging and refuelling impact on the To tackle this issue, the Global
deputy president of EVP Strategy & range, resources, on-time, and availabil- Aviation Industry (ATAG), which in-
Ventures, Scandinavian Airlines, will ity at airports,” Vittadini told reporters cludes Airbus and SAS, have committed
go into effect from June 2019. The col- during Airbus Innovation Days. themselves to achieving carbon-neutral
laboration is expected to then continue “We are proud to be in this joint under- growth for the aviation industry as a
until the close of 2020. taking, also with Scandinavian universi- whole from 2020 onwards.
As per the MoU, the two parties will ties and renewable energy suppliers in The goal is to drastically reduce avia-
work closely together on a joint research the equation as well,” she added. tion net emissions by 50% by 2050 (as
project that will explore the operational Part of the plan includes the involve- compared to 2005). June 2018 · AVIATION BUSINESS 35

MTU sets up shop in Serbia to
AVIATION PARTNERS MTU Aero Engines and the Government of the Republic of Serbia have signed a MoU

Round up of MRO agreements and
signings, both in the region Bombardier to set up
and beyond
MRO hub in Dubai
ASI to build Philippines MRO hangar; StandardAero re- The Canadian aircraft manufacturer
news DOF; Magnetic MRO launches Interior Inspector inked a deal with Jetex to establish a
line maintenance station
Aircraft Support Industries (ASI) has
been selected by Metrojet to design and
construct a parking and maintenance Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier has
hangar at Clark International Airport signed an agreement with Jetex to establish a new
in the Philippines. The new site, which line maintenance station in Dubai.
will reportedly be roughly 26,000m2 will The new station will initially offer unscheduled
feature a hangar floor space of 71,00m2. maintenance services and build toward scheduled
This in turn will be able to accommo- maintenance operations in the coming months.
date up to 10 long-range business jets The technical engineers supporting the line station
up to a maximum of Boeing Business are certified for all Challenger series and Global
Jet or Airbus Corporate Jet. The facil- series business jets, including Bombardier’s flagship
ity will also includes over 2,500sqm of Global 7500 aircraft.
customer accommodation and stor- The introduction of the new station in Dubai
age, FBO capability and engineering comes on the heels of the announcement of major
support workshops. Bombardier customer experience enhancements
The company said the move further complements
StandardAero’s engine MRO facil- the tip-to-tail maintenance services provided by
ity in Gonesse, France, recently Bombardier’s Service and Support Network in the
renewed its Designated Overhaul Middle East and around the globe.
Facility (DOF) PW100 and PT6A “This expansion is an integral part of our overall
DOF Licenses. Located at the mid- mission to enhance OEM support for our operators
way point between Le Bourget and in the Middle East – and we are very pleased to be
Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport in working with highly-respected business aviation
Paris, the facility holds approvals for leader Jetex in the development of this project,”
23 members of the PW100 family, said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, vice-president and
including the PW127M variant power- general manager, Customer Experience, Bombardier
ing the latest generation of ATR -600 Business Aircraft.
turboprops, as well as the PW127G “As a part of our commitment to offering an
engine that is currently used on the exceptional customer experience, we are delighted
Airbus C295 transport aircraft. to offer our customers expanded support, more
resources and increased flexibility closer to their
Magnetic MRO has unveiled base of operations.”
Interior Inspector, a ser vice that “The shared vision between Bombardier and Jetex
helps connect airline staf f and to provide a comprehensive and exceptional experi-
maintenance teams, who can then ence makes this new service expansion an exciting
share damages found in the passen- venture for us,” added Adel Mardini, President and
ger cabin of a commercial airliner. CEO of Jetex.
The application allows either party “This is a significant boon for our customers who
to log damages that can then be ad- rely on our services to give them the peace of mind
dressed in upcoming maintenance that they have trusted partners ready to go the
cycles. The application is mobile- extra mile around the clock and around the globe.”
enabled allowing teams to access Bombardier has a network of nine service centres
the inter face on their preferred and a total of 30 customer response team mobile
smartphone or tablet device. units around the globe.


Air Niugini taps StandardAero for engine work
StandardAero will provide P&W Canada PW123 engine MRO for the airline’s Dash 8 turboprops AVIATION PARTNERS

Finnair selects Magnetic MRO for refurbishment

and paint services for ATF aircraft
The MRO service provider will oversee the refurbishment and paint work for all 12 of the air-
line’s ATR 72 fleet

The national carrier of Finland, Finnair, has cabin modification and full refurbishment, also updating the livery to match Finnair’s
signed on Magnetic MRO, who will oversee all the way to external livery change and colours. It was reported by Magnetic MRO
the complete paintwork, refurbishment and maintenance tasks,” said Kaspars Podins, that the project is the first instance that the
base maintenance on the airline’s fleet of Magnetic MRO’s operations manager. company is providing base maintenance
12 ATR 72 aircraft. Podins went on to add that as part of the for ATR type aircraft.
Work on the first aircraft was completed ATR transformation project, the aircraft’s “Finnair and MMRO have over 15 years
at Magnetic MRO’s Tallinn hangars and exterior and interior design will be updated of excellent partnership on ATR and A320
delivered back to the airline on 8 May. The with more modern aesthetics and comforts, maintenance,” said Juha Ojala, Finnair’s
project is slated for completion by the end all the while meeting Finnair’s standards. head of Engineering.
of the first quarter of 2020. “Magnetic MRO is honoured to be a part “Magnetic MRO is perfectly located close
“By taking up the large-scale project, of Finnair’s success story and we hope to to our main base Helsinki and their recent
Magnetic MRO has once again proven that work with the company side by side in their process development, especially on aircraft
we are a great partner for providing a full future efforts,” he said. painting, convinced us on their ability to
package of total technical care solutions As per the agreement, the MRO ser- manage the whole fleet wide modification
with a high-level quality for our custom- vice provider will complete a full interior program within agreed time schedule at
ers, starting from the design bundle for refurbishment for each ATR aircraft, while high quality and competitive cost.”

c Work on the first aircraft was completed at Magnetic MRO’s Tallinn hangars and delivered back to the airline on 8 May. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 37

AVIATION PARTNERS SHJ records 3.2 million passengers in Q1
GROUND Sharjah International Airport recorded a 9.5% increase in passengers as compared to Q12018


baggage for students
University students can
opt for an additional 23kg
baggage allowance
Gulf Air, the national carrier of the
Kingdom of Bahrain, will no of-
fer college and university students
traveling with the airline to check
in an addition 23-kilogram bag, free
of charge.
A simple process, student passen-
gers will only need to present their
student ID cards to the check-in
counter agents to benefit from the
new policy.
Previously, such bonus allow-
ances were sanctioned through
airline offices and had to confirm
beforehand, often a few days ahead
Etihad Cargo announces
of the trip. Emirati leadership
“We know that students need
more luggage to carry their books,
laptops, winter clothes and so on.
It is always a hassle for students In an effort to boost its Global Customer programme and its share of the
to carefully pack their items when UAE home market, the new appointments fall under the cargo airline’s
travelling for the academic year. commercial division
Now, we want to make things easier
for all students by allowing one extra Etihad Aviation Group’s cargo and logistics arm, Etihad Cargo, has announced several
bag of 23 kilos for each student fly- Emirati national appointments into key leadership positions within its commercial divi-
ing to college or returning home for sions. A key towards improving its Global Customer programme, as well as boosting
the summer,” said Krešimir Kucko, its share of the UAE home market, the cargo airline announced several appointments.
Gulf Air CEO. The first of which is Bader Ahmed Al Ali, who has been part of Etihad Cargo since
The move is the latest decision by 2010 and will now serve as senior manager of Commercial for the UAE home market.
the carrier to cater to travellers with Overseeing key accounts, which includes UAE-based customer and government entities,
distinct baggage requirements, such Al Ali will oversee a newly formed UAE Commercial team with several new Emirati ad-
as the recently announced policy for ditions. The team will include Raya Mohamed Ibrahim (UAE Key Accounts), Hessa Al
extra allowance for athletes travel- Shehhi (Government Key Accounts) and Aref Al Mulla (Dubai & Northern Emirates Sales).
ling with equipment like golf bags Over at its Global Customer program and Cargo Loyalty scheme, Haleema Al Hosani
or bicycles. has been appointed as senior manager of both commercial programmes. Prior to being
appointed into her new role, Al Hosani held positions with the Abu Dhabi Department of
Transport, the Abu Dhabi Aviation Sector Development Committee and the International
Civil Aviation Organization Air Transport Regulatory Panel.
“Our Global Customer program, our loyalty scheme and our UAE home market have
all been key catalysts for this growth, and today’s key Emirati appointments are a fur-
ther signal of our commitment to better serve these segments while developing our top
Emirati talents into key leadership positions,” said Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, managing
director Cargo and Logistics Services at Etihad Aviation Group.


IATA: Clear downturn for Middle East cargo volumes AVIATION PARTNERS
IATA says weakening freight volumes in US and Asia Pacific markets driving softer performance GROUND

Dnata and Lufthansa Malta Airport adopts

Group continue to build SITA platform
The new system includes
partnership in US the installation of flight in-
formation display screens
The Dubai-based aviation service provider will provide ramp, secure throughout the terminal
clean and passenger handling services for Lufthansa at Austin-Bergstrom Working in close collaboration with
International Airport SITA, Malta International Airport
PARTNERSHIP has adopted the IT provider’s airport
management system (AMS), which
includes modern fl ight information
display screens.
Deployed across the entirety of the
airport, the new screens relay impor-
tant flight data to passengers travelling
through the terminals.
Additionally, as part of the AMS,
Malta International Airport staff have
access to a centralised dashboard that
is designed to integrate several core
modules related to airport manage-
ment. This includes modules for critical
landside and airside operations, such
as resource management, scheduling,
flight information, parking and billing.
c Dnata will offer its services to other members under the Lufthansa Group. “With a seven million traffic mile-
stone on the horizon, it is perhaps
Expanding their ongoing collaboration viding best-in-class services to our airline more important than ever to harness
within the US aviation market, dnata has customers and their passengers, every innovation so as to have access to real-
been tasked by Lufthansa Group to provide day,” said David Barker, CEO of dnata USA. time data to plan ahead, make timely
ramp, secure clean and passenger handling Active in the US market since 2016, dnata decisions, and improve our agility in
services to the airline at Austin-Bergstrom has invested more than $45m in facili- allocating the resources available in a
International Airport. ties, equipment, training and technology. way that enhances the airport experi-
Additionally, dnata will offer its services Securing 26 new contracts within the last ence for our passengers and the ease
to other members under the Lufthansa 12 months, the company’s US portfolio with which our team can perform cer-
Group: Swiss International Air Lines, today consists of 60 airlines served at tain day-to-day tasks,” said Ian Maggi,
Austrian Airlines and Edelweiss Air. 28 airports. head of Innovation and Technology at
In Austin Texas, the aviation services “As a premium airline, Lufthansa Airlines Malta International Airport.
provider will oversee Lufthansa’s new is excited to grow the North American rela- Rolled out in several phases, the
Frankfurt fl ight, which will be served by tionship with the start of service in Austin full implementation of SITA’s AMS
the airline five times a week on an A330- with dnata. With our very positive service was concluded in April 2019.
300 aircraft. experience from destinations like Boston
“We are proud to be the ground handler (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco
of choice for a leading global airline group (SFO) and New York (JFK) we are looking
in the world’s largest aviation market. Our forward to providing fi rst class service to
newest contract with Lufthansa is a testa- our customers with our handling partner
ment to our successful partnership and the at Austin Airport,” said Holger Bremes, di-
consistent high quality our teams deliver rector Commercial Airport Infrastructure,
across the U.S. We stay committed to pro- Lufthansa Group. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 39

Skycanner sees big numbers in Middle East
The metasearch engine saw over 100% y-o-y growth in the region, despite subdued market

Amadeus’ reveals Air Arabia launches ‘SkyTime’

Oman appointment
Karim Eldeghedy will serve
as the senior manager for Pre-
IFE platform
Sales & Solutions Adoption The carrier’s new IFE will allow passengers to live stream digital
content to their mobile device of choice

Low-cost carrier Air Arabia has unveiled ‘SkyTime’, our all new free in-fl ight enter-
the launch of a new infl ight entertainment tainment system solely designed to provide
system. Aptly known as SkyTime, the new customers with add value while onboard
platform allows passengers to connect their Air Arabia fl ights. This new launch reflects
preferred mobile device and live stream Air Arabia’s commitment to continuously
digital content. apply innovative solutions aimed at provid-
Aiming to capitalise on Oman’s efforts Accessible by connecting to the SkyTime ing real value and convenience to custom-
to expand its travel market, Amadeus Wi-Fi network right after takeoff, the car- ers,” commented Adel Al Ali, Group CEO
has announced the appointment of rier has already pushed to make the new of Air Arabia.
Karim Eldeghedy to the position of sen- IFE available across the entirety of its fleet. The announcement is the latest technical
ior manager for Pre-Sales & Solutions Featuring a wide selection of content, development to be announced by the low-
Adoption. passengers will be able to access the latest cost carrier following its recent unveiling
Set to relocate to Oman from releases from Hollywood and Bollywood, of Airewards, an online loyalty system
Amadeus’ MENA regional offi ce in along with popular TV shows trending that provides customers with the option to
Dubai, UAE, Eldeghedy is expected within the Middle East region. earn points based on money, rather than
to manage the company’s pre-sales It has been reported by the carrier that distance flown.
activities and IT projects within the the system is app-less. To date, Air Arabia serves over 155
country. Bringing over 20 years of “We always seek to make the best use routes from various points across the
experience to the role, Eldeghedy of technology to provide added value to MENA region and maintains a fl eet of
will focus specifically on global dis- our customers. We are proud to launch 54 aircraft.
tribution systems (GDS) within the
tourism segment.
P r ior to joi n i ng A madeus ,
Eldeghedy held key positions in organi-
sations, such as Sabre Travel Network
Middle East and the Bahrain Institute
of Technology.
“Today Oman is one of the most
promising markets in the MENA re-
gion for Amadeus and represents a
huge untapped potential for the com-
pany. I look forward to working with
our established team in the Sultanate
and our partners across the Oman
travel industry to power even bet-
ter travel journeys moving forward,”
said Eldeghedy.
Employing a global force of 15,000
employees, the Amadeus Group is ac-
tive in more than 190 countries across
the world.
c It has been reported by the carrier that the system is app-less.


Ryanair joins forces with CEFA Aviation PARTNERS
The low-cost carrier will implement the cloud-based CEFA Aviation Mobile Services solution

Reichle & De-Massari AG shares key stats of

Istanbul Grand Airport project
According to the enterprise communication and data network technology firm, over 90,000
connections were installed in the first section of the airport

c For the project, R&M reportedly supplied 5,400 km of copper cablings and 3,270 km of fibre-optic cabling.


Reichle & De-Massari AG (R&M), an “The quality of the R&M cabling system ment platform Netscale at the airport’s data
enterprise communication and data net- ensures that we can run 9,000 surveillance centre. The platform reportedly holds a
work technology fi rm, recently unveiled cameras and 3,000 card readers in real- connection density of up to 120 ports per
key statistics associated with its network time with confidence that they will be rack unit.
implementation project at Istanbul Grand protected against any transmission inter- The company also deployed its
Airport (IGA). ference or loss,” said Ersin Inankul, CIO R&MinteliPhy digital management and
Selected to deploy its cabling to con- and deputy general manager at Istanbul monitoring system, which is designed to
nect thousands of cameras, card readers, New Airport. automate the monitoring and operation of
along with the data centre, which equated “We are also connecting 5,000 Wi-Fi the data network from a central location.
to over 90,000 connections installed in the access points, giving the airport a full- Launched back in October 2018, the
fi rst sections of the airport. coverage WLAN. These access points will fi rst phase of Istanbul Airport has the
For the project, R&M reportedly sup- be trouble-free and fail-safe. The cabling capacity to process 90 million passengers
plied 5,400 km of copper cablings and 3,270 also connects the ICT infrastructures every year. With three additional construc-
km of fibre-optic cabling. Additionally, for customs, the security staff and the tion phases set to be completed over the
the company required the installation of police force.” next 15 years, the airport is expected to
fibre-optic distribution cabinets and patch As part of the cabling installation pro- have a fi nal capacity of up to 200 million
panels, as well as 115,000 connector ports. ject, R&M deployed its fibre-optic manage- passengers annually. June 2019 · AVIATION BUSINESS 41


Business as usual
Paras Dhamecha, managing director of Empire Aviation
Group, explores how the Holy Month of Ramadan affects
the world of business aviation

he Holy Month of Ramadan is kers, while some clients prefer to book to accept any charter opportunities.
a special time of year and has directly with us. Unlike in other regions, aircraft own-
a particular affect on travel as Ramadan also concludes with the Eid ers in the Middle East are generally
families aim to spend as much Al Fitr holiday, and so travel plans may not reliant on charter to subsidise their
time together as possible, and then also focus on the family Eid vacation, standing costs.
may consider plans for Umrah or a as well. Popular destinations include Whatever the destination, charter
family vacation at the end of Ramadan, the holiday spots and capitals across flights around Ramadan and Eid will
during the Eid celebrations. Europe, and the Indian Ocean - espe- often be booked for larger family
The Holy Month of Ramadan brings cially the Maldives. groups along with a significant amount
a change of pace for even the busiest of luggage.
of working lives, and along with this it The majority of In addition to sufficient seats for the
affects the travel trends.
Ramadan is a family occasion and
our charter passengers and enough luggage hold
space for the bags, the simple fact in
many people travel extensively to enquiries and private aviation is that if you need to
spend time at the family home or
with family members, during the
bookings for the reach a longer-range destination, you
probably need to charter a bigger jet
Holy Month. month of Ramadan (to accommodate the additional crew
As a charter operator here in the
Middle East, this means that Ramadan
are for flights to and fuel required) – and especially if
the aim is to reach the destination
is a ver y active period for us, starting Saudi Arabia non-stop.
even before the first day of Ramadan.
We receive charter booking enquiries
(Jeddah and The benefits of larger aircraft include
spacious cabins (some aircraft have
from all over the world from people Madina) from private dining/sleeping compartments)
tr ying to get home to the region, for
the start of Ramadan.
the UAE (Abu for passenger comfort and large bag-
gage storage space, accessible from
But it doesn’t stop there. Dhabi, Dubai and inside the aircraft. There may also be
We also find that by the middle of the
Holy Month, bookings peak yet again
Sharjah) as well as a washroom and, depending on the
aircraft and configuration, charter
as families plan further travel, for ex- Kuwait, Bahrain, clients may even be able to opt for two
ample for Umrah - the Islamic pilgrim-
age to Mecca, Hijaz, in the Kingdom of
and Muscat onboard washrooms.
Large-cabin business jets such as
Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims in Oman.” the Embraer Legacy 650 series, the
and which can be undertaken at any Bombardier Global 6000 and Global
time of the year. As an aircraft management company, XRS all have excellent long-range capa-
The majority of our charter enquir- charter is important and accounts for bilities and these continue to be popu-
ies and bookings for the month of between 20% up to a maximum of 40% lar among charter clients.
Ramadan are for flights to Saudi Arabia of hours on our managed fleet of air- They also offer generous space to
(Jeddah and Madina) from the UAE craft but this really depends on work, relax, dine and sleep, with a
(Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah) as owner preference. ver y high degree of comfort. The wide
well as Kuwait, Bahrain, and Muscat Some owners may want to place lim- stand-up cabins and galleys are well
in Oman. its on the number of hours flown each equipped for VIP silver ser vice on-
Bookings are usually made by bro- month, while others may be happy board dining – a welcome option.


%&(,# +)– *–&%#0–&%
Powered by an industry-first geared architecture — and more than
40 other groundbreaking innovations — the Pratt & Whitney GTF
is unlike any engine that’s come before it.