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Monday, 3 June 2013






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Emirates opens luxury refurbished lounge in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, has inaugurated its refurbished Paris Charles de Gaulle Lounge for First Class and Business Class passengers as well as Platinum and Gold members of Emirates Skywards - the airline's frequent flyer programme, with a total investment of €3.8 million (AED 17.6 million).

It is the first of the airline's existing worldwide network of lounges to be refurbished in the new interior design, originally unveiled within Emirates' Concourse A Lounges in Dubai earlier this year.

The redesigned lounge has also been relocated to a more central location. The new space, between Terminal 2A and 2C, offers improved customer access and a clear view onto the tarmac, a perfect location for customers to relax and undertake some plane spotting.

The overall size of the lounge has also been boosted by 67 per cent offering a spacious 926sqm that can now welcome up to 156 passengers.

The opening of the refurbished lounge was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by and Thierry Aucoc, Emirates' Country Manager for France.

"The refurbishment of this lounge is a further marker of our commitment to offering our premium class customers the best possible passenger journey with Emirates," said Mohammed Mattar, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President Airport Services.

"Selecting our lounge in Paris as the first destination to receive the new look refurbishment was an easy choice. Our capacity to Paris has increased significantly this year, with the instalment of a second daily A380 and our commitment to the city has also grown, with our recent sponsorship of the French Open Tennis and renewal of our sponsorship with Paris Saint Germain for a further five years," Mattar acknowledged.

With a design matching the environment of Emirates' First Class and Business Class on-board suites, the new Paris Charles de Gaulle Lounge provides travellers with high quality services including; a choice of formal or relaxed seating, shower facilities, a dining area, a complimentary hot and cold gourmet buffet and an extensive beverage service, including an excellent French wine selection.

The 35 existing lounges of the Emirates network will be refurbished according to the new design in a phased plan over the next 18 to 24 months.

Emirates currently operates 32 weekly flights to France, including 20 weekly flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle, a daily flight to Nice and five times weekly service to Lyon.

Emirates now operates 35 dedicated lounges around its six-continent network including lounges in Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Brisbane, six lounges in Dubai, Colombo, Delhi, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York - JFK, Paris - Charles de Gaulle, Perth, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai and Zurich.

Boeing’s first 787 arrives in China

China's first Boeing 787 arrived in the country on Sunday, state-run media said, less than two weeks after Beijing regulators approved the aircraft, which had faced safety problems.

The high-tech Dreamliners were cleared to return to service worldwide in April after all 50 were grounded in mid-January following two overheated battery incidents.

The plane delivered to China Southern Airlines, one of the country's industry leaders, “has been installed with improved batteries that had passed various tests”, China Radio International reported on its website. “The 787 arrived Sunday in Guangzhou,” a southern city where the company is headquartered, it said.

China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines have each ordered 10 of the planes, while Air China has ordered 15.


Synthetic Vision with Infrared Becomes Helicopter’s SmartView

Aircraft synthetic-vision systems (SVS), when combined with GPS, gyros, accelerometers and terrain and obstacle databases, provide pilots with a colorful, animated depiction of the world outside the cockpit, matching what they would see looking through the windshield on a clear day. But to really see what is outside in dark or low-visibility conditions, you need an infrared (IR) camera. When you add forward-looking IR to SVS, you get a heat-referenced, real-world view along with a 3-D, database-derived and geo-referenced virtual view. Together they are called enhanced or combined SVS.

In early April, Honeywell offered AIN an opportunity to experience the company’s in-development combined synthetic-vision system (CVS) for helicopters during a demonstration flight. Here is what we learned.

Honeywell delivers synthetic vision for business aircraft under the brand name SmartView. The system uses the terrain database of the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) merged with head-up display (HUD) symbology and presents the SVS graphics on an aircraft’s primary flight displays (PFD). SmartView is Part 25 certified for Gulfstreams with PlaneView avionics and Dassault Falcons with EASy II flight decks, and Part 23 certified for Pilatus PC-12 NG turboprops with Apex cockpits. PlaneView, EASy and Apex are all based on Honeywell Primus Epic avionics. Each of these also has an integrated map display.

The situational-awareness advantages of enhanced, synthetic vision for airplanes are obvious, especially for operations on or near the ground, such as taxi, takeoff, approach and landing. “How much more valuable, then, would enhanced vision be for aircraft, namely helicopters, that spend much more of their time closer to the ground”

Honeywell’s Advanced Technology Group has the same thought. “Helicopters fly close to the ground, often in obstacle-rich and low-visibility environments and, frankly, they are more likely to hit things than airplanes, and they do,” Trish Ververs, an engineer fellow with Honeywell’s Advanced Technology Group, told AIN. “We think an enhanced synthetic-vision system would be particularly helpful in improving the situational awareness of helicopter pilots in target-rich environments, such as those in metropolitan areas, which are frequently also in congested airspace.”

So it is no surprise that Honeywell has been developing synthetic vision for helicopters for quite some time–since 2006, in fact–and is quite far along in development of the system.

The same team has worked on both the airplane and helicopter systems. “We’re in the middle of flight-test, and one of the tests we do is human-factors evaluations,” said Ververs, who specializes in crew interface and platform systems.

“Sometimes we do these evaluations in a laboratory. Sometimes we’re talking to the users. Right now with this advanced-technology program, we need to develop scenarios where we can test the system. We want to see how pilots react and adapt to the system.”


Oneworld enters events and conventions travel market

oneworld, the premier global airline alliance, today unveiled a new, one-stop, easy-to-use service to meet the travel needs for conventions, conferences, exhibitions and special events - offering attractive discounts on flights across a network spanning 850 destinations globally served by some of the world's leading airlines.

For event and convention organisers, oneworld events provides an efficient and user-friendly centralised process, with one set of terms and conditions covering travel on all oneworld member airlines that can be ready for acceptance just days after submitting the online request form.

Discounted flights for attendees plus the chance for organisers to earn and redeem credits for travel on participating oneworld member airlines, a simple online access to real-time management reports 24/7 to help meet attendees' travel needs and a ready-to-use oneworld promotional tool kit to build attendee awareness is also on the list.

For attendees, oneworld events offers attractive discounts on flights for attendees and one travel companion each, on oneworld member airlines, which together serve 850 destinations in more than 150 countries around the globe.

A user-friendly booking tool that will display the most convenient flights and multiple fare options from hundreds of departure points all over the world to the event or convention location and round-the-clock support, with the oneworld events helpdesk are ready on hand to help via email or phone.

All usual privileges and benefits to members of any oneworld member airline frequent flyer programme - including the ability to earn miles/points and, for top tier cardholders and one companion each, to use any of the 550 airport lounges provided by the alliance's airlines the world over. Attendees who are not yet members can sign-up before they depart and then receive their benefits and privileges on their way to or from their convention of event.

oneworld events is aimed at conferences, conventions, exhibitions and special events targeting a minimum of 500 international attendees travelling from at least two regions. Requests are accepted as early as five years in advance and up to three months prior to the event date.

Industry data indicates that 3.5 million delegates attend these kinds of conferences and events around the world every year, spending around US$ 1.5 billion on air travel. The oneworld alliance brings together leading airlines from around the world - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.

Besides these 12 full member airlines, oneworld also features around 30 "affiliate" members, expanding its network further. They include Austria's NIKI, China's Dragonair, US regional American Eagle, South Africa's Comair, Denmark's SUN-AIR, transatlantic carrier OpenSkies, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Peru and, soon, LAN Colombia.

oneworld is currently undergoing one of its biggest expansion drives in its history. Lining up to join oneworld in the year ahead are Qatar Airways, one of the world's most highly regarded and fastest growing carriers, and the first of the Gulf Big Three airlines to sign for any global airline alliance, SriLankan Airlines, which will be the first carrier from the Indian sub-continent to join any of the global airline alliances and TAM Airlines, the leading airline in Latin America's biggest economy, Brazil.

In addition, US Airways, one of the world's largest airlines, is planning to move into oneworld, through its proposed merger with American Airlines, subject to approvals. With the addition of its members elect, the oneworld network will soon grow to almost a thousand destinations in nearly 160 countries served by a combined fleet of some 3,300 aircraft operating more than 13,000 daily departures and carrying 480 million customers a year.

oneworld events was unveiled recently at IMEX, in Frankfurt - the world's biggest annual convention for the conferences, conventions, exhibitions and events industry.

Launching the product, oneworld Director Sales José María Alvarado said: "Uniquely among global airline alliances, oneworld counts all four of the top country markets for big global gatherings as homes to member airlines - USA, Germany, Spain and UK.

But virtually wherever you are holding an event or exhibition, oneworld member airlines will be able to get you there.

"This makes oneworld an obvious choice as a travel partner for most of the world's big conventions and events. Our new oneworld events programme is both simple and speedy to use, with very attractive discounts on published fares," Alvarado concluded.

France will raise cash from airport shares

The French state is to cut its shareholding in Paris airport operator ADP but will retain control, the finance minister said on Thursday in line with a new policy of reducing state holdings to raise money.

The minister, Pierre Moscovici, said that the state would sell up to 10 million shares, to help fund investment in areas of the economy with high potential.

On the basis of the closing price of shares in ADP on Wednesday this would raise 690 million euros ($895 million) for public finances, which are under severe pressure.

However, a sale of this nature is usually made at below the market price. The state owns 54.5 percent of Aeroports de Paris and the strategic investment fund FSI owns 5.6 percent.

ADP operates notably Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, but also sells its airport management expertise around the world. Moscovici said that the shares would be sold to long-term investors and outside usual market channels. The FSI would be invited to take part.





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