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Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

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Iberia welcomes 20 new pilots as first post-pandemic hires

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A. (Iberia), a subsidiary of International Airlines Group (IAG) and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, has welcomed twenty new pilots to the European carrier, all of whom have been on the Iberia Cadetes programme at the Flight Training School in Jerez, Spain. They will officially join the carrier in July this year, with a further 20 more pilots expected to join Iberia in October after completing the same course.

The Iberia Cadetes programme was launched in 2019, but these first pilots to graduate had their transition to working for Iberia delayed as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The arrival of new pilots in Iberia is very good news, the best sign that we are flying towards recovery. In addition, our collaboration with FTEJerez through the Iberia Cadetes programme guarantees that we are getting the professionals with the best skills for the future of Iberia”, said Rafael Jiménez-Hoyos, Production Director at Iberia.

The recruitment of these new pilots is part of Iberia’s strategy to deal with the resurgence of post-pandemic air travel and the anticipated boom in summer air travel. The FTEJerez flight training school is the first to offer the Iberia Cadetes programme where the school and Iberia look to identify the most promising future pilots and help them to achieve their goals. To facilitate these trainee pilots, Iberia provides interest-free loans that will cover half of the cost of the training programme, and which can then be paid off once they have qualified and begun working with Iberia.

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Swiss airspace closes due to computer crash

In the early hours of Wednesday morning all flights until 11 a.m. local time had been cancelled at Geneva and Zurich airports for inbound and outgoing flights, causing the cancellation of a number of flights, owing to what appeared to be a hardware problem at the Skyguide air traffic control service.

Skyguide has confirmed that a technical malfunction in the early hours of Wednesday meant that Swiss airspace had to be closed to traffic for "safety reasons". Images posted by Flightradar24 at 7.17 local time show a massive hole in flights over Switzerland. Skyguide spokesman Vladi Barrosa told the Tagesanzeiger news website that the problem appeared to be a hardware fault and they did not believe their system had been hacked: "Our technicians are working flat out to fix the fault."

Curiously, flights were running as normal at Basel-Mulhouse airport as despite the city of Basel being in Switzerland, the airport itself is on French territory and is therefore covered by French air traffic control. While as at 10.00 p.m. local time air traffic was gradually resuming, there had been no further details provided regarding flight delays or cancellations.

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AJW Technique Interiors announce Air Serbia as launch customer for SkyLeather

AJW Technique Interiors, part of the AJW Group, has announced Air Serbia as the launch customer for its SkyLeather range of seat coverings.

SkyLeather is a revolutionary, sustainable, man-made material offering significant weight savings over natural leather. Produced by AJW's manufacturing partner Autostop Aviation, its durability and easy clean surface reduces airline’s direct maintenance costs and its lightweight construction reduces fuel costs.

The synthetic 100% polyurethane material, which offers advantages to seat maintenance, cabin aesthetics and passenger well-being, will be installed on Air Serbia’s fleet of A320 aircraft.

ECS Group and Bamboo Airways to grow Asia Pacific cargo operations

Vietnamese leisure airline, Bamboo Airways has selected ECS Group, to develop its cargo operations in four countries as the airline expands its network across Asia Pacific.

Bamboo Airways began operating A321 services between Saigon (SGN) and Singapore (SIN) twice a week on April 29, 2022. These increased to the thrice-weekly flights on May 24, 2022. It also serves the Hanoi (HAN) – Singapore (SIN) route two times per week since May 4, 2022. The main commodities flying from Singapore to Vietnam are electronic goods, raw materials, spare parts, pharmaceuticals, and e-commerce, whilst the return route from Vietnam to Singapore includes perishables, electronics and ready-made garments.

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OneWeb, Stellar Blu Solutions successfully deliver LEO inflight connectivity on Boeing 777 test-flight

OneWeb, the global space-based communications company, together with commercial aviation terminal partner Stellar Blu Solutions have achieved a significant milestone on May 28, when they successfully delivered high-speed, low-latency inflight LEO satellite connectivity to a commercial airliner. Stellar Blu, has partnered with antenna technology provider Ball Aerospace to incorporate its electronically steered arrays (ESA) into the terminal solution. This collaboration realised breakthrough performance on OneWeb’s low-earth orbit (LEO) network. The new Stellar Blu platform, known as “Sidewinder”, will continue flight testing through the remainder of 2022, with a target for certification and availability in mid-2023.

This first test-flight was conducted aboard a Boeing B777-200LR and took off from Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW), in Texas on May 27th and flew for just over one hour delivering the game-changing connectivity experience.

This test flight validates not only the installation and integration of the aircraft terminal, but underscores the performance of the antenna technology and verifies the reliability of the connectivity during taxi, take-off, landing and typical aircraft flight manoeuvres. As with any test flight, the assessment of performance reviewed expected parameters against vendor specifications, while also instrumenting and verifying on-aircraft impact and operating characteristics.

The test-flight crew simultaneously demonstrated the ability to connect team's calls, 4K YouTube streaming, Netflix, online VR gaming and Nintendo Switch gaming, among other structured performance tests. Maximum speeds of 260Mbps download/80 upload and file transfer scenarios of 5GB demonstrated in approximately 20 seconds. All while operating at well under 100ms of network latency.

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Aeromexico Connect tests Beacon platform for key maintenance bases

Aeromexico Connect started to test the Beacon platform for key maintenance bases, which will extend for a few months. During this trial, Beacon will support all maintenance operations and accelerate aircraft’s return-to-service time by integrating the platform into the airline’s stations with further tests to include the roll-out to its on-call maintenance providers. Aeromexico Connect is currently one of the largest regional commercial operators in Central America.

The programme package that Aeromexico Connect selected to trial began mid-April and includes several undisclosed bases and users. The decision about hiring the service will occur after the trial period has concluded. The possible association will allow Beacon to expand the solution into the Latin American market and grow its commercial aviation segment. Meanwhile, Aeromexico Connect might be able to lead the commercial segment digitisation while enhancing the overall coordination and reduction of delays within its operations.

Qatar Airways selects Astrova, by Panasonic Avionics, for Boeing 777X fleet

Qatar Airways has signed an agreement with Panasonic Avionics for its in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution, Astrova, designed to enhance passenger engagement and drive operational efficiency. Qatar’s fleet of 40 Boeing 777x is the first aircraft type to feature this industry-leading innovation. With this agreement, Qatar is the first airline to sign as a launch customer globally.

Astrova, by Panasonic Avionics, demonstrates the company’s new approach to the market by helping airlines achieve a powerful and targeted way of engaging with its passengers through IFE. By also re-imagining the ownership experience, airlines will benefit from faster on-wing upgrades and maintenance, commonality in media loading, spares and repairs and significant weight reductions compared to other seat-end architectures. The selection of Astrova also underscores Qatar Airways’ ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainability and directly addresses both companies' efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Panasonic Avionics’ newest IFE seat-end solution features a cinema-grade 4K OLED with High Dynamic Range (HDR) experience. With perfect blacks and cinematic colours in its palette, OLED technology is widely regarded as the ultimate in display quality. With 22-inch screens in Business-Class and 13-inch in economy, Qatar’s passengers will immerse themselves in stunning visuals that are even further enhanced with HDR for the absolute best possible home theater experience.
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Tamar