Cathay Cargo To Buy Up To 26 Airbus A350F Freighters

To make Hong Kong the world’s top air cargo hub, Cathay Group has placed a firm order for Airbus A350F Freighters. The agreement also gives the option for the Hong Kong-based airline to purchase a further 20 such aircraft. Cathay confirms that the first units from this order will start arriving in 2027. These freighter aircraft will help the carrier link its hub and China Mainland with long-haul destinations across North America, South America and Europe.

Presently, Cathay Group’s Cargo services are handled by 20 Boeing 747 freighters, including 14 B747-8Fs and 6 B747-400ERFs. In addition to those purpose-built aircraft, the airline serves cargo needs with belly capacity on its fleet of passenger aeroplanes.

The order book for Cathay Group currently includes 21 Boeing 777-9s, with deliveries expected to start in 2025, and 49 Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft, all expected to join the fleet by 2029.

Pratt & Whitney Propels The Falcon 6X Into Service

RTX’s Pratt & Whitney Canada joins Dassault Aviation in celebrating the latter’s Falcon 6X’s entry into service. The business jet, which had bagged its type certifications from EASA and FAA earlier this year, is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW812D turbofan engines. The Falcon 6X entered service on November 30, 2023.

In the testing phase, the engines proved so fuel-efficient that they could fly the largest Falcon jet for up to 5,500 nautical miles (10,200km). Plus, compared to direct competition, the PW812D also offers improvements over noise and emissions. Pratt & Whitney Canada claims that the PW800 series engines require 40 per cent less scheduled maintenance and 20 per cent fewer inspections when compared to rivals in the same class.

The engines in question are already compatible with a 50 per cent blend of kerosene-based jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Further tests are being conducted for up to 100 per cent use of SAF.

Star Alliance Bags Accolade At World Travel Awards

At the 30th edition of the World Travel Awards, Star Alliance was recognised as the World’s Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth consecutive year. Apart from that, Star Alliance members bagged various individual awards at the event.

Earlier this year, the Star Alliance Los Angeles Airport lounge was awarded the title of North America’s Leading Airport lounge for the fourth year in a row. All in all, the alliance has had quite a 2023. And all its 25+ members, including Air Canada, Air India, SAS, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, played a critical role in gaining all recognition.

Also Read: Emirates Puts On A Show At 2023 World Travel Awards

Emirates Puts On A Show At 2023 World Travel Awards

Dubai-based carrier Emirates, widely regarded among the best in the world at what it does, put up a show at the 2023 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final. The airline was named the World’s Leading Airline for the Middle East for the third year in a row. Next, it bagged the top honours for Leading Airline Inflight Entertainment, Leading First Class and Leading Airline Brand. The Emirates Skywards was also recognised as the World’s Leading Rewards Programme. Emirates has won that particular award for the last 11 out of 12 WTA events. For the record, the 2023 edition of the WTA marked the 30th anniversary of this honours programme.

Earlier this year, Emirates received accolades for the Best Airline in the World and Best Airline in the Middle East at the 2023 ULTRAs. Also, it was recognised as the 2024 APEX World Class Airline and bagged the 2024 IFSA award for Best Onboard Amenity. Emirates was also honoured at the Gulf Business Awards 2023, where it won the Transport & Logistics Company of the Year award.

Also Read: Dubai Airshow 2023: Emirates Orders 15 A350s

Air India And Axis Bank Enter Reward Points Partnership

Two of India’s renowned brands, Air India and Axis Bank, have entered a new partnership. It’s related to the reward points that both companies offer to their customers. According to the newly inked partnership, Axis Bank’s credit card customers can transfer their Axis Edge Reward points or Edge miles to Air India Flying Returns points. Once transferred, the points can be used against cabin upgrades or award flights on any Air India flight and Flying Returns’ 25 other partner airlines.

The points conversion is as follows. For Burgundy Private and Magnus for Burgundy credit cards, five points equate to four Flying Returns points (5:4). Similarly, the conversion ratio is 5:2 for Magnus and Reserve credit card holders. The best conversion ratio of 1:2 is for those with Atlas credit cards. The ratio is 10:1 for Select and Privilege & Rewards credit cards, while the remaining eligible can transfer at 20:1.

Also Read: Air India To Start Delhi-Phuket Flight Soon

Daily Akasa Air Flights To Port Blair Start Next Month

One of India’s newest airlines, Akasa Air, has added a new destination to its expanding network. From December 15, 2023, the carrier will start operating daily flights to Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, from Bengaluru via Chennai. In case you’re wondering, there won’t be a change of aircraft in Chennai.

Here are the flight details: Flight QP 1485 will depart from Bengaluru at 6 am and arrive in Tamil Nadu’s capital at 7:05 am. After a stoppage of 40 minutes, the flight will leave Chennai at 7:45 am and land in Port Blair at 9:55 am. The return flight, QP 1486, will depart at 10:35 am and arrive at Chennai at 1 pm. 35 minutes later, the same aircraft will leave Chennai and land in Karnataka’s capital at 2:50 pm.

Akasa Air, which has a fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets, has served more than 5.9 million passengers ever since it went live in August last year. Apart from the cities mentioned above, the carrier also connects with Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kochi, Guwahati, Agartala, Pune, Lucknow, Goa, Hyderabad, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata.

Air India To Start Delhi-Phuket Flight Soon

Air India has announced that from December 15, 2023, a nonstop service linking Delhi with Phuket will start. It will be operated with a 162-seater Airbus A320. The aircraft will have a two-class layout – 150 seats in Economy and 12 in Business Class.

Flight AI 378 will take off from Delhi at 01:10 and land in Phuket the same day at 07:10. The return leg will leave Thailand’s famous island at 08:10 and land in Delhi at 10:50 (all times are local). To begin with, Air India will offer this service four times a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. However, it will become a daily affair from January 2024.

Air India currently operates 26 flights to Bangkok, with daily direct services from Delhi and Mumbai and six a week from Kolkata. Customers can find connections to 10 destinations in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia because of its interline partnership with Bangkok Airways.

Also Read: Air India Signs Intermodal Agreement With WorldTicket

Air Arabia Launches Nonstop Flights to Kozhikode

MENA’s (Middle East and North Africa’s) largest low-cost carrier, Air Arabia, has further strengthened its network by launching nonstop service to Kozhikode, India. The thrice-weekly flight will depart from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RKT) and land at Calicut International Airport (CCJ), Kerela. The outbound service, bearing flight number G9 728, will leave RKT at 14:55 and arrive at CCJ at 20:10. The return flight – G9 729 – will depart CCJ at 20:50 and land at RKT at 23:25. This outbound-inbound flight service will be offered on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using an Airbus A320.

Newly Formed JV To Boost Urban Air Mobility In The UAE

During the Dubai Airshow 2023, an agreement was inked between Embention, a company that deals in avionics, and Eanan, a Dubai-based Urban Air Mobility firm. It is for a joint venture (JV), with an initial investment of USD 5 million, that aims to manufacture at least 3,000 Embention’s Veronte Autopilots in Dubai, a core flight control system for Eanan’s aircraft – the S-700. That is the company’s largest unmanned aircraft with a payload capacity of up to 200kg.

With no local emissions, the unmanned aircraft help boost UAE’s urban air mobility solutions. At the recently concluded Dubai Airshow 2023, the duo launched the first fleet of unmanned aircraft produced and designed entirely in Dubai.

Also Read: Eve And Kookiejar To Join Forces For Urban ATMS Ops In Dubai

Also Read: Dubai Airshow 2023: An MoU Signed For Air Taxi Service