Source Gulf news
Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways launched its new flagship first class lounge and spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport on Monday.
The lounge features 16 zones with a restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, cigar lounge, spa, salon, TV room, prayer roomm and children’s play area for guests to relax before they board their flight. Invest in the new lounge is not known.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our new First Class Lounge & Spa is the jewel in the crown of our new lounge offerings worldwide and represents the best of our home city of Abu Dhabi. It is a showcase of intelligent product design, innovation, and superlative hospitality and service.”
The new facility adds to the airline’s expanding collection of 14 premium lounges including those recently launched in New York and Melbourne in addition to premium lounges in Abu Dhabi (Terminals 1 and 3), Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Washington DC, and Sydney.
A new First and Business Class Lounge at Los Angeles airport will follow in the coming months.
With an area of 1,700 square meters, the new facility is open round the clock for the exclusive use of guests of The Residence, Etihad First Class, Etihad Guest Exclusive, Etihad Guest Platinum members etc.
Source The national
Middle East carriers posted growth of about 13 per cent year on year in traffic last month, and the region was alone in recording a double-digit percentage increase in demand amid a global slowdown after the Brussels airport attack in March.
However, with the capacity growth of regional carriers at 14.8 per cent in April, load factor fell by 1.4 percentage points to 75.6 per cent, the International Air Travel Association (Iata) said on the eve of its annual meeting, which is being held in Dublin this year. Globally, demand last month slowed to 4.6 per cent year-on- year, the lowest rate of growth since January last year.
The attacks in March on Brussels’ airport and metro left 31 people dead and 300 wounded. The attacks led to airports introducing new screening measures in terminals. They weighed on April figures, Iata said, estimating that without them, demand growth would have been about 5 per cent.
“The disruptive impacts of the Brussels terror attacks will likely be short-lived. There are some longer-term clouds over the pace of demand growth. The stimulus from lower oil prices appears to be tapering off. And the global economic situation is subdued. Demand is still growing, but we may be shifting down a gear," said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and chief executive.
For European airlines demand rose by a mere 1.8 per cent annually last month, down from 6 per cent growth recorded in March, reflecting the effect of the Brussels attacks, which closed the airport for about two weeks
Now airports worldwide are reviewing landside security and screening procedures, which could have a dramatic effect on the design of the areas in and around terminal buildings, where passengers arrive before checking in.
Source Australian Aviation
Airbus has reaffirmed its forecast of delivering 50 of its A350-900s in calendar 2016, despite the “challenges” of delays to cabin equipment.
Through the first five months of calendar 2016, Airbus has delivered nine A350-900s to the likes of Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, meaning it has to hand over a further 41 frames between now and the end of December to meet its target.
Efforts to get A350s out the door to its airline customers have been hampered by a shortage of cabin equipment from a number of suppliers.
However, Airbus executive vice president programmes Didier Evrard says the target can still be met, albeit not without a big effort from all involved in the program.
“We have challenges,” Evrard told reporters at company’s Innovation Days media briefings in Hamburg on Monday.
“The target remains absolutely achievable with a high level of effort from the A350 team.”
Evrard said production had improved in the past three months, with Airbus adding extra resources to the task.
“Fortunately, we are lucky enough that this year the A330 production is going down so this frees up additional up an additional station 20 that we can use for the A350,” Evrard said.
“We have also mobilised other facilities in Toulouse to cope with working parties.
“We are where we are. The fixes are in place.”
Meanwhile, Airbus chief operating officer Tom Williams said the proposed production rate of 60 A320 Family aircraft a month by 2019 was “enough for what we see today”.
“We’ve made studies to go beyond that but we are always making lots of studies and evaluations,” Williams said.
“I don’t think there is any real serious work going on and there is certainly no capital investment plans at this stage.”
“We are not spending too much time and energy thinking beyond that.”
“It is not one of our top priorities.”
Williams said the falling fuel price made it more challenging to sell A320s today when compared with the period when the A320neo was launched.
However, the low fuel prices could help support efforts to boost sales of the A380.
“The fuel price, as it is today, helps us in presenting the risk and reward ratio of the A380. That is one of the other things that we are going to push really hard,” Williams said.
“This is an aircraft that will still come back.”
Other efforts to promote A380 sales included improvements to the efficiency of the cabin (i.e. add more seats) and boosting the operational reliability of the aircraft through longer periods between maintenance checks. These efforts may allow airlines to operate a small fleet of A380s without causing big schedule disruptions when an aircraft is out.
Given the low demand for the world’s largest passenger aircraft, Airbus has installed a fourth final assembly line for its A320 Family into a building at its Hamburg-Finkenwerder facility that was originally slated for A380 production.
The US-based plane manufacturer Boeing has been considering to install a larger engine on the upcoming 737 MAX 9 aircraft in order to compete more successfully with its main rival Airbus A321 neo, that is outselling 737 MAX 9 at ratio four to one.
Boeing selected CFM's LEAP-1B engine to power 737 MAX 9 but considers replacing it with the one that Airbus A321neo is using now - larger and more powerful LEAP-1A. The new addition would give more than 3,000 lb. additional thrust power over the LEAP-1B and increase the aircraft's range. In addition, the new engine could increase the plane's passenger capacity by over 12 people, giving the seating advantage to Boeing, thus making it more attractive to potential customers. At the present, A321 can seat 185 while 737 MAX 9 – 178 passengers.
As beneficial, as it may seem, the idea is hardly implemented, because the addition of larger engine would need the repositioning of the planes landing gear, that may cost $1 billion or more. 737 MAX 9's fuselage is lower to the ground, therefore must have a smaller engine. Airbus A320 family program head Klaus Roewe claimed he has heard the rumors, but said the 1A would be a “quantum leap compared to the -1B” and was skeptical whether it could be done.
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