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UK Air Routes Agreements Offer Reassurance Post-Brexit Passengers travelling to Canadian airports can continue to enjoy clear passage after Brexit, according to the UKs Transport Secretary, following an aviation agreement made between the two countries at the end of last month.

The agreement spells good news for the aviation industry, which has been surrounded by uncertainty following the UKs decision to leave the EU in 2016. The UK-Canada arrangement will replace the current EU aviation agreement, thus assuring continued access to the aviation routes the UK currently enjoys with Canada.

This follows the UK government’s announcement last month of a new Open Skies agreement with the United States, which will also mirror and replace the current EU arrangement.

The recent agreements will ensure continued access to vital air routes that carry millions of people across the Atlantic every year, will also make sure business operators will not lose out, and will pave the way for future trade deals supported by air travel.

The UK-Canada air route has been steadily growing over the past six years, and more than 3.5 million passengers were transported last year alone.

This is all good news for the aviation industry, and for global trade opportunities, which rely on the UK as a major European hub. These two latest arrangements with the US and Canada come after an announcement that another eight bilateral arrangements have already been concluded with other countries – Switzerland, Israel, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Georgia and Morocco.

UK transport secretary, Chris Grayling said after the US agreement, ‘Our transatlantic flights have helped to bring our countries even closer together, strengthening our ties and boosting our economies. This new arrangement and those concluded with 8 other countries around the world are proof that the UK will continue to be a major player on the world stage after we leave the EU.

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Protesters at Airports in the U.S. | Business Aviation NewsAirports all over the U.S. have erupted into chaos this week following the Executive Order issued by President Trump.

The temporary travel ban placed on seven majority-Muslim countries has sparked protests from citizens, whether affected or not. Hundreds of people came out at airports nationwide to express their horror for travellers, some of which were detained as they arrived on American soil, and others left stranded in airports around the world as they are refused boarding passage.

The Executive Order is expected to continue to delay travellers for a period of up to 90 days.

Currently the fourth busiest airport in the Java-Bali region | Business Aviation NewsWithin the next few years, travellers to Java, Indonesia, can expect to enjoy greater flexibility with the advent of a planned new international airport, which will replace the Java-Bali regions’ fourth busiest airport, Yogyakarta Adisutjipto, currently located in the Sleman Regency.

The airport no longer meets the needs of the region, with a handling capacity designed to originally handle just 2.1 million passengers. Last year the airport saw almost 5 million additional passengers pass through its gates, prompting further discussion surrounding the urgent need for improvement.

The new airport, currently underway in the Kulon Progo Regency, has been designed to accommodate 50 million passengers per year, and the first phase is expected to be completed during spring 2019. It will also serve long-haul flights, and will include a 3250-metre runway, which will be extended during phase two by an additional 350 metres.

A ceremony to break ground on the new airport was held last week, and was attended by President Joko Widodo.

Aviation News | Airline Strategy Awards 2017This years’ Airline Strategy Awards has now officially launched, and is open for nominations. The 16th annual awards will be held at the Middle Temple Hall, London on Sunday 9th July 2017, and will be delivered and hosted by FlightGlobal and Korn Ferry.

Michael Bell, who has worked in partnership on the awards since they began back in 2002, is ‘delighted that FlightGlobal has agreed to continue our strong partnership from [his] new home at Korn Ferry.’

The closing date for nominations will be Thursday 13th April 2017 in six main categories:

  • Executive Leadershipwon in 2016 by Michael O’Leary – Ryanair
  • Regional Leadershipwon in 2016 by David Neeleman – Azul
  • Low-Cost Leadershipwon in 2016 by Enrique Beltranena – Volaris
  • Financewon in 2016 by Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic
  • Marketingwon in 2016 by JetBlue
  • Network Strategy won in 2016 by Emirates Airlines
  • Flight Airline Business Award won in 2016 by Tony Tyler – IATA

Visit the Airline Strategy Awards website to place nominations or to find out more.

Rockwell Collins' Bag Drop technology in action | Business Aviation NewsA two-phase project at Dublin Airport has seen a dramatic reduction in passenger check-in times with the introduction of Rockwell Collins’ ARINC vMUSE, self-service kiosks and the latest bag drop solutions.

Frances O’Brien, VP PMO at DAA (Dublin Airport Authority), spearheaded a campaign to streamline airport operations to address the challenges she recognised within the airport. Speaking about the implementation of CUPPS by Rockwell Collins in 2015/16, she said, ‘We worked with Rockwell Collins to implement systems that enable our airlines to share workstations, helping us make the best use of our current resources. As we embarked on this new initiative, our existing relationship plus Rockwell Collins’ extensive industry expertise made them the right partner for us.’

The first phase of the project began in December 2015, with the introduction of 19 Common-Use workstations. This quickly expanded to 64 units through spring 2016 with no issues, described by O’Brien as ‘a painless process.’

The self-service bag drop stations now number 20 in Ryanair’s hub, Terminal 1, and 16 in the Aer Lingus check-in area in Terminal 2. Jim Rogers, the Aer Lingus bag tag and drop off project manager said, ‘Some of our guests have told us that this technology is a key differentiator on whether they would fly with Aer Lingus again. Our fleet size is increasing by about 10 percent this year, and this type of technology allows us to increase throughput without capital expenditure on building and facilities.’

Munich Airport Aims for Carbon Neutral Status by 2030 | Business Aviation BlogGermany’s Munich Airport has detailed a €150 million plan to reduce its carbon emissions directly by 60% over the next 17 years.

The Bavarian State Minister for Finance, Regional Development and Home Affairs, Dr Markus Soder said, ‘With this target we are underscoring the enormous importance attached to climate protection by the airport and the Bavarian state government.’

Dr Soder, who is also chairman of the supervisory board for Munich Airport, is keen for the airport to become a ‘trailblazer for all of Germany.’

The plan contains many fine details, including increased reliance of renewable energy sources, electromobility within the vehicle fleet, LED runway lighting and intelligent control technology.

Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO of Munich Airport, spoke during the launch of the CO2 strategy of the continuation of the current efforts the airport already makes towards climate protection, ‘As Europe’s first five-star airport, we also set very high standards for climate protection. With our far-reaching climate targets, we want to help ensure that the airport’s operations and ongoing development are pursued in ways that preserve the opportunities and possibilities of future generations.’

The remaining 40% CO2 emissions will be offset at regional level against certified projects.

Alaska Air Group Acquires Virgin America | Aviation NewsIt has been announced, just one week after the deal was given approval by regulators, that Alaska Air Group has closed the acquisition of Virgin America for the sum of $4 billion.

It has not been decided whether Alaska Air will retain the Virgin America brand, but this is expected to be revealed within the first quarter of this year.

Alaska Air Group notes that the consolidation of one of its biggest competitors will enable them to compete more effectively with the other major carriers that between them handle 84% of air traffic in the U.S. – Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines.

According to a statement from Alaska Air Group a few days ago, ‘Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will spend the next year working to secure Federal Aviation Administration certification to allow the two airlines to operate as a single carrier.’ The group hopes to achieve certification by 2018.

The merger will give Alaska Air and Virgin a fleet of 286 aircraft, operating almost 1200 daily flights to 118 destinations across the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba and Mexico.