Bromma Stockholm Airport “Most Improved..

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Sweden’s Bromma Stockholm Airport has been named Europe’s Most Improved Airport in the Airports Council International’s (ACI’s) 2019 annual ranking of global airports that provide the best customer experience for passengers.

Last year the airport welcomed some 2.4 million passengers, the majority of which were domestic passengers. The award is as a direct result of Swedavia’s efforts to modernise airport facilities and improve customer experience in recent years said Mona Glans, Airport Director at Bromma Stockholm Airport. These improvements have included five new gates, a new arrival hall, which was inaugurated in 2018, a renovated security checkpoint for more efficient passenger flow and an overall refurbishment of airport facilities.

“Naturally we are proud and pleased  that our work to improve the customer experience is appreciated by our passengers and that the airport has now been honoured with this award,” said Glans. “This is the result of great effort and teamwork and something the whole airport has contributed to,” she continued.

Mona Glans, Airport Director at Bromma Stockholm Airport highlighted that Swedavia has been working on modernising airport facilities and improving customer experience over recent years. This has included implementing five new gates, an arrival hall, a renovated security checkpoint for higher efficiency and an overall refurbishment.

“Naturally we are proud and pleased that our work to improve the customer experience is appreciated by our passengers and that the airport has now been honoured with this award,” commented Glans. “This is the result of great effort and teamwork and something the whole airport has contributed to.”

Alongside its effort increase passenger satisfaction, Swedavia is working hard to achieve sustainable growth. The airport operator is aiming for all ten of its airports to have zero carbon emissions from their own operations by the end of 2020. It has also been actively promoting the industry’s transition to sustainable aviation fuel, with the expectation that 5% of all fuel supplied to aircraft at Swedish airports will be fossil-free within the next five years.

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority c..

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The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has received a 2020 Climate Leadership Award for its Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management.

The Airport Authority obtained the award during the Climate Leadership Conference in Washington on 6 March for its efforts in reducing direct and indirect emissions by 80% from 2015 to 2035. By 2018, it had already achieved a decrease of 44%. It is developing strategies to reduce its carbon footprint by using cleaner fuels, using cars with a higher mile per gallon rating and utilising more ridesharing, also replacing individual rental car company shuttles. In addition, 15% of electricity demand is now supplied by solar power with plans for a 2 megawatt battery storage system in 2020. The authority is also committed to converting around 80% of ground support equipment to alternative fuels by 2024, opting for electric vehicles where possible.

“It’s an honour to have to have the Airport Authority as well as our leadership recognised at this year’s Climate Leadership Conference and Awards,” said Kim Becker, President and CEO of the Airport Authority. “The Airport Authority is committed to sustainable business practices and works closely with our community, stakeholders and employees to address and limit environmental concerns at the airport.”

The Climate Leadership Conference aims to gather innovative leaders from business, government, academia and non-profit communities to address solutions concerning climate change. Awards are presented to those who have aided movements in reducing carbon pollution and addressing global warming.

Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) highlighted that long-term success means working towards climate impacts and a decarbonised economy. He stated, “The only way to take advantage of the clean energy transition is to be clear-eyed about climate challenges. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has demonstrated outstanding leadership in this and will be ahead of the game in the clean energy economy.”

Brendan Reed, the Airport Authority Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs, was also presented with an Individual Leadership award for his efforts in environmental operations and strategies. He led the Good Traveller Program which allows passengers to purchase offsets that go towards carbon reduction projects, assisting in the funding and development of a Climate Resilience Plan to secure business in future climate conditions, as well as leading an initiative to build stormwater systems to capture, store and reuse up to 39 million gallons of rain per year.

“Planning for long-term prosperity means accounting for climate impacts and a decarbonised economy,” said Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). “The only way to take advantage of the clean energy transition is to be clear-eyed about climate challenges. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has demonstrated outstanding leadership in this and will be ahead of the game in the clean energy economy.”

Allegiant Air announce new base in Concord

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Allegiant Air has announced its plans to open an operations base at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport in North Carolina. The airport will become the airline’s 21st base.

The company is investing $50 million in the project, expecting to create at least 66 high-wage jobs and house two Airbus aircraft. Allegiant commented that it will focus on linking its customers to small-to-medium cities to provide more travel opportunities and aims to launch its North Carolina base on 7 October 2020.

Since establishing its service Allegiant has flown more than one million passengers through Concord including 353,000 in 2019 alone.”

“With a growing and diverse population seeking affordable vacation travel, and as a regional destination for race enthusiasts, arts fans and more, Concord is an ideal location for an Allegiant base,” said Keith Hansen, Allegiants VP of Government Affairs. “Having locally-based operations will mean opportunities for expanded hours, as well as more – and more frequent – flight offerings for residents and visitors alike.”

The partnership involved voices within Concord City Council and Cabarrus County Commissioners.

Allegiant successfully improved the tourism industry in Cabarrus County, accumulating $469 million in visitor spending in 2018, “positively impacting the local economy and quality of life in our community.” It is hoped that the company will have the same impact in Concord.

The company has announced plans to begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and ground personnel to support the operations.

World Fuel Services

World Fuel Services takes on UVair Fuel Divis..

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World Fuel Services

Miami-based World Fuel Services has fully acquired the UVair Fuel Division from Universal Weather and Aviation for $170 million.

The deal makes World Fuel the exclusive contract fuel provider for Universal Weather and Aviation. Fuelling arrangements will be managed as they were previously but now with the access to World Fuel’s global fuel supply network, adding to UVair’s existing 5,000 worldwide locations.

Fixed-base operators (FBOs) will be able to use World Fuel Network’s marketing tools and World Fuel Rewards to reach a larger audience, providing customers with World Fuel Rewards, more contract fuel locations and the addition of Avcard, an aviation retail credit card, to their portfolio.

“Universal has the industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end mission management infrastructure, integrating more phases of the mission, and supporting more global trip legs, than anyone else,” added Evans. “With this new agreement, our customers will continue to benefit from having Universal seamlessly manage their trips, while at the same time enjoying the advantages of World Fuel’s global fuel supply network to better support their evolving needs.”

As well as working with World Fuel Services to provide fuel supply to customers, Universal intends to continue its international planning services. The company now aims to invest in areas that are receiving high demand in growth including FBO ground service locations, digital platforms, Trip Support Services, group transportation division and catering networks.

Universal Chairman, Greg Evans said that the company has “big plans moving forward” and that the sale will allow his company to focus on growth and expanding digital offerings.

“We are pleased to welcome the UVair team to the World Fuel Services organisation,” stated Michael J. Kasbar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of World Fuel Services. “This strategic acquisition will further enhance our global business and general aviation fuel platform.”

Flybe passengers told not to travel to airpor..

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As concern over the current coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate around the world, Exeter-based airline Flybe has gone into administration on Thursday 5 March. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on demand for travel has been partly to blame.

A statement on Flybe’s website reads: “All flights have been grounded and the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect… If you are due to fly with Flybe, please  do not travel to the airport unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.”

The struggling carrier narrowly avoided going bust in January after a rescue package was announced by the UK government. But the airline came under fire from competitors who felt that the so called “tax holiday” – which involved deferring Flybe’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) bill – was unfair. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary accused the UK government of covering up the true terms of the deal to rescue Flybe and threatened to launch legal action at home and in Brussels over what he claims is illegal state aid.

The collapse of Flybe will have a significant impact on airports across the UK, many of which had Flybe as their main or sole carrier. The airline served destinations from the Channel Islands to Aberdeen. For airports such as Exeter, Belfast City and Newquay it was one of a handful of airline choices and at Southampton it accounted for around 95% of the activity.

“We are extremely disappointed at this news and our first thoughts go to the Flybe employees and passengers affected” said Brian Ambrose, CEO of Belfast City Airport commenting on the news this morning.

“From Belfast City Airport, Flybe had operated a strong and profitable base of 14 routes to key regional destinations across the UK. The airline was a significant economic driver for the region, carrying 1.6 million passengers to and from Belfast in 2019,” he added.

“I am confident that these well-established routes, coupled with our city centre location and recent £15m investment in terminal facilities, will prove an attractive option to airlines. Negotiations with a number of carriers are already underway.”

Meanwhile Birmingham Airport issued a statement saying: “A number of routes operated by Flybe are served by other carriers from Birmingham, and we already have arrangements for two airlines to replace five of its routes in the next few weeks. We will continue to engage with other airlines to replace the remaining capacity for our region and customers.” 

Editor’s comment: All eyes on Africa

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Regional Gateway editor Chloë Greenbank summarises the latest happenings across airports serving business, regional and low-fare routes.

Despite the global concern over the rapid spread of the coronavirus – which this morning has been found partly to blame for the collapse of the troubled UK regional carrier Flybe – it’s a case of the show must go on this week in Addis Ababa where Aviation Africa is hosting its 5th summit, which has been well attended by delegates and exhibitors alike, including Regional Gateway.

Opening the summit on Wednesday 4 March, Ato Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, commented: “Can you hear me at the back? Excuse my voice, I have the flu. But it’s only the flu…” However, he did also highlight the gravity of the current coronavirus outbreak describing it as “a huge challenge, but one that we have the capability to overcome.”

During my own travels over the past 14 days, which have seen me passing through air transport hubs in London, Los Angeles, Los Cabos and Addis Ababa, the growing anxiety among passengers has become increasingly apparent. There has been a steady rise in the number of passengers wearing masks and even surgical gloves as they move through the airport and particularly at security checkpoints. And you can’t purchase hand sanitiser for love nor money.

In some extreme cases a number of hubs including Noi Bai Airport in Vietnam and Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport in Alaska have been pictured with deserted check-in areas and baggage halls.

Admittedly the figures are worrying. More than 93,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus since it was first diagnosed at the end of 2019 and more than 3,000 people have died. But as Alan Peaford, Chairman of the Aviation Africa summit, recently pointed out, in the US last year an estimated 35.5 million people contracted influenza, while 34,200 people died. None of it is good news, but it’s important we maintain some perspective.

Under the theme ‘Creating a sustainable future for Africa’s aviation industry’, Peaford has been addressing challenges and opportunities affecting the continent during this week’s summit. In addition to the current outbreak and the impact it’s having with stakeholders across the aviation sector, this has also included the need to address capacity constraints, weak infrastructure, high taxes and poor connectivity, as well as how the industry is tackling climate change. The overriding message is that these are challenges the industry must face together in order to achieve a sustainable future.

I will also be moderating a panel on how African airports are addressing sustainable growth, which is more than just a question of facing up to the global climate emergency. It’s also about how airports are prioritising economic growth while generating social progress and ensuring safe, secure operations. A task that’s made all the more challenging by the impact of the current coronavirus outbreak.

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Regional Gateway e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

Anthony Leon Avaf20

Aviation Africa 2020: Air BP highlights low c..

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Anthony Leon Avaf20

Air BP, the aviation fuel products and services supplier has been highlighting its low carbon solutions and sustainability agenda at this year’s Aviation Africa summit being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week.

 

Low carbon solutions

 

Air BP first began operations on the African continent 77 years ago in Mozambique and Zanzibar. It now provides fuel at around 40 network locations across Africa and is the first aviation fuel supplier in the world to achieve carbon neutrality for its into-plane fuelling services across an international network of over 250 operated facilities, including OR Tambo in Johannesburg and Cape Town International in South Africa.

 

Speaking at the summit on Thursday 5 March, Air BP’s General Manager,Southern Africa, Anthony Leon, explained how Air BP has more than a decade of experience in the use of electric powered vehicles. It has also adopted innovative stop-start technology in its hydrant dispensers which constantly monitors power demands and reduces vehicle idling. At OR Tambo International airport Air BP deployed a bespoke engine start/stop system last year. This has been increased and extended to Cape Town International with each airport now operating six hydrant dispensers with stop/start technology. By shutting the fuel dispenser engine down whilst refuelling the aircraft, it has reduced carbon emissions from those engines by around 20%.

 

“We are pleased to be sharing our lower carbon solutions and sustainability agenda with our customers and delegates at Aviation Africa 2020. With the African continent anticipated to experience phenomenal growth, it is vital that we work together with our partners, suppliers, customers and operations teams to continue to develop innovative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint and neutralise emissions,” commented Leon.

Last year at Cape Town International Air BP introduced additional offloading points in the depot which has improved its supply operations planning and stock management thus considerably reducing inefficient vehicle idling and waiting during busy periods. In addition, the fuel supplier added variable controls to pumps in its Johannesburg rail siding operations which allows for more efficient use of electric power on pump motors during lower demand periods thereby reducing electricity consumption.

 

 

Airfield Automation in Africa

 

Last year Air BP rolled out its Airfield Automation digital technology to nine airport locations in Africa. Designed to enhance safety, reliability and compliance in airport fuelling operations, it can increase speed and efficiency in fuelling. Airline customers in the region such as Airlink have been impressed with Airfield Automation and have reported improved turnaround times and enhanced accuracy in fuelling.

 

Leon, adds: “We are delighted to receive such positive feedback from the installation of Airfield Automation in Africa. With this new technology, we are playing our part in ensuring that the fuelling process is fast, efficient and safe. Misfuelling is one of the biggest risks we face in our industry. Our global solution provides an engineering barrier to help prevent misfuelling, which is good news for Africa and good news for our industry.”

 

Air BP grows its footprint in Africa

 

Air BP continues to invest and grow its footprint in Africa. In November 2019, Air BP signed a technical services agreement with Sonangol, the state-owned oil company in Angola marking its entry into the country. Air BP will support Sonangol in assuring its operations to international standards, providing advice on product quality, operations, HSSE and engineering.

 

Air BP further extended its reach last year with its first location in Nigeria at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. Air BP is working in collaboration with 11PLC (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria plc) to provide fuelling services at both the main terminal and the general aviation terminal.  Additionally, Air BP is providing technical support and risk management expertise to the airport. Furthermore, Air BP’s technical services team has supported 11PLC in the construction and commissioning of a new 20 million litre aviation jet fuel import tank including the laying of new jet fuel pipelines both of which were completed in 2019.

 

Air BP currently supplies commercial, general and military aviation customers at nine locations in South Africa, 10 in Egypt, seven in Tunisia, seven in Mozambique, two in Morocco, two in Cape Verde and one each in Nigeria, Mauritius and Ivory Coast. The company’s operations in Africa are supported by around 180 employees.

Header image: Credit BillyPix.co.uk

Aviation Africa 2020: Airbus reiterates commi..

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Speaking at this week’s Aviation Africa summit, taking place in Addis Ababa, Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa and Middle East, highlighted how the aviation industry is a great enabler for Africa.

 

Just as industry expansion creates jobs, attracts investment and produces manufacturing opportunities across the continent, it is also set to be a major beneficiary of Africa’s accelerating and continued economic growth, forecasted by the African Development Bank to be at 3.9% this year and 4.1% in 2021.

 

On the back of such growth, Airbus’s own Global Market Forecast (GMF) predicts that the continent’s rapid urbanisation, trade and tourism will contribute substantially to drive passenger traffic to and from Africa by 5.0% yearly over the next 20 years. An enabling environment through policies such as the African Union’s Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) further contribute to this growth.

 

From the airline perspective, African carriers are increasingly aware of the operational and economic benefits of acquiring new and modern aircraft. In fact, today airlines on the continent operate some of the most efficient and technologically advanced aircraft such as the A350XWB, A330neo, A320neo and the A220.

 

To meet market demands and Africa’s forecasted passenger growth, Houari, forecasts that Africa will need “more than 1,200 new passenger and freighter aircraft. By 2038, we will see double the number of planes we currently see in the sky according to the Airbus GMF.”

 

He added that Africa’s expanding maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) segment will continue on the same growth trajectory – Houari added this growth creates huge opportunities in terms of employment. “One direct job represents 10 indirect jobs and based on the current skills shortage we will need an additional 25,000 technicians and engineers and 20,000 pilots over the next 20 years.”

 

With a larger aviation and MRO industry, markets must be capacitated with the right skills to meet demands of the steady increase of traffic over the next 20 years.

 

To achieve sustainable growth in aviation, Houari believes that “investing in Africa’s youthful and increasingly tech-savvy population to build its capacity is vital. At Airbus, we have created several initiatives such as the “Airbus Little Engineer” programme, which has reached over 5000 learners across the continent and “Africa 4Future” for entrepreneurs. These initiatives are a reflection of our commitment to support the development of a sustainable pipeline of talent for the continent,”

 

Citing how the potential for aviation in Africa is immense and our focus remains on the full aerospace value-chain, Hoari added: “Our aim is to provide best-in-class products and services, develop sustainable partnerships, foster innovation, nurture talent, enhance skills and promote entrepreneurship in Africa.”

Krimson Aviation

Aviation Africa 2020: Krimson Aviation launch..

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Krimson Aviation

Based out of Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport, Krimson Aviation –the flight support, charter and aviation consultancy – has unveiled its new high-end travel service Krimson Koncierge.

Speaking at the 5th Aviation Africa summit being held in Addis Ababa this week, Krimson Aviation’s Founder and CEO, Dawit Lemma, explains the new service specialises in creating escorted customised luxury excursions, tailored itineraries and bespoke destination management services for aviation crew, VIP and discerning travellers.

“Krimson Aviation has grown exponentially in the last couple of years,” Lemma tells Regional Gateway during the summit. “Customers would often ask us what to do and where to go in and around the capital and we realised that was something we could cater for. We also realised that beyond private aviation the concierge service was something we could offer business class passengers too.”

The Koncierge portfolio complements existing trip support services which until now have focused on managing hotel accommodation and ground transportation for business aviation crew. The new services offers an airport meet and greet serviced specifically for business class passengers arriving or departing on commercial airlines. It expedites transfers through the airport and reduces waiting time by more than an hour  as it speeds customers through the immigration and customs queues.

Krimson Koncierge has also secured a Tourism Investment Permit and Business License, which is necessary to conduct tourism business. This will enable Lemma and his team to deliver premium experiences tailored to the individual clients requests.

Close personal protection can also be arranged to mitigate potential risk and ensure safe passage. “We frequently receive requests for a security detail and drivers from our clients who come from all over the world, including Europe and the Middle East. But in the last six months we’ve seen an increase in business traffic and tourists from the US,” says Lemma.

Looking forward in addition to exploring more aircraft assets in the next five years, Krimson Aviation hopes to expand its services across the continent although Lemma admits that its roots remain firmly in Addis Ababa. “We’ve worked hard to develop relationships with service providers across the airport and beyond. We now have partners on the ground from Cape Town to Cairo, who we trust so we can provide all the necessary services,” he says.

And with Addis Ababa now the main aviation hub for passenger traffic coming to and around the region, Lemma reveals his goal is to “establish Addis Abba Africa’s business aviation hub and to offer unique customised experiences that can’t be found through traditional tour operators.” In the next five years he also plans to look into more aircraft assets.

Universal Aviation expands in the Caribbean

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Global FBO operator, Universal Aviation, has expanded its network in the Caribbean by partnering with local ground handling service provider, Cayman Dispatch Services (CDS), in the Cayman Islands.

CDS is based at Owen Roberts International Airport (MWCR) in Grand Cayman and provides over and under-wing services to aircraft. This collaboration will expand the Universal Aviation network to 20 locations within the Latin American and Caribbean region, in addition to its other locations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

“The Cayman Islands is experiencing record growth in travellers via both airlines and business jets,” said Adolfo Aragon, Senior VP at Universal Aviation. “The addition of a new location in the Cayman Islands with a partner with a great track record in the country like CDS enhances our ability to provide our clients with a consistent level of service that meets the growing demand.”

CDS is a Universal Certified member, passing the FBO’s standard for ground handling quality, training, safety, consistency, customer service and regulatory compliance.

Jonathan Ebanks, Deputy Director at CDS stated, “We look forward to beginning our exciting work with Universal, the airport and the Government of the Cayman Islands, to address the growing demand of business aviation in the country.”