Two regional swedish hubs welcome Air Dolomiti link with Frankfurt

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Italian airline, Air Dolomiti, which is part of the Lufthansa Group has revealed plans to establish operations in the Swedish market for the first time with a multileg service from Frankfurt Airport in Germany to Ronneby and Kalmar Airports in the south-east coast of Sweden.

This Autumn will be the first time it’s been possible to fly non-stop between the German hub and Ronneby, with Dolomiti operating its new year-round multileg route connecting Frankfurt Am Main Airport with Ronneby and Kalmar in Sweden.

“We are immensely happy to have a direct connection between our region and Frankfurt Germany, as well as onwards in the worldwide Lufthansa network,” said Arri Kallonen, Airport Director at Swedavia-operated Ronneby Airport, commenting on how the route meets demand from both business and leisure travellers. “We can now offer this service at a high level with five weekly departures. We look forward to getting operations started in September and hopefully the situation then has eased, and the world and our passengers are ready to travel again,” Kallonen continued.

South Sweden and the region of Blekinge holds a larger number of companies with international business connections. Connecting flights with Air Dolomiti and Lufthansa’s wider network will enable Swedish travellers to easily reach destinations not only in Germany or Italy, but also around the world. The increased connectivity to and from the region will also boost tourism in the south-eastern Swedish region.

Starting 19 September, the new route will serve Ronneby five days per week with a 120-seat Embraer 195 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“I am very happy to have the opportunity to operate these routes that will create an easy connection between Sweden and Germany,” said Joerg Eberhart, President and CEO of Air Dolomiti. “these flights will give continuity to our plan to expand our offer with the cooperation and support of the airports involved and will provide new destinations and greater ease of travel to our passengers. From the important hub of Frankfurt, it will be possible to reach several destinations around the world thanks to the flights offered by Lufthansa’s network.”

Oshkosh secures first order for its new firefighting vehicle

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Oshkosh Airport Products has secured its first order for its newly upgraded Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle, the Striker ARFF.

Introduced in January 2021, the newly upgraded Striker ARFF will be delivered to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International (MSP) Airport’s Fire Department later this summer.

MSP’s new  Striker 6×6 ARFF will be an addition to an entirely Oshkosh fleet, and will feature an optimised cockpit, updated body styling, and advanced mobility, speed and precision.

“Oshkosh Airport Products has a decades-long relationship with the MSP Fire Department and we are grateful to have the opportunity to continue to support this dedicated team and their vital work,” said Jack Bermingham, Business Unit Director for Oshkosh Airport Products. “The new attributes of our Striker ARFF, along with its remarkable legacy features, address the MSP Fire Department’s need for maximised mobility and efficient ergonomic functionality. We are confident this apparatus will exceed performance and longevity of service expectations.”

With four runways, MSP spans 3,400 acres and features two terminal buildings. It is the 17th busiest US airport for passengers and the 12th busiest for aircraft operations. The MsP Fire Department operates out of two fire stations on site.

“Our team was able to incorporate all of the instrumental mobility, maneuverability, and precision features from the MSP Fire Department’s existing fleet and combine them with enhancements including outstanding operator experience, ergonomic efficiency, and cab functionality,” said Bermingham. “Most notably, is the simplicity of the single cockpit display. This feature, along with many other optimisations, will help apparatus operators effectively handle challenging emergency services.”

For more information on ARFF vehicles that are ideally suited to regional and secondary airports, check out the current issue of Regional Gateway magazine.

Belfast City welcomes new Aer Lingus Regional link with Cardiff

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Aer Lingus Regional, which is operated by Stobart Air, plans to strengthen its route network this summer with a new link from Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland to Cardiff in Wales.

Flights to the Welsh capital will commence on 28 June and will operate up to four times per week, providing frequent connectivity between the two cities. Operated by Stobart Air, the Aer Lingus Regional service to Cardiff will operated on one of five ATR72-600 aircraft permanently based at Belfast City.

The airline currently flies from Belfast City to Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds Bradford, London Heathrow and Manchester and recently announced a summer service to popular staycation destination, Newquay in Cornwall.

“With the welcome addition of this Cardiff service, the airline now adds Wales to that portfolio, creating a UK-wide offering to customers in Northern Ireland,” said Ellie McGimpsey, Aviation Development Manager at Belfast City Airport. “We are delighted by the announcement, which not only strengthens our partnership with Stobart Air and Aer Lingus Regional, but also further enhances the choice and convenience we promise to our passengers, and we look forward to the route taking off later in June.”

Meanwhile, Andy Jolly, Managing Director at Stobart Air, called on the UK Government and Stormont Assembly to work with all industry stakeholders to restore confidence in aviation and facilitate the resumption of safe air travel in line with vaccination rollout programmes, as he said: “Anticipating a successful COVID-19 vaccination rollout which will allow air travel to resume safely later this year, we are pleased to add this route from Belfast to Cardiff to our network. We believe this new connection will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient and cost-effective flights between Belfast and Cardiff.”

Menzies Aviation expands operations in Canada with Flair Airlines

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Global aviation logistics provider, Menzies Aviation, has expanded its partnership with Flair Airlines across Canada, having been awarded full-service ground handling agreements by the Canadian ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC).

The expanded agreement encompasses nine of the 19 hubs in Flair Airlines’ network. Menzies will provide passenger and ramp services to Flair at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Ottawa International Airport and Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport from May; at the airports of Saint John, Charlottetown and Victoria from July; and at Abbotsford International Airport from August.

This will build on the existing partnership between Menzies and Flair at two key Canadian stations, with Menzies having supported the carrier at Toronto Pearson International Airport since February, and at Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport since August 2000, where the Menzies team is currently preparing for the return of flight schedules.

“It is with great pride that we announce the expansion of our partnership with Flair Airlines across Canada. These new contracts demonstrate Flair’s trust in Menzies to support their growth ambitions, and are testament to the excellent standards of service that have been provided on the ground by Menzies professionals at Toronto and Saskatoon,” said John Redmond, Executive Vice President, Americas.

With a strong presence in the Canadian market across the ground services, cargo services and fuelling sectors, this recently expanded agreement will see Menzies now be operating at a total of 21 airports in Canada.

Southwest Airlines returns to Costa Rica

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Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is resuming its daily service to both Guanacaste and San Jose airports in Costa Rica, as of June 2021.

The daily nonstop services from Houston to Libera, Guanacaste and San Jose will be complemented  by additional connecting flights to cities in the US from the airline’s Texas gateway.

“We’re excited to continue the reestablishing previously served international service by reuniting the warm hospitality of Costa Rica with the heart and value of the Southwest,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. “We’re seeing more demand for our international routes that already take our customers to Aruba, Cancun, Cozumel, Havana, Los Cabos, Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Cana.”

The low-cost carrier will also operate a seasonal service from Baltimore, Washington to Liberia, Guanacaste beginning 12 June.  New flights in the airline’s summer schedule will also bring an additional nonstop service between Denver and the coasts – with new or returning links to Savannah, Hilton Head; Sarasota, Bradenton; Norfolk, Virgina Beach; and additional flights to Long Beach, California and Seattle. “We’re bringing more flights in both Chicago airports, and we continue to spread our love across the Midwest with new flights in St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which are linked nonstop to Orange County, Santa Ana,” added Watterson.

Domestic airports in Kenya welcome return of country’s flag-carrying airline

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Kenya Airways resumed its domestic flights on Sunday 2 May, following the lifting of travel restrictions in and out of Nairobi as directed by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The airline will fly twice daily to the coastal city of Mombasa and once daily to the lakeside city of Kisumu from the Kenyan capital while it continues to review how to increase frequencies as demand picks up.

The airline will continue to work closely with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health to enforce safety measures and protocols. The airline’s utmost priority it states is the health and safety of passengers, crew and staff.

All passengers and airport users are still required to strictly observe the safety measures in place to ensure the safety of all airport users. They are asked to familiarise themselves with the health protocols in place before arriving at the airport. These include wearing facemasks throughout the journey and making use of the sanitiser stations.

Avfuel welcomes first branded location in Central America

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Aviation fuel supplier Avfuel has expanded its operations by welcoming LAATS FBO at Guatemala La Aurora International Airport to its branded network.

As an Avfuel-branded location, LAATS FBO will gain access to Avfuel’s suite of operational solutions, including payment processing and leading trainer programmes. It also means the FBO’s customers will now be able to access rewards through AVTRIP.

Commenting on how the fuel supplier is proud to have expanded its presence into Central America, Joel Hirst, Avfuel’s Vice President of Sales said: “The entire LAATS FBO team – under the vision and leadership of CEO Mario Juarez – provides its customers with an exceptional level of support, aligning perfectly with the values behind the Avfuel brand.”

With more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, LAATS FBO is Guatemala’s leading ground service provider. It established the country’s first true FBO and hangar complex – with the airport’s only VIP lounge. The LAATS FBO facility provides a range of amenities including: relaxing lounges for both passengers and crew; a conference room; office space; a bistro bar and gourmet dining; complimentary snacks; a well-equipped business centre, as well as entertainment and media equipment and WiFi; and ramp access.  Arriving guests benefit from immigration and customs as well as dedicated concierge services, car rentals and limousine services as well as laundry services.

The FBO also offers aircraft handling and secure parking, fuel coordination, flight planning services, permits coordination, ground power units, line maintenance, aircraft cleaning and weather briefings. Furthermore, with a complete fleet of ground support equipment, the LAATS team is on hand to provide an array of specialised services, including presidential and diplomatic services, ambulance flights and charter flights.

“Every decision we make at LAATS FBO is made with our customers and our community in mind,” said Karen Nichols, LAATS FBO Manager. “We are optimistic that this new partnership with Avfuel will enable us to add to our repertoire of industry-leading services and further connect our local economy with global partners.”

FlightServ breaks ground on new corporate jet facility at Trenton Mercer Airport

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As the sole independent FBO at Trenton Mercer Airport in New Jersey, US, FlightServ has marked a milestone by breaking ground on its new corporate jet facility.

Set to open in summer 2022, the 110,000 sq. ft. complex is situated on 22 acres and will feature a modern FBO facility, build-to-suit office space and an 80,000 sq. ft. heated hangar to accommodate the FBO’s growing operations. The hangar includes 28-foot high doors, enabling the facility to house all private aircraft operations – including those with the latest models of Bombardier Global and Gulfstream jets.

The state-of-the art FBO facility will feature dedicated pilot and passenger lounges, crew snooze rooms, a catering kitchen and coffee making equipment. As a full-service FBO, FlightServ will continue to provide an array of quality services and amenities for visiting guests out of its new corporate jet facility, including fueling services for both Jet A-1 and Avgas with Avfuel, access to daily news, complete concierge services for ground transportation, catering and hotel accommodations, and renowned aircraft detailing.

“We couldn’t be more pleased for construction to be underway on our new FBO building and hangar,” said Robbie Hunger, FlightServ’s General Manager. “This corporate jet facility is an extension of our promise to provide an exceptional customer experience, guaranteed. With our existing first-rate services and upcoming first-rate accommodation, FlightServ is positioned to provide the ultimate gateway for Northeast business and leisure,” he continued.

The FBO’s convenient location in the state’s capital, directly in-between Teterboro and Northeast Philadelphia, means FlightServ is ideally placed for customers looking to access prominent businesses and the esteemed Princeton University without the congestion of Teterboro, Morristown, Newark and Philadelphia. FlightServ also provides transient overflow hangar space for the greater New York area.

Pegasus Airlines launches new domestic link as well as flights between London and Batumi in Georgia

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Turkish low-cost carrier (LCC) is launching a new international route from London Stansted to Batumi Airport in Georgia via Istanbul. The twice weekly flights will commence on 7 May, 2021. The airline will also launch a new domestic route, with three weekly flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Iğdır.

The new London-Batumi link follows the successful launch of flights between Stansted and Odesa in Ukraine via Istanbul at the end of  March.

Flights to Batumi will depart on Fridays and Mondays at 11.05; whilst flights from Batumi to London will depart on Fridays at 19.400 and Mondays at 14.05. Odesa is Pegasus’ fifth destination in Ukraine, adding to its existing flights to Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv and Zaporizhzhia. Scheduled flights to Odesa via Istanbul depart on Thursdays and Sundays at 00.00, whilst flights from Odesa will depart on the same days at 18.45.

Meanwhile scheduled flights to Iğdır will depart from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 14.40, whilst returning flights will operated on the same days at 17.20.

Pegasus recently became one of the first airlines in the world and the first airline in Turkey to sign up to an agreement for the IATA Travel Pass, a mobile application developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and which allows guests to digitally store and manage their health-related certifications required for international travel, such as their COVID-19 test results.

Hamburg Airport recognised for comprehensive hygiene measures

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Germany’s Hamburg Airport has been recognised for its high level of coronavirus safety measures. With European travellers longing to head away to foreign shores this summer the airport has been awarded the Airport Council International’s (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation Programme certificate – making it the fourth ACI-certified airport in Germany, following the hubs of Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin-Brandenburg.

The certification, which is valid for one year, takes into account diverse factors in all aspects of airport operations including: the possibility for social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, spatial layout and passenger facilities, passenger communications, and the protection of personnel.

“Many people in northern Germany are longing to fly on holiday again or to see their friends and family who live far away,” said Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport. “Business travellers want to meet their partners in person again. Passengers rightly expect a high standard of hygiene and safety measures. At Hamburg Airport, we are doing everything to ensure that passengers feel safe and at ease here. That is why we had our performance reviewed on the basis of independent criteria – successfully. Certification in the ACI Health Accreditation programme confirms that the measures we have put in place are well thought-out and effective, and that they are applied consistently.”

Hamburg Airport has implemented numerous hygiene and protective measures to make travel as safe as possible since the start of the global pandemic. An inter-department Expert Group maintains constant communication to ensure the measures always keep pace with new regulations and developments. Employees in almost every functional role at the airport are represented, bringing with them a broad spectrum of expertise.

Medical masks are mandatory inside the terminals and on-board aircraft. Self-service kiosks throughout the terminal have masks, disinfectant wipes and gels available to purchase. Perspex panes, hand disinfectant dispensers, floor markings an display monitors help people comply with the now familiar hygiene rules while at the airport. Additional cleaning teams have also been deployed. Airlines offer ‘non-contact’ check-in facilities as well as self-bag drops.

Passengers as well as the general public are able to undertake a coronavirus test at the airport from service providers, Centogene and EcoCare.Both PCR tests and rapid antigen tests are available, subject to charges.