London Luton Airport inks five-year deal with ChangeGroup

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London Luton Airport has welcomed a five-year deal for foreign currency and financial services provider, ChangeGroup, to offer a range of currency exchange services. The agreement will see ChangeGroup operate four currency exchange branches and 13 ATMs at the airport.

Services offered will include fast travel cash, international bank transfers and buyback cover, along with concessionaire banking to support other operators within the airport. Currency exchange services have not been available at the air transport hub since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the demand for air travel continuing to surge, we are delighted to welcome ChangeGroup ahead of what promises to be a busy and exciting summer for the airport,” said Jonathan Rayner, CCO at London Luton Airport. “We continually look to enhance the customer experience we offer and the arrival of these currency exchange facilities reinforces our commitment to providing unrivalled choice and convenience to the thousands of passengers that we welcome through our doors every day.”

The deal will also mean ChangeGroup now operates in two of the four key London airports.

“London Luton Airport has seen a great deal of investment and expansion in recent years,” said Sacha Zackariya, CEO and Co-Founder of ChangeGroup International. “We are very much looking forward to being a part of Luton’s journey as the airport continues in its efforts to upgrade and enhance the traveller experience. With the travel industry rebounding in the wake of the pandemic. ChangeGroup has a real desire to expand and deliver top-class services to customers.”

Menzies Aviation joins coalition of aviation stakeholders decarbonising aviation

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Aviation logistics specialist, Menzies Aviation, has become the first aviation fuel services provider to join Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST), a coalition of airports, airlines and oil companies aligning efforts to achieve carbon neutral flying.

Led by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Energy Transitions Commission, a key goal of CST is to accelerate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to reach 10% of the global fuel supply by 2030. SAF is currently the only alternative fuel option available for commercial aircraft and accounts for less than 1% of all total jet fuel demand.

“We are delighted to be the first aviation fuel services business to join the CST coalition,” said Morven McCrindle, Executive Vice President, Fuels, Menzies Aviation. “We recognise the need to reduce our emissions and will continue to explore and implement changes that will not only help us reach our goals, but also support our customers on their journeys to net zero.”

Menzies’ fuelling operators have already carried out SAF refuellings on commercial flights in both the UK and the US. They are also implementing management of change procedures for the receipt and handling of SAF at some fuel farm locations.

Beyond supporting the transition to SAF, Menzies has implemented its All In Sustainability strategy, which includes a commitment of becoming carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2033, which coincides with Menzies’ 200th anniversary. Specific to its fuels division, Menzies is trialling alternative fuels for fuelling equipment, expanding the deployment of electric refuelling vehicles, optimising fuel farms to reduce water and electricity consumption, and exploring enhanced digital solutions.

Hy2gen and SAF+ consortium agree to collaborate on development of Quebec hydrogen sector

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Hy2gen Canada and SAF+ Consortium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of Quebec’s hydrogen sector. The agreement will see the two companies work together towards the development of structuring projects in the hydrogen industry sector, specifically green aviation fuels, starting with a Quebec-based project.

Having raised €200m earlier this year, Hy2gen will use this capital for the construction of installations in a number of geographic areas, including Europe, that will be producing synthetic green hydrogen-based fuels, or ‘e-fuels’, for aviation, as well as land and sea transportation.

Meanwhile, the SAF+ Consortium can also rely on a number of well-known partners in the aeronautical sector’s value chain, including Airbus, Air Transat, ADM Montreal Airport.

According to Hy2gen CEO and Hy2gen Canada President Cyril Dufau-Sansot: “Hy2gen is convinced that hydrogen-based renewable fuels are a perfect short-term solution to the decarbonisation of the main producers of the greenhouse gasses such as the air sector and welcomes this partnership agreement with the SAF+ Consortium as part of our efforts and our expertise to help Quebec not only meet its greenhouse goals for 2030, but also to lead the way.”

AIPUT makes £38m acquisition of industrial trade park

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The Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust (AIPUT) has announced the acquisition of Trade City Luton, which forms part of the Kingsway Industrial Estate located in the heart of Luton and just four miles from London Luton Airport.

The new industrial park offers a range of units between 5,000 and 27,000 sq. ft. and is positioned to appeal to first and last mile logistics companies making the most of the Luton’s growing status as a rapidly expanding commuter town and multi-modal logistics hub in close proximity to the airport, as well as rail connectivity to the rest of the UK, including a number of major regional gateway ports.

Trade City is proving to be a popular location for a wide range of business sectors, having attracted three new lettings already in 2022 and only two units currently vacant.

“This latest addition to AIPUT’s industrial real estate asset portfolio represents our first investment in Luton, an incredibly well-connected but supply-constrained South-East town that is making huge strides in building back better following the brutal challenges of recent times,” said Nick Smith, Fund Manager at AIPUT.

“Our goal is to leverage every opportunity [at Trade City Luton] to use our asset management skills to unlock real long-term value for people and businesses, as much as working to enhance the bottom line. Key will be promoting and plugging into the greener transport of goods and people through Luton’s extensive multi-modal supply chain networks,” he added.

AIPUT’s acquisition of Trade City Luton follows swiftly on the heels of the fund’s recent acquisition of Tesla’s Crawley HQ and the nearby 95,000 sq. ft. GIA Fleming Business Centre, both located in close proximity to Gatwick’s Airport.

EBACE22: Titan Aviation Fuels debuts new fuel services in Europe

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Following its recent acquisition of European-based fuel reseller Akryl, US-based Titan Aviation Fuels has introduced a portfolio of fuelling options to Europe  during this week’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE).

Speaking ahead of the business aviation show, Titan Aviation Fuels President, Robbie Stallings, said: “We look forward to exhibiting at EBACE as we add the Akryl offerings to the Titan Aviation Fuels network. Not only does this integration give our Contract Fuel Programme an international footprint for our North American based customers, but it also provides access to Titan programmes for EMEA based customers travelling to North America.”

In the US TITAN Aviation Fuels has a network of more than 550 FBOs, now it is seeking to expand its presence across Europe. It offers an intuitive digital platform that delivers real-time fuel pricing, comparisons and quotes to enable direct purchasing. Full-time multilingual support is also available for customers.

Although Akryl has been rebranded as Titan Aviation Fuels, Daniel Coetzer, CEO of European operations was keen to underline that the name is the only thing that has changed. “We will still be providing reliable, simplified and efficient fuelling services supported by our experienced team world-wide, but with the added benefit of a robust North American network,” he said.

During EBACE, Titan has also been showcasing its full range of services, including a carbon offsetting programme, a pilot loyalty programme, aviation insurance, Quality Control Training and FBO management software.

“Titan supports more than just fuelling and we anticipate this will be a much-welcomed product suite across the EMEA region, where fuelling is still dominated by a few key players. The ability to access all these services form a single resource that can support trans-Atlantic operations is key,” concluded Coetzer.

Rohde & Schwarz selected by Vietnam ATM corporation for state-of-the-art ATC solution

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Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) has contracted Rohde & Schwarz to equip nine regional towers throughout the country with reliable communications solution.

As part of the agreement, Rohde & Schwarz will provide the R&S Series5200 air traffic control (ATC) radio, as well as its CERTIUM VCS-4G – IP based voice communications system (VCS).

“Rohde & Schwarz is proud to provide VATM with the latest communications technology,” said Marium Munstermann, VP ATC at Rohde & Schwarz. “We have a long and successful relationship with our Vietnamese customer. From the controller working position to the antenna, our integrated all-in-one, IP based solution gives VATM highly secure, safe and reliable ATC communications with excellent RF performance.

The new R&S Series5200 radios represent the next generation of VHF and UHF radios for ATC communications, increasing system reliability with a new security-by-design architecture to make air travel even more secure. The radios are future-proof; later system expansions will require no additional hardware thanks to the software defined radio concept.

Both the VCS system and the Series 5200 ATC radio are part of Rohde & Schwarz’s CERTIUM, an advanced communications suite for ATC from the microphone to the antenna.

Header image: Rohde & Schwarz is to equip nine regional towers across Vietnam. Shown: Can Tho Tower. (Image: Rohde & Schwarz) 

Veovo collaborates with Argentian airport operator to optimise operations

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Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, which operates Aeroparque Jorge Newbery and Aeropuerto Internacional Ezeiza in Argentina, as well as 33 other air transport hubs has partnered with Veovo to optimise operations at its two primary Argentinian hubs.

The two airports have deployed Veovo’s Passenger Predictability solution to improve operations and passenger flow in various processes, including security, immigration, baggage hall and border control.

The AI-powered cloud software measures passenger movement and offers live and predictive insight into customer behaviour. The analytics platform aggregates the data from multiple sensors and sources to deliver metrics such as occupancy, predicted wait times and lane productivity. This allows airports and their partners to make informed decisions and ensure that passenger processing is as smooth and efficient as possible.

“This technology allows Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 to have complete passenger flow visibility,” commented Sebastian Villar Guarino, AA2000, EZEIZA General Manager, explaining the installment of Veovo’s software was a key step in the operator’s strategy to develop a smart and digital airport.

Meanwhile, Diego Ovide, AA2000, EZEIZA IT Manager said: ” We believe that innovation and the constant search for more technologies help us provide quality service to our passengers. For the people who make up the airport community, this is the path we must take to be among the best airports.”

The two Argentinian hubs join other global airports including Auckland and Amsterdam Schiphol, that have adopted Veovo’s flow analytics solution, to accurately plan operations, provide situational awareness and make intelligent decisions in real-time.

Veovo’s CEO, James Williamson, remarked: “Keeping passengers moving smoothly through busy processes is key to running a successful airport and providing a memorable travel experience. With the Veovo platform, operators can build more robust, data-driven plans while also making smart decisions on the go. Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 is already seeing the benefit of the insights provided to predict bottlenecks and take proactive action at its two busiest airports, and we look forward to continuing to help them deliver predictable journeys for their customers.”

WestJet’s Toronto service touches down at Glasgow Airport

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Scotland’s Glasgow Airport, which is owned and operated by AGS Airports has welcomed a new service to Toronto Pearson Airport in Canada.

The route, operated by WestJet, touched down at the Scottish hub on Saturday morning and will operate four times per week.

“Toronto has always been a popular destination for our passengers, so we were thrilled to welcome WestJet’s new service,” said Glasgow’s Operations Director, Ronald Leitch.

“Our recovery, and that of the wider aviation industry, is continuing at pace and we are keen to continue to re-connect with our North American cousins after what has been a long absence,” he continued.

Tens of thousands of Canadians travel through Glasgow each year and in turn the new link will provide access to one of North America’s most visited destinations for those travelling from Scotland. It will also provide onward connectivity across Canada thanks to WestJet’s extensive network.

Earlier in May, WestJet had already resumed its Halifax link with Glasgow. Both routes will be served using WestJet’s latest generation of Boeing 737 fleet, which offers improved fuel efficiency and is 40% quieter than its predecessor.

WestJet’s CCO, John Weatherill commented: “The launch of service between Toronto and Glasgow, marks another milestone in recovery as we rebuild our network and strengthen transatlantic connectivity between our two countries.

“These connections are critical to the recovery of international travel and tourism and we look forward to stimulating business and leisure travel between both destinations as we work towards restoring our network to pre-pandemic levels this summer.”

Before the pandemic Canada was one of Scotland’s top international markets for visitors.

EBACE22: Milano Linate Prime expands Bombardier authorised service facility

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SEA Prime, the business airport manager, which manages the Milano Prime brand and oversees BizAv operations at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports, has noted large traffic growth in the first few months of this year and has revealed plans to expand it Bombardier authorised service facility, which is managed by Sirio SpA.

During this year’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE)  which is taking place in Geneva from 23-25 May, SEA Prime outlined its plans for development supported by three pillars: Results, Opportunities and Innovation (ROI).

Following the positive results of 2021 – 74% of traffic over 2020 for both Linate and Malpensa, SEA Prime has seen this growth trend continued in both traffic (+57%) and tonnage (+81%) at Milano Prime in the first few months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021. The growth was driven by international traffic (+69% compared to 2021). Key events in Milan, including the Design Week to be held in June, the Monza Grand Prix and September Fashion week, as well as the full reopening of Milan and Northern Italy to international tourism, are the main traffic drivers in 2022.

One of the key development opportunities for SEA Prime is the development of its infrastructure, starting with the construction of a 4,700 sq.m. hangar at Linate. Additional jets dedicate to business jets are also in the pipeline for the airport.

“The new hangar- designed for Sirio enhances and consolidates the Bombardier Authorised Service Facility, a key milestone in the expansion of Milano Prime’s services,” said Chiara Dorigotti, CEO of SEA Prime.

Meanwhile, Tom Engelhard, COE of Sirio SpA added: “We are delighted that, 20 years after Sirio leased the first hangar at Milano Prime Linate, we can now look forward to the next chapter with this new state-of-the-art hangar! Following a 15% increase of our maintenance man hours in 2021, our new hangar will allow our maintenance organisation to expand its capabilities and continue its growth.”

EBACE22: Cayman Islands CAA grants AOC to TAG Aviation

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TAG Aviation has been awarded an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI). The Cayman AOC will further enhance TAG Aviation’s aircraft management and charter service portfolio and complements the operator’s existing AOC’s from San Marino, Malta and the UK.

“The Cayman AOC allows us to extend the scope of TAG’s capabilities and widen our range of bespoke services by providing the flexibility of various operating solutions,” said Steven Young, President of TAG Aviation. The operator has already opened a dedicated Cayman office and registered its first managed aircraft – a Gulfstream 650 and will now be able to grow its commercial operations in the region.

Meanwhile, Richard Smith, Director-General of Civil Aviation added: “TAG has been a longstanding operator of Cayman Islands registered aircraft for private owners and we are delighted that they will now provide commercial air transport services under Cayman Islands jurisdiction. This evolution to commercial operations demonstrates mutual confidence held by our respective organisations in assuring safe and compliant operations. This also bodes well for the Cayman Islands Aircraft Registry with TAG being a leading operator of Cayman registered aircraft.”

Smith also acknowledged the strategic partnership between the CAACI and Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) that provides key elements required for the jurisdictional establishment for operators engage in commercial operations offshore.

Header image: Director-General, Mr. Richard Smith presenting Julyn Tan, Accountable Manager of TAG Cayman (SEZC) with the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) surrounded by representatives of the CAACI, the C.I. Government, TAG Aviation and CEC.