Charlotte Douglas International Airport ups its game with premium video lounge

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Airport Dimensions has teamed up with Gameway to open a premium video gaming lounge space in Charlotte Douglas International Airport in the US.

The airport marks the fourth location in the rapidly growing Gameway network and the first in a new collaboration with Airport Dimensions. The lounge provides passengers with a premium entertainment experience while they are waiting for their flight and is equipped with individual gaming stations fitted out with: PlayStation or Xbox game consoles and top of the line Razer gaming PCs; high-end Razer gaming accessories; comfortable lounge chairs and Razer gaming chairs. Snacks and drinks are also available to purchase. Guests can play pre-downloaded games including some of today’s most popular titles such as Fortnite, FIFA, NBA2K, Madden, Call of Duty, Minecraft and Rocket League.

“Video gaming is now one of the fastest growing markets in entertainment, particularly with the rapidly growing traveller demographics of Millennials and Gen Z,” said Chris Gwilliam. Vice President Global Business Development at Airport Dimensions. “Gameway provides the best solution to engage this important traveller segment in the airport environment, making this partnership a perfect fit,” he added.

Passengers travelling through the airport can purchase access at the lounge based on the time they have available before their flight or acquire monthly passes if they are frequent flyers or regularly pass transit through the airport. Members of Priority Pass are also entitled to a complimentary hour of access plus a drink and snack.

According to Emma Walbridge, CEO at Gameway, the gaming lounge will offer passengers the opportunity to have fun while travelling for both business and leisure. “We firmly believe that the airport experience should be valued as an integral part of the travel journey, and simply put, our mission is to make airports entertaining. It made perfect sense for Gameway to partner in the development of this location with Airport Dimensions, as they are the global leaders in delivering experiences for air travellers. We know this is only the first in many more joint projects to innovate the airport experience and make time spent in airports both relaxing and fun! We also appreciate the spirit of partnership shown by both Paradies Lagardere and the CLT Airport team, as its clear that all parties involved in this project truly prioritise the traveller experience.”

Birmingham Airport switches to renewable electricity

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With ambitions to be net-zero by 2033, Birmingham Airport has made the switch to using electricity generated from renewable sources.

Commenting on the latest step in its lower carbon journey, Tom Denton, Head of Sustainability for Birmingham Airport, said: “This reflects our sustainability ambitions and is a small but important step towards our eventual goal of net-zero carbon by 2033. We’re pleased, but, with so much more work still to do, it’s still way too early to celebrate.”

In recent years, the UK hub has reduced the carbon emissions it controls by 33%, by introducing low-carbon alternatives into its operation, including solar, electric vehicle transition and other energy-efficiency measures.

“We’re excited to be supplying Birmingham Airport with zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity and supporting them in their sustainability journey,” said David Taylor, Sales and Marketing Director of Bryt Energy. “We’re proud to be a part of it and look forward to helping them explore future opportunities for carbon reductions,” he added.

The airport’s contract with Bryt Energ runs until the end of March 2024.

Long Beach Airport unveils new ticketing lobby and baggage inspection facility

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Situated in California, Long Beach Airport has unveiled its new ticketing lobby and checked baggage inspection system (CBIS). The two projects are part of a wider $110m Terminal Area Improvement Programme to make strategic pre-security enhancements at the regional hub.

Mayor Robert Garcia explained that the new facilities will provide an even better experience for passengers. “These two projects reflect a $52m investment in our airport’s infrastructure, funded from airport revenue and federal grant funding.”

Designed by Corgan and constructed by Swinerton, the ticketing lobby, which officially opened on 4 May, complements the adjacent historic terminal and builds on the airport’s status as a first-class gateway to Southern California. Features of the 16,700-sq.ft facility include common use ticket counters and self-service kiosks, non-porous, anti-microbial surfaces, ample space for improved passenger circulation, improved baggage checking and optimised energy performance, LED lighting and reduced indoor and outdoor water usage.

Meanwhile, the state-of-the-art CBIS facility, which is connected to the ticketing lobby, allows the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) to more efficiently screen checked baggage. It replaces what was originally designed to be an interim facility after 9/11.

These two latest projects are the first two components of Phase II of the Terminal Area Improvement Programme. A baggage claim facility is currently under construction and is expected to be complete before the end of 2022. Phase I of the Terminal Improvement Programme was completed in 2012 and included a passenger concourse featuring modern design, local eateries and an innovative outdoor design with a spacious post-security garden.

Commenting on the latest development projects for the nearly 100-year-old air transport hub, Airport Director, Cynthia Guidry said:”I am honoured to now contribute significant modernisation projects to the airport’s rich aviation history. This renews the passenger experience and positions Long Beach Airport for the future.”

The airport’s historic terminal building is also due to undergo major renovations.

Monterey Regional Airport strengthens SAF partnership with Avfuel

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A year after Avfuel started a consistent supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to Monterey Jet Center at Monterey Regional Airport, the fuel supplier is now doing the same for Del Monte at the California hub.

“Del Monte Aviation is pleased to offer aircraft owners and operators a low carbon alternative at the forefront of the shift toward a sustainable aviation industry,” said Matthew Wright, vice president of Del Monte Aviation. “We are the only FBO in the nation offering the highest available blend of SAF direct to customers because we store our Neste MY SAF in a dedicated tank. This pioneering approach is part of our commitment to help our customers achieve real, immediate, beneficial impacts related to their carbon footprint from air travel. With over 200,000 gallons of SAF delivered so far, Del Monte has proven to be one of the global leaders in our commitment to reducing the CO2 impact of aviation operations through offering sustainable fuels.”

Since Avfuel began supplying SAF to the airport last year, it has provided around 216,000 gallons of the fuel. For Monterey Regional Airport’s operations, this volume of fuel equates to reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 513 metric tonnes. That’s the same amount of carbon emitted from the energy use of nearly 65 homes in a year, or from 111 passenger vehicles.

Del Monte Aviation customer, Matthias Niederhäuser, partner of Diamondo Earthrounding, and consultant and data analyst of Niederhauser Solutions GmbH Aviation, commented: “Having a dedicated fuel truck supplying SAF to us and fellow aviators was a first on our Diamondo Earthrounding route around the globe. With our mission, we are linking and promoting ways to invest into sustainable aviation worldwide and we strongly believe more FBOs should follow Del Monte Aviation’s lead in making SAF physically available in high percentages.”

Meanwhile, Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s Manager of Alternative Fuels, added: “The entire Monterey community—from the FBOs and the airport, to its businesses and citizens—have been champions for sustainability and a natural launching pad for SAF in the Avfuel Network. We are so pleased to increase SAF’s footprint with additional supply at KMRY through Del Monte Aviation and thankful for its team’s tireless efforts toward reaching sustainable goals.”

Liverpool welcomes Frankfurt link for first time in 10 years

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Lufthansa’s has introduced a new service from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) in the UK to Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

Lufthansa flight LH968 touched down at LJLA shortly after 8am on Wednesday 4 May, where is was welcomed with a water arch performed by the airport’s Rescue and Firefighting team. A ribbon cutting ceremony was also conducted at the aircraft steps ahead of its departure to Frankfurt.

Marking the return of global connectivity for the Airport and the City region for the first time in more than 10 years, the service marks an important addition to the airport’s list of destinations, with passengers now able to check-in at Liverpol and easily connect with Lufthansa’s global network and its Star Alliance partners via the German carrier’s main hub in Frankfurt. It has been welcomed by members of the region’s business communities, as well as leisure travellers, many of whom have worked closely with the airport to help attract Lufthansa to Liverpool.

“We are delighted to see this important and strategic new route come to fruition, with Lufthansa welcomed here today by representatives of the business community and visitor economy from across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales,” said LJLA’s CEO, John Irving.

Lufthansa’s Heinrich Lange added, “The new connection to the heart of Europe has found its first travellers from Liverpool as we can already see good booking figures.

“We want to convince our customers from North-Western England and Wales about an easy transfer at our Frankfurt hub. Every passenger stays in the same terminal building for their connecting flight. We offer quality and service as a Five-Star-Carrier in the air and on the ground. And we are pleased that Liverpudlians can now start their journey with us from even closer to their home or office. This city known for music, football and trade will also benefit from the global access we provide as the only network airline at John Lennon Airport.”

Adacel finalises acquisition of virtual ATC tower solution

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Having previously announced in February the acquisition of a new virtual Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower solution, Adacel has now completed the purchase.

The new system has passed a rigorous Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) with Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) to provide virtual ATS tower operations for Kuressaare in Tallinn.

“We welcome our new team and customer to the Adacel family,” said Daniel Verret, Adacel’s CEO. “The new virtual ATC tower solution presents immense opportunities for everyone, and along with our deep industry expertise and ever-evolving technological advancements, we look forward to continuing our safety and efficiency in aviation.”

The tower, which is built on modular, open architecture principles, is suitable for a variety of functional needs, including integration with existing or new air traffic management, communication, navigation and surveillance systems.

With the Kuressaare SAT completed, the team will now work closely with EANS to ensure the successful deployment and seamless transition at its next location at Tartu Airport, followed by Pärnu and Kärdla airports in Estonia in due course.

“This is the first time EANS is at the developers’ end completing site acceptance testing  (SAT). Kuressaare SAT was done in a very short time,” said Iva Värk, EANS CEO. “It proves that the development has been done thoroughly and the outcome is a reliable system that effectively supports ATS service provision in all Estonian regional aerodromes.”

EANS plans to digitise all Estonian airports by 2025.

airBaltic launches Tampere hub with seven new routes

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Latvian low-fare carrier airBaltic has opened its Tampere base in Finland – the airline’s first base outside the Baltic states.

Speaking at the opening of the new base, airBaltic CEO, Martin Gauss, said: “The opening of the new base provides new travel opportunities for both our current and future passengers. We hope that the passenger demand will gradually grow, therefore we may launch additional new destinations to various business hubs and leisure destinations over time.”

Initially the airline will serve seven direct routes in addition to continued operations to Riga in Latvia. The new links being served from Tampere include: Oslo, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Munich, Malaga, Rhodes and Amsterdam. The latter will commence in June, while all other links are being served from May.

Mari Nurminen, VP for Central and Eastern Finland Airports and Tampere-Pirkkala Airport Manager at Finavia commented: “We are delighted to celebrate airBaltic’s new base at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport. This launch marks a great milestone in the long cooperation between Finavia and airBaltic. Seven new routes bring a great variety of European cities close to both leisure and business travellers of Tampere, which we can all be very happy about.”

Toulouse welcomes return of Air Transat link to Montreal

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Air Transat has resumed its service between Toulouse in France and Montreal in Canada. The direct flights are being operated four times a week on an Airbus A231 aircraft.

Describing the bond between France and Canada as “precious”, Cyril Cousin, Director of Air Transat France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, said: “It is a real pleasure for us to restore our direct flights from Toulouse, a route that has been integral to our programme for more than 30 years and which we now operate exclusively. We know that travellers whether on vacation or reuniting with loved ones, particularly appreciate the ease of getting to their final destination non-stop.”

Meanwhile, Philippe Crebassa, Chairman of the Managemetn Board of Toulouse Blagnac Airport said: “This reopening was eagerly awaited and we are delighted to see Air Transat’s aircraft again. We welcome with open arms our Canadian friends to our region. This link will also allow those living in Toulouse to discover the beautiful province of Quebec, as well as enable travel for professionals, family members and friends living either side of the Atlantic to reunite.”

Passengers will be able to make the most of Air Transat’s Canadian network from Montreal thanks to the carriers domestic network in Canada.

Bali’s Denpasar Airport celebrates return of Emirates

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For the first time since the suspension of flights in 2020 due to the global pandemic, Emirates has returned to Denpasar International Airport in Bali. Flight EK398 was welcomed at the Indonesian gateway on 1 May by a spectacular water cannon salute.

Reflecting the island’s unique culture and rich heritage, the airline’s operating cabin crew and passengers were treated to a warm welcome with the traditional joged bumbung dance performance and a cake cutting ceremony.

The return of Emirates’ service to Bali, comes as a result of easing international travel restrictions and the ramping up of global operations.

To provide its passengers with the highest safety standards at every single stage of the journey, Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of health and safety measures. Custoemrs travelling from Dubai can also take advantage of the contactless biometric path at Dubai International for a quicker journey at the airport with minimum to no human interaction.

Schaumburg Regional Airport’s revv aviation joins Avfuel’s network

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Having assumed operation of the FBO at Schaumburg Regional Airport in Illinois, revv aviation has now also joined the Avfuel-branded network.

The addition of Schaumburg brings revv aviation’s Avfuel-branded locations to six, joining Chicago/ Aurora (also in Illlinois), Janesville in Wisconsin and three Iowa locations: Council Bluffs, Davenport and Muscatine.

Commenting on the addition of the FBO to its network, Avfuel’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Joel Hirst, said: “The Schaumburg airfield serves a burgeoning area and its addition to the Avfuel network will provide premier service options for Avfuel’s flight department customers.

Comprising 13,052 sq. ft, the Schaumburg facility offers a passenger terminal, an executive conference room and hangar space able to accommodate up to medium-sized aircraft, like a Citation Ultra.

Noting that the airfield is currently under-utilised, Guy Lieser, CEO of revv aviation said: “Schaumburg is the closest northern airport to the city of Chicago and its three-million people. We see tremendous opportunity to serve both the local community and Chicago’s business centre.”

revv aviation was chosen by the village of Schaumburg (formerly Carver Aero) to take over operations after the previous operator left the facility. “Our goal is to work with the village regarding additional hangar construction, as well as increasing our flight school, charter services and maintenance operations.”

In keeping with its foundational business strategy, revv aviation continues to expand its Midwest FbO footrpint, connecting small towns and providing a full offering of aviation services for student pilots, business and private aviation travellers and aviators.