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Amazon hires Hawaiian Air to fly rented Airbus cargo jets to replace older freighters

Hawaiian Airlines is the most recent passenger airline to fly for Amazon

Amazon hires Hawaiian Air to fly rented Airbus cargo jets to replace older freighters

Hawaiian Airlines is the most recent passenger airline to fly for Amazon, and it has been contracted to fly the first Airbus freight planes in the e-commerce giant’s air network, which will help replace older jets. According to a filing by the airline, Hawaiian will begin operating at least 10 Airbus A330-300 freighters for Amazon in the fall of 2023. Following the announcement, Hawaiian share prices increased by as much as 13% in early trading.

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In recent years, Amazon has grown its specialized air unit, whose operations are outsourced to a number of airlines, notably Atlas Worldwide Holdings and ATSG, which fly Boeing 767s for the firm, the aircraft with which Amazon started the air arm. The representative indicated that Amazon is currently determining which of the older jets would be phased out.

When travel demand fell early in the Covid pandemic in 2020, Sun Country, a leisure-focused airline, started flying converted Boeing 737 freighters for Amazon. During the pandemic, when consumer travel fell and port congestion drove up prices, air cargo was a hot area of aviation, but the industry has since cooled. Because of an increase in travel, more passenger belly plane capacity has entered the market, port congestion has decreased, and customer behavior has changed, lowering the cost of air cargo.

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As part of the deal, Hawaiian will issue warrants to Amazon that are exercisable over the course of the following nine years and allow Amazon to purchase up to 15% of Hawaiian shares. With other air cargo companies ATSG and Atlas, Amazon has similar agreements.

Amazon Air has signed a firm agreement to lease ten A330-300P2F freighters from Altavair, taking advantage of the A330’s capacity and economics to help fulfill its one-day delivery promise to Amazon Prime customers. The aircraft will be operated for Amazon by Hawaiian Airlines, which has had A330s as a key element of its fleet since 2010. The ten airframes are being converted from passenger aircraft to freighters by Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW), the center of excellence for Airbus Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversions.

Hawaiian announced that in order to support its Amazon flights, it will establish a pilot base in the United States’ interior and hire extra pilots, mechanics, and dispatchers.

While both A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft are eligible for conversion, the longer-fuselage A330-300P2F is particularly suited for integrators and express carriers, due to its high volumetric payload capability with lower-density cargo.

The A330P2F conversion program, launched in 2012, is a collaboration between ST Aerospace, Airbus, and their joint venture EFW.

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Airlines

Akasa Air Launches QuietFlights: Enhancing Peaceful Travel

Akasa Air Launches QuietFlights: Enhancing Peaceful Travel

Akasa Air, India’s rapidly growing commercial airline that, has introduced a novel initiative called “QuietFlights” for its passengers.

This unique concept is specifically designed for travelers flying during the early morning and late-night hours, enhancing their inflight experience with added tranquility and comfort.

In a recent press release, Akasa Air announced that flights operating between 10 PM and 6 AM will minimize in-flight announcements to essential safety messages only.

In addition, the airline will adjust cabin lighting to foster a peaceful and calming atmosphere. This initiative underscores Akasa Air’s commitment to offering a restful and comfortable journey for passengers on flights during these hours.

Belson Coutinho, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing & Experience Officer of Akasa Air, highlighted the airline’s dedication to ensuring privacy and peace of mind for its passengers.

He stated that the launch of QuietFlights reaffirms their mission to deliver exceptional experiences, emphasizing a “comfortable, relaxed, and peaceful cabin experience.”

Coutinho elaborated that in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, QuietFlights are thoughtfully designed to help passengers unwind, with reduced announcements and ambient lighting creating a serene inflight environment.

Akasa Air’s network connects 22 domestic destinations and three international destinations, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Guwahati, Agartala, Pune, Lucknow, Goa, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Port Blair, Ayodhya, Gwalior, Srinagar, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Doha (Qatar), Jeddah, and Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).

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Airlines

Air India Passenger Discovers Metal Blade in his meal

Air India Passenger Discovers Metal Blade in his meal

In a concerning incident aboard Air India’s AI 175 flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco, a passenger discovered a metal blade in his in-flight meal.

Mathures Paul, a journalist, recounted his alarming experience on social media, sharing that he found the blade while enjoying his roasted sweet potato and fig chaat. Mr. Paul described the moment he felt the piece of metal in his mouth, realizing it was a blade only after chewing for a few seconds. Fortunately, he was not harmed. He posted an image of the bowl showing the metal blade next to the food, expressing his disappointment with Air India’s catering service.

Air India food can cut like a knife. Hiding in its roasted sweet potato and fig chaat was a metal piece that looked like a blade. I got a feel of it only after chewing the grub for a few seconds. Thankfully, no harm was done.

Upon discovering the blade, Mr. Paul immediately alerted the stewardess, who apologized briefly and assured him that the catering team would be informed. She then brought him a bowl of chickpea salad as a replacement.

After landing in San Francisco, Mr. Paul posted about the incident on X (formerly Twitter), but initially received no response from the airline. Later, Air India contacted him, offering a one-way business class ticket valid on any Air India flight for up to one year. Mr. Paul declined the offer, referring to it as a ‘bribe.’

In response to his post, Air India commented, “Dear Mr. Paul, we are sorry to know about this. This does not represent the level of service we aim to provide to our passengers. Please DM us your booking details along with your seat number. We’ll ensure this matter is promptly reviewed and addressed.

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Airlines

Air India to Open India’s First Self-Operated Pilot Training School

Air India to Open India's First Self-Operated Pilot Training School

Air India is making a significant move to establish a flying school in Maharashtra’s Amravati, a project aimed at training up to 180 pilots annually.

Initially focused on meeting the airline’s internal requirements, the Tata Group-owned carrier envisions expanding to address external needs in the future, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The new academy will welcome aspiring pilots with no prior flying experience, offering a comprehensive full-time training program that prepares them for careers in Air India’s cockpits. To support this initiative, Air India has procured approximately 30 single-engine and four multi-engine aircraft from American manufacturer Piper and European company Diamond.

This strategic step allows Air India to control the supply of new pilots, ensuring a steady pipeline of well-trained talent. Moreover, it addresses the quality gaps in pilot training within India, which often compel students to seek education abroad.

The establishment of the Amravati flying school is part of Air India’s broader strategy to enhance the quality of pilot training in the country. Alongside this, the airline has inaugurated a training center in Gurugram, in collaboration with Airbus and US-based L3 Harris, equipped with six simulators for type-rating and recurrent training.

Other Indian airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet have similar branded training programs in association with independent flight schools both domestically and internationally. However, Air India’s initiative to set up its own flying school marks a pioneering step in the country, emphasizing its commitment to maintaining high standards in pilot training and meeting the aviation industry’s growing demands.

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