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Emirates invests in high-speed inflight broadband onboard 50 new A350 aircraft

Emirates Rethinks First Class Exclusion for Airbus A350-900

Emirates will offer passengers yet another opportunity to ‘fly better’, with new high-speed, inflight broadband powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, onboard 50 new Airbus A350 aircraft – scheduled to enter service in 2024. The new agreement will significantly improve the passenger experience with enhanced connectivity and greater global coverage, even on flights over the Arctic.

Emirates takes home three honours at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022(Opens in a new browser tab)

The Airbus A350s will be the first Emirates aircraft to use the Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which powers the first and only globally accessible broadband network in the world. This will guarantee that passengers can enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, regardless of their destination, including the North Pole. The sophisticated high-speed capabilities of the broadband will allow Emirates passengers to use social media, browse the internet, and stay in touch with family and friends from the comfort of their seat.

The GX network that will power the Emirates inflight broadband currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with the addition of seven more satellite payloads as part of Inmarsat’s fully funded technology roadmap. This includes two Inmarsat-6s, the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, both of which are scheduled to enter service in 2023.

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These will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity, and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, to enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic, such as routes between the Middle East and North America.

Emirates have also introduced connectivity enhancements for Skywards members – including complimentary internet access throughout the flight for all Skywards Gold or Silver members travelling in Business Class, in addition to First Class, and Platinum members travelling in any cabin class.

The plan for high-speed inflight broadband onboard A350’s is the latest addition to Emirates multi-billion-dollar investment into its onboard product and passenger experience; which also includes the largest known fleet retrofit project of 120 aircraft, extensive investment into menu development and food and beverage experiences, the planned introduction of next generation inflight entertainment systems on incoming aircraft.

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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