AENA announced the launch of unlimited free WiFi, provided by Eurona Telecom Wireless, as 12 airports across its network .
The service commenced on 19-Oct-2015, offered at AENA's 11 busiest airports, including Madrid Barajas, Barcelona El Prat, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Vigo, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna, Tenerife North, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuertenventura. Eurona was awarded the WiFi contracts by AENA in Sep-2014. The service, which will last for two years, with possible extension for another year, will be extended from 19-Oct-2015 to cover 46 airports and two heliports, serving 200 million passengers p/a.
Norwegian, Europe’s third largest low-cost airline, is continuing to expand its international operations by signing an agreement to purchase 19 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners – the order will help more than quadruple its current long-haul fleet to 38 aircraft within the next five years.
The agreement is the largest single order of 787-9s in Europe and includes purchase options for an additional ten aircraft of the same type. The new order will enable the company to launch even more long-haul routes and expand its existing network in the coming years.
Norwegian already operates Dreamliner aircraft from its London Gatwick base, serving the UK’s only low-cost long-haul flights to US – Dreamliners are used on services to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale with fares from just £149. A further low-cost route from Gatwick to Boston will be launched in May 2016, while next month will see the launch of low-cost Caribbean flights with the UK’s only direct route to Puerto Rico – both new routes will also be served by Dreamliner aircraft with fares from £179.
Norwegian currently operates eight 787-8 Dreamliners and has 11 of the bigger 787-9 on order. With today’s order, Norwegian’s long-haul fleet will consist of 38 Dreamliners by 2020. The first deliveries from the new order will commence in 2017.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With a longer fuselage, the 787-9 will fly 53 more passengers than the 787-8. Norwegian’s asset company, Arctic Aviation Assets Limited (AAA), will own the aircraft.
Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: "This order of 19 new Dreamliners is a major milestone and enables Norwegian to offer a wide range of new routes to travellers worldwide. After two years of operating low-cost long-haul flights, our load factors have averaged over 90 per cent, which proves the demand for affordable flights between Europe and the US and Europe and Asia. The fuel-efficient, state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner will be crucial to our future growth and competiveness in the long-haul market and in offering the best possible passenger experience.”
Todd Nelp, Vice President of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes said: "Norwegian has led the way in utilising the exceptional performance of the 787 to develop a successful low-cost long-haul operation. The addition of 787-9s to the Norwegian fleet will enable it to grow its route structure, while providing more range and capacity with outstanding passenger comfort.”
Norwegian’s version of the 787-9 has 344 seats with 35 in premium and 309 in economy. With today’s order for 19 787-9s, Norwegian has more than 150 unfilled orders from Boeing, including 100 737 MAXs. In addition, the company has 100 Airbus A320neos on order.
Vueling in summer 2016 season is introducing new route to Algeria from its Barcelona base, as the airline plans 2 weekly Barcelona – Constantine flight. First flight is scheduled on 27MAR16, with Airbus A320 aircraft.
But that is not the only investment of the Asian giant in Catalonia. In 2007 the company Blue Star acquired a factory and industrial silicones Mogoda (Vallès Occidental) that had previously been owned by the French Rhone Poulenc. Also in the industrial sector, the company Huayi productive unit acquired Cubigel in Sant Quirze del Valles, for 600,000 euros.
The latest operation of importance in this area was the opening by the state company CCIC Group of its first European product inspection and certification laboratory in the Free Zone. Although first of all it will be devoted mainly to the automotive sector, later it will also work with textiles.
IESE professor Pedro Nueno explains that companies from this country are interested in all sectors. They look at acquisitions in the pharmaceutical, automobile and components, power and property sectors," he says. An investment fund from Hong Kong has, in fact, been involved in operations of importance by buying the former headquarters of Telefonica in la Avenida de Roma.
China's main food industry group Bright Food acquired Miquel Alimentació for 110 million.
Hutchinson Group has invested 150 million to expand the BEST terminal
CCIC Group has opened its certification laboratory in the Free Zone.
Huayi has bought Cubigel for 600,000 euros and the headquarters of the party Convergència in Còrsega Street for 56.4 million. There has also been interest in the tourism and gaming sector. One of the operators involved in the BCN World project, for example, is the gaming giant Melco, based in Hong Kong.
Dedéu (president of China Consultants) recognizes the effort made by Catalan companies in China, but says it could still be better. "We must make a thorough presentation, and above all intensive monitoring of projects. And the important thing: do it in Chinese. If these steps are followed, there are many opportunities in this market," said Mr Dedéu, arguing that Spain is not a very well-known country" in China and recalling that “neither does it have the best image possible". Even so, he predicts more operations with actors from this country in Catalonia.
China has gone from being the world's factory to one of the most coveted investors. Taking advantage of the expansion phase of its companies, Catalonia is attempting to capture at least a small amount of its global investments, which in Europe exceeds 7,500 million euros, according to ESADE. The acquisition of Miquel Alimentació by the public company Bright Food to make it an international distribution platform was the last bite of a country whose companies have also injected capital into the industrial sector (Huayi, Blue Star and CCIC), consumer goods (Lenovo), and real estate.
The foreign sector has been a boon to survive and emerge from the recession. Only in the first half of this year, foreign capital increased fivefold and reached 1,959 million euros, according to the Ministry of Economy. The leading investors continue to be Germany (305 million) and the UK (177 million), in addition to Luxembourg and the Netherlands,
which traditionally appear in the top places due to channelling capital for their tax advantages. China is still far removed from these volumes,
but its arrival in Catalonia is already a fact.
The latest major Chinese acquisition in Catalonia was the Miquel Alimentació, based in Vilamalla, which has a turnover of around 900 million euros and employs 2,500 workers. The operation carried out by the food giant Bright Food – which the newspaper China Maily valued at 110 million euros – represents a change of ownership of a 90 year-old family business. The strategy of the Chinese company is to make Miquel Alimentació a platform not only for distribution in Spain, but also for importing and exporting to and from China.
In the past four years, Catalan exports have increased 66.8% since 2010 to 101.1 million euros, with a 2.5% share of the total. Through July this year, sales to this country exceeded that figure, to 110.9 million, representing an increase of 20.4%over the same period last year.
However, Catalonia buys still more: in July imports were worth 689 million euros, 24.9% more than a year ago. The market share of China is 9.8%, higher than in France or Italy.
Joan Dedéu, president of China Consultants, explains that “one of the strategic points of China lies in the globalisation of investment. I've spent years warning that China is no longer just the world's factory, but rather a first order consumer market and international investor". One of the largest capital injections in Catalonia was Hutchinson in the BEST terminal (Barcelona Europe South Terminal). The group invested 150 million last year to expand these facilities.
Georgia’s Civil Aviation Agency announced (08-Sep-2015) Vueling Airlines expressed an interest in launch of twice weekly Barcelona-Tbilisi service, using A320 equipment. As previously reported by CAPA, Vueling entered negotiations with TAV Airports regarding the possibility of launching regular services from several airports operated by TAV, including Tbilisi, Skopje, Ankara, Izmir and Bodrum.
Finnair intends to differentiate its onboard service with an all-new cabin interior designed for its Airbus A350 XWB fleet by a Helsinki-based design company that has made its mark with restaurants and cruise ships.
The oneworld carrier has taken delivery of the first of 19 A350s it has on order. The aircraft was flown from Airbus’ Toulouse, France, factory to Helsinki with journalists, Finnair and Airbus executives and VIP guests onboard.
Among the passengers was Vertti Kivi, whose company dSign created the design for the cabin interior. The design is influenced by Nordic culture, with neutral grey colors, clean lines and an open, spacious feel. Accent colors come from brightly-colored cushions and duvets, fruit baskets and fresh flower vases. LED mood lighting has 24 scenarios designed to synchronize with the journey and which includes a Northern Lights option. The mood lighting is also integrated with the onboard IFE system so that screens are softer or brighter according to the stage of journey. The IFE system provides other journey-stage details, notifying when meals will be served, when duty-free shopping is available and when rest lighting will be activated.
Onboard the three-hour first flight to Helsinki, Kivi told ATW this was the first time he had been commissioned to create a design for an aircraft. He visited Toulouse multiple times to work with Airbus on the regulatory and other restrictions that must be taken into consideration with an aircraft design. “This was the biggest challenge,” he said.
Finnair COO Ville Iho told ATW that the appeal of the A350 with its new passenger experience features combined with the aircraft’s fuel efficiency means the airline is confident of seeing revenue benefits early on. The Roll-Royce Trent XWB-powered A350 is about 25% more fuel efficient than other current widebodies in its size range, Airbus says.
By early 2016, Finnair will already have five A350s in service, focused on north Asia routes. “Finnair has been very logical about expanding its Asia network since 2000, but during the initial period we had to make compromises. But now that we have the A350 and A330, we have the perfect long-haul fleet for this market,” Iho said.
Iho said Finnair was “very confident” that it will see early returns from the A350. “Unit costs are way lower than a traditional widebody, plus we have new revenue opportunities. I am confident that that will be seen in next year’s numbers. Even more important is the customer experience, which is being taken to a totally new level with this new cabin and which renews our service culture.”
With the A350, Finnair is introducing a new chief purser concept. The chief purser onboard each aircraft is trained to be a team leader with more flexibility to adapt to changing situations and to personalize service. Finnair will train 100 crew for this chief purser role in the initial one-year operation of the A350 and then decide whether to expand the concept to the rest of the long-haul fleet.
Iho said Finnair has seen a noticeable positive booking curve related to its announced A350 services. “It’s very different from the rest of the flights and is definitely linked to the great expectations that people have for this aircraft,” he said.
Iho said that by bringing in Kivi to design the cabin, Finnair will be able to differentiate its products and deliver those higher passenger expectations. “We got him involved in the product early on. We wanted a Nordic feel. Without him, we would have ended up with a more standard, boring cabin and that’s not what we wanted.”
As the A350s become operational, Finnair will phase out its seven A340s.
I’m Barcelonian Expat Day is held in the Drassanes Reials de Barcelona, home to the Maritime Museum and one of the most outstanding examples of secular Catalan gothic architecture in the world.
Barcelona International Community Day is the yearly meeting place for Barcelona’s international community.
It is a unique opportunity to get all the information and contacts you need so you can settle down and live in Barcelona like a real Barcelonian.
In just one day you will have the chance to find out about expat associations and clubs, service suppliers, experts and other expats in the city.
Who are we expecting to come:
- An increase of 4.6% over 2014
- Year on year, this is the best recorded figure to date, with over 30 million passengers.
- Intercontinental flight users are the fastest growing with 12.3% more than in the same month last year.
- Freight transport increased 19%, with over 9856 tonnes.
Intercontinental origin/destination passengers were the ones to grow most last month with an increase of 12.3% over 2014, followed by EU passengers with an increase of 8.2%. Users in the domestic market continued to grow in September, this time by 3.5%.
In the field of operations, there were 27,271 movements last month, which translates into an increase of 0.6%. From January to September the figure reached 223,009 take-offs and landings, 1.2% more than in the same period of 2014.
Finally, more than 9,856 tonnes of cargo were transported during the month, representing growth of 19% in 2014. In this sense, cargo on international non-EU routes continues to stand out, increasing 34.2% compared to the same month last year. In the year to September, 84,902 tonnes were recorded, up 13.2%.