Turkish Airlines Releases Aviation Trends India Survey
Turkish Airlines recently released its Aviation Trends India 2017 survey in association with Nielson. The survey revealed the evolving demands of passengers for better experiences during mid to long-haul flights. Conducted online, the survey interviewed respondents to understand their likes and dislikes in the Before Flight, During Flight and After Flight phases of the journey.
The survey also reflected the growing acceptance of airline travel as a preferred mode of travel in India due to the growth of the sector with increased options in the form of airlines, routes and benefits. Fifty per cent of the respondents preferred air-travel versus other forms of transport. Ninety-nine per cent of the respondents to the survey also expressed a willingness to take a long-haul flight in the next two years. Business class travel also saw a rise with 44 per cent of the respondents travelling business class in the past two years.
The respondents also shared a ‘wishlist’ of services and amenities that they would like to see in mid to long-haul flights in the future. Free and fast internet access and increased seat comfort ranked the highest in the wishlist. A significantly higher percentage of business and first-class travellers expressed a need for child care on board and an area for network generation, compared to economy and premium economy travellers.
Sharing his views on the survey and its outcomes, general manager, Northern & Eastern India, Turkish Airlines Inc., Ozer Guler said, “The Indian civil aviation sector is on an undeniable growth trajectory. Favourable government policies, economic growth, an upwardly mobile middle-class and competitive air fares have given a rise to a willingness for people to adopt air travel as a preferred mode of transport in India. As such, their expectations and demands for services and amenities have significantly evolved. The Turkish Airlines Aviation Trends Survey 2017 gives us a glimpse into this changing landscape and allows us to better address our customers’ demands and needs.”
The key findings of the survey suggest a good safety record (98 per cent) and the good reputation of an airline are given paramount importance while booking a mid or long-haul flight. Good services on board in economy class, flexibility on luggage allowance and option of checking in at least one piece of luggage at no extra cost are especially important for passengers who have children.
Own experience (71 per cent), close acquaintances and travel/ comparison portals are the top three sources to trust for an airline recommendation. An easy to use website of an airline, travel bloggers/ specialized online travel magazines, active digital sources of an airline, easy to use mobile application of an airline, advertising of the airline and reports on TV/ radio were of a higher importance among business and first-class travellers. All inclusive fares are an additional consideration factor for a majority of the respondents (74 per cent) as well.
Long queues at the check-in counter (75 per cent) and crowded waiting areas were the major pain-points for respondents. Insufficient information about possible delays also continues to be an issue for passengers.
Online check-in via mobile apps/ smartphones and automatic check-in service are the top two expectations of travellers regarding the check-in process. Business and first-class passengers have higher expectations for automatic check-in services and early check-in opportunities.
During the flight cleanliness of cabin/ lavatory (97 per cent), quality of food & beverages (96 per cent) and friendly/ attentive/ accessible staff (96 per cent) are passengers’ prior expectations regarding a mid or long-haul flight. Mobile phone calls and inflight connectivity ranked high on the preference list of respondents (73 per cent), with a majority expressing an interest in using the services only if charges were slightly higher than normal usage tariffs.
The majority of passengers wish presence of healthy food and the opportunity to drink water at any time during the flight. Also, choice of several menu options, multi-course menu and special food and drinks for children are other expectations of travellers from catering services on board.
Access to an arrival lounge (96 per cent) and information desk in the baggage reclaim hall in case of lost luggage (96 per cent) are the two most important services on the ground for Indian travellers requested after flight.
The online survey, conducted in partnership with Nielsen, reached out to a respondent pool comprised of individuals aged 18 years or older who have used flights as a mode of travel in the last two years and was conducted between 16-26 February 2018.
Elbit Systems Rolls-Out Hermes 900 StarLiner
Elbit Systems commences global marketing of the Hermes 900 StarLiner, a powerful and trend setting Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) that features adverse weather capabilities and is fully compliant with Nato’s Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4671, qualifying it to be safely integrated into civilian airspace and fly in the same environment with manned aircraft. Concluding an extensive year-long flying schedule, the Hermes 900 StarLiner has been performing Civil Aviation Authority certified flights in Masada National Park, Israel. A series of the Hermes 900 StarLiner (known as Hermes 900 HFE in the Swiss program) is currently being assembled for the Swiss Armed Forces and is scheduled to be delivered and integrated into Switzerland NAS during 2019.
Security events, such as the dismantling of ISIS and diverse geo-political tensions, have caused European countries to re-orient defence efforts from involvement in far-away conflicts to coping with intensifying homeland and border security challenges. This shift has resulted in a growing demand for advanced yet mature UAS that can be safely integrated into civilian airspace and provide the technological capabilities that are required to effectively and safely perform complex homeland and border security missions. Drawing on the legacy of the widely operational Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 and their proven technologies, Elbit Systems has conducted an extensive multi-year R&D effort focusing on producing a mature UAS that complies with civilian airspace regulations and can be safely integrated into European NAS.
Executive vice president and general manager, Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, Elad Aharonson commented, “Anticipating the rising security need for operating unmanned aircraft in the same environment with civilian manned aircraft enabled us to achieve this breakthrough. We are committed to maintain our approach of technological innovation based on an extensive operational experience and provide our customers with advanced yet mature systems that enhance effectiveness and safety when coping with the evolving national security needs”.
Meeting the strict safety and certification requirements of non-segregated airspace regulations required all the components of Hermes 900 StarLiner to be designed in full compliance with STANAG 4671 and to incorporate the most advanced aviation technologies, including-cooperative and non-cooperative Detect & Avoid Systems, Train Avoidance Warning System, Automatic Take-off and Landing in near zero visibility, redundant broad bandwidth line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) data link and adverse weather capabilities such as de-icing and direct lightning strike sustainment. These technological enhancements allow the aircraft to operate in both visual and instrument meteorological conditions, and its powerful heavy fuel engine provides improved climb rate, extended endurance and higher ceiling and maximum speed.
Pratt & Whitney Celebrates Opening of Additional E-learning Centres
Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., celebrated the opening of two e-learning centres in India in the third week of July. The 63th and 64th centres Pratt & Whitney and project partners have opened since 2011, where elementary-age children have access to high-quality electronic education courses with a STEM emphasis.
An e-learning centre opened in Hyderabad on July 16, and the second centre opened in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on July 17. The centres are equipped with modern facilities, tools and technology to support teachers and students. These resources include computers, wireless internet, digital projectors, display screens, audio systems, software, and furniture. Another 25 e-learning centres are planned to open by the end of 2018.
“At Pratt & Whitney, we are committed to improving the communities in which we live and work,” said senior vice president, engineering, Pratt & Whitney, David Carter. “These e-learning centres have grown to be an incredibly impactful educational resource for students, and we look forward to supporting the next generation of scientists, engineers and business professionals in India.”
Other companies instrumental in the opening of these e-learning centres include: Belcan; QuEST; RGBSI; Cyient; Jaisara; Larsen and Toubro; Genpact and more. Members of the Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and Bangalore chapter of Engineers Without Borders-India and members of the University of Connecticut chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA also contributed critical efforts to the construction of the e-learning centres.
As part of Pratt & Whitney’s commitment to the environment, a reverse osmosis plant water system was also installed in the Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh centre to conserve and recycle water.
Pratt & Whitney’s sponsorship of e-learning centres in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam builds on the efforts the company has made in India over the last decade to inspire the next generation of engineers. Since 2004, Pratt & Whitney has made annual contributions to the Association Saikorian that now total more than USD200,000 (Rs 1,37,29,000). Additionally, Pratt & Whitney has funded major projects with Project Krushi in Gowdavally, Hyderabad and Project KGNMT in Hyderasakote, Hyderabad.
Uganda National Airlines Company Limited Orders Four Bombardier CRJ900 Aircraft
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced on July 18 that it has signed a firm order for four new CRJ900 regional jets with Uganda National Airlines Company.
Based on the list price for the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately USD190 million.
“We congratulate the government of Uganda for the revival of its national flag carrier and are thrilled that the new airline has selected Bombardier and the CRJ900 regional jets for its upcoming debut,” said vice president, sales, Middle-East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, Jean-Paul Boutibou. “Recognised for its superior economics and efficiency, the CRJ Series aircraft have enabled airlines worldwide to serve communities with better connectivity, and we look forward to supporting the development of Uganda’s regional air travel with these CRJ900 regional jets.”
Uganda Airlines will operate the CRJ900 in dual-class configuration with 76 seats, including 12 first class seats.
“We are delighted to have ordered the world’s leading regional jet, and we look forward to providing the most modern passenger experience in regional aviation to the people of Uganda and across Africa,” said CEO, Uganda National Airlines, Ephraim Bagenda. “As we were establishing Entebbe as a strong hub in East Africa and building more connectivity in Africa, we thoroughly reviewed our needs. With its proven track record in Africa and other regions of the world, we are confident that the CRJ900 aircraft will help us succeed.”