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May 9, 2017

Air Travel: Delta and Aeromexico’s Codeshare, New Nonstops to Israel


From new flights to new airline agreements, here’s the top air travel news impacting the meetings and events industry this week. 

Regulators Clear Delta, Aeromexico Joint Cooperation Agreement

The new joint cooperation agreement (JCA) between Delta and Aeromexico has taken another step forward. In a written statement the two airlines said that they have confirmed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) that they have completed the steps required to launch the JCA.

The new partnership on transborder flights between the United States and Mexico will allow the two carriers to serve new destinations, as well as add additional service and create more convenient schedules, the two airlines said. It will also see the two airlines begin to invest in airport facilities, boarding gates and lounges, as well as to implement joint sales and marketing initiatives in both countries.

Delta will provide service in the United States through its connecting hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Aeromexico will offer greater access to Mexico through its hubs in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

El Al to Launch Nonstop Service Between Israel and Miami This Fall

EL AL Israel Airlines has announced that it will launch nonstop service from Israel to Miami, Florida, this fall. The airline will offer the only nonstop flights between Israel and Miami, El Al's newest gateway city. The new route will launch this November on Boeing 777 aircraft and include three weekly roundtrip flights. 

Hawaiian Airlines Adds Lie-Flat Seats on San Francisco Routes, Debuts Redesigned Livery

On the heels of debuting a redesigned livery, Hawaiian Airlines has announced the launch of its premium cabins and lie-flat seats to all of its San Francisco routes. The new cabins and seats are already in effect. 

Guests traveling to and from San Francisco will experience island-inspired luxury, lie-flat seats, "Top Chef" crafted meals and new designer amenity kits, the airline said. Sales and travel for the seats are now available between San Francisco and Honolulu (Oahu), as well as San Francisco and Kahului (Maui).

Hawaiian Airlines also recently revealed an updated brand identity and new livery of a Boeing 717 (N88HA), the first of its fleet of more than 50 aircraft that will have the new design.

Condor Adds San Diego, New Orleans, Pittsburgh to Summer Flight Schedule

Condor celebrated its first flight from Frankfurt (FRA) to San Diego (SAN) California earlier this week. The first flight marks the start of the airline's U.S. expansion in summer 2017, with new direct flights to San Diego, New Orleans (MSY) and Pittsburgh (PIT). The new routes expand the network to a total of 16 destinations in North America

Along with the new destinations, two new U.S. routes are also in Condor's summer flight plan. Flights will leave Munich for Las Vegas and Seattle twice a week. This will add flights from south Germany in the summer months to the year-round flight plan from Frankfurt to the two cities.

United Adds New Newark Flights to Buenos Aires, Ups Bogota Service

United Airlines is increasing its service to South America from New York / Newark with the addition of new year-round daily, nonstop service to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and added flights to Bogota, Colombia.

Buenos Aires, one of South America’s largest commercial and cultural centers, will be United’s 14th South American flight served nonstop from the United States. United already offers daily nonstop service between Houston (IAH) and Buenos Aires.

Beginning October 28, United Flight 979 will depart from New York/Newark (EWR) at 9:50 p.m. and arrive at Buenos Aires (EZE) at 10:50 a.m. the following day (all times local). On October 29, United Flight 978 will depart Buenos Aires (EZE) at 9:00 p.m. and arrive at New York/Newark (EWR) at 6:10 a.m. the next day. Both flights will operate with Boeing 767-300 aircraft featuring 30 seats in United Polaris business class, 49 extra legroom Economy Plus seats and 135 United Economy seats.

Finnair, Finavia Test Facial Recognition Technology at Helsinki Airport

Finnair and Finavia, together with Futurice, are testing the use of facial recognition technology for the check-in process of Finnair flights at Helsinki Airport. During the test period taking place between May 2 and May 23, the companies will gather information on the applicability of facial recognition technology to the airport environment and the systems and processes used by the airline. Finnair has invited a group of 1,000 frequent flyers to take part in the test. 

Finnair customers taking part in the test will use a test application to log their face portraits into the system. When checking into their flights, customers will use a designated check-in desk where the facial recognition technology will be installed. A customer service agent will then check the customer's travel information and indicate in the test system if the facial recognition was successful. The system used in the test is provided by Futurice and built using widely available hard- and software; and cloud-based services.

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