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Eurocopter Japan helicopter; Little Red, Virgin’s new U.K. domestic service; Korean Air duty free campaign

Helicopter transmissions

Eurocopter Japan has delivered its first helicopter equipped for high-speed, real-time data transmission to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The system is expected to be in operation in early April,

This installation — called Helicopter Satellite Communication System (HSA) — on a Eurocopter AS365 N3 chopper enables direct transmission to satellites without interruption from rotor blades and relays data to ground receiving stations.

According to Stephane Ginoux, the president and CEO of Eurocopter Japan, the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake reaffirmed the importance of helicopters in disaster response and recovery coordination, and with this technology now available for Japan’s disaster prevention network, the next step will be offering such capability to customers in other countries.

Using the HSA’s satellite relay, data can be provided from helicopters even when ground-based networks are interrupted, as well as in situations where line-of-site broadcasts are hampered by objects such as mountains or tall buildings.

For more information, visit www.eurocopter.co.jp .

Virgin’s domestic flights

Virgin Atlantic started its first U.K. domestic operations with a flight from Manchester Airport to London on Sunday. Known as Little Red, the services connect London Heathrow Airport with other parts of the U.K.

The Manchester service will operate four times a day. Flights between Heathrow and Edinburgh will debut April 5 and between Heathrow and Aberdeen on April 9.

In celebration of its launch, the airline has started a mileage campaign that runs through June 30.

Members of the Flying Club aboard Little Red flights can receive double mileage. Also, people who registered their membership and used Little Red during the term can gain 1,500 additional miles.

Little Red allows customers to check baggage up to 23 kg for free, besides some other services. Based on its partnership with brands, special in-flight snacks and beverages are available, too, including snacks from Tyrrells and beverages from Bacardi and Irn-Bru.

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has said Little Red will compete with British Airways’ domestic services.

Korean Air campaign

On March 31, Korean Air launched its first flights between Tokyo’s Narita airport and Honolulu. In commemoration of the new fights, the airline is holding a special campaign through May 31.

Customers who shop at duty-free stores in Terminal One at Narita airport and show a Korean Air ticket will receive a special gift, such as Japan Duty Free’s special ball point pens. Customers making purchases of over ¥10,000 will receive ¥500 coupons available at duty-free stores in the airport.

The campaign applies not only to the flights to Honolulu but also to any other destination operated by Korean Air. Therefore, even customers heading to South Korea can also participate in the campaign.

For more information, visit www.koreanair.com or www.facebook.com/KoreanAirJapan .