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Showing posts from October, 2012
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British Airways has begun the process of fitting out ex-Bmi aircraft with a new fully-flat product to be used on mid-haul routes. As previously reported, a total of seven former Bmi A321 aircraft are being refitted with 23 Thompson Aero Seating business class seats, featuring a 78-inch fully-flat bed and 45-inch seat pitch, and 131 economy seats with a 31-inch pitch. In addition the aircraft are being fitted with the Thales i5000 AVOD in-flight entertainment system. Two of the aircraft refits have now been completed, with a further two to be completed by the end of this month, followed by one in November and two in December. Source:  http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/ba-rolls-out-fully-flat-business-class-seats-on

Low-Fare Carriers Evolve As Sector Increases Global Footprint

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When asked about the future of the low-fare airline industry, Vueling Airlines CEO Alex Cruz has a simple answer: “We will grow and the legacy carriers will shrink.” But that is only the short version of a more complex story. While most low-fare carriers are continuing to grow, strategies and behavior patterns are changing, particularly in Europe. EasyJet is introducing assigned seating and has started selling its tickets through global distribution systems (GDS). Vueling, Norwegian Air Shuttle and others are actively pursuing connecting traffic, and Norwegian plans to launch long-haul flights next year. “We are evolving the low-cost model,” said Ali Sabanci, CEO of Turkish low-fare carrier Pegasus Airlines, on the sidelines of the World Low-Cost Airlines Congress last month in London. “Only two years ago, ‘GDS’ was a swear word.” By introducing new possibilities for the model, airlines are trying to gain access to a broader customer base. EasyJet’s drive to GDS cooperation,

Business travellers still flying, but without the flair

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Employers are asking their executives to fly more but with smaller budgets, a new survey of aviation professionals has found. Aviation consultancy Ascend's 2012 survey, which polled 624 frequent travellers in Europe and North America, suggests companies expect an average 1.5 percent increase in flights against an estimated 1 percent travel budget increase. The survey tallies with data from Carlson Wagonlit Travel CWT.L, who manage travel for corporate clients. Their 2013 forecasts show that fares are expected to rise globally throughout the rest of 2012 and into 2013, with travel budgets continue to be squeezed. This means, thinks Ascend's chief economist Peter Morris, that travel suppliers that can provide good value without loss of business functionality will do well. "Unlike some other business budget areas, we are not seeing overall cuts which means respondents appreciate the value and necessity of business travel by air in a global marketplace." Of

Qatar Airways Is Latest in Middle East to Join Alliance

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The global airline alliances are moving into the Middle East. American Airlines and British Airways said Monday that Qatar Airways would join their Oneworld alliance, giving them access to one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines and a modern hub in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The announcement came just hours after Air France-KLM revealed a commercial partnership with Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. And last month, Emirates of Dubai, the biggest of the Persian Gulf’s vibrant carriers, announced a wide-ranging combination with Qantas Airlines of Australia. “It’s a recognition they are taking Gulf carriers seriously after writing them off,” said Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways. “When you cannot defeat someone, you’ve got to join them.” These deals are just the latest in a flurry of global partnerships in recent months. The three big airline coalitions — Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld — have been busy courting new members

EADS and BAE Systems, a European mega-merger? Nein, danke

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THE decision made on October 10th by Britain’s BAE Systems, the world’s third-biggest defence firm, and EADS, the Franco-German owner of Airbus, to call off their proposed €38 billion ($50 billion) merger is a bitter blow both to the two companies and to hopes for the emergence of a more integrated European defence and aerospace industry. Executives reluctantly concluded that there was no hope of securing the political agreement of all three governments involved (France, Britain and Germany) that the deal should proceed. Perhaps surprisingly, it was the Germans—specifically the chancellor, Angela Merkel—who blocked it. Mrs Merkel informed France’s president, Fran├žois Hollande, of her decision in a phone call on the evening of October 9th. Although the intended merger, which would have split the new entity 60/40 between EADS and BAE shareholders, had its critics, it was in the long-term strategic interests of both companies. It offered BAE a way back into the booming civil-aviatio

BA to trial automatic check-in service

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BA is to trial a new service allowing passengers to be automatically checked in ahead of their flight. The automated service will check in passengers 24 hours before their flight, assign them a seat and send them their boarding pass electronically. Launching this month, the trial will initially be offered to selected passengers departing from French airports, before being extended to “a larger group of travellers in the spring”. If these trials are successful, BA says it will then make the service an option for all customers across the BA network by the end of next year. BA says that during the trial "seats will be allocated on a individual basis", adding that "if customers wish to change the seat allocated they will be able to do so". The carrier also said that "In the future, the vision is to allow customers to store their preferences and if they are available, be allocated seats accordingly". Commenting on the move BA’s managing director o

Inspire Me by Easy Jet

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Easy Jet is introducing the new online 'Inspire Me' tool feature designed to help customers find exactly what they are looking for at the click of a mouse. 'Inspire Me' gives customers ideas on where to go, whatever their budget, helping them to see how far their budget can take them or just to pinpoint the right destinations for their trip, all displayed on a map of Europe. The feature enables customers who are browsing the site to search by multiple criteria including price and by the type of trip they are looking for. Easy to identify symbols, like a heart for a romantic getaway or a sun for a beach break, help narrow options so customers can find their perfect trip faster than ever before. Each destination includes a link to easyJet's booking process or to newly created destination guides for further destination specific information. Source :  http://www.easyjet.com/en/inspireme

Virgin Australia Launches S'Wonderful Marketing Campaign to Hero its People

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Virgin Australia has just announced that a major new marketing campaign will debut this afternoon during the broadcast of the AFL grand final. The campaign will feature a new 60 second TV commercial which was filmed on the salt plains of Western Australia, and will also incorporate online, print, outdoor and social media elements. “When we launched the new Virgin Australia brand and identity last year, we made a promise to put the magic back into flying,” said Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell. “This campaign highlights how we have delivered on that promise. We have completely overhauled the customer experience, transforming the look and feel of travelling with Virgin Australia both in the air and on the ground. “We now have a brand new product that can compete with the best airlines in the world,” he added. Source:  http://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/about-us/media/2012/WONDERFUL-CAMPAIGN/

Frankfurt Airport opens new expanded terminal

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The €700 million ($899 million) terminal complex is 800m-long and is the largest above-ground construction project at Frankfurt Airport since the opening of Terminal 2 in 1994. It will be exclusively used by Deutsche Lufthansa AG and its Star Alliance partners. It will also provide more docking positions for serving wide body aircraft like the Airbus A380 superjumbo and the Boeing B747 family. Pier A-Plus will offer 185,000 square metre of total useable floor space. It provides seven docking positions for long-haul aircraft with four designed for double-decker jets like the A380 superjumbo served by three passenger bridges, and three more positions with two passenger bridges for aircraft like the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus 340. It also features five Lufthansa lounges, including one First Class, two Senator and two Business lounges. These facilities combined together expand Lufthansa’s total lounge space by almost 50% to more than 14,000 square meters. The lounges are designed to off