Friday, April 30, 2010

Merger with Continental could invigorate United brand

United Airlines and Continental Airlines, both members of the Star Alliance, could proclaim plans to merge as early as Monday, a source close to both parties said Friday.

The source requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak formally on the matter. Continental and United are nearing the end of talks to unite operations, retaining the united name and Chicago headquarters; however Continental CEO Jeff Smisek would take over the top spot at UAL, eventually replacing present UAL chief Glenn Tilton.

The combination with an unchanged route structure would be some 10% larger than Delta Air Lines, which became the world's major airline after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2009. The new United would probable retain that position, even if forced to give up some routes on anti-trust concerns, a common practice in such combinations.

Such a merger would likely breathe new life into the beleaguered United brand, which has experienced dilution after over a decade of cost cuts and the chief, most complex airline bankruptcy in US history.

Members of United's frequent flier program Mileage Plus have extensive voiced concerns about the airline's blocking of Star Alliance partner award inventory, preferred instead to turn fliers to redeem miles for award flights on United's own flights - a much less luxurious award for United to provide, but at less value for Mileage Plus members who may wish to take advantage of other carriers more competitive premium class products on long haul international flights.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lufthansa first-class makeover to be prepared ahead of World Cup

German airline Lufthansa is the newest carrier to see its first class cabins get a makeover.

Lufthansa is the newest airline to upgrade its first class cabins in advance of the World Cup, media reports have suggested.

Bloomberg reported that a new first class package will be on offer next month to coincide with Lufthansa's first A380 flight to Johannesburg, which will hold the German World Cup athletes.

The move follows alike announcements made by British Airways and Air France.

According to aircraft interior design expert Michael Oakley, the new-look cabins will trait brown and beige leathers and high-gloss wood.

Passengers travelling in first class with Lufthansa will also be able to prefer food items from a new menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Holger Stromberg, including breast of quail on mango and peperonata chutney.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Man who caused flight to be unfocused was from Riverview

The father of a young Riverview man who was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after supposedly telling a flight attendant he had a bomb in his luggage said the situation is a misunderstanding and described his son as a "hardworking, loyal American."

Richard Stansberry hasn't spoke to his son, 26-year-old Derek Stansberry, and said he knew little about what occurred on the Delta Air Lines flight from Paris to Atlanta.

U.S. officials said Derek Stansberry claimed he had explosive in his luggage and a fake passport. However, the passport was later reported to be genuine and no explosives were found, according to federal officials.

The flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport to Atlanta was deflected to Bangor International Airport.

It landed securely just after 3:30 p.m, there were 235 passengers and 13 crew members aboard Delta Air Lines Flight 273.

The Bangor airport is familiar to dealing with diverted flights.

It's the first large U.S. airport for incoming European flights, and it's the last U.S. airport for outgoing flights, with neat skies and one of the longest runways on the East Coast. Aircraft use the airport when there are mechanical problems, medical emergencies or rowdy passengers.

Delta, based in Atlanta, is the world's major airline and has a joint venture with Air France-KLM on flights across the Atlantic.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ash could trigger increase in air fares

The ash cloud crisis and soaring oil prices are likely to mean a 5.2% increase in air fares this year, according to figures.

And fares could go up by a additional 11.5% in 2011, sending the average cost of a London to New York economy class ticket up by £62.

The figures came from a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research formed for e-commerce company Kelkoo.

It set the cost to airlines of the ash-induced northern European airports' shutdown at around £1.3 billion by the end of last week.

Kelkoo UK managing director Bruce Fair said: Most airlines were by now struggling prior to the crisis, but this, combined with soaring oil prices, will have a knock-on effect on consumers as carriers are forced to pass on increasing operational costs to passengers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

13 admirable Hotels around the World for Business Travel

When running a small business, travel can be a significant part of your company's rising and expanding process.

So finding hotels equipped with every business amenity you might need is important to keep business running smoothly while you're away.

As a travel writer, I've spent the last few years staying in incredible hotels across the nation and around the world. Through my experiences, I’ve amassed a list of my personal favorites for business.

Of course, business travel doesn’t forever come cheap. But, with rewards, miles programs, and bargain-hunting sites, you can build these hotels fit into your budget.

Friday, April 23, 2010

For tired Indian business travelers flying economy, Jet flings you a bone

Jet Airways, a favorite with expensively-suited business travelers and Louis Vuitton luggage owners, will commence on Monday (April 26) a new Premium cabin on Jet Airways Konnect flights.

In the spirit of fancy names for extra frills, the new cabin is called Konnect Select and will be available on numerous domestic routes. This is something of an upgrade courtesy Jet Airways Konnect, Jet Airways' all-economy service targeted at the hopeful lot of business and leisure frequent fliers wanting more than well-worn economy class seats.

It simple language it means wider and more comfortable seats alike to Jet Airways' Business Class seats with a 40 inch seat pitch in a 2x2 seating configuration, welded into a front cabin alienated from the rest by a divider -- on Jet Airways Konnect Boeing 737 flights. And, hurrah, flattering hot meals on-board to save us from the indignity of India's awful junk food invention: ice cold chicken tikka rolls.

Priced reasonably attractively, Jet Airways Konnect Select also gets you lounge access at domestic airports, priority check-in at devoted counters, as well as baggage allowances and priority tagging, as well as priority stand-by at the airport. Not bad at all, that means you can be first to battle the traffic once you exit the fatal.

This type of economy class ego-boost gets thumbs up.

Effective April 26th, 2010, Konnect Select launches on these return domestic routes: Kolkata - Mumbai, Delhi - Chennai, Delhi - Bengaluru, Mumbai - Delhi, Delhi - Hyderabad, Delhi - Kolkata, Mumbai - Chandigarh, Chennai - Bengaluru, Benagaluru - Pune, Mumbai - Indore, Delhi - Chandigarh, Kolkata - Bengaluru, and more to come.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jet Airways proposes business class at budget prices

The rainy days for airlines may be over and taking flight from the raise in demand for comfortable air travel is Jet Airways.

Noticing that their business customer wants more, the company commenced a new business class service aboard Jet Konnect, their no frills all economy class airline.

With the economy opening up and air travel gaining back its momentum, companies are cashing in on enhanced opportunities and Jet is tapping the corporate traveller with their latest offering.

Passenger volumes are seen to be up by almost 30 per cent for Jet Konnect, the company is positive on raking an extra 8 to 10 per cent in revenues through this offering.

Priced 20-25 per cent lesser than their lowest Jet Airways business class fare, they feel there will be takers with corporate easing travel budgets and leisure travelers looking for console.

But will this result in cannibalizing your full service airline customer on the similar routes?

Rajeev Batra of KPMG, said, As far as Jet is concerned, they are a chiefly full service carrier and hence would want to see a shift between full service and low cost. This will impact their yields, it’s a wise business move, given the present affordability of passengers.

Meanwhile, experts feel with companies concentrating on higher yields, a move like this is not surprising and given the present scenario, strategies on these lines may work given the sunny skies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Carry passengers to London by PM's aircraft

The Prime Minister's two Jumbo aircraft (Boeing 747-400) will be used to transport to London passengers stranded in India due to the closure of Heathrow and numerous other airports the past several days because of the volcanic ash clouding the European airspace. This is a particular gesture by Air India to its passengers.

On April 23, passengers travelling from Mumbai to London with Air India will be flying the aircraft that was used by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to meet the US President, Mr Barack Obama, earlier this month. Security considerations need that two aircraft be prepared for a VVIP flight — one which is used to transport the notable and the other as a stand-by.

When the Prime Minister or other VVIPs use this aircraft, it has a special field with a bedroom and a work-place, a first class section for the officials, and a small business class section for other travelers who usually number less than 100.

Official sources told Business Line that the state owned airline is working to reconvert the Boeing 747-400 aircraft, christened Air India-1 for VVIP travel, to usual passenger aircraft capable of carrying 423 passengers in first, business and economy classes.

British Airways announced that all its operations from India are back to normal, while Virgin Atlantic Airways publicized it will restart India operations from Thursday.

On Wednesday, Eurocontrol said it anticipated about 21,000, or about 75 per cent of total, flights to cross the European airspace.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flights resume in Europe while travel chaos not over

LONDON — Many European flights took to the skies Tuesday for the first time in days although the travel chaos was far from over: London's airports were still closed, a massive flight backlog was rising and scientists feared that history could repeat itself with yet one more volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Airports in London — including Heathrow, the busiest in Europe — won't reopen until Wednesday at the most basic and forecasters said more delays were probable if the volcanic ash cloud stayed over much of the country.

German airspace too remained officially closed but 800 planes were allowed to land or take off, all flying at low altitude.

We were in the hotel having breakfast, and we heard an aircraft take off, everybody got up and applauded, said Bob Basso of San Diego, who has been stranded close to Charles de Gaulle since Friday.

The situation today is greatly improved, said Brian Flynn, deputy head of operations at the Brussels-based agency.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Airport businesses hurt due to Flight cancellations

Losses are mounting for small businesses at the Calgary International Airport as enormous ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano forced the cancellation of flights to and from Europe again Monday.

The volcano erupted on April 14, spewing a dense cloud of ash which is rough and can damage jet engines.

Airports all over northern Europe have grounded flights since last week and North American airlines have cancelled transatlantic service also.

With no one lining up to fly to London or Frankfurt from Calgary, entrepreneurs who function in and around the airport are losing money.

It's actually quiet than before. Used to I have almost 700 or 800 in sales since 12 or one o'clock. Today I have just $18, said Jaspreet Garcha, who operates a shop inside the airport.

Taxi driver Khalid Naeem said he currently waits at least three hours between passengers at the airport — almost twice as long as usual.

We are extremely slow over here in fact. Usually we can get five, six fares, so it's my third fare. After that I think I have no time to come back for another one, he said, estimating that 50% of his income has dried up.

European Union transport ministers agreed Monday to partially reopen the airspace. It will be separated into three zones based on danger levels.

One zone will be open to all flights, a "caution zone" will be open to a few flights, and a third zone will be closed to all flights.

Five flights per day to Europe from Calgary have been cancelled, as well as those operated by Air Canada, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Air Transat and Thomas Cook Airlines, said airport spokeswoman Jody Moseley.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jet Airways commences Mumbai-Johannesburg service

Indian airline Jet Airways has commences daily non-stop flights from Mumbai to Johannesburg.

The service will be the initial by a private airline between India and South Africa. South African Airways presents four flights weekly between the two nations.

Jet's Airbus A330-200 daily flight will depart Mumbai at 0205, hour’s inward at Johannesburg at 0735 hours. The return leg will leave Johannesburg at 1100 and arrive at 2330 hours.

The launch of this new international route marks the beginning of Jet Airways' international network extension to Africa.

Jet will also offer passengers seamless onward connections to numerous destinations across South Africa, including Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Kruger National Park and East London.

Additionally, in conjunction with its daily non-stop service to Johannesburg, the airline has also pioneers exclusive South African JetEscapes packages.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

European flights halts at Iceland volcano ash

Smoke and steam hangs above the volcano in the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, which has erupted for the second time in less than a month. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic required the cancellation of flights in Britain and interrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. Volcanic ash is a hazard to aircraft because it can affect visibility, and debris can get sucked into airplane engines and shut them down.

Passengers at Oslo Airport stay for word on their flights. Ash clouds drifting from Iceland's spewing volcano interrupted air traffic across northern Europe as airports shut down and carriers cancelled hundreds of flights.
Grounded airplanes set idle at Oslo Airport in Gardermoen, Norway. Ash clouds from Iceland's spewing volcano disrupted air traffic across northern Europe as authorities blocked Nordic and British airspace.

A plane approaches for a landing while a traffic light in the foreground shows red close to the Düsseldorf airport, western Germany. While air traffic is near normal in parts of Europe, it is infertile in others due to ash from the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Midwest Airlines brand name to vanish

The Midwest Airlines name will cease to exist under a plan to combine the brand with its sister carrier, Denver-based Frontier Airlines.

Midwest currently provides Louisville International Airport, and Frontier, which ceased service to the airport in 2008, will resume service between Louisville and Denver on April 19.

The airlines' Indianapolis-based parent company, Republic Airways Holdings Inc., functions a maintenance hub at Louisville International. Republic purchased Midwest and Frontier in separate contracts last year.

Republic Airways Holdings CEO Bryan Bedford exposed details of the long-awaited brand merger during a Tuesday press conference, held at Midwest Airlines’ maintenance hangar at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

It's been a tough call … made on hard facts, Bedford said in the conference.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) budget airline Jetstar signs accord with Air Canada

Qantas Airways’ (ASX:QAN) budget airline Jetstar has signed an accord with Air Canada that will permit passengers to fly from Australia via Honolulu to Canada and beyond, on a single ticket.

Jetstar says the agreement will monetarily benefit the carrier and provides new access opportunities for inbound visitation to Australia, New Zealand and beyond from Canada.

Air Canada, which functions a direct service between Vancouver and Sydney, says the interline agreement will give passengers the chance to make a side trip to Honolulu.

The deal comes as Qantas discloses demand for leisure travel remains strong despite increased borrowing costs.
CEO Alan Joyce says the airline’s business traffic is also rising as confidence returns to the business sector amid the rapid recovery of the economy.

The airline is raising capacity as domestic economic growth and gains in the Australian dollar spur business travel demand.

Qantas Airways reported revenue of $117 million for the 2009 financial year.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jet Airways fare to go up 10% to 15%

Get ready to shell out more on air travel this summer as Jet Airways is all set to hike average fares by 10 to 15% in Apr and Jun 2010.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Apr 9, Raj Sivakumar, vice president, revenue management, said that the rise in prices were enthused by the rise in crude prices.

On the company's performance in the Jan-Mar 2010, the official noticed that airline has seen healthy load factors of about 80 per cent for international and 70 per cent for domestic routes in the quarter.

The move by the airline to hike fares is predictable to prompt other companies to follow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

American Airlines makes bonus miles offer for regular flier club members

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Members of American Airlines' regular flier club will get a bonus on some transcontinental flights.

The airline said Thursday that its AAdvantage members can earn up to 50,000 bonus miles on certain fares when flying nonstop transcontinental routes among New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport or San Francisco International Airport.

The big bonus relates to members flying roundtrip on some first and business class fares.

For coach passengers, the offer provides AAdvantage members the chance to earn 25,000 bonus miles for roundtrip travel, depending in part on the fare category they book.

Customers must register on the airline's Web site and fly between now and June 30 to be eligible for the endorsement.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fewer British Airways passengers amid strikes

The seven days of cabin crew strikes left their mark on British Airways' passenger figures for March, official statistics have demonstrated.

The airline carried just fewer than 2.3 million passengers last month - a 14.6% reduction on the March 2009 total of just over 2.6 million.

BA credited half of the decline to winter capacity reductions and half to the strikes which saw cabin crew walk out from March 20-22 and March 27-30.

The refuse last month was most marked in the Asia Pacific sector, which was down 25.3% compared with March 2009.

Economy-class passenger numbers were down 12.2% last month, while premium traffic (first-class and business-class) refused 7.2%.

The Unite union, representing the cabin crew, pledges not to acquire any action over Easter and is yet to proclaim any further strikes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

British Airways entire full house of GDS deals, Sabre signs agreement

UK-based carrier British Airways has currently signed new agreements with each Global Distribution System after signing with Sabre Travel Network this week.

The extension of the existing Sabre distribution deal follows alike agreements with Travelport in October and Amadeus in December 2009.

The Sabre deal finished on March 31 2010.

Sabre says the new three-year global partnership will give its agencies and corporate customers with access to the airline’s full content and inventory via the Sabre GDS.

The previous opt-in agreements signed throughout the last round of negotiations remain unchanged, Sabre says.

Sabre and British Airways have also dedicated to distributing ancillary services available on the airline through the GDS.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Airlines propose private rooms as ultimate in luxury travel

It is the vital room with a view, but at £3,497 for a 12-hour stay, the tariff means that reservations are harshly for the wealthy.

Airlines have started to propose private cabins for those who do not have their own jet but require a little more privacy on their journeys.

Aimed at businessmen, sportsmen, celebrities and couples on their honeymoon, they come inclusive with 6ft 7ins bed, leather interior, wash unit and room service.

So far three airlines have fitted planes with cabins as well as Singapore Airlines which has 12 on board its Heathrow to Singapore flight; Etihad also has 12 on its flight to Abu Dhabi, though Emirates has 14 cabins on its seven-hour flight to Dubai.

Other perks of travelling super first class include a 23-inch television, inbuilt massager, cuisine chosen by a "International Culinary Panel" chefs, and a choice of champagne: Billecart-Salmon, Brut Blanc de Blancs 2002 or Baudry Brut Rose. For those who similar to a little home from home Ovaltine, hot chocolate and Horlicks are also all on the room service menu.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flight Options pilots OK contract that gives them a almost 40% lift over five years

Pilots at Flights Options, the fractional jet ownership company based at Cuyahoga County Airport, have approved a contract that gives them almost 40 percent raise over five years.

The agreement was authorized by 88 percent of the pilots, members of Local 1108 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. It wraps 511 pilots -- 320 active and 191 on furlough.

Haggling for the contract, the pilots' first since being organized by the Teamsters, lasted 31/2 years. That is standard for a first contract in the fractional jet industry, Local 1108 President Mat Slinghoff said.

The agreement gives the pilots an immediate 10 percent raise, with the rest of the pay raises spread out over five years. The initial lift places the annual salary of a pilot with 10 years at Flight Options at $85,000 to $95,000.

Salary variations are joined to seniority and the size of aircraft flown. The Flight Options fleet has 5 jets ranging in size from the seven-passenger Hawker 400HP to the 13-passenger Embraer Legacy.

The agreement also gave two months' retroactive pay, amounting to a signing bonus.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Northerner: High pride, tall stories and a compliment to Trueman

There was much arrogance in Manchester this week at news that the world's biggest passenger plane – the Airbus A380 – is to make a daily stopover in the city, giving Manchester airport bragging rights as the first regional airport to land the "superjumbo".

The Manchester Evening News stated that the Emirates airline will use the 517-seat plane for daily flights to Dubai and onward destinations from September. The announcement is being sleeted as a historic coup by ever-competitive airport bosses, who have spent almost £10m on upgrading the airfield and terminal to accommodate the huge aircraft.

The jet is already an eye-catching fixture at many of the world's largest international airports – such as Paris, Sydney and Heathrow – but it will be the first time the plane has been based at an airport not linked to a world capital.

The Emirates president, Tim Clark, said: Manchester has been one of the strongest performers in our rising network of regional gateways, not only in the UK but globally. This is a ground-breaking statement for the airport and its global standing."

Anyone with £3,087 to spare can travel in style in first-class and unwind in a massage-equipped private suite, incorporating a work desk, an electronically controlled mini-bar and in-flight entertainment system.

Andrew Cornish, the airport's managing director, said: This is a historic instant for this airport and the region we serve.

Emirates, which has been flying from Manchester since 1990, says the plane is the most environmentally pleasant in the skies and produces less than half the noise of others on take-off.