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Mobile service to extend to majority airlines airports by 2016

by amit.uniyal 17. April 2014 07:43

Checking flight status updates using mobile phones is being gradually taken up by the passengers. And, this is going to pick fast in the coming years. A recent study has indicated that most of the airlines as well as airports are bracing to extend the mobile service by 2016 end. The study said that more than half of passengers traveling by air will be using their mobile phones to check the airport directions, baggage status and flight status.

The study “Smart Thinking” was conducted by SITA and released in Dublin recently at CAPA’s Airlines in Transition Summit. The study made public revealed that 90 percent of airports and 100 percent of airlines are currently making huge investments in business intelligence solutions for providing the passengers intelligent information access regarding their operations and other services.

Mobile service to extend to majority airlines

SITA is a premier IT and communications provider to the aviation industry worldwide. A global research is regularly conducted by SITA on passengers, airlines and airports. The study is considered a unique opportunity to get a fascinating insight into the entire airline industry, assess potential for growth, and identify alignment as well as misalignment.
 
The recent study is based on a global research and appropriately incorporated additional inputs by various airports worldwide and leading airlines. These included London Heathrow, London City Airport, Dublin Airport Authority, Saudi Arabian Airlines and British Airways.

The study indicated that flight status updates have already become a mainstream mobile service and will be further extending its reach within two years. The study disclosed that 79 percent of airports across the world will start providing status notifications such as walking time to gate and queues times through security. Nearly 61 percent of the airlines will begin providing baggage status updates. More than three quarters of the airports will start offering navigation assistance for way-finding through mobile apps.

The study made public by SITA aptly demonstrates and dwell at length on how the focus today is to build and solidify the base for business intelligence. The efforts are also to look ahead to use the combination of predictive analysis and business intelligence to vastly improve the ground experience of the passengers, while making optimum use of the space and infrastructure at the airports.

The study pointed out the utter helplessness of the airports and airlines in tackling untoward events such as bad weather conditions in the past. The report said that during such emergency situations the airlines and airports were left with no choice but to fine-tune the disrupted flight schedules. The use of business intelligence therefore becomes critical in the present times. The study concluded that by using the business intelligence to their advantage there will be more scope for preventive action before situations like bad weather are actually predicted. The business intelligence will play a more proactive role by successfully analyzing the past events and combining it with live data feeds from various sources and assist in predicting the future events. With the business intelligence the airline industry and passengers stand to gain immensely as the transformation from reactive to proactive and onwards to preventive will be complete.

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Airline News

The mystery behind three-letter airport codes

by amit.uniyal 14. April 2014 08:11

The airport codes are of three letters. And, it’s a common knowledge for almost all the air travelers. In most of the cases these airport codes easily decipher the arrival or destination cities, but sometimes these seem to be weird and difficult to attribute the cities they belong to. Decoding the destination through an airport code is often perplexing though. For travelers, particularly those who are not aware of the nitty-gritty, this seems more of a mystery. Let us understand the story behind some of these awkward and bizarre airport codes.

airport codes

For instance the airport codes for cities like Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are quite understandable. For Perth it is PER, Melbourne has MEL and Sydney has SYD. These airport codes make perfect sense and one can easily understand that the first three letters easily signify the cities that they belong to. But this naming convention is not followed with most of the cities. For example, what will you say in case of a city like Brisbane? The airport code of Brisbane is BNE, whereas it should have been BRI similar to that of Melbourne, Perth or Sydney. In fact, the airport code BRI is allocated to Bari, an Italian city.

Some of the city’s airport codes are derived after skipping few letters. And, even these make sense. Cities like Adelaide, Auckland and Hong Kong have airport codes ‘ADL’, ‘AKL’ and ‘HKG’ respectively. These airport codes closely fit to their respective cities.

But one can be surprised on seeing the airport code of Los Angeles as ‘LAX’. Most of the travelers know that LAX or Los Angeles is one and the same. But, how did the letter ‘X’ creep in the airport code of Los Angeles? There’s a story behind this and it knowing it will certainly add to your knowledge as to how the airport codes actually evolved over the years.

In earlier days when air travel was just beginning or taking shape, the airports were usually known by a two-letter code named after the weather station. So, the airport code of Los Angeles was simply LA. However, with the growth of air travel a need arose to name the airports with a proper airport code. Keeping this in view, a three-letter code was introduced to identify the airports. And, so began the story of the letter ‘X’ and the way in which it is proving to be helpful in naming the airports.

Akin to Los Angeles, even the airport code of Portland is PDX. As we move forward and come to know about other cities, one will be surprised to know that the airport code of Dubai is also DXB. However, it should have been ‘DUB’. But, this in fact belongs to Dublin and Dubai followed suit of Los Angeles and Portland by getting the ‘X’ letter in its airport code. It is not only the letter ‘X’ which has made entry. Even letter ‘Z’ has also entered the scene. The proposed Sydney West Airport being built at Badgery’s Creek in Australia has its airport code named as ‘SWZ’. So, this is the real story behind the airport codes and how they are evolving.

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Airline News

Get enthralled with 100 performances at Istanbul Theatre Festival

by amit.uniyal 11. April 2014 07:38

Theatre lovers get ready for an exciting event in Istanbul in May-June this year. The 19th edition of the famous Istanbul Theatre Festival is round the corner. So, book your flights to Istanbul today and attend the festival between May 9 and June 5, 2014.

The Istanbul Theatre Festival is being held under the title “New Wave”. The festival will host 100 performances to be staged at different venues across the city. The venues include Üsküdar Tekel, Üsküdar Studio, Sisli Blackout, Salon, Sainte Pulcherie French High School, Harbiye Muhsin Ertugrul Stage, Moda Stage, Kenter Theater, ikincikat-karaköy, Haldun Taner Stage, DOT, Cevahir Stage, and Bisahne.

istanbul

This year the festival will be marking the 450th birth anniversary of Shakespeare. The renowned theater group Propeller Theater Company will be specially staging five performances based on Shakespeare’s plays such as “The Comedy of Errors”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Hamlet”. These shows will be held throughout the festival. Local theatre groups will be staging other Shakespeare plays like “Romeo and Juliet” and “King Lear” throughout the duration of the festival.

Turkey and Poland will mark 600 years of their diplomatic relations. The Istanbul Theatre Festival will also celebrate the longstanding ties between the two countries. Four exclusive performances will be held on the occasion.

The world premier of “Proust-Pamuk-Bellek”, a play produced by Opole Theater will be hosted at the festival. This play was written and produced by Emre Koyuncuoglu and Krzysztof Garbaczewski from the novels of Orhan Pamuk and Marcel Proust.

Among various other programs, the Istanbul Theatre Festival will also host performances by 35 Turkish dance and theatre companies for the first time. The important performances to be staged include “The Adventures of Latif Effendi: The First Ottoman Vampire”, “The Last Unicorn”, “Montserrat”, “The Empire Builders”, “Hamlet Machine” and many others.

The “Oyun Salonu” project, which was originally conceptualized through the joint collaboration of the Istanbul Theater Festival and the staff of Salon, will continue during this edition as well like previous years. Four theater companies will be staging the plays at Salon, to be hosted as part of “Oyun Salonu” project.

The audience at the festival can also look forward to staging of the play “An Enemy of the People” taken from Henrik Ibsen piece written by renowned German director Thomas Ostermeier.

Prof. Dikmen Gürün, who was Istanbul Theater Festival director from 1993 to 2013, will be presented with the first honorary award. The other two recipients of honorary awards this year include Edward Hall, Propeller Theater Company’s art director, and Grzegorz Jarzyna, director of a Polish theatre.

The Istanbul Theater Festival has been attracting a large number of visitors from Turkey and other countries around the world. This year as well the festival expects the participation of many visitors. The other highlights of the festival that you may look forward to include workshops, documentary screenings, films and Q&A sessions.
 
The Istanbul Theatre Festival is being organized ever since 2004 by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV). The festival is being held continuously since its inception and aims at promoting Turkey’s art and culture through educational programs and workshops.

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travel guide

Enjoying famous festivals of Hawaii during May-August

by amit.uniyal 10. April 2014 04:13

Headed to Honolulu to enjoy the famous festivals in Hawaii Islands? Say Aloha now! You are in for a real treat when you visit this beautiful destination during the months of May through August. Though many festivals are held round the year throughout the Hawaii Islands, but visiting during these months are indeed pleasurable.

Here are some of the important festivals that you can look forward to celebrate in this key state of the United States. These festivals include Waikiki SPAM Jam, Ukulele Festival Hawaii, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, Lei Day Celebration, Lantern Floating Hawaii, King Kamehameha Floral Parade, Prince Lot Hula Festival, Made in Hawaii Festival, Okinawan Festival and Duke’s OceanFest.

Hawaii

If you are traveling during the month of May, three major festivals will keep you enthralled. The Lei Day Celebration will be held on May 1, 2014. This festival is celebrated to mark the Hawaiian tradition of making as well as wearing lei. The festival will be entering its 87th edition this year. The major highlights of this festival are lei-making competition, food booths and other entertainment at Waikiki’s Queen Kapiolani Park and Bandstand. The other two festivals celebrated this month are Waikiki SPAM Jam and Lantern Floating Hawaii.

On June 14, witness the colorful 98th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade celebrations. The festival is held to honor King Kamehameha, who united Hawaiian Islands during his reign in 1810. The parade will be featuring marching bands, decorated floats and traditional pau riders on horseback representing the Hawaiian royal court.

There are many more festivals other than these which you can witness and celebrate. So what are you waiting for, just go ahead and plan a vacation to Hawaii as the Hawaii Islands is beckoning you.

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travel guide

Hong Kong International Airport among worlds best

by amit.uniyal 9. April 2014 10:26

Have you ever visited Hong Kong and seen its only civil airport – the Hong Kong International Airport? You will appreciate just like everybody else that Hong Kong International Airport is among the best in the world today. Here’s a brief outlook on this finest airport.

The Hong Kong International Airport is based in China’s Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. It is the only civil airport in the city-state and a prominent gateway to Asia. It is among the world’s busiest airports catering to huge international passenger traffic and cargo flights. The airport is a major hub for Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Express, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Hong Kong and Dragonair.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong International Airport is situated on Chek Lap Kok Island. The airport is also called Chek Lap Kok Airport. Earlier, it was named Kai Tak Airport. The airport is operational ever since 1998. The airport is accessed to reach 44 destinations in China as well as other Asian cities.

Currently, the airport handles above 100 airlines operating flights to nearly 180 cities around the world. The airport was used by 59.9 million passengers for transportation purposes in 2013, thus transforming it as world’s 11th busiest airport. It also left Memphis International Airport behind in the race to emerge as the busiest airport in the world for cargo traffic.

The Hong Kong International Airport is presently home to two terminals. The Terminal 1 with an area of 846,000 square meters is the world’s 3rd largest terminal building. The other two airports with largest terminal buildings are Dubai International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport.

The Hong Kong International Airport is a proud recipient of 2014 SkyTrax Award for Best Baggage Handling System. The airport became the world’s first airport to unveil RFID luggage tags in 2008 for efficient baggage handling. The airport has also been awarded the title of Best Airport in the World for 8 times ever since 2001.

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Airline News

Indian Arrival Day to relive East Indians arrival to Guyana

by amit.uniyal 8. April 2014 10:12

Headed to Georgetown to visit the beautiful Caribbean destination of Guyana? If you are destined for your sojourn in May this year, then better be prepared to take yourself down the memory lane. A pleasant surprise awaits you as the history of East Indian’s arrival is all set to be retold on the sea shores of Guyana.

The Indian Arrival Day will be celebrated in Guyana on May 5, 2014. This annual celebration is an important event on Guyana’s calendar. The day commemorates the arrival of Indian indentured laborers to Guyana for working in the sugarcane plantations.

Guyana city guide

The Indian Arrival Committee (IAC), an NGO committed to safeguard the history of Indians in the country and promote their cultural traditions, has made elaborate plans to mark this significant event in the country’s history. A boat cruise along the Demerara River would be held on April 27, 2014 to re-enact the arrival of indentured laborers to Guyana.

The aesthetics of the Hesperus or the Whitby, the two prominent ships that transported the first batch of indentured laborers to Guyana in 1838, are being recreated in order to aptly showcase the bygone era and all that took place during those times.

 This historic event would be exciting indeed. Those people who would be taking part in the cruise would be required to dress up in similar outfits as worn by the East Indian forefathers on the day they first arrived in Guyana. The event would be sought to be mimicked to the greatest possible extent.

The annual Pagwah Mela will kick off the event marking the celebrations. The Phagwah Mela has been titled “Rang Barse”. A rich cultural show would be held on Bath Settlement Public Road’s tarmac in West Coast Berbice. The magnificent Indian Arrival Day Melas would also be held featuring renowned international artistes giving their spirited, soulful renditions alongside local musicians, dancers and singers. The event will be a gala affair proudly showcasing the Indian cultural heritage in Guyana.

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travel guide

Enjoy thrilling moments at Fort Lauderdales best beaches

by amit.uniyal 7. April 2014 04:45

Fort Lauderdale is renowned world over for its yachts and beaches. The city, which has earned the epithet of ‘Yachting Capital of the World’, attracts millions of visitors from across the world to its numerous gorgeous beaches. Whatever you just might be looking for – kayaking, hiking, sunbathing or simply fun and frolicking – the beaches of Fort Lauderdale have it all for you.

Fort Lauderdale city guide

Here’s is a glimpse into some of the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale. If you are visiting Fort Lauderdale to spend your vacations, knowing about the beaches here would indeed be worthwhile for you to plan well for your visit. The famous beaches in the city include Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Dania Beach, John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, Hollywood Beach, Hallandale Beach and Miami Beach.

If you are taking along your family and looking out for fun moments at a beach in Fort Lauderdale, then consider visiting the Deerfield Beach. It is great favorite with the families and kids. This beach is devoid of alcohol, jet skis and cigarette boats. It’s safe for families. Here your kids will enjoy building castles in golden sand. Tired of the water? Think of playing volleyball or tossing Frisbees along its shores.

A visit to Hillsboro Beach is simply fascinating. Consider touring the Hillsboro Lighthouse. It was built in 1907. Get a magnificent bird’s eye view of Fort Lauderdale atop the lighthouse. The Barefoot Mailman statue is yet another attraction here. It commemorates the 19th century shoeless mailman trodding the shoreline to deliver mails to coastal communities.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is a great place to visit. It is known for its sidewalk cafes and stylish boutiques. Want to sip margaritas or buy swimwear, then visit the beachfront promenade. The 7 miles of beachfront here offers oodles of activities, be it snorkeling, swimming, boating, jet skiing or simply making sand castles.

These are the only few beaches described here. There are many beaches in Fort Lauderdale which should be explored. The beaches here offer a gala time to the visitors.

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travel guide

How to make out the most of long haul flights

by amit.uniyal 4. April 2014 05:35

Long haul flights are wearisome. But there are various ways in which you can make your travel enjoyable by adhering to the following valuable tips. Just imagine the toll your long haul flights can take if you are traveling to Johannesburg from Atlanta or any other U.S. city. Do you know it will take around 15 to 19 hours for a nonstop flight to reach the South African city from any U.S. destination?

Don’t worry. You can always make your long haul flight hassle free only when you consider some of the important tips being provided here for your benefit. The first thought that comes to a traveler’s mind when booking long haul flights is about the jet lag. This can be overcome by keeping yourself comfortable in every possible way.

The first thing you should do is to wear comfortable clothes when flying long distance. If your flight involves a travel time of nearly 19 hours, then you must acknowledge the fact that you will be boarding the aircraft which involves several meals as well as one sleep cycle at least. It is therefore advisable to wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes. Remember to pack in pajamas as you can use them before taking a nap. There are only few airlines that provide their passengers a comfort kit comprising of pillow, blanket, nightwear and slippers in business class cabins, while most of them don’t offer such kits. So, it is recommended that you carry pajamas for your comfortable sleep.

For smokers, the very idea of traveling on a long haul flight makes them jittery. The simple reason being that you won’t be allowed to light your cigarette. Obviously, you feel agitated. The best way before booking a long haul flight for such travelers is to talk to your doctor and seek suggestions on how to handle the trip. It is highly recommended that you take the help of electronic cigarettes, nicotine gum or a nicotine patch to satisfy your urge for smoking on board your flight.

Staying healthy is also quite important to fight your long haul flights blues. Remember that aircraft cabins are dry. So it is essential to keep yourself healthy during the entire course of your flight. This can be done by continuous intake of water and other beverages throughout the flight. Apart from this, it is vital to take care of your skin as well. Consider applying moisturizing lotion or cream to your face and hands.

A little exercise on board your aircraft would also work wonders in fighting off jet lag. A full cardio exercise in not possible in the aisle, so you must make sure to walk around after every hour or so. When you are seated, you should ensure that your blood keeps circulating. This can be done by simply lifting your legs and arms.

There are many ways other than these to keep your long haul flights smooth and comfortable as far as possible.

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Airline News

Craft beers become new in-flight offerings, enthusing drinkers

by amit.uniyal 3. April 2014 11:11

Airlines worldwide continue to revamp their in-flight offerings in order to attract more passengers. The attention is particularly on food and beverages front. The trends are changing now, and so are food and beverage options. Craft beers are the latest entrant as part of new offerings to the travelers on board their flights.

The airlines have perceived that more drinkers are now displaying their passion for specialty brews and significantly moving away from mass market beers. By adding craft beers as their latest offerings in the air, the airlines are going the extra mile in keeping the drinkers happier and glued to the good stuff on board their flights.

Renowned Sam Adams beer brand co-founder Jim Koch said that the drinkers were though present on the aircrafts, but there was certainly lack of quality beer. He said that the drinkers would like to have the same stuff in the air that they are already enjoying on the ground. The airlines are now moving at a frenetic pace and responding to customers tastes which are considerably changing. He said that the Americans have developed passion for craft beer, and they just love it. The craft beer retail sales are on upward trend reaching at $14.3 billion in 2013, up 20 percent as compared to last year.

Sam Adams craft beer is already being served on some Delta shuttle flights for nearly 20 years. Virgin America has also been offering craft beer procured from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco for past some years. Following suit, other airlines have also recently started pursuing the trend and offering craft beer to their customers.

The latest to join the fray earlier this year is Southwest Airlines, which started selling Fat Tire cans to the passengers on its flights and those of its subsidiary AirTran Airways. Even JetBlue is also offering Sam Adams beer on its flights during summer.

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Airline News

American Airlines Group leaves Star Alliance to join Oneworld

by amit.uniyal 1. April 2014 11:48

Ever since American Airlines merged with US Airways, a new chapter is set to open. The effect of the merger would be most on frequent fliers. In a significant step indicating a new beginning, American Airlines Group has decided to leave Star Alliance and join Oneworld.

Star Alliance and Oneworld are two leading global airlines alliance with leading international airlines as their partner members.
 
With the new Oneworld membership, US Airways frequent fliers would now be eligible to earn and redeem miles on a new set of airlines. Currently, there are 16 member airlines in Oneworld. These include American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, British Airways and Qatar Airways.
The latest to join Oneworld is Qatar Airways. The airline became member in October 2013. Qatar Airways is to begin daily nonstop flights between Doha and Philadelphia starting from April 2, 2014. The airline will provide connectivity to 136 destinations in the Middle East, South America, Asia, Africa and India.

Despite the shifting of allegiance to Oneworld, US Airways will continue to retain codeshare partnership with 12 airlines that are currently not part of Oneworld. With the new Oneworld membership, the airline plans to phase out codeshare pact with these airlines in coming months. However, US Airways frequent fliers would continue to redeem and earn miles with these carriers as of now.

US Airways frequent fliers would not be able to earn or redeem miles on majority of 28 partner airlines of Star Alliance, including Swiss International Air Lines, Asiana Airlines and Lufthansa. The flights booked with erstwhile Star Alliance partners by US Airways frequent fliers are safe, but miles would not be able to be earned or redeemed for these flights.

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Airline News

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