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Dubai relaunches ambitious project to develop second airport

by amit.uniyal 22. September 2014 04:31

The tiny Emirate of Dubai in the UAE will have its second airport in future. An ambitious project has been relaunched to develop a second airport, which is billed as being the largest in the world so far. The new airport is expected to handle some 120 million passengers annually.

Dubai in the UAE will have its second airport

Media reports said that a strategy has been prepared to expand the Al-Maktoum International Airport within a period of 8 years. The move is aimed at shifting the increased operations of Emirates Airlines from the Dubai International Airport.

Media reports quoted Paul Griffiths, Spokesman of Dubai International Airport, as saying that the first phase of second airport’s development has already been launched. During this phase, the entire focus will be on building a facility for handling 120 million passengers which will be required for relocating Emirates Airlines’ hub to Al-Maktoum International Airport being built in Dubai World Central economic zone.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, has already approved the $32 billion expansion project and has allocated a timeframe of 6 to 8 years for its completion.
 
Earlier, the plan to develop Al-Maktoum International Airport was first launched in 2009 before Dubai was hit by global financial crisis. The aim was to build the largest airport in the world with a capacity to handle 160 million passengers annually. The proposed airport was to have six runways. It was because of the global financial crisis that the ambitious plan was put for some years on the backburner, only to be resumed now.

According to the final plans, the Al-Maktoum International Airport will be featuring five runways each stretching 4.5 km. The runways will be spaced wide apart for allowing simultaneous use. The plan also envisages a capacity to handle 200 million passengers annually.

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Mouth-watering dishes await long-haul fliers on Japan Airlines

by amit.uniyal 15. September 2014 05:52

If you are among those booking long-haul flights to an international destination on Japan Airlines, then you are surely in for a surprise. Get ready to be served colorful delicacies as part of your in-flight meal. Just sample the dishes you are going to be offered during your flight.

Japan Airlines

It will be wholly a new different experience for you on board the flight. The airline will be serving an appetizer with nine different Japanese delicacies. You can also look forward to being served braised chicken with yuzu chili-flavored radish sauce, and grilled cutlassfish with asparagus and potato salad. There’s no stopping for you as even more mouth-watering dishes are waiting to be served.

The appetizer will be presented in a wooden box consisting of nine small bowls filled with different delicacies from across Japan. The dishes served in these bowls include “ayu” sweetfish sushi wrapped in bamboo leaf; steamed eel with fish cake and braised duck breast; miso-flavored minced pork in a ginger sauce; scallop topped with grated radish; grilled chicken liver, tuna sashimi with yam and prawn; grilled halibut with sea urchin; fried pike conger with soy vinegar jelly; green soy tofu with seaweed sauce; and tomato and tofu salad.

The main course being served to the customers include braised chicken with yuzu chili-flavored radish sauce, and grilled cutlassfish with asparagus and potato salad. The meals are simply yummy and quite sufficient. Those who believe in eating less might just feel cheated with many varieties available, all of which can simply not be eaten by them.

According to Japan Airlines, the luxury food offerings are being provided as part of its JAL BEDD (Bed, Eating, Delicious and Dream) program. These luxury meals are exclusively available to the airline’s customers traveling in First Class and Business Class cabins. The customers traveling in either of the classes are also offered seats that are ultimately transformed into a mattress bed.

The meals offered to the customers under the airline’s JAL BEDD program was designed by a team of four Japanese star chefs. The in-flight menus for First Class and Business Class customers were prepared using the finest and freshest locally-sourced ingredients.

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Australian carriers to allow use of mobile phones on flights

by amit.uniyal 10. September 2014 08:28

Australian travelers can now heave a sigh of relief! Leading Australian carriers such as Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia will now allow their respective customers to use their mobile phones and other electronic gadgets such as tablets during the entire duration of their flights.

provide best food to their premium customers

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority said that the two prominent airlines in the country had applied seeking approval regarding use of mobile phones and other electronic devices during the flights, which has now been finally approved.

The new rule will now be applicable to both domestic and international passengers booking flights on Virgin Australia and Qantas Airways. The rule mandates that the passengers traveling on the two airlines can now make use of their smartphones, small game consoles, e-readers and tablets.
The passengers were earlier required to switch off their electronic devices after boarding their flights and during the course of their entire journey because of the safety reasons.

The passengers in destinations such as the United States, New Zealand and Europe are permitted by some airlines to keep their mobile phones on during their flights. Previously, the electronic devices used to interfere with the flights. However, media reports have now said that the modern aircrafts are now being manufactured and designed in such a way that that the smartphones and other electronic gadgets are unable to interfere with the flights.

Peter Gibson, Spokesperson of Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said that the new rule for the two Australian carriers means that their passengers will be able to send emails and SMS through their smartphones or continue to play games during both takeoff and landing. However, bigger electronic devices such as laptops will be required to be stowed away during landing and takeoff because of the risks of turbulence.

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Asiana Airlines promotes South Korea as a medical tourism hub

by amit.uniyal 7. September 2014 08:52

South Korea is fast emerging as a medical tourism destination world over. One of South Korea’s flagship carriers Asiana Airlines is focusing on the increasing number of foreign visitors visiting the country for medical and healthcare services.

Asiana Airlines is focusing
on the increasing number of foreign visitors

The airline is tying up with hospitals and other medical institutions to aggressively promote South Korea as a medical tourism hub. Asiana Airlines is taking effective steps to publicize the advanced medical facilities and techniques in the country.

Asiana Airlines is now all set to evolve as a primary carrier in South Korea for transporting foreign medical tourists. The airline is also at the same time playing a significant role in contributing to nurture the high value-added medical industry in the country.

Media reports recently said that Asiana Airlines has entered into a business partnership with some 24 hospitals and clinics in South Korea since April 2009. The airline at the outset signed the first cooperation agreement with Hanyang University Hospital and expanded the relationship with others in later years. The airline has now indicated that it will be further adding more medical institutions to its growing list of business partners.

According to the reports, Asiana Airlines on June 5 this year signed a cooperation agreement with Yonsei University Healthcare System to attract patients from foreign countries jointly. Under the terms of the new agreement a health checkup program will be developed for foreign tourists and promotional events would be jointly conducted abroad.

Asiana Airlines said that it will be offering discounts on airline tickets to the foreign tourists visiting Yonsei University Healthcare System for seeking medical and healthcare services. The Yonsei University Healthcare System will similarly devise plans to make the use of its medical services for Asian Airlines’ passengers more affordable.

Korea Tourism Organization said that the number of medical tourists is expected to reach 250,000 in 2014, up from 211,000 in 2013. The top nations from where medical tourists visited South Korea include China, United States, Russia, Japan and Mongolia.

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Cathay Pacific Airways bids farewell to the Queen of the Skies

by amit.uniyal 5. September 2014 08:22

Cathay Pacific Airways in the end of August 2014 reached a historic milestone. The airline has now said adieu to the “Queen of the Skies”, the Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which it flew for nearly 30 years after having launched its maiden flight to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in July 1986.

Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways in a statement said that its only remaining Boeing 747-400 aircraft in North America made its final journey from San Francisco International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport on August 31, 2014. The final flight CX879 took off from San Francisco International Airport at 1.45 pm PDT.

The airline in a statement said that the flight CX879 will now join its other daily flight CX873 to San Francisco in a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft effective from September 1, 2014. Cathay Pacific Airways is presently conducting flight services to its six other North American gateways including Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Newark, Los Angeles and Chicago with the help of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The airline is planning to launch flights to Boston, its 7th North American gateway from May 2015. The flights will be operated between Hong Kong and Boston four times every week utilizing a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Tom Owen, Cathay Pacific Airways’ Senior Vice President – Americas, said that the Boeing 747-400 aircraft in fact placed the airline on the global map and significantly helped it to evolve into a world-class carrier. He said that the aircraft played a vital role in the airline’s overall long-haul evolution.

Owen said that the time finally came to bid farewell to the Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which the airline did. Cathay Pacific Airways also at the same time feels proud in possessing one of the youngest fleets in the world. He said that the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft being operated on all its North American routes effective from September 1, 2014 is quite environmentally beneficial and fuel-efficient.

Cathay Pacific Airways has gradually expanded its global footprint in a massive way by including flight services to several international destinations including Manchester, Zurich, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Brisbane, London, Vancouver and San Francisco. The airline is presently offering 111 weekly flights to Hong Kong and beyond, including the U.S., Canada and Mainland China.

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Airlines worldwide hiring celebrity chefs for gourmet meals

by amit.uniyal 2. September 2014 07:53

It is good food that really matters! Many international airlines are following this dictum seriously and committed to provide best food to their premium customers. The airlines world over are now on a hiring spree trying to take the renowned celebrity chefs on board with the purpose of creating gourmet menus for in-flight meals to be offered to their first class and business class customers.

provide best food to their premium customers

Air France was among the first airline to hire the services of celebrity chefs for preparing in-flight meals. Régis Marcon, a triple Michelin starred chef, has been given the exclusive charge to take care of all the menus ever since April 2014. The French national carrier says that it wants to offer its premium customers with the exclusive French experience by serving delicious gourmet food onboard the flights. The airline believes that this strategy will ultimately pay off and help attract premium fliers to fly with it again and again.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways recently teamed up with two celebrity chefs – Dean Yasharian, who is presently associated with Hyde Park London, and Uwe Opocensky, who is working at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Both the chefs have been assigned the duty of creating delectable cuisines, worthy of a fine dining restaurant, for in-flight meals.

Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas Airways is renowned to offer exceptional meal services to its first class and business class customers. The airline’s menu is changed after every 3 months. This is done with the help of celebrity chefs and their staff.

Other prominent carriers such as Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways are known to hold regular consultations with a team of world-famous chefs for creating gourmet meals for their customers. Even Brussels Airlines and Japan Airlines have been seeking the services of top chefs for delicious dishes at par with those provided in the 5-Star restaurants.

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South Korea planning to build a new southern airport

by amit.uniyal 28. August 2014 09:21

South Korea is now finding it difficult to handle its passenger traffic at its major international airport and is looking to effectively tackle the issue with the construction of yet another international airport in the country.

construction of yet another international 
airport

The government recently made public a finding outlining the current state of the country’s aviation industry. The study said that a major international airport based near Busan will reach its maximum capacity in 2023. Busan is the second-largest city of South Korea.

The report will now spur competition among several provincial and city governments for playing an active role to host the new aviation hub. The Korea Transport Institute and the Paris Airport Authority have also unveiled separate findings on the issue.

According to South Korea’s transportation ministry, the passenger traffic at Gimhae International Airport will increase at an average of 4.7 percent annually starting from 2015. Nearly 21.62 million passengers would have used the airport in 2030.

All the findings have appropriately highlighted the doubling of air traffic in the country and growing travel demand with more and more people taking flights to international destinations in recent years.

The report further revealed that there will be a tremendous growth in the number of passengers traveling out of the third-largest airport in South Korea by 2023. The airport will hit 16.68 million passengers by that time. Nearly 9.67 million passengers traveled out of the airport in 2013. The report said that with the passenger traffic increasing at a fast pace the existing facilities at the airport will make it entirely difficult to deal with passenger arrivals and departures effectively since the airport presently has only two runways thus requiring an upgrade.

Many cities in North and South Gyeongsang provinces, as well as Ulsan, Daegu and Busan, have already expressed their desire to host the new international airport. The findings have been welcomed by the provincial and city governments and the central government is being requested to hasten with the process in a transparent manner.

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Bristol Airport eyeing US flights again with terminal revamp

by amit.uniyal 27. August 2014 08:35

UK’s Bristol Airport is undergoing a major revamp for the first time since it became functional nearly 14 years ago. The airport recently announced it will be undertaking the expansion of its terminal at an investment of estimated 8.6 million GBP.

Bristol Airport is undergoing a major revamp

According to Bristol Airport authorities, the latest expansion will be of a large scale. The airport will see phased development taking place. The airport, which is currently handling 6 million passengers per year, is now aiming to increase its capacity in a big way and looking to expand capacity to handle at least 10 million passengers annually.

With the expansion, the airport is also hoping to bring back direct transatlantic flights from the United States again. The airport officials also indicated that new Middle East routes are also likely to be opened in the future.

Media reports quoting Bristol Airport officials said that the terminal expansion will see a new departure area coming up with a number of shops as well as additional seating capacity to host hundreds of passengers. The new terminal will also have a second executive lounge as well as an outdoor terrace for passengers waiting for boarding their flights. Improved baggage handling will also be part of the latest revamp. This will be done with the extension of the processing area.

The reports said that the revamp is scheduled to start from September 2014. The terminal expansion and other upgrades at the airport would be completed in time for the peak summer holiday season next year.
 
The airport’s announcement of the revamp has come close on the heels following the recent opening of a central walkway at Bristol Airport for easing congestion particularly during the peak travel times.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive of Bristol Airport, said that after the expansion of the terminal is complete the airport will make extensive efforts to attract an international airline that will fulfill its desire of bringing back direct flights to the United States. The airport also wants to open several routes to the Middle East countries as well. The latest revamp is being seen as a significant step for Bristol Airport. The airport is eyeing to handle a record number of passengers in 2014.

Leading U.S. carrier Continental Airlines had introduced direct flights to the United States from Bristol about 10 years ago. The flights services were later on scrapped. The airport now again wants to see resumption of direct U.S. flights.

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UAE becomes worlds 2nd fastest growing air travel market

by amit.uniyal 25. August 2014 06:01

The International Air Transport Association or IATA in a recent study said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the 2nd fastest growing market for both domestic and international air travelers in the world.

(UAE) has become the 2nd fastest 
growing market

The IATA made public its findings saying that airlines conducting flights to/from UAE carried a total of 45.3 million passengers in 2013, registering a growth of remarkable 11.7 percent over 2012.

The study said that China performed marginally better than UAE and stood at No. 1. The passengers traveling to/from China last year was at 404.2 million, reporting an 11.8 percent growth when compared to the year 2012.

Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of IATA, said that the global commercial aviation industry cited to/from movement of 3 billion passengers and about 48 million tons of cargo on around 100,000 flights on a daily basis. This was despite the fact that the real price of air travel declined by 7.4 percent.

According to Tyler, 3.12 billion passengers were transported on scheduled services by various international airlines, thus showing an appreciable growth of 5.1 percent over 2012. He said that Asia-Pacific carriers performed exceedingly well by transporting the highest number of passengers of any region.  

The IATA study disclosing the statistics further said that some 825.9 million passengers traveled to/from Europe, an increase of 3.4 percent over 2012. The airlines carried 818.9 million passengers to/from North America, up 0.7 percent. The airlines carried 240.5 million passengers in Latin America and the Caribbean, an increase of 7.6 percent. Around 157.9 million people traveled to/from the Middle East, up 8.8 percent, while the airlines carried 73.8 million passengers to/from Africa, up 5.6 percent.

The study concluded that 600,000 frequencies and over 1,100 direct airport services were added by various international airlines in 2013. There were a total of 31.5 million frequencies and 50,000 direct airport-pair services during the year.

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Foreign carriers entry in Chicago worries US-based airlines

by amit.uniyal 23. August 2014 09:14

The influx of foreign carriers to the lucrative Chicago O’Hare International Airport has been widely welcomed by the city authorities, while at the same time it has made U.S.-based airlines quite worrisome.

Chicago air travel market

A recent study said that the Chicago air travel market has seen the entry of world’s highest-rated international airlines in a big way in recent years. The arrival of international carriers such as Emirates Airline, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qatar Airways have undoubtedly provided a boost to the city’s economy, but this has also raised a controversy regarding whether the foreign carriers have gained an unfair advantage over their U.S. competitors.

Emirates Airline in August this year started providing flights services to its main hub in Dubai from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways also announced it will be increasing its frequencies on Chicago-Hong Kong route. Qatar Airways, which started operating thrice weekly flights between Doha and Chicago last year, also ramped up its service to daily flights.

The three airlines are renowned for offering luxury service to their customers and decked-out aircraft. Air-travel rating group Skytrax also rated these airlines as the best in the world. Cathay Pacific Airways has been named as the Best Airline in the World for 2014. Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways also received the same honors for 2013 and 2012 respectively.

The entry of these foreign luxury airlines have neither enthused or been taken kindly by U.S. carriers. In recent years many U.S. carriers have faced tumultuous times and been through bankruptcy protection. In the recent Skytrax ratings not a single U.S. airline has even made to the top 20.

U.S. airlines contend that they are operating at a disadvantage since some foreign airlines have been receiving subsidies by the government and are not required to deal with U.S. regulations as well thus impacting the growth of domestic airlines.

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