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Alitalia begins flight services to Beijing, Rio de Janeiro

by 30. June 2011 11:14
Leading Italian carrier Alitalia started two new intercontinental flights early June this year.  

The new flights started operations on Beijing and Rio de Janeiro routes from June 1, 2011. The flights are now connecting Rome with these two destinations.

The inaugural ceremony of the launch of the two new intercontinental routes was held at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome-Fiumicino. Alitalia provided a free gift to all the passengers of inaugural flights to celebrate the launch of new routes.

Giancario Schisano, COO of Alitalia, while speaking on the occasion said that Alitalia is focusing on business tourism and considers Beijing and Rio de Janeiro as world’s most traditional developing areas. He also said that Brazil and China are growing market targets for Alitalia’s international and intercontinental offers.

Providing the details on the new intercontinental flights, the Alitalia in a statement said that Rome-Beijing flight will be operated four-times weekly. However, the frequency of flights on this route will be increased from four to five. The airline further said that Rome-Beijing flight has been added to links between Shanghai and Rome, and will codeshare with China Eastern.

Alitalia is aiming to strengthen its presence in Far East with connection to Beijing. Al present, Alitalia is the only carrier in the Far East region to provide direct links between Japan and Italy.

Regarding the Rome-Rio de Janeiro route, the airline said that it began flight operations three-times-weekly in June. However, the frequency of the flights on this route will be increased from the current three to four effective from July.

With the launch of flight operations to Rio de Janeiro, Alitalia has become the only carrier in South America to expand its intercontinental network and offer direct scheduled flights to Rio de Janeiro.

Alitalia said that its new ACJ-330 aircrafts have been deployed on the two new intercontinental routes of Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. The aircraft is configured in three classes – Magnifica, Classica Plus and Classica.

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Spirit Airlines launches Fort Lauderdale-San Salvador, El Salvador flight services

by 30. June 2011 11:03
Spirit Airlines recently introduced its flight services between San Salvador, El Salvador and Fort Lauderdale. The nonstop flight services, which started on June 13, 2011, will be operated on Fort Lauderdale-San Salvador, El Salvador route three-times per week.

With the launch of the flight services between Fort Lauderdale and San Salvador, El Salvador, the Spirit Airlines aims at expanding its ultra low fares network further throughout Central America.

The airline began its flight services by offering US$19 fares (each way based on round-trip purchase), initially for two days.

Jose Napoleon Duarte Durán, El Salvador’s Minister of Tourism, expressed his happiness over the start of Fort Lauderdale-San Salvador, El Salvador flight service. The minister said that he hopes that more international tourists will be attracted to El Salvador with the arrival of Spirit Airlines in the country. He said that Spirit Airlines is known for offering cheap fares.

The Spirit Airlines is widely considered to be the largest Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) in the US, the Caribbean and Latin America. It is the youngest airline in the Americas with its all-Airbus fleet. The Spirit Airlines, which is based in South Florida, currently flies to over 40 destinations operating more than 150 daily flights.

Schedule for Spirit’s Fort Lauderdale – San Salvador, El Salvador Service Effective June 13, 2011:

Fort Lauderdale - San Salvador, El Salvador

Flight # 155 – Departure: 11.30 pm – Arrival: 12.20 am+1 – Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

San Salvador, El Salvador - Fort Lauderdale

Flight # 150 – Departure: 1.10 am – Arrival: 5.45 am – Frequency: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

$19 Introductory Fares* (each way based on round-trip purchase):

Fort Lauderdale – San Salvador, El Salvador; One-Way: US$ 19; Applicable Dates: 03-Sep-11, 10-Sep-11, 03-Oct-11, 08-Oct-11, 10-Oct-11, 17-Oct-11, 19-Oct-11, 24-Oct-11

San Salvador, El Salvador – Fort Lauderdale; One-Way: US$ 19; Applicable Dates: 18-Sep-11, 27-Sep-11, 29-Sep-11, 06-Oct-11, 09-Oct-11, 13-Oct-11, 20-Oct-11, 23-Oct-11

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Airberlin Berlin-Tegel Linz route Launched

by 29. June 2011 11:09
Leading German carrier Airberlin recently launched its new Berlin-Tegel to Linz route.

The airline has started operating nonstop flights to Linz, a cultural and business destination in Upper Austria. The airline said that it will be transporting passengers from Berlin and its surrounding areas, and will reach Linz from Berlin-Tegel in 75 minutes.

Providing the flight schedule, airberlin said that the flights will depart from Berlin-Tegel at 08.55 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Saturdays, the flights will depart from Berlin-Tegel at 08.15 am, while the departure time on Sundays will be at 5.10 pm. The airline said that as soon as the incoming flight touches down at the airport, the return flight will start immediately after.

According to airberlin, the price of tickets to Linz will be available starting 44.99 Euro one-way. The prices will be inclusive of taxes, topbonus miles and other charges.

With the launch of nonstop flights to Linz, the airberlin is now connecting 5 Austrian destinations, which includes Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Klagenfurt, apart from Linz.

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IndiGo to start International flight operations from September 1

by 29. June 2011 10:48
India’s leading no-frill, low cost carrier IndiGo recently announced that it will begin its international operations to various destinations from September 2011.

IndiGo has so far been operating flight services in several domestic destinations in India.

The airline in a statement disclosed that its international operations will commence with the launch of daily Delhi-Dubai flights from September 1, 2011.

Besides, the airline will also start operating its new Delhi-Singapore route from September 8. The airline will begin Delhi-Bangkok flight services from September 15.

IndiGo also said that it will begin international flight operations from Mumbai. The airline said that it will launch its Mumbai-Dubai and Mumbai-Bangkok flight services from October 2, 2011.

Further, the airline has also revealed that it has applied for starting flight services from Kolkata to Bangkok and Dhaka. The IndiGo plans to begin its international flight operations from Kolkata next year after the routes are approved by Indian civil aviation authorities.

The airline said in its statement said that options of more flights operations exist on international sectors because 34 percent of the route authority still remains to be utilized from Indian side.

Aditya Ghosh, CEO of IndiGo, said that the airline feels happy in launching its international flight operations to Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore from September 2011. “The all-inclusive return fare for each of these destinations will be Rs 9,999 only considering the stiff competition that exists in the Indian airline industry,” said the IndiGo CEO and added, “On the inaugural fare the IndiGo will be offering 25,000 seats.”

Regarding the expansion plans of IndiGo, Ghosh said that considering the current population versus aircraft ratio there is pertinent need for 60 aircrafts on a monthly basis. However, there are around 400 commercial aircrafts in the country today.

IndiGo, the second largest airline in India, currently has a 39-aircraft fleet. It will be expanding its fleet and already placed orders for 180 Airbus A320.

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Korean Air flights Seoul Incheon-Paris route Frequency to be increased this summer

by 29. June 2011 10:46
South Korea’s national carrier Korean Air recently announced that the flights frequency on Seoul Incheon-Paris route will be increased this summer in two phases. The move is aimed at meeting the growing demand of passengers from these two destinations.

Korean Air said in a statement that on Saturdays there will be twice-daily service between Seoul and Paris from June 11 to July 16, 2011. With the beginning of the services, the number of flights on Seoul Incheon-Paris route will now go up to eight times per week.

The airline further said that in July the flight frequencies on Seoul Incheon-Paris route will be increased to ten flights per week.

However, Korean Air said that its current KE901/902 daily flights will be operating as usual. The flights on B777-200ER operate on Monday and Friday, while the flights on Boeing 777-300ER are operated on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Additional Flight Schedules (for summer):

Seoul Incheon-Paris (Saturday service)

Flight KE903 – Departure: 09.10 – Arrival: 13.50 (same day)

Paris-Seoul Incheon

Flight KE904 – Departure: 16.30 – Arrival: 10.20 (next day)

Flight Services from July 22 to September 25, 2011

Seoul Incheon-Paris (Monday, Friday and Saturday)

Flight KE903 – Departure: 16.20 – Arrival: 21.15 (same day)

Paris-Seoul Incheon

Flight KE904 – Departure: 23.00 – Arrival: 17.05 (next day)

Korean Air also said that the aircrafts operating flight services between July 22 and September 25, 2011, will be configured with the upgraded cabin products of the airline – Kosmo Suites in the First Class, Prestige Sleeper having fully lie-flat seats in Business or Prestige Class, and New Economy. The seats in all classes will be fitted with the airline’s acclaimed in-flight entertainment system Beyond AVOD (Audio Video On Demand).

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EVA Air New flight Services to Guam

by 28. June 2011 10:26
Taiwan’s leading carrier EVA Air recently introduced its new flight services to Guam. The airline held a ceremony at Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 2 to celebrate the launch of new route on June 18, 2011.

To mark the launch, three Taiwanese couples who were engaged and planned to hold their wedding ceremonies in Guam were offered round-trip business class tickets free of cost by EVA Air. The three couples were chosen from among 800 couples vying for this special offer. Besides free business class round trip tickets, the couples were also provided bridal suits and gowns, 5-star hotel stay and church wedding ceremony.

The launch ceremony was quite fascinating as the boarding gate of EVA Air was decorated in such a way so as to recreate a church wedding atmosphere.

The inaugural flight to Guam was piloted by Chang Kuo-wei, President of EVA Air. “The decision to pilot the inaugural flight, with three Taiwanese couples on board among 200 others, was to demonstrate the commitment of EVA Air to offering quality service and highest flight safety to passengers,” said Chang Kuo-wei, who holds a Boeing 777 pilot license. Chang has until now recorded over 800 hours of total flight time.

EVA Air in a statement said that twice-weekly flights will be operated from Taipei to Guam. The airline also said that Airbus A330-200 will be deployed on the new Guam route. The airline also said that it hopes to benefit from flight services to Guam as it has become increasingly popular as romantic destination, and is the first choice for Taiwanese couples as a prime wedding location.

A survey by Guam Visitors Bureau cited that there has been a sharp increase in number of Taiwanese visitors over past few years to Guam. There was a steady 36.7 percent rise in Taiwanese arrivals in first five months of 2011 in Guam, as compared with same period last year.

Flight Schedule:

Taipei-Guam

Departure: 10.45 pm each Tuesday and Saturday – Arrival: 4.40 am each Wednesday and Sunday (local time)

Guam-Taipei

Departure: 6.10 am each Wednesday and Sunday – Arrival: 8.15 am the same day

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Emirates St Petersburg Flights To Be Relaunched

by 28. June 2011 10:25
UAE national carrier Emirates announced recently that it will launch daily flight services to St Petersburg from Dubai effective November 1, 2011.

St Petersburg is situated on Baltic coast. It is often referred to as ‘Northern Capital’ of Russia.

With around 4.6 million population, St Petersburg is considered as Europe’s third largest city. The passenger demand will most likely be tourist driven. Besides, St Petersburg also has a considerable expatriate community boosted by manufacturing and oil sectors.

With the start of the flight services, St Petersburg will be the most northerly point of Emirates’ network.

Emirates in a statement said that it will be deploying Airbus A330-200 and A340-300 on the St Petersburg-Dubai route. The passengers on this route will be offered First, Business and Coach (Economy) class travel.

The airline has been serving the Russian capital Moscow ever since 2003. It is currently operating double daily flights to Moscow.

Expressing his happiness regarding the launch of flight, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates, said that the success of Emirates’ flight services to Moscow demonstrates that demand from this market still exists, and Russia has a great potential.

Sheikh Ahmed further said that for quite some time a nonstop service to St Petersburg was being considered, and the conditions are conducive now to launch the services. Highlighting the qualities of St Petersburg as a tourist destination, Sheikh Ahmed said that every year the city attracts a large number of cruise visitors and tourists. St Petersburg is famous around the world for its fascinating history, arts and culture, and its grand architecture.

Russian tourists also consider UAE as a major destination. Thousands of investors from Russia have made the UAE as their home.

With the start of the new St Petersburg-Dubai service, Emirates is hoping to satisfy the growing demand of Russian tourists, while at the same time aiming to provide better links with Asian markets.

Flight Schedule:

Dubai-St Petersburg

Flight EK137 – Departure: 1035 hrs – Arrival: 1615 hrs

St Petersburg-Dubai

Flight EK136 – Departure: 1745 – Arrival: 0035 hrs (next day)

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LAN likely to Finalize TAM takeover Deal by March 2012

by 27. June 2011 10:25
Leading Chilean airline LAN is hopeful of finalizing its takeover deal of Brazilian airline TAM by March 2012. The takeover bid, however, depends on the resolution of regulatory issues.

Earlier, the merger of the two airlines was expected to conclude by the end of 2011. However, the formalizing of the deal was advance to early next year from Q3 2011 after an antitrust review by Chilean regulators.

The merger of the two airlines – LAN and TAM – will create Latin America’s biggest air carrier.

Media reports quoting analysts said that the Chilean authorities are likely to approve the deal with some restrictions during the second half of this year.

Maria Claudia Amaro, Chairwoman of TAM, said, “I am confident Chilean authorities will give the go-ahead to the deal.”

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KLM’s Amsterdam-Paris commercial flights to run on bio-fuel

by 27. June 2011 10:19
Here’s a big step forward for the Dutch flag carrier KLM!  In a landmark decision, the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has said that it will be launching above 200 flights to be operated on bio-kerosene on Paris-Amsterdam route in September. This significant step being taken by the KLM is aimed towards aviation sustainability.

The KLM in a statement said that it will be operating the flights on bio-fuel prepared from the used cooking oil. The airline further said that it is always open to using different raw materials for the making of bio-fuel. It, however, said that this will be on the condition that the raw materials for end product are able to fulfill several sustainability criteria, which includes least negative impact on food supply and biodiversity as well as substantial CO2 emissions reductions. It is also mandatory that bio-fuels being used by KLM should qualify technical specifications in the same way as traditional kerosene, and no adjustments whatsoever should be made to aircraft engines or the infrastructure when using them.

Camiel Eurlings, Managing Director of KLM, expressed his happiness and said that the airline has proved once again that it is keeping up with its plans to boost development of bio-kerosene. He said that the KLM has already demonstrated it in November 2009 that it’s technically possible to operate on bio-kerosene. “A year and a half after first demonstration flight, a new phase – that of certification – has entered world over. The operation of commercial flights on bio-fuels will soon be approved by aviation authorities. I’m proud to say that KLM will be taking this important step in September,” said Camiel Eurlings.  

A firm named Dynamic Fuels is producing the bio-fuels, and it is being supplied by SkyNRG. The KLM, North Sea Group and Spring Associates jointly launched the SkyNRG consortium, which is actively engaged in creating a sustainable aviation bio-fuels production chain.

The KLM is industry leader in aviation fuel efficiency and has been engaged in developing sustainable bio-fuel ever since 2007.

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Hong Kong Airlines to compete with Cathay Pacific, to order SAS A380s

by 27. June 2011 10:17
The Hong Kong Airlines has decided to vigorously compete with Cathay Pacific and will be ordering Airbus SAS A380s to augment its fleet. By adding its flights in China, the airline hopes to increase its share in the world’s rapidly growing air travel market.

The airline will be ordering the superjumbos at the Paris Air Show, which started June 20, 2011.

By acquiring A380s, the Hong Kong Airlines hopes to compete with Cathay Pacific Airways on long haul routes.

Earlier this year, the airline also ordered six 777 freighters and Boeing 787s. The move is aimed at strengthening its network and to attract business travelers.

According to a statement by Boeing, the Hong Kong Airlines has already placed orders for 12 A330s, 15 A350s and 30 Airbus A320s in May this year.

Yang Jianhong, President of Hong Airlines, has indicated that the airline is hoping to double the number of passengers this year to four million. The airline is eyeing to tap growing travel demand in China by adding the number of flights here. Presently, the airline accounts for less than 10 percent share of outbound travel market of Hong Kong.

Later this year, leading Chinese carrier China Southern is due to receive its first superjumbo. The Hong Kong Airlines will be second carrier in Greater China to place A380s orders with the Boeing.

Boeing has said that it has sold 234 A380s altogether.  The planemaker has so far delivered 49 superjumbos by end of May.

While on one hand, Hong Kong Airlines is trying to compete with Cathay Pacific by ordering superjumbos, the Cathay Pacific Airways has other plans. The Cathay Pacific has decided not to place orders for A380s now. It will instead be include smaller planes to refurbish the long haul fleet. The airline has placed orders for 30 A350s, 10 Boeing 777-300ERs and 15 Airbus A33 - 300s this year. John Slosar, CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways, said, “We’ll probably have another good look at big aircraft in the next one or two years.”

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