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Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic Tie To Expand beyond Tasman

by 24. June 2011 10:36
Air New Zealand has indicated that it is looking forward to expanding its ties with Virgin Atlantic once their strategic alliance on the trans-Tasman route is in place.

Virgin Atlantic recently received approval by US regulators to form JV with Delta Air Lines for flights between Australia and the US.

Air New Zealand has expressed its keen interest following the recent approval by US regulators to Virgin Atlantic.

After British entrepreneur Richard Branson, the Air New Zealand is the second-largest stakeholder in Virgin Atlantic.

The Kiwi flag carrier has disclosed that it will go in for a partial sell-down of the New Zealand government’s 75 percent stake in it. According to the airline, the offloading of the stakes will boost its appeal to large institutional investors on both sides of the Tasman.

Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive of Air New Zealand, said, “The airline was open to expanding its ties with Virgin Atlantic beyond their trans-Tasman joint venture and code-sharing on flights in Australia and New Zealand. We haven’t focused on those questions yet because we are all hands to the pump to get the trans-Tasman joint venture up and running. But when we have achieved that… I am hopeful there are opportunities to expand the relationship.”

Fyfe further remarked: “The airline would also consider ways to create any “incremental value” from the strategic alliance Virgin Atlantic signed with Singapore Airlines last week. It is very valuable for Virgin to have a strong [passenger] feed relationship into Asia. It makes them more competitive in their home market.”

However, the deal that the Virgin Atlantic signed with Singapore Airlines is yet to get approval from the regulators.

In a bid to extend its global reach and boost its appeal to high-yield corporate travelers, Virgin Atlantic has also formed a strategic alliance with the leading Middle East carrier Etihad Airways.

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United Continental Sendai Flights to Resume

by 24. June 2011 10:34
Continental to become the first carrier to resume its service to Japan post the devastating earthquake

United Continental Airlines would hold a distinction of sorts when it resumes it regular service to Sendai and Guam regions of Japan. The services are being planned for October 2nd revival pending the government’s approval. If permitted, Continental will run twice weekly flights. Regular flights to these Japanese regions were started 20 years ago.

With this initiative, United Continental would go a step further in terms of helping Japan get global traffic, which decreased significantly post the radiation leak reports. Continental has been active at helping Japan through relief funds. It has worked with American Red Cross and asked its frequent fliers to donate their ‘miles’ donations.  In all, the airline has managed $2.3 million along with 63 million miles donated by its loyal customers.

Other than these two regions, United Airlines and Continental Airlines operate 169 weekly flights to 9 destinations in Japan.

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Delta, Virgin Australia Trans-Pacific Alliance approved

by 23. June 2011 11:10
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) recently gave its final approval of antitrust immunity for the Trans-Pacific alliance between the Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia.

Both the airlines have welcomed the DOT’s decision.

Expressing his happiness, Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines, said, “This final ruling by the DOT will expand competition and enhance customer service and travel options for passengers flying between the US and Australia.” He said, “We thank the DOT for their thorough review of our application and welcome their conclusion that consumers will benefit from a strong partnership between Delta and Virgin Australia.”

John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia, was also visibly pleased over the DOT approval. Borghetti said, “The ATI is a key enabler for an integrated alliance between Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. We are extremely pleased that the way is now cleared for us to work together with Delta Air Lines to deliver a more attractive and competitive service for travelers in Australia and North America.”

Talking about the partnership with Delta Air Lines, Borghetti remarked, “We have been operating a successful partnership with Delta Air Lines for the past three years. The DOT approval will now allow us to work together more efficiently to achieve better schedules, connections and network coverage for our guests. With the DOT approval, we will now move quickly to implement the joint venture and plan to have it up and running by the end of the year.”

The DOT approval will allow the Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia Airlines to implement a joint venture on service between the United States, Australia and the South Pacific. The antitrust immunity approval will also allow both the airlines to offer a seamless product and coordinate flight schedules for maximum convenience thus expanding travel choices and competition for passengers. The DOT approval will also allow both the airlines to collaborate with each other through codesharing, coordinating products and services and extending frequent flyer program benefits and lounge access to their customers.

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Lufthansa deploys Airbus A380 on Frankfurt-Miami route

by 23. June 2011 11:08
Lufthansa recently deployed the world’s most technologically advanced and largest passenger aircraft Airbus A380 on the Frankfurt-Miami route.

With the introduction of A380 on June 10 this year, Lufthansa has become the first airline to deploy the aircraft to Miami International Airport. Miami is the sixth destination for Lufthansa’s A380.

The inaugural flight LH462 departed Frankfurt at 9.45 am and arrived at Miami International Airport at 1.40 pm. On the other hand, the return flight LH463 departed Miami at 4.15 pm and arrived at Frankfurt at 7.15 am the following day (local times).

Jens Bischof, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, Sales and Revenue Management, said, “We are extremely excited to introduce our new, flagship A380 aircraft as the very first in the Miami market. I applaud Miami International Airport’s management team for their determination to become A380-ready. We share in their excitement and are both committed to Miami’s community of global travelers in both the business and leisure markets. Now, Europe’s most highly regarded airline will serve Miami with the industry’s most advanced aircraft in date.”

Jose Abreu, Miami-Dade Aviation Director, expressed his happiness saying that the introduction of A380 is the proudest days in the history of Miam International Airport and Miami-Dade County. He said, “Lufthansa’s A380 service elevates Miami International Airport into an elite class of airports worldwide that are capable of receiving this groundbreaking aircraft. We congratulate Lufthansa and deeply appreciate them for helping us reach another historic milestone.”

Lufthansa is already operating its flight services at Miami International Airport for more than 30 years now.

The airline also said that it will reinstate its seasonal Miami-Düsseldorf flight services by operating thrice per week in October, and later on starting daily flights in November.

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Increase in Airfares likely, says Qantas Airways

by 21. June 2011 10:47
Leading Oz carrier Qantas Airways has indicated that it is likely to increase airfares in a bid to cover growing fuel costs.

Lately, the higher jet fuel prices have badly hit global airlines.

The rise in fuel prices has also led the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to scale down its 2011 profit forecast by more than half due to the current turmoil in Japan, North Africa and Middle East.

Alan Joyce, Chief Executive of Qantas, said, “We have gone through now a number of fare increases and fuel surcharge increases. The increases have still not recovered the additional fuel costs and the airline was looking at more increases going forward to cover it. Hedging, just gives you time.”

The 50 percent of the fuel purchases for Qantas have been hedged for the next financial year starting July 1.

The IATA had earlier forecast a profit of US$8.6 billion. However, after scaling down the previous forecast the IATA now expects an overall industry profit of US$4 billion in 2011.

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Two daily Nonstop Flights between Las Vegas, Portland By Spirit Airlines

by 21. June 2011 10:44
US discount carrier Spirit Airlines has announced that it will introduce two daily nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Portland, Ore., in the fall.

The flights on the route will begin effective September 22, 2011. With the introduction of the flights, the airline will operate an average of 16 daily flights to six destinations.

The Spirit Airlines will be promoting a limited number of US$9 fares to customers, who are members of the airline’s US$9 Fare Club, on the new route.

The membership to the airline’s US$9 Fare Club costs US$60 annually, and offers members deep discounts on some flights.

The travel time between Las Vegas and Portland will take two hours. The flights from Portland will depart at 7.30 am and 6.10 pm, while the return flights leaving Las Vegas will be at 3.30 pm and 8.55 pm.

The Spirit Airlines had four daily flights to Las Vegas and Portland a year ago.

The airline also has nonstop routes to Detroit, Los Angeles International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International, Chicago’s O’Hare International and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Las Vegas.

The Spirit Airlines mostly operate flights on the East Coast and to the Caribbean.

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Air France Airbus A380 makes debut on Washington-Dulles route

by 20. June 2011 11:38
France’s national carrier Air France launched its Airbus A380 on the Washington-Dulles route on June 6, 2011. The airline will operate two daily flights between Washington-Dulles and Paris in collaboration with Delta Air Lines.

Besides, the aircraft A380 has also been deployed on the San Francisco route for the summer period.

The A380 has been launched on the San Francisco-Paris route to mark its 25th anniversary on this route. With the launch, the customers will get the opportunity to discover Paris during the summer period from June 6 to September 4, 2011.

The airline will be operating 10 weekly flights between Paris and San Francisco in partnership with Delta Air Lines during summer this year.

The Airbus A380 deployed on Washington-Dulles and San Francisco-Paris routes will feature three to four classes of service, spacious cabins, a sophisticated lighting system synchronized with time zone changes, an art gallery, six bars and extensive on-demand entertainment programming.

Flight Schedules

Washington-Dulles to Paris

Departure: 4.40 pm – Arrival: 6.00 am local time (next day) – Frequency: Daily

Paris to Washington-Dulles

Departure: 10.40 am – Arrival: 1.00 pm local time – Frequency: Daily

San Francisco to Paris (June 6 to September 4, 2011)

Departure: 4.10 pm – Arrival: 11.35 am local time (next day)

Paris to San Francisco

Departure: 10.30 am – Arrival: 12.40 pm local time

The Airbus A380 deployed on Washington-Dulles route will be equipped with 516 seats, divided between four cabins – 9 seats in La Première/First Class, 80 in Affaires/Business Class, 38 in Premium Voyageur/Premium Economy Class and 389 seats in Voyageur/Economy Class.

However, on the San Francisco route the Airbus A380 will be equipped with 538 seats divided into three cabin classes – 9 seats in La Première/First Class, 80 in Affaires/Business Class and 449 seats in Voyageur/Economy Class.

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Jet Airways starts additional 10 integrated check-in counters for International Guests

by 20. June 2011 10:50
India’s leading carrier Jet Airways recently started operating additional 10 integrated check-in counters for its international guests.

The airline in a statement said that the new integrated check-in counters at island M of the new terminal 3 at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will significantly ease the convenience of its passengers flying internationally.

The airline, while providing the list of additional 10 check-in counters for its international flights, has requested its guests to enter the Departure terminal from Gate No. 7 of the Terminal 3 at the IGI Airport.

However, the airline said that the passengers flying to Hong Kong by 9W 78 and 9W 230 to Brussels/Toronto should continue using the counters at island “D” for check-in as usual.

List of International Flights (for passengers to check-in for departure from Gate No. 7 of Terminal 3)

International 9w

Flight No.            Route                         Departure Time             Arrival Time

9W 264                 Delhi - Kathmandu          6:30                                  8:15

9W 018                 Delhi - Singapore            8:45                                17:05

9W 064                 Delhi - Bangkok              12:15                              18:00

9W 272                 Delhi - Dhaka                 12:25                              15:15

9W 142                 Delhi - Milan                   12:30                              18:00

9W 262                 Delhi - Kathmandu          12:50                              14:45

9W 122                 Delhi - London                13:45                              18:30

9W 258                 Delhi - Colombo             14:10                              17:45

9W 548                 Delhi - Dubai                 19:30                              21:25

9W 554                 Delhi - Doha                  19:50                              21:20

9W 582                 Delhi - Abu Dhabi           21:30                              23:35

International S2

Flight No.            Route                      Departure Time                Arrival Time

S2 501               Delhi - Kathmandu            12:00                              13:45

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United Airlines launches new daily nonstop Los Angeles-Hilo service

by 20. June 2011 10:39
United Airlines recently launched a new daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Hilo, Hawai'i effective June 9, 2011.

The airline also started its once-weekly nonstop service to Hilo from San Francisco effective June 11, 2011.

So far, the Continental Airlines has been providing nonstop service to Hilo from the US mainland. Besides, the airline has also been providing its flight services to Honolulu, Kahului, Kona and Lihue cities in Hawai'i.

Jim Compton, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of United Continental Holdings, Inc., said, “Together, United and Continental have served Hawai'i for more than six decades, and this new nonstop service provides our customers with more extensive access to the island. We are excited to strengthen our presence in the Hawai'ian community and are proud to be the only carrier to offer nonstop service to Hilo from the mainland.”

Currently, the United Airlines provides more mainline service to the islands than any other US carrier. The airline is serving Hawai'i since 1947 from its hubs at Los Angeles , San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Chicago and New York/Newark.

Flight Schedule

Los Angeles to Hilo

Departure: 5 pm – Arrival: 7.40 pm

Hilo to Los Angeles

Departure: 8.55 pm – Arrival: 5.15 am (next day)

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ANA, Lufthansa to launch joint venture on Japan-Europe routes

by 17. June 2011 04:41
Japan’s largest airline ANA (All Nippon Airways) and Europe’s leading airline Lufthansa have announced that they will soon be launching a strategic joint venture on Japan-Europe routes.

This will be the world’s first joint venture on Japan-Europe routes.

The move comes after ANA received Anti-Trust Immunity (ATI) approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport.

A similar joint venture between ANA and United Airlines was launched on trans-Pacific routes in April this year.

With this latest agreement, the two carriers – ANA and Lufthansa – aim to introduce the new joint venture within the 2011 winter timetable.

“I’m delighted that we have received official approval to operate the only joint venture on Japan-Europe routes. This agreement will further improve the level of service we offer to passengers and boost our company’s international competitiveness,” said Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA.

Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said, “This approval marks a great step forward for our customers. Optimized flight schedules will better enable them in future to plan their trips between Japan and Europe. We look forward to this opportunity to consolidate our cooperation with ANA, which signifies a further milestone that will bring the two economic areas closer together. After the tragic earthquake, the go-ahead for our joint venture is a sign that Japan is looking to the future.”

The joint venture is expected to improve the level of service offered to the passengers by allowing both the airlines to work together on schedule coordination and joint product sales.

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