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Oman Air's First Class passengers Get Audis From Lounges to Aircraft

by 6. July 2011 11:33
The First Class passengers traveling by Oman Air are in for even more preferential treatment than before. The Oman Air announced that its First Class passengers will now be transported to their aircraft from the First Class airport lounge of the airline in Muscat in chauffeur-driven Audi A8s.

The move comes after the introduction of First Class cabins in October 2009 to Oman Air’s fleet of A330-300s.

The airline said that in each of its First Class cabin there are six seats, which are converted to lie-flat beds. Besides, there is a lounge area in the cabins with dedicated flight attendants in tow. Among other facilities in the First Class cabins include in-flight mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity, 23-inch seatback monitor, iPod sockets, and latest audio and video demand in-flight entertainment system.

Abdulrazaq Al Raisi, Chief Commercial Officer of Oman Air, said that the new lunge-to-aircraft Audis service will add value to the airline, and provide great convenience and comfort to the First Class passengers.

Earlier this year, the new First Class and Business Class lounges were unveiled at Muscat International Airport by Oman Air.

Meanwhile, in another development Oman Air recently announced that it has been declared winner of the World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat Award at a ceremony held for 2011 World Airline Awards during the Paris Air Show.

Expressing his delight Peter Hill, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air, said that the Business Class seat of the airline is regularly mistaken for First Class. He said that the World Airline Awards are the most prestigious accolades bestowed in the global airline industry. It is a matter of great delight that the Oman Air has been declared as winner in the Best Business Class Seat category of the World Airline Awards.

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Single loyalty program Mileage Plus to be introduced after United, Continental merger

by 6. July 2011 11:33
United Continental Holdings, Inc. recently announced that a single loyalty program will be introduced after the merger of the United Airlines and Continental Airlines is formalized in 2012.

The company said that the new loyalty program will be named ‘Mileage Plus’, and will be effective from next year.

The company also said that the single loyalty program is an important milestone, and with the integration of the two airlines the customers will be able to experience a more consistent travel experience.

The United Airlines in a statement said that in the coming months it will be announcing the complete details of the single loyalty program Mileage Plus. The details include lifetime benefits, qualifications and benefits, elite levels, and other program developments due to be effective from 2012.

The Continental Airlines said that its OnePass loyalty program will be coming to end on December 31, 2011. Continental Airline’s OnePass members will be automatically enrolled by the United Airlines in Mileage Plus loyalty program and will be depositing into Mileage Plus award miles equal to their OnePass award miles balance. Besides, Chase OnePass credit cards, including OnePass Plus and Presidential Plus, will as usual avail the privilege of earning miles and other benefits in the Mileage Plus program.

Continental Airlines and United Airlines along with their subsidiaries are currently operating 5,820 flights on an average per day to 373 airports spread over 6 continents from their hubs in Houston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Guam, Cleveland, Washington D.C., New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Houston and Tokyo.

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Lufthansa iPad application for users

by 5. July 2011 10:24
iPad users will have a completely new and exciting experience flying with Lufthansa now. The leading German airline Lufthansa has now started offering all the iPad users with a free mobile application (app) from June 28, 2011. The new offering is equipped with various services and functionalities that are centered on flying with Lufthansa.

The airline in a statement said that it is offering individual functions tailored to iPad specifics, thus giving the users a completely new experience.

Providing details about the new iPad app, the airline said that an interactive world map allowing the users to explore the entire route network of Lufthansa is the central feature of this application. The user can select a flight with this application as the destination and departure airport are zoomed in. With this application, the flight planning or booking has become easy, intuitive and fast. The requested route is displayed on the map, and destinations graphically illustrated accompanying with exclusive, unusual information about the travel. Besides, practical and useful tips on various airports along with weather updates are also available.

The updates on latest fare offers by Lufthansa are also provided on the iPad app in the German market.

The iPad app also has a section called “Experience Lufthansa”, which is a virtual treat for the Lufthansa customers. This section provides an exciting, virtual insight into the offerings by Lufthansa. Besides a wide choice of free wallpaper motifs to download, the users will be excited to personally experience the aviation domain with a 3-D scenario of the new European cabin, a 360-degree take on the A380 cockpit and exciting videos.

Apart from this, the functions such as “Check-in”, “My Flight Bookings” and “Miles & More Mileage Account” are also easily accessible on navigation bar of the iPad app.

The new iPad app is a part of the ongoing expansion of Lufthansa’s portfolio of services for the users of mobile devices, and extends the range of mobile solutions offered by the airline. The Lufthansa iPad app is also available for the users of iPhone, Android, Blackberry and J2ME smartphone devices.

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Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia enter into codeshare agreement

by 5. July 2011 10:23
Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia recently announced that they have entered into a long-term partnership agreement, which will enable both the airlines to codeshare on each other’s domestic and international flights.

Besides codesharing each other’s flights, the two airlines will also provide lounge access and frequent flyer program benefits to the passengers. The other terms of the agreement includes coordinating schedules between Singapore and Australia and beyond to provide easy, smooth connections; and jointly conduct marketing, distribution and sales activities.

The agreement will benefit both the airlines as it will be connecting Virgin Australia’s wide range of Pacific and Australian destinations with the extensive international network of Singapore Airlines.   

With this alliance, the customers of Virgin Australia will have access to 70 additional destinations through the network of Singapore Airlines. On the other hand, the customers of Singapore Airlines will gain access to 30 additional destinations.

Under the agreement, the Velocity members of Virgin Australia’s frequent flyer program will be able to earn and redeem miles when traveling on Singapore Airlines-operated flights. Whereas, the members of Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent flyer program will gain by earning and redeeming miles when taking Virgin Australia flights.

The two airlines will be approaching the concerned regulatory authorities, and will submit an application seeking approval to enable them to cooperate with each other on various commercial issues.

Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines, said that the airline is committed to the Australian market for above 40 years. After the partnership receives regulatory approval by the authorities it will enable the airline to offer more services and choices for international and domestic travelers.

Phong further said that the Singapore Airlines will get a great opportunity with this partnership to drive growth with a consistent focus on network connectivity, product innovation and service excellence. Besides, this partnership will greatly enhance the appeal of Australia as an attractive travel destination while simultaneously opening up new avenues for Australian travelers.

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“Buy-One-Get-One” sale on South African Airways flights begins

by 4. July 2011 10:04
Here’s a bonanza for passengers booking South African Airways flights! Africa’s leading carrier South African Airways recently announced special flight deals for people traveling to Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town from Washington D.C., or New York.

The airline said that “Buy-One-Get-One” sales on these flights will start at only US$1,899 (plus taxes and fees for each traveler). This special sales offer is available for two persons after the purchase of one ticket only.

The "Buy-One-Get-One" fares are up for sales now through July 15, 2011. The travel should be made from September 13 up to December 10, 2011.

By announcing the special “Buy-One-Get-One” fares, the South African Airways aims to promote the major South African tourist destinations of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town among the tourists from the United States.

South African Airways offers twice-a-day service from the United States to South Africa. The airline features nonstop, daily service operating morning flights out of New York JFK and direct service in the afternoon from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar).

Terms & Conditions
  • Fares include fuel surcharges and are valid on SAA operated flights from New York (JFK) or Washington Dulles (IAD).
  • Offer valid on the purchase of round-trip, economy class tickets only.
  • Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights.
  • Departure taxes and Sept. 11th security fees of approximately $130-140 (depending on itinerary) per passenger are additional and payable at time of ticketing.
  • Tickets must be paid for and issued at time of reservation.
  • Fare is non-refundable and change fees of $250 apply.
  • Re-routing is not permitted.
  • Offer valid for reservations ticketed June 28, 2011-July 15, 2011.
  • Valid for departures from the USA between September 13 and December 10, 2011.
  • Maximum stay one month.
  • All travel must be completed by December 10, 2011.
Price is for new bookings only, is subject to availability, may change without notice and is not retroactive.

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Korean Air deploys First A380 on Tokyo, Hong Kong routes

by 4. July 2011 10:03
South Korea’s largest airline Korean Air recently took the delivery of its first Airbus A380, and operated special flights on June 16, 2011.

Korean Air has become the first airline in Northeast Asia to acquire Airbus A380. It has also become the 6th airline in the world to deploy A380 on international routes.

The jumbo passenger jet A380 is configured with full business class upper deck.

Korean Air conducted special demonstration flights a day before the launching of regular international service beginning June 17, 2011.

The first special demonstration flight touched down at Incheon International Airport in the west of Seoul after flying across east of South Korea and over the ocean. The flight presented an amazing sight as it passed low near Dokdo islets, situated in the waters between Japan and South Korea, before making its return.

 Cho Yang-ho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air, said that the airline is committed to providing quality services to its customers, and has demonstrated its commitment by launching Airbus A380 on international routes. The launch of the flights is yet another step on part of the airline to show to the customers the recently-acquired efficient and comfortable airplanes.

Cho also highlighted the special and unique configuration made in the upper deck of Airbus A380, which is exclusively dedicated to business class seats. He said that with such a configuration the Korean Air has become the first airline in the world to make effective and best use of A380 in such as manner.

Korean Air deployed its Airbus A380 on international routes beginning roundtrip flights from Seoul Incheon to Tokyo, and later on from Seoul Incheon-Hong Kong on the same day, June 17, 2011.

The airline also said in a statement that it will begin flight services to Bangkok in July this year. Besides, the airline also plans to start flight services to New York, Paris and Los Angeles in August, September and October respectively.

Besides Korean Air, at present Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Qantas are also operating flight services utilizing the Airbus A380.

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Etihad Guest Gold Elite loyalty program unveiled

by 1. July 2011 10:03
UAE national carrier Etihad Airways recently introduced the Gold Elite membership of the Etihad Guest loyalty program.

The Etihad Guest loyalty program is aimed at rewarding and recognizing Etihad Airways’ most frequent travelers.

Etihad Airways in a statement said that the passengers taking above 60 flights or collecting 125,000 and above Tier Miles in one year will be awarded with Etihad Guest Gold Elite membership, the premier loyalty program.

Besides, the members of this loyalty program will also be able to enjoy several additional benefits, such as Diamond First Class lounges access, excess baggage allowance worth 44 pounds, personalized shopping experience at online Etihad Guest Reward Shop, and seat guarantees at 12 hours’ notice.

The loyalty program will also enable the Etihad Guest Gold Elite members to nominate someone on their behalf to manage account information and bookings. Besides, the loyalty program also provides the Etihad Guest Gold Elite members the privilege of nominating one person each year to be awarded with free Etihad Guest Silver membership.

Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner said that the airline feels privileged in rewarding the passengers using the airline the most. “The Etihad Guest Gold Elite membership award is, in fact, a token appreciation and a way of giving something extra back to the customers,” he said.

Baumgartner said that the intention of Etihad Airways in unveiling the Etihad Guest Gold Elite membership is to make the passengers get a feeling of being specially rewarded for their loyalty to the airline of the highest order.

He also said that great efforts have been made and considerable time spent in hearing out the concerns and specific requirements of most frequent passengers in order to customize the Gold Elite membership benefits and privileges according to their needs.

Prior to the unveiling of Etihad Guest Gold Elite membership, the Etihad Guest Gold tier was at the top level in Etihad Airways’ loyalty program. Under this program, guests were required to take 40 flights and above in one year, or had to make journey of more than 50,000 miles.

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China Eastern Airlines to launch nonstop Shanghai-Honolulu flights

by 1. July 2011 10:02
China’s leading carrier China Eastern Airlines recently disclosed that it is into talks with the Department of Transportation in Hawaii for launching a new nonstop flight service from Shanghai to Honolulu.

The airline in a statement said that the new Shanghai-Honolulu flight would be the first regular scheduled flight to be operated between China and Hawaii.

Starting August 9, the new Shanghai-Honolulu flight service will be operated twice a week.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the visitor arrivals in Honolulu will be around 82,000 in 2011. This will be a 24 percent increase as compared to the last year, with per person per day average spending of US$368.

The HTA officials see this as a positive development and hope that with the launch of Shanghai-Honolulu flight service the annual visitor expenditures will be up to US$60 million. Besides, it will also open new job opportunities in the Hawaii Islands.

Earlier, the visitors from China traveled to Honolulu through Japan or Korea before the announcement of the launch of new direct, nonstop Shanghai-Honolulu flight service.

Tourism experts hope that Shanghai, being a major hub in Asia, visitors from across China as well as other parts of Asia will be utilizing the new Shanghai-Honolulu route.

China Eastern Airlines is among the biggest airlines in China, and is based in Shanghai. It currently operates flight services on over 330 domestic routes and over 80 regional and international routes. The airline connects nearly 110 cities in China as well as abroad. Besides covering China, the China Eastern Airlines also connects America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and Korea.

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