11. November 2013 05:59
Airline warfare is actually reaching a new high. Many airlines are doing their bit and elevating themselves to new levels in a bid to attract more customers. In this rat race, Air China made an announcement that did not obviously come across as a surprise. The flagship carrier of China is ambitiously pursuing its plan to offer improved versions of dining onboard its flights to destinations in Europe and America.
The carrier is pushing hard to enter the category of a world-class airline and its recent announcement is a testimony to the fact. The carrier has been trying to enhance its offerings on its flights. From the beginning of this year, it has been adding dished like salmon stock, crab meat buns, and mushroom cream soup to its menus. These delicacies are currently being served on First and Business Class flights between Beijing and Frankfurt, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
The airline aims at establishing itself in the league of other top rated airlines of the world that are among other things popular for their culinary innovations. As a part of its larger strategy, it wants to shift focus on bringing the best of wines to its customers. At present, Air China customers are treated to the wines from the French vineyards. It however, wants to create its own Sky Wine Cellar.
8. November 2013 04:16
Britain and China are expected to begin new talks early next year on
increasing air connectivity between the two countries. This follows a
recent visit by the British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to
Beijing. Both the countries had signed an agreement in 2004 limiting the
carriers of the two countries to operate a total of 31 return services
every week between six destinations in both the UK and China.
For British travelers the existing nonstop options include flights to
Hong Kong with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Cathay
Pacific Airways; flights to Beijing from London Heathrow with Air China,
British Airways or Virgin Atlantic Airways; flights to Shanghai with
British Airways and China Eastern Airlines; and flights to Chengdu from
London Heathrow. China Southern Airlines also flies to Guangzhou from
McLoughlin said that a new agreement is now needed reflecting the
changing times that the world is undergoing today. He said that the new
bilateral agreement would be looking to increase the number of flights
and destinations between the two countries that would benefit the
tourists and businesses in both China and Britain. He further stated
that business travelers from Britain are already traveling to these
growth economies, but presently they are doing so via other hubs and
7. November 2013 03:18
Emirates and Qatar Airways have decided to open new avenues in the
East. The two prominent airlines operating out of their hubs in Dubai
and Doha have already tasted success in the West. Therefore, they have
now decided to expand their presence in Asia.
Emirates announced to launch four weekly flights to Sialkot in Pakistan,
making the city its fifth overall destination in the country. The
Dubai-Sialkot route will offer passengers a chance to explore new
options for travel to the UK and beyond with the carrier with immediate
effect. Airbus A330 aircraft that comprises a seating capacity for 54
passengers in business class and 183 in economy class will serve this
The flights will depart Dubai every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and
Sunday at 4:15 am and arrive in Sialkot at 8:20 am. The return flight
will depart the Pakistani city at 9:45 am and arrive in Dubai at 12:35
On the other hand, Qatar Airways would commence service to Hangzhou from
Doha starting December 20. This new service would mark the airline’s
seventh service to China. The airline has launched flights between Doha
and Chengdu almost two months ago. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong
Kong, and Chongqing are other Chinese cities served by the carrier. The
airline will use the services of Airbus A330 to operate between the city
pair. This airline is equipped with a seating capacity for 24 business
class passengers and 236 economy class passengers.
The flights will depart Doha every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and
Saturday at 2:30 am and arrive in Hangzhou at 3:40 pm. The return
flights will depart the Chinese city at 11:00 pm and arrive in Doha at
4:30, the next day.
6. November 2013 03:36
Foreign airlines are these days giving more attention to India. The carriers like Emirates Airlines and South African Airways have acknowledged India as one of the fastest growing aviation market in the world. Seeing India’s reputation considerably growing in the world aviation market, these airlines have now started wooing the Indian passengers by offering regional films on their in-flight entertainment system. These airlines want to significantly boost their passenger loyalty and are increasingly buying movie rights of regional films.
Media reports said that Emirates Airlines has recently got access to the popular Marathi films like Shaala, Satrangi Re, Premachi Goshta and Balak Palak, and has started offering these to the passengers as part of its regional film fare on their respective in-flight entertainment systems.
South African Airways is also not far behind in the race. Sajid Khan, Country Head of South African Airways, said that the airline is making efforts to give the passengers the latest dose of regional films in many Indian regional languages. He said that since Mumbai is the only centre from where South African Airways is currently operating, Marathi language film listings form the core of their movie menu offerings.
Media reports quoting aviation industry analysts said that the demand for regional film is going to grow tremendously with more and more people from the interiors of the country are flying abroad. According to the current estimates, the number of Indian travelers flying abroad presently stands at around 15 million annually. It is expected that the numbers are set to further increase to over 50 million in the next seven years. Maharashtra is currently among the top three states in terms of outbound tourism.
5. November 2013 06:21
Miami International Airport has emerged a winner and was named a runner-up for “Best Emerging Airline/Airport” at the recently-concluded 4th Annual SimpliFlying Awards for Excellence in Social Media at a ceremony held in Amsterdam. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the EyeforTravel Social Media in Travel conference. Among other runner-ups included Emirates Airline and Aer Lingus. Qatar Airways received the top honor.
Media reports said that Miami International Airport led all finalists in the Emerging Airline/Airport category. It led with 26 percent of the votes online. However, online voting and presentations submitted to a panel of judges formed the main criteria to select the final winner.
Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González said that ever since he was named Aviation Director in April one of his top priorities was to enhance the airline’s customer service engagement through social media. He said that tens of thousands of customers have connected with the launch on Facebook and Twitter in June this year. He said that the customers are appreciating the direct access that the airline’s social media channels provide effectively.
The SimpliFlying Awards are presented on the basis of a rigorous process consisting of public voting and judging by a distinguished panel of thought leaders in the travel marketing space. More than 50 nominations were submitted in a two week period and 37,000 votes were collected in three weeks.
31. October 2013 07:06
Get ready to see Iberia in an entirely new look. Keeping pace with the changing times, Iberia has also decided to rejuvenate itself with a new brand image. Iberia has recently introduced its new brand image and logo, and plans to roll out across the airline from the end of November this year.
Iberia provided details about its new branding features. The airline said that its familiar red and orange colours that were part of the previous logo will be prominently featured. The airline however said that its IB IATA code letters have undergone transformation and would now be displayed into a more stylized tailfin shape. The airline indicated that the new designs would be rolled out across all its aircrafts over the next few months. According to Iberia, the new livery would be featured on the first aircraft in mid-November.
Iberia issued a statement while introducing its new brand image and logo before the mediapersons. The airline stated that the new changes have been inspired from Spanish culture and its influence in the world. The airline’s new image will be appropriately reflecting the profound changes currently underway at Iberia. The new image will convey an expressive, life-affirming and up-to-date message before the entire world.
30. October 2013 04:52
Chengdu has now become the fourth city in People’s Republic of China to allow visa-free entry to travelers from foreign countries. This became effective from September this year. The other three Chinese cities that are already allowing visa-free entry to foreign travelers include Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Chengdu has now become the first inland city in China to offer a 72-hour visa-free stay to transit passengers.
According to the new aviation policy promulgated by China, visitors from 45 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Singapore, UAE, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands and others will be allowed up to 72 hours of city exploration while in transit. The direct transit passengers holding third-country visas and connecting air tickets would not be required to a visa to China while flying to Chengdu on international routes. The policy doesn’t allow the visitors using the visa to leave the city during the transit period, or else they may be warned, fined, detained or even expelled from China and prohibited re-entry. Qatar Airways and British Airways recently launched flights to Chengdu this year.
Chengdu had last year received 122 million tourists altogether, among which 1.6 million arrived from foreign countries. The new aviation policy is expected to help boost the local tourism economy and hasten the construction of a comprehensive transportation hub in western China.
29. October 2013 04:19
British Airways, the flagship carrier of the United Kingdom has decided to follow the innovation trail. The premier airline of Europe, which flies millions of passengers across the globe from its hub in London, has come up with an interesting idea. The airline recently launched its personalized digital bag tag scheme on trail basis. Passengers traveling from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 are the ones who will get to participate in the carrier’s novel proposal.
However, the airline has found its bait in Microsoft employees. The airline is hopeful that its idea will bear fruits and these so-called travelers will be able to generate the desired results. Basis the feedback, the carrier will formulate its final strategy regarding the product. These digital tags contain comprehensive information about travelers’ luggage details. The airline has already tested the paper tags and is happy that it has withstood the harsh treatments meted out during the journey. It now waits to see how the software responds when subjected to similar conditions.
Travelers participating in this trial will use Windows phones for check-ins, to select their seats, and to get their boarding cards. The phone helps in generating a new bar code for each flight, which includes the details of the bags final destination. One can do that by simply holding the phone over the tag. As of now, the carrier is experiment with Windows and later plans to extend it to other platforms as well. In reality, passengers will have to be a little patient until this trial is incorporated real time. The airline hopes to introduce it towards the end of the next year. Executive Club members will be the privileged ones to use this system!
28. October 2013 04:33
Philippine Airlines is ready with its superior service for its business class travelers. The airline recently opened its new Mabuhay Lounge offering higher level of service on the ground for its customers. The latest service enhancement would be exclusively available to the passengers travelling on board Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay Class cabin.
A Singapore-based interior design firm was hired to design the new Mabuhay Lounge. The lounge has been exquisitely designed with the best-in-class amenities being incorporated in the 520-square meter business class lounge. The main features of the lounge include restrooms, mini-theatre, library, buffet table, reception area and a dining area.
Ramon Ang, President of Philippine Airlines, said that this is just one of the many improvements that the airline is currently working on. He said that the new Mabuhay Lounge would provide and exceptional dining and rest experience within its inviting and warm atmosphere from the rich contemporary design features.
The in-house library in the Mabuhay Lounge houses a wide selection of reading materials for those seeking some relaxation and peace. A mini-theatre is among the main attraction here. It features aircraft-inspired seats and cabin like interiors and offers great entertainment prior to their departure.
25. October 2013 06:47
Halloween is just round the corner and people are gearing in the temper to celebrate the event. The annual event is celebrated in the United States with much pomp and show on October 31. At this point, the mood and spirit of travelers is high for some of them are returning home to their families and participate in the fun-filled affair.
Travelers are planning their costumes for this year’s event. Many airlines are getting into the skin of their passengers’ emotions. Some have gone a step ahead to themselves dress in funky Halloween inspired costume paints. These planes offer a delight to the eyes. It is unimaginable to think of British Airways or Southwest Airlines without their favorite color combinations.
However, this year is a different story. Nine airlines have actually gone ahead with the innovative concept of painting themselves away from their cliché images. They make all go gaga and wonder what it would be like to fly with them. The airlines that have painted themselves in bold colors include:
- Nok Air is dressed like a clownfish.
- Eva Air is all decked in the Hello Kitty shades.
- Alaska Airlines resembles a Pacific Salmon.
- ANA presents itself as a cute panda.
- Germanwings looks like a brown bear.
- Swiss looks jazzy in its San Francisco hippie attire.
- US Airways appear unique in its cardinal form.
- British Airways looks as peaceful as an Olympic peace dove.
- Southwest looks fiery as Shamu, the killer whale.