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All that you can expect at business lounges around the world

by amit.uniyal 26. September 2014 03:14

If you frequently take business class flights to travel around the world, you must surely be expecting various facilities being provided at the business class lounges. Here is a brief preview about all that you can expect at business lounges at London Heathrow and Frankfurt.

Business lounges

British Airways Galleries Club Lounge
Get ready to brighten up your day at the British Airways Galleries Club Lounge at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. The business class lounge, which offers access to Oneworld passengers, is decked up in dazzling cheery colors and is located quite a distance from the noisy common waiting area. It’s quite relaxing to refresh yourself at the well-appointed washroom space, complete with branded, lotions and sweet-scented hand washes. Spend some comfortable moments sitting in the armchairs at a low tea-table or complete your official chores on the high tables using free Wi-Fi. Feeling hungry? Treat yourself to a breakfast buffet and savor gluten-free milk and cookies, cornflakes and nuts, and fresh fruits as well.

Lufthansa Senator Lounge at Frankfurt Airport
The Lufthansa Senator Lounge at the Frankfurt Airport provides a private, homely and comfortable feeling. It’s a home away from home, particularly in a foreign country. Pick a regular table or high-table to enjoy your hot meal and drink in the food and beverage area of the business class lounge. The business centre at the lounge fully equipped with printers, fax machines, photocopy machines, internet access, PCs and free Wi-Fi are there for you to fulfill your official chores. Still have few hours left to board your flight and want to take a nap, then head to one of the five ‘relaxing rooms’ fully-furnished with comfortable beds, a lamp and a table stand. The lounge also has 10 individual shower rooms as well.

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Philippine Airlines permanently grounds Boeing 747 fleet

by amit.uniyal 24. September 2014 04:23

Philippines’ national carrier Philippine Airlines has finally permanently phased out its entire Boeing 747 fleet. The Boeing 747 aircraft conducted its last flight between San Francisco International Airport and Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport on September 1, 2014.

Philippines national carrier

The airline’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft had been into operations for the last 35 years. It continued to be the airline’s flagship aircraft until retirement. Philippine Airlines said that it has permanently phased out the Boeing 747 fleet and replaced it with more fuel efficient Boeing 777.

According to Philippine Airlines, the Boeing 747 aircraft was the first to enter service in December 1979. It was during this period that the airline received the delivery of its first Boeing 747-200 aircraft, which was considered to be the most modern and largest aircraft in its fleet. This allowed the airline to launch new products and services. The new product included the first ever lie-flat beds known as “Skybed” for First Class passengers.

Philippine Airlines also became the first airline to operate nonstop flights to the United States and Europe across the Pacific using its Boeing 747 aircraft during the 1980s. The airline later on received its Boeing 747-400 aircraft. It was the first model of its kind to join the airline’s fleet in November 1993. By the year 2003, the total number of Boeing 747 aircrafts in the airline’s fleet reached up to five.

Over a period of 35 years the airline used its Boeing 747 fleet to primarily operate long-haul high-density routes spanning North America, Middle East, Europe and Australia. The Boeing 747 fleet was also occasionally used to serve some domestic and regional routes as well.

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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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US seeking more pre-clearance facilities in Europe

by amit.uniyal 21. September 2014 05:48

More pre-clearance facilities are now being sought in the UK and several European countries for travelers to the United States. Media reports recently said that the U.S. government is believed to have taken this move insisting pre-clearance facilities for U.S. travelers from European nations.

Europe

According to the reports, the U.S. government has requested that pre-clearance facilities be installed in at least five European countries. The reports said that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers would be stationed in the said European countries for questioning transatlantic travelers before boarding flights to the United States.

Some of the pre-clearance facilities are already being operated by the CBP officials in Ireland’s Dublin and Shannon airports. The pre-clearance being conducted at the two airports incorporate immigration and Customs. Under the pre-clearance process, the passengers who have been cleared by the CBP officials are treated as domestic flyers and upon reaching their destination within the United States, they don’t have to undergo the unnecessary hassle of going through the lengthy immigration queues at U.S. airports once again.

The reports said that similar pre-clearance facilities are already functioning in Canada and the Caribbean nations. Earlier this year a pre-clearance facility was also installed at Abu Dhabi International Airport. It was however strongly resented by the U.S. airline industry as they thought that the balance was tilted in favor of UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways.

The U.S. pilots’ body ALPA, which protested the move vehemently, said that by allowing a CBP pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport the U.S. government was handing a state-subsidized airline a major competitive edge over many U.S. airlines. No U.S. carrier is presently conducting flights to/from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The ALPA officials said that a pre-clearance facility in the UK would be in fact less controversial when compared to the Abu Dhabi International Airport. A number of U.S. carriers offer daily services to/from the UK multiple times and a pre-clearance facility here would be quite appropriate.

A statement issued by the UK’s Home Office said that pre-clearance, which is currently operational in Dublin and Shannon airports, is an effective means of hastening the entry of passengers through the airports in the United States.

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Refurbished Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200ER takes to the skies

by amit.uniyal 20. September 2014 05:07

Air New Zealand is refurbishing its Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. The first of the airline’s refurbished Boeing 777 has now taken to the skies. This significantly underscores the airline’s ongoing evolution in its long-haul customer experience.

Air New Zealand

The airline is making extensive efforts to progressively refit its Boeing 777-200ER fleet promising the best on-board customer experience to its customers that would be at par with the top quality in-flight innovation and comfort that are being presently enjoyed by the customers flying on the Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts and newly-acquired Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
 
Air New Zealand has undertaken a massive $100 million fleet refurbishment project under which its eight Boeing 777-200ER aircrafts will have their interiors gradually stripped out and replaced with new fittings.

The customers traveling on Air New Zealand’s flights NZ135 and NZ136 traveling between Brisbane and Auckland are now enjoying the transformation and were the first to get a new flying experience on the refurbished aircraft.

According to Air New Zealand, the refurbished aircraft will be featuring new luxury leather Premium Economy seats, which have recently been introduced on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircrafts and nine rows of award-winning Economy Skycouch product. The refurbished aircraft will also have Business Premier lie-flat beds and newly-designed Economy Class seats. The aircraft is also being refitted with new Panasonic eX3 seatback in-flight entertainment system with improved touch and resolution capabilities.

The airline indicated that its entire Boeing 777-200ER fleet will be progressively refurbished. After refurbishing is complete, the final aircraft is scheduled to be deployed for operations late 2015.

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United becomes 1st North America airline to get Boeing 787-9

by amit.uniyal 17. September 2014 04:33

United Continental has now become the first airline in North America to acquire its first ever Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United Airlines will be the first airline in North America region to conduct flight operations with the help of Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 787-9 aircrafts.

United Airlines

United Airlines said that the newly-acquired Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft is likely to be deployed for operations by the end of September 2014. The4 airline is planning to launch flights using its new aircraft between Houston and Los Angeles.

Media reports said that United Airlines will later on start operating nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Melbourne utilizing the new Boeing aircraft. The flights on Los Angeles-Melbourne route will be the longest ever to be operated by a Boeing 787 variant. The airline further indicated that it is likely to begin six days per week long-haul operations covering a distance of 7,927 miles per flight.

United Airlines is presently operating the longest roundtrip nonstop flight with the help of its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on routes between Chengdu and San Francisco covering a distance of 6,857 miles.

Ethiopian Airlines is also using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to operate one-way flight between Addis Ababa and Washington. With the flight on Addis Ababa-Washington route, the airline covers a distance of 7,182 miles.

United Airlines has placed orders for 26 Boeing 787-9 aircrafts. The airline already possesses 11 Boeing 787-8 aircrafts in its fleet. The Boeing 787-9 is longer than Boeing 787-8 aircraft, and has the capacity to accommodate 280 passengers, 16 percent more than Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

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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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Canadian carriers emulate US airlines on new checked bag fees

by amit.uniyal 12. September 2014 05:12

Leading Canadian carriers have decided to emulate U.S. airlines over the implementation of new checked baggage fee on domestic routes. Canada’s national carrier Air Canada recently announced the implementation of a new $25 checked baggage fee on domestic routes. The airline’s announcement came only after three days when WestJet Airlines, its main Canadian rival, said that it would be adopting similar practice hitherto adopted earlier by U.S. carriers on imposing domestic checked baggage fee.

Canadian carriers

Air Canada indicated that the additional checked baggage fee which will now be a part of its cheapest Tango fares will be in tune with the prevailing North American commercial aviation industry practices.

Air Canada and WestJet Airlines have said that the additional checked baggage fee would be affecting about 20 percent of their domestic passengers only, particularly those who buy the cheapest airfares.

Media reports quoted travel experts as saying that Canada has been fashionably late to the baggage fee party. The experts also said that it remains to be seen for how long such a practice would be followed by the two airlines.

Travel experts have also predicted that the recent move by Air Canada to impose additional checked baggage fee would significantly boost its annual revenue by $55 million and 20 per cent share of income.

The reports said that the aviation industry’s growing demand for baggage fees have been typically addressed by North American airlines in their own different ways and also by those across the Atlantic. So far, the additional baggage fee is not being charged by major European carriers on shorter routes, but the fares are in fact segmented in a way that factors in baggage.

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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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