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British Airways adds frequency to the gorgeous Cape Town

by Admin 4. December 2013 03:42
British Airways, the flagship carrier of the United Kingdom has decided to increase the frequency on its Cape Town route. The airline, which operates double-daily service between London Heathrow and Cape Town, is keen on adding more flights between the two destinations.

At present, the national carrier is operating twice-daily flights on London-Cape Town route between the months of October and May. This period is the peak travel season in the Southern Hemisphere and many travelers rush to different locations pushing the load on airlines to meet with the mounting passenger traffic. The airline has decided to increase the frequency of flights between March and May. It will therefore, use the services of Boeing 777-200ERs to ply on the route. These flights will help add 657 seats per week between the city pair.

As per the schedule, the additional service will operate every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from London. Return flights will depart Cape Town every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. The planes that will fly passengers on the route are equipped with a seating capacity across four classes. Overall there will be 12 seats in the First Class, 48 seats in Business Class, 32 seats in premium Economy Class, and 127 seats in Economy Class. The airline is happy with its decision and hopes to receive warm response to its call. The airline is popular across the globe for offering comfort and luxury to its passengers throughout their journey. In a bid to add to the experience of the travelers, it is set to inaugurate a new lounge in Cpe Town towards the end December.

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United Airlines effect changes to frequent-flier award miles

by Admin 20. November 2013 06:07
United Airlines recently revamped its frequent-flier award chart bringing changes to number of miles requirements needed for some of its most popular awards. Media reports quoted Rahsaan Johnson, a spokesman of United Airlines, as saying that the airline is increasing miles requirement in some of the markets for the first time in several years. This was being done to cope up with the increased cost of providing transportation, particularly in the premium cabin and especially on the Mileage Plus partner carriers.

Johnson said that the airline was confronted with a hard decision that was also being faced by other airlines. A piquant situation had arisen before United Airlines and tough choices remained whether to increase the number of miles required for partner awards or to eliminate them altogether. He said that the airline finally arrived at a decision and concluded that its frequent-fliers would prefer to keep those options at an increased cost instead of eliminating them.

United Airlines said that it is changing the number of miles required for both its “Saver” and “Standard” level frequent-flier tickets, including those needed for domestic “stopovers”. The airline further stated that it is changing the amount of miles required to redeem awards for First and Business Class tickets on its Star Alliance partners, including Air Canada, Thai Airways, All Nippon Airways, Lufthansa and many others.

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Spirit Airlines mulling new kind of checked-bag fee

by Admin 18. November 2013 09:00

It is common knowledge that some low-cost carriers are basing airline ticket prices on demand. And, this has happening at a frenetic pace. The customers have also been expecting for quite some time that traveling the day after a holiday would be more expensive than traveling midweek before it. But as the low-cost carriers continue to be at some trick or the other to increase fees and earn big revenues, have you ever thought of the very fact that even basing ticket prices on checked-bag fees on demand would be implemented. Yes, this sound as much true and might soon become a reality. Thanks to the ultra low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines which charges fee for almost all its services!

Spirit Airlines has a fee for virtually everything. The airline prides itself in making the largest chunk of its revenues from fees alone. Spirit Airlines’ modus operandi is unlikely to change in the future, and it will continue to find itself in difficulty by showing up on time and keeping its customers happy.    

Sprit Airlines has indicated that it is now devising a new plan on how to levy a fee with its new idea. The airline is seriously considering a plan under which it is going to charge a higher rate to check a bag or pick a seat on a flight during a peak travel day, such as right before or after a holiday. The airline will however continue to keep the fees lower on a less-full flight, perhaps in the middle of the week. Media reports quoted Ben Baldanza, CEO of Spirit Airlines, as saying that the airline has been thinking about this for a while, but it is yet to arrive at a final conclusion.

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Air China to improve dining and wine experience on its flights

by Admin 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.

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Foreign airlines to India wooing passengers with regional films

by Admin 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.

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Miami airport named runner-up for Best Emerging Airport

by Admin 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.

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Iberia rolling out new brand image and logo by end of November

by Admin 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.

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Chengdu becomes fourth Chinese city to allow visa-free entry

by Admin 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.

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British Airways begins trials of digital tags at London Heathrow

by Admin 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!

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Philippine Airlines new Mabuhay Lounge opened

by Admin 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.

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