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Bristol Airport eyeing US flights again with terminal revamp

by amit.uniyal 27. August 2014 08:35

UK’s Bristol Airport is undergoing a major revamp for the first time since it became functional nearly 14 years ago. The airport recently announced it will be undertaking the expansion of its terminal at an investment of estimated 8.6 million GBP.

Bristol Airport is undergoing a major revamp

According to Bristol Airport authorities, the latest expansion will be of a large scale. The airport will see phased development taking place. The airport, which is currently handling 6 million passengers per year, is now aiming to increase its capacity in a big way and looking to expand capacity to handle at least 10 million passengers annually.

With the expansion, the airport is also hoping to bring back direct transatlantic flights from the United States again. The airport officials also indicated that new Middle East routes are also likely to be opened in the future.

Media reports quoting Bristol Airport officials said that the terminal expansion will see a new departure area coming up with a number of shops as well as additional seating capacity to host hundreds of passengers. The new terminal will also have a second executive lounge as well as an outdoor terrace for passengers waiting for boarding their flights. Improved baggage handling will also be part of the latest revamp. This will be done with the extension of the processing area.

The reports said that the revamp is scheduled to start from September 2014. The terminal expansion and other upgrades at the airport would be completed in time for the peak summer holiday season next year.
 
The airport’s announcement of the revamp has come close on the heels following the recent opening of a central walkway at Bristol Airport for easing congestion particularly during the peak travel times.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive of Bristol Airport, said that after the expansion of the terminal is complete the airport will make extensive efforts to attract an international airline that will fulfill its desire of bringing back direct flights to the United States. The airport also wants to open several routes to the Middle East countries as well. The latest revamp is being seen as a significant step for Bristol Airport. The airport is eyeing to handle a record number of passengers in 2014.

Leading U.S. carrier Continental Airlines had introduced direct flights to the United States from Bristol about 10 years ago. The flights services were later on scrapped. The airport now again wants to see resumption of direct U.S. flights.

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UAE becomes worlds 2nd fastest growing air travel market

by amit.uniyal 25. August 2014 06:01

The International Air Transport Association or IATA in a recent study said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the 2nd fastest growing market for both domestic and international air travelers in the world.

(UAE) has become the 2nd fastest 
growing market

The IATA made public its findings saying that airlines conducting flights to/from UAE carried a total of 45.3 million passengers in 2013, registering a growth of remarkable 11.7 percent over 2012.

The study said that China performed marginally better than UAE and stood at No. 1. The passengers traveling to/from China last year was at 404.2 million, reporting an 11.8 percent growth when compared to the year 2012.

Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of IATA, said that the global commercial aviation industry cited to/from movement of 3 billion passengers and about 48 million tons of cargo on around 100,000 flights on a daily basis. This was despite the fact that the real price of air travel declined by 7.4 percent.

According to Tyler, 3.12 billion passengers were transported on scheduled services by various international airlines, thus showing an appreciable growth of 5.1 percent over 2012. He said that Asia-Pacific carriers performed exceedingly well by transporting the highest number of passengers of any region.  

The IATA study disclosing the statistics further said that some 825.9 million passengers traveled to/from Europe, an increase of 3.4 percent over 2012. The airlines carried 818.9 million passengers to/from North America, up 0.7 percent. The airlines carried 240.5 million passengers in Latin America and the Caribbean, an increase of 7.6 percent. Around 157.9 million people traveled to/from the Middle East, up 8.8 percent, while the airlines carried 73.8 million passengers to/from Africa, up 5.6 percent.

The study concluded that 600,000 frequencies and over 1,100 direct airport services were added by various international airlines in 2013. There were a total of 31.5 million frequencies and 50,000 direct airport-pair services during the year.

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Foreign carriers entry in Chicago worries US-based airlines

by amit.uniyal 23. August 2014 09:14

The influx of foreign carriers to the lucrative Chicago O’Hare International Airport has been widely welcomed by the city authorities, while at the same time it has made U.S.-based airlines quite worrisome.

Chicago air travel market

A recent study said that the Chicago air travel market has seen the entry of world’s highest-rated international airlines in a big way in recent years. The arrival of international carriers such as Emirates Airline, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qatar Airways have undoubtedly provided a boost to the city’s economy, but this has also raised a controversy regarding whether the foreign carriers have gained an unfair advantage over their U.S. competitors.

Emirates Airline in August this year started providing flights services to its main hub in Dubai from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways also announced it will be increasing its frequencies on Chicago-Hong Kong route. Qatar Airways, which started operating thrice weekly flights between Doha and Chicago last year, also ramped up its service to daily flights.

The three airlines are renowned for offering luxury service to their customers and decked-out aircraft. Air-travel rating group Skytrax also rated these airlines as the best in the world. Cathay Pacific Airways has been named as the Best Airline in the World for 2014. Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways also received the same honors for 2013 and 2012 respectively.

The entry of these foreign luxury airlines have neither enthused or been taken kindly by U.S. carriers. In recent years many U.S. carriers have faced tumultuous times and been through bankruptcy protection. In the recent Skytrax ratings not a single U.S. airline has even made to the top 20.

U.S. airlines contend that they are operating at a disadvantage since some foreign airlines have been receiving subsidies by the government and are not required to deal with U.S. regulations as well thus impacting the growth of domestic airlines.

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Akron-Canton Airport to improve its terminal in next few years

by amit.uniyal 20. August 2014 00:56

Here’s good news for passengers traveling to/from Akron-Canton Airport. There will be a visible improvement in customer service at the airport’s terminal over the next few years. Media reports quoted Kristie VanAuken, Spokeswoman of Akron-Canton Airport, as saying that space will be added to the airport’s 6 cramped gate areas dating from the 1960s and were being used by turboprop planes.

visible improvement for Akron airport

Kristie said that apart from the revamp and expansion of the terminal the other upgrades at the airport include better lighting at the parking lots and smoother baggage delivery system. The expansion plan which will be undertaken in next few years will first see the gates on first-level “Y” concourse being redesigned in 2016, and the construction will be taking place in 2017.

According to Kristie, there isn’t enough space presently at the airport considering the number of passengers being currently handled. The Akron-Canton Airport presently has a total of 11 gates, of which some have already been modernized.

The airport officials have already updated the community leaders and elected officials regarding the terminal changes. They have been acquainted with the progress being made on Akron-Canton Airport’s master-plan such as overall land use, taxiways, runways, airport parking, size-up of the terminal, as well as projections for future changes.
 
According to the master-plan envisaging 20 years, a clarion call has been made to expand the Akron-Canton Airport from the existing 11 gates to 17 in the future if the growth continues at the airport. Several options have already been considered by the airport officials, which also includes a complete replacement of the terminal itself.

As for now, the lowest-cost alternative has been proposed. This includes the expansion of the existing terminal at an estimated cost of $127 million. During this phase more gates and passenger holding rooms will be added, somewhat to the north and predominantly to the south.

Akron-Canton Airport continues to maintain its Southwest Airlines service. The Dallas-based carrier, which recently completed its merger with AirTran Airways, was previously a leading carrier at the airport. The Akron-Canton Airport however received a setback in January 2013 when it lost its Frontier Airlines service after the Denver-based carrier strengthened its Northeast Ohio flight operations at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

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DFW airport mulls spending 12 million to study premium lounge

by amit.uniyal 15. August 2014 00:43

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has decided to hire a consultant and spend up to $1.2 million for studying the feasibility of a premium travel lounge at Terminal D for hosting international travelers.

premium travel lounge

The consultant firm would be asked to undertake a study and review the lounge offerings at various airports worldwide for international customers and evaluate possible partners for running a premium lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Sean Donohue, CEO of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, acknowledged that the airport’s current lounge is quite competitive on domestic front. He however said that the DFW airport is simply not competitive when viewed from a global and international perspective. There is a need therefore for the airport to step up its game and stay ahead in competition.

The DFW airport is presently serving even more international first class as well as business class customers than ever before. This is because of new Middle East and Australian carriers, and also new flights to Asian destinations.

Donohue said that the DFW airport is likely to see further increase of international travelers with Emirates Airline and Qantas Airways adding double-decker Airbus A380 aircrafts on DFW routes this fall.
 
Sharon McCloskey, Vice President of Marketing at DFW airport, remarked that the existing lounges at the airport are nearly close to capacity and are unable to provide the same amenities and services that are currently available to premium customers at various other international airports world over.

There are many lounges in Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport serving first class and business class customers. These are however operated by different airlines such as American Airlines and others.

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Airlines worldwide competing to provide best amenity kit

by amit.uniyal 1. August 2014 10:04

Customers are the kings – thus goes the famous old adage. This is also proving to be quite true with the airline industry as well. Presently, airlines world over are trying to vigorously compete in providing the best amenities and services to their premium customers.

best amenities and services

Premium travelers with a penchant for flying in First Class and Business Class never had it as good as it is being currently seen. Many international airlines are in a mad rush to offer the best amenity kits in order to attract more premium customers and keep the loyalty of other frequent fliers intact.

There are many airlines such as Qantas Airways, Emirates Airline, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Etihad Airways and others that are offering amenity kits to premium fliers. The amenity kits on offer are such that these can be treasured as memorabilia or even prominently shown off to others.

Just sample all that these airlines have to offer in their amenity kits. Qantas Airways is providing luxe SK-II cosmetics including moisturizers and cleansers to its First Class passengers contained in a black twin-pocket kit. The amenity kit to women passengers is provided in a charming red clutch-style bag. The Business Class amenity kits offered by Qantas Airways consists of lotions from Malin+Goetz New York in a Kate Spade bag, which can later on be also used to keep your tablet, Kindle ebook reader or smartphone.

Similarly, Emirates Airline provides Bulgari bags comprising of Bulgari brand products such as body lotion and fragrances to its premium customers. The women passengers flying in British Airways first class are being provided amenity kit with skincare products from Aromatherapy Associates.

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Best Amenity kits in first class

by amit.uniyal 23. July 2014 05:06

Flying first class comes with its own set of luxuries raging from plush cabin seats, lavish meals, superior interiors, highly advanced entertainment options and the petite looking yet the perennial favorite among travelers, the amenity kit. This not so expensive yet effective gift pleases every passenger. It has become an integral part of the premium category flights, making the overall flying experience pleasant.

global airlines group

The amenity kits for females and males are different and are packed with basic things needed by them during their flight. Packed in style these amenity kits generally contain lip balm, moisturizer, toothpaste, etc. Since all the airlines offer some or the other amenity kit to their first class passengers, it has become a matter of pride for the airlines to offer top-shelf brands, as it enables them to stay ahead in the competition. We have handpicked few airlines that as per us offer the best amenity kits.

Qantas provides its SK-II cosmetics, one of the most expensive beauty brands in the world in its amenity kit. The men’s version comes in a black twin-pocket kit containing SK-II Men Moisturizer Cleanser and Age Revitalise Moisturizer, Rexona deodorant, Gillette shaving cream, razor, and other amenities. Women’s kit enclosed in a snazzy red clutch bag packs a mirror, SK-II Stempower Cream and Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, and other basic amenities.

Cathay Pacific with its newly designed amenity kits offers men a smart and sassy bag designed by Ermenegildo Zegna containing Acca Kappa facial mist, moisturizer, and lip balm along with a nice and handy wooden comb. Women get a clutch designed by Trussardi containing Aesop skincare products like mandarin facial hydrating cream, rosehip seed lip moisturizer, mandarin facial hydrating cream, aromatic hand balm and bitter orange astringent toner.

Emirates offers a premium quality masculine brown leather bag for men, loaded the dapper and classic Bulgari products. The amenity kit contains foldable comb, Bulgari body lotion, after shave emulsion and EDT, tissues, Trueffut & Hill reusable razor, Axe Deodorant, toothbrush and Colgate toothpaste. Women are offered a chocolaty silky pouch by Bulgari containing  mirror, Bulgari Eau Parfumee Au Thé Rouge refreshing towlette, perfume, body lotion, face emulsion, tissues and toothbrush and toothpaste.

British Airways likes to call its amenity kits as ‘washbags’. The airline offer two distinct skincare brands Aromatherapy Associates for women and The Refinery for men. The kit provides especially tailored products for both women and men. The women’s kit contains eye serum, renewing moisturizer, hand lotion, hydrating cleanser, deodorant, lip balm and other regular products. The men’s kit comprises of moisturizer, shaving gel, eye gel, lip balm, deodorant and other regular products.

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Business class a must for long haul flights as per Ryanair

by amit.uniyal 18. July 2014 05:35

Business class is a must for long haul says Howard Millar, CFO Ryanair. The airline is famous for low cost and single class system on short haul.

Howard Millar, chief financial officer of Ryanair, said that long distance flights cannot be undertaken without business class. Long haul is not financially viable with only low-cost, single-class system. This system is pioneered by Ryanair and South West on shorter routes. For longer routes Ryanair will never fly with this system.

Ryanair

He further said that after executing a number of business models on it, the conclusion was arrived that it is not feasible to operate a long haul flight without including business or premium class. Due to this reason the airline will never provide long haul flights. Ryanair at present provides short haul and point to point service within Europe.

He further pointed out the staffing concerns that occurred in long-haul business and gave an example of Norwegian Air. He also said that the cost of long distance aircraft will also be expensive. There are already huge orders placed by Gulf carriers with the makers of aircrafts. This implies that there are few long-haul aircrafts available that too at exorbitant prices.

Oliver Sleath, analyst at Barclays, said it is difficult to operate long-haul flights without business class. These flights need structurally higher costs that low cost airline like Ryanair cannot avoid. There will be fuel expenses, passenger taxes, and other expenditures that cannot be fulfilled by providing only one-class, low-cost service. This explains why Ryanair has not started low-cost long haul.

Ryanair is an ultralow cost carrier of Ireland established in 1985. This airline serves 28 countries in Europe and Africa. The carrier is adding more flights on major destinations.

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BA first class fliers to get cozy sleep in Happiness Blanket

by amit.uniyal 8. July 2014 08:45

British Airways wants to leave no stone unturned when it comes to offering extra privileges to its premium customers. This time it’s no exception as well. The airline has decided to move ahead to the next level to make its first class fliers feel more comfortable than ever before.

British Airways

British Airways doesn’t want to see its first class passengers getting a disturbed sleep in any case while on long haul flights. In yet another innovative step, British Airways has developed a blanket which will now be analyzing the “meditative state” of its first class fliers. The airline has designed a “Happiness Blanket” to offer a blissful sleep to its customers. This unique blanket is made of wool and tiny fiber-optic LEDs are implanted in it. The passengers are required to wear a band on their head. The LEDs change color after brainwaves are transmitted through a Bluetooth from this band. When the LEDs color changes to blue then it signals that the passenger is calm, in utmost peace and relaxed during his/her sleep. This also indicates that the passenger is in a deep sleep. However, when the passenger is stressed or getting anxious then the blanket displays crimson color.

The airline however said that the high-tech blanket is currently under trail. Presently, this blanket will not be provided for direct use by the passengers. The airline will instead use the blanket on several volunteers who readily agree to make themselves available for the experiment during transatlantic flights.

British Airways through this trail will be analyzing the data collected from the blankets so that it will be able to make the in-flight experience of its first class customers even better. The airline wants to stay ahead in the race of providing the ultimate service and amenities in its first class cabins, particularly at a time when other airlines are providing posh linens and flat-beds to attract their premium customers.

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US Airways and American Airlines to merge miles programs

by amit.uniyal 25. June 2014 08:03

The two top airlines of America, US Airways and American Airlines are merging their miles program. This will be effective from 2015.

The frequent travelers who have accounts with each merger airlines will have benefit through combination of their mileage balance. Till the change is put to practice the merger airlines is providing additional benefits to their elite travelers. From June 11, elite class passengers can upgrade their travel on the same day while using services any of the two airlines.

US Airways and American Airlines are merging their miles program

The elite Dividend Miles member of US Airways can upgrade their flights the same day on American Airlines using the same rules that is applicable to AA’s elite members. This facility is provided on a first-come-first-serve basis. The upgrade will be provided on American Airlines flights within USA (Hawaii included) and to Central America, Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada.

In the same way, the AAdvantage members of American Airlines can upgrade their flights on the same day using the criteria that is used by elite Dividend Miles members of US Airways. This facility will be given on first-come-first-serve basis. The upgrade will be provided on US Airways flights within USA (Hawaii included) and to Central America, Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada.

Both the airlines will also adjust the thresholds of its redemption policies for all US and Canada bound flights having a three-seat classification. The US Airways provides only two-seat classification, while few American Airlines provide three-seat classification. The coalition will increase the mileage demarcation on this route for high and medium buyback classes. These changes are also applicable on oneworld alliance members like Cathay Pacific that provides three-seat classification in few flights. These flights are between New York and Vancouver. In addition, Canada and Alaska are also included Dividend Miles award chart of US Airways.

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