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Airline industry set for happy times ahead in 2014

by amit.uniyal 19. February 2014 21:44

There is good news for the global airline industry. Going by the facts, figures, and even performances in the bygone year, the industry should expect happy times ahead in this year. However, two prime factors to be credited for the joyous news include mounting travel demand and steady fuel prices.

Though the news is happy for the airline management, top-level executives, investors, and shareholders only time will tell as to who will ultimately benefit in the end. It is not even evident as when will these profits be passed down.

On the other side, the airlines may even go ahead and decide to cut down fare prices. Passengers should hope for the best and pray that the airlines take a few decisions in their favor. Another, good news is that analysts expect the big players not to fiddle much with the fare pricing owing to still and steady competition from the budget carriers. The constant pressures on big daddies of the open skies will be forced to keep the thought of hiking the fares at bay, at least this year!

This year passengers should stop bothering about price rise on airline tickets and plan that much awaited holiday with their loved ones anywhere in the world. Some experts even suggest that airlines will rather invest in the comforts of the passengers. They are set to divert their energies into refurbishing the existing seats by making them more spacious, enhancing the entertainment options, and innovating their onboard menus.

All these factors will count in their favor and the major airlines around the world will together accumulate profits of $19.7 billion in 2014, exceeding their previous high of $19.2 billion in 2010.

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Airline News

Jetstar Airways to ink Codeshare agreement with Emirates

by amit.uniyal 18. February 2014 06:48

Jetstar Airways and Emirates Airlines announced their decision to sign a codeshare agreement with each other. The Melbourne based airline and Dubai based carrier’s decision is set to offer smooth connections to passengers looking forward to operating on the cities flown by both these airlines.

The new agreement will in fact pave way for connections across South East Asia, New Zealand, and Australia as passengers will be able to use the services of both these carriers to their respective destinations. More people will soon be able to enjoy seamless connections.

Together these airlines will operate service on 27 new sectors. These will include six new cities including Siem Reap in Cambodia, Dunedin in New Zealand, Byron Bay in Australia, and Bali in Indonesia. Beginning April 6, 2014 passengers flying with Emirates will hand over boarding cards to its passengers flying on Jetstar at their first point of departure. These cards will help them catch their connecting flights with much ease.

The codeshare agreement will encompass seven domestic itineraries within Australia. These will be added to the list of 50 destinations that the Gulf carrier already operates as a part of codeshare deals with other airlines operating across Australia.

Jetstar is an airline headquartered in Melbourne and it follows the low-budget philosophy. Operating out of its hub in Melbourne Airport it offers flights to about 35 domestic and international destinations.  Its frequent flyer program is called Qantas Frequent Flyer. Established in the year 2003, it offers affordable means of air travel to passengers within and outside of Australia.

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Airline News

Finnair Increase its Connectivity to London

by amit.uniyal 17. February 2014 06:53

Finnair, Finland's largest airline and flag carrier announced to increase its connectivity to London Heathrow from Helsinki. The airline will increase from its present four daily flights to five

Finnair from March 30, 2014 will make this addition to its timetable and will be deploying Airbus A321 on this sector. Flight will depart from Helsinki at 1630 hours and will reach in London Heathrow at 1730 hours (local time). Return flight will depart London Heathrow at 1835 hours and Helsinki at 0035 hours (local time).

A Finnair representative said that London is one of the most important cities on the global travel industry map. It is frequented by travelers from all parts of the world. London Heathrow has proved as a highly viable destination for us. Passenger traffic on Helsinki-Heathrow has grown tremendously over the years and hence we decided to increase our connectivity to map this growing demand. With this addition business travelers will get all the more flexibility enabling them to wrap-up their business chores and return back the same day to Helsinki.

Finnair, apart from offering fifth daily service between the two cities, also offers two daily roundtrip codeshare flights served by British Airways, its oneworld alliance partner.

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Airline News

Lufthansa to offer onboard phone service this year

by amit.uniyal 14. February 2014 09:02

Deutsche Lufthansa AG or Lufthansa has pleasant news for its travelers. It is set to pave way for the use of mobile phones onboard its flights this year. The news comes as a surprise to the travelers as Europe’s largest airline will allow the use of this service on its flights on more than 100 aircrafts operating its long-distance flights.

The airline believes to stay ahead in competition and hence is innovating different means to put its best foot forward. The latest announcement has spread a wave of joy and happiness amongst its travelers. Once the service is incorporated, passengers will be able to use their personal devices in the flight. They can use their mobile handsets to make calls and send text messages even when they are flying 30,000 feet above ground. The thrill and excitement is hence uncontainable.

The German airline already has its Lufthansa Flynet system in place. It has teamed up with Aeromobile, GSM supplier for this service. In fact, the airline has already fitted the Flynet system on eight of its Airbus A330 airlines.

The airline has already received its Boeing 747-8 Dreamliner equipped with the Aeromobile system. The delivery was received at Frankfurt airport. The Aeromobile system will allow the passengers to use their mobile devices in roaming mode just like the way it would work on the ground. The airline has collaborated with more than 240 mobile service providers for the roaming arrangements. The passengers will soon benefit from the latest offering from the major German airline in the coming times.

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Airline News | Lufthansa Airlines

Virgin America presents onboard social network to its travelers

by amit.uniyal 13. February 2014 10:46

Virgin America has a pleasant surprise for its business travelers. The San Francisco based airline announced the launch of its in-flight social network that is definitely set to boost the morale of travelers booking tickets with it. The airline teamed up with app maker HereOnBit to develop this unique concept. Internet and technology is fast paving way into the airlines even when it is soaring miles above the ground.

The airline intends to offer easy connections on its business class and hence has gone ahead to create this in-flight social network. The aim of this app is to persuade travelers flying in this class to communicate with each other without having to bother about getting up from their respective seats. There is no better way to offer smooth connections than this. The ever-changing technology is certainly proving beneficial for the airline industry and most carriers are utilizing it to the best of their capacities.

The airline, which flies to more than 50 destinations worldwide, is fast catching up with its other counterparts. Virgin America will now use this location-aware app and help travelers connect through other accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The new app helps them view personal details of fellow passengers and access their photographs, names, workplace, and other relevant information.

This app is best suited for travelers who are on their way for a conference. It will help them discuss work, plan the next strategy, and interact with each other without distracting or disturbing others. The app will be fully functional on all flights by the end of this month.

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Airline News

Air France-KLM special Valentine discount to Europe from India

by amit.uniyal 12. February 2014 06:08

Planning a romantic getaway this Valentine Day! Air France-KLM has something special for its Indian customers. The airline has announced a special discount for the lovebirds who want to snatch private moments for themselves to popular European destinations.

This exclusive offer is available only for customers traveling from India. The airline is offering up to 40 percent discount on the basic fare for travel on Air France or its partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This offer is applicable for travel to major cities in Europe such as Rome, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Venice, Paris and others.

Take the best advantage of this offer by booking your tickets up till February 14, 2014 for outbound travel from India up till May 31, 2014. Whether you want to spend cozy moments in the stunning architectural splendors and baffling waterways of Venice, or enjoy romantic strolls in Paris on River Seine, this is absolutely a perfect opportunity for you to grab this special Valentine offer and head for your dream vacation with your sweetheart.

Air France or KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are not the only airlines to offer special Valentine deals. A leading U.S. carrier United Airlines recently launched its “Love in the Air” promotion for its customers. The promotion however ended on February 5, 2014. The couples were asked to submit their respective United-in-love stories written in 500 words or less. The results are to be declared on Valentine’s Day and the winning couple would get a chance to win two BusinessFirst roundtrip tickets to fly to any of the destinations on United Airlines’ network.

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Airline News

Virgin Atlantic to Discontinue its Sydney Flights

by amit.uniyal 11. February 2014 05:07

Virgin Atlantic has decided to withdraw its flight service from Sydney. At present the airline operates London - Sydney route via Hong Kong on a daily basis using A340-600 aircraft. The airline will continue its London to Hong Kong leg but has however decided to discontinue its forward journey from Hong Kong to Sydney.

Growing costs and weakening of Australian dollar have been the prime reasons due to which the route has become less lucrative and now the airline is forced to terminate the route. Virgin Atlantic CEO, Craig Kreeger is a statement said, this is difficult times for the airline, and it is very important that they operate only the profitable routes in order to meet their expenses and overall financial goals. He further said that the airline staff tried its best but the external economic environs, poor usage, increasing overheads and rising costs impacted the profitability.

Virgin Atlantic’s last Hong to Sydney flight will operate on May 4, 2014 and the last leg of this flight will depart the following day from Sydney to London. With this the Virgin will no longer be flying to Australia any more. This will leave only Qantas and British Airways offering routes between Australia and Europe.

 

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Airline News | Virgin Atlantic

Air New Zealand reviewing options for Latin America

by amit.uniyal 7. February 2014 06:30

Air New Zealand is eager to expand its flights services to Latin America with the help of its new partner Singapore Airlines. Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand, said that Latin America continues to be the last white spot on its network, which it also wants to fill. The airline had succeeded in plugging all the other holes it considered necessary. For this, the airline wants that its new partner Singapore Airlines should come to its help.

Luxon said that this could take some time and Air New Zealand will keep on exploring options with Singapore Airlines and others as well. He said that a customer from southern China planning to travel to Latin America will have to pass via Auckland, and this perfectly makes sense.

Aerolineas Argentinas is planning to withdraw its services from the Soth Pacific market. Air New Zealand sees a good opportunity in this forthcoming withdrawal. The airline wants to compete with its oneworld partners LAN Airlines and Qantas Airways, the only remaining carriers providing services to destinations in South America, Australasia and South Pacific. Air New Zealand has indicated that in the present circumstances its new partnership with Singapore Airlines could be expanded to Latin America as well.

Air New Zealand has so far not been able to find an appropriate partner for operating flights services to Latin America. Recent media reports said that South America-Australasia routes are somewhat challenging from financial aspects. Air New Zealand had been struggling hard for quite some time now to exploit its position between South America and Asia and trying best to connect this fast-growing market.

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Airline News

Spring Airlines trying to remain afloat in Japanese market

by amit.uniyal 6. February 2014 08:46

The failure of AirAsia to continue operating in Japan has come as a boon to Spring Airlines. Asia’s largest LCC operator Air Asia decided to withdraw from the budget airline market in Japan recently. AirAsia was one of the significant competitors to Spring Airlines.

Zhang Wuan, a spokesperson of Spring Airlines, chose to play down AirAsia’s withdrawal from Japan’s budget airline market and said that this is not at all concerned with Spring Airlines as such. He said that the company’s target is in different markets. He said that the airline had been mainly operating between Chinese and Japanese cities, whereas AirAsia had been operating flights between Japan and Southeast Asia.

However, Li Xiaojin, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China, said that he was concerned about the future of Spring Airlines in Japan’s budget airline market. He said that it is doubtful whether the airline will be able survive in the Japanese market given the fact that AirAsia had a dismal record there and finally withdrew its services from here.

Spring Airlines is the first budget carrier to begin operations in China. The airline provides affordable fares to its customers and outwitted its rivals with an average seat occupancy rate of 95 percent ever since its debut in 2005. This had been the highest occupancy rate so far in China’s civil aviation industry. The airline began operations on its first international route in July 2010 between Shanghai and Tokyo.

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Airline News

Ancillary fees proving to be big business for airlines

by amit.uniyal 4. February 2014 08:36

The North American carriers are earning big revenues now, a recent industry report has suggested. Ancillary fees are proving to be big business for various airlines. The industry report published recently said that many North American carriers like American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways, Virgin America and others have together collected a total of $17.2 billion in ancillary revenue during the year 2013.

A new study however said that there has been a discrepancy between the services that customers are ready to pay for and the amenities and services that are being currently offered to the air travelers. The study has come at a time when the North American carriers are once again gearing up to add more fees in 2014.

The study pointed out that today’s air travelers have become worrisome with the ever increasing ancillary fees. Most of the travelers are strongly objecting to baggage fees, which obviously tops their list. Nearly 89 percent of the travelers surveyed have resented to this and asking the airlines to stop charging for checked baggage. However, 42 percent of the air travelers said that they are ready to pay if the airlines provide a dedicated overhead bin space for their hand luggage, while 35 percent travelers said that they are willing to pay to get their checked luggage on priority at baggage claim. The travelers are also ready to pay for amenities and services that improve their comfort and efficiency, both on board their flight as well as at the airport.

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