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The Aviation Industry takes a giant leap on Air Social Media

by amit.uniyal 12. October 2014 07:04

Social Media is now an integral part of Global Aviation Industry. More and more airlines are using social media to engage with their customers just like they use the phone for issue resolution. Qatar Airways is now ruling the social media game as it has transcended the 5,000,000 Facebook fan milestone, reclaiming its position as second most liked international airlines on Facebook. It has 300,000 plus Twitter followers and has gained 3rd position on Instagram among airlines, upholding its ever increasing online media engagement with the fans. Adding another feather in the cap, Qatar Airways has been conferred with the award for the Best Use of Emerging Platform for 2014 by SimpliFlying, one of the best aviation marketing consultancies.

social media


The rapidly growing carrier has soared above its competitors in social media fan base, particularly after developing a global partnership with FC Barcelona and earned huge profits on the arrival of its first super jumbo jet Airbus A380 in Doha in the month of September. Qatar Airways has 13 social media platforms for engaging with customers on which the CEO, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker commented that Social media has undeniably opened various channels of communication between Qatar and its fliers. It is an excellent way to engage with the passengers in innovative ways.

Qatar Airways has embarked upon several initiatives to strengthen the relationship with the social media followers. As a tribute to this, Qatar Airways was nominated and awarded as an airline making the Best Use of Emerging Platforms at the Annual SimpliFlying Awards held last year in New York. Qatar Airways, during the award ceremony, demonstrated how Instagram and Pinterest were used to achieve the marketing targets for the carrier.

The airline has been recognized by SimpliFlying twice in a row, having been awarded Best Emerging Airline on Social Media in 2013.

 

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Airline News

The Mecca for Shoppers around the World – San Francisco

by amit.uniyal 8. October 2014 10:23

San Francisco is the Mecca for shoppers around the world. The city offers the best shopping experience for the tourists as well as the shopaholics. The shoppers love to browse the various shopping complexes, malls and districts in San Francisco. Westfield Centre, Hayes Valley, Haight-Ashbury, Fillmore Street, Chinatown and Union Square among many others offer an incredible style of shopping, suited to the consumer’s needs and mood. Also, contrary to the popular belief, you will find various shops where you would not have to splurge.

shopping

Westfield San Francisco Centre
Westfield San Francisco Centre, located on Market Street, is the paragon for all the shoppers and tourists. In this splendid mall reside the top notch American brands for consumer products which include but are not limited to a two level Abercrombie & Fitch, a five storey Nordstrom's store, Bloomingdale’s, Bebe, Victoria's Secret, Kenneth Cole, Guess and Club Monaco. The mall is also home to Century Theatres multiplex and Bristol Farms greengrocery.

Union Square Shopping
The California’s Historical Landmark is a colossal collection of gift shops, fancy boutiques, supermarkets, galleries and salons, making it a prime shopping district in the United States. Marked by the Goddess of Victory statue atop the Dewey Monument, the Union Square Park is a popular tourist attraction with its history dating back to the Civil War. The square is home to leading chain stores including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus. Various fancy fashion boutiques for Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Stuart Weitzman, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Marc Jacobs are also located in the shopping district surrounded by Post, Geary and Stockton Streets.
 
Chinatown Shopping
The Dragon Gates marking the entry of Chinatown lead to a different world of shopping spiced up with red hues and everything Chinese. Baroque lampposts, pagoda domes, Sing Chong Building and Bank of America in a Chinese Style Building are few of the prominent places to see in this largest Chinatown outside Asia. At every turn, you will find vibrant fabrics draping the window fronts where hawkers sell carved Buddha statues, paper lanterns, parasols perfect for decorating your house. Various apothecaries sell green tea, fragrant black tea and other refreshing beverages. For your sweet tooth and a surprise, don’t forget to check out Fortune Cookie Factory on Ross Alley (featured in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).

Fillmore Street Shopping
Fillmore Street is home to one of the chicest fashion and beauty retailers. You can check off your wish list for shopping with home furniture stores like Nest, Jonathan Adler and Zinc Details and beauty stores like MAC Cosmetics, BeneFit, Posh, Hats of the Fillmore and many more. For a quick break from your shopping spree and refueling your next round, pay a visit to Pizza Inferno, Fresca, Starbucks or Royal Grounds coffee. The shopping experience is a distinctive mix of elegance and vibrancy, upscale yet approachable and comfortable without being tedious. From antiques to accessories, jazz clubs to blues club, Fillmore has it all.

North Beach Shopping
North Beach, San Francisco’s Little Italy, is rich in Italian style and spirit that infuse every diner and fashion store. North Beach is an ultimate shopping retreat as you will shop as the Romans do while passing through murals, European antique stores and grocery stores along the oldest street of Grant Avenue. At Old Vogue, you can delve into vintage varsity jackets and everything retro. The avant garde jewelry by Peter Macchiarini designed to your specifications screams "Bellisima!"

Hayes Valley Shopping
The Hayes Valley is an ultimate blend of commerce and art located on the Hayes and Gough Street jammed with interior design boutiques, art galleries, wine bars and outdoor restaurants. Hayes Valley is an haute couture haven and famous for Scandinavian Fashion, Ver Unica for unworn vintage clothes, Mac (Modern Appeal Clothing) for Belgian custom design clothes and Dark Garden for corsets and wedding dresses. Hayes Valley is all about local artists and designers displaying their works of art to the visitors. Shoppe Unusual is one of the largest vibrant retail spaces in Hayes Valley displaying designs and art works from more than 30 local artists.

Mission Street Shopping
The Mission Street is for shoppers with liberal choice of fashion and art. It is the perfect destination to tend to eccentric desires. The Mission is a vivid neighborhood with bohemian stores. You will find anything to everything eccentric including toddler boots in snakeskin and a lot more. If you are looking for the best taquerias, dive bars and everything Latino, the Mission is for you.

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Travel Advice

Tourists to get Chinese-language map of Boston by Hainan Airlines

by amit.uniyal 4. October 2014 08:44

Chinese tourists traveling to Boston will now find their stay and travel to the city more convenient and hassle free as Hainan Airlines has now decided to provide them Chinese-language maps of Boston.

Hainan

Hainan Airlines had earlier this year launched direct flights between Beijing and Boston. The airline partnered with a travel consultancy named Attract China for providing the Chinese-language maps of Boston to the tourists.

The airline has decided to co-brand the map and provide it to all the passengers flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport.
 
Zhang Ning, General Manager of Hainan Airlines Boston office, said that an increasing demand by Chinese travelers is being recently witnessed for travel to the United States. He said that by providing a resourceful Mandarin map to the Chinese tourists, they will find it easy to access and navigate the city of Boston.
 
The passport-sized map of Boston is presently available at city information kiosks, Chinatown restaurants and over 100 hotels in Boston area. By providing the Chinese-language maps to the tourists Hainan Airlines and travel consultancy Attract China want to ensure outstanding travel experience. The prime objective of providing the map is to provide the travelers with insights and adequate information on the types of destinations that interest them the most.

The map will be prominently highlighting the major shopping areas in Boston as well as 21 recommended destinations such as the USS Constitution Museum, the Freedom Trail, and Freeway Park.

Chinese-language maps for other important cities in the United States such as Chicago and Seattle are likely to be released by the end of 2014, while more U.S. cities would be covered in 2015.

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Airline News

Hawaii becomes a prime focus for various markets and airlines

by amit.uniyal 30. September 2014 02:35

Hawaii is attracting keen interest from various markets and airlines. This has been made clear at the recently-concluded 2014 Hawaii Tourism Conference when Mesa Air Group's go! interisland subsidiary said that it was becoming rather too difficult to compete with the Hawaii’s flagship carrier Hawaiian Airlines in the interisland market.

Hawaii

Hawaii currently has the most diverse airline network. This has prompted numerous airlines and markets to show keen interest in Hawaii. This has also made the State of Hawaii less vulnerable to significant swings in the travel market.

Media reports quoted Brad DiFiore, cofounder and managing partner of Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting, which operates interisland go! airline, as saying that the seat capacity to Hawaii from North America has increased 19 percent over a decade. Interisland air travel has significantly lowered than what it was 10 years ago despite the fact that revenue and average fares continue to be higher. DiFiore however said that the seats are likely to return with the growing travel demand now and Hawaii also proving to be a big market for airlines.

DiFiore said that for an outsider like Mesa Air Group's go! interisland subsidiary competing with a homegrown airline like Hawaiian Airlines is rather difficult as it has been proved now. He said that Hawaiian Airlines had 82 percent market share while go! had only 9 percent share for the interisland market.

Apart from Hawaiian Airlines, other carriers such as Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Air Canada’s Rogue, Cebu Pacific, Virgin America and Jetstar have also made forays and focusing on flights to Honolulu.

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World Air Transport Statistics make public air traffic results

by amit.uniyal 28. September 2014 05:16

The 58th edition of World Air Transport Statistics has recently made public some of its findings outlining the air traffic results for the year 2013. According to the findings, Delta Air Lines transported most passengers than any other airline in the world during the year. The findings also revealed that the route between Taipei and Hong Kong remained the world’s busiest.

Air Traffic

The World Air Transport Statistics is considered to be a “yearbook” of the global aviation industry’s annual performance. The International Air Transport Association publishes the World Air Transport Statistics every year from Montreal.

The stats also prominently provided a snapshot of the aviation industry 100 years after the first commercial flight took to the skies. It may be noted that 2014 is the centenary year of commercial aviation.

Media reports citing the stats said that the commercial aviation has come a long way with a single aircraft transporting a single passenger in 1914. The report said that the global commercial aviation has now become a $2.4 trillion industry carrying above 3 billion passengers and 48 million tons of cargo on about 100,000 flights per day.

According to the report, the largest number of passengers transported was from the Asia-Pacific region, which stood at 1.012 billion. Europe and North America were in the second and third place with 825.9 million and 818.9 million passengers respectively. The biggest increase percentage-wise was also by Asia-Pacific region, up 9.3 over 2012.

The report further said that South Africa stood at first in Africa with the highest passenger traffic on both domestic and international routes. China gained first position in Asia-Pacific region with most passengers being transported from here. British carriers held sway in Europe, while Brazilian carriers transported most passengers to the Caribbean and Latin American countries.

The top five airlines in terms of total passengers carried included Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, China Southern Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines.

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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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