Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Ryanair to sell Air Malta tickets......

From today Air Malta tickets will be available on Ryanair's website in a tie-up between the two carriers.

The press release from Ryanair proudly boasted that the deal will allow Ryanair’s 139m customers to book Air Malta flights on the Ryanair.com website. From today, Maltese customers can browse and book Air Malta flights on 21 new routes from Malta to 8 different countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, including Russia and Tunisia.

However, we tried to book flights from London Gatwick to Malta and flights from Malta to the London Heathrow on Air Malta on the Ryanair websites and were greeted with "Sorry we don't fly between" those cities. We also had colleagues check in both France and Norway and they were also unable to find Air Malta flights on the Ryanair website. 

More European flights for American Airlines

Next summer will see a massive expansion for American Airlines route network to Europe to meet phenomenal passenger demand. 

The airline will start a daily service to Munich from Charlotte, North Carolina, from 31st Match next year operated on an Airbus A330-200.

Athens will get a summer seasonal service from the American Airlines hub of Chicago, the daily flight will run between 3rd May and 28th September on a Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Four new Delta winter warmers from New York

Whilst we may still be in the grips of a hot sunny and summery August, Delta Air Lines has its eyes set on winter and in particular its winter schedules from New York to the Caribbean.

The airline has a new second daily frequency connecting New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Nassau starting this October, plus the Trump supporting carrier also has some other great routes from New York to the Caribbean to shout about. 

“No one better connects the world than Delta, and the stunning destinations represented in Nassau, Kingston and Antigua,” said Agustin Durand, Delta’s General Manager for Central America and the Caribbean.  This winter, Delta will operate over 100 flights per week to 15 Caribbean destinations from JFK. The new schedules are as follows:

Two new direct European routes from DFW from June 2019

Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, in Dallas, Texas will get two new nonstop international flights next year thanks to American Airlines.  The new routes will be to Dublin, Ireland and Munich, in Germany, starting June 6th, 2019 and with these flights, DFW Airport will get its first-ever nonstop service to Ireland, while Munich will be the airports third daily nonstop flight to Germany.

"These new flights will advance DFW Airport's mission to bring more international passenger and cargo service to the Dallas Fort Worth region," said Sean Donohue, chief executive officer at DFW Airport. "DFW anticipates tremendous growth in the year ahead, and with nonstop service to Dublin and Munich we're offering two great new destinations, more travel choices, business connections and opportunities for tourism.".

The launch of Dublin and Munich service in June 2019 will give DFW a total of 59 international destinations and 235 unique destinations. The new destinations will be DFW's eighth and ninth European cities served.

Finnair to fly to Los Angeles with new A350 in 2019

Finnair has announced the next step in its continuous growth strategy will see the popular Scandinavian carrier begin a service to Los Angeles, California, from of next spring. 

The airline has said it will fly three weekly frequencies to Los Angeles from its Helsinki home base starting 31st March 2019. The airline will deploy its new Airbus A350 aircraft to the route to ensure a superior service and excellent in-flight comfort level for all passengers. 

The introduction of LA to the Finnair route network will mean the carrier flies to five US destinations, along with New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami. The approximate flight times are expected to be 11 hours to LAX and 10 hours and 30 minutes to Helsinki.  

Finnair is also making some changes to its summer operation for the San Francisco and Chicago routes. Both routes will begin in April, and a fourth frequency will be added for San Francisco as of May. With these changes, Finnair will now offer a daily flight to California during the summer season with the new three-weekly flight to Los Angeles and the new fourth weekly service to San Francisco. 

“We are very happy to expand our North American network and fly a new route to Los Angeles with our Airbus A350,” says Juha J√§rvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “We opened our route to San Francisco two years ago with tremendous success, proving that California and the West Coast are very popular with our customers. We are confident that this new route to Los Angeles will garner the same level of interest moving forward.”   

Hahn Air agrees interline deal with Myanmar's Air KBZ

Booking domestic travel in Myanmar just got a whole lot easier, thanks to a new interline agreement between Air KBZ of Myanmar and Hahn Air.  This new interline deal allows more than 100,000 travel agents, in 190 countries, to book Air KBZ's domestic flights in Myanmar. The interline agreement has been enabled by the Zenith® PSS (Passenger Service System), provided by TTI.

Mr Oakkar Tun, Executive Director, Air KBZ said, ‘This Interline with Hahn Air is an important step for the growth of the international sales channel for Air KBZ, the immediate access to a vast number of travel agents in so many countries will quickly show good business results in passenger numbers’. He added, ‘We have been able to quickly manage the interline set-up through the TTI Zenith® PSS, as there are already many airlines using HR-169 through Zenith®. So now, travel consultants around the world can book on Air KBZ to connect from Yangon to major Myanmar attractions in Bagan, Heho, Thandwe, and Mandalay, through the Hahn Air distribution channel. We very much look forward to significant and meaningful contributions from our travel consultants abroad’..

Air Canada, TD, Visa and CIBC reach agreement with Aimia over buying Aeroplan

The consortium of leading Canadian airline, Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank,  Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada have announced they've reached an agreement with Aimia, at least in principle, to buy the loyalty business Aeroplan. 

"We are pleased to see that an agreement in principle has been reached as Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem with confidence. This transaction, if completed, should produce the best outcome for all stakeholders, including Aeroplan Members, as it would allow for a smooth transition to Air Canada's new loyalty program launching in 2020, safeguarding their miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians," said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada, on behalf of the consortium.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Ethiopian Airlines to relaunch Zambia Airways

Zambia to get a new airline, or at least a relaunch of its former national carrier, thanks to an initial investment of $30 million from Ethiopian Airlines its been reported today.

The airline has signed a shareholding agreement with Zambia’s main development agency to relaunch the southern African country’s flag carrier,  after more than 20 years of dormancy. The plan would see the new Zambia Airways, operating 12 aircraft by 2028, Ethiopian Airlines will own 45 percent of the revamped Zambian airline, and Zambia 55 percent.

Ethiopian Airlines issued a joint statement with Zambia’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which said,  "The initial investment as we start up the national carrier will be $30 million. Obviously, as we operate the airline, we will facilitate the financing necessary to support its growth,”

According to the plans, the new Zambia Airways will launch local and regional routes later this year while intercontinental routes, including those to Europe, the Middle East and Asia, should be introduced within the first three years. 

Spirit looking at future aircraft orders

Negotiation with both Boeing and Airbus are ongoing says the boss of Spirit Airlines regarding the ultra-low-cost-carriers future fleet plans. 

Chief Executive Bob Fornaro said on Monday they were talking with all planemakers “We are pretty well set for the next three years, but we are talking to all the manufacturers about the next order,” Adding, “There is a fleet order in Spirit’s future,” The airline boss was speaking at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver, but didn't specify a time frame. 

Many aviation analysts believe the airline is looking predominantly at the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, yet opening up the possibility of negotiating with other manufacturers in order to drive down the core unit cost of each aircraft. 

Its the 60th anniversary of flights on Moscow- Delhi route for Aeroflot

The Russian airline Aeroflot has just marked 60 years of scheduled flights to Delhi, the capital of India. It was on 18th August 1958 that the first regular flight between Moscow and Delhi took place with a Tu-104. 

India was Aeroflot’s first country in Southeast Asia, at the end of 1950s Aeroflot offered only one weekly flight to India. Today, the Russian flag carrier operates two daily flights between Moscow and Delhi using modern and comfortable Airbus A330 aircraft. It has been operating the Moscow-Delhi route without a break. 

In Spring 2016, passenger traffic increased sharply following the launch of the second daily flight. 2017 was a record-setting year for the Moscow-Delhi route: Aeroflot carried almost 290 thousand passengers, a 50% year-on-year increase.  

Aeroflot’s 243-strong fleet is the youngest of any airline worldwide that operates more than 100 aircraft. In 2017, serving 146 destinations in 52 countries. More than 32 million passengers travelled with the Russian airline last year alone. 

Blank information screens at London Gatwick leaves passengers confused

A technical problem with fiber optic cables left the passenger information screens at London Gatwick airport blank for most of the day!

Members of staff at the UK's second busiest international airport had to resort to using felt-tipped marker pens and whiteboards to update passengers on boarding gates and departure times. The TV screens stopped working early this morning with teams of Vodaphone engineers, the airports IT providers, working furiously to rectify the situation.

Staff at the airport had to listen to radio communications to continuously update the whiteboards with gate information, so passengers knew where to go.  An airport spokesperson apologised to customers for the inconvenience and said the airport's "manual contingency plan", which included having extra staff on hand to help direct passengers, had worked reasonably well. Although it is believed that a small number of passengers had missed their flights due to the problems, but, no flights were cancelled. 

The fault was rectified at around 5pm this evening and all screens were back online and normal operations were resumed. Many passengers used social media to criticise the airport, whilst others remained positive saying a lot of people were "scurrying around with markers and erasers" and it was "surprisingly calm and ordered".

The first 787-8 Dreamliner arrives in Bangladesh

                               The first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for Biman Bangladesh Airlines arrived in the country yesterday and was welcomed to the fleet by the airlines' management and staff.

The aircraft landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 05.19 on 19th August after a direct 14½ flight from Boeing's Seattle base.  It was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute from the airports fire service and many of the airlines' employees. The aircraft has been called Akashbina.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines signed a $ 2.1 billion deal in 2008 for the purchase of 10 new aircraft - including four Dreamliners with Boeing. The carrier will receive another example in November this year and another two Dreamliners are due to arrive in September next year.  Biman Managing Director and CEO AM Mosaddiq Ahmed said, "The airline added a new milestone by joining the Dreamliner skyline. Biman seeks to provide safe and comfortable services to passengers. The new aircraft will assist the airline in competition with other airlines."

SA Express to restart operations on Thursday.

SA Express has confirmed it will be resuming its flying operations from this Thursday, 23rd August 2018, following recent news that both the airline’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) licenses by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) had been reinstated.

The South African regional airline has also already received Certificates of Airworthiness for most of its 11 aircraft from SACAA, with the remaining fleet expected to be given the green light in the next few days.

Canada's Flair Airlines adds new US routes for winter 2018

Canada's only independent low fare carrier, Flair Airlines has announced today that it will be introducing non-stop flights to six popular U.S. destinations for this winter.  

The new routes will greatly extend Flair's already rapidly growing route network, to Florida's Orlando International Airport, St. Pete-Clearwater (Tampa Bay) and Miami as well as to Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa Airport.

"The majority of our new services concentrate on Edmonton and Winnipeg," said David Tait, Flair's Executive Chairman; "Having brought low fare service to 10 Canadian cities this summer, we are now taking the show on the road and heading south to some of the most popular winter getaway spots: Escaping the great Canadian winter will cost a lot less this year."

New bright uniforms for Sichuan Airlines

As part of its "Panda Route" international flight development programme, Sichuan Airlines has unveiled newly-designed cabin crew uniforms this week.

The classic red-and-black design symbolizing passion and rationality aims to promote the airline's image and raise its profile on the global stage.

Inspired by Sichuan Airlines' theme colour, "Sichuan red," the ladies' new uniform is composed of a red one-piece, a black blazer, a red blazer, a black winter wool coat and a black hat. The gentleman's uniform features a white shirt with red stripe design and a splash of red on the blazer pocket to echo the ladies' dress.

The airline now owns the largest Airbus fleet in China with a total of 134 aircraft so far which is increasing with the arrival of the new A350s. The carrier is a growing force in the Chinese aviation industry, with 270 "Panda Routes" connecting Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America. The airline carries more than 29 million passengers each year.

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