Saturday, 21 September 2019

Air Italy wins two Awards at AIR Convention Europe in Lithuania: Diversity Award & Most Captivating Marketing Project

Air Italy has won two awards – the Diversity & Inclusion Award and the Most Captivating Marketing Project Award – at the AIR Convention Europe Awards held in Lithuania Tuesday evening.

The Diversity & Inclusion Award was won by Air Italy on the basis of it being the first airline in Europe to introduce the non-binary gender option on its website, offering a third gender option, X, for those passengers who do not define themselves as male or female.

Air Italy also won the Most Captivating Marketing Project Award on the basis of its comprehensive and integrated sponsorship of three key Pride events in 2019 in Toronto, Milan and Sofia.

Rossen Dimitrov, Air Italy's Chief Operating Officer, said: "AIR Convention is a significant event in commercial aviation, with high-level representatives from the world’s leading airlines, airports, and other key industry players, and therefore winning two awards here is a great source of pride for us.

Hotel JAL City Sapporo Nakajima Park opens

Okura Nikko Hotel Management Company has opened the Hotel JAL City Sapporo Nakajima Park this week.  Based on Hotel JAL City's brand concept “smart simplicity”, the new hotel will offer a smart and simple stay experience and respond to customer needs with a consolidated range of highly functional services. The property will also feature spacious hot bath facilities offering guests a comfortable environment in which to relax after a long day.

The hotel is located in the centre of Sapporo adjacent to Susukino station, a venue for the “Sapporo Snow Festival”, one of Japan’s most famous winter festivals, which attracts many visitors from all over the world every year. The nearby Nakajima Park has been recognized as one of Japan’s top 100 historical parks, and provides visitors with a majestic sweep of nature in the city centre.

Jetstar Ups Frequency in its Fifth Year of Flying to Da Nang

Jetstar will celebrate its fifth year of offering low fare travel between Singapore and Da Nang by introducing a fifth weekly service from Tuesday, 29 October 2019, reflecting the ongoing popularity of the destination.

Jetstar Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia, Mr. Clive Ashmore Butler explained, Da Nang, one of the largest cities in Vietnam, was well known for its beautiful sandy beaches, charming towns and incredible food and has also become increasingly popular for business travellers arranging meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).

“The strong demand for this route has seen us respond and increase services from three when we started, to five services this year.

“We know business travellers require reliable on-time performance, great value and a consistently high level of customer service which is exactly what our passengers can expect every time they fly with Jetstar Asia in Vietnam and across our network,” said Mr Ashmore Butler.

France’s Armée De L’Air receives its first KC-130J super Hercules aerial refuelling aircraft

France’s Armée De L’Air receives its first KC-130J super Hercules aerial refuelling aircraft

      Lockheed Martin has delivered the first of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to representatives from France’s Armée de l’Air’s 62st Transport Wing at Orléans-Bricy Air Base today.

France will receive a total of four Super Hercules aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers — through a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. government. The two C-130J-30 airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and a second KC-130J will deliver in 2020. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet.

“The KC-130J provides Armée de l’Air crews with a proven solution that delivers much-needed fuel in any environment, at any time,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “In choosing to operate both the C-130J-30 and the KC-130J, France has built a diverse airlift fleet that expands both the capabilities and global reach of the French Armed Forces.”

Parking at London Gatwick Airport

There are a great many options at an equally numerous number of prices for parking at London Gatwick Airport, from the on-airport short stay car parks to off-airport longer term park and ride car parks as well as meet and greet services that take your car from you near the entrances of the terminals. This brief guide will hopefully make it easier to choose the right option for you.

On-airport short stay.

Gatwick Airport’s Short Stay is a popular choice for those looking for convenience when flying from either the North or South terminal. The terminal is around a 5 to 7-minute walk and is so easy. The multi-storey car parks are right by the terminals, simply pull up to the barrier, your license plates will be automatically scanned, then you can take your ticket and drive straight on through to park in a bay.

Short Stay Parking at the North Terminal can be found at Car Park 5. For the South Terminal, it can be found in Car Parks 1, 2 and 3. 

There is a premium option here, which is parking on the same level as the walkway into the airport terminal. Both options are great for convenience and quickness, but they are very expensive.

Short stay prices:

Up to 30 mins: £4.00
31 - 60 mins: £8.00
1 -  2 hours: £13.00
2 - 3 hours: £15.00
3 - 4 hours: £19.00
4 - 5 hours: £22.00
5 - 6 hours: £26.00
6 - 12 hours: £40.00
12 - 24 hours: £45.00
Each subsequent day: £45.00

Premium short stay prices:

Up to 30 mins: £5.20
31 - 60 mins: £10.30
1 -  2 hours: £15.00
2 - 3 hours: £19.00
3 - 4 hours: £24.50
4 - 5 hours: £29.50
5 - 6 hours: £35.00
6 - 12 hours: £50.00
12 - 24 hours: £55.00
Each subsequent day: £55.00

On-airport long stay parking

The airport has its own car parks for longer stays, which feature a 5 - 10-minute bus transfer to the airport, it runs every 10 - 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, The price is £25 per day for the first day and £20 for subsequent days.  Prebooking is cheaper!
Pre-book your long stay parking at Gatwick's South Terminal here.
Pre-book your long stay parking at Gatwick's North Terminal here.

Romanian Ministry of Interior orders three Airbus H135s for air medical services

Photo C Keller
Airbus Helicopters and the Romanian Ministry of Interior have signed a contract for the purchase of three H135 helicopters and associated support and services for air medical services and search and rescue (SAR) missions in the country, following a four-year framework agreement signed at the end of July 2019 that foresees the procurement of up to ten H135s.  

“During 15 years of air medical services – the well-known SMURD mission, the H135 has proven its utility, being a rotorcraft which adapts rapidly to all types of requests. All advantages – mainly the flexible maintenance, management of space for the transport of passengers and patients, the speed, the capability to land in a limited area, the possibility to operate life-saving medical interventions during flight, the capability to fly during day and night, and its versatility for mountain missions thanks to the hoist – are essential when it comes to critical life saving missions”, said Commander Dache Paul Catalin, IGAv general inspector.

Thomas Cook asks for government bailout as it struggles to survive after banks demand an extra £200 million

One of Europe's the longest-running holiday firms, Thomas Cook, is on the brink of administration asking the government for a bailout, following a shortfall in funding from its backers. The Department for Transport said in a statement, "We do not speculate on the financial situation of individual businesses.".

The 178-year old travel firm has been struggling a lot recently with its finances, it has tried a restructuring process a number of times in recent years, in May this year, one of the most recognised UK travel brands reported a £1.5 billion loss for the first half of the year. In July it said it needed £900 million to survive the winter and trade into the next year.  It believed it had everything sorted a few days ago, at least for the rest of this year with a rescue deal by Chinese firm Fosum, who also own ClubMed and football club Wolverhampton Wanderers and a number of other backers.

However, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyd and one or two other bankers are demanding the travel firm stumps up an extra £200 million for contingency funds for the winter months, this is in addition to the £900m brought in by the Fosun rescue deal. RBS, itself bailed out by the UK government defended its bullish stance, saying  "As one of a number of lenders, RBS has provided considerable support to Thomas Cook over many years and continues to work with all parties in order to try and find a resolution to the funding and liquidity shortfall at Thomas Cook."

New Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft for Air Astana

Air Lease Corporation has confirmed the delivery of one new Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft on long-term lease to Air Astana. The aircraft, featuring Pratt & Whitney PW1133G engines, is the first of seven A321-200neo aircraft scheduled for delivery to Air Astana from ALC’s order book with Airbus.

“We are delighted to announce this first of seven ALC A321-200neo LR aircraft delivery to Air Astana today,” said Alex Khatibi, Executive Vice President of Air Lease Corporation. “The A321-200neo LR is instrumental to Air Astana’s fleet modernization program to support the airline’s extended range operations and expanding route network.”

Air Astana is the principal airline and flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The airline operates scheduled domestic and international services from its main hub, Almaty International Airport, and from its secondary hubs, Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport and Atyrau Airport.

Recommended for you...

Hyatt Place Atlanta/Centennial Park Celebrates Official Opening

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced this week the opening of Hyatt Place Atlanta/Centennial Park, the second Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Atlanta. The new hotel features the Hyatt Place brand’s intuitive design, casual atmosphere, and practical amenities such as free Wi-Fi & 24-hour food offerings. The hotel is in a joint venture led by Songy Highroads.  

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Hyatt Place Atlanta/Centennial Park is just steps away from the Georgia Aquarium, Mercedes Benz Stadium, State Farm Arena, City View Ferris Wheel, and many other local attractions and dining options. In addition to offering 1,983 square feet of meeting space and a rooftop pool located on the third floor, the hotel’s spacious guestrooms provide scenic views of downtown Atlanta.

Spirit Airlines joins Honour Flight South Florida as 2020 official airline partner

The US ultra-low-cost carrier, Spirit Airlines is continuing its partnership with Honor Flight South Florida to serve as the organization’s official airline partner in 2020. In the next year, Spirit will once again operate four special Honor Flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport for a memorable day in Washington, D.C. Approximately 340 veterans from the South Florida area will travel to visit the monuments built in their honour, all at no charge to the veterans.

Honor Flight South Florida helps transport our nation’s oldest veterans, who served in WWII, as well as the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.  These heroes are given a chance to visit their memorials and feel the gratitude of their country. During the trips, the veterans meet members of Congress, veteran officials and take special trips to Arlington National Cemetery, WWII Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Marine Corps War Memorial.

American Airlines and Stand Up To Cancer Team Up with Hyatt, Universal Orlando Resort to Give Families Affected by Cancer with Weekend to Remember

                                       Today marks the inaugural flight of the American Airlines official Stand Up To Cancer Airbus A321 that features 22,627 names of cancer survivors, patients and those we have lost to cancer. Names were submitted by the public throughout the month of July, all of whom donated $25 or more to have their loved one’s name added to the plane, resulting in more than $825,000 for cancer research.

Names include Patrick Swayze, a pilot himself, who was added to the plane by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi Swayze. Among the names is also Tug McGraw, added by his son Tim McGraw, who lent his talent to promote the fundraising campaign in this year’s public service announcement. 

To mark the inaugural flight of the freshly painted aircraft, American will whisk away a group of cancer survivors and caregivers from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Upon arrival at LAX, guests will be welcomed by the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage, and, while in flight, will be treated to entertainment by Big Machine recording artist Noah Schnacky and comedian Marina Franklin.

The volunteer flight crew for the inaugural flight all have a connection to cancer. One of the pilots will be American Airlines First Officer Brandon Bailey, who appeared in the Stand Up To Cancer PSA alongside Tim McGraw. Bailey Stands Up for his mother, Machelle, who faced cancer while Brandon was deployed to Afghanistan.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Delta named the Most Admired Airline and Overall Most Admired Supplier in The Beat Readers' Choice Awards

For the eighth consecutive year, Delta has been named the Most Admired Airline and Overall Most Admired Supplier in The Beat Readers' Choice Awards. Delta's S.V.P. — Global Sales, Bob Somers, and V.P. — Sales Operations and Development, Kristen Shovlin, received the awards for Delta at the 12th annual The Beat Live conference today in New York.

"On behalf of our entire team, I want to thank the readers of The Beat for again recognizing Delta," Bob said. "We are passionate about providing you the exceptional reliability, products and service you deserve, and we'll never stop working to earn your trust and your business. I also want to thank Delta's 80,000 employees for setting Delta apart from the competition, each and every day."

Financial effects of Boeing 737-MAX suspension according to Icelandair as it strikes a deal for compensation

It is no surprise that the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft has cost airlines a fortune and Icelandair is no exception.  So far the total cost of the suspension on the Icelandic carrier has been USD $140 million as of 1st August and has increased during recent months since the suspension is still ongoing. 

Iceland air has now confirmed it has reached an interim agreement with Boeing regarding compensation which covers a fraction of the Company’s total loss due to the suspension of the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft. The details of the agreement are confidential, however, sources say is less than 10% of the firm's cost. Icelandair Group has also stated today that it will continue its discussions with "Boeing regarding compensation due to the financial effects of the Boeing 737-MAX suspension. "

Thomas Cook on the brink........ seeks government bailout

One of Europe's the longest-running holiday firms, Thomas Cook, is on the brink of administration this weekend as it struggles to find an extra £200 million funding, demanded by the banks.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyd and others are demanding the travel firm stumps up the £200 million for contingency funds for the winter months, in addition to the £900m brought in by Fosun as part of a rescue deal.  RBS defended its stance, saying  "As one of a number of lenders, RBS has provided considerable support to Thomas Cook over many years and continues to work with all parties in order to try and find a resolution to the funding and liquidity shortfall at Thomas Cook."

It is understood that Thomas Cook has now approached the UK government for some sort of bailout or funding to stave off administration and survive the summer and winter seasons. The Department for Transport said in a statement, "We do not speculate on the financial situation of individual businesses.".

It is estimated that there are 600,000 customers of Thomas Cook overseas on holidays, around 160,000 of those come from the UK, with hundreds of thousands about to embark on trips from various European countries. 

At this time, negotiations and discussions are still ongoing, however, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has started to draw up contingency plans to repatriate overseas holidaymakers, which would the biggest one of its kind. It is understood that a number of aircraft have been chartered for Sunday and Monday. 

The 178-year-old company employs around 21,000 people around the world including some 9000 in the UK who would lose their jobs if the firm collapses. Hundreds of others would also face an uncertain future working in support industries and suppliers. 

Recommended for you...

Thursday, 19 September 2019

A new year round service between Montreal and Bogotá to start from Air Canada Rouge

Canada's leading international airline, Air Canada has confirmed it will be introducing a new year-round service between Montreal and Bogotá, Colombia beginning June 2, 2020. 

Flights will operate three times weekly onboard Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of premium and economy service.

"We are very pleased to offer the only non-stop, year-round flights connecting Montreal and Bogotá, two vibrant cities steeped in history and culture. This new route complements our existing Toronto-Bogotá service, and positions Air Canada as a significant player linking the growing markets between Montreal and Colombia's capital and largest city. The addition of Bogotá represents Air Canada's 39th new route launched from Montreal-Trudeau Airport since 2012, firmly illustrating our commitment to developing Montreal as an important, strategic hub. Bogotá  is also strategically situated to allow for seamless travel across South America through Star Alliance partner Avianca," said Mark Galardo, Vice President of Network Planning at Air Canada.