Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Wizz Air expands in Macedonia with 8 new routes and basing another aircraft at Skopje

Wizz Air, one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines and the leading low-cost carrier in Macedonia, announced today the allocation of its fifth Airbus A320 aircraft to its Skopje base in July 2019, as well as the start of eight long-awaited new services from Skopje to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Bremen, Larnaca and Turku and from Ohrid to Malmö, Milan Malpensa, Munich Memmingen and Dortmund. 

The fleet expansion will also enable to increase the number of weekly flights on Wizz Air’s existing routes from Skopje to Gothenburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Malta and Basel. 

The new aircraft allocation comes as a result of the successful tender that Wizz Air was awarded in January 2019. WIZZ started operations from Skopje International Airport in 2011, growing its fleet to four aircraft over 8 years. In June 2018, two of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft have been upgraded to two Airbus A321.

Emirates Tops the 2018 Business Traveller Africa Awards

Superior product and service offerings steer the airline to multiple awards and the biggest winner status

Photo Emirates
Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, celebrated a hat trick win at the 2018 Business Traveller Africa Awards. Emirates received awards for Best Business Class – for the second consecutive year, Best International Long-Haul Airline and Best Airport Business Lounge, underpinning its brand promise to offer a ‘better’ flying experience. The Lounge award is for Emirates’ dedicated lounge at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, in the international departures terminal. Emirates also operates an airport lounge in Cape Town. Over the years, Emirates has been honoured multiple times in these categories.

Fouad Caunhye, Regional Manager, Emirates Southern Africa, said, “To be recognised by our industry peers as well as travellers, is a real validation of our tireless efforts to deliver the best customer experience.  Our customer remains at the heart of what we do, and we have always aspired to make travel ‘better’; these awards are an indication that we are on the right track to creating memorable travel experiences.” 

United order 24 737 Max and 4 777's from Boeing

United Boeing 777                        Photo Boeing
Boeing and United Airlines have announced an order for 24 additional 737 MAX jets and four more 777-300ER (Extended Range) aeroplanes last year. The $4.5 billion order, according to list prices, was booked as unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website.

The Chicago-based airline has steadily placed new orders for the two Boeing jets to serve its large domestic and international network. United Airlines is among the more than 100 customers who have made the 737 MAX the fastest-selling aeroplane in Boeing history, receiving more than 5,000 orders since the program’s launch.

Cebu Pacific takes delivery of its first A321neo

Photo Airbus
Cebu Pacific, the largest low-cost carrier in the Philippines has taken delivery of its first A321neo.

The new addition complements the Manila-based airline’s Airbus fleet, which currently includes 43 A320 Family aircraft and eight A330-300 widebodies. 

Cebu Pacific has ordered 32 A321neo aircraft directly from Airbus, and will receive another five A320neo leased from Dublin-based Avolon. These will support the carrier’s expansion and fleet renewal programme. 

Selected for their outstanding operational efficiency, comfort and range, these new-generation single-aisle aircraft will allow the fast-growing carrier to expand its Asia-Pacific network. 

Wizz Air expands in Timisara

Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe and the leading airline in Romania announced recently a further expansion to its Timisoara network, allocating an additional Airbus A320 aircraft and adding 4 new routes from its Timisoara base, as well as increasing the frequencies of some of the most popular existing routes.

The new Airbus A320 will be joining Wizz Air's Timisoara fleet in September 2019, representing a further investment of over USD 100 million* by WIZZ in Romania, and will create 35 additional direct local jobs with the airline. With the arrival of the new aircraft in Timisoara, Wizz Air's Romanian fleet will grow to a total of 27 aircraft, with 3 of them based in Timisoara. The fleet growth will increase Wizz Air's capacity in Romania further by 10.5% year on year, representing a total of 9.5 million seats on sale in 2019.

Passenger demanded cabin crew wipe his ass then moans in pleasure.

An EVA Air flight attendant has told a press conference of the humiliating moment a passenger weighing 440Ib's forced her to wipe his rear end while he ‘moaned in pleasure.’ 

The cabin crew member, named only as Kuo, told the media the unnamed 31-stone man asked the cabin crew to lower his trousers and underwear so he could relieve himself, he then demanded that they wipe his dirty posterior, and then re-wipe him when their first attempts were not satisfactory.

According to local reports, Kuo said the obese man had boarded the flight from Los Angeles to Taiwan on 19th January and had demanded three seats to himself because of his size.  He also demanded to be allowed to use the business class toilet as he couldn't fit in the economy toilets.  The man allegedly told the cabin crew that a hand injury meant he couldn't undress himself or wipe up after going to the toilet. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The first Hyatt House opens in Saudi Arabia ................Hyatt House Jeddah Sari Street

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced this week the entry of the Hyatt House brand into the Middle Eastern market with the opening of Hyatt House Jeddah Sari Street in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opening of the Hyatt House hotel is a significant step towards increasing Hyatt’s brand footprint in the extended stay segment and growing Hyatt’s brand presence in the Middle East with innovative hospitality offerings in key locations and gateway cities.

Airbus launches quantum computing challenge to transform the aircraft lifecycle

Airbus has launched a global competition in quantum computing, inviting experts to propose and develop solutions, for complex optimisation and modelisation across the full aircraft life-cycle, using newly available computing capabilities. 

The Airbus Quantum Computing Challenge (AQCC) aims to take science out of the lab and into industry, by applying newly-available computing capabilities to real-life industrial cases. 

With traditional computers approaching their limits, the quantum computer promises to deliver a new level of computational power. As an active user of High-Performance Computing (HPC), Airbus is already extending current capacity by integrating and leveraging quantum technologies in fields such as route optimisation and satellite imagery.

SMBC Aviation Capital orders 65 A320neo Family aircraft

One of the leading aircraft leasing firms SMBC Aviation Capital has signed a firm order for 65 A320neo Family aircraft, made up of 15 A321neo and 50 A320neo the European aircraft manufacturer has confirmed. 

The deal was finalised at the end of 2018 and will be added to the 2018 year-end figures, Airbus says. With more than 6,500 orders received from over 100 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo family has attained around 60% of the market share.

With this latest addition, SMBC Aviation Capital ordered a total of 71 aircraft from Airbus during 2018. In addition, the agreement includes an upsizing of 15 A320neo from a pre-existing order to 15 of the largest member of the single-aisle Family – the A321neo – taking SMBC Aviation Capital’s total for the type to 30. With its unbeatable seat mile cost, longer range and wider cabin, the A321neo offers airlines the flexibility to expand their networks using wide-body cabin products on new longer-haul routes which were not previously possible with a single-aisle jetliner.

Ryanair profits warning

One of the largest low-cost airlines in the world, Ryanair, has cut its profit forecasts claiming lower than predicted fares had hit its calculations.

The high-fee carrier said its full-year profits are now expected to be in a range of €1.0 billion to €1.1 billion that's around £880 million to £970 million. According to the bullish boss, Michael O'Leary further falls in profits could not be ruled out and airfares are expected to be even lower this winter, at least 7% less.

O'Leary continued to blame others, saying there were too many airlines flying and too much capacity the prime short-haul European routes. "We believe this lower fare environment will continue to shake out more loss-making competitors." he said, adding "WOW, Flybe, and reportedly Germania for example, all currently for sale."

Looking ahead, the airline believes more uncertainty over Brexit, security developments and lower airfares could continue to affect its yields between now and the end of March.  The airline also reported that losses at Laudamotion, the company set up by Niki Lauda which Ryanair took over were not as great as they had feared. The losses have been slashed from €150million to €140million thanks to lower-than-expected costs.

Attempted aircraft hijack of Aeroflot 737 forced emergency landing

Photo PEH
Russian hijack drama..... An Aeroflot passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing at  Khanty-Mansiysk following an attempt to hijack the aircraft and make it fly to Afghanistan.

The Aeroflot flight, SU1515 was flying from Surgut to Moscow this morning when a passenger had tried to take over the aircraft and demanded it fly to a destination in Afghanistan, according to local media reports.

It's understood that the aircraft was around 149 miles / 240 kilometres from Moscow when the man tried to break into the cockpit, he also claimed he had a weapon.  As a direct response to the threat, the pilot decided to divert to the Boeing 737 to a safe airport. Upon arrival in Serbia, the man was taken into police custody and there are so local reports that the man was under the influence of alcohol. 

Air Lease Corporation Announces Lease Placement of One New Boeing 737 MAX 9 Aircraft with Samoa Airways

Photo Samoa Airways
Air Lease Corporation announced today the lease placement of one new Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft on long-term lease with Samoa Airways, the flag carrier airline of Samoa. The aircraft will feature two CFM LEAP-1B27 engines and is scheduled to deliver in Spring 2019 from ALC’s order book with Boeing.

Swoop releases its full summer schedule adding seven new markets

 Today Swoop released its full summer schedule with non-stop flights available for booking from April 28, 2019, through October 26, 2019. Along with three new destinations of London ON, Kelowna BC and Oakland CA, the schedule boasts five new domestic markets, two new transborder markets and an extension of two international routes.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Radisson set to make first landing on France’s northern coast

Radisson Hotel Group announced the signing of the Radisson Resort Sangatte Blériot-Plage in France. It marks the Radisson brand’s debut in the country, where it will become part of a portfolio that boasts 16 hotels and more than 2,800 rooms in operation or under development.

Situated on the Opal coast in the Pas-de-Calais area, Sangatte Blériot-Plage is a small and charming seaside destination that’s increasingly popular with travellers – both for its golden beach facing out onto the Channel and its easy access to the Eurotunnel, linking it to Western Europe’s major capital cities. The entire region enjoys a healthy flow of tourist arrivals, with international visitors making up more than a quarter of those journeying to a destination that’s quickly growing in demand.

Jetlines plans Mexico routes - to compete with WestJet's Swoop

Jetlines, the yet to fly Canadian low-cost carrier has announced it intends to provide future service to several sun destinations in Mexico including Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Cancun.

Jetlines has reached agreements with both Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico  (GAP) to provide future service to the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) and the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) as well as Cancun International Airport (CUN). Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Cancun are some of Mexico’s top tourism destinations for Canadians with nearly two million passengers travelling from Canada down to Mexico every year, with the numbers continually rising.

Aeroflot and AeroMexico to connect Russia and Mexico

From late December, passengers travelling between Russia and Mexico have been able to connect by air more easily thanks to a new codeshare agreement signed by Aeroflot and Aeromexico.

Passengers from Moscow can reach the Mexican capital via convenient connections through a number of Aeroflot’s European destinations, including Amsterdam, London, Madrid and Paris.

Aeroflot and AeroMexico enter a codeshare agreement to offer Aeroflot customers connections to Mexico City via Amsterdam, London, Madrid and Paris

Codeshare passengers also enjoy access to the benefits of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs and premium lounges, as well as SkyPriority

Retro BOAC livery coming soon to a British Airways 747

An images of history will soon be flying from London Heathrow from the middle of February when British Airways will start flying a Boeing 747 painted in the much-admired design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

The livery from the 1964 – 1974 BOAC era will adorn a B747, reg: G-BYGC. The aircraft will leave the paint shop in Dublin and arrive in to Heathrow on February 18, before entering service the following day. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Boeing 747 flight only a few days earlier. 

The iconic livery of the forerunner to the current British Airways will bring back many happy memories for those over a certain age. It echoes a time when air travel was seen as a more enchanting and romantic activity that the chore that must be endured to get from B to C and D to A that it is these days.  The BOAC livery was, dare I venture, classy at the time and indeed, looks classy even now,  perhaps some might see it as inspiration for the current Lufthansa livery, or at least comparable to many other airlines around at the moment. 

The BOAC 747 will be the first aircraft to receive a popular design from British Airways’ past with more details of further designs to be revealed in due course. Aircraft which receive the retro liveries will fly British Airways’ routes, proudly showcasing some of the popular designs as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations.

New routes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport

The ultra-low-cost US airline Spirit recently announced a number of new services from Raleigh - Durham starting this May.

Spirit will launch nonstop daily service from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) to Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, and Orlando. The new routes will also create dozens of connections to other destinations in the United States, as well as the Caribbean and Latin America.  Raleigh-Durham will mark Spirit’s third destination in the Tar Heel State, joining the Piedmont Triad and Asheville currently served by the airline.

KLM signs codeshare agreement with Atlantic Airways

Sunset over the Faroes           Photo Atlantic Airways
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and flag carrier of the Faroe Islands, Atlantic Airways, announced that they have signed a codeshare agreement. This will expand the global route offering for both companies.

The airlines now offer jointly operated flights to its base on the Faroe Islands. Thanks to the new agreement, KLM and Atlantic Airways customers will have access to more destinations starting 24 January.

KLM will add a KL code to Atlantic Airways flights. This will allow passengers from around the world to change flights in Copenhagen, Billund, Bergen, and Edinburgh and continue their journey on the same ticket and a one-stop check-in to and from the Faroe Islands.

Starting 24 January the cooperation will cover:

Vágar – Copenhagen (CPH)
Vágar – Bergen (BGO)
Vágar – Billund (BLL)
Vágar – Edinburgh (EDI)
"We are pleased to start the new cooperation with Atlantic Airways as it will strengthen our network in Scandinavia. Atlantic Airways is a reliable partner with whom we can offer passengers more transfer options and one more destination in Scandinavia.”  Said, Jan Vreeburg, Director alliances KLM.

“The Faroe Islands are deemed one of the most beautiful and interesting up-and-coming destinations in the Nordics and it is Atlantic Airways´ mission to connect the Faroe Islands to the world.  Therefore we are very excited about this CodeShare agreement as this is a unique collaboration between the leading regional and one of the biggest international carriers joining forces in order to connect the Faroe Islands to travellers from all over the world.” Commented Jóhanna á Bergi, CEO van Atlantic Airways.

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Aeroflot named Best China – Europe Transit Airline

Photo Aeroflot
Aeroflot has been named Best China – Europe Transit Airline in China at the 2019 Stars Awards, which took place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Shanghai, Pudong, in China’s economic capital.

The Star Awards recognise the leading international companies in the Chinese travel industry, including global airlines. Organised by Travelling Scope magazine, one of the country’s longest established and most authoritative travel publications, they are known as China’s most prestigious travel awards. Travelling Scope has been an industry leader for more than 38 years and has an audience of more than 650,000 readers.

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