Delta completes flat-bed upgrade for entire international fleet

April 24, 2014 on 9:18 am | In Airlines | Comments Off

Delta Air Lines has completed its interior fleet modification program, making it the only US carrier to offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on its entire long haul international fleet.

It represents the airline’s biggest refurbishment program for over a decade and incudes all wide body Delta Airbus A330 aircraft, and Boeing 767, 747 and 777 planes.

The company is also modifying some of its domestic fleet with transcontinental aircraft getting a similar interior makeover.

From July, Delta will begin operating three Boeing 757 aircraft with full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite class between New York JFK and Los Angeles.

This will be extended to include all transcontinental aircraft between New York and the West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Delta said it plans to have the all transcontinental aircraft upgraded by summer 2015.

Flybe announces major expansion from London City

April 24, 2014 on 9:16 am | In Airlines, London, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off

Flybe is to launch domestic and international flights from London City in October after signing a five-year deal with the Docklands Airport.

New flights to Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Exeter and Inverness have gone on sale immediately.

Flybe will base three aircraft at regional airports and two at London City, from where it is expecting to carry around 500,000 passengers a year.

Initially, it will offer four flights a day to and from Edinburgh and Dublin, three flights a day to and from Belfast and Exeter and twice daily flights to and from Inverness.

The airline said the new routes, launching on October 27, will provide direct links for customers in the regions to the heart of London’s financial district and will also appeal to “a significant number” of City and Canary Wharf-based passengers who need to access the UK regions and neighbouring European destinations.

“For these customers whose travel plans are time-critical, Flybe’s new services from LCY will prove especially convenient, being significantly faster overall than travelling via Heathrow or Gatwick, or travelling by road or rail,” it said. “Routes to Edinburgh and Dublin are expected to be in particular demand.”

Flybe is also planning to offer off-peak leisure flights to selected ski, regional French and Northern Spanish destinations.

It said more information about these routes will be announced in the coming weeks.

Flights between LCY and Edinburgh, Belfast City, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter are now on sale at

The airline said the agreement with London City follows its successful launch of eight new routes from Birmingham and a further four new routes from London Southend with franchise partner Stobart Air.

“It is also a major step forward in meeting the Group’s stated strategic objective to expand its branded scheduled commercial operation by developing new routes and bases within the UK following its successful fund raise of £150 million last month,” it added.

Chief executive officer Saad Hammad said: “Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.

“Dedicating five growth aircraft initially to these new routes is a major statement of intent and we look forward to building a successful and growing presence there over the coming years.

“Flybe is today already connecting over seven million passengers a year across the UK and Europe. With a major London connection, we reaffirm our place as the UK’s largest regional airline.”

Declan Collier, Chief Executive Officer, London City Airport, confirmed the importance of the arrival of Flybe at the airport:

“London City Airport (LCY) is poised for significant growth in the next 10 years – growth that will see it achieve 120,000 flight movements per annum, with an associated six million passengers by 2023.

“Today’s announcement is an extremely important step on that journey – Flybe will bring an immediate uplift of up to half a million new passengers to the airport.

“In addition, Flybe’s selection of routes serves to cement further LCY’s status as the business traveller’s airport of choice, underpinned by our ‘location, convenience and speed’ customer propositions.

“We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Last May, Flybe pulled out of Gatwick after selling its take-off and landing slots at the airport to rival easyJet.

Queen to open new Heathrow terminal

April 24, 2014 on 9:13 am | In Airlines, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

The Queen will open the new £2.5 billion Terminal 2 at Heathrow, the airport has announced.

Her Majesty will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh for the ceremony on June 23.

The new building has been called The Queen’s Terminal in honour of Her Majesty, who also opened the old Terminal 2 (originally called the Europa Building) in 1955.

It will house the 23 Star Alliance carriers as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings carriers.

Flybe adds Maastricht from Southend

April 24, 2014 on 9:12 am | In Airlines, Austria, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Flybe will offer direct return flights between London Southend Airport and Maastricht Aachen Airport from 10 July, operated by franchise partner Stobart Air.

Services will operate six days a week, with prices starting from €34.99 one way including taxes and charges.

They are on sale now.

New Emirates Vacation Greatly Expands Offerings for 2014

April 23, 2014 on 8:51 am | In Abu Dhabi, Adventure Travel, Airlines, Bahrain, Dubai, Middle East, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah | Comments Off

Emirates Vacations, Emirates Airline’s vacation packaging brand for North America launched last August, is rolling out 195 new packages for 2014.

The new private label airline packaging operation was created through a five-year partnership agreement between Emirates Holidays, the tour operator arm of the airline, and Destination Southern Africa, a tour operator based in Tucson, Ariz. The packages are available for destinations that Emirates flies to worldwide, including India, the Indian Ocean, Australia and Southeast Asia. The company is now building up its packages for Africa.

When the operation started last August it focused primarily on offering packages to Dubai. But since that time it has greatly broadened its menu.

Though Dubai is a hub that is central to destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, not all of the packages the company offers are based on routes that fly in or out of Dubai. On Oct. 1, the airline instituted a new route from New York JFK to Milan. From there the company will offer a selection of packages for Europe, with no stops in Dubai involved.

Emirates Vacations is offering packages in four primary categories: beach vacations, family vacations, romantic getaways and adventure travel, with many unusual combinations, such as Majestic Masai Mara and Magical Milan, African Serenity and European Splendor,

Emirates has 56 weekly flights from seven U.S. gateways, including Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

On Friday, April 24, the company will unveil a new deeply discounted package that will be offered for travel June 26 through Aug. 26.

The company is currently offering a travel agent promotion through which agents can win an educational fam trip through a Bingo game. For information see Emirates Vacations.

Emirates Airlines Launches World’s Longest Flight With A380

April 23, 2014 on 8:50 am | In Abu Dhabi, Airlines, Bahrain, Dubai, Middle East, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah | Comments Off

or those of you who love flying the friendly skies, Emirates Airlines has just the ticket for you.

The Dubai-based airline made history on Tuesday, launching the longest A380 flight in the world, according to a release from Emirates.

The daily service—which runs from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Expo 2020 host city Dubai—lasts 16 hours 20 minutes.

After the discontinuation of Singapore Airlines’ 18-hour flight in November, Emirates Airlines now provides the longest flight on the planet.

Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president, commercial operations west, landed in Los Angeles aboard EK 216, Emirates’ inaugural A380 flight from Dubai.

“Bringing the glamorous A380 set of wings to the City of Angels seemed like a natural fit as this aircraft mirrors the luxury of the Hollywood lifestyle,” Frach said.

Passengers making the historic flight will board the 489-seat A380, which includes 399 economy-class seats, 14 first-class private suites and 76 business-class beds.

All passengers receive WiFi, up to 1,500 channels of on-demand widescreen entertainment and gourmet meals.

First and business-class travelers receive a complimentary chauffeur-driven transportation service to and from the airport, as well as access to 35 Emirates lounges throughout its world network. Oh yeah, and they also have access to an on-board shower spa.

The double-decker also offers a lounge, wines selected by sommeliers, and hors d’oeuvres and 5-star delicacies prepared by some of the world’s top chefs to the upper-deck premium passengers.

“We congratulate Emirates on the launch of its daily Airbus A380 service at LAX. This is the type of quality air service we want to keep attracting to LAX as we continue our $4.1-billion modernization program,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, Los Angeles World Airports executive director.

“The new Tom Bradley International Terminal (opened in September at LAX) will more than double in size to 2.2 million square feet. Emirates passengers will experience a whole new level of convenience and service when we continue opening several of the 18 new gates and 150,000 square feet of premium retail, dining and other amenities for travelers.”

Emirates’ EK 215 and EK 216 will run the 16-hour service.

Over one million Emirates passengers have traveled between Los Angeles and Dubai, per the release. The great demand was a main reason why the historic A380 and grand service were introduced.

What’s Buzzing at O’Hare?

April 23, 2014 on 8:48 am | In Airlines, Midwest | Comments Off

Sweet! Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is ready to begin its fourth season of producing honey from beehives on its expansive property.

About half of the airport’s beehives survived one of the coldest and snowiest Chicago winters on record. Bees try to endure frigid temperatures by huddling together around the queen in the hive, shivering and flapping wings to keep warm.

This winter was a grueling test, but the Chicago Department of Aviation expects about 4.5 million bees soon will begin pollinating and producing honey from 75 hives if they haven’t already.

So what happens to the honey? It’s processed and used to make honey-based products — candles, soaps and lotions — that are sold under the beelove product label in stores at O’Hare and Midway Airport. The apiary is tended to by ex-prisoners who are in an award-winning job training program operated by the North Lawndale Employment Network and the Chicago Department of Family Support Services.

O’Hare was the first major airport to host an apiary on its grounds and now has the largest bee yard of any airport in the world. Last year, the apiary produced about 1,200 pounds of honey. The beehives are located on the east side of the airport between Mannheim Road and I-294 in a previously vacant, undeveloped grassy area with no future land uses planned. At about 2,400 square feet and 3 feet high, the apiary is nestled amid brush vegetation and scrub trees.

The apiary helps replenish bee populations, which have plummeted over the past decade because of parasites and dramatic temperature fluctuations. About one-third of all the food we eat is pollinated by bees, according to the aviation department.

The bee yard is just one of the sustainability efforts at the airport. O’Hare also uses goats, sheep, llamas and burros to munch on vegetation and scrub on 120 acres of hilly, hard-to-maintain land on vacant property far from or separated by security fences from the airfield. The animals cleared the property from August until mid-November, and are expected to return later this spring.

The beekeeping program has received numerous accolades. It received the Environmental Achievement Award from Airports Council International-North America in the outreach, education and community involvement award category. The aviation department also received the Urban Land Institute’s Chicago Vision Award and a “Creating a Community That Works” award for work with ex-offenders.

Tigerair enhances web check-in with new Direct-to-Gate service

April 22, 2014 on 11:48 am | In Airlines, Australia, New South Wales, Northern, Queensland, South Australia, Sydney, Tasmania, Victoria, Western | Comments Off

Over 2,100 travellers have benefited from the Direct-to-Gate facility since the service was first introduced to Tigerair passengers on 15 April 2014. Since then, passengers travelling on Tigerair (TR-designated flights) out of Singapore have been able to enjoy this complimentary service which allows them to bypass the traditional check-in counters and head straight for the immigration area. Direct-to-Gate service is only applicable for passengers who have completed web check-in and do not have checked luggage and visa requirements.

To generate more awareness among passengers, Tigerair has installed four self-check-in stands at Changi Airport Terminal 2 Row 12 where Tigerair’s check-in counters are located. Eligible passengers can use these self-check-in stands to web check-in and print out their boarding passes before proceeding to immigration, leaving them more time to enjoy the airport’s amenities.

Ho Yuen Sang, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tigerair, commented, “The Direct-to-Gate service is intended to provide greater convenience for eligible passengers, minimising the amount of time they have to spend queuing up at the airport before their flight. We anticipate that around 30 percent of our passengers, who are eligible for web check-in, would benefit from this service that would make their travel experience more seamless and enjoyable.”

At present, all passengers travelling from Singapore to Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are able to check-in online in the comfort of their homes from 72 hours to two hours prior to their scheduled departure times. Upon completing the web check-in process, the passenger will be informed if they are eligible for Direct-to-Gate service. With their self-printed boarding pass in hand, eligible passengers can then move straight to immigration upon arrival at the airport.

Web checked-in passengers with checked baggage or those who require verification on visa documentation would still need to check-in in person at the Tigerair web check-in counter located at row 11, Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Mr Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said, “Tigerair’s Direct-to-Gate service not only enhances the experience of passengers flying off from Changi Airport, but also improves labour productivity by optimising the utilisation of staff. CAAS is pleased to support this initiative through our Passenger Self-Service Adoption Programme under the Aviation Development Fund aimed at achieving these outcomes on a broader scale, and would like to encourage more airlines to provide self-service services.”

Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CEO, Changi Airport Group said, “We are very pleased to support the launch of Tigerair’s Direct-to-Gate service, which will enhance passengers’ departure experience and provide them with more time to enjoy the surprises our airport has to offer. This is in line with our aim of facilitating fast and seamless travel at Changi Airport. We welcome more airlines to adopt such innovative services to improve the airport experience of their passengers.”

From 15 April till 15 May, Direct-to-Gate passengers who now have more time on their hands can enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee or tea at Killiney Kopitiam within Terminal 2 transit lounge after they clear immigration.

Virgin Australia launches Extra Legroom seats

April 22, 2014 on 11:47 am | In Airlines, Australia, New South Wales, Northern, Queensland, South Australia, Sydney, Tasmania, Victoria, Western | Comments Off

ETB News > Africa > Virgin Australia launches Extra Legroom seats, pre-paid bags in Sabre
Virgin Australia launches Extra Legroom seats, pre-paid bags in Sabre
April 22, 2014 Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Aviation News, Europe, GDS, India, Middle East, New Zealand No comments

Virgin AustraliaSabre, a global technology company serving the travel industry, is now selling Virgin Australia’s Extra Legroom Seats, pre-paid bags and unaccompanied traveler ancillaries in the Sabre global distribution system.

Shelly Terry, vice president of Supplier Merchandising for Sabre Travel Network, said the sale of ancillaries, such as pre-reserved seats continue to be a valuable revenue stream for airlines and provides travelers with more choices for their flight experience.

“Sabre has been investing in technology to support airlines’ merchandising strategies for many years,” Terry said. “The Sabre travel marketplace provides an invaluable platform for airlines to market and sell their products, and for agents to best serve leisure and business travelers.”

The sale of ancillaries through the Sabre travel marketplace generates important cost savings for both agencies and airlines. By using one platform to sell multiple products, an airline can significantly reduce its IT costs. Additionally, travel consultants can improve their efficiency and customer service levels by shopping and booking airline ancillaries within Sabre.

Terry said Virgin Australia’s decision to merchandise its ancillaries in Sabre shows the airline’s long-term commitment to an open marketplace for air travel, which benefits airlines, agencies, travel managers and travelers, ensuring travel shopping remains competitive, transparent and easy.

Virgin Australia joins a growing list of airlines, including Air France-KLM, Qantas, SAS, Finnair, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, Brussels Airlines, Aegean, Aeromexico, EL AL, easyJet, Lufthansa and US Airways, that have chosen to offer ancillary services and bundled fares through Sabre’s travel marketplace and travel agencies.

Etihad Airways Increases Flights To Key Mediterranean Destinations

April 22, 2014 on 11:46 am | In Abu Dhabi, Airlines, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Middle East, Monaco, Portugal, Rome, Spain | Comments Off

ETB News > Africa > Etihad Airways Increases Flights To Key Mediterranean Destinations
Etihad Airways Increases Flights To Key Mediterranean Destinations
April 22, 2014 Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Aviation News, Europe, India, Middle East, New Zealand No comments

Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced it would boost frequency and capacity to Athens and Larnaca, adding depth to its expanding network and enhancing connectivity over its Abu Dhabi hub.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: “These increases in frequency and capacity demonstrate our commitment to build a global, connected network.

“In the case of Athens, our new flights will offer guests the choice of two different departure times to and from Abu Dhabi, and in the case of Larnaca, the additional flights will provide more choice and flexibility, as well as better connectivity over Abu Dhabi.

“The additional services will also support the growth of business and leisure traffic over Abu Dhabi, and offer travellers greater choice of destinations across the Gulf region, Indian Sub-continent, Asia and Australia.

“It also means that by July 2014, nearly 90 per cent of Etihad Airways’ global passenger network will be served by a daily flight.”


From 2 July 2014, Etihad Airways will increase frequency on the Abu Dhabi-Athens route from seven to 10 flights per week with the introduction of three new flights, which will provide passengers travelling to and from Athens more choice and greater flexibility.

The new flights will also provide additional connecting opportunities with codeshare partner Aegean Airlines, which has separately announced that it will be commencing a direct service between Athens and Abu Dhabi from 28 May 2014.

Beyond Athens, Etihad Airways places its EY flight code on Aegean-operated flights to 16 destinations in Greece including popular islands such as Crete, Rhodes and Santorini, and to Larnaca, Madrid and Sofia in Europe.

Aegean Airlines places its A3 flight code on Etihad Airways beyond Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Bahrain, Kuwait and Johannesburg. The new flights will enable Etihad Airways to place its flight code on Aegean-operated flights beyond Athens to Barcelona, subject to regulatory approval.

In addition, between 1 June and 30 September, Etihad Airways’ daily EY090/EY091 flights will be upgraded from the current 174-seat Airbus A321 equipment to a 254-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Flying 18 guests in the award-winning Pearl Business Class and 236 guests in Coral Economy Class, the larger aircraft is being deployed on the route to meet the expected increase in summer traffic.


Etihad Airways will increase its base frequency on the Abu Dhabi-Larnaca route from three to five flights per week. Etihad Airways will also operate Larnaca as a daily service during the peak summer period from 1 July to 30 September 2014.

All services to and from Larnaca will be operated by a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft configured to carry 16 guests in Pearl Business Class and 120 in Coral Economy Class.

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