Monday, November 29, 2010

Qatar CEO Severely Reprimands Air France

Qatar, along with other Gulf-based airlines is in a mad race to develop the Gulf as a major airline hub. This necessitates a high number of planes for these airliners at a brisk pace. However, friction with traditional European players has become a dampener. Media sources revealed that Mr Akbar Al Baker, the Qatar boss, came down heavily upon Air France for not cooperating to resolve the issue. He was quoted as saying ‘The hand of friendship extended to Air France has not been reciprocated and this is not conducive to relations between our countries’. Other comments included ‘People have to change their perception of Arab carriers. We have to make money. Our governments have made it clear we have to stand on own feet or shrink’ and ‘We don't have an oil well behind our headquarters to fuel our growth’.

What the Tussle is all about

European carriers are apprehensive that if there is a rise in the number of Gulf based fleets, they will lose out on their share of the pie. The scenario can prove beneficial for customers as there are chances that such a development would increase cheap flight options. However, European and the US carriers have stated that the credit rules are unfair. The credit rules allow sanctioning of export loans for Gulf-based airliners if they buy planes from Airbus or Boeing. However, if some airline is based in the country, where Airbus and Boeing are manufactured, it is not eligible for the export loan.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Etihad Airways Flights

Etihad Airways absolutely lives up to the standards that one can expect of an Arabian airline. The carrier has a lot to offer in terms of luxury, convenience, competitive airfares, and an overall stunning ambience.

Official Website: The website of the airline, provides detailed information on matters like booking status, deals, packages, fares, reservation, and direct and indirect flights.

Address: The ticket office is located in Terminal 4, Zone C, London Heathrow Airport.

Qantas to Resume Airbus A380 Service

Qantas has announced that the airlines will restart Airbus A380 operations from Saturday, 27th Saturday.

The announcement comes three weeks after one of the A380 engines exploded during a flight to Australia. Following this explosion, the airlines grounded its whole fleet of A380 planes.

Earlier this month, Qantas Flight QF32 was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore following an explosion in one of its Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines. The decision to restore A380 services comes close on the heels of the intensive inspection that was carried out in consultation with Rolls Royce and Airbus. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was also consulted during the inspection.

The news comes as a great respite for those travellers who had booked cheap flights well in advance and were looking forward to fly aboard the popular A380 of Qantas, the national carrier of Australia.

Initially, Qantas will run a single A380 on routes between Australia and the United Kingdom. As other A380s become functional, the airlines will gauge how to best position them.

A380 planes for flights to Melbourne and Sydney from Los Angeles will remain grounded for indefinite period of time. It must be noted that Los Angeles to Melbourne is one of the most popular flights of Qantas.

In keeping with its conservative approach to operational safety, the airline is terminating A380 services on routes that call for the use of utmost certified engine thrust.

The company said in a statement released yesterday, “Qantas is now satisfied that it can begin reintroducing A380s to its international network progressively. As more A380s become serviceable, Qantas will assess when and how best to deploy them, consistent with its conservative approach over the past weeks.”

The media reports, quoting the investigation into the matter had indicated last week that it could take as long as December before problems sorted out for A380s to take to the skies again. Many people who managed to net cheap flights to travel aboard A380 with Qantas were disappointed and anticipated trouble with their travel in the last couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Qantas Offers Next Generation Check-In

Qantas has officially launched its Next Generation check-in for passengers at the Sydney and Perth Airport. With this step, the premier airline hopes to slash waiting time for domestic travellers.

Keeping the domestic market in focus, Qantas also announced the launch of a new food and wine program for domestic travellers. The offerings in business class on domestic flights will now be almost as good as international business class. That means flights to Sydney from Perth will now feature food and wine that will be aligned to flights to Australia from United Kingdom.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO, believes that different enhancements across the domestic network will surpass customers’ expectations.

“Next Generation Check-in has now opened in Sydney and Perth and is already dramatically reducing domestic check-in times for customers allowing them to move through the check-in area with increased speed and ease,” Mr Joyce was quoted in the company’s press release.

“In addition to Next Generation Check-in, Qantas has made changes across the entire domestic experience with the most significant changes to the Business Class offering, both in flight and on the ground,” observed Mr Joyce in the company’s news release.

“Qantas invented Business Class travel in 1974. We have set standards both nationally and internationally and we’re now raising the bar once again,” added Alan Joyce.

Qantas is one of the world’s leading long distance airlines. Qantas is also recognised as one of the biggest brands in the Australian market. The airline, along with its code share partners, operates elite as well as cheap flights to more than 180 destinations in nearly 45 countries. Qantas additionally has a large domestic network that operates cheap flights throughout Australia.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grounding of Qantas A380 Fleet May Spell a Little Inconvenience

On 4th November, the Sydney bound Qantas A380 that had to make an emergency landing in Singapore may have exploded in mid air, media reports have revealed. The flight, which took off from Singapore, was one of the six A380s owned by Qantas. All these planes are fitted with the Rolls Royce manufactured Trent 900 engines. According to investigators, the problem arose because there was leakage of oil which caught fire leading to the heating of the metal parts and bursting of the engine. The explosion churned out metal parts, some of which cut through the hydraulics and an engine control line located in the wing of the aircraft. The pilots were forced to land in Singapore as the second wing and approximately half of the brake flaps of the damaged wing spun out of control.

Alternate Arrangements

Taking serious note of this potentially fatal incident, Qantas has grounded its entire A380 fleet until safety issues are addressed completely. The airline indicated that this may take up to 7 weeks. Passengers who had made meticulous travel plans and had fulfilled their dream of buying a cheap flight ticket for the A380 are likely to be a disappointed lot. However, Qantas has assured that there would not be much inconvenience. The airline has a huge fleet that includes 14 A330s and 26 B747s along with 30 other aircrafts. This entire fleet can be used for making alternate travel arrangements for the affected passengers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Etihad Airways offers from London Heathrow and Manchester

Etihad Airways offers from London Heathrow and Manchester

Jet Airways Launches Daily Colombo to Delhi & Mumbai Flights

Jet Airways, one of the leading international operators in India, launched daily flights from Colombo to Delhi and Mumbai. This new service is being operated with the state of art Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The international airline will offer an early morning service to Delhi and a late night departure to Mumbai from Colombo.

With this step, Jet Airways hopes to provide a seamless connectivity through the two major hubs to other Indian cities, as well as to various destinations across North America and Europe. The launch of daily flights to Delhi and Mumbai from Colombo complements the already existing double daily Chennai- Colombo – Chennai services which started in 2004. Now, the availability of flights to India from Sri Lanka will no longer be a problem for people looking for top class airlines or leisure travelers looking for cheap flights to India.

Sudheer Raghavan, the Chief Commercial Officer of Jet Airways, is pleased with the development and expressed his delight in the company’s press release. "Jet Airways is delighted to provide direct links from the financial and the national capital to the Emerald Isle, which is fast emerging as a highly rated global tourism destination. We are happy to offer seamless connections to several destinations to our guests from Colombo across our Global network through our two important gateways of Delhi and Mumbai.”

Mr Raghavan also emphasised on the company’s focus on the SAARC region. “We are also happy at the same time to strengthen air connectivity to destinations within the SAARC region with convenient connections to both Kathmandu and Dhaka via Delhi,” he observed.

Jet Airways’ is offering eight premiere class and more than 160 economy class seats on Delhi and Mumbai bound flights.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kingfisher Airlines Fishes out More and More Awards

Kingfisher Airlines, the only Five Star airline from India, bagged five Frequent Traveler Awards for its loyalty programme King Club. Kingfisher Airlines is the only airline from India, which won from the Middle East and Asia/Oceania region. The different awards are Best Redemption Ability, Best Earning Promotion, Best Elite Program, Program of the Year, and Best Loyalty Credit Card.

Importance of the Awards

The airline is based in Mumbai and remains a natural choice for millions of Britons who seek luxury flights to Mumbai. Besides Mumbai, from time to time, Kingfisher also advertises special deals and cheap flights to India in general. By winning this award, Kingfisher has again managed to hog limelight. Voting was carried out by frequent flyers across the globe and reflects the immense popularity of the King Club programme. In fact, more than a million travellers from over 200 countries voiced King Club as their favourite programme across different segments during 2009.

Future Prospects from the Awards

These awards are truly democratic in nature as travellers get to rate hotel and airline programmes from their very own perspective. Going by the popularity of the programme, it is logical for anyone who frequently takes flights to India, especially Mumbai flights, to sign up for the King Club programme.

Kingfisher also bagged awards across the following categories:

-The Best Earning Promotion
-The Best Redemption Ability for the guests ability to redeem free flights on Kingfisher Airlines and Partner Airlines
-The Best Loyalty Credit Card for Kingfisher First American Express Credit Card
-The Best Elite Program for King Club Platinum Tier benefits

Awards Venue

The announcement of the awards took place at the Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX. The ceremony was attended by more than 125 representatives from the sectors of loyalty, credit cards, hotels, and airlines.

Get the latest fares on flights to India destinations here

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Early Christmas for Delta as it Expands Operations to Heathrow

Delta Air Lines got its Christmas gift early this year with both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the European Commission giving its nod to operate new daily, year-round flights between the London's Heathrow and Boston and Miami international airports. Delta will start operating new flights from March 27, 2011.

Delta Air Lines, which is in a transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia, will operate the new flights within the scope of its joint venture. With the move, the number of transatlantic routes operated by the member airlines from Boston rises to four and the figure goes up to five for routes offered from Miami.

Glen Hauenstein, Delta's executive vice president for Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing, was quite pleased with the news and expressed his appreciation for the authorities in the company’s press release, "Delta appreciates the efforts of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the European Commission to expand competition between the U.S. and Heathrow by making slots available for new entrants on these routes."

In the early part of the year 2010, Delta applied for the approval to operate flights to Miami and Boston from London; and on 10th Nov 2010, Delta got its wish. The fact that Delta’s global alliance – SkyTeam – holds the smallest percentage of slots at Heathrow seems to have worked for the company. Delta Air Lines started operations in Heathrow following the conclusion of an Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the E.U in 2008. Currently, the carrier has seven daily round-trip flights in the Heathrow market.

News Source: Early Christmas for Delta as it Expands Operations to Heathrow

BAA Numbers Soar as Business Travellers Return

The biggest airport authority in the UK, the British Airports Authority (BAA) reported an increase of 3.4% in passenger air traffic in October, thanks to an upswing in the business travel division. BAA stated that all of its six airports collectively handled nearly 10 million passengers in the last month. The 1.2% increase in the number of flights in the region also contributed to this impressive growth in travellers’ traffic.

The London Heathrow Airport reported an increase of 6% in its flight traffic along with a rise of 7.2% in passenger numbers which is up by 410,000. Buoyed by the impressive numbers, BAA believes that 10.6% rise in Heathrow’s European travel can be an indicator of improving things after the traumatic economic depression.

Long-haul flights between London Heathrow and China improved by 16.1%, which is a phenomenal number given the fact that the hub serves only two Chinese destinations. The number of flights between BAA airports and North America increased by 7.5%, while long-haul flights from UK to other destinations spiralled up by 3.2%.

Colin Matthews, the Chief Executive of BAA is pleased with the reported numbers and stated in a press release that “Passenger growth is good for the economy with thousands of people across the country employed in aviation, international trade and tourism. We are continuing with our £5 billion Heathrow investment programme – the biggest private investment project in the UK – providing thousands of jobs as we modernise facilities to improve everyone's experience of the airport.

Among other BAA airports, Edinburgh’s passenger traffic rose by 3.5% while Southampton mounted up by 1.0%.

News Source: BAA Numbers Soar as Business Travellers Return

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Latest fares on flights to India with Southall Travel

Cheapest flights to India from UK:

Latest airfares on FLIGHTS TO INDIA FROM UK


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Three Major Airlines Announce Transatlantic Venture

American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia have announced a joint business partnership after procuring an approval from the travel regulatory authorities. The joint agreement enables these three major airlines to work together commercially on flights between USA, Canada and Mexico and the EU, Switzerland and Norway.

This trilateral business collaboration is great news for travellers as they will have access to more benefits than they presently do through these member airlines individually. In turn, the alliance is in much better position to compete aggressively with its rival alliances across the Atlantic.

This alliance means more destinations, extra flights and cheap tickets for business as well as travellers on holidays.

The combined route network of American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia will expand to more than 400 destinations in more than 100 countries throughout the world with nearly 5,000 daily departures. By functioning jointly, the three airlines will also increase options for customers by supporting routes that may not be economically feasible for a single airline.

In addition, the airlines announced new flights to Budapest from New York JFK, London Heathrow to San Diego, Madrid to Los Angeles and Chicago to Helsinki.

Additional Customer Benefits

• Better access to an extensive option of fare deals
• Suitably timed flights
• Customer transferring support teams at London Heathrow, New York JFK, Chicago, Madrid and Miami
• Convenient online check-in and boarding pass printing from your home or hotel
• Flights information on each of the three airline’s website
• Enhanced prospects of earning and redeeming frequent flyer benefits
• Comprehensive account management for corporate customers