Airline Updates

Dining and retail developments at LAX

Eighteen new dining and retail destinations – including 11 Los Angeles area concepts and 13 new concepts – are coming to Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Westfield, in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) says it is transforming the traveller experience at LAX through luxury retail, sophisticated dining, and world class design and amenities at Terminals 1, 2, 3, 6 and Tom Bradley International Terminal.

‘Much like Los Angeles is a collection of diverse neighbourhoods woven together by boulevards, Terminal 6 will unite three disjointed buildings intoa seamless experience for travellers through the best in dining, retail, design and amenities,’ says Dominic Lowe, executive vice president, Westfield.

Airline Updates

Etihad and Alitalia codeshare opens Italy

Etihad Airways and Alitalia will offer enhanced connections between Abu Dhabi and three of Italy’s biggest cities next year, with combined double-daily flights to Milan and Rome, and a new daily service to Venice.

The airlines signed a codeshare expansion which, subject to government approval, will result in Etihad Airways placing its ‘EY’ code on Alitalia’s new daily service between Venice and Abu Dhabi. The flights launch on 29 March 2015 using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 20 business class, 17 economy plus class and 213 economy class seats.

The ‘EY’ code will be placed on Alitalia’s upcoming daily service between Abu Dhabi and Milan, which launches on 29 March 2015. The flights will combine with Etihad Airways’ daily service between the two cities to provide double-daily frequency.

Both airlines already codeshare on each other’s daily services between Abu Dhabi and Rome, and subject to government approval, Etihad Airways will codeshare on 15 of Alitalia’s domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino Airport next year, offering extensive access to and from the country.

Airline Updates

Alliance could mean Beijing service

Air New Zealand and Air China have signed a Statement of Intent as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to New Zealand that will pave the way for a strategic alliance on services between China and New Zealand.

The proposed alliance between the two national flag carriers and Star Alliance partners would see Air China operate a new direct Beijing – Auckland service in addition to Air New Zealand’s existing Shanghai – Auckland service. The alliance is subject to regulatory approval.

In addition to a new route, an alliance between the carriers would bring significant benefits to customers travelling in both directions including better network connections in both China and New Zealand and increased frequency of flights.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon says a deeper bilateral agreement between the two airlines would help to facilitate both business and tourism links between the two countries.

Airline Updates

KE wins operational excellence for A380

Korean Air has been selected as the best A380 operator in the world by the aircraft’s manufacturer Airbus.

Korean Air received the A380 ‘Top Operational Excellence’ award for the second time at the Airbus Technical Symposium, which was held in Bangkok on 19 November.

Airbus Technical Symposiums are held every two years for each aircraft type and the ‘Top Operational Excellence’ awards are considered the most prestigious for operators of Airbus aircraft. The winners are determined by a thorough evaluation of the overall performance of the shortlisted airlines, including the operational reliability (also known as on-time operation rate) and aircraft utilisation.

Korean Air acquired its first A380 in June 2011 and has recorded an operational reliability of 99.7%, meaning only 0.3% of flights were delayed or cancelled between October 2012 and September 2014.

Configured in a three class layout with just 407 seats, the lowest configuration of any A380 operator so far, Korean Air’s double-decker A380s feature 12 first class Kosmo Suites and 301 economy class seats on the lower deck and 94 fully lie-flat Prestige Sleeper seats in business class on the upper deck.

Korean Air now operates a total of 155 aircraft including 10 A380s on the long- haul flights including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Paris.

Airline Updates

Busy times in Newcastle

Newcastle Airport in Port Stephens recorded its busiest day yet on 24 October 2014 with 4598 passengers using the soon-to-be-doubled terminal. It was also the airport’s sixth busiest month ever with 107,312 travellers landing or taking off in total.

Newcastle Airport - the second busiest in New South Wales and the 12th busiest in Australia, with 170 domestic flights a week and 1.2 million passengers a year - is 25 minutes from the Port Stephens holiday centre of Nelson Bay, providing a strategic gateway for interstate andoverseas visitors. A 95 room hotel, worth $8 million, is being built next to the airport and will be open in 2015.

Airline Updates

IATA identifies challenges for Asia Pacific

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) identifies continuous safety enhancement, the availability of cost-efficient infrastructure, and environmental responsibility as critical factors to ensure that Asia-Pacific continues to realise the enormous economic and social benefits of air connectivity.

‘It is no understatement to say that air connectivity underpins modern economies. Aviation and aviation- enabled tourism accounts for over 24 million jobs and over $500 billion in economic activity across the Asia- Pacific region. And that contribution has tremendous potential to grow,’ said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO in a keynote address to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Assembly of Presidents in Tokyo, Japan recently.

Globally some 3.3 billion passengers are expected to board flights this year, expected to grow to 7.3 billion by 2034.

‘Asia-Pacific leads the industry’s growth. But there will be challenges to become ever safer, to provide cost- efficient infrastructure and to ensure environmental responsibility,’ says Tyler.

‘Flying is safe. But, on very rare occasions, accidents do happen. In 2013 there were 16 fatal accidents among 36.4 million commercial flights. And the two tragic accidents involving Malaysia Airlines this year are a sad reminder that safety is always a constant and ever- evolving challenge,’ he says.

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is an example of the continuous improvements. It has been adopted by some 400 airlines globally, including all 240 IATA carriers for which it is a condition of membership. Enhanced IOSA turns this biennial snapshot of anairline’s operational safety practices into a continuous monitoring programme.

By September 2015 all IATA airlines will migrate to the Enhanced IOSA programme.

Tyler says keeping pace with expected growth will be a challenge for infrastructure. This is being addressed with some $3 billion earmarked for improvements in air traffic capacity and management. IATA is a strong supporter of the Seamless Asian Sky initiative that will facilitate growth in a common-sense way, by ensuring inter-operability across the region and with adjacent airspace.

Asia Pacific is home to many world class hub airports. As governments continue to pursue airport expansion programmes across the region, Tyler called for caution when engaging private sector financing.

‘Private capital is not a panacea. To be successful it must have a strong governance structure embedded in regulation that keeps the consumer in mind when setting parameters on price and quality. It must set reasonable expectations on returns—in line with airports being public utilities, not hedge fund investments. There must also be reasonable limits for any royalty or concession fee collected by the government. And the governance structure must institutionalise robust cost-benefit analysis and user consultation in the evaluation of capital expenditure plans,’ says Tyler.

He says the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam have major challenges to meet even existing demand with the current infrastructure.

Airline Updates

Nautilus adds to fleet

Nautilus Aviation in Cairns has further expanded its fleet of helicopters following the addition of a new custom built Airbus EC130T2, which will offer passengers one of the most luxurious and memorable helicopter experiences.

The new helicopter, which is the first of its kind in Queensland with only four in Australia, will help Nautilus Aviation meet demand in this growing luxury tourism sector.

Aaron Finn, chief executive officer of Nautilus Aviation, says the purchase of the US$3.5 million (A$4 million) helicopter would play a key role in the company’s long-term vision for growth in the North Queensland region.

‘Earlier this year we introduced the EC130B4, and everyone loved it. This new T2 was the next step for us. Other helicopters in the fleet include EC120, Bell 407, Bell 206L and Bell 206 helicopters.’

Airline Updates

Revised MH excess baggage rates

Malaysia Airlines has introduced revised ts excess baggage rates and sports equipment baggage policy for all MH operated flight including connections on domestic routes between Sabah and Sarawak on MASwings operated flights and MH Domestic and International routes.

All sports equipment, including golfing equipment, will be carried as part of the free checked baggage allowance, and will be subject to excess baggage charges if overweight. The free baggage allowance is as follows:

First Class - 2 pieces weighing 50kg in total

Business Class  - 2 pieces weighing 40kg in total

Economy Class - 2 pieces weighing 30kg in total

For a complete list of Malaysia Airlines excess baggage rates download the pdf here

Airline Updates

More Articles...

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