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Old June 14th, 2012, 06:39 AM   #301
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Does anyone know when will Emirates start flying to Algiers from Dubai?
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Old June 15th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #302
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CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Eastar Jet of South Korea opened the Chongqing-Jeju Island international charter passenger flight on June 13, 2012. It is the first direct flight from Chongqing to Jeju Island as well as the second direct flight from Chongqing to South Korea.

According to Chongqing Airport, there are two flights of the Chongqing-Jeju Island airline each week. The Jeju Island-Chongqing flight departs at 22:40 (South Korea Time) from Jeju Island every Tuesday and Saturday, and arrives at Chongqing at 01:00 the next day (Beijing Time); while the Chongqing-Jeju Island flight departs at 02:10 (Beijing Time) every Wednesday and Sunday and arrives at Jeju Island at 06:00 (South Korea Time).

The flight is served by Boeing 737-700 aircrafts which are able to load 149 passengers and with a flight time of 3 hours and 20 minutes.

At present, Chongqing Airport is actively negotiating with airlines for scheduled flights. Eastar Jet says that they will consider applying to keep the scheduled flights if they run well.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #303
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Old June 16th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #304
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Lufthansa (LH) is negotiating with Chinese authorities to operate its Airbus A380 on the Frankfurt-Shanghai Pudong (PVG) route.

LH Group chairman and CEO Christoph Franz told ATW on the sidelines of this week's IATA annual general meeting and summit in Beijing 'that the carrier has "great interest" in flying the A380 to PVG.

Franz said he is not happy about the ongoing dispute between Europe and China over the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). "ETS [is] creating international dissatisfaction, which is also creating a trade war," he said.

"Several airlines are already facing problems, such as being denied traffic rights," Franz said, adding, "The pressure to find a solution increases."

Airbus' final assembly line at its Tianjin, China, factory is scheduled to deliver its 100th A320 this fall but the manufacturer has yet to secure a partner for its continued operation past 2016.

"We [have] already delivered 89 aircraft since our first one on June 23, 2009," Airbus president-China Laurence Barron told journalists in Beijing this week. This year, 38 aircraft will be delivered - including the first one to a non-Chinese airline, AirAsia. "Our target is to deliver four aircraft per month and a total of 47 aircraft in 2013," Barron said.

However, the Tianjin factory -- a joint venture between Airbus and partners including China Aviation Industry Corps. (AVIC I and II) and Tianjin Free Trade Zone -- faces an uncertain future in 2016 when its contract expires after the delivery of its 284th aircraft.

The factory opened in September 2008; as of March, Airbus had delivered 80 A320 family airliners assembled in Tianjin.

"This year, the company will break even, Barron said, adding the manufacturer has started talks with its partners about the factory's future. "We will wait and see what happens," he said.

As the Chinese market continues to grow, Barron said mainland China has become the world's second market for new aircraft deliveries after the U.S. "And it is getting close to number one.

Mainland China will need 3,832 new passenger and freighter aircraft over the next 20 years, which is a market value of US$509 billion - a very significant market for us," he said.

Chinese carriers operate 805 Airbus aircraft in China.

The European manufacturer has 15 Chinese customers and orders for 356 aircraft, mainly A320s. However, Barron said Airbus is seeing a demand for very large aircraft, such as the A380, but so far China Southern is the only Chinese carrier to order the type.

The A330 is becoming popular with Chinese carriers, which have around 100 of the type in service and 71 orders. Barron told ATW there are no plans to produce the A330 in China.

The Chinese government has blocked 45 A330 orders for Chinese carriers because of the escalating dispute over the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme carbon tax.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:14 AM   #305
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Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., the U.K.'s number two long-haul carrier, may add more flights to China and South America.

The airline has wanted to start flights to Beijing "for quite some time" and it is also looking at other cities in China, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ridgway said in an interview today in Shanghai. He didn't name any specific South American destinations.

Virgin also expects to hear by year-end how many takeoff and landing slots it will get at Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, following International Consolidated Airlines Group SA's acquisition of BMI in April.

The carrier has asked for 12 of the slots that IAG, the parent of British Airways, was ordered to give up as a condition for approval of the BMI deal.

"These slots are very important," Ridgway said in a Bloomberg TV interview. "It's tough because Heathrow is very full."

The carrier, which has also applied to start flights to Scotland, holds 3 percent of Heathrow's takeoff and landing pairs compared with IAG's 51 percent.

The start of Beijing flights will depend on the availability of Heathrow slots and the arrival of Boeing Co. 787s that would be used on the route, Ridgway said.

Virgin expects to start receiving its 16 on-order 787s in the second half of 2014. The carrier already flies to Shanghai and Hong Kong in Greater China.

Virgin may also "one day" join one of the three global airline alliances, Ridgway said. The airline last year began a review of strategic options after British Airways and American Airlines boosted cooperation on trans-Atlantic routes.

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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:23 AM   #306
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Jetstar Hong Kong, the budget airline being formed by China Eastern Airlines and Qantas, could be operating before year-end, earlier than previously expected.

Senior managers for the airline, part of Qantas's Jetstar franchise chain, will be recruited from Hong Kong and other places in the region, China Eastern Chairman Liu Shaoyong told the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association this week in Beijing.

Noting that Jetstar Hong Kong currently is applying for an air operator's certificate (AOC), Liu says, "At the earliest, it will begin operations late this year or in the first half of next year."

China Eastern and Qantas initially stated that the startup would launch in 2013 when they unveiled their joint venture in March. At that time, the two operators said they would have equal shares in Jetstar Hong Kong, which would have up to US$198 million in capital.

If certification is granted, Jetstar Hong Kong will begin service with three Airbus A320s. This fleet will increase to 18 by 2015.

China Eastern's Liu says it has not been determined if Jetstar Hong Kong will operate into mainland China.

Jetstar Hong Kong will follow the multi-national franchising model used by rivals Tiger Airways and Air Asia, which established carriers in different countries with local shareholders while sharing the brand, websites and information systems.

Qantas also is setting up Jetstar Japan with Japan Airlines. That airline is due to begin services next month, five months ahead of schedule, also with three A320s as an initial fleet.

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Old June 16th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #307
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Malaysian Airline System Bhd. intends to almost double its Asia-Pacific destinations in three years as part of a turnaround plan prompted by five straight quarterly losses.

The carrier may fly to 25 cities in countries including China, Japan and India by 2015, compared with 13 regional destinations now, Chairman Md Nor Yusof said in an interview yesterday in Subang, near Kuala Lumpur where the carrier is based.

Flights on some existing routes will also be increased by as much as 50 percent, he said.

"The airline business is closely linked to the economic cycle and there is a consensus that the Asia-Pacific region is the bright spot," Md Nor said. "There's plenty of reasons to be optimistic."

The carrier may also make some job cuts as part of the restructuring to be announced at a June 21 annual shareholders' meeting, Md Nor said without elaboration. The new proposal comes after parent companies of Malaysian Air and AirAsia Bhd. last month unwound a share swap agreement following complaints by the national carrier's biggest union.

Malaysian Air was unchanged at 1.15 ringgit at close of trading in Kuala Lumpur today. The stock has dropped 12 percent this year, compared with a 3 percent gain in the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index.

"Despite the ongoing reforms, such as network reviews, we expect Malaysian Air to continue to report losses in its 2012 financial year," Annuar Aziz, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG said in a report today.

"The weakness in the passenger network has been matched by weak cargo demand."


Annuar downgraded the stock to underperform from neutral, cutting its price target to 90 sen from 1.50 ringgit. This means its total return is expected to underperform Malaysia's benchmark index by as much as 15 percent over the next 12 months, Credit Suisse said.

East Asia and the Pacific region is forecast to expand 7.6 percent this year and the growth may accelerate to 8.1 percent in 2013, compared with 2.5 percent and 3 percent for the global economy, the World Bank said in a report on June 12.

Malaysian Air will stick to its existing planes orders, Md Nor said. The carrier took delivery of the first of six on-order Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo last month. It will start services with the plane on July 1 with a trip to London.

Waiting List

"The bookings for the A380s have been good and there is a waiting list at the moment," Md Nor said, declining to elaborate.

The airline, which earlier planned to own new planes, has now turned to the Malaysian government to purchase the A380s and two A330s worth 5.3 billion ringgit (US$1.7 billion).

The carrier can lease the planes from the government with an option to buy them at the end of the contract, Md Nor said. Talks are still on with the Finance Ministry, he said.

Malaysian Air will cooperate with AirAsia in areas including procurement, aircraft maintenance and training as it seeks to pare costs, Md Nor said.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd., which controls 69 percent of the carrier, exchanged back its 10 percent stake in AirAsia for 20.5 percent of Malaysian Air last month.

Fifth Loss

Malaysian Air posted a loss of 171.8 million ringgit in the three months ended in March because of higher fuel costs and competition from low-cost carriers.

It may report an annual loss of 529 million ringgit, according to the average of 12 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The carrier had a loss of 2.5 billion ringgit in 2011.

The airline this month sold 1 billion ringgit of Islamic bonds that didn't have a set maturity in the country's first offering of such debt.

It has commitments from investors to buy the remaining 1.5 billion ringgit of the so-called perpetual sukuk, according to Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari.

The funds will be used for working capital and to refinance existing loans, the carrier said in a May 22 statement. The company has 4.3 billion ringgit of bonds and loans including the sukuk sold this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #308
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Bombardier Inc said on Thursday that its Q400 turboprop plane has been approved for operation in Russia, a "key growth market" in its global expansion strategy.

Montreal-based Bombardier, which has been expanding its sales force to drive business in emerging markets, said the approval by Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee was a milestone in its growing presence in Russia.

There are currently more than 80 Dash 8-Q-Series turboprops and CRJ regional jets in service in Russia, where carriers have flown Bombardier's regional planes si nce 2003, the company said.

"More approval is better than less. It gives them one more market they can sell into and it's a market well suited for the aircraft," said PI Financial analyst Chris Murray.

"I wouldn't think it would dramatically move the needle."

Bombardier said it has booked firm orders for 428 Q400 airliners.

Canada's No. 2 airline, WestJet Airlines Ltd said in May that it will buy 20 Q400 NextGen aircraft, the latest version of the Q400 planes, with an option to purchase 25 more over the next six years. It plans to launch a new regional carrier in the second half of 2013.

Bombardier shares were up 1 percent, or 4 Canadian cents, to C$3.83 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon.

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Old June 20th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #309
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Bombardier Inc. is transferring most of its commercial-aircraft sales staff outside Canada in a bid to capture growing demand for jets and turboprops in China, the Middle East and Africa.

About three-quarters of the sales team will be placed outside the country by the end of 2012, said Mike Arcamone, who runs the commercial aircraft unit at Montreal-based Bombardier. That's up from less than 20 percent at the end of last year, said Arcamone, who joined the company on Feb. 1.
"We are going global," Arcamone said yesterday in an interview in Montreal. "We are moving our sales offices out of Montreal and Toronto. We are changing the footprint in sales. It's a major transformation."

That approach will expand Bombardier's reach in higher-growth markets such as China, which Bombardier predicts will receive 2,200 commercial planes seating 20 to 149 people in the next 20 years. That would be 17 percent of 12,800 global deliveries in that span, according to a Bombardier forecast.

Arcamone's remarks fleshed out previous comments by the world's third-largest planemaker about dispersing the commercial-aircraft sales staff. Bombardier said last month it needs more orders this year for models such as Q400 turboprops and CRJ regional jets to avert production cuts in 2013.

Dubai, Shanghai

After opening sales offices in Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney in the past few months, Bombardier is poised to add staff in Russia and other select countries, said Arcamone, who declined to give the size of his sales force or details on Bombardier's expansion.

After opening an office in Munich to cover western Europe, "we still have a few more to go this year," Arcamone said. "We just announced a service center in Russia and we will have a sales office in Russia as well. It's a very active market."

Bombardier's Class B shares were unchanged yesterday at C$4.05 in Toronto, leaving the stock down 0.2 percent for 2012. That compared with a 0.6 percent drop for Boeing Co., the world's largest aerospace company, and gains of 11 percent for Airbus SAS parent European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. and 17 percent for Brazil's Embraer SA.

Arcamone is new to aerospace after a 30-year auto-industry career, most recently as chief executive officer for General Motors Co. Korea. He faces competitors such as Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China and Embraer, and a market for which yesterday's forecast of 12,800 airliner deliveries over 20 years is 300 fewer than previously projected.

Revenue Breakdown

Commercial-aircraft sales accounted for 4.8 percent of Bombardier's US$3.51 billion in first-quarter revenue. Counting sales of business jets, parts and maintenance, aerospace revenue was US$1.5 billion. Commercial buyers in 2012 include Ethiopian Airlines and China Express Airlines, while Warren Buffett's plane-leasing unit at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. ordered business jets last week with a list value of as much as US$7.3 billion.
Arcamone said "significant" hiring will occur throughout Bombardier's international sales network, while declining to give specifics.

"With every sales director comes the marketing team that supports that, the legal team that supports that," said Philippe Poutissou, vice president of marketing at the commercial-aircraft unit.

Arcamone's business is presiding over development of the CSeries, Bombardier's entry in the smaller end of the narrow-body jet segment. Designed to carry 100 to 149 passengers, the CSeries is still set for its first flight this year and a commercial debut in 2013, the planemaker said yesterday.

CSeries Backing

Republic Airways Holdings Inc., the jet's biggest customer, remains "very supportive" of the CSeries even while weighing the future of its Frontier Airlines, Arcamone said yesterday. Indianapolis-based Republic has 40 CSeries jets on order.

North America will remain pivotal to Bombardier, because the region will absorb 4,730 new planes in the next two decades, according to the planemaker's forecast.

AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc. and SkyWest Inc. probably will announce "major" orders in the next several quarters, according to analysts such as Tim James at TD Securities in Toronto. Their purchases may total more than 300 regional jets and turboprops, James wrote in a June 12 note.

"The U.S. will be the big part of the game this year for regional jets," Chris Murray, a PI Financial Corp. analyst in Toronto, said this week in a telephone interview. "Everybody is trying to figure out how to bump the older, smaller regional jets and either move to larger jets or turboprops on some routes."

Arcamone said bigger models such as Bombardier's 100-passenger CJR1000 may reap additional U.S. orders as airlines win more-flexible union work rules to allow pilots at less-costly regional units to fly those planes, a step up from older 50- and 70-seaters.

"Definitely there is still a market for that product within North America as the restructuring occurs," Arcamone said. "We don't want to miss the opportunity that this will provide us."
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Old June 21st, 2012, 04:14 AM   #310
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Eurocopter: China to require more than 1,000 helicopters in the coming decade
(WCARN.com, June 20)

China will need about 500 helicopters by the end of 2015, according to Eurocopter on June 18, reported by The Economic Observer. It is anticipated that China will need more than 1,000 helicopters over the next decade as the nation deregulates and opens its low-altitude airspace.

The Eurocopter Group now is a wholly owned subsidiary of European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. (EADS) and is the world's largest helicopter maker. Airbus S.A.S., another big aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, is also one of the world's largest aircraft manufacturers.

In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of EUR5.4 billion, 457 new orders and a 43 percent market share in the civil and paramilitary markets.

The turnover of Eurocopter China in 2011 reached EUR58 million, surging 70% on a year-on-year basis. It won EUR300 million worth of orders in China last year, capturing 40% of the Chinese market share.

Jiang Delong, Sales Director for Asia-Pacific Region of Eurocopter, claims that with the gradual opening of China's the low-altitude airspace, China's appetite for helicopters will grow rapidly.

It is estimated by relevant professional institution that there are more than 150,000 potential users of private aircraft in China. Private aircraft mainly consist of business aircraft and helicopters.

According to conservative estimations, helicopters possess about 20% of all private aircraft. The potential users of private helicopters in the country currently add up to 30,000.

If 10% of potential users were to buy helicopters, the sales of private helicopters would reach 3 thousand, the above-mentioned institution predicted. China is expected to overtake the United States as the world's largest private aircraft market 10 years from now.

China Aviation Industrial Helicopter Co., Ltd. (Avicopter) once forecasted that the year of 2012 marks the beginning of China's prospering private aircraft business. There will be a market upsurge in China's private aviation industry.

The reason for the market upsurge in China's helicopter market is that the government is opening and deregulating low-altitude airspace step by step.

In 2010, the State Council and the Central Military Commission released and distributed the "Opinions of the State Council and the Central Military Commission on Deepening the Reform of China's Low-altitude Airspace Management," pointing out for the first time that the opening and deregulating of low-altitude airspace will be promoted and carried out in three stages as experimenting, implementing, and deepening in the coming decade in step-by-step progress.

According to the "Opinions," by the year of 2015, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, and Chengdu will be selected as trial areas for implementing the low-altitude airspace reforms. Besides, the trial job on integrated reforms of general aviation will be conducted in the central south China region and the northeast China region.

Li Jiaxiang, head of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), also points out that the government will also expand the experimenting of opening and deregulating airspace below 3,000 meters, seeking to achieve a full and comprehensive opening by the year of 2015.

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Old June 21st, 2012, 04:23 AM   #311
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IATA Conference foresees more large airlines collapsing in the next 12 months; all eyes on IATA
(WCARN.com/International Business Times, June 18)

While the yearly gathering last week of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Beijing, China drew delegates from different airlines around the world, in the next 12 months attendees in the next summit could be down.

IATA President Tony Tyler did not gave a hint which air carriers would no longer be around in 2013, but he acknowledged that competition in the global aviation industry is becoming tighter and even the larger airlines run the risk of folding up.

The conference this year saw the absence of two long-time members of IATA - Malev, the flag carrier of Hungary for 56 years, and Spainair, which is the fourth largest air carrier in Spain and closed in January.

Industry observers are now monitoring Qantas, Australia's flag carrier whose shares plummeted to a record-low below AU$1 after the company issued a profit warning due to the weakness of its international operations.

Besides its labour problems and soaring jet fuel bills which other air carriers also suffer from, Qantas's losing international operations is due to stiff competition from Middle Eastern carriers such as Emirates and Etihad which are getting into Qantas' long-haul routes. As a result, only 20 percent of Australians use Qantas when they fly overseas.

Analysts said that after Qantas shares plummeted to an all-time low after it forecast its first annual loss in 17 years, the air carrier's shares are now undervalued by up to US$3 billion.

Analysts added that Qantas is so undervalued that it would attract bidders which led the air carrier to hire Macquarie Group to turn away unwanted private-equity bids. Now valued at 0.47 times its net tangible assets, the Qantas valuation is lower than any other air carrier in the industrialised world with over US$1 billion in market capitalization, except for Air France-KLM.

Escalating fuel bill had also eaten into profitability of airlines. Jet fuel now accounts for about one-third of airline operating costs from 13 percent 10 years ago. As a result, IATA forecasts the entire global aviation industry would have a profit of only US$3 billion for revenues of over US$600 billion. The bulk of that profit, however, would be enjoyed by few carriers that service China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce, now the new chairman of IATA, agreed that there are too many airlines for a shrinking market and the air carriers are fragmented. He believed it would be good to have more consolidations in the global aviation industry. International Airlines Group Chief Executive Willie Walsh agreed with Mr Joyce's analysis.

"Many will disappear. And you won't see new airlines appear. The barriers to entry are much higher now," The Guardian quoted Mr Walsh.

Mr Joyce said Qantas has not yet been approached formally by private-equity groups, but insisted, "Fair value for Qantas shares is a lot higher than it is today ... Our shareholders know we are on the right path."

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Old June 21st, 2012, 06:15 AM   #312
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American Airlines pilots reject contract offer
(AP/WCARN.com, June 20)

The pilots' union on Wednesday rejected the latest contract offer from American Airlines, which is awaiting a judge's ruling on whether it can impose its own terms for cutting costs that include eliminating thousands of jobs.

The union's board voted 11-5 to reject the company's offer.
A federal bankruptcy judge is scheduled to rule Friday on whether American can break its current contracts with pilots and other union workers. The pilots' union wants in that ruling delayed.

American and parent AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection in November. American is the nation's third-biggest airline behind United and Delta.

Its attempt to fix itself has been complicated by US Airways, which has taken steps toward a potential takeover of AMR - something that AMR executives don't want to talk about yet. US Airways won the support of American's unions by promising fewer layoffs and even some wage increases if it buys AMR.

American wants to emerge from bankruptcy as an independent company. To do that, it says it must cut labor costs by US$1.25 billion per year - mostly by eliminating nearly 12,000 union jobs. American has about 75,000 employees including nearly 55,000 union members.

While pilots would bear only 400 of the immediate job losses, they have complained bitterly about other changes sought by American. A key ingredient to the turnaround plan is boosting revenue by selling seats on other U.S. airlines as if they were American flights.

American can't do that under the current contract with pilots, who fear that so-called code-sharing would mean fewer pilot jobs at American. But federal law lets companies in bankruptcy scuttle their union contracts if it's essential to their survival.

After several days of last-ditch negotiations, American made a new contract proposal to the pilots' union last week. Neither side disclosed the offer's specific terms. The union said there were "clear improvements" over American's original plan but that some areas, such as scheduling, which affects a pilot's pay, were too vague.

"This is still a concessionary contract," said union spokesman Tom Hoban.
Still, Hoban said the two sides were "very close in many areas." He said that union President David Bates asked AMR CEO Thomas Horton to seek the judge's approval for more time to negotiate by pushing back Friday's deadline.

American had no immediate comment on the union vote or the request for a delay in the judge's ruling.
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 05:11 AM   #313
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Delta in "dogfight" to become NYC's dominant airline
(WCARN.com/USA Today, June 21)

From its rapid build-up at LaGuardia Airport to becoming "the official airline of Madison Square Garden," Delta Air Lines is going all out to win the New York market.

Delta, which already has developed a big international hub at New York's JFK airport, hopes that the 100 new nonstop flights and 26 new destinations it has added at LaGuardia will make it an even bigger overall player in the U.S.'s most lucrative air travel market.

Reuters takes an in-depth look at Delta's efforts, writing that the carrier's "aggressive expansion positions it to woo business travelers from No. 1 United Continental Holdings, the dominant carrier at New Jersey's Newark airport, while also challenging bankrupt American Airlines and discounter JetBlue Airways, which are investing millions in their Big Apple hubs."

Delta's expansion at LaGuardia -- enabled by a unique Washington-New York "slot swap" with US Airways -- has made Delta the biggest carrier there. And, at JFK, Delta is in the midst of a US$1.2 billion terminal upgrade at its second-biggest hub. Atlanta is its busiest.

"New York is a dogfight, and it's really the holy grail for many of the competitors out there," Chuck Imhof, Delta's managing director for New York sales, says to Reuters.

At LaGuardia, Delta -- which gained most of US Airways' flight rights there -- thinks it can make money where US Airways could not.

Reuters writes "Helane Becker, a New York-based airline analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co, says LaGuardia will prove more profitable for Delta than it was for US Airways because of the use of larger planes.

Delta is using two-class regional jets that carry 70 passengers on many of its new flights, while US Airways had flown lots of smaller turboprops that seated 50 or fewer."

Delta claims it already is seeing an increase in high-fare business passengers on its LaGuardia flights.

United expects first Dreamliner in September
(WCARN.com/Chicago Tribune, June 22)

United Airlines reportedly expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane in September.

United, which will be the first North American airline to receive the long-awaited and highly anticipated plane, has long said it expects to take delivery in the second half of 2012. A spokeswoman on Friday repeated that statement.

However, a Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper blog on Friday cited internal communications at United specifying September as the anticipated delivery month. United and Boeing are both headquartered in Chicago.

The Dreamliner, the first of which was delivered last fall to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways, is a twin-aisle plane that offers the best fuel economy and range for a craft its size and offers passengers greater comfort while flying.

However, the plane is just as well known for incurring lengthy production delays. Boeing delivered its first 787 about three years late because of design and construction problems.

United, the most dominant airline at Chicago O'Hare and in the region, has said in the past that it would "likely" use a 787 on routes through Chicago, possibly as soon as the fourth quarter of this year. However, it hasn't announced a flight schedule for the aircraft.

LOT Polish Airlines was the first airline to officially announce that it will offer a Chicago O'Hare flight aboard a 787. LOT will begin service in January 2013 between Chicago and Warsaw, Poland.

The Dreamliner is made of a lighter, largely composite structure, which provides greater fuel efficiency and the ability to fly long range.

For passengers, the aircraft has the industry's largest windows and overhead bins. The smoother-riding and quieter plane has wider aisles and seats, and cleaner air using a filtration system to remove offensive odors. The windows are dimmable, via electrochromatic window shades rather than physical pull-down shades.

A recent survey of 787 passengers by ANA showed nine in 10 said their overall experience met or exceeded expectations. A similar number expressed a preference for flying in the Dreamliner over other aircraft, and a quarter of passengers said they would go out of their way to book a flight on the 787 again.
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 09:09 AM   #314
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China Eastern to codeshare on WestJet flights in North America
(WCARN.com/Airlines and Destinations, June 22)

Canada's WestJet has entered into a codeshare agreement with China Eastern Airlines, one of the largest airlines in mainland China.

Tickets are available for codeshare flights from July 1.

The codeshare agreement allows China Eastern Airlines to market and distribute WestJet-operated flights by placing its "MU" flight indicator on WestJet-operated flights within North America.

"We are very pleased to announce this code-share relationship with China Eastern Airlines," said John MacLeod, WestJet's vice-president, network management and alliances. "China Eastern is a high-quality airline and this code-share is an important step in our strategy to welcome on board new guests from around the world."

In addition to China Eastern Airlines, WestJet has codeshare agreements with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, KLM and Korean Air.

China Eastern Airlines is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and has codeshare agreements in place with several other SkyTeam members, including Delta Air Lines.
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 09:25 AM   #315
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U.S. fines Mexico's Volaris over airline bag fees
(Wall Street Journal/WCARN.com, June 22)

Mexico's Volaris on Friday became the first airline to be fined by U.S. regulators under new consumer-protection laws that include requiring carriers to disclose all taxes and fees, such as those levied for checked-in bags.

Volaris received a US$130,000 civil penalty from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which said the carrier didn't clearly label baggage fees on its website.

The new consumer-protection laws came into force in January, part of a package of protections that included forcing carriers to be more transparent about advertising fares. It also extended fines for airport delays to international airlines for the first time.

Airlines are required to include all fees and taxes in the displayed price of a customer's itinerary, as well as additional costs that could be incurred, like baggage fees. For a period, a search of flights on Volaris's website didn't display all of the required information, according to the department.

"We adopted our rule on baggage fees to make sure that consumers have complete and accurate information about how much they will have to pay when they book a flight," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement. "We will continue to take enforcement action when carriers fail to comply with our rules."

Volaris said it has accepted the fine and observations by the Department of Transportation and said its online reservations system now gives specific information on costs for additional baggage and other extra services offered at the time of pricing a flight. The information is also available at all times on the website under the section "Costs of Additional Services," Volaris added.

"The aviation enforcement office regularly scans websites to ensure airlines are complying with the rules," said Bill Mosley, spokesman for the Department of Transportation. "Any carrier, including foreign carriers, is subject to U.S. laws."

Volaris is a low-cost carrier operating primarily domestic routes in Mexico, but it also flies to eight U.S. cities, mostly in California. It has a partnership with Southwest Airlines Co. enabling customers to purchase flights to Mexico through the U.S. carrier's website.

Violations were limited to Volaris and its website and won't affect Southwest, Mr. Mosley said.

The Department of Transportation won't disclose if it has uncovered violations at other airlines or plans to levy fines in the future.

"We don't discuss cases under investigation," Mr. Mosley said, "but we will continue to review airline websites."
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 09:29 AM   #316
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Etihad Airways raises hens, bees to beat competition
(Reuters/WCARN.com, June 22)

Etihad Airways, battling to distinguish itself from rival Gulf Arab carriers, has bought 200 hens and three beehives as part of the fight to win customers by appealing to their palates.

The state-backed Abu Dhabi airline, which competes against Dubai-owned Emirates airline and Qatar Airways, said on Thursday its new hens and bees will produce eggs and honey to be served exclusively to its passengers.

The airline is also developing "a line of signature pickles", all grown at an organic farm in Abu Dhabi.

"We are thrilled to be the only airline in the world offering organic eggs and honey directly from our own locally raised hens and bees," Etihad said in a statement detailing its poultry plans.

The eggs from the free-range hens will be used in first-class dishes, including "the hugely popular 'eggs any style' breakfast option," prepared by the airline's onboard chefs.

The three Gulf Arab airlines are battling for dominance and frequently top each other with new levels of luxury. Emirates airline offers shower facilities to first class passengers on its Airbus A380 jumbo jets.
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 07:34 PM   #317
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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is voted the Best Airport in Europe by international airline travelers

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has been named as the Best Airport in Europe at the 2012 World Airport Awards held at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Vienna.

"We offer our sincere congratulations to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and its management on another year of success. Consistent performance in both the leisure and transit airport categories indicates that Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is considered the premier airport in Europe for transfer passengers. The open airside environment for passengers in transit was a repeated reason given by respondents voting in the survey" said Edward Plaisted, Chairman of SKYTRAX.

Runner-up this year was Munich Airport, with Zurich Airport in 3rd place. An improving London Heathrow Airport achieved 4th place with Copenhagen Airport securing 5th.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:17 AM   #318
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All Nippon Airways to resume direct flights to Yangon in Sept.
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, June 25)

YANGON, June 25 (Xinhua) -- A major Japanese airline -- All Nippon Airways -- is making preparation to resume direct flights between Tokyo and Yangon in September for the first time in 12 years, local media reported Monday.

Using Boeing 737 ER, the airline will operate Narita-Yangon- Narita three times a week, the Myanmar Posts said, adding that charter flight of Tokyo-Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw-Yangon-Hanoi-Tokyo will also be launched by using Boeing 767.

From 1996 to 2000, the airline operated direct flight between Osaka and Yangon three times a week.

As there is increased interest of Japanese businessmen and market researchers in Myanmar following the country's landmark by- elections on April 1 with gradual easing of foreign sanctions, the airline was trying to resume direct flights as soon as possible, according to an earlier report.

For the past 12 years, Japanese visitors had to travel to Myanmar via Bangkok or Singapore when the airline suspended its Yangon flight.

Following the recent opening of a representative office of Japan's second largest bank Mizuho Corporate Bank in Myanmar aimed at boosting foreign investment, there is also arrangement of the opening of a big shopping center by the Lawson Inc. of Japan.

At present, besides the Myanmar Airways International (MAI) flying internationally as Myanmar's national flag carrier, there are also 13 foreign airlines flying Yangon which comprise Air China, China Southern Airline, China Eastern Airlines, Thai Airways International, Indian Airlines, Air Asia, Taiwan region's China airlines, Silk Air, Malaysian Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Jetstar Asia, Thai Air Asia and Vietnam Airlines.

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Old June 26th, 2012, 09:55 AM   #319
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Interview: HK aviation benefited greatly from its return to mainland - Cathay Pacific CE
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, June 26)

HONG KONG, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong has benefited tremendously from its return to the mainland. Being able to play a role to support the growth and development of the mainland economy, Hong Kong will achieve further prosperity in the future, John J. Slosar, chief executive of the Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, said during a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.


"The aviation story in the development of Hong Kong in the past 15 years has been a fantastic one. The growth in flights, the growth in destinations, the growth in passenger numbers have all been fantastic." This is Slosar's comment on the overall development of the city's aviation industry.

What's made that development happen? In his eyes Hong Kong returning to China is the most important factor.

Slosar explained that Hong Kong's return to the motherland on July 1, 1997 created huge amount of interest among Chinese passengers to visit "the Orient Pearl" and thus has helped the city to expand its network into the mainland in a big way.

As one of the four pillar industries in Hong Kong, tourism has enjoyed tremendous development in the past decade, which has benefited the aviation industry. Statistics show that last year in every 10 Hong Kong visitors, nearly 7 were from the mainland. With a 65-year history, Cathay Pacific is lucky enough to jump at chances and prosper.

"It's always a good thing to be in a market where it grows. We are fortunate to base here where Hong Kong is very much in the middle of Asia and now a part of China. Half of the world population lives within a 5 hour flight of Hong Kong so there are lots of reasons for people to be coming to and through Hong Kong," Slosar said.

15 years after the reunification, the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland has become broader and stronger. Benefited from the economic boom of the mainland, Hong Kong has also made unique contributions by participating in the development of the mainland economy.

"As long as the mainland economy continues to be strong, Hong Kong will have a role in helping that to happen and Hong Kong will achieve prosperity by playing that role," said he.


Market means profit. With the ties between Hong Kong and the mainland drew closer and closer, how to go deep into the mainland market has become the priority on Cathay Pacific's agenda.

In 2006, Cathay Pacific took over 100 percent share of Dragon Air, a regional airline based in Hong Kong and its primary destinations are in the mainland. Up till now, Dragon Air operates about 400 flights a week to around 20 different destinations in China. Before the integration of Dragon Air into Cathay Pacific, there was about a million transfer passengers between the two airlines. The number has more than tripled in past 6 years working together.

"Dragon Air incorporation with Cathay (Pacific) is really important of us and it really adds value to us and helps us develop a strategy for serving the Chinese markets.. It really helped to increase the passengers traveling between China's mainland and Hong Kong as well as bring passengers to Hong Kong where they can go to other destinations with Cathay (Pacific)," Slosar said proudly.

Besides that, Cathay Pacific also built strategic partnership with Air China, one of the major airlines of China. Cathay Pacific now is a share holder in cargo of Air China, which operates in Beijing and Shanghai.

"Our goal is to make Air China Cargo one of the largest and efficient cargo airlines in the world," Slosar explained the future plan. "Wherever the cargo needs to move, Air China Cargo would like to be there servicing," he added.

On top of cargo, the two airlines also co-share a bunch of different flights. As Slosar put it, "Air China is absolutely our number one strategic partner."


In Cathay Pacific's point of view, investment is crucial for the growth of aviation industry. Following that principle, the airline has enlarged its fleet size to 170 airplanes. According to Slosar, Cathay Pacific now has another 90 aircrafts on order for delivery for the next 7 year.

As for the cargo, a new cargo terminal is under construction at the Hong Kong International Airport by Cathay Pacific which will open in the beginning of next year. It will be one of the largest cargo terminals in the world with a capacity of about 2.6 million cargoes each year. "It'll be world class in terms of efficiency and energy consumption," Slosar said with a smile.

In addition, the airline has equipped its fleet with 10 new Boeing 747 freighters and 8 Boeing 777 freighters are under way.

"It'll give us a large and very fuel-efficient and low-cost freighter networks to help us continue to build cargo business," said he.

Slosar believed the largest trade flow in the world for cargo is to and from China. As a part of China, Hong Kong is a good place to provide services in helping that trade flow to exist and to move efficiently.

"The infrastructure in Hong Kong, in terms the customs, the trucking routs, the terminals, everything makes the trade and logistics happen efficiently."

Looking ahead, Slosar is quite confident and optimistic. "Hong Kong is always to be flexible, and to be able to adapt itself to whatever it required to be successful in the world economy. I think Hong Kong will continue to do that in the future. I'm very optimistic about the mainland economy and the mainland society, and I'm very optimistic about Hong Kong's opportunity as part of that," he said.

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Old June 26th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #320
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After a young Asian-American from San Francisco flew his seventh Hello Kitty flight, EVA Airways recently awarded him a solid gold boarding pass bearing the design of Sanrio's cartoon cat with his name engraved on it.

While seven flights may seem paltry compared to the number accumulated by George Clooney's corporate road warrior in Up in the Air, it nonetheless marked a milestone: The man officially became the world's most-traveled Hello Kitty jet customer.

"Hello Kitty flights aren't just for kids," says K.W. Nieh, the Taiwan-based carrier's group executive officer for public relations. "We fly Hello Kitty jets to cities all over Japan, as well as to Korea, Shanghai, and Guam. Business and leisure travelers both go to all of these destinations."

Whatever their reasons for flying, patrons of Kelly Kitty had best enjoy cuteness - there's no escaping it. At Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport, they receive Hello Kitty boarding passes and baggage tags. A Hello Kitty song plays as passengers board the plane, which is plastered on the exterior with a Hello Kitty decal made by 3M. All-female cabin crew members swap their usual EVA Airways-issued green uniforms for pink aprons and scarves.

All seats (252 to 309, depending on whether it's an Airbus A330-200 or A330-300), are covered with Hello Kitty headrest covers. Even the meals, ice cream, snacks, cups, utensils, milk bottles, soap, hand lotion, and tissues are designed in the image of Hello Kitty.

While Nieh would not disclose details about the company's licensing agreement with greeting card, gifts, and stationary company Sanrio -- which makes Hello Kitty goods -- he says EVA Airways has invested about US$5 million in the jets, which have been in the works since spring 2011.

This figure includes the contract with Sanrio, the design and licensing for the jets, various in-flight items and duty-free products, and fees to promote the new brightly-colored fleet.

Jason Chang, a professor of transportation planning and economics in Taiwan, has taken three Hello Kitty flights in the last four months. The first time came as a surprise. After he snapped photos for his wife, a devoted fan, attendants noticed Chang's amusement and offered a bag of Hello Kitty gifts. He also saved a hand towel as a souvenir - for his wife, of course. "Those flights are very happy," he says. As for the branding, "I enjoy the competition [between airlines]. It will enhance the service quality," he says.

EVA's five Hello Kitty jets became fully operational as of June 22, serving such cities as Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Chitose in Japan, as well as Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Guam. Each plane will have a different theme: "Hello Kitty Magic Jet," "Apple Jet," "Global Jet," "Happy Music Jet," or "Speed Puff Jet."

This is the second time EVA Airways -- which made NT$102.19 billion (US$3.48 billion) in revenue in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg -- licensed the popular character from Sanrio. From 2005 to 2008, EVA operated two Hello Kitty jets. Tokyo-based Sanrio, a fountainhead of Japanese "kawaii" (or cute) culture, originally sought a partnership on duty-free items; EVA President K.W. Chang saw a greater opportunity.

Created by Sanrio in 1974, Hello Kitty quickly became popular among young girls. It was introduced in the U.S. in 1976. Sanrio characters, including Keroppi, a frog, and My Melody, a rabbit, are extremely popular in Japan, home of two Sanrio theme parks. (Hello Kitty is not just for kids either, if lingerie and vibrators are any indication.)

Sanrio reported 74.95 billion yen (US$949.9 million) in revenue for the year ending March 31, 2012. Sales fell from 2000 to 2009 and have rebounded somewhat since.

The airway's adorable marketing strategy has attracted some avid travelers from carriers that fly the same routes, says Nieh. The load factor on Hello Kitty flights averages 80 percent to 90 percent, about 5 percent to 10 percent higher than EVA's average on those routes before the Hello Kitty jets were introduced. Duty-free, in-flight sales of 13 kinds of Hello Kitty products generate some revenue, too.

EVA's contract with Sanrio expires on Oct. 31, 2018. Eventually, the airline hopes to add Hello Kitty jets on long-haul routes around the world. Says Nieh, "We believe there is a market for our Hello Kitty Jet service outside of Asia." The character has made inroads in the U.S., where Sanrio sells products through such retailers as Target, Macy's, Hot Topic, Claire's, and Toys R Us.
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