The Qantas Emirates partnership has gone a step further with Qantas releasing details of the reciprocal frequent flyer benefits that will be available from the proposed Emirates Qantas partnership. If the proposed partnership receives regulatory approval some of the shared benefits for Qantas Frequent Flyers and Emirates Skywards members will include: Earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points or Emirates Skywards Miles on Emirates and Qantas flights (with some exceptions for Emirates Skywards members on the Qantas domestic network). An expanded network for members of each program to earn Qantas Status credits and Status bonus or Skywards Tier Miles and Tier bonus. Redeem points/Miles on any part of the Qantas or Emirates network – a combined total of more than 175 destinations worldwide. Access to both Qantas and Emirates lounges for Gold members (or above) of either program in Australia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Have their tier status in either program recognised with both airlines when flying on the joint Qantas-Emirates network (where available). In addition to reciprocal Frequent Flyer benefits both carriers also announced details of their new shared baggage policy that will see Qantas move from a Piece and weight based baggage system to a weight based system (excluding flights to/from the Americas) As part of today’s announcement the Qantas media release goes on to say: Chief Executive of Qantas Loyalty, Lesley Grant, said the benefits announced today would give frequent flyers of either airline the opportunity to earn and redeem points or Miles across a massive network. “Our shared goal has been to offer Qantas and Emirates customers the best global network, flying the largest combined A380 fleet and supported by the best rewards for our frequent flyers,” said Ms Grant. “Both airlines already offer some of the highest quality travel experiences, including our lounges and loyalty benefits, so this is about bringing together the best of both worlds,” she added. Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide said: ”It is an exciting time to be an Emirates Skywards member, yesterday we announced Platinum – our new tier, which has been developed to enhance the travel experience for frequent travellers and to offer additional benefits to Emirates Skywards members who have earned over 150,000 Tier Miles in a year. “Now today we are unveiling the wide range of benefits that our members can enjoy as part of the Emirates and Qantas partnership,” added Mr Antinori. Emirates and Qantas have also announced their shared baggage policy on certain routes for travel from 31 March 2013. To enable a more seamless experience as customers travel on the joint network, Qantas will move from a piece and weight system, to a weight system, for all international flights – excluding those to/from the Americas. As part of this alignment, Emirates will increase its pre-purchase excess baggage discount to 30 per cent. Eligible Qantas Frequent Flyers, Qantas Club members and Skywards members will enjoy additional allowances when travelling across the joint network.
Qantas have announced that they will be starting Qantas A380 Hong Kong services from 15 January 2012, after the company receives its 11th Airbus A380 Aircraft. Qantas A380 Sydney to Hong Kong services will operate on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday under flight number, as per the schedule below: Route Flight Number Depart Arrive Days Sydney Hong Kong QF127 1145 1750 Th, Fr, Sa, Su Hong Kong Sydney QF128 1950 0815 +1 Th, Fr, Sa, Su Configuration of the aircraft will follow the standard Qantas A380 4 class configuration with 14 first class suites in a 1-1-1 layout, 72 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 seating layout, 32 Premium Economy seats in a 2-3-2 seating layout and 332 economy class seats in a 3-4-3 seating layout. Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce said Hong Kong was a key market for Qantas and launching new product on the route was important for both the business and leisure market. “Qantas will operate four return services per week between Sydney and Hong Kong from 15 January 2012,” Mr Joyce said. “Our A380 fleet has continued to generate extremely positive feedback from our customers since its introduction, and we are pleased to now add another destination to our A380 network,” “Qantas is set to offer passengers travelling to Hong Kong the latest in comfort and design. Our Creative Director Marc Newson has set a precedent in the long haul travel experience for customers wanting style and more space,” added Mr Joyce.
China’s largest airline China Southern Airlines now has the honor of becoming the seventh airline in the world and first airline in China to put the Airbus A380 into commercial service, after the airlines maiden flight on the Beijing-Guangzhou Service earlier today. The China Southern A380 has a total of 506 seats with 8 Private First Class Suites which are located at the front of the lower deck, 70 Business Class Seats that are found at the front of the upper deck and 428 Economy Class Seats located both on the lower deck (behind First class) and upper deck (behind Business Class) Entertainment wise the China Southern Airbus A380 features a state of art Video on Demand IFE System that features 1200 on demand titles or 600 hours of entertainment. First Class suites feature 23 inch hi definition LCD screens. Mr. Si Xianmin , General Manager of China Southern Air Holding Company said: “we have confidence, capability and strength to achieve safe and effective operation of A380. The arrival of A380 will inevitably form a huge push strength, which will drive China Southern Airlines to speed up internationalization and provide a strong support for CSN to achieve its strategic development objects.” Mr. Tom Enders , the CEO of Airbus said: “In taking delivery of A380, China Southern Airlines has helped us to open the next chapter of our lasting partnership with the Chinese aviation industry. And to further strengthen the much wider and growing relationship between China and Europe.” China Southern Airlines intends to spread A380 love around china with this same aircraft being put into service on the Beijing – Pudong Shanghai Beijing service from 27-29 October 2011, after its initial Beijing-Guangzhou-Beijing service. China Southern Airlines expects to recieve its second Airbus A380 aircraft later this year, the airline has not yet announced if this aircraft will be put into service on another domestic route or on an international route.
For a long time now, London Heathrow airport has been the busiest terminal in the United Kingdom. More than 86 airlines operate from this terminal. 805 of the passengers and goods that come through the United Kingdom do through the Heathrow airport. However, recent regulations to be made by the airport have been severally criticized by the board of airlines. 42% of the airlines surveyed by the board agree that the air passenger duty as well as the Emissions Trading Scheme will have a negative effect on their already diminishing profits. The government’s taxation has had a negative impact on the growth of several airlines and hence the economy built on the airlines. Coupled with this is the restriction of expansion of the airlines. For decades now, the board has approached the government for permissions to include expansion slots for airlines that wish to do so, but such motions have been vetoed. The United Kingdom economy relies heavily on the importation and exportation of both goods and people, yet the busiest terminal for these activities is continuing to become a hindrance to airline owners. The need to find better policies is imminent, yet these are not scheduled for discussion until 2013.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad is celebrating 5 years of services between Paris and Abu Dhabi. The first Etihad Abu Dhabi to Paris service kicked off in May 2006 and since then they have carried more than 770,000 passengers and nearly 51,500 tons of cargo on the this route alone. The Abu Dhabi-Paris route enjoys a 75 percent average passenger load which increased by two percent in 2011. In terms of cargo weights, the airline has tripled its load 5,000 tons to 15,000 tons annually. The CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan said that the operation they have in Paris has exceeded their expectation for the past years. He added, “This year we will carry 200,000 travellers on the Abu Dhabi-Paris route, up 16 per cent from 173,000 in 2010. By April 2012, we expect to have carried one million travellers overall on the route since its inception.A logical step for us is to open a signature Etihad premium lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport, and I’m delighted to announce that we have started planning this.” Etihad operates a three-cabin Airbus A330 and a three-cabin Airbus A340 aircraft between Abu Dhabi and Paris totaling 7,124 seats broken down into class thats 304 Diamond First, 912 Pearl Business, and 5,908 Coral Economy seats per week. Etihad’s network now comprises of 72 destinations and is looking at a US$4 billion turnover and will have carried 8.4 million travellers and 1.3 million Etihad Guest members. “We remain committed to building the Etihad brand in the French market, offering customers great choice, connectivity, and value”, Hogan said. The current flight schedule for the Etihad Paris to Abu Dhabi service is below Paris – Abu Dhabi Flight no Dep Arr Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun EY032 11h20 20h15 EY038 22h05 7h00 +1 Abu Dhabi – Paris Flight no Dep Arr Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun EY031 02h10 07h35 EY037 09h00 14h25
Have you been a regular passenger to Narita? Well, this could be good news for you. Emirates being one of the renowned international airlines have added two more flights every week which would mean that there would already be everyday flight from Dubai and Narita International Airport starting this November. Good service of the said airlines continues despite the recent earthquake in Japan since it has indeed been a tough time for the residents. Flights are indeed important especially when disasters like this happen. Emirates pursued to cater to passengers who needed to fly from the country to their destinations. Emirates’ flight to Narita has started since March 28, 2010 and will still push through with its operations. It’s the EK 318 which flies from Dubai at 0250hrs and arrive at Narita International Airport at 1735hrs. The return flight is favorable too since the EK 319 flies from Narita at 2200hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0350hrs the next day. The commitment has been there as one of what Emirates stood for Japan. Since the country has given them a good opportunity for business, the airlines in turn did not leave them during those times even when it seems to be a bit risky. That’s one good deal of partnership. With Japan being an essential market for the airlines, the gratitude of the company is brought back upon the increase of flights being opportunities for passengers.. There are 200 cabin crews who are Japanese which enables passengers to feel as if they’re just home where they also delightfully serve delicacies from the said country during flights, with its own movies shown. Exporting products that are manufactured is very much essential for Japanese since Dubai gets to export the said products to other countries as well. There are a couple of products to export all around the globe that Emirates has been a big part from the 60,000 tons of cargo it has carried since the year 2002.
DUBAI, U.A.E., 27thJuly 2011: Emirates has announced that they will start daily service of their most advanced A380 airbuses to historic city of Rome from December 1st, 2011. Celebrating its 50th anniversary on June 6 Emirates landed on Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport with the announcement to schedule a permanent A380 service to Italy to share commemoration of 150th year of Italian unification. Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation Mr. Salem Obaidalla said the A380 service to Rome would highlight their commitment to Italy to whom they are serving since 1992. Travellers would enjoy unparalleled on-board amenities in all classes and great connectivity of our network via the Dubai hub. He also thanked to the airport authorities who have strategically upgraded their infrastructure to accommodate A380 aircrafts. This fruitful investment will help strengthen economic ties and tourism between the UAE and Italy.Emirates, at present, has two flights to Milan and Venice daily which becomes a 35 flights weekly to draw US$ 4.6 billion business liaison between the two countries. The A380 flight EK 97 shall depart Dubai at 09:10hrs (local time) and arrive at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport at 12:35hrs (local time). Flight will return as EK 98 from Rome at 14:35hrs (local time) and arrives in Dubai at 23:05hrs (local time).
Emirates airlines have announced to set destination for its A380 squad in Malaysia on 1st December 2011. Previously the airline started its services to Kuala Lumpur through Dhaka in October 1996 and with a time span of ten years the airline was able to connect Kuala Lumpur with Dubai on non-stop basis. Today there are 21 non-stop flights scheduled among the two cities. The first ever A380 to Malaysia with flight number EK346 would fly, from Emirates’ platform to Kuala Lumpur, from Dubai at 04:05 hours and reach Kuala Lumpur at 14:55 hours the same day. The aircraft will return to Dubai vide flight no. EK347 from Kuala Lumpur at 19:30 hours and reach there by 22:30 hours. For the last 15 years Emirates of UAE, the leading trade partner of Malaysia, has played a major role between the two countries. According to Richard Jewsbury, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Far East and Australia, following robust and cumulative necessity of travelling to and from Malaysia Emirates has incorporated its A380 on the same route which will facilitate businessmen and tourists resulting in increased tourism for Malaysia. He also added “I would like to express my gratitude to YB. Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, Minister of Transport, YB. Dato’ Sri Dr.Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism and Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director, Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), all of who have supported Emirates over the years and made this A380 launch possible.” Trade volume between the two countries has been multiplied in the last ten years from US$ 1.16 billion to US$ 4.59 billion and still increasing. Addition of A380 to Emirates’ service line has helped passengers fly to 100 plus European, Middle Eastern, African or American destinations of their choice. There are also stopover packages providing travellers to stay and relax in the soothing sights of Dubai.
Lufthansa declared to launch its service from Munich to Mexico City next summer. A340-600 based airbuses would start to fly from 26 March 2012. There would be five landings on Mexico City per week from Munich which will augment to those flights by Lufthansa from Frankfurtto Mexico daily. Thomas Klühr, Lufthansa German Airlines Board member said: “We are delighted to be able to offer a connection from our Munich hub to Central America. In economic terms, in particular, Mexico is gaining in importance for the Bavarian market”. Mexico City is one of world’s greatest metropolises with a population of 30 million. The city is capital of the country for its full paced political activities, business relations, social influences and cultural activitieswhile largest transport systems put it on the fore front as well. There are numerous museums with historical heritage and monuments in the city that attracts the tourists from the globe. Another amusement is diversified theatre scenes from the world. The new A340-600 airbus service will complete the distance from Munich to Mexico City in 13:00 hours and squad will find destination back to Munich from Mexico City in 11:40 hours.
Starting August 1, passengers of Singapore Airlines can now connect to Virgin Australia flights to various Australian destinations on one ticket, which includes meals, terminal transfers, and in-flight entertainment. August 1 also marks the launch of reciprocal lounge access between Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia, which is said to be phase 1 of the two airlines’ alliance. Members of Singapore Airlines’ PPS Club and KrisFlyer Gold will have access to Virgin Australia’s six domestic lounges which they can enjoy when they fly with Virgin Australia. Similarly, members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Gold will have access to 14 Singapore Airlines lounges worldwide when they fly with Singapore Airlines. The two airlines lodged an application with the ACCC in June to propose an alliance which would allow Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia to: provide seamless flight connections between the two countries by coordinating schedules codeshare on domestic and international flights engage in joint marketing, sales, and distribution efforts and activities have reciprocal lounge access and frequent flyer benefits Ms. Merren McArthur, Virgin Australia’s Group Executive, said this interline agreement will make it easier for Singapore Airlines passsengers to go through domestic and regional destinations in and around Australia, which would also help promote tourism in the country. Singapore Airlines Executive VP Commercial Mr. Mak Swee Wah also said their partnership and alliance with Virgin Australia is already providing their customers greater convenience and more travel options. Wah also said the interline benefits and offerings will get even better by late this year when both airlines get regulatory approval for their proposed interline benefits and alliance.
With Sennheiser PXC 360 BT Noise Canceling Bluetooth you can enjoy the Sennheiser sound you love at 28,000 feet. Luxurious around the ear cups powered by NoiseGard 2.0 eliminates 90% of background sound for a incredibly relaxing flight, with the added benefit of Bluetooth enabling you to listed to iPad, iPhone & android devices without any audio cables giving you more freedom and increased mobility. Incredibly the Sennheiser PXC 360 BT Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headset are one of the very few Noise Cancelling headsets with both active noise cancellation as well as Bluetooth technology built-in to them Price: US $334.99 Geek Town has the following to conclude about the Sennheiser PXE 360 BT Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones “So should you buy the PXC 360 BT’s? Well, there’s no escaping the price. In the course of this review we sampled a number of competitive headphones which offered similar sound quality, often for hundreds of dollars less. But what we couldn’t find was a pair that hit so many of the high points frequent travellers are looking for. Marrying high quality sound and solid construction in a compact, lightweight design while packing Bluetooth and noise cancellation into one set of headphones is more than most people will need, but if you find yourself removing your shoes before passing through a metal detector more than once a month, $500 may seem like a small price to pay for a little serenity between takeoff and landing.” Born2Code Blog has the following to say about this set: “Overall, I’m very happy with these headphones. I like having the option to choose between wired and Bluetooth and active noise cancellation only makes it better. I’m also glad that I can use the PXC 360 BT as wired headphones even without the battery. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s always on the move. The Sennheiser PXC 360 BT retails for $589.95 but is available on Amazon.com for $329.99” The Sennheiser PXE 360 BT Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones have the following operating times on a single recharge: Bluetooth enabled: 10 Hours Bluetooth + Noise Cancellation Enabled: 8 Hours Wired + Noise Canceallation Enabled: 20 Hours What we like Sennheiser PXE 360 BT Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones: Fold-able Design Allowing for compact storage when traveling Great Sturdy carry case Talk-Through Technology which allows you to hear a conversation that is going on around you without taking off your headset, simply press the button. Great Battery Life Bluetooth – need I say more no need to be teathered with your iPhone or iPad with the option for Wired if you are using a device that does not have Bluetooth 2 Year Warranty Cons: A little on the more expensive side, however you do get some great features (Bluetooth & Noise Cancellation) Price: US $334.99
Virgin Australia today announced Mackay as the second destination in line to get the companies new Domestic Business Class service. Virgin Australia will operate the service by the end of this year on one of their new Boeing 737-800 that was featured at the Virgin Australia launch event earlier this month, which features 8 business class seats configured in a 2-2 seating configuration, and will feature luxury leather seating, inflight entertainment options restaurant quality gourmet meals inspired by Luke Mangan. Along with the new Virgin Australia Business Class service Mackay will also see the first Virgin Australia Lounge, which is also slated to be opened by the end of 2011. Virgin Australias Mackay lounge will feature: 260m² in size lounge seating for up to 70 Guests Premium Luke Mangan designed refreshments A premium selection of beverages Business services including complimentary WiFi, power, PC and printer Entertainment and relaxation with newspapers, premium magazine titles and a Panasonic high definition Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director John Borghetti stated “Mackay is an extremely important market for Virgin Australia. It is the gateway to many of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations and also boasts a strong mining industry which attracts business travellers”. “We are in the process of rolling out our new Business Class product across our Boeing 737 fleet. Travellers to and from Mackay will be able to experience new levels of comfort and in-flight service before the end of 2011. “The new Business Class product offers Guests luxury leather seating, contemporary interior design, high quality in-flight products and gourmet food inspired by Luke Mangan,” he said.
As reported in back in February the new Virgin Australia Business will be put into service with two Airbus A330-200 from 26 May 2011 between Sydney and Perth. Today we got a firsthand look at this new cabin and seats. Virgin Australia Business Class Seats In total there 27 business class seats across 4 rows in a 2-2-2 seating configuration for the 1st row and a 2-3-2 seating configuration in the remaining 3 rows. The Virgin Australia Business Class seat on their Airbus A330-200 aircraft First row center aisle in Business Class on the Virgin Australia Airbus A330-200 Virgin Australia Business Class seat in a full reclined sleeping position These seats are reclined rather than lie flat and they are very comfortable, personally I would find it more acceptable on a 5 hour flight from Sydney to Perth, for someone like myself that has trouble sleeping in on most flights I am sure I could more than a few hours shuteye on a 5 hour flight to Perth with the help of Virgin Australia’s noise cancelling headphones that are provided for the flight. In-flight Entertainment SystemVirgin Australia’s In-flight entertainment system in Business Class is a multi-channel system seat back LCD display system, I did put the question how many channels the system supports but the product manager was unable to reveal this, however as these aircraft have been leased from Emirates the In-flight system is the same that is found on other Emirates Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which is a Panasonic Avionics system that supports up to 40 movies, 15 TV, 22 Audio and 18 interactive games. Size wise the IFE screen measures 16.5cm (6.5 Inch) Luke Mangan Business Class in-flight dining Luke Mangan’s philosophy behind the new menu was to source the finest, freshest local and Australian ingredients and showcase them with a clean and contemporary twist. Renowned for his modern creations, the new designer menu across economy and business class also highlights his French classical training and Asian influences, married with simple, fresh and clean flavors. Overall Virgin Australia have done a great job in Business however final judgment should be reserved until after it goes into service as the cabin and seats are only one half of a great Business Class experience. More coverage of Virgin Australia launch day can be found here with: Virgin Australia is Officially Launched Watch out Qantas Virgin Australia Launch Photos Virgin Australia TV Commercial
American Airlines announced this week that it was the first airline to test and the streaming of in-flight video and entertainment, which the company expects to give passengers a “Brand-new innovative in flight entertainment options” that will allow them to stream entertainment options to their personal Wi-Fi enabled devices. The solution that is currently being trialed in conjunction with American Airlines in-flight Wi-Fi Internet provider Aircell is already in trials on two transcontinental Boeing 767-200 aircraft, with customer testing to being early summer, with the full roll-out to being this fall. It is important to note this solution does not stream entertainment content from the ground to a passenger’s device but rather from the Aircraft’s media library to a passenger’s personal device/s. “Once again, American leads the industry in providing innovative options to keep customers connected, productive and entertained. American was the first North American airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi, and today we again set a new industry standard as the first domestic airline to test inflight streaming video content,” said Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President – Marketing. “We know our customers want to be connected on the ground and in the sky, so we are working hard to stay on the leading edge of connectivity through technology enhancements like this.” In addition, American will work with Aircell to further enhance onboard connectivity by expanding inflight Wi-Fi to its narrow body fleet, including additional MD80 and domestic Boeing 757-200 aircraft – successfully completing its Wi-Fi offering on all of its domestic aircraft dedicated to flying within the continental United States. The Wi-Fi expansion will include 93 of American’s domestic 757s used for routes within the continental United States, and up to 50 additional MD80 aircraft. Installation will begin this summer and continue through 2012. In addition, American continues to install Wi-Fi service on its entire fleet of 737-800 aircraft. “By expanding Wi-Fi to the remainder of American’s domestic fleet and adding movies and TV to the already powerful Internet, American and Aircell continue to transform the inflight experience,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Executive Vice President and CMO of Aircell. “In this new era of inflight entertainment and inflight connectivity convergence, we are proud to be American’s partner in innovation and applaud their leadership.”
To go with the rename/re-launch of Virgin Australia the airline has released a new TV commercial, introducing the new Virgin Australia brand to the country. The 60 second long TV commercial shows elements of the companies re-branding from aircraft seating through to The Lounge and new staff uniforms. There are no voice over’s or people speaking during the commercial just an upbeat music from Les Gock Sound Thinking then toward the end the text WE’VE ASSEMBLED THE BEST TO PUT THE MAGIC BACK INTO FLYING, followed by the Virgin Australia logo and now you’re flying is displayed. You can watch Virgin Australia’s new TV commercial below: The new commercial was shot in Sydney, Melbourne and Shanghai and was created by Clemenger BBDO Agency Sydney Virgin Australia Airlines CEO John Borghetti said the new advertising campaign was designed to be unique and memorable and provide Australians with an entertaining insight into how Virgin Australia was working to create a superior airline experience. “Our new brand and service values embody a vibrant and professional organisation that offers every guest an excellent travel experience. The new advertising campaign captures the fresh energy and appeal of Virgin Australia and the talent and commitment of our staff”, Mr Borghetti said.