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Posts Tagged ‘Airways’

Qatar Airways flight touches down in Hanoi, network expands

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 1:41 am

British Airways, Iberia fly back to profit

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

LONDON (AFP) – British Airways and Iberia of Spain flew back into profits on Friday ahead of their merger as the pair cut costs and benefited from a fragile recovery in air travel and the global economy.


BA posted net profits of 107 millions pounds (122 millions euros, 170 million dollars) for the six months to September, its first interim profit for two years, as revenues rose and non-fuel costs fell.


In Madrid, Iberia posted a 74-million-euro net profit for its third quarter, or three months to September, after a year-earlier loss of 16.4 million euros.


The healthy results are the latest evidence of a strengthening recovery in the global airline industry which was savaged by the worldwide economic slump that hammered demand for air travel.


BA’s first-half earnings after tax compared with a net loss of 217 million pounds in the six months to September 2009, the airline said in a statement.


The profits reflected steep cost-cutting and came despite recent travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in April and cabin crew strikes.


Next month, BA and Iberia shareholders will vote on their landmark merger deal that is due to be completed in January 2011, creating the second largest airline group in Europe after Germany’s Lufthansa.


“The changes we have made to our cost base are now having a big impact on the business,” BA chief executive Willie Walsh said.


“I’m pleased with the results today — they demonstrate that the action we have taken has been the right decision for the business. The figures speak for themselves.”


He added: “The challenge we faced was one of structural cost difference between us and our competitors.


“We are also benefiting from an improved economy, which we hope will pick up in 2011. We don’t see any evidence to support a double-dip (return to recession).”


BA revenues rose 8.4 percent to 4.45 billion pounds in the reporting period, while operating costs declined 1.5 percent.


Pre-tax profit hit 158 million pounds, compared with a year-earlier loss of 292 million pounds and way above analyst forecasts for profit of 73 million pounds.


“Our concerted efforts to introduce permanent structural change across the airline has led to a reduction in non-fuel costs and a return to profitability,” Walsh said.


Despite healthy first-half profits, BA saw its share price slide in early morning trade on Friday as the group warned that the economic outlook was uncertain — and cited a tax hike in Britain next week.


BA shares sank 2.78 percent to 272.90 pence on the London stock market, which was 0.11 percent lower in late morning trade.


On Monday, the British government will ramp up Air Passenger Duty (APD), which is levied on all flights from British airports. The tax will rise by 55 percent for the most far-flung destinations.


“While positive, the economic environment continues to be subject to uncertainty, to which the increase in APD is unhelpful. We continue to focus on managing our costs,” the British carrier said.


The BA-Iberia tie-up will create Europe’s second-biggest airline by market value after Germany’s Lufthansa, combining Iberia’s strong position in Latin America with BA’s presence in Africa, Asia and North America.


Following the merger, Walsh will become chief executive of a new umbrella company which will control the two airlines, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), while Iberia chairman Antonio Vazquez will be chairman.


Earlier this month, BA launched a transatlantic alliance with Iberia and American Airlines, pledging cheaper fares and more travel choice in a new agreement for greater coordination over routes.


The tie-up allows them to cooperate commercially on flights between the European Union, Switzerland, and Norway and the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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Source: SGGP

Qatar Airways increases flights to Asia

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2010 at 7:52 pm




Qatar Airways increases flights to Asia


QĐND – Thursday, October 21, 2010, 19:49 (GMT+7)


PANO – Qatar Airways detailed its commitment to expanding its presence and offering in the Asian Market at ITB Asia, the region’s largest travel trade show taking place in Singapore between October 20 and 22.

The airline is promoting new routes to Phuket and Hanoi and increased services to Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, together with exciting stopover packages for international events in Doha to make a trip to Asia an even more attractive option for European travellers, the carrier announced the plan on October 21st.


Qatar’s new route to Thailand’s premier resort island of Phuket offers flights six times a week, increasing to daily flights in November via Kuala Lumpur and connecting to several of Qatar Airways’ key markets in Europe. Launched on October 12, this is Qatar’s second route to Thailand and the 8th new international destination it has launched this year. The Phuket services are part of an overall capacity increase to Thailand, which is witnessing a rapid post-recession recovery in tourism with arrivals expected to top 14 million in 2010. Qatar Airways boost its Doha – Bangkok frequencies from twice daily flights to triple daily effective from November 1.  Qatar Airways will exercise fifth freedom traffic rights allowing it to sell tickets between Phuket and Kuala Lumpur. 


Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the airline’s route to Thailand’s largest island reinforced the airline’s commitment to target underserved Asian markets. On November 1, Qatar will commence four flights a week to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, as well as increased frequency to Ho Chi Minh City from three flights a week to daily.


“Visitor numbers to Asian destinations such as Phuket and Hanoi are on the rise and Qatar Airways will look to take advantage of our European connections from countries like Russia, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and other parts of Europe to expand the market. With only a handful of airlines offering flights from Europe to these destinations, the opportunity is there for us to acquire market share,” said Al Baker.


In Asia-Pacific, Qatar Airways’ route network now extends to 17 destinations and makes up almost 20 per cent its global network.


Qatar Airways Stopover Packages


To sweeten the offer further, Qatar is taking advantage of the many international events in home-base Doha offering VIP stopover packages through Qatar Airways Holidays.


Qatar is launching the VIP deal with the World Tennis Association Championships- Doha 2010 and the 2nd Annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival from October 26 to 31. More event-linked offers will be rolled out during 2011 providing travelers with VIP tickets and select hotels to create exclusive stopover package.  


Qatar Airways Awarded

Recognising its long-term partnership with Asia and growing services and products, Qatar was recently awarded two major industry accolades: Best Middle Eastern Airline By TTG Asia Magazine for the 5th consecutive year and Best Middle Eastern Airline Business Traveller Asia-Pacific for the 2nd year running. 


Both awards are in recognition of Qatar Airways’ strong commitment towards travel excellence as voted by readers of TTG Asia – a prestigious weekly travel trade magazine published across Asia – and the monthly Business Traveller Asia Pacific, which also has sister titles worldwide aimed at frequent fliers. 


Qatar Airways is the only Middle East carrier in an elite club of Five Star-ranked airlines recognising the best in service excellence by industry audit, Skytrax.


The airline’s Senior Vice President East Asia and South West Pacific, Marwan Koleilat, who picked up the awards on behalf of the airline, said: “Qatar Airways continues to set high benchmarks to remain competitive. Across Asia Pacific, we have made significant inroads with our flights and increased capacity that provide us with extensive reach in one of the world’s most important vibrant regions.”


 


“The awards are further evidence of Qatar Airways’ success in offering innovative products and services to our passengers,” he said adding, “We are proud that the exceptional standards we set have been recognised by our valuable customers, as well as the travel industry.”


Since February this year, Qatar Airways has launched flights from its Doha hub to Bangalore, Tokyo, Ankara, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Buenes Aires and Phuket.


Over the next five months Qatar Airways will introduce scheduled flights to Hanoi, Nice, , Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels and Struttgart. With a growing international network, Qatar Airways is able to offer passengers from across Asia with excellent connections to destinations around the world via Doha.


Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 89 aircraft to 93 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North and South America. The carrier has outstanding orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over US$40 billion.


 


Reported by Thu Nguyen


 


Source: QDND

Qatar Airways expanding Vietnam network with 7 more flights

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Qatar Airways is expanding its operations in Vietnam, a fast-growing market in Asia, where the Middle East airline has already been flying from Doha to Ho Chi Minh City.


The flag carrier of Qatar announced Oct. 4 that from November 1 this year, Hanoi would become its second network point in the country, with four weekly flights to Doha operating via Bangkok.

This file photo shows Qatar Airways personnel at the Qatar Airways pavilion in an international travel expo in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2008 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Qatar Airways said it would launch a third daily flight to the Thai capital November 1. The additional Bangkok service will continue to Vietnam with four of the flights heading onwards to the Vietnamese capital and three onto Ho Chi Minh City, making the HCMC route a daily service.


The new daily service means four direct flights and three via Bangkok.


Meanwhile, the flights to Hanoi will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.


“Our third daily flight to Bangkok will create further connectivity across our network into Thailand and also allows us to improve our services to Vietnam where we already fly to Ho Chi Minh City and look forward to adding Hanoi to our schedules,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said in the announcement.


Beginning October 12, Qatar Airways operates six flights a week to Thailand’s Phuket via Kuala Lumpur.


Akbar Al Baker added in the statement, “With Phuket and Hanoi coming online around the same time, Qatar Airways will soon operate to two destinations each in Vietnam and Thailand and we are thrilled to be able to offer the traveling public these exciting destinations and, with it, offer more choice.”


The travel market in Asia is experiencing significant growth, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).


Remarking the growth, Baker said, “IATA statistics have passenger demand in the Asia Pacific region up over 10 per cent on the previous year. The timing of Qatar Airways’ expansion drive in Asia couldn’t be better to take advantage of this increase in traffic.”


Both Emirates and Etihad Airways, two other major Middle East airlines, are not serving Vietnam.


In March 2007, Qatar Airways launched its Doha – Ho Chi Minh City route with four non-stop direct flights.

Source: SGGP

Qatar Airways expansion: flights to Hanoi, daily service for HCMC

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Qatar Airways has announced a massive expansion plan for its operations in Vietnam, saying it will add Hanoi to its network and make the Ho Chi Minh City route a daily service.


A Qatar Airways statement, seen in HCM City Wednesday, said from November 1 this year, Hanoi will become the airline’s second network point in the country, with four weekly flights to Doha operating via Bangkok.


The flights will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.


The carrier’s HCM City route will on the same day become a daily service with three extra flights a week heading to Doha, also via Bangkok, adding to the four non-stop direct flights in operation since March 2007.

This file photo shows a Qatar Airways flight attendant stand at the Qatar Airways pavilion in an international travel expo in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Therefore, the new daily service means four direct flights and three via Bangkok.


The expansion will boost Qatar Airways’ services to 11 flights a week from Vietnam to Doha and further open up the airline’s global network to traveling Vietnamese, with the airline offering onward connections from Doha to destinations throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North and South America.


The new Vietnam flights are part of a global expansion program that will see Qatar Airways add six new routes over a four month period from October 2010.


The announcement said daily flights from Doha to Thailand’s Phuket will start on October 11. The new flights will operate via Kuala Lumpur. Qatar Airways will also launch flights to Bucharest, Nice, Brussels and Budapest, bringing the airline’s route network to over 95 destinations by January 2011. 


Qatar Airways senior vice president, Commercial East Asia and Southwest Pacific, Marwan Koleilat said that Vietnam was a key growth market for the airline.


“Qatar Airways is delighted to be expanding in Vietnam with the country forging ahead and experiencing rapid economic development,” he said in the announcement.
 
“The new route to Hanoi and the boosting of our Ho Chi Minh City flights to daily services demonstrate the confidence that Qatar Airways has in Vietnam.”


“We have a serious commitment to the Vietnamese people not only to bring tourists to Vietnam, who will contribute to the economy, but to also provide the traveling public access a growing global network and world class airline services.”


Qatar Airways says by 2013, it plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircraft. At present the airline’s fleet stands at 84 aircraft, flying to 90 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.

Source: SGGP

British Airways cabin crew launch new strike

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2010 at 5:17 am

LONDON, May 30, 2010 (AFP) – British Airways cabin crew started a fresh five-day strike on Sunday with little sign of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between their union and the airline.

Joint general secretarys of the Unite union, Tony Woodley (C) and Derek Simpson (2nd R) address striking British Airways cabin crew on the third day of a five-day strike near Heathrow Airport on May 26, 2010. AFP photo

The latest strike by the Unite union is aimed at disrupting travel in the half-term school holidays in Britain, with a further five-day stoppage planned from June 5, which could hit flights to the football World Cup in South Africa.


Unite said it believed the 12 days of strikes since March had already cost BA 84 million pounds (121.5 million dollars, 99 million euros).


Talks between the two sides ended without agreement on Friday with Unite accusing BA chief executive Willie Walsh of blocking a resolution to the dispute on travel perks for cabin crew.


Derek Simpson, Unite’s joint leader, said: “He has refused to reinstate travel concessions in full despite Unite making it clear that the union would suspend the strike if he did so.


“It would cost BA nothing to reinstate these travel concessions yet Willie Walsh is prepared to see the strike continue.”


BA said it would increase its flying schedule in the coming week as more cabin crew than expected had decided to work as normal during the strikes.


Its schedule of long-term flights from its London Heathrow hub will be increased to more than 70 percent — up from more than 60 percent this week.


The short-haul schedule from the airport will rise to more than 55 percent of flights, up from more than 50 percent this week.


This month, BA posted a record annual pre-tax loss of 531 million pounds.


The airline, which has been hit hard by the decreased demand for air travel, is slashing costs and merging with Spanish rival Iberia in a bid to return to profitability.

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Source: SGGP

British Airways strike enters final day

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:20 am








British Airways cabin crew enter the final stage of a three-day strike Monday. AFP file

LONDON (AFP) – British Airways cabin crew enter the final stage of a three-day strike Monday, in a dispute over planned changes to pay and conditions that has caused travel misery for thousands of passengers.


After a weekend marked by fierce disagreement over the strike’s effects between the airline and the Unite union, which represents its 12,000 cabin crew, the workers staged a final day of industrial action.


And unless a solution is found to the standoff over attempts by loss-making BA to downgrade its employees’ pay and perks packages, among the most lucrative in the industry, the staff will walk out again for four days from March 27.


BA claimed it had held up well during the walkout on Saturday and Sunday, saying it had reinstated at least 26 flights that had been axed as many cabin crew chose to turn up for work.


“We promised we would keep BA flying, that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said chief executive Willie Walsh in a video statement Sunday.


“I’m delighted that so many people in British Airways have come together to make sure that we keep the flag flying.”


But Unite said less than 20 percent of crew scheduled to work had turned up over the weekend, and the action had turned Heathrow’s flagship Terminal 5 into a “ghost town.”


“Contrary to the spin from the company about this strike collapsing, only five cabin crew have broken ranks and 80 have gone sick,” Unite’s joint leader Tony Woodley said.


He appealed to the BA board to bypass Walsh and resolve the dispute to halt a second round of industrial action due to start Saturday, which is targeting the busy Easter holiday period.


“I am now appealing to the BA chairman and sensible members of the board to use their influence, put passengers first, and return to the negotiating table for the good of everyone,” Woodley said.


“It is quite obvious this strike is in no one’s interest. We need a negotiated settlement.”


BA claimed that 97 percent of cabin crew scheduled to work on Saturday and Sunday at Gatwick had come in to work, and more than half the crews due to work over the weekend at Heathrow had turned up.


Against this, Unite said only 300 cabin crew out of 2,200 rostered to work had come in over the weekend.


Passengers who were able to travel said the strike had complicated their journeys.


Diane Huntley, 50, and her daughter Robin from Maine, New England, had to make a nine-hour bus trip from Edinburgh when their connecting flight to Heathrow was cancelled. They were on the way to Boston.


“My heart sank when we found out it was cancelled and it affected the holiday,” Diane Huntley said.


BA said it would operate eight long-haul flights and 18 short-haul flights which it had earlier expected to cancel. Destinations included Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Cape Town.


As well as using non-striking staff, the airline is offering travellers seats on planes leased from other carriers, including budget airline Ryanair.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown and finance minister Alistair Darling have both criticised the strike.


But with a general election expected to take place in May, the main opposition Conservatives have accused the government of a limp response to the strike because Unite is a donor to the ruling Labour Party.






















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US Airways jet lands when religious item mistaken as bomb

In World on January 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

A US Airways passenger plane was diverted to Philadelphia on Thursday after a religious item worn by a Jewish passenger was mistaken as a bomb, Philadelphia police said.


A passenger was alarmed by the phylacteries, religious items which observant Jews strap around their arms and heads as part of morning prayers, on the flight from New York’s La Guardia airport heading to Louisville.


“Someone on the plane construed it as some kind of device,” said officer Christine O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia police department.


No one was arrested or charged, O’Brien said.


The plane landed without incident and the passengers and crew were taken off the plane, a spokesman for US Airways said.








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A plane is escorted by a law enforcement vehicle to a terminal at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

Phylacteries, called tefillin in Hebrew, are two small black boxes with black straps attached to them. Observant Jewish men are required to place one box on their head and tie the other one on their arm each weekday morning.


Thursday’s incident was the latest of several false alarms on U.S. flights since the December 25 incident in which a Nigerian man attempted to detonate a bomb in his underpants from materials he smuggled onto the plane just as his flight was about to land in Detroit, authorities said.


The device did not explode and only burned the man, who was pounced on by fellow passengers.


Since then several flights have been diverted by security scares that have turned out to be harmless.


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Cambodia imposes flight ban on Siem Reap Airways

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian government has slapped a temporary flight ban on domestic carrier Siem Reap Airways amid concerns over its safety standard, local newspaper reported on November 26.

“The government has decided to stop flights temporarily and replace them with flights from its parent company, Bangkok Airways,” Chea Aun, Director General of the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

He noted that air service was needed to cater for foreigners, diplomats and tourists, and that the length of the ban would depend on the company’s response to questions about its safety record.

Siem Reap Airways issued a statement to travel agents on November 20, announcing the airline’s suspension of service and assuring all travelers that their reservations would be honored.

It added that all previously scheduled flights with Siem Reap Airways would be picked up by Bangkok Airways, which would accept all tickets issued for the banned carrier.

Bangkok Airways would operate four daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap according to normal flight schedules and beginning on November 22, effectively the start date of the temporary ban, the statement said.-

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