Posts Tagged ‘asia’


[Euractiv.com] Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Tuesday (5 August) to retaliate for the grounding of a subsidiary of national airline Aeroflot because of EU sanctions, with one newspaper reporting that European flights to Asia over Siberia could be banned.

Low-cost carrier Dobrolyot, operated by Aeroflot, suspended all flights last week after its airline leasing agreement was cancelled under European Union sanctions because it flies to Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

“We should discuss possible retaliation,” Medvedev said at a meeting with the Russian transport minister and a deputy chief executive of Aeroflot.

The business daily Vedomosti reported that Russia may restrict or ban European airlines from flying over Siberia on Asian routes, a move that would impose costs on European carriers by making flights take longer and require more fuel.

Vedomosti quoted unnamed sources as saying the foreign and transport ministries were discussing the action, which would put European carriers at a disadvantage to Asian rivals but would also cost Russia money it collects in overflight fees.

Shares in Aeroflot – which according to Vedomosti gets around $300 million a year in fees paid by foreign airlines flying over Siberia – tumbled after the report, closing down 5.9% compared with a 1.4% drop on the broad index.

Siberia ban would force EU carriers into costly detours

At the height of the Cold War, most Western airlines were barred from flying through Russian airspace to Asian cities, and instead had to operate via the Gulf or the US airport of Anchorage, Alaska on the polar route.

European carriers now fly over Siberia on their rapidly growing routes to countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, paying the fees which have been subject to a long dispute between Brussels and Moscow.

Vedomosti quoted one source as saying a ban could cost airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France €1 billion over three months, but industry experts said that figure was probably too high.

Avoiding Russian airspace would probably be 25-50% more expensive than paying fees for transit, said Russian aviation consultant Boris Ryabok, estimating European airlines would lose around $100-200 million per year, less than the cost to Russia of the lost fees.

Lufthansa said it operates about 180 flights a week through Siberian airspace but declined further comment, as did British Airways.

The EU has widened its sanctions after last month’s downing of a Malaysian airliner over territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Moscow rebels, with the loss of 298 lives.

 

Read the full story at Euractiv.com…..

 


Euactiv.com
6th Aug, 2014



[Dawn.com] Singapore Airlines announced on Thursday that it intends to spend more than Sg$20 million ($16 million) to upgrade its airport lounges worldwide in a bid to stay ahead of the competition.

“We hope to replicate that ‘home away from home’ experience in our lounges", SIA senior vice president for products and services Tan Pee Teck.  Photo: Wikipedia

“We hope to replicate that ‘home away from home’ experience in our lounges”, SIA senior vice president for products and services Tan Pee Teck. Photo: Wikipedia

The announcement of the upgrade came nine days after the airline, facing fiercer rivalry from Asian and Middle Eastern carriers, unveiled plans to introduce revamped seats and cabin interiors as well as improved in-flight entertainment.

The upgrade of its “SilverKris” lounges will be carried out over five years starting from the middle of next year when the facility at Sydney airport will be fitted with a new design concept, SIA said in a statement.

“We hope to replicate that ‘home away from home’ experience in our lounges, along with the warm Asian hospitality that Singapore Airlines is renowned for,”SIA senior vice president for products and services Tan Pee Teck said.

The airline has 15 SilverKris lounges at airports worldwide, including one in New Delhi – to be officially opened next month – and in Seoul which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

SIA is regarded as a trendsetter in aviation and is famous for its cabin service, but rivals like Cathay Pacific in Asia and Etihad, Emirates and Gulf Air from the Middle East have been closing the gap while offering lower fares.

It said last week it had hired BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA and James Park Associates, two renowned design companies, to develop the “next generation of inflight cabin products” expected to be introduced next year.

The changes will include revamped seats, redesigned cabins and upgraded entertainment platforms as new passenger planes from Boeing and Airbus begin arriving.

Read the original story at Dawn.com…..


Dawn.com
25th Aug, 2012



[NPR] Right at this moment, more than two-thirds of all airport construction in the world is happening in China.

82% of Chinese people will live within 100 kilometers of an airport by 2020.

82% of Chinese people will live within 100 kilometers of an airport by 2020.  Photo Wikipedia

The total number of airports in China will be 244 airports by 2020. . This means that by then, 82% of Chinese people will live within 100 kilometers of an airport.

The country is in the first full year of a five-year plan to eventually make China the center of global aviation, and the Chinese government is pumping a quarter-trillion dollars into the project.

“From the American perspective, the whole idea of five-year plans is preposterous,” says James Fallows, author of a new book about China’s aviation boom, called China Airborne. “If you think five-year plan, you think Soviet Union, you think economic failure.”

The new plan is hugely ambitious and not at all certain to succeed, he tells NPR’s Guy Raz, but it’s a window into whether China’s overall economic strategy is actually the model for the 21st century or a cautionary tale.

“Part of the genius of the Chinese economic boom over the last couple of decades,” Fallows says, “is they have combined this large-scale government direction, which actually is important there, with this whole infinity of private, uncontrolled, very entrepreneurial activity.”

He says China’s leaders feel that if the country is ever to attain real prosperity, it needs to succeed in areas like pharmaceuticals, information technology and aerospace. “And that’s what this next push is all about,” he says.

Fallows adds that the new…….

Read the full article at NPR.org……


NPR Staff
May 19, 2012



[Aviation Herald]  – UPDATED STORY HERE….

Search and rescue teams using helicopters this morning, suspect that they have found the wreckage of a Russian built airliner on the slopes of Mount Salak, about 5,300 feet up the mountainside.

Rescue teams are currently on the ground and only about 1km from the crash site. Picture: Aviation Herald

Ground based rescue and recovery teams are currently on their way to the crash site.

The first attempts to reach the crash site, including attempts to set rescuers down by helicopters had previously failed due to the extremely steep terrain. About 450 rescue personnel are currently moving towards the crash site by foot but had not reached the crash site before darkness fell. The rescue teams are currently only about 1km from the crash site.

The coordinator of the rescue operation said that the aircraft “appeared relatively intact from the air” however it is clear that is has received substantial damage after leaving a trail away from the crater down the slope, there was no sign of survivors from the air.

As rescuers have yet to reach the site the status of the occupants on board of the aircraft is still unknown. The rescue operation has been suspended for the night but will resume in the morning.

The aircraft with 36 passengers and 6 crew plus 2 Sukhoi executives on board was flying from Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport on a round demonstration flight. As it neared regions called Mount Salak and Bogor, about 40 miles south of Jakarta it vanished from radar and radio contact was lost.Indonesian air transport officials stated that the aircraft was flying at about 10,000 feet near Mount Salak at 3:30pm local time when the crew requested a descent to 6000 feet.

The request was granted by local air traffic control; this was the last contact that they had with the aircraft.

Radar contact was lost as the aircraft descended in a right hand turn, at the previously requested height between Mount Salak and Mount Gede.

Mount Salak is 2,211 meters (7254 feet) high, nearby Mount Gede is 2,958 meters (9,705 feet) high.

Sukhoi’s Welcome Asia! road show

The Russian built Suhkoi Superjet 100 aircraft was on a promotional tour of Asia when it lost radio contact with local air traffic controllers in Western Indonesia earlier yesterday.

The Sukhoi aircraft arrived in Jakarta on May 8th 2012, on the fourth stop of a six-nation “Welcome Asia!” road show after having already been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. It was supposed to head next to Laos and Vietnam.

Sukhoi is Russia’s major aircraft holding company, employing more than 26,000 people.

See pictures taken near the scene and read the original report from the Aviation Herald….


Reporting by Chris Newman
from the original story by the Aviation Herald
10th May, 2012



[Aviation Herald] – UPDATED STORY HERE….

A Russian built Suhkoi Superjet 100 aircraft on a promotional tour of Asia lost radio contact with local air traffic controllers in Western Indonesia earlier today.

ukhoi Superjet 100 is designed for transportation of 98 passengers

Sukhoi Superjet 100 is designed for transportation of 98 passengers Photo: Wikipedia

The aircraft with 36 passengers and 6 crew plus 2 Sukhoi executives on board was flying from Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport on a round demonstration flight. As it neared regions called Mount Salak and Bogor, about 40 miles south of Jakarta it vanished from radar and radio contact was lost.

Indonesian air transport officials stated that the aircraft was flying at about 10,000 feet near Mount Salak at 3:30pm local time when the crew requested a descent to 6000 feet.

The request was granted by local air traffic control; this was the last contact that they had with the aircraft.

Radar contact was lost as the aircraft descended in a right hand turn, at the previously requested height between Mount Salak and Mount Gede.

Search flights had been initiated in the area but were suspended after nightfall. On the ground a search team was deployed, and arrived after nightfall in the Mount Salak area. They will be joined by a second team in the morning at first light.

Mount Salak is 2,211 meters (7254 feet) high, nearby Mount Gede is 2,958 meters (9,705 feet) high.

The Sukhoi aircraft arrived in Jakarta on May 8th 2012, on the fourth stop of a six-nation “Welcome Asia!” road show after having already been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. It was supposed to head next to Laos and Vietnam.

Sukhoi is Russia’s major aircraft holding company, employing more than 26,000 people.

Read the original report from the Aviation Herald….


Reporting by Chris Newman
from the original story by the Aviation Herald
9th May, 2012



AFP, SYDNEY: Australian flag carrier Qantas is still considering Singapore as the base for a premium carrier in Asia, chief executive Alan Joyce said in a report published yesterday.

Qantas’ Asia plans sparked a fierce domestic backlash when unveiled last year

Qantas’ Asia plans sparked a fierce domestic backlash when unveiled last year

Qantas’ Asian plans — which it sees as key to its strategy of revitalizing its loss-making international business — were dealt a blow when talks with Malaysian Airlines over the premium joint-venture collapsed last month.

Talks with Singapore on the issue had also lapsed, but Joyce told the Australian newspaper that the airline was still looking at a range of options for a premium Asian airline, including the city state.

“This will take a bit longer than we originally thought, but we’re still keen to set up a premium airline in Asia and we’re still looking at a range of options available to us — and Singapore is one of them,” Joyce said.

He added that Qantas was still talking to the Singapore government on the idea.

“We work with them on a range of issues and one of them is keeping the door open to the possibility of a premium airline,” Joyce told the newspaper.

Qantas holds a 65 percent share of the domestic Australian market, but has struggled with an underperforming international business.

It is attempting to refocus on Asia, the world’s fast-growing aviation market, and last month announced a new Hong Kong-based budget airline, Jetstar Hong Kong, which it hopes will be in the air next year.

However, Joyce said that for long-term success, Qantas, which has a weak market share in Asia, needed to participate in the premium end of the regional market.

“Qantas could probably live with it for the next few years, but I’m committed to [the idea] that in the future we have to address it, and the way to address it is to be involved in a premium airline in Asia,” he said…..

Read the full story at The Taipei Times…..


Taipei Times
23rd April 2012



The Indian government has approved a debt restructuring plan to save Air India, the country’s national airline.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said 30bn rupees would be injected into the airline by 2020.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said 30bn rupees would be injected into the airline by 2020.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said 30bn rupees ($5.9bn; £3.7bn) would be injected into the airline by 2020.

But there will be many checks and targets that the company will need to achieve, the minister said. Mr Singh said the restructuring was necessary as the government could not continue to spend public money on the loss-making airline.

Mr Singh told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that around 7.4bn rupees of Air India’s assets would be converted into non-convertible debentures.

The debt-ridden airline has outstanding loans and dues of 67.5bn rupees.

In February, three state-owned oil firms – Indian oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum – halted supplies to the airline for almost four hours for non-payment of dues. Last year too, oil firms had put the airline on a cash-and-carry deal, which meant that Air India had to pay every time it refuelled its planes, rather than get a 90-day grace period usually given to make payments.

The firms restored the credit limit on assurances from the government that payments would be made on time….

Read the full BBC story here….


BBC News
12 April 2012



The FINANCIAL — jetBlue Airways and LOT Polish Airlines, Poland’s flag carrier, are proud to announce today a new interline partnership which will allow their customers to seamlessly book connections through jetBlue’s home at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and LOT’s hub at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport.

JetBlue offers easy connections between LOT-operated transatlantic flights and many cities along the East Coast including Buffalo; Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; as well as many cities in Florida

jetBlue offers easy connections between LOT-operated transatlantic flights and many cities along the East Coast including Buffalo; Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; as well as many cities in Florida

Now, travellers can book reservations on jetBlue and LOT via their travel professional or via LOT’s call center or website.

LOT offers nonstop service from New York to its hub in Warsaw, where customers can connect to more than 45 destinations across Poland, Europe and the Middle East. Some of the most popular destinations include Bucharest, Budapest, Belgrade, Kiev , Lviv, Odessa, Riga, Saint Petersburg, Sofia, Tallinn and Vilnius.

According to jetBlue Airways, in New York, JetBlue offers easy connections between LOT-operated transatlantic flights and many cities along the East Coast including Buffalo; Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; as well as many cities in Florida.

LOT offers nonstop service from New York to its hub in Warsaw, where customers can connect to more than 45 destinations across Poland, Europe and the Middle East

LOT offers nonstop service from New York to its hub in Warsaw, where customers can connect to more than 45 destinations across Poland, Europe and the Middle East

LOT is one of Poland’s most recognized brands, known for its constant reinvention and great customer service. Over the past year, the airline has redesigned its livery, updated its cabin crew uniform and made multiple enhancements to both its inflight and ground product. Further, it recently completed an order of up to eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners, making it the first global network carrier in Europe to operate the commercial jetliner. LOT will take delivery of the first two Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2012.

See the full story at THE FINANCIAL….


Monday 09/04/2012
THE FINANCIAL



The ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’ earns airline Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction Award for February.

The ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’ earns airline Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction Award for February

The ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’ earns airline Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction Award for February

Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia’s national carrier, has been recognised as ‘Best International Airline for February 2012’ in Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction Awards, an accolade the airline was recently honoured with for the month January 2012.

Bagus Y. Siregar, Senior General Manager Australia/SWP Garuda Indonesia commented: “We are honoured to receive this award for the second time this year and it encourages us to maintain the high standards we have implemented as we progress towards becoming one of Asia’s leading airlines.”

The Customer Satisfaction survey conducted by research company Roy Morgan, ranked Garuda Indonesia ahead of other leading airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Air New Zealand with a monthly satisfaction score of 91 per cent.

The recent awards recognise the success of Garuda Indonesia’s Qantum Leap program which includes the revitalisation of the airline’s existing fleet and the introduction of The Garuda Indonesia Experience, the carrier’s service concept that offers a uniquely Indonesian level of service on the ground and inflight.

Garuda Indonesia will continue to invest in enhancing its service offerings in order to become a five star carrier by 2015.

Read the full Travel Blackboard story…..


etravelblackboard.com
Wednesday, 4 April 2012



International Airlines Group plans to use some of the 42 extra Heathrow slots gained from its takeover of bmi to increase British Airways’ exposure to Asia, after the deal was approved by the European Commission.

AIG plans to increase British Airways' exposure to Asia

IAG agreed to give up 14 pairs of take-off and landing slots after buying bmi Photo: Alamy

The EC gave IAG, which owns BA and Iberia, the green light on Friday after the   aviation giant agreed to give up four more pairs of take-off and landing   slots than the 10 originally put on the negotiating table.

Among the 14 pairs of slots relinquished are seven that have to be used to   operate routes between Heathrow and Scotland.

The extra slots will be passed to a trustee appointed by the EC before being   auctioned off to rival carriers.

Virgin Atlantic, which challenged the £172.5m takeover, is expected to compete   for the Heathrow slots when they are eventually put on the market. Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, said talks will now commence with unions   over job losses at bmi, which currently has a workforce of 2,600

He said the deal would secure “the maximum number of jobs possible in the   company” but he warned: “I make no secret of the fact that there   will inevitably be some redundancies”.

Lufthansa had signalled it would shut loss-making bmi had the acquisition not   received EC approval.

IAG will operate bmi’s summer schedule but Mr Walsh said he then intends to   use the slots to expand BA’s long-haul network, including flights to parts   of Asia where the flagship carrier does not currently serve.

Friday night’s decision from the EC avoided the possibility of a lengthy “phase   two” investigation, although the takeover could still be delayed if Sir   Richard Branson’s Virgin decides to pursue an appeal. A spokesman for Virgin said: “We are very concerned that a deal of such   significance has been waved through with very little regard for the flying   public.

“The last-minute remedies offered this week by British Airways were not   shared with the industry and they have not been subject to a detailed assessment…..

Full story from The Telegraph here….


By Nathalie Thomas
8:34PM BST 30 Mar 2012