Friday, 27 June 2014

Mobile Boarding Passes, 49% Alitalia Stake- Etihad Making News

Etihad Airways has sealed the deal with Alitalia to pick up its 49% stake. This will be the largest investment by this Gulf carrier in a foreign carrier. Alitalia has been making losses for sometime now and was looking for funds to stay afloat. With this deal, Alitalia gets the much needed respite while Etihad seeks to deepen its connectivity in European markets. Etihad also has equity investments in other carriers such as airberlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia and Air Serbia.
The deal is likely to come under intense scrutiny by European Union, labour unions as well as other stakeholders of Alitalia. It is expected that there will be major moves to restructure the balance sheet of the carrier and about 17 percent of labour force might be rendered jobless. Another resistance to the deal would be from the other European carriers that have been pitching for retiring the loss making carriers to boost the profitability of the other carriers of the region rather than these being given leases of life by restructuring or government intervention. Lufthansa has already voiced its concern for this deal and its stated position on Gulf carriers eating into profits is also well known.
While the deal is going through, Etihad is also making changes to the way its customer experiences Etihad online check in and boarding using their mobiles. It has initiated the process of proving the online boarding passes through mobiles for passengers flying some routes and plans to expand the network to other destinations as well. The boarding pass will include a barcode which will be read by an electronic reader present at the departure gates.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Chandigarh-Mumbai Non Stop Flight Service From July 3 by GoAir

Budget carrier of India, GoAir, which is owned by the Wadia group of Mumbai will begin to fly to Chandigarh non-stop from Mumbai from July 3. The City Beautiful has been on the radar of the carrier for sometime and this fructifies the efforts to provide much needed connectivity. Chandigarh is currently connected to two other cities with non-stop flights- New Delhi and Srinagar. Flights from Chandigarh to Mumbai are currently provided by Jet Airways and IndiGo Airlines. 

Connecting Chandigarh is a part of the Vision 2015 program of GoAir which emphasises greater connectivity between the metro cities and the Tier II and Tier III cities. The other touch points of that program are to provide attractive fares on sustainable basis, increasing the utilization rates of aircraft (which would inevitably mean increasing the connectivity) and determination of an efficient cost structure (which would be critical for meeting expansion needs on one hand and providing sustainable low fare at the other).

GoAir is also slated to start its global operations by introducing flights to the Middle East region by next year.

Spicejet Launches Two More Flights From Muscat

India’s second largest low cost carrier, Spicejet, has deepened its connectivity of middle eastern sector with southern India with the introduction of two-way return flights from Muscat to Coimbatore and Madurai. These would be the via flights from Ahmedabad. The operation of the flight be 3 times in a week. As is noteworthy, Muscat operations of Spicejet will be launched in August 2014 and the booking of tickets for these sectors has already begun.
Spicejet will be deploying its 189 seater Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The budget airliner will be catering to both the leisure and business travelers with this aircraft. There is a plan for providing premium seating along with extra leg space for helping fliers fly more comfortably. Another facility will be the choice of hot meals such as beverages, sandwiches and snacks. Check out more spicejet destinations here.
Choice of Coimbatore and Madurai is not surprising since the former is a prominent hub after Chennai is the state of Tamil Nadu and the latter provides getaway connectivity to other Tamil Nadu cities such as Kodaikanal, Trichy, Rameshwaram, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

KrisFlyer Spree- The Newly Launched Singapore Airlines Online Mall

As you would know that KrisFlyer is the Frequent Flyer program of Singapore Airlines and it defines the various ways in which you can earn and redeem the miles that you have earned. The carrier has now added one more way in which you can  earn the miles, this time through its newly launched online store KrisFlyer Spree.
The customers are required to log-in with their accounts and then move on to shop from about 2000 well known brands and retailers. The partner brands which are participating are not only from Singapore but also from other countries which are close to Singapore such as the Australia. The mall has a number of product categories and suppliers. With every USD 10 spent on shopping, you earn anything from 19 to 25 KrisFlyer Miles. One notable exception to this is the hosting services from Godaddy where you can earn 185 KrisMiles for USD 10 spent on domain names, web hosting, etc. This is a huge benefit for the customers who can simply buy domain names which anyway comes in that price range and get so many KrisMiles.
However, you shall be mindful of the fact that it will take about 90 days for these miles to feature in your account and that these miles will not be available on refunds. It is due to this consideration of refunds processing, that the time of 90 days is sought for transferring points into your account.
The delivery of the products will happen as per the delivery rules of the participating merchants in their respective countries.
This program will encourage Singapore Airlines fliers to buy from this store and earn miles since the products featured are the ones which are hot sellers in respective markets and come from reputed brands.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Chile, Belize and Dominican Republic- the Next Destinations of United Airlines

For fliers who want to travel on direct non-stop flights to the Andean country, Chile, from US, United Airlines has announced a good news. In the coming winters, the carrier is expected to add Chilean capital, Santiago, on its route map. The carrier has announced that direct non-stop service will be provided between Houston Bush Intercontinental and Santiago from December 7, 2014. This will be a daily service.

Besides Chile, United will also be flying to Belize City from Chicago’s O’Hare airport from December 20. The flight will be available only on Saturday. Presently, Belize is connected from Houston and Newark Liberty.

Additional routes are also being planned to Punta Cana in Dominican Republic from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport with a Saturday-only service. Chicage, Newark and Washington already connect to this airport in Dominican Republic.

These new and additional United Airlines destinations will further augment the good presence of United Airlines in the South American continent.

Lufthansa Profits to be Less Than Expected, Gulf Airlines Make Merry

Airlines is a tight business. Tight- because there is not much of market development in the short run and there might be a number of airlines targeting much the same customers. So, most often, one’s profit is another’s loss. This is precisely what is happening with the US and European airlines on one hand and the Gulf carriers on the other. The rapid pace at which these airlines have consumed up the markets of India Subcontinent and South East Asia on one hand and Europe on the other has meant that traditionally strong full-service carriers such as Lufthansa are feeling the pinch.

The emergence of Gulf Airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar and development of robust infrastructure has meant that the airports in these regions have become hubs of many airlines at the cost of Paris, Frankfurt and London which had been the traditional hubs. Not surprisingly, Lufthansa has seen its shares take the dip.

It is not only the European airlines but also the US airlines which have been feeling the heat now. This is particularly in the wake of this fact that these gulf carriers are increasing their destinations in US with direct, non-stop long haul flights.