Airline news in brief 04/07/12

TD Guest Writer

Guest Writers are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the specific writer directly


News in brief this week so far from the airline industry


Dreamliner flying display planned for Farnborough

Boeing has announced that its B787 Dreamliner will participate in flying displays at the Farnborough Airshow later this month. The new aircraft flew into the 2010 edition of the UK air show and was on static display, but this year will mark the first time the Dreamliner has taken part in flight demonstrations. More here 


Delta to offer Wi-Fi on international flights

Delta Air Lines will start offering in-flight Wi-Fi on more than 150 of its long-haul international aircraft from early next year. The roll-out, which includes Delta’s Airbus A330, Boeing 777, B767, B747 and international B757 aircraft, expands on a scheme already offering in-flight Wi-Fi on 550 of its domestic aircraft. More here 


Etihad’s 777 takes off to London

Etihad Airways’ first three-cabin Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has departed on its maiden flight from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow. The new aircraft is configured with eight Diamond First Class Suites, 40 Pearl Business lie-flat beds, and 282 seats in Coral Economy. The aircraft will be deployed on Etihad Airways’ ‘blue-ribbon’ Abu Dhabi-London route, boosting capacity by 13%. The airline will continue to operate its four other flights to and from London. More here.


SIA/SilkAir 26hr reservations shut-down

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir are to close their reservation systems for 26 hours for an upgrade this weekend. Booking, reservation and ticketing services through its websites, call centres, service centres, mobile functions and travel agents will not be available from 6pm on 7 July Singapore time (11am UK time) and will resume progressively from 10pm on 8 July (UK time 3pm). Internet, mobile and early check-in will not be available for all flights departing 8 and 9 July (Singapore time), so customers must take a printed copy of their ticket to the airport. 


Air India pilots end strike

Air India pilots have ended their 58-day strike. The damaging industrial action, which is believed to have cost the national carrier more than US$100 million, ended yesterday after the Delhi High Court asked pilots to return to duty within 48 hours, and promised to consider their grievances. This includes a promise to reinstate the 101 pilots who had been sacked for failing to report for duty. 


MAS A380 takes to the skies

Malaysia Airlines’ first Airbus A380 entered commercial service Sunday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to London. The new double-decker aircraft arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Thursday following a flight from the Airbus factory in France, where it was painted with a special livery. Following a series of celebrations and ceremonies, the A380 finally took off from KLIA on Sunday 1 July, bound for London’s Heathrow airport. More here.


‘Know Me’ roll-out at BA continues

British Airways has started to roll out its ‘Know Me’ programme to further personalise its customer service. In the scheme, customer information will be given to staff through iPads so that they can help throughout the flight and are aware of any previous flight issues. Staff will also be able to search Google Images for a photo of a specific customer so they can recognise them in the airport and approach them. More here.


Cebu Pacific to offer in-flight Wi-Fi

Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is planning to roll-out in-flight Wi-Fi on its entire fleet of aircraft. The service, provided by OnAir, will initially be offered onboard the Manila-based low-cost carrier’s new fleet of long-haul Airbus A330 aircraft from 2013. CEB then plans to expand it to its fleet of A320s for short-haul flights.


Lufthansa develops Foursquare app

Lufthansa has launched its new Blue Legends app from Lufthansa, allowing passengers to share information about their journey with others via social media site Foursquare. The app enables users to virtually ‘check-in’ to airports, lounges and Lufthansa flights through Foursquare, and awards ranks and badges for those people using the site most regularly.


Emirates adds Paris, Barcelona, Moscow

Emirates has launched flights to Barcelona as part of a tripling of services to Spain. The airline’s daily flight to Madrid went double daily on 1 July and was coupled with the brand new Barcelona route. The airline will serve Barcelona with a 777-300ER offering 360 in a three-class configuration. The launch follows the announcement that the airline is to double its A380 services between Dubai and Paris, as well as launch its first scheduled A380 to Moscow


Qatar Airways eyes new Saudi airline

Qatar Airways has expressed interest in launching a new airline in Saudi Arabia. The Doha-based airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, recently held talks with Saudi’s Prince Fahad bin Abdullah Al Saud to discuss opportunities arising from the country’s new aviation liberalisation policy.

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