Delta offers baggage tracking with latest Fly Delta app

Oct 25, 2016

Tracking aircraft with online maps have been available for several years. Now if you are flying with checked baggage, you can now follow your piece of luggage on its journey through the airport and from one plane to the next. Delta passengers  can now have a map view of their bag’s last scanned location on the Fly Delta mobile app.

More than 120 million bags fly on Delta each year

“We’re the first carrier to offer this level of visibility,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Airline Operations and Airport Customer Service. “From the moment our customers drop off their bag, we want them to know we’re looking out for it every step of the way and working to take the stress out of flying one innovation at a time.”

Delta baggage tracking with appFly Delta

The new map enhancement builds on Delta’s industry-first, system-wide launch of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tags and the roll out of RFID tracking technology at 84 airports in the U.S. All domestic stations now offer map view of the bag’s journey and international stations will receive this technology in the coming months.

When a customer wants to see the location of their bag on the map, the display starts by showing a zoomed out map of the U.S. as the bag travels from one airport to the next. The map then automatically zooms to airport view and users can follow their bag along its journey via pins, with the last known location identified by a suitcase icon. Tapping any of the pins or the icon will provide additional text information about the location of the bag.

Push notifications will sync with the app later this year and offer Delta customers down-to–the-minute updates on their checked baggage.

“We listen to our customers and know they want a simplified mobile experience that puts the control back in their hands,” said Rhonda Crawford, Vice President – Global Distribution & Digital Strategy. “Fly Delta 4.0 automatically updates when your flight details change, keeping customers informed.”

In addition to an enhanced map view for baggage, the Fly Delta app update seamlessly integrates the “Today” view and the customer’s boarding pass into one screen, and the color of the “Today” screen now reflects each customer’s current SkyMiles® Medallion status. Electronic boarding passes now automatically update, that includes seat, gate and flight information.

For those purchasing tickets on mobile, Delta created a more user-friendly experience to make purchasing even faster by eliminating the need to re-verify each leg of the trip while shopping. The airline also fixed bugs and enhanced overall performance of the app.

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British Airways Pilot’s Once Bitten Literary Dreams Set to Take-off

Oct 17, 2016

Antony J. Stanton, a British Airways long-haul commercial pilot, has more than just the skies in his sights. He has spent eighteen years flying the friendly skies, often whisking passengers on holiday to Los Angeles. Now he is set to be taken to Hollywood himself for a very different reason.

In his downtime around the world he has penned a post-apocalyptic trilogy. “Once Bitten, Twice Die” – book one from the trilogy that he had to self-publish last year – made it to Amazon’s top 3 spot for genre.  following its success it was quickly noticed by a sharp American movie producer. He is now keen to adapt it for TV.

Following in the footsteps of other famous self-published or rebuffed authors, such as E.L James of ‘Fifty Shades’ fame and J.K. Rowling, Stanton’s fortune is about to take off. He looks set to become the next successful self-published author. Rejected by countless publishers, yet set to hit the big-time nevertheless. The potential TV series is currently in development and pre-production. The producer is aiming to start shooting Once Bitten next year.

Once Bitten Twice Die

Within weeks of publication, book one had amassed a fleet of five-star reviews. Often they would read along the lines of ‘Not my usual genre, but I am absolutely delighted I read it anyway. Can’t wait for the next one.’ The books differ from the usual formula of post-apocalyptic survival. They concentrate far more on character development, plot and realism. Also, along with the usual zombie protagonists, there are vampires thrown in for good measure.

“I always wondered what would happen if a horde of angry zombies ever cornered the typical lone, suave vampire,” Stanton said. “Exactly how many zeds would it take to bring down a vamp anyway?”

British Airways Pilot’s Literary Dreams Set to Take-off with Once Bitten Twice Die

Whether it is your “usual genre” or not, you are sure to see more of Stanton’s novels. They will either in your local book shop or on TV next year. And even if you choose not to read them, like the zombies in his stories, they are going to be hard to avoid.

Book two, “Once Bitten, Twice Live” was published in May, and book three, “Twice Bitten, Twice Die” is due for publication on the 21st October, just in time for Halloween. The books are available now on Amazon, and all major online retailers.

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Airbus deliver 10,000th aircraft – A Singapore Airlines A350

Oct 14, 2016

Airbus has today delivered its 10,000th aircraft, a Singapore Airlines A350. It is the airline’s sixth A350-900 aircraft.

The delivery milestone was celebrated today at a special ceremony in Toulouse attended by Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong and Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders.

“Singapore Airlines is honoured to be receiving the 10,000th aircraft that Airbus has delivered. Airbus aircraft have contributed greatly to Singapore Airlines’ successes over the decades, and we are proud to be sharing in this important milestone with our longstanding and trusted partner,” said Mr Goh.

“Today’s delivery shows just how far Airbus has come over the decades. On behalf of the staff and management of Singapore Airlines, I would like to congratulate Airbus for reaching this incredible milestone.”

Singapore Airlines A350

Added Mr Enders: “We are especially proud to celebrate this milestone with Singapore Airlines – one of our longest-standing customers and a true partner. Today, the SIA Group operates aircraft from across our complete product line and with the highest levels of technical excellence. There is no better endorsement for our products and we thank the entire SIA Group for its ongoing confidence, partnership and support.”

Singapore Airlines placed its first order with Airbus in 1979, for the A300B4. The SIA Group has since operated aircraft from all of Airbus’ product lines – the A300, A310, A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 families. The SIA Group currently operates aircraft from all of Airbus’ in-production product lines.

Singapore Airlines A350

The A350-900 is the newest addition to the Singapore Airlines fleet. The Airline is the largest A350-900 customer with commitments for 67 firm orders, including seven of the ultra-long-range A350-900ULR variant. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the A350-900ULR, for which deliveries will begin in 2018.

The aircraft will be used to re-launch non-stop flights between Singapore and the US cities of New York and Los Angeles.

The A350-900 delivered today has a special “10,000th Airbus Aircraft” logo and will be used to launch non-stop flights between Singapore and San Francisco later this month. Singapore Airlines’ first A350-900 went into service in March and the aircraft type is now being used for Amsterdam, Dusseldorf and Johannesburg flights, with more destinations to be added as additional aircraft enter the fleet.

Singapore Airlines and Airbus also have business partnerships together. Earlier this year, Airbus and subsidiary SIA Engineering Company signed an agreement to form a joint-venture heavy maintenance facility in Singapore. Last year, Singapore Airlines and Airbus jointly launched Airbus Asia Training Centre, providing pilot training on Airbus aircraft types in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Finnair to increase A350 flights to Tokyo and Hong Kong in summer 2017

Oct 10, 2016

Finnair continues to grow its Asian traffic, and has today announced it will increase flights to the Tokyo and Hong Kong routes with the A350 These A350 flights will begin in summer 2017.

Finnair will increase its current flight schedule between Helsinki and Tokyo with four additional weekly flights to Narita airport. Finnair currently operates daily to Narita with the A330. The additional A350 flights will be operated between June 5 and October 27. With these additions, Finnair and its partner Japan Airlines will offer 18 weekly connections from Helsinki to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. The additional Tokyo A350 flights will be operated as a joint business operation with Japan Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. Finnair also flies non-stop to Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka during the summer 2017 season, with a total of 35 weekly flights to Japan.

Finnair will also add the A350 flights to its Hong Kong route with three additional weekly flights between June 6 and October 28. Currently, Finnair flies to Hong Kong daily departing Helsinki and Hong Kong around midnight. With the new frequencies, Finnair will operate 10 weekly flights and offer customers the added option of an afternoon flight from Helsinki and a morning flight from Hong Kong. Finnair’s flights to Hong Kong are fully operated with the A350.

In addition to Hong Kong, Finnair will also maintain and continue its seasonal route to the nearby Chinese city of Guangzhou, with four weekly frequencies operated with the A330 aircraft. Finnair’s route to Guangzhou opened in 2016 and was Finnair’s fifth destination in mainland China.

“With increased frequencies for Tokyo and Hong Kong on the A350, we are now tapping into the growth of Asia-Europe traffic and increasing our presence in cities that have been popular with our customers in recent years,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair.

“It’s been a year since we received our very first Airbus A350, and with seven aircraft operating in our network, we look forward to having even more customers flying on this great aircraft.”

Finnair recently announced that capacity between the UK and Ireland to Helsinki will increase for the summer 2017 season due to high demand. Edinburgh will be served by up to five weekly flights operated by a 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft in a dual business and economy class configuration. As of 27 March, Finnair will fly up to nine weekly flights between Helsinki and Dublin, an increase of three flights a week compared to the winter schedule.

The airline currently operates 42 flights a week from London Heathrow, 14 per week from Manchester, three per week from Edinburgh and nine per week from Dublin direct to its hub Helsinki Vantaa Airport, Finland.

Next year, Finnair is expected to take delivery of four A350 aircraft. By the end of 2023, Finnair will have one of the most modern long-haul fleets in the industry with 19 A350 aircraft in its fleet.

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Increase in demand means Qatar Airways #A380 is off to Sydney!

Sep 22, 2016

Not every airline is removing the A380 from its fleet. With increased demand for the Sydney route Qatar Airways has begun A380 flights to this great city, the first destination in Australia to be served by the airline’s super-jumbo.

Just six months after Sydney joined the carrier’s global network with the Boeing 777-300 on 1st March 2016, Qatar Airways has seen a steady growth in demand for its service on the route. The 517-seater A380 aircraft increases Qatar Airways’ current daily capacity by 44 per cent on this route to meet the growing travel and trade demand.

Qatar Airways A380 To Sydney

Flagship A380 aircraft increases daily capacity by 44 per cent to cater for robust leisure and business travel demand to and from Sydney – after just six months of operation.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is proud to bring our flagship A380 to the extremely popular Sydney route so soon after the launch.  We are pleased to be in a position to satisfy the demand for travel to this region and allow even more customers to enjoy our award winning service.”

The, 517-seat capacity is spread across twin decks in a tri-class configuration of eight seats in First Class, 48 seats in Business Class and 461 in Economy Class, featuring world-class amenities and first rate services that set it apart from other aircraft. Passengers travelling from Sydney to London can enjoy the Qatar Airways A380 experience throughout their journey.

The A380 aircraft will feature a luxurious and exclusive First Class Cabin with ultra-wide seats, which automatically recline into a flat bed, two-passenger table extension dining, sleeper suits, flight slippers and amenities from Giorgio Armani. Passengers travelling in Qatar Airways’ award-winning Business Class can also enjoy private aisle access with the 1-2-1 seat configuration and a suite of connectivity options including on-board Wi-Fi, keeping them fully connected to while up in the air.

Qatar Airways A380 at Sydney Airport

In addition, passengers in First and Business Class can relax and socialise at the on-board lounge located on the upper deck of the super-jumbo.

Economy Class passengers also benefit with the added spaciousness of the A380, with higher ceilings on the main deck, a wider seat configuration and design to offer more leg room plus contoured headrests.

When transiting through Qatar Airways’ hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, passengers travelling from the UK can enjoy a comfortable and efficient transit. The luxurious and modern airport has more than 40,000 square metres of retail space and restaurants including more than 70 retail and 30 food and beverage outlets, as well as a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, hotel and spa.

Qatar Airways A380 aircraft makes its Australian debut in Sydney

Daily Flight Schedule:
LHR-DOH QR10 Departs: 10:50 Arrives 19:40
DOH-SYD QR908 Departs: 21:40 Arrives: 19:35 (+1)

SYD-DOH QR909 Departs: 22:25 Arrives: 05:05 (+1)
DOH-LHR QR7 Departs: 06:30 Arrives: 12:00

Return fares start from £1,006 in Economy Class Flights To Sydney and £4,239 in Business Class Flights To Sydney.

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Short-haul keeps getting better with Finnair as Wi-Fi added to Airbus fleet

Sep 2, 2016

Flying short-haul with Finnair has had it’s bonuses. Flying from Heathrow you might just get an A350 or A330 to fly to Helsinki on – great especially in Business Class! But now Finnair has signed an agreement with ViaSat, a global broadband services and technology company, to install a high-speed wireless internet network on its entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe. The installation of the Wi-Fi equipment will begin in May 2017, and will be completed by June 2018.

Wi-Fi on Finnair Airbus Short-Haul Fleet

With a connection speed of 12 Mbps or higher per passenger, the new system will offer the fastest in-flight internet connection currently available on the market, which will also enable the use of increasingly popular video streaming services. ViaSat will ensure end-to-end in-flight connectivity service across the Finnair fleet, and has partnered with Eutelsat to deliver the high-speed satellite-based internet service, which will cover the entire European continent.

“Our customers increasingly value the possibility of being connected during their flights and this change will also create great opportunities for Finnair to further develop its in-flight portal that will serve customers with news, entertainment and great shopping opportunities on their portable devices,” says Piia Karhu, SVP, Customer Experience Development at Finnair.

“We are very pleased to partner with ViaSat on this project as we will be able to offer our customers the best possible Wi-Fi offering available on the market today, and that has the ability to scale, once the installations are completed.”

“Finnair is a forward-looking airline that is recognised worldwide for customer service,” says Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility at ViaSat.

“With the ViaSat in-flight Wi-Fi system, enabled across Europe by Eutelsat’s service, Finnair can deliver greater value to its customers by giving them the freedom to use their own device to engage with the internet in new ways – from enhanced online shopping to out-of-the-box online entertainment experiences.”

Last July, Finnair announced that its entire long-haul fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft would be retrofitted with Wi-Fi connectivity by May 2017. Finnair is currently operating six A350-XWB aircraft which already offer wireless connectivity for its passengers. The airline is expected to receive an additional five A350 aircraft by the end of next year. With both the long-haul and short-haul fleet set to offer internet connectivity by June 2018, over a thousand route pairs in Finnair’s network will offer Wi-Fi connectivity for transiting passengers. Additionally, Finnair’s Wi-Fi coverage over Chinese airspace has recently been opened, having been closed previously due to limitations by the authorities.

Finnair’s wireless internet access is free for Business class passengers, Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum customers, and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald level customers. Economy class passengers can purchase internet access at an hourly rate or for the duration of the flight.

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Book with Qatar Airways during their Travel Festival and win prizes

Aug 30, 2016

For many the long summer holidays may be over but Qatar Airways’ famous Travel Festival has the solution, giving travellers across the world the opportunity to plan and book their next holiday with fantastic deals and offers – as well as having the chance to win some incredible prizes.

Book Now with Qatar Airways

From 29th August to 6th September 2016, the Qatar Airways Travel Festival will allow travellers to make a dream become a reality and explore some of the world’s favourite holiday destinations, with companion promotions offering two-for-one fares, discounts of up to 50 per cent and free flights for children, all available on travel between 15 September 2016 and 30 June 2017*. The Festival also includes special deals for hotels, as well as discounted holiday extras such as car rental.

Popular travel destinations include Dubai (from £299), Bali (from £509), Perth (from £579), and Auckland (from £739). Qatar Airways Privilege Club Members can also earn triple Qmiles for bookings made during the Travel Festival.

As well as benefiting from the Travel Festival’s phenomenal prices, travellers also have the chance to win special prizes throughout the nine-day event. More than 600 prizes will be given away throughout the Festival, with highlights including a pair of ‘around the world’ air travel tickets in collaboration with Qatar Airways and oneworld, and the chance to win a pair of tickets to attend Qatar Airways-sponsored FC Barcelona matches, as well as signed football jerseys. Complimentary upgrades will also be awarded, giving travellers the opportunity to experience the World’s Best Business Class service. Free Economy Class flights for travel on the airline’s global network will also be up for grabs, as well as five Qatar Airways Holiday packages, shopping vouchers to spend in Qatar Duty Free and much more.

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Europe, Jonathan Harding, said: “The Qatar Airways Travel Festival first launched in January this year and gave our customers a unique platform through which to enjoy some of the very best deals available. This time throughout the Travel Festival, our passengers will be able to choose from even more incredible packages and travel deals and offering them the chance of winning some fantastic prizes. We want to inspire people to not only dream about travelling, but to make those dreams a reality.”

Offers available throughout the Travel Festival will be applicable on Economy and Business Class return airfares to the more than 150 destinations worldwide that Qatar Airways flies to, including in the Middle East, Indian Sub-continent, Asia Pacific, and Africa.

To take advantage of the Travel Festival offers customers can visit qatarairways.com/travelfestival Alternatively, they can visit any Qatar Airways sales office, and any appointed travel partner to book.

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Latest British Airways Flights World Sale Begins Today

Aug 23, 2016

British Airways has launched its World Sale with huge discounts on flights and holidays across the globe from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.

For the latest Flight Offers visit britishairways.com

The airline’s sale kicks off today (August 23) and will run until midnight on September 21 for travel dates from September 2016 until June 2017. It includes British Airways’ new, and longest ever route to Santiago which launches January 3, 2017 with sale fares starting from £749 return.

British Airways Flight Sale

Brits inspired by Team GB’s monumental success can chill out at Copa Cabana. Return flights to Rio starting from £699.

Between the opening and closing ceremonies the airline saw a 60 per cent increase in the number of people searching for flights to the Brazilian capital versus-last-month.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing and direct, said “With the end of the school holidays in sight and summer drawing to a close what better way to beat the back to work blues than by booking another break away. For those customers wanting to soak up the Caribbean sun, hit the shops in the Big Apple. You can also belt-up for a US road trip. We have fantastic deals on flights and hotels to suit all budgets. Holidaymakers can even secure their trip away with a deposit from as little as £150. Or hold flights from just £5, making it even easier to plan their next break.”

British Airways’ new service from Gatwick to Cape Town, which launches on November 24, has sale fares from £695 return. There are bargain breaks to Middle Eastern hotspots; Dubai and Muscat. Or firm-favourite holiday destinations New York, Singapore and Los Angeles are on offer.

For those wanting to hit the slopes this winter British Airways has also dropped its prices to ski gateways. Fly to  Geneva (from £68 return), Salzburg (from £74 return), Friedrichshafen (from £68 return) and Innsbruck (from £77 return)

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Donghai Airlines order 25 737 MAX 8 and five 787-9 Dreamliners

Jul 12, 2016

Donghai Airlines have announced the purchase 25 737 MAX 8 aircraft and five 787-9 Dreamliners at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow. The agreement is valued at more than $4 billion at current list prices.

Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines previously ordered 15 Next-Generation 737-800 and 10 737 MAX 8 airliners in 2013. Donghai continues to fulfill its strategic plan to convert its business model from cargo to passenger services.

Donghai Airlines started freighter operations in 2006. The carrier expanded to offer passenger flights in 2014. The airline currently has a fleet of 11 Boeing 737-800 jets flying to more than 10 cities across China. With an extended air route network, the Shenzhen-based carrier is looking to build a modern medium-sized quality airline.

Donghai Airlines 737 MAX 8 and 787-9 Dreamliner

Donghai Airlines order Boeing 737 MAX-8 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

“Donghai Airlines has undergone steady development over the past 10 years since the beginning of our freighter operations in 2006,” said Mr. Wong Cho-Bau, Chairman, Donghai Airlines.

“Under China’s One Belt One Road initiative, we will accelerate our fleet expansion plan to satisfy the rapidly growing air travel market and help build our home base Shenzhen as the transportation hub in southern China. We’re committed to introducing new next-generation airplanes that deliver the industry-leading fuel efficiency and passenger comfort in their segment market as a key effort to fulfill the plan.”

Boeing will work with Donghai Airlines to finalise the details of the agreement. The order will be posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.

“We are honored by Donghai Airline’s reaffirmation of the 737 MAX, and we look forward to welcoming Donghai as our new 787 customer,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner.

“These new airplanes will provide Donghai Airlines with the added efficiency, operating economics and passenger comfort for their business growth domestically and internationally.”

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

The 787-9 Dreamliner can fly 290 passengers up to 14,140 kilometers in a typical two-class configuration. The aircraft will deliver unmatched fuel efficiency to Donghai Airlines, enabling the carrier to expand the range and quantity of services on long-haul routes.

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New flights to New York from Gatwick and Bristol Airport with WOW Air

Jun 29, 2016

The low-cost airline from Iceland, WOW Air, is to begin flights to New York later this year from Gatwick and Bristol Airport.

From November you will be able to fly from the UK to New York from just £119 one way!

The new service announced today will fly via Reykjavik and offer air travellers an affordable way to travel to the New York City. The flights to Newark Liberty International Airport will begin on the 25th November 2016, operating daily and all year-round.

Fly from Gatwick and Bristol Airport to USA & Canada

WOW Air’s expansion to New York follows the successful launch of transatlantic flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Toronto and Montreal from both London Gatwick and Bristol Airport in May.

Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW air, said: “This year has certainly been an eventful one for us already! Having announced new routes to Canada and California plus our two new UK routes, the addition of New York is a reflection of our determination to keeping the momentum going and to continue changing the landscape of transatlantic travel.”

WOW Air fly from Bristol Airport and Gatwick to Newark flights

“We know that New York is a desirable destination for many travellers from the UK and Europe, so it’s exciting to be able to add this vibrant, global city to our portfolio of North American destinations, making it even more accessible to those on a budget.”

The flights from Reykjavik to New York will be operated using WOW air’s fleet of new Airbus A321 Extended Range aircraft. The airline’s Airbus A320 family aircraft will carry passengers from London Gatwick to Reykjavik on the first leg of the journey.

Tickets are available on the WOW Air website from now to book to NEwark from Gatwick and Bristol Airport. If you have flown with WOW Air then tell us about it and tweet us your pictures @Plane_Talking .

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