AirAsia named leading low-cost airline anew

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AirAsia Group Head of Cabin Crew Suhaila Hassan (center, left) and AirAsia Group Head of Communications Audrey Progastama Petriny (centre) accepted the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline and World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew awards from President and Founder of World Travel Awards Graham Cooke (center, right), flanked by AirAsia cabin crew.
Photo: AirAsia

(From: AirAsia)

LISBON — AirAsia has been named the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the sixth year running at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final.

AirAsia emerged top in the category after receiving the most votes from travellers and industry executives, ahead of Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Ryanair, easyJet, Jetstar Airways, Norwegian Air, West Air, flydubai, Air Arabia, flynas, and fastjet.

The airline also took home the award for World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew for the second time in a row, beating Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Ryanair, easyJet, Jetstar Airways, Norwegian Air, West Air, flydubai, Air Arabia, flynas, fastjet, Kulula and Mango.

AirAsia Group Head of Cabin Crew Suhaila Hassan and AirAsia Group Head of Communications Audrey Progastama Petriny accepted the awards on behalf of the company at a gala ceremony at Pátio da Galé here yesterday.

AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Airlines) Bo Lingam said, “Thank you everyone who voted for us. Over the past year, we have worked hard to improve customer experience to make travel more convenient and fun, while also personalising the end-to-end journey, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see our work pay off like this.”

“In addition to a slew of digital initiatives, such as our Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) facial recognition boarding system and Freedom Flyer Programme, we’ve built up our Customer Happiness team to ensure we continue to improve on our ability to serve and amaze our guests, who demand frictionless, responsive customer support at a touch of the button on the go, and we are working hard to deliver that,” he said. (Full Story Here)

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Fares to be thankful for

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Photo: British Airways

(From British Airways)

Fly with American Airlines and British Airways from London to the U.S. from just £294 return per person.

The holiday season has started and there is no better time to visit the United States. Fly with American Airlines and British Airways from London to Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia, from just £294 return per person.

Together, American Airlines and British Airways offer up to 70 flights a day from London to the U.S.

When customers fly American and British Airways across the Atlantic, they can enjoy complimentary meals and drinks from the bar, and more than 1,000 hours of entertainment at every seat, including the latest movies, television programs, music shows and binge-worthy box sets.

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for customers, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power at every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.

American is investing more than $3 billion in the customer experience, with benefits such as the installation of Wi-Fi, which is available in every cabin on all American Airlines operated flights from London Heathrow. (Full story here)

Japan Airlines bags 2018 J-Win Diversity Award

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The J-Win Diversity Award honors Japanese corporations that are actively promoting diversity.
Photo: Japan Airlines

(From Japan Airlines)

TOKYO — The president of Japan Airlines, Yoshiharu Ueki, was selected today as the winner of the Executive Management Award during the J-Win Diversity Award 2018 ceremony, sponsored by the Japan Women’s Innovation Network (NPO Corporation J-Win).

This will be the second J-Win Diversity Award the company has received since being presented the Basic Achievement Award in 2017.

The J-Win Diversity Award honors Japanese corporations that are actively promoting diversity and inclusion and will be the eleventh year of the award since its inception in 2008.

The Executive Management Award is presented to top executives who have shown exceptional leadership skills in promoting diversity and inclusion in their respective workplace. (Full Story Here)

Delta monitors winter weather systems

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A snow-covered park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during winter.
Photo: Benjamin Hollis (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Delta Air Lines)

Delta is tracking a weather system moving through the Northeast that may affect operations through the weekend, according to the airline’s team of meteorologists.

Heavy rain is expected to begin in the Washington, D.C., area Thursday morning, forecasted to move to the New York City area by 6 p.m. ET.

Winds, gusty at times, will be the biggest factor for New York area airports, which is expected to strengthen Thursday evening and overnight.

A winter weather waiver has been issued for cities including Boston; Hartford; New York-JFK; New York-LGA; Newark; Newburgh, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Providence, R.I.; and White Plains, N.Y., to allow customers to make a one-time change to their travel plans without incurring a fee. (Full Story Here)

Emirates Skywards now has 20 million members

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Members can earn and redeem Skywards Miles through over 100 programme partners including airlines, hotels and retail & lifestyle outlets.
Photo: Emirates

(From Emirates)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty program of Emirates airline, has reached 20 million members.

To celebrate this major milestone, Emirates Skywards will be celebrating with its members.

Those traveling from Dubai on Emirates flights during the week beginning 4th March 2018 can look forward to little surprises at check-in, on board and in the lounges for some of its longest-standing members.

In an average month, Emirates Skywards welcomes 220,000 new members across the globe.

The top 5 countries with the largest member bases are spread across 4 continents reflecting Emirates’ six-continent global network.

UK has the biggest membership base at 2.6 million, followed by the US with 1.8 million members.

Australia has 1.7 million members and India and the UAE, the airline’s home base, follow closely with 1.4 million members each. (Full Story Here)

Emirates marks 10 years of literature festival

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Emirates celebrates 10 years of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Photo: Emirates

(From Emirates)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Spotlighting the importance of literature and the power of reading as key to connecting with and understanding the world around us, Emirates is celebrating its 10th year of supporting the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

The airline has been a key to the growth of the festival, which has become a mainstay on the Dubai cultural calendar.

The festival started in 2009 with 65 authors coming from 21 countries.

Emirates was an airline that connected Dubai to 99 destinations with 127 aircraft in 2009.

Since then, Emirates has carried over 1,000 authors to the festival from over 65 countries, enabling the festival to showcase inspiring line-ups of talks, workshops and performances featuring some of the best authors, thinkers and writers from all corners of the globe.

Today, the airline serves 159 destinations in 85 countries and territories on nearly 270 aircraft. (Full Story Here)

American, Qantas move to form joint business

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Photo: American Airlines

(From American Airlines)

American Airlines and Qantas have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approval to form a joint business to better serve customers flying between North America and Australia and New Zealand.

The proposed joint business will significantly improve service, stimulate demand and unlock more than $300 million annually in consumer benefits that are not achievable through any other form of cooperation, including:

– Up to $221 million in value from expanding codesharing between American and Qantas – opening more connections to more destinations.

– Up to $89 million in value by offering a wider range of fare classes across each other’s networks, including lower fares and discounts.

The joint business will also give American and Qantas the opportunity to launch additional routes between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand, including new flights to city pairs currently not served by either carrier.

An expanded relationship will encourage significant improvements in the overall customer experience, including additional frequent flyer benefits and investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure designed to better serve the carriers’ joint customers.

All these benefits will stimulate significant demand for new travel – generating up to 180,000 new trips between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand every year. (Full Story Here)

Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, Airtel form Seamless Air Alliance

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The alliance will enable airlines to empower passengers with seamless in-cabin connectivity experience.
Photo: Delta Air Lines

(From Delta Air Lines)

Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announce the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance – which will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes.

By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high-speed, low-latency connectivity from ground to air and back again.

It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user experience.

The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.

“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. (Full Story Here)

Air Canada bares pricing of private offering

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Air Canada
Photo: Air Canada

(From Air Canada)

MONTRÉAL — Air Canada announced today the pricing of a private offering of two tranches of enhanced equipment trust certificates (the “Certificates”) denominated in Canadian dollars.

The two tranches of Certificates, which have been rated, have a combined aggregate face amount of approximately $301 million and a weighted average interest rate of 3.76 percent.

The private offering is comprised of Class A certificates and Class B certificates. The Class A certificates will have an interest rate of 3.67 percent per annum and the Class B certificates will have an interest rate of 4.19 percent per annum.

“This Canadian dollar private offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates has terms and conditions comparable to our U.S. dollar 2017-1 Series EETC transaction,” said Michael Rousseau, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

“Our ability to conclude an EETC transaction in Canadian dollars is an important development for us as it represents new opportunities for future aircraft financings and contributes to lowering the overall cost of debt and risk profile of the company.” (Full Story Here)

Cebu Pacific now accepts applications for pilots

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A Cebu Pacific Airbus A330
Photo: Laurent Errera from L’Union, France (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Cebu Pacific)

MANILA — The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific is now accepting applications for the second batch of cadet-pilots.

CEB will be recruiting 16 candidates to join its corps of pilots, after completing a 56-week training program, including 52 weeks at Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia, in a “study now, pay later” scheme.

The Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program is a 56-week program that recruits candidates from ab initio, and puts them on a 56-week integrated flying training; flight theory and education course to become licensed Commercial Pilots.

After completion of the program, the cadet-pilots become First Officers at CEB, and join the corps of aviators at Cebu Pacific, flying domestic and international routes.

The program is open to all Filipinos who are college graduates, proficient in English and hold passports valid for at least two years prior to the start of the program. (Full Story Here)