AIRLINE & TRAVEL NEWS.

 
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Indian government announced that Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines will be allowed to fly to more international destinations. Currently, private airlines are allowed to serve destinations only in member countries in the South Asian Assn. for Regional Cooperation. However, now any Indian carrier will be allowed to take up any unused entitlements in current air services agreements. Nov 4, 2004

Aer Lingus has become the first 'low fare' airline across the Atlantic since the days of the Laker Skytrain (a claim no doubt to be challenged by other carriers). All fares on direct services are now being sold on a one-way basis, the minimum stay restrictions have been removed, changes are permitted on payment of a surcharge of Euro25 per sector and you can now change the name on the ticket for a surcharge of Euro50 per booking. The same goes for the European routes. The airline says it now has the most competitive Premier Class fares on flights from Europe to the US. Getting into the celebratory mood with a Guinness at Liverpool John Lennon Airport are, left to right, Kay Annals of Aer Lingus, passenger Adam Murphy from Dublin, Agnieszka Lojko of Aer Lingus and passenger Sinead Kenny from Dublin. Adam and Sinead had been visiting Liverpool for shopping and to watch Liverpool FC. http://www.aerlingus.com

Nov 15, 2004

Aer Lingus will introduce four additional routes to Europe in its summer schedule for 2005. The new services from Dublin to Seville, Naples, Marseille and Hamburg will commence at the end of March. Earlier this year, the airline announced four new services from Cork to Munich, Rome, Nice and Faro scheduled to start at the end of April. Since the end of 2001 it has more than trebled its network with the introduction of 42 new scheduled services. Nov 8, 2004

Air Berlin and its Austrian low-fare partner Niki signed an agreement with Airbus to purchase up to 110 174-seat A320s. The agreement includes 70 firm orders, with 60 joining Air Berlin's fleet and the remaining 10 going to Niki. The 40 option aircraft will be allocated at a later date. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in Sept. 2005. The aircraft will be configured in a single-class layout and will be used on both carriers' services from Germany and Austria to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands as well as on their scheduled network of City Shuttle destinations across Europe. Air Berlin's current fleet consists of 47 aircraft--five 737-400s, four 737-700s, 34 737- 800s, two BAe 146s and two F100s--while Niki's fleet comprises one A320- 230 and two A321-230s. Nov 5, 2004

Air New Zealand launched thrice-weekly nonstop service between Christchurch and Los Angeles. Nov 3, 2004

Air South West, the former Brymon Airways, and a subsidiary of Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, is to introduce a twice daily Newquay &endash; Bristol &endash; Leeds service from 11 April next year which will also connect with the airline's flights from Bristol to Manchester. The daily Plymouth &endash; Bristol operation will also dovetail into the new Leeds route. At the same time the airline will begin daily services from Newquay direct to Dublin. Air Southwest recently took delivery of a third 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft. Nigel Godefroy, managing director of Sutton Harbour Holdings is seen here launching Plymouth Airport's new identity. http://www.airsouthwest.com Nov 29, 2004

Norwich Airport is now linked by Air Wales to Cardiff on a Saturday and Dublin every day except Monday and Thursday. The one hour flight to Cardiff and the 1 hour 20 minute service to Dublin are both operated by 50 seat ATR42s. Passengers to Cardiff can also go via Dublin on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a new direct Cardiff flight operating on Saturdays. These new services are part of a continued expansion for Air Wales which has launched several new routes over the last year and now operates services to and from Cardiff, Dublin, Newcastle, Amsterdam, Plymouth, and Cork. http://www.airwales.com Nov 22, 2004

Air Wales has introduced twice-daily return services from Liverpool to both Aberdeen and Cardiff airports. Travelers are also now able to connect to Plymouth at Cardiff. Operated by ATR42 aircraft flight times to Aberdeen are 1 hour 15 minutes and Cardiff 45 minutes. The new service is part of a continued program of expansion for Air Wales, which has launched several new routes over the last year. The airline currently operates on a network embracing 11 destinations &endash; Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Glasgow, Jersey, Liverpool, Newcastle, Norwich and Plymouth. Our photo shows Air Wales' captain, Simon Barker and flight attendant Denise Kestell welcome aboard their first Liverpool to Aberdeen passenger; Neil Roberts from Warrington. http://www.airwales.co.uk Nov 8, 2004

Air Zimbabwe last week inaugurated a twice weekly nonstop service between Harare and Singapore which then goes on to Beijing. The route is flown by a two class Boeing 767ER on the Zimbabwe &endash; Changi leg with a flight time of around 9 hours 30 minutes. The airline also has a three times weekly service to Gatwick, its only other long haul destination. http://www.airzim.co.zw Nov 29, 2004

AirTran will add seven daily nonstop flights from Chicago Midway to Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Orlando, Sarasota/Bradenton and Tampa beginning Jan. 11 2005 as it seeks to expand its foothold at the airport, where it has agreed to purchase gate leases from bankrupt ATA Airlines. AirTran currently operates eight daily roundtrips between MDW and its hub in Atlanta. The new service announced is not dependent upon the deal with ATA being consummated, the carrier said. Nov 30, 2004

America West Airlines expanded its marketing agreement with Royal Jordanian. Effective Nov. 8 2004, America West began placing its code on Royal Jordanian flights between Amman and New York JFK, Chicago O'Hare and Detroit. Nov 12, 2004

Pillows are out with American Airlines. Well at least on the short haul MD-80 fleet, the same aircraft that used to be called the DC-9 and now also masquerades as the Boeing 717. In an effort to reduce costs the Fort Worth-based airline last week removed pillows from its 334 MD-80s. The airline says the move will help speed up the turnaround. But don't expect there to be a mass of them in the local Texas version of a car boot sale. The pillows are being transferred to long haul services. MD- 80 passengers should be able to use the adjustable headrests in place of the pillows. American has around 700 aircraft. That's a lot of pillows. http://www.aa.com Nov 22, 2004

American Airlines started a major fare restructuring at its Miami International Airport hub, embracing a simplified structure offering dramatically lower walkup fares for mainline, American Eagle and AmericanConnection flights. The carrier said the new fares also were implemented at Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach where low-cost airlines, in particular JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit, maintain a presence. Tom Parsons, CEO and founder of Bestfares.com stated, "American had to make this move to take on the low-cost carriers." Under the new structure, the highest one-way walkup fares at Miami have been set at $499, $599 or $699 depending on trip mileage, while many are considerably lower. For example, AA's previous lowest one-way walkup fare from MIA to St. Louis was $1,110 and now is $282. The lowest fare to Reagan Washington National Airport was $712; it is now $109. The lowest walkup fare to Dallas-Fort Worth was slashed to $240 from $910. In addition, many restrictions, including Saturday night stay requirements, were eliminated and tickets for nonstop itineraries to and from Miami are available for one-way purchase. AA also reduced change fees from $100 to $50. "This fundamental restructuring of domestic fares for American Airlines and American Eagle in Miami further strengthens our competitive position in South Florida," Senior VP-Miami, Caribbean and Latin America Peter Dolara said. American and Regional affiliate American Eagle operate 128 daily flights to 38 destinations in the US and Canada from Miami. Nov 19, 2004

American Eagle will begin daily service between Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Luis Potosi Jan. 5 2005 using 44 seat ERJ-140s. Nov 3, 2004

ANA took delivery of its first 777-300ER Nov. 1. Aircraft is the first in Asia to be equipped with the Connexion by Boeing broadband Internet service. ANA will launch the service Nov. 15 2004 on a flight from Tokyo to Shanghai before transitioning the aircraft to long-haul routes. Nov 3, 2004

ANA will raise domestic fares by a maximum of [yen]300 ($3) per sector Jan. 11 2005 owing to higher fuel prices. For flights over 300 km., fares will increase [yen]300; for flights up to 300 km., fares will rise [yen]200. Nov 3, 2004

Blue1, a subsidiary of SAS Group, became the first regional member in the Star Alliance. SAS Group President and CEO Joergen Lindegaard said the company was "very proud," adding, "This way the airline will further strengthen its own and Star Alliance's position in the Finnish market." Star CEO Jaan Albrecht told ATWOnline in Helsinki that addition of Blue1 was a learning experience and "now we will be able to add more regional carriers to our alliance faster." New regional members from the Americas, Asia and Europe could join Star in the future. In Asia, SilkAir could be a possible candidate. In order to become a regional member, the prospective airline must be sponsored and have close ties to an existing member to achieve a quick and easy integration. Blue1 operates more than 110 flights per day with a fleet of nine Avro RJs and five Saab 2000s. In 2004 it expects to carry more than 1 million passengers between Finland and Scandinavia and the rest of Europe and is looking to expand, CEO Sveneric Persson told this website. "We still have some capacity in our fleet left which we want to optimize," he said. Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways will be the next two...

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