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China set to become world’s biggest business travel market

26 May 2012

China is expected to become the biggest market for business travel within three years according to research by the GBTA.

The association’s Business Travel Index (BTI) is forecasting that corporate travel spending in China will rise by 17 per cent to $202 billion this year and by another 21 per cent to $245 billion next year.

China is currently ranked second behind the US in terms of business travel spending with a total of $182 billion in 2011 compared to $250 billion in the US. The UK is ranked fourth globally for travel spending at $38 billion with Japan in third position at $65 billion.

source: abtn.co.uk


Hindenburg disaster, 75 years later

10 May 2012

In hindsight, filling an 804-ft.-long, 15-story-tall airship with a highly flammable gas might not have been the safest way to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

But in the 1930s, hydrogen-filled dirigibles, first developed by the Germans, were the fastest way to travel between America and Europe.

The airship era came to an abrupt and fiery end May 6, 1937, with the sudden explosion of the LZ 129 Hindenburg as it attempted to dock at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in southern New Jersey with 97 people aboard.

Thirty-six people died — 13 passengers, 22 crew members and one person working on the ground.

source: nydailynews.com


China travel agencies ‘suspend Philippine tours’

10 May 2012

Most travel agencies in China have suspended tours to the Philippines amidst escalating tension in the South China Sea, Chinese state media said.

The agencies would also ”adopt precautionary measures to ensure safety of their clients” now in the Philippines’, Xinhua news agency said.

The two countries have been locked in a stand-off in disputed waters at the Scarborough Shoal since 8 April.

source: bbc.co.uk


IAG sees more airline failures, hails Gulf rivals

30 April 2012

British Airways and Iberia boss Willie Walsh warned of further airline bankruptcies in the coming year and said he envied the economic model of major Gulf carriers that have managed to redraw the aviation map efficiently around the Middle East.

The chief executive of International Airlines Group (ICAG.L) joined the head of Dubai’s Emirates and other industry leaders in predicting further retrenchment, as weaker airlines struggle to generate the cash needed to ride out high oil prices.

I expect to see significant moves on the subject of consolidation as we move through the year and into next year,” Walsh told the AFCA aircraft finance conference in Barcelona.

source: Reuters


Pakistan moves against airline after crash

21 April 2012

Pakistan blocked the head of an airline whose jet crashed near the capital from leaving the country as it began an investigation Saturday into the country’s second major air disaster in less then two years.

The Bhoja Air passenger jet crashed Friday as it tried to land in a thunderstorm at Islamabad’s main airport, killing all 127 people on board. The small domestic airline, which resumed operations in March after an 11-year pause, has said the weather was the cause.

The plane was on a flight from the southern city of Karachi to Islamabad when it crashed at dusk

source: Associated Press


EU CO2 law could scupper global climate talks

14 April 2012

A European Union law that charges airlines for carbon emissions is “a deal-breaker” for global climate change talks, India’s environment minister said, hardening her stance on a scheme that has drawn fierce opposition from non-EU governments.

India on Wednesday formally forbad its airlines from participating having earlier said it would boycott the scheme.

A European Commission spokesman said the European Union was willing to cut emissions faster and more deeply than emerging nations, such as India — the third biggest carbon emitter after China and the United States.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has repeatedly said the only reason for the European Union to modify its law would be if the U.N.’s ICAO could come up with a global plan to curb airline emissions.

source: Reuters


AirTran ranks #1 US airline for second year in a row

13 April 2012

Airlines, led by low-cost carrier AirTran Airways, are doing a better job of getting passengers to their destinations on time, with their bags, and with fewer complaints, private researchers who have analyzed federal data on airline performance said this week.

It was the second year in a row that AirTran topped the rankings of the nation’s 15 largest airlines included in the annual report.

Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Airways also repeated their performance from the previous year, ranking second and third, respectively.

source: Dailymail.co.uk


UK: Airport staff let hundreds of passengers skip checks on passports

3 April 2012

Hundreds of passengers walked into the UK without having their passports checked after immigration systems failed at a major airport.

Witnesses told how police and border officials stood back and watched as up to 200 travellers – angered at being delayed for three hours – decided to walk straight through immigration control.

The delays were caused by a computer power failure which prevented all new arrivals from having their passports electronically scanned.

source: dailymail.co.uk


Pinnacle Airlines flies into bankruptcy

3 April 2012

Pinnacle Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection this week, as the U.S. regional airline fell victim to high fuel prices and dampened travel demand that has negatively impacted some of the major players in the industry.

In the past, upon facing financial trouble, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have taken the Chapter 11 route to cut costs and later found merger partners. AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, had also filed for bankruptcy late last year.

source: Reuters


In New York, airplane phone calls could land you in court

29 March 2012

Refusing to turn off a cell phone or laptop during takeoff from a New York area airport could soon land airline passengers a one-way ticket to court.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said on Tuesday it is exploring suing the worst offenders who fail to comply with guidelines for turning off electronic devices on the runway and sometimes cause costly and annoying delays.

The issue got national attention last year after actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight for repeatedly refusing to stop playing a game on his phone as his plane prepared to depart from Los Angeles.

source: Reuters