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News of September 2011

TripAdvisor removes its ‘reviews you trust’ slogan

18 September 2011

Travel review website TripAdvisor has removed the slogan “reviews you can trust” from its website and replaced it with “reviews from our community”.

The site is currently the subject of an investigation by the advertising watchdog after companies complained that reviews of their businesses were made up or defamatory.

TripAdvisor has more than 50 million reviews of hotels, restaurants and locations, all of which are supposed to have been written by travellers.

But the veracity of reviews has been called into question by a group of 2,000 hoteliers, who approached online reputation management company KwikChex to investigate.


American Airlines Ranks No. 11 on 2011 InformationWeek 500

16 September 2011

For the second year in a row, American Airlines was ranked among the most innovative companies in the U.S. by InformationWeek, vaulting to No. 11 in this year’s InformationWeek 500 ranking. The ranking of the top technology innovators in the United States was revealed this week at the exclusive InformationWeek 500 Conference.


U.S: Airline trade group opposes rule to fight pilot fatigue

16 September 2011

The Air Transport Assn. issued an statement claiming the new rule proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would increase the industry’s costs but wouldn’t improve its safety record.

The proposed FAA rule was drafted in response to the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in February 2009. The accident killed 50 people when the plane stalled and plummeted to the earth outside Buffalo, N.Y. It was attributed to pilot error and fatigue.

The proposed rule would set a nine-hour minimum rest period prior to the start of a shift, a one-hour increase over the current minimum.

source: Los Angeles Times

NBTC and easyJet join forces €4.5 million deal

15 September 2011

The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) and low-cost carrier easyJet have strengthened their joint cooperation in Europe.

The two companies will work closely over the coming three years to push city breaks to Holland from the German, Spanish, Italian and British markets.

The decision comes just days after easyJet was recognised as Europe’s Leading Low-cost Airline by the prestigious World Travel Awards.


Ryanair debit card launched as only way of avoiding airline surcharges

15 September 2011

From November, anyone hoping to book a Ryanair flight at the advertised price will have to pay using a Ryanair Cash Passport.

Only by using this card will customers avoid the £12 per person extra the airline charges to issue a return flight ticket. At present, they have to use a pre-paid Electron Mastercard to avoid the surcharge.

Airlines were warned recently by the Office of Fair Trading that they will be taken to the High Court if they persist in making payment surcharges.


Virgin Atlantic interested in combining with Lufthansa’s BMI

15 September 2011

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. joined chief competitor British Airways in saying it’s interested in a deal with BMI, the U.K. carrier that Deutsche Lufthansa AG has indicated may be sold.

We continue to have a close interest in a combination with BMI,” Virgin Atlantic said in a statement, adding that it currently works with the carrier at London’s Heathrow airport, where the two are among top slot holders after British Airways.

The airline posted a profit in the third quarter of 2010 but had a 120 million-euro ($163 million) operating loss in the first half of this year.

source: Bloomberg

Carbon trading for aviation struggles to take off

14 September 2011

The inclusion of aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is under increasing pressure from North American, Russian, and Chinese lobby groups, airlines, and governments. Launched in response to the anticipated additional costs to airlines, the extent and level of these challenges is considerable. The US airlines estimate an additional cost burden on industry of $1bn by 2020, while Emirates estimates between $500m to $1bn by 2020.

The inclusion of aviation in the system is already set in law, so changes to it are unlikely. It does, however, contain a provision that countries may be exempted from the scheme if they impose “equivalent measures“. So far, however, the US has not submitted any proposals for what could be considered an equivalent measure.


Qantas’s new premium Asian airline likely to be ‘RedQ’

14 September 2011

RedQ is emerging as the most likely name for Qantas‘s latest spin-off, an ultra-premium airline aimed at executives travelling in Asia.

Qantas is attempting to trademark the name, which branding experts say borrows heavily on its heritage but is distinct enough to signal the arrival of a new entrant in the global aviation game.

The company has kept under wraps the details of its plans for the executive jet-styled airline, but Fairfax Media has learnt that Qantas’s lawyers have lodged a range of trademark applications, including those for RedQ, RedQ Executive Express, RedSky and OneAsia.


Transport options for new Berlin airport unveiled

13 September 2011

Willy Brandt International airport authority revealed this week that a new airport express service will run every 15 minutes between the airport and Berlin’s gleaming Hauptbahnhof rail station, completing the journey in 30 minutes.

Travelers will also be able to use regular S-Bahn metro services as part of the transport infrastructure, with clear posters displayed at major stations to tell passengers how long the journey will take, along with several bus routes into the city.

Berlin Airports also confirmed that the airport will be connected to the Deutsche Bahn intercity network, allowing passengers to travel to major cities such as Hamburg, Münster and Hanover using high-speed connections without transiting central Berlin.

For those traveling further afield, international train services will connect the airport to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Krakow in Poland.


Lufthansa eyes one-way tickets across Europe

13 September 2011

Lufthansa customers could soon have more choice of one-way destinations within Europe, as the airline considers expanding a scheme that currently covers only tickets for flights within Germany, or selected countries such as Poland and Britain.

We are checking at the moment under which conditions, on which routes and at which rates that would make sense,” said Jens Bischof, sales chief of the passenger airline business at Lufthansa.

Currently, European legacy airlines such as Lufthansa and Air France-KLM sell mostly return tickets and even where one-way tickets are available, they can often cost much more than returns. This has left a gap for low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet  and Air Berlin to snap up price-conscious customers.

fuente: Reuters