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Archive for the ‘Travel Location’ Category

In celebration of their 5th anniversary, the Sharjah (UAE) based low cost carrier, Air Arabia, announced that all of the passengers flying on October 28th 2008 will fly for free. The airline started its operations on October 28th 2003 with the “first flight from Sharjah, UAE to Bahrain International Airport“. Check the announcement from the airline’s website.

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Today Qantas became the first airline to fly a commercial flight to USA (Los Angeles) on the world’s largest commercial aircraft, Airbus A380. The current flight numbers for the the Airbus A380 are QF 11 and QF 12. The flight will allow passengers to fly Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) or Brisbane (BNE). The airplane will also fly a weekly flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles.  Currently the airlines is running a limited seat pricing for a round trip on the Airbus A380 for less than $1000.

The flight landed at LAX on runway 25L in the South Airfield at 7:26 am. After landing the plan head over to Tom Bradley International Terminal for arrival procedures.

The A380 Welcome Party

The A380 Welcome Party

The flight was welcomed by “Qantas Ambassador-at-Large John Travolta, Australian
entertainment legend Olivia Newton-John and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R.
Villaraigosa.

Features of the Qantas Airbus A380 (from Market Watch Article)

  • 14 single private suites in First Class featuring a 17 inch LCD wide screen video monitor, a unique touch screen control unit, and a seat (manufactured by B/E Aerospaces’s VIP jet group) that swivels into a comfortable armchair and a fully flat, extra long and wide bed;
  • the next generation of Qantas’ award-winning sleeper seat Skybed in Business Class, which now offers an extra long and fully flat bed with ergonomically enhanced cushioning, a larger in-arm entertainment screen, additional storage options and more privacy;
  • a private lounge area in the upper deck Business Class cabin featuring leather sofas, a self-service bar, large video monitor with laptop connectivity and a feature display cabinet;
  • Premium Economy seats by Recaro, with fully adjustable, in-arm, digital wide screen television monitors, and a self service bar dedicated to the upper deck Premium Economy cabin;
  • Recaro seats in Economy Class featuring a sliding base that moves with the seat back to create a more comfortable, ergonomically tested position to aid sleep and eliminate pressure points and a foot net to stop sliding during sleep;
  • four self-service bars in Economy Class; and
  • state-of-the-art Panasonic inflight entertainment system with more than 100 on demand movies, 500 television selections, up to 1,000 audio CDs, 30 PC style games, and a selection of audio books, language tutorials, destination information, business education and radio channels.

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Next month, the citizens of the following 7 countries (including 6 EU countries) will not require a visa to visit US for 90 days –

  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Slovakia
  • South Korea

The citizens of the above countries will be allowed visa-free entry up to 90 days provided, “they register online ahead of arrival. Another condition they must meet is to have tamper-proof biometric passports

Six more countries remain on a “visa waiver road map” process that aims to provide similar waiver at a later date. The countries are –

  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • Romania

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Continental Airlines today announced –

  • Promotional $45 (one-way) fare for US Helicopter service between Newark and Manhattan. Please note that the discounted fare is available for limited time only to economy class passengers traveling on select faares to/from Newark Airport.
  • The service will be complimentary for passengers traveling on First Class and full-fare tickets.

Offer details from Market Watch

The special offer is effective immediately for tickets purchased on or
after Sept. 1 for travel through Oct. 31, 2008. Customers previously ticketed
to travel within these dates may add the US Helicopter service at the
discounted fare. No advance purchase is required. The promotional fare does
not include passenger facility charges of up to $18 per segment, Sept. 11
security fee of up to $5 each way or Federal excise tax of $3.50 per segment.
For reservations or additional information go to continental.com or call
1-800-523-FARE.

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Ethopian Airlines announced that it will commence 6 weekly flights to/from Ouagadougou from October 26th 2008. The new flights will connect Ouagadougou (capital and largest city in Burkina Faso) to all the major Asian capitals. It will operate Boeing 757-200 aircraft (160 seats – 16 cloud nine and 144 economy) for the route.

From Nazret.com

The new flights will offer direct connections via Addis Ababa to
Ethiopian’s vast network across the globe among which are: Bangkok,
Brazzaville, Beijing, Beirut, Bombay, Bujumbura, Cairo, Dar es Salaam,
Delhi, Dubai, Entebbe, Guangzhou, Harare, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Juba,
Khartoum, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Kinshasa, Lilongwe, Lubumbashi, Lusaka,
Nairobi, Paris, Tel Aviv, Washington DC and Zanzibar.

The new direct routings will save hours of current flight options for
passengers going to or from Ouagadougou. For example, the new
Ouagadougou-Dubai connection will be 3 hours and 45 minutes faster than
the current same-airline option.

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Kingfisher Airlines (merged into Deccan Aviation) became the second major private Indian Airlines after Jet Airways to get the permission to fly to foreign destinations. The aviation ministry of India has approved the airlines for seven flights a week between Bangalore and London on a Airbus A330 from August 26th 2008.

Kingfisher Airlines is run by Vijay Mallya who seems to be the Sir Richard Branson of India.

From Wikipedia – “Kingfisher is one of six airlines in the world to have a five-star rating from Skytrax, along with Asiana Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways.

From Press Trust of India

According to guidelines an Indian
carrier can fly abroad only after serving the domestic market for five
years and having a fleet of 20 aircraft.



Kingfisher Airlines was merged into Deccan Aviation with the
sanction of the Karnataka High Court. Following this, all the 43
aircraft on the Scheduled Operators Permit (SOP) of Kingfisher were
transferred and endorsed on the SOP of Deccan Aviation with the
approval of the DGCA.”

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Brazil is the most popular South American destination for Australian travelers and Thailand is Australia’s 6th largest destination.

Under a new federal government (Australian) agreement, flights to/from Thailand will immediately increase from 35 per week to 40 per week and 45 per week starting March next year. Also flights to/from Brazil will increase from 7 to 14 flights a week.

This means that since the capacity will increase, hence the ticket prices might be cheaper (though it depends a lot on oil and competition).

From Sydney Morning Herald

“From March next year, the maximum number of seats on flights
between Australia and Thailand will reach more 1.87 million
annually, 28.6 per cent more than were available under the old
bilateral aviation arrangements, Transport Minister Anthony
Albanese said.”

“”The removal of most restrictions on air routes between
Australia and Brazil will, over time, provide more choice for
travellers … and allow our airlines to take advantage of the
rapidly growing economies of South America,” Mr Albanese said in a
statement.”

Great Book on Thailand -> Thailand (Country Guide)

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