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Posts Tagged ‘Good News Everyone’

Last year US Airways started charging $2 for non-alcoholic beverages ($1 for coffee/tea) on board their flights. The charge was started during the crude oil’s rendezvous with $150/barrel, but was not followed by any other airlines. Recently, US Airways’ CEO Chairman, Doug Parker, announced that they are withdrawing the charge and resuming free beverages on the flights.

It is a common practice by airlines to start some charge (or withdraw) them and see if other airlines follow the initiative (or not). This is specially important since the airlines are not supposed to talk with each other on these initiatives or fare prices due the laws against price-fixing.

Good for all of us, except for US Airways’ flight attendants :).

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January 17th 2009, Mexicana (or Compañía Mexicana de Aviación) will launch twice-weekly flights from Mexico City to London’s Gatwick Ariport (return flight leaves London at 10:30am and arrives in Mexico City at 17:35p). The airline will be using a Boeing 767-200ER for the service. Mexicana’s plans are to fly to Sao Paulo Grarulhos (GRU), London (LGW)
and Madrid (MAD). “The arrival of a second -200 the following month will allow it to
double the frequency. The aircraft also will be used on a new
five-times-weekly Sao Paulo Guarulhos service scheduled to start Dec.
10.
” The Madrid flight is supposed to start in February
2009 (on Airbus A330).

“Passengers on these flights will enjoy bed seats, an exclusive
in-flight meal prepared by Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and a select
list of handpicked Mexican wines.”

Mexicana is Mexico’s largest airline and is the first airline that was established in the country. It has been Mexico’s national airline since 1924.

From ATWOnline

Mexicana has been hit by the current industry downturn like many
carriers, but it remains in “adequate” financial health and is focused
on a long-term plan that includes oneworld entry and the launch of its
first European services early next year, CEO Manuel Borja said
yesterday at the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Cancun.
All three routes are underserved, he said. The GRU and LGW flights
largely will cater to corporate customers, with a “small percentage” of
leisure travelers, while MAD is “more of a mix.” He conceded that MX
will post a “small” loss in 2008 but expects a “neutral” 2009.

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By November 20th, all the US Airports will have designated TSA passenger security-check lanes called “family lanes” to move through security checks and inspections at “their own pace”. The “popular” lanes had been tested earlier at 48 airports “provide a space for families and passengers who don’t travel very often to move through security at their own pace“.

I might sound a little selfish, but it is great for people like us who travel a lot and know how to zip through security with our shoes, belts, laptop(s), etc out in the bins well before our turn :).

From TSA.gov

Families, and individuals traveling with medically necessary liquids
this holiday season will be able to take advantage of the
Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) popular family lanes,
regardless of which airport they use.
The lanes, part of TSA’s Diamond Self-Select program currently
available at 48 airports, allow families, individuals unfamiliar with
air travel procedures and travelers with special needs to go through
security at their own pace. Individuals carrying medically necessary
liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of three ounces
will also be
directed to these popular lanes
. Individuals traveling with liquids,
gels and aerosols within 3-1-1 limits will not experience any change to
their screening procedures.

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Indianapolis International Airport’s new Midfield Airport is all set to open on Tuesday November 11th 2008 (purposely delayed 2 weeks to coincide with Veteran’s day). The ceremony will be include “a 1,000 foot ribbon, dozens of speakers, bagpipes and a flyover by the Indiana National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing“. Free parking will be available at the garage. The first commercial flight will land after 8pm on Tuesday (opening day) and the departures will start Wednesday.

Event Details from IndyStar

The ceremony on the upper-level drive at the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal will start at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Other event highlights include:

» The Indianapolis Firefighters Emerald Society Bagpipers will play.

» The Indianapolis Airport Police & Fire Honor Guard will post the colors.

» Airport police and fire officers Jason Garner and Ed Jordan will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Anne Valentine will sing the national anthem.

»
The Rev. Yung Sheng Chen, a member of the Indianapolis International
Airport Interfaith Chaplaincy board of directors, will offer the
invocation.

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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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Boeing announced recently that it has finished the high-pressure test knows as “high blow” on the airframe of its 787 Dreamliner at its Everett factory on Saturday September 27th 2008. The test takes two hours and is one of the three tests required before its first flight (woo-hoo!).

From Boeing Website

During the test, the airframe reached an internal pressure of 150
percent of the maximum levels expected to be seen in service – 14.9
lbs. per square inch (1.05 kilograms per centimeter) gauge (psig). It
took nearly two hours to complete the test, as pressure was slowly
increased to ensure the integrity of the airplane.

“We
had every confidence going into this test because of the extensive work
we’ve done on larger and larger pieces of composite – from small
coupons to fuselage sections,” said Pat Shanahan, vice president and
general manager of the 787 program. “Still, it’s very rewarding to see
a whole airplane being tested and having the results we expected.

“I am so proud of the team that has worked on this program and the progress we are making.”

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After last week of canceling flights and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s comments, everyone was waiting for the final shutdown. But yesterday, the airline’s largest labor union reversed course and agreed to concessions contained in the rescue plan
proposed by investment group CAI, which now may include Air France KLM.” The Italian media has reported that Air France – KLM is interested in taking 10-25% stake.

From ATWOnline

CGIL dropped its prior opposition to the CAI deal and agreed to
concessions, including more than 3,000 job cuts. Flight attendants and
pilots still had not agreed late yesterday, but labor leaders
representing the groups reportedly were in meetings in Berlusconi’s
office last night and are under pressure from CGIL and other AZ unions
to sign on.

CGIL head Guglielmo Epifani indicated that the
union had convinced CAI to sweeten its offer in terms of worker
benefits, saying at a news conference that the new deal is an
“absolutely positive comprehensive agreement. . .I’m confident that
with the gains we won it will be possible for those who have not yet
subscribed to the accord to reconsider and contribute to the
re-launching of the company.”

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