Saturday
Dec112010

JFK now accessible more quickly from Staten Island and Brooklyn

New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is nearing the completion of an underground pedestrian tunnel directly connecting the New York subway's A, C, and F lines to the R line.  Called the Jay Street-Lawrence Street connector by www.ny1.com, the new tunnel is finished ahead of schedule according to a post made to www.ny1.com.  The tunnel allows subway riders to make a free transfer between the R line and the A, C, or F lines, at the Brooklyn subway stations formerly known as Lawrence Street-MetroTech, and Jay Street-Borough Hall.

The R line is all-important for Staten Islanders who use public transportation to reach Brooklyn.  The R is directly accessible at 86th Street in Brooklyn, from Staten Island, via the two local and one limited-stop Staten Island bus routes that run across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (by far the longest connecting two boroughs in the city) to Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.  Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) is then accessible from the city's A line at the Howard Beach-JFK stationAirTrain JFK charges a fee of five dollars to transport riders from the Howard Beach subway station to the airport terminals.  AirTrain JFK from the Howard Beach station to the terminals is about a ten-minute ride, according to the MTA website.

From 86th Street in Brooklyn, it is now approximately a 65-70 minute subway ride to Howard Beach-JFK, with the new transfer between the R line and the A line at the newly merged Jay Street-MetroTech station.

As always, Staten Island and Brooklyn-based air travelers willing to pay more than the cost of one subway ride can still use the myriad other options to reach Kennedy International even faster than this if they wish.

New Jersey's Newark International (IATA: EWR; ICAO: KEWR) is in fact the closest large airport to Staten Island, the southernmost of New York's five boroughs.  It is 13 miles (21 kilometers) by road from the center of Staten Island.  Kennedy International is twice that distance by road from the same place.

original stories

Welcome to the New Jay Street/Metro Tech Station! (Metropolitan Transit Authority)

Long-Awaited Subway Transfers to Open In Brooklyn, Queens (www.ny1.com)

Meet Jay Street-MetroTech, Our Newest Subway Station (www.gothamist.com)

Friday
Dec102010

American Airlines NYC sale ends December 13

A number of American Airlines (AA) flights to and from the City of New York are now on sale.  Travelers must fly during the period between January 4 and March 9 next year (inclusive) to benefit from this sale.  Those fares to and from New York which are on sale must be booked by December 13.  Fares listed on the sale page do not include baggage fees and certain taxes and other fees which can add a significant amount to the total price paid.

Other restrictions not mentioned here, also apply.

American Airlines flies through four airports in the New York metro area, namely Kennedy International (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK); LaGuardia (IATA: LGA; ICAO: KLGA); Westchester County (IATA: HPN; ICAO: KHPN); and Newark International (IATA: EWR; ICAO: KEWR).  But only certain fares involving Kennedy and LaGuardia are listed as being on sale on the airline's website.

American Airlines fares involving cities other than New York are also on sale.

American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways.  It now operates 625 aircraft to 260 destinations, in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.  It is the second-largest airline in the world by the former measure, and is the world’s third-largest airline by the latter measure.  The company moved its main offices to Texas in 1979.  This relocation was criticized as a betrayal by then-New York mayor Ed Koch.  American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW), and its main offices are in Fort Worth.  Stock in American Airlines' parent company AMR Corporation, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

original stories

New York On Sale (American Airlines)

New York City Sale From American Airlines (Yahoo News)

Thursday
Dec022010

Qantas looks at legal action against Rolls-Royce for engine failure

Qantas Airways has reiterated that it believes it has a cause of action against the British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce.  The two companies are currently in talks, and Australia's national airline says it will seek an out-of-court commercial settlement from the British company before proceeding with any lawsuit, according to www.foxbusiness.com.  Rolls-Royce "gave no response" to the news from Qantas.

Findings from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), about an engine weakness which led to the November 4 engine failure over Indonesia, led Qantas to "conduct further investigations" into the causes of the blown engine.  The flight ended with a dramatic landing back at Changi International Airport in Singapore (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS), whence it had departed shortly before, bound for Sydney.  The A380 trailed smoke as it touched back down at Changi International.

Qantas Airways was founded in 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.  The acronym of its original name is what the airline goes by today.  It is colloquially known as the "Flying Kangaroo."  Qantas operates 142 aircraft.  It flies to 18 domestic destinations, and also flies to four destinations in New Zealand, and one in the French overseas collectivity of New Caledonia.  In addition, it flies to four destinations in North America, one in South America, one in Africa, two in Europe, and eight in Asia.  Qantas operates hubs at Kingsford Smith Airport, and at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML).  Its main offices are in the Botany Bay sector of Sydney.  Company stock is traded on the Sydney-based Australian Securities Exchange.

related stories

Qantas CEO aboard first company A380 to fly since engine failure (November 27, 2010)

Qantas and Airbus point finger at Rolls-Royce for compensation (November 22, 2010)

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure (November 16, 2010)

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

Qantas prepares to sue Rolls-Royce over engine blast (Yahoo News)

Qantas Says It Can Pursue Legal Action Against Rolls-Royce (Fox Business)

Monday
Nov292010

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger

Earlier today, shareholders in British Airways and Iberia Airlines voted "overwhelmingly" in favor of a proposed merger between the two European carriers which would create the third-largest airline in Europe.  Among European-based carriers only Lufthansa and Air France-KLM would be larger.  The resulting business entity will be called International Consolidated Airlines Group.  The London-based Daily Telegraph reported that Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways, would like to consolidate additional airlines within this new holding company in the future, and that this is the reason for the "bland" holding company name.

The merger is worth an estimated 5.7 billion GBP (6.76 billion EUR; 8.89 billion USD) and will be executed entirely with company stock.  According to the New York-based Wall Street Journal, shareholders of British Airways will receive a share of International Consolidated Airlines Group for every share of British Airways they own, and shareholders of Iberia Airlines will get 1.0205 shares of the new holding company for every share of Iberia.  Iberia reported on its website that five years from now, the new multinational corporation expects the airlines' combined efforts to produce 400 million EUR (337 million GBP; 526 million USD) annually in excess of the sum of the two airlines' individual expected revenues.

Both British Airways and Iberia are members of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Operational headquarters of the airline resulting from this merger will be in London, and corporate headquarters will be in Madrid.  Each city is the capital of its respective country.  Despite the move, the two merging airlines "will keep their separate brands and identities" according to the Wall Street Journal today.  The merger is scheduled to be officially complete on January 21 next year.  The Daily Telegraph noted solemnly that British Airways' individual ticker symbol would no longer be visible on the London Stock Exchange, as of January 24 next year.

Mr. Walsh, and Iberia CEO Antonio Vázquez Romero will hold a press conference at Madrid's Hotel Intercontinental on November 30, at 10:00 in the morning local time, according to Iberia's press release.

British Airways is the highest-profile airline headquartered in the United Kingdom, and was founded in 1974, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is based in the borough of Hillingdon in London.  Its largest hub is Heathrow International Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  It operates 239 aircraft (Airbus and Boeing) to destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  Company stock is currently traded on the London Stock Exchange, although the "BA" ticker symbol will be replaced by the ticker symbol for International Consolidated Airlines Group next January 24.

Iberia Airlines was founded in 1927, and is the largest carrier based in Spain, by number of passengers carried.  It is headquartered in Madrid, and maintains hubs at Barajas Airport in the Spanish capital (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD), and also at Barcelona Airport in the northeast of the country (IATA: BCN; ICAO: LEBL).  It operates an all-Airbus fleet of 116 aircraft to 99 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.

related stories

British Airways resolves Iberia merger concern over deficit (September 23, 2010)

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance (July 22, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original stories

BA, Iberia holders approve merger (Yahoo Finance)

Iberia and British Airways shareholders approve merger (Iberia Airlines)

BA, Iberia Shareholders Back Merger (Wall Street Journal)

British Airways shareholder vote to trigger end of BA name on stock market screens (Daily Telegraph)

Saturday
Nov272010

Qantas CEO aboard first company A380 to fly since engine failure

Earlier today, Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce expressed confidence in the repairs made to his airline's fleet of six Airbus A380 aircraft, before boarding one in Sydney bound for Singapore.  This was the first A380 flight operated by Australia's national airline since its fleet of A380s was grounded on November 4, after an engine failure over the Indonesian island of Batam forced a Sydney-bound Qantas A380 to return to Singapore.  Joyce said Qantas is now "100 per cent comfortable with the operation of the [A380]," and that his airline is in talks with Rolls-Royce over compensation.  Joyce said the British aircraft engine maker was "apologetic" over the situation.

Yesterday, a Qantas-operated Boeing 747 was delayed just before takeoff from Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY) when an indicator light showed an engine fault.

Qantas Airways was founded in 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.  The acronym of its original name is what the airline goes by today.  It is colloquially known as the "Flying Kangaroo."  Qantas operates 142 aircraft.  It flies to 18 domestic destinations, and also flies to four destinations in New Zealand, and one in the French overseas collectivity of New Caledonia.  In addition, it flies to four destinations in North America, one in South America, one in Africa, two in Europe, and eight in Asia.  Qantas operates hubs at Kingsford Smith Airport, and at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML).  Its main offices are in the Botany Bay sector of Sydney.  Company stock is traded on the Sydney-based Australian Securities Exchange.

related stories

Qantas and Airbus point finger at Rolls-Royce for compensation (November 22, 2010)

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure (November 16, 2010)

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

Alan Joyce on board as Qantas A380 returns to sky (The Australian)

First Qantas A380 back in operation (World News Australia)

Thursday
Nov252010

Scandinavia's SAS offers winter sale, launches codeshare

Until November 30, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is offering sales on certain routes from the United States to both Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.  Reservations can be made up to a year in advance.  But American citizens traveling to these destinations for a period of time measured in months rather than days should keep in mind certain rules in addition to holding a United States Passport that will be valid during the entire length of their stay.

The United States Department of State has outlined the rules applicable to Americans staying in each of these countries for which an SAS trans-Atlantic winter sale is valid, over an extended period of time.

Norway

Sweden

Denmark

Latvia

Poland

Planning ahead and booking earlier tends to allow air travelers to secure the lowest possible fares.

Also, SAS and Singapore Airlines will begin a codeshare agreement effective December 1.  Singapore Airlines will place its codeshare symbol (SQ) onto the SAS multiple times daily round-trip routes between Copenhagen, and the cities of Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki.  The flights that are part of the new codeshare involve Copenhagen Airport (IATA: CPH; ICAO: EKCH), Gardermoen Airport near Oslo (IATA: OSL; ICAO: ENGM), Arlanda Airport near Stockholm (IATA: ARN; ICAO: ESSA), and Vantaa Airport near Helsinki (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK).

For its part, SAS will add its codeshare symbol (SK) to Singapore Airlines' twice-weekly round-trip routes between Copenhagen Airport and Changi International Airport (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore; and also to select flights between Changi International and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (IATA: BKK; ICAO: VTBS).

Founded as Scandinavian Airlines System in 1946, SAS is headquartered in a northern suburb of Stockholm called Solna.  It operates 142 aircraft to close to 100 destinations mostly within Europe.  SAS flies to three destinations in North America, and four in Asia.  Its main hubs are Copenhagen Airport, Stockholm's Arlanda Airport, and Oslo's Gardermoen Airport.

Founded as Malayan Airlines in 1947, Singapore Airlines is the national airline of the eponymous southeastern Asian island country off the eastern end of the Malay Peninsula.  It operates 110 aircraft, including the new Airbus A380, to 61 destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  Its main hub is Changi International, and its main offices are in the central business district of Singapore.  The carrier's majority owner is an investment house called Temasek Holdings.

original stories

SAS Winter Sale to Scandinavia & Eastern Europe (Yahoo News)

SAS and Singapore Airlines enter code-share agreement (SAS)

Singapore Airlines and SAS to codeshare (www.scandasia.com)

Tuesday
Nov232010

AirTran pilots union reaches agreement with management

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents the pilots of AirTran Airways, ended "almost six years of negotiations" with company management late last week, when 87 percent of the airline's pilots voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement.  Most of the agreement between the Orlando, Florida-based low-fare carrier and the labor union representing its pilots takes effect on December 1, and it is expected to be valid for five years.  Linden Hillman, chairman of the AirTran Airways chapter of ALPA, expressed confidence that the new contract would continue to serve AirTran pilots well, even as their airline becomes part of the much larger low-fare competitor Southwest Airlines.

AirTran Airways is currently wholly owned by AirTran Holdings, Inc., a corporation whose stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and which is identified by the ticker symbol AAI.  The closing of the proposed Southwest-AirTran merger; and approval of it by the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation, and the two airlines' respective shareholders, are both forthcoming.

original stories

AirTran Airways' Pilots Successfully Ratify Tentative Agreement (AirTran Airways)

AirTran Airways Pilots Reach New Contract With Management (www.earthtimes.org)

Monday
Nov222010

Qantas and Airbus point finger at Rolls-Royce for compensation

Following a series of engine-related malfunctions, including one on November 4 that forced pilots to make an emergency landing in Singapore, both the French aircraft manufacturer Airbus, and Australia's Qantas Airways have announced they will seek compensation from the British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce.  An Airbus spokesman said the company would seek "full financial compensation" from Rolls-Royce.  Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said it was too early to determine how much, in monetary terms, this has cost the airline, but suggested that Australia's national airline might seek compensation from Rolls-Royce in the future.

Qantas plans to return one of its grounded A380s to service this coming Saturday.  Joyce has said he will be aboard the first Qantas-operated A380 to fly since the November 4 engine failure.

related stories

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure (November 16, 2010)

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

Rolls-Royce face Qantas Airbus A380 compensation over engine scare (UK Daily Mail)

Qantas Seeks Rolls-Royce compensation for A380 (Wall Street Journal)

Qantas to Recommence A380 services (Qantas Airways)

Thursday
Nov182010

AA flies between NYC & Rio, Cincy, Indy, Norfolk, Ft. Lauderdale

Today American Airlines launched five new non-stop routes, one international and four domestic.  All involve the American Airlines hub Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), in New York.  The new routes involve Galeão International Airport (IATA: GIG; ICAO: SBGL) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVG; ICAO: KCVG); Indianapolis International Airport (IATA: IND; ICAO: KIND); Norfolk International Airport (IATA: ORF; ICAO: KORF) in the American commonwealth of Virginia; and Fort Lauderdale International Airport (IATA: FLL; ICAO: KFLL) in the American state of Florida.  Four of the five routes will operate daily, in each direction.  The New York-Fort Lauderdale route will operate twice daily in each direction.  Art Torno, American's Vice President - New York, indicated in a statement that these routes are aimed at both business travelers and leisure travelers.

American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways.  It now operates 621 aircraft to 260 destinations, in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.  It is the second-largest airline in the world by the former measure, and is the world’s third-largest airline by the latter measure.  The company moved its main offices to Dallas, Texas in 1979.  This relocation was criticized as a betrayal by then-New York mayor Ed Koch.  American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW), and its main offices are in Dallas.

original stories

AA, American Eagle announce new flights (Yahoo News)

American Airlines and American Eagle Launch Nonstop Jet Service to Five Cities From New York's JFK Airport (American Airlines)

 

Thursday
Nov182010

Emirates and JetBlue agree to JFK-focused partnership

The official airline of the emirate of Dubai, Emirates, has agreed to an interline partnership with the American-based low-fare carrier JetBlue Airways.  The interline agreement focuses on New York's Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK).  The intent of the partnership is that air travelers will be able to book travel via Kennedy International, with both carriers in a single reservation.  The largest Middle Eastern airline operates two daily flights in each direction between its hub Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB; ICAO: OMDB) and Kennedy International, with both the new Airbus A380, and the Boeing 777-300ER.  JetBlue announed that this interline partnership will include "one-stop check-in and and baggage transfer between the airlines."

Scott Resnick, JetBlue's director of airline partnerships, called Emirates "a perfect fit for JetBlue's growing portfolio of international partners," and acknowledged the much larger international carrier's reputation for a high level of customer service.  Emirates' Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations for Americas and Africa, Nigel Page, called it a "natural partnership," pointing out that both parties to this agreement have been "recognized for their best-in-class services."

Emirates is the official airline of the emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates.  Emirates was founded in 1985, and operates 152 aircraft to 108 destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  Its largest hub is Dubai International, and its main offices are in Dubai.  Emirates is wholly owned by the Dubai-based Emirates Group, which itself is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai.

JetBlue Airways is a low-fare airline which was founded in New York in 1998.  It flies 160 aircraft to 62 destinations in North America and 1 in South America (Bogotá, Colombia).  Its offices are located in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, in the City of New York.  Its main hub is Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), where JetBlue claims to have a plurality of the passenger market share, according to this press release.  JetBlue company stock is traded on the New York-based NASDAQ Stock Market, and is identified by the ticker symbol JBLU.

related story

Emirates reactivates Dubai-New York A380 route (November 9, 2010)

original stories

JetBlue partners with Dubai-based Emirates (Yahoo Finance)

JetBlue Airways and Emirates Partner to Offer New Global Connections (JetBlue Airways)

Tuesday
Nov162010

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure

Australia's Qantas Airways posted to its website late last week that they are reassigning routes originally flown by their six grounded Airbus A380 aircraft, to other Airbus planes, and to the Boeing planes in its fleet.  Routes normally flown by the substituted Boeing planes have been assigned to other Airbus planes.  Qantas specifically mentioned routes involving the domestic destinations Sydney and Perth, and the international destinations Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo (Narita International Airport in particular) as being affected by the reassignments.  From November 5, the first full day during which the airline's six A380s were grounded, to November 11, Qantas operated all but seven scheduled flights across its "international network," according to the press release.

Qantas stressed that their six grounded A380s "will not return to service until there is complete certainty that the fleet [of A380s] can operate safely."

Singapore Airlines returned one of its grounded airplanes to service last Friday.  The Singaporean national airline, which immediately grounded its fleet of 11 A380s upon hearing of the Qantas Singapore-Sydney engine failure, returned all 11 to service the next day following tests.  Then upon discovering oil stains on some of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines which power the carrier's A380s, it again grounded three of the super jumbo planes.  A second of the three was returned to service last Saturday.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa, the three airlines that fly the Airbus A380 with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, "may need to replace one component" in the engines, before returning the airplanes to service.

Dubai-based Emirates, which also operates the A380, continues to fly the newest Airbus model with no problems.  According to Emirates, the Airbus A380s operated by Emirates use the Engine Alliance-manufactured GP7000 engine, rather than the recently troubled Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine.  According to Engine Alliance, the engine they build to power the A380 is the GP7200.  Engine Alliance refers to an alliance between General Electric (GE) and Pratt & Whitney, formed in 1996 for the purpose of manufacturing aircraft engines for high capacity, long range aircraft.

related story

 Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

A380 Update - Qantas Confirms International Network Availability (Qantas Airways)

Singapore Air Returns One A380 to Service After Engine Change (Bloomberg)

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa May Need A380 Engine Fix (Bloomberg)

Saturday
Nov132010

Allure of the Seas docks in Fort Lauderdale

Following a two-week trans-Atlantic voyage that involved missing the underside of a Danish bridge by less than two feet, the Allure of the Seas arrived to enthusiastic fanfare yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at her home port, Port Everglades.  The Allure of the Seas arrived at Port Everglades as the lone representative of Royal Caribbean International.  According to www.cruisecal.com, she docked alongside Princess Cruises' Crown Princess, and the Holland America ships Eurodam, Noordam, and Zuiderdam.  But this morning, her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, arrived back at Port Everglades following a cruise of the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Officially, both the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas can accommodate as many as 5400 passengers and 1000 crew.  But according to USA Today, in March of this year, Oasis of the Seas set a world record for number of passengers on a single cruise, when it departed Fort Lauderdale "carrying 6,007 passengers."  USA Today also claims passenger capacity on Allure of the Seas is "nearly 6,300."

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein told the Associated Press that ships the size of Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas attract slightly younger passengers on average, than more modest-sized ships do.  Moreover, South Florida is expecting that three additional new watercraft, one operated by Celebrity Cruises, one by Holland America, and one by The Yachts of Seabourn, will dock in the region this coming winter.  This increase in capacity could, by the operation of market forces, decrease cruise prices, even on the premium caliber cruise lines.

The Allure of the Seas was constructed at the Turku, Finland location of the multi-national shipyard STX Europe.  During this very first trans-Atlantic voyage, empty of passengers, from Turku to Fort Lauderdale, she was required to pass underneath the span of the Storebælt Bridge, spanning the Great Belt, and connecting the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen, just to the east of mainland Denmark.  The Allure of the Seas, along with her pilot, Captain Hernan Zini, very gracefully accomplished this on October 30, the second day of the westbound trans-Atlantic voyage.  Captain Zini carefully directed her underneath the Storebælt Bridge with less than two feet to spare between her highest point and the underside of the bridge.  Below is a photograph of the Allure of the Seas negotiating Denmark's Storebælt Bridge.

The Allure of the Seas will be christened on November 28, during an inaugural fundraiser to benefit the United Way chapters of Florida's Broward County and Miami-Dade County, and also Royal Caribbean International's Haiti Fund.  The ship's godmother, who according to tradition, will break a bottle of champagne over the ship's hull to inaugurate it into service, will be revealed immediately before the ceremony the evening of November 28.

The Allure of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas share the title of "world's largest cruise ship."  They both boast a gross tonnage of 225,282.  The Allure of the Seas is scheduled to set sail on its first voyage from Port Everglades with paying passengers, straight to Labadee, Haiti, and back, the afternoon of December 1.  Its first seven-day voyage, a tour of the western Caribbean Sea, will commence the afternoon of December 5.

Royal Caribbean International was founded in Norway in 1968, but has since moved its main offices to Miami, Florida.  It is now wholly owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., founded in 1997, and headquartered in Miami.  Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. is a publicly owned company, whose stock is traded on both the New York Stock Exchange and on the Oslo Stock Exchange

Here is video of the Allure of the Seas, negotiating the Storebælt Bridge.

original stories

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas Official Website

Want to sail on the maiden voyage of Allure of the Seas?  It's not too late  (USA Today)

Allure of the Seas, twin megaship to largest cruise ship in world, arrives in Florida (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Three other new ships will join Allure in South Florida this winter (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Royal Caribbean CEO: Megaship luring younger cruisers (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Click on the Google +1 button below if you like the video, and/or the article!

Thursday
Nov112010

Air Berlin starts flying between Berlin and Dubai non-stop

Air Berlin, the second-largest carrier based in Germany (by passengers carried in 2009), commenced a thrice-weekly Berlin-Dubai non-stop route on Wednesday of last week.  It operates between Tegel Airport (IATA: TXL; ICAO: EDDT) northwest of Berlin, and Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB; ICAO: OMDB) southeast of the Dubai city center, in the United Arab Emirates.

The Berlin-Dubai flight will operate thrice weekly on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The Sunday eastbound flight is scheduled to leave Berlin at 6:45 in the evening local time, and arrive in Dubai at 3:35 in the morning local time, the next day.  The Wednesday and Friday eastbound flights are scheduled to leave Berlin at 9:25 in the evening local time, and arrive in Dubai at 6:15 in the morning local time, the next day.

The Dubai-Berlin flight will operate thrice weekly on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.  The Monday westbound flight is scheduled to leave Dubai at 5:20 in the morning, local time, and arrive in Berlin at 9:00 in the morning, local time.  The Thursday and Saturday westbound flights are scheduled to leave Dubai at 8:20 in the morning local time, and arrive in Berlin at 11:55 in the morning local time.

Representatives from both Air Berlin and the United Arab Emirates were on hand in Berlin for the inauguration ceremony.  This is the first "regular, year-round, non-stop service to the Middle East" ever operated by Air Berlin, according to the airline's press release on the subject.  Air Berlin CEO Joachim Hunold pointed out during the route's inauguration ceremony that Air Berlin is the only airline to link Berlin and Dubai non-stop.  He said the route will be marketed to both business travelers and leisure travelers, in both cities.

When Tegel Airport is closed no later than spring 2012, this route will be flown using the new Brandenburg International Airport.  Air Berlin posted to its website last week that tickets for the route can be had for as low as 199 EUR (1001 AED, 169 GBP, 273 USD) one-way.

Air Berlin operates a semi-low-fare business model.  It was formed in the American state of Oregon in 1978 as Air Berlin USA, by former employees of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) and the supplemental carrier Modern Air Transport.  It operates 148 aircraft to 154 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.  Air Berlin relocated to the German city whose name it shares, in 1985.  It has hubs in the German cities of Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Nuremberg, and also on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

original story (Air Berlin)

Thursday
Nov112010

Carnival Splendor tugged to San Diego after fire cuts power

The United States Coast Guard attached six tug boats to the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Splendor following a fire in the engine room Monday morning, which knocked out primary electricity and engine propulsion.  Early this morning, the boats, towing the powerless ship at around four miles per hour (around six kilometers per hour), arrived at the Port of San Diego, in the American state of California.  The Splendor had been on a seven-day cruise of the Mexican Riviera, when the fire broke out.  She was located "about 150 miles south of San Diego" according to the Press-Telegram of Long Beach, California.

CNN reported just recently that United States Navy helicopters bravely delivered "Spam and Pop-Tarts" to the nearly 4,500 people stranded aboard the Splendor.  The Christian Science Monitor reported that the rations transported by the Navy also included canned crab meat.  According to a post made to the Port of San Diego's official website, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan also assisted in delivering "food and other supplies" to those aboard the Splendor.  Carnival posted to its official website earlier today that aboard the ship, one of the industry's 30 largest by gross tonnage, there were 3299 passengers and 1167 crew.

The Carnival Splendor is part of the Concordia class of cruise ships, a group of six, five of which are operated by the Italian cruise line Costa Cruises, the the other of which is the Carnival Splendor.  She was christened in 2008 in Dover, Kent County, England, United Kingdom.  The Splendor boasts a gross tonnage of 113,300 and her port of registry is in Panama.

Carnival Cruise Lines has promised a full refund for each passenger aboard, compensation for transportation costs, and a free credit toward a future cruise of equal value.  Carnival Cruise Lines is an internationally owned cruise line with owners in both the United States and the United Kingdom.  It was founded in 1972, and its main offices are in Doral, Florida, in the United States.  It currently operates 22 ships, expects to christen another next year, and another in 2012.  Carnival Cruise Lines is owned by Carnival Corporation.  Corporation stock is traded on both the New York Stock Exchange and on the London Stock Exchange.

original stories

Carnival Splendor fire: Crippled ship nears San Diego (Christian Science Monitor)

Passengers: Mayo sandwiches, showering in the dark on cruise ship (CNN)

Carnival terminates cruise after Splendor catches fire off Mexico (Long Beach Press-Telegram)

Cruise Ship Carnival Splendor Towed to San Diego (Port of San Diego)

Thursday
Nov112010

U.S. State Dept. warns of hazards of travel in Indonesia

Yesterday, the United States Department of State put out a travel alert effective until the end of the year, officially warning American citizens of the current hazards of travel inside Indonesia.  The alert deals entirely with the recent eruption of the volcano Merapi on the Indonesian island of Java.  It notes that Merapi is located 250 miles southeast of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, and 330 miles to the west of the island of Bali, a popular resort destination.

Americans contemplating travel to Indonesia were warned by the alert to make contingency plans, to keep close contact with any airlines through which they have booked travel reservations, to purchase travel insurance, and to stay away from the mountain.

related story

Mount Merapi erupts; many Jakarta flights cancelled (November 6, 2010)

original story (United States Department of State)

Tuesday
Nov092010

Emirates reactivates Dubai-New York A380 route

After not flying it for more than a year, Dubai-based Emirates has reactivated its Dubai-New York route, operated by the Airbus A380.  A depressed American economy caused the largest carrier based in the Middle East to suspend the route last year.  The tone of a press release posted to Emirates' official website yesterday suggests that the reactivated route will be marketed primarily with business travelers in mind. 

Last week, Emirates launched twice daily service in each direction between Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB; ICAO: OMDB) and Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX; ICAO: KLAX).  It also launched twice-daily service in each direction between Dubai International and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas (IATA: IAH; ICAO: KIAH), a facility opened in 1969 and renamed for the 41st American President in 1997.  In New York, Emirates will again occupy its traditional place in Terminal 4 at Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) the New York metro area's largest airport by number of passengers served.

Safety-related questions about the A380 arose just last week when an aircraft of this model, operated by Australia's Qantas Airways, lost an engine over Indonesia while flying from Changi International Airport in Singapore (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) to Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY).  Qantas has grounded its fleet of six Airbus A380 aircraft, and research into the cause of the engine failure is ongoing.  As of this post, Emirates has indicated no plans to stop operating its fleet of 14 A380s in light of the announcement from Qantas.

Emirates is the official airline of the emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates.  Emirates was founded in 1985, and operates four of the longest non-stop routes being commercially flown today, between Dubai and the cities of Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in the United States; and between Dubai, and São Paulo in Brazil.  It operates 145 aircraft (both Airbus models and Boeing models) to 103 destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  The carrier became the first to fly the Airbus A380 to an American airport when it flew from Dubai International to Kennedy International in 2008.  In addition to its current fleet of 14 Airbus A380s, the airline has an additional 76 on order from Airbus.  Its largest hub is Dubai International, and its main offices are in Dubai.  Emirates is wholly owned by the Dubai-based Emirates Group, which itself is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai.

related stories

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

Emirates CEO Clark stands by plans for more than 90 A380s (September 13, 2010)

Emirates wants even more (than 90) Airbus A380s (June 22, 2010)

Emirates orders 32 more Airbus A380 super jumbo aircraft (June 16, 2010)

original stories

Emirates offers a sky full of choices with jumbo-sized capacity boost to the USA (Emirates)

Emirates Restarts NYC Double-Decker Plane Flights (ABC News)

Monday
Nov082010

American Airlines and Air Berlin codeshare is in effect

Last Thursday, American Airlines (AA) announced via its website that it launched the codeshare partnership negotiated this past July, with the second-largest airline based in Germany, Air Berlin.  Only very few details were released by American Airlines about which flights operated by each of the carriers are part of this new codeshare.  But in the press release, American identified its three North American "cornerstone markets" as Kennedy International Airport in New York (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), Miami International Airport in Florida (IATA: MIA; ICAO: KMIA), and Los Angeles International Airport in California (IATA: LAX; ICAO: KLAX).  And Air Berlin connects to each of those three American airports from its hub in Düsseldorf through its wholly-owned subsidiary LTU International.  (Air Berlin plans to fly a Berlin-New York non-stop route beginning next May.)  One therefore imagines that, at the least, the Air Berlin trans-Atlantic routes involving these three American cities, will be part of the codeshare.

Also according to the agreement, members of the American Airlines frequent flyer program traveling on flights operated by Air Berlin but booked under an American Airlines flight number, can put miles earned from the flights operated by Air Berlin toward American Airlines frequent flier rewards.  In anticipation of Air Berlin's expected admission to the Oneworld airline alliance in early 2012, the two airlines are working toward a more comprehensive, reciprocal arrangement allowing members of Air Berlin's frequent flier program similar privileges, when flying routes operated by American Airlines.

This codeshare also extends to Air Berlin's "strategic partner," the Austrian semi-low-fare carrier Niki.  Air Berlin's expected admission to the Oneworld airline alliance in early 2012 is also planned to coincide roughly with the grand opening of Berlin's brand new international airport.  The new facility is expected to entirely replace the already closed (in 2008) Tempelhof Airport south of central Berlin, and the currently operational Tegel Airport northwest of the city (IATA: TXL; ICAO: EDDT), which is expected to close in 2012, and where Air Berlin holds a plurality of the passenger market share.  Another Berlin airport, Schönefeld southeast of the city (IATA: SXF; ICAO: EDDB) will be expanded and adapted to form part of the new facility, which itself will be named after former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, and will also be called Brandenburg International Airport.

American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways.  It now operates 621 aircraft to 260 destinations, in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.  It is the second-largest airline in the world by the former measure, and is the world’s third-largest airline by the latter measure.  The company moved its main offices to Dallas, Texas in 1979.  This relocation was criticized as a betrayal by then-New York mayor Ed Koch.  American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW), and its main offices are in Dallas.

Air Berlin is a German airline operating a semi-low-fare business model.  Air Berlin was formed in the American state of Oregon in 1978 as Air Berlin USA, by former employees of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) and the supplemental carrier Modern Air Transport.  It acquired LTU International in March 2007.  It operates 148 aircraft to 154 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.  Air Berlin relocated to the German city whose name it shares, in 1985.  It has hubs in the German cities of Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Nuremberg, and also on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

related story

Air Berlin makes codeshare agreements with Finnair and American (July 29, 2010)

original story (American Airlines)

Monday
Nov082010

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure

Qantas Airways, the national airline of Australia, continues research this week into the cause of a mid-air engine explosion that forced the recent emergency landing of one of its aircraft.  The affected aircraft is an Airbus A380, and as a result of the engine failure, Qantas has grounded indefinitely (but for at least a week) its entire fleet of Airbus A380s.  The aircraft that suffered the engine failure had departed from Changi Airport in Singapore (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) bound for Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney, the largest Australian city (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY).  Engine failure occurred relatively shortly after takeoff, as the aircraft had only made it over Indonesia when it was forced to dump fuel and return to Singapore.

"A series of recent emergencies on various aircraft" has afflicted Australia's best-known airline, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.  Investigators into the malfunctions have discovered faults with three Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, the type used to power the Airbus A380.  Singapore Airlines and the German carrier Lufthansa have said they will continue operating the A380.  Air France and Dubai-based Emirates also operate the A380, but as of this post, neither has explicitly indicated, in light of the Qantas engine explosion, whether they will or will not continue to fly the A380.

Singapore-Sydney was the very first route flown commercially by the Airbus A380.  That flight, in October 2007, was operated by Singapore Airlines.

Qantas Airways was founded in 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.  The acronym of its original name is what the airline goes by today.  It is colloquially known as the "Flying Kangaroo."  Qantas operates 142 aircraft, six of which are the grounded A380s.  Qantas flies to 18 domestic destinations, and also flies to four destinations in New Zealand, and one in the French overseas collectivity of New Caledonia.  In addition, it flies to four destinations in North America, one in South America, one in Africa, two in Europe, and eight in Asia.  Qantas operates hubs at Kingsford Smith Airport near Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY), and at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML).  Its main offices are in the Botany Bay sector of Sydney.  Company stock is traded on the Sydney-based Australian Securities Exchange.

original stories

Qantas Continues A380 Engine Inspection Program (Qantas Airways)

Qantas Extends A380 Grounding to a Week After Engine Explosion (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Oil leaks investigated as Qantas Extends A380 grounding (Sydney Morning Herald)

Qantas A380 makes emergency landing in Singapore (Sydney Morning Herald)

Sunday
Nov072010

JetBlue inaugurates DCA-BOS route and DCA-Florida routes

Last week, American low-fare airline JetBlue Airways commenced several times daily service between Reagan National Airport (IATA: DCA; ICAO: KDCA) across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and Logan International Airport (IATA: BOS; ICAO: KBOS) in Boston

With the discontinuation by the American Airlines subsidiary American Eagle, of its several times daily service between the two airports, JetBlue is in the enviable position of having the opportunity to win over business travelers along the route, who had been loyal to American Airlines.  DCA is the preferred airport for business and government-related travel in the Washington, D.C. area.  With American Airlines' retirement of the route, Delta Air Lines and US Airways are now the only other carriers that fly between Washington National and Logan International non-stop.  In addition, these two airlines combined possess well over half of the passenger market share at DCA.  Analysts believe introduction of a D.C.-Boston non-stop route by a low-fare carrier such as JetBlue will almost surely put pressure on Delta Air Lines and US Airways to lower fares.  JetBlue now serves all three Washington, D.C.-area airports, and boasts a total of 18 daily departures in each direction between the two metropolitan areas, according to a press release.

Also last week, JetBlue introduced a once-daily route in each direction between DCA and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (IATA: FLL; ICAO: KFLL) in southeastern Florida, and a once-daily route in each direction between DCA and Orlando International Airport (IATA: MCO; ICAO: KMCO) just south of Orlando, Florida.

JetBlue is a low-cost airline which was founded in New York in 1998.  It flies 158 aircraft to 61 destinations in North America and 1 in South America (Bogotá, Colombia).  Its offices are located in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, in the City of New York.  Its main hub is Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK).

related stories

Jet Airways now flies to Sri Lanka from two more Indian cities (November 7, 2010)

Air Berlin begins Winter 2011 route to Spain's Costa Blanca (November 4, 2010)

Tokyo's Haneda Airport resumes regular international service (October 31, 2010)

France-based airline flies non-stop to Baghdad (October 31, 2010)

Air Canada expands Winter 2011 schedule (October 21, 2010)

Hawaiian Airlines starts non-stop Maui-Las Vegas route (October 8, 2010)

JetBlue now flies between Boston and Phoenix non-stop (September 4, 2010)

Finnair flies to Stockholm-Bromma starting Wednesday (August 16, 2010)

original stories

JetBlue to launch service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Boston and Florida (JetBlue Airways)

JetBlue enters the Boston-D.C. shuttle business (USA Today)

JetBlue starts Reagan Airport flights, says it's now top D.C.-Boston carrier (USA Today)

Sunday
Nov072010

Jet Airways now flies to Sri Lanka from two more Indian cities

Last Friday, India-based Jet Airways introduced daily flights between India's largest city Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) and the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.  On that date, it also introduced flights between the Indian capital New Delhi, and Colombo.  To fly these routes, the airline will utilize three airports where it already had a presence prior to the introduction of the routes.  These are Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA: BOM; ICAO: VABB) north of central Mumbai, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA: DEL; ICAO: VIDP) north of Delhi, and Bandaranaike International Airport (IATA: CMB; ICAO: VCBI) north of Colombo.

The Mumbai-Colombo flight is scheduled to depart Shivaji International at 2:10 in the morning local time and arrive at Bandaranaike International at 4:45 in the morning local time.  The Colombo-Delhi flight is scheduled to depart at 7:50 in the morning local time, and arrive at 11:30 in the morning local time.  The Delhi-Colombo flight is scheduled to depart at 1:05 in the afternoon local time, and arrive at 4:40 in the afternoon local time.  The Colombo-Mumbai flight is scheduled to depart Bandaranaike International at 8:45 in the evening local time, and arrive at Shivaji International at 11:20 in the evening local time.

All of India and all of Sri Lanka adhere to the same time zone.  According to a statement about the new routes posted to Jet Airways' website, both halves of both round-trips will be flown with the Boeing 737-800.  So it appears each day, both halves of the route between Colombo and Delhi will be flown between the two halves of the route between Mumbai and Colombo.

Comments from the Chief Communications Officer of Jet Airways, Sudheer Raghavan, indicate that these two routes will be flown primarily with leisure travelers in mind.  The routes will be flown with the aforementioned Boeing a 170-seat configration, including both Premiere and economy class seats.

Check Jet Airways' official website for pricing information.

related stories

Air Berlin begins Winter 2011 route to Spain's Costa Blanca (November 4, 2010)

Tokyo's Haneda Airport resumes regular international service (October 31, 2010)

France-based airline flies non-stop to Baghdad (October 31, 2010)

Air Canada expands Winter 2011 schedule (October 21, 2010)

Hawaiian Airlines starts non-stop Maui-Las Vegas route (October 8, 2010)

JetBlue now flies between Boston and Phoenix non-stop (September 4, 2010)

Finnair flies to Stockholm-Bromma starting Wednesday (August 16, 2010)

original story (Jet Airways)