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Press Releases – December 14, 2012

Dear Readers

From today, we are starting a new feature called Press Releases. Every day we receive many releases from companies, despite our best efforts, we are unable to cover all of them. However, it is our endeavour to keep you, our readers, to be informed, and therefore we will post the raw releases in one batch for the day.

It does take some effort, and we shall endeavour do this on a daily basis.

Please share your feedback and your thoughts on this idea, do you find the information helpful? and compliment us or blast us, on how we progress in the coming days.

Corporate communications can send their releases to pr [at] bangaloreaviation.com.

Thanks

Devesh Agarwal

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AirAsia orders 100 more A320s

Another major order for ongoing growth at Asia’s largest low cost carrier
13 December 2012

AirAsia, the largest low cost airline in Asia, has placed a new order with Airbus for 100 more A320 Family aircraft. The contract covers an additional 64 A320neo and 36 A320ceo aircraft for operation across the carrier’s network.

The order was announced during a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Airbus wing manufacturing facility at Broughton in the UK, where Mr Cameron witnessed the signing of documents by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia and Fabrice Brégier, President & CEO, Airbus.

The contract reaffirms AirAsia’s position as the largest A320 Family airline customer in the world. Altogether, the carrier has now ordered 475 single aisle aircraft from Airbus, comprising 264 A320neo and 211 A320ceo. Over 100 aircraft have already been delivered to the airline and are flying out of its bases in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila and Tokyo.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia said during the signing: “We have three gold mines in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. On the other hand, Philippines and Japan have enormous potential growth. With these added aircraft, it goes in-line with our strategy to further build our already extensive network through new routes and added frequencies and allow AirAsia to maintain its market leadership.”

“AirAsia is one of the great success stories of recent years in the airline business,” said Fabrice Brégier, President & CEO, Airbus. “The repeated confidence the airline places in the A320 is a clear endorsement of the reliability, efficiency and unbeatable operating economics offered by the world’s most modern single aisle product line.”

AirAsia’s all-A320 fleet currently flies to some 70 destinations on a route network spanning 20 countries across Asia. In addition, affiliate AirAsia X operates widebody A330-300s on longer services from Kuala Lumpur to Northern Asia and Australia.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, more than 8,800 aircraft have been ordered and over 5,300 delivered to more than 380 customers and operators worldwide.

Air Astana takes delivery of its first A321 directly ordered from Airbus

The Airline to further benefit from the A320 Family’s unique fuel efficiency and commonality

14 December 2012

Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has taken delivery of its first A321 out of a total of six A320 Family aircraft ordered from Airbus in May 2008. The delivery was celebrated in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The aircraft will join Air Astana’s fleet, which already includes 10 A320 Family aircraft, operated on the airline’s domestic and international network.

The airline’s A321, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a two class cabin layout, seating 28 passengers in business class and 151 in economy.

Air Astana started commercial service with its first Airbus aircraft, an A320, in 2006, and is currently operating one A319, seven A320s and two A321s.

“The arrival of the first owned Airbus A321s at Air Astana is not only a major event for the airline, but also for the government of Kazakhstan. Having launched the airline with minimal capital in 2002, we are pleased to have built up sufficient financial strength to the point where we are now taking delivery of a new fleet of substantial value. Air Astana has entered an important new phase of its development,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.

“We congratulate Air Astana on their first delivery of directly ordered Airbus aircraft. We are confident that the market leading A320 Family will strongly contribute to Air Astana’s growth”, says John Leahy Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

To date, more than 8,800 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and more than 5,300 delivered to 380 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft. The A320neo, with almost 1,580 firm orders from more than 30 customers since its launch two years ago, is the fastest selling commercial aircraft ever and is on track to enter service from 2015.

Boeing Appoints Pratyush Kumar to Lead Boeing Business in India

NEW DELHI, Dec. 13, 2012 – Boeing (NYSE: BA) today named Pratyush “Prat” Kumar as president of Boeing India, effective Dec. 14. He joins Boeing with significant business leadership experience and insight into the Indian market, having served in senior executive positions at GE Transportation since 2003. Kumar succeeds Dinesh Keskar, who earlier this year returned to Boeing Commercial Airplanes in a senior Sales leadership role.

As the company’s senior in-country leader, Kumar is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Boeing India strategy. He will coordinate business activities; align priorities; expand the Boeing presence; and develop, maintain and enhance local relationships and in-country partnerships with India’s business and government stakeholders.

“Prat has a distinguished business career and brings considerable experience and success in the Indian market to Boeing,” said Shep Hill, president of Boeing International and senior vice president of Business Development and Strategy. “Prat will focus on growing our business and will build on Dinesh Keskar’s outstanding accomplishments as president of Boeing India.”

Kumar was Delhi-based president and CEO, GE Transportation for South Asia. Previously, he led GE Infrastructure businesses in India, which included Aviation, Transportation, Energy, Oil & Gas, and Water business lines. Before joining GE in 2003, Kumar founded a biotech start-up in Boston. He began his career as a McKinsey & Company management consultant in its Atlanta and Delhi offices.

He is co-chair of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Infrastructure Committee. He is also chair of American Chamber of Commerce India’s Infrastructure and Energy committee and a member of The Energy & Resources Institute advisory board.

Kumar earned a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) doctorate in materials manufacturing in 1994 and holds an Indian Institute of Technology (New Delhi) Bachelor of Technology degree in mechanical engineering.

The close relationship between Boeing and India dates back 70 years to when Tata Airlines first flew DC-3 passenger aircraft. India entered the jet age on the wings of Boeing commercial jetliners, and Boeing jets continue to be the mainstay of the country’s domestic and intercontinental commercial fleets.

New opportunities for partnership have developed in the areas of defense, industry and technology. The government of India has selected the P-8I to fulfill its long-range maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine requirements. It is also acquiring 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft. In March 2009, Boeing opened the Boeing Research & Technology center in Bangalore to advance aerospace innovation.

In addition, Boeing is focused on creating sustainable value in the Indian aerospace sector. The company has developed important relationships with suppliers in India and is actively pursuing technical and business partnerships with Indian companies and institutions. Boeing is uniquely positioned for growth in the burgeoning aircraft services and support market.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. The company employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.

This Christmas, discover the exclusive selection of gift ideas at the Air France online store

Thursday 13 December 2012

This Christmas, Airfranceshopping.com is offering a selection of articles from over 400 products available, all aimed to celebrate travel.

This Christmas, discover the exclusive selection of gift ideas at the Air France online store In December, discover exclusive new Bilum travel kits made ​​from recycled Air France lifejackets. These limited-edition kits are an original and sustainable accessory to any trip you take with Air France, all year round.

To take advantage of the Christmas holidays, you can also discover the new range of ROMEO suitcases available in three sizes and four colours: blue, aluminum grey, black and red. This range is in addition to the many others developed by Air France to always ensure you travel in style. Air France is also developing partnerships with major brands such as Le Tanneur, Jack Russell and Eden Park.

Earn miles with Air France Shopping
The website has so much to offer, everyone can find the perfect gift: baggage, fashion and lifestyle accessories, not to mention model aircraft, toys and stuffed animals to delight children at Christmas. The e-store enables customers to earn Flying Blue Miles when they purchase articles online, or to make their purchases directly using their available Miles.

Discover the entire range of articles available at the Air France online store: www.airfranceshopping.com


QATAR AIRWAYS LAUNCHES BOEING 787 DREAMLINER FLIGHTS TO LONDON HEATHROW

Airline Becomes First Carrier To Offer Regular Scheduled Services To And From The UK On The Most Talked About Aircraft in The World

Next Generation Aircraft Operates Daily From London Heathrow to Airline’s Doha Hub…

Bringing Glamour to Holiday Travel – New 787 Reduces Jet Lag, Offers More Space For
Passengers and Luggage

13 December 2012

New Delhi – Qatar Airways today launched its inaugural long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliner service on the Doha – London Heathrow route, becoming the first airline to operate regular scheduled flights with the state-of-the art aircraft to and from the UK.

Despite wintry weather, Qatar Airways’ 787 – flight QR075 – was warmly welcomed at London Heathrow this morning by a special arrival ceremony.

An official delegation from Doha was on the inaugural flight from the airline’s Doha hub, including Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker and VIP guest His Excellency Michael O’Neill, British Ambassador to the State of Qatar.

The Dreamliner’s debut from the Doha-based carrier marks the start of an exciting new era for travellers to and from the UK, who will have the opportunity to travel the world onboard one of the most spacious and comfortable aircraft in the skies today.

Combining breakthrough technology with a human approach to design, it is the first time Boeing has developed a plane from the point of view of passenger experience. Qatar Airways worked closely with Boeing on the design interiors being a key customer of the manufacturer’s newest aircraft. The 787 is designed as the next generation aircraft for air travel well into the 21st century offering unrivalled passenger comfort and space.

On arrival at Heathrow, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Today we inaugurate our 787 on the London Heathrow route, putting Qatar Airways firmly on the global aviation map as a carrier with a determination to continue its expansion drive and improve an already superior in-flight product.

“The Doha – Heathrow route is one of our most popular international routes and it was only fitting that we deploy our new 787 to and from London.”

Initially, one of the airline’s five daily flights is being operated with the Boeing 787 – Flight QR 075 departing Doha at 0625 hrs, arriving at London Heathrow at 1105 hrs, with the return flight QR 076 departing London Heathrow at 1505 hrs, arriving in Doha at 0045 hrs the following day.

Qatar Airways took delivery of the first of 60 Dreamliners last month with the third 787 joining the airline’s fleet just days ago. Since taking delivery of its first 787 four weeks ago, Qatar Airways has been flying the aircraft between Doha and both Dubai and Kuwait allowing cabin crew to familiarise themselves with the airplane.

Added Al Baker: “We will be introducing the Dreamliner on our daily Doha – Perth route from February 1 next year, the first ever 787 commercial service to Australia giving travellers between the UK and Australia a unique 787 experience of unrivalled comfort and style all the way with the world’s Five Star and Best Airline.”
Soon after arrival, Al Baker was back on board the aircraft giving assembled guests at Heathrow a personal tour of the 787 and its unique features.

Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors. Business Class is configured 1–2–1 with 22 seats, while Economy has 232 seats in a 3–3–3 layout.

The airline’s 787s are the world’s first fully connected Dreamliners with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground through the internet and SMS mobile texting across both the Business and Economy cabins.

A striking feature of every seat throughout Qatar Airways’ 787 is the award-winning touch screen Android system, where all passengers are able to navigate through personal handsets a truly interactive service offering more than 1,000 movie, TV programmes, music and gaming entertainment options in a sophisticated and user friendly way, just like the latest smart phones.

The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface allowing passengers to play games on their handheld device while enjoying a movie on their personal screen. Passengers can stay connected through WIFI and GSM telephony, sending both text and MMS messages, with each seat equipped with USB, MP3 and other charger ports, including laptop power outlets.

Employing state-of-the-art technologies that actually invigorate and promote health and comfort onboard, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers a new kind of flying experience ensuring passengers arrive at their destinations more refreshed, with the new technology reducing jet lag and travel sickness.

Unique features to the 787 Dreamliner include larger windows, reduced cabin noise and cleaner cabin air, as well as smoother ride technology resulting in an eight-fold reduction in the number of passengers experiencing motion sickness. This system senses turbulence and commands wing control surfaces to counter it, smoothing out the ride.

Other features include lower cabin pressure at higher altitude ensuring less fatigue, an air purification system ensuring cleaner and healthier air, as well as mood lighting throughout the aircraft.

Made up of composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is lighter and more fuel efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range. Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 115 aircraft to 122 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. This year alone, the airline introduced 12 new routes, with 2013 promising to be another 12 months of aggressive expansion with six new destinations already announced and many more to start.

The Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a glance

Innovative inflight entertainment
An award-winning iTouch innovative touch screen control unit debuts on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The dual-screen interface allows passengers in all classes to multi-task, for example playing a game or emailing on the handheld device while watching a movie on their personal screen.

Onboard Wi-Fi in all classes means business travellers can stay connected to clients and colleagues, and holidaymakers can stay connected to friends and family through social networks, allowing them to share memories from their travels before they get home. Passengers also have access to 1,000 movie, programming and audio entertainment options, an iPort, USB port, and a remote data outlet.

Lower cabin altitude
The Dreamliner’s cabin is pressurised to a new maximum level of 6,000 feet – 2,000 feet lower than most other aircraft. Altitude chamber tests show that because the body absorbs eight per cent more oxygen into the blood at this altitude, passengers experience fewer headaches and less dizziness and fatigue.

Smoother flying
The Dreamliner’s dramatically improved cabin pressure, air quality, and smoother handling will result in a more comfortable journey for passengers in Business and Economy.

Quieter cabin
Many of the usual interior sounds are minimised with quieter air conditioning, nterior materials reduce squeaks and interior design reduces vibrations.

Cleaner air
Fresh air is introduced into the cabin via air scoops on the side of the fuselage. Newly introduced on the 787, an additional gaseous filtration system also removes odours, irritants and gaseous contaminants, some of the primary contributors to throat, eye and nose irritation for passengers. More moisture in the air will help skin, eyes, lips, and noses to feel more comfortable.

Unobstructed views
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner features large dimmable windows, more than 30 per cent bigger than other similarly sized airplanes and larger than anything offered by other commercial jetliners giving all passengers a good view outside. The windows are not built with conventional shades but instead, passengers can regulate the intensity of light coming through their windows with the touch of a button allowing passengers to change the tint of the window from fully transparent to completely dimmed.

Dynamic cabin lighting
The spacious look and feel of the cabin is enhanced by dynamic mood lighting: more than 20 specially tailored scenes to help your body clock adjust to crossing different time zones using the latest LED technology.

Spacious cabins
The architecture of the Dreamliner is designed with room for passengers to actually move about the cabin with a spacious feeling interior. The plane is designed with welcoming entryways, larger windows, vaulted ceilings and sidewalls are more vertical for better shoulder and headroom.

Environmentally cleaner and quieter
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the environmental leader among airplanes. It consumes 20% less fuel and produces 20% lower CO 2 emissions. The Dreamliner is much quieter for the communities it flies over, and boasts a more efficient use of the planet’s resources than its predecessors during manufacturing.

Larger overhead bins
The Dreamliner has big overhead luggage bins – 30% larger than the industry standard. They close up and away, leaving more overhead space and minimising the need to store bags beneath the seat.

Get there faster
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first commercial aircraft to be built primarily of composite materials, reducing weight and operating costs.

JET AIRWAYS INTRODUCES CASH ON DELIVERY

BOOK TICKETS ONLINE AND PAY CASH LATER

Mumbai, December 13, 2012: Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, has announced the introduction of “Cash on Delivery”, an additional form of payment, exclusively on the airline’s website at www.jetairways.com. This convenient payment option allows guests to book their tickets online and pay by cash later.

The Cash on Delivery, a worry free initiative, is a result of the airline’s efforts to widen its distribution network and reach out to guests who seek alternate payment methods. Jet Airways has signed up with ‘GharPay’, which specializes in Cash on Delivery payments. Guests selecting the Cash on Delivery option while booking their tickets online will be contacted by GharPay to confirm the time and location for collecting the payment. Once the payment is collected, the e ticket will be automatically sent to the guest’s email address. More importantly, guests are not required to make any advance payment online at the time of booking the ticket and there is no additional fee for this service.

Cash on delivery is currently offered within India in 16 cities, covering over 900 postal codes and will be available in additional cities, which include places like Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Noida, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Visakhapatnam.

Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways, said, “Jet Airways is committed to significantly enhancing the payment options available for all its guests, with an eye on convenience. We are happy to introduce a worry free payment initiative for the discerning guest. We are confident that the convenience and simplicity of this service will increase our distribution reach and will be appreciated by our guests who chose cash on delivery as a preferred mode of payment.”

Cathay Pacific Airways optimizes flight operations with IT from Lufthansa Systems

December 13, 2012

NetLine/Ops ++ supports efficient operations control for airlines

Lufthansa Systems announced that Cathay Pacific Airways, based in Hong Kong, has opted for its NetLine/Ops ++ operations control system. The companies recently signed a five-year-contract to this effect. Using this innovative IT solution from Lufthansa Systems, the airline will be able to optimally control its flight operations and react quickly to unforeseen flight irregularities, thus minimizing its additional costs.

“NetLine/Ops ++ is a great next step for us,” said Alex Chan, Manager Integrated Operations Centre (IOC) at Cathay Pacific. “We are continuously improving our ability to manage our network and this system will further enhance our capabilities. We’re particularly impressed with its ability to help us be more nimble with schedule changes.”

The completely redesigned operations control solution NetLine/Ops ++ will make Cathay Pacific’s flight operations even more efficient, and in the event of disruptions like delays or canceled flights it can help lower the costs arising from positioning flights or passenger layovers. The IT solution’s new functionalities simplify information management, enable a higher level of automation and improve support in key decision-making processes.

“We are pleased to be able to expand our cooperation with Cathay Pacific,” said Olivier Krüger, SVP Regional Management Asia Pacific at Lufthansa Systems. “Having one of the world’s most highly respected airlines as a NetLine/Ops ++ customer is proof of the high quality of our product.”

Cathay Pacific is based in Hong Kong, China and operates internationally. The airline offers passenger and cargo flights to 140 destinations worldwide with a fleet of 134 wide-body aircraft. Cathay Pacific, together with its subsidiaries Dragonair and Air Hong Kong and its other associates, employs more than 20,000 people. The airline is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose joint network covers over 750 destinations worldwide.

About Lufthansa Systems
Lufthansa Systems provides consulting and IT services for selected industries and has a leading position in the global aviation industry. The wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group offers its customers the entire range of IT-services, including consulting, development and implementation of industry solutions as well as operations. At its headquarters in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt, Germany, the company operates one of the most modern data centers in Europe. Lufthansa Systems has offices in Germany and 16 other countries and employs about 3,000 people. In business year 2011, Lufthansa Systems recorded revenues of EUR 599 million.


Hot to Globe Trot for 2013…

From the far-flung to the unsung, British Airways has compiled its top 13 destinations to visit in 2013. If 2012 was about East London, then 2013 is about the Far East – as holidaymakers seek the natural unspoilt beauty, charm and good-value that Asia has to offer.

Richard Tams, British Airways head of UK & I sales, said: “Undoubtedly consumers will continue to be driven by value-for-money next year, with routes such as Dubai, Cape Town and Bangkok already proving popular. We’re also experiencing a real growth in Asia right now and responding to demand with a number of new routes, including Seoul and Sri Lanka.”

In a recent poll on the airline’s Facebook page, over 2,660 users nominated the overseas destinations they most want to visit next year. New York topped the list (22 per cent), followed by Australia (eight per cent), Hong Kong (seven per cent), Rio de Janeiro (five per cent) and Dubai (three per cent).

Compiled by a panel of experts and using company data, British Airways’ top 13 for 2013 features new destinations and popular favourites, as follows:

1. Sri Lanka
The ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the tropical island of Sri Lanka has seen a recent boost to tourism, becoming the must-visit destination for intrepid travellers.
Ash van Wensveen, British Airways’ destination manager, said: “There’s a real buzz about Sri Lanka right now. For a small island it offers a lot, from endless beaches, to elephant treks and several Unesco world heritage sites to visit – it’s hard to think what Sri Lanka doesn’t offer.”
British Airways launches flights to Colombo in April, starting from £721 return.

2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If the afterglow of the London 2012 Games has left you longing for more, then its next host Rio is the place to visit, as it gears up to 2016 Games, the 2014 Brazil World Cup, and FIFA Confederations Cup next year. With its famous sun-kissed beaches to enjoy by day and fun parties at night, there’s a lot to love about one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
Flights to Rio start from £797 return.

3. Seoul, Korea
Gangnam style may have awakened our senses to Korea, but there’s a lot more to Seoul than ‘K-pop music! Mike Rock, British Airways commercial manager Seoul, said: “There’s a lot happening in Korea right now, business is thriving and it’s a tourist destination on the up. The mega metropolis is home to some 10 million people, and is attracting a fresh new audience.”
Flights to Seoul start from £691 return.

4. Croatia
The jewel of the Adriatic ocean, Dubrovnik continues to appeal to holidaymakers from far and wide, including many high profile celebrities. 2013 will be a big year for Croatia, as the country joins the EU in July.
One-way flights to Dubrovnik start at £59.

5. Vietnam
Vietnam has become one of the most talked about destinations in recent years. Its capital Ho Chi Minh City is rapidly attracting a crowd of adventurous travellers, looking to soak up the local culture of which there’s plenty. Not mainstream enough to be a tourist trap, many compare it to Thailand twenty years ago – making now the perfect time to visit. British Airways operates flights to Hong Kong, with connecting flights to Ho Chi Minh City using OneWorld partner Cathy Pacific, for £832 return.

6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Nestled in the Spanish Caribbean Punta Cana is earning itself a reputation as a great value destination for family holidays.
Ash van Wensveen, British Airways’ destination manager, said: “People are really waking up to Punta Cana. There’s a real buzz from holidaymakers creating word of mouth on its affordability, fabulous hotels and beaches that dip into the Caribbean Sea.”
Flights to Punta Cana start from £676 return.

7. Derry, Northern Ireland
Voted as the City of Culture for 2013, there’s never been a better time to visit Derry. Just over an hour from Belfast, it’s a great destination for a city break, especially to enjoy the many celebrations and cultural events taking place there next year.”
Flights to Belfast start at £81 one-way.

8.Las Vegas, USA
The classics never go out of fashion, and with more services to Sin City than ever before, tourists hoping to party like Prince Harry need look no further! Top-end hotels, theatrical shows, exquisite restaurants and all-night entertainment continue to draw the crowds.
Flights to Las Vegas start at £575 return.

9. Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgia’s capital has enjoyed a makeover, with a number of new restaurants and hotels opening.
British Airways’ head of UK and I sales, Richard Tams, said: “With its scenic walks, charming town, vineyards and local wine and cognac to enjoy, Tbilisi is perfect for a cultural weekend away and is already attracting couples and grown up stag nights!”
Flights to Tbilisi, from £399 return.

10. San Diego, USA
In the year that San Diego’s Ron Burgundy returns to the big screen with Anchorman 2, the city reminds us why it’s still classy. Great for golf, excellent for eating, brilliant for barhopping, California’s best kept secret is a great place to visit any time of year.
Flights to San Diego, from £677 return.

11. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town offers everything you could want from a holiday. Good food, great wine, day trips, stunning views, vineyards, beaches, sunsets and much more!
Ian Petrie, British Airways’ commercial manager South Africa, said: “Once you visit Cape Town, you’ll want to come again and again. One day you could be watching the Springboks, the next visiting vineyards. Its attractions pack a cultural punch, and its always great value for money, making it one of our most popular destinations.”
Flights to Cape Town start from £917 return.

12. Alicante
The Spanish do fiesta like no one else, and Alicante is a great city for those who prefer to fiesta than siesta! The Old Town offers dozens of bars and restaurants for after dark, and is also host to a growing number of festivals. During the day the local markets are buzzing, and sandy beaches welcoming.
Flights to Alicante start at £80 one way.

13. Dubai
Ever-popular Dubai continues to attract travellers with its Middle Eastern charm. It recently launched a ‘Hello Kitty’ spa, and boasts its own indoor ski slope.
Ash van Wensveen, British Airways destination manager, said: “Dubai has become more affordable over the past few years, yet still offers super high-end hotels and unrivalled luxury.”
Flights to Dubai from £472 return.

All fares stated are for January 2013 and available on ba.com.

To help budget for 2013 breaks, British Airways has just launched a new deposit scheme; allowing customers to book now and pay later. From as little as £150, deposits can be paid when customers book a ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ option, with the remaining balance due ten weeks before departure. For more information, please visit ba.com/deposits

IndiGo’s new endeavor to make travel more hassle free

Carrier to offer a pre cab booking services to its customers

National, December 10, 2012: IndiGo, India’s coolest and fastest growing airline has tied up with Carzonrent (I)Ltd to offer seamless cab booking services to its customers. 6E customers will now have the option to book cab pick-up/drop, intercity car rental service as well as long duration local usage service at a compelling price, the customers will also have an option to choose from a wide array of vehicles for their travel. The online search engine will allow them to make prior reservation and make payments with Credit Cards or Cash on Service. IndiGo customers can avail these services while booking for 6E flights through www.goindigo.in.

Speaking about this partnership, Mr Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo, said “At IndiGo, we strive to offer our customers hassle-free travel experience and a comfortable journey. This partnership is yet another step towards living our promise and providing true value to our customers. This partnership reflects what IndiGo stands for – low fares, yet an unmatched customer experience, and I am sure that the same would be made available through seamless transfers to and fro the airport to all our passengers.”

Mr. Rajiv Vij, MD & CEO of Carzonrent (I) Ltd said, “IndiGo is the most trusted carrier today and we are very happy to be associated with them. With this collaboration, IndiGo fliers will be able to use our services in all the cities IndiGo operates in. This is an important part of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of traveling industry. We also believe that synergies between travel products will not only improve the experience for the customers but also go a long way in benefitting the industry potential at large”.

As India’s coolest and fastest growing airline, IndiGo has constantly re-defined the standards in the airline business. These additional cab services is yet another effort to enhance the entire customer experience courteous, hassle free and cool. Associated with crisp advertising campaigns, widest range of food items on board, fun packaging, irresistible in-flight merchandise, and innovations such as Q busters and boarding ramps, IndiGo has constantly focused on new initiatives to make travel a memorable and hassle free experience for its travelers.

As the youngest, yet fastest growing airline of India, IndiGo has flown over 50 million passengers since its inception in 2005.

About Carzonrent India (P) Ltd.

A pioneer in shaping the personal ground transportation industry in India, Carzonrent (India) Pvt. Ltd. (CIPL) is India’s # 1 personal ground transportation service provider today offering a complete bouquet of end-to-end long and short term car rental solutions through its fleet of 6500 cars across the country. The company was launched in the year 2000 with a short-term objective of offering a safe and reliable medium of travel to customers and a long-term vision of giving form and structure to the unorganized Indian personal ground transportation industry and helping the industry get its due recognition. “COR” the branding of Carzonrent signifies the fact that Personal Ground Transportation is the “Core” business of Carzonrent. The company has presence in 31 cities & 7 Major Airports & is planning to start its operations to 50 more cities & airport locations. The company services more than 18000 travellers every day in different parts of the country having moved more than 6 million travellers last year.

About IndiGo

IndiGo is India’s largest airline with a market share of 27.8% as of October, 2012 as well as the country’s largest low fare carrier. IndiGo is the fastest growing low cost carrier in the world (source: CAPA). IndiGo has a simple philosophy: offer fares that are always low, flights that are on time, and a courteous, hassle-free travel experience. IndiGo’s On Time Performance is one of the best in India. IndiGo’s Technical Dispatch Reliability is 99.91% making it the airline with the least number of cancellations in India. With its fleet of 61 new Airbus A320 aircraft, the airline offers 373 daily flights connecting 33 destinations – Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bangkok, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Chennai, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Dubai, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Kathmandu, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Muscat, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Singapore, Srinagar, Trivandrum, Vadodara, Vishakhapatnam, and Chandigarh. IndiGo has recently announced its international flights from Delhi to Bangkok, Dubai, Kathmandu and Singapore as well as from Mumbai to Bangkok, Dubai, Muscat and Singapore. The first international flight commenced on September 01, 2011.

IndiGo is led by its President, Aditya Ghosh and is promoted by InterGlobe Enterprises and Mr. Rakesh Gangwal, an aviation industry veteran and entrepreneur. InterGlobe Enterprises is a leader in aviation and travel related services‚ growing the market through innovation and service leadership. We build businesses and represent global brands that deliver quality and value. Established in 1989‚ with headquarters in Gurgaon‚ today InterGlobe has a network of 126 offices across 59 cities globally. InterGlobe employs more than 11,000 professionals across its businesses which include IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation)‚ InterGlobe Technologies‚ InterGlobe Air Transport‚ InterGlobe Technology Quotient‚ InterGlobe Hotels, InterGlobe Retail, and InterGlobe Established.

Improved Airline Performance in Challenging Environment

-Industry Net Margin Expected to Reach 1.3% in 2013-

13 December 2012 (Geneva) -The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced an upward revision to its industry financial outlook. For 2012 airlines are expected to return a profit of $6.7 billion (up from the $4.1 billion forecast in October). This is expected to improve slightly to $8.4 billion in 2013 (marginally better than the $7.5 billion forecast in October). Industry net post-tax margin, however, will remain weak at 1.0% in 2012 and 1.3% in 2013.

2012
Improved prospects for 2012 are being driven by strong airline performance in the second and third quarters. Despite high fuel prices and a slowing world economy, airline profits and cash flows held up at levels similar to 2006 when oil prices were about $45/barrel lower and world economic growth was 4.0%.
Historically, when GDP growth has fallen below 2% the airline industry has returned a collective loss. “With GDP growth close to the ‘stall speed’ of 2.0% and oil at $109.5/barrel we expected much weaker performance. But airlines have adjusted to this difficult environment through improving efficiency and restructuring. That is protecting cash flows against weak economic growth and high fuel prices,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The improved performance is most evident in large airlines for which Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) averaged between 10% and 15% of revenue in the third quarter of the year. “It’s a diverging picture. Economies of scale are helping larger airlines to cope much better with the difficult environment than small and medium-sized carriers whichcontinue to struggle,” said Tyler.
Overall performance has been positively impacted by strong passenger traffic growth (5.3%) and a 3.0% improvement in yields. Despite the slowing world economy business travel was supported by more robust international trade in goods and service. This contributed to a positive picture for both passenger volumes and yields. In sharp contrast, cargo markets have contracted by 2.0% and cargo yields are down 2.0% on 2011 levels. Although world trade is still expanding, the pattern of economic growth – concentrated in the emerging markets – has favored ocean over air freight.
The slight relief in oil prices (at $109.5/barrel, down from $110/barrel in the October forecast) did not translate into relief on the fuel price. Moving in the opposite direction, because of a widening of refinery margins, jet fuel costs are expected to average $129.5/barrel which is a $1.8/barrel increase on the previous forecast.
IATA emphasizes that despite the improved prospects, overall the industry remains weak:
· The $6.7 billion expected net profit is a fall from the $8.8 billion that the industry made in 2011.

· The 1.0% net profit margin is well below the7-8% needed to recover the industry’s cost of capital.

Improved industry performance
Changes to industry structure are contributing to the improved airline financial performance seen since the second quarter. In the difficult business environment of the past year airlines have been seeking to lower costs and improve yields through restructuring. Recent alliances and joint ventures have enabled economies of scale as well as offering more choice for passengers. A sharp fall in the number of new entrants, due to the lack of funding for start-ups, and a number of airline bankruptcies have also contributed to an improved industry structure which has allowed airlines to share efficiency gains between improved service for passengers and better returns for investors.

Regional Performance
North American carriers are expected to end 2012 with a collective net profit of $2.4 billion. That is stronger than the $1.7 billion profit of 2011, largely on the back of much improved asset utilization as a result of recent industry consolidation. The Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) margin of 3.4% is the strongest among regions.
European carriers are expected to breakeven. That is $400 million worse than 2011 performance, but $1.2 billion better than the October forecast largely attributable to the results of efficiency programs and stronger traffic growth which drove improved results in the second and third quarter. While this is the largest contributor to the upgraded outlook for 2012, it is important to note that the continent’s carriers remain in the weakest financial position. EBIT margins are expected to be 0.6% and with expected breakeven performance Europe stands with Africa as the only two regions not delivering profit.
Asia-Pacific carriers are expected to post a net profit of $3.0 billion (+$700 million on the October forecast). The region will deliver the largest aggregate profit among the regions while the EBIT margin of 2.9% ranks second behind North America. It is important to note that the region’s carriers will see the largest absolute fall in profits compared to 2011 when Asia-Pacific airlines returned a profit of $5.4 billion. The region is under pressure from weak cargo markets and slower economic growth in China.
Middle East airlines are expected to post a profit of $800 million (+ $100 million on the October outlook). That is slightly below the $1 billion that Middle East carriers made in 2011. While the region is maintaining strong growth with long-haul connection traffic, its performance has been weakened by the Arab spring and lingering instability.
The outlook for Latin American airlines is unchanged at $400 million. Along with North America, it is the only region to see an improvement on 2011 when the region’s carriers posted a profit of $300 million. This is partly driven by the region’s more robust trade and economies and partly by the consolidation that has started to reverse the losses seen in Brazil.
African airlines are expected to end the year at breakeven—unchanged from the previous forecast and from 2011. While the continent’s economy is expanding rapidly, its carriers are suffering from strong competition on long-haul routes, high cost structures and a regulatory regime that inhibits the development of intra-Africa links.

2013
“Prospects for 2013 will be largely unchanged from 2012. Net profits are expected to rise to $8.4 billion leaving the industry with a 1.3% net profit margin. It is good that we are moving in the right direction, but the year ahead is shaping up to be another tough one for the industry,” said Tyler.

Forecast Drivers:
GDP: The largest driver of industry prospects is global economic growth. This is expected to strengthen only slightly to 2.3% in 2013.
Passenger: Passenger demand in 2013 is expected to grow by 4.5% (below the 5.3% forecast for 2012). Yields are expected to deteriorate by 0.2%, largely in response to lower fuel costs.
Cargo: Cargo demand is expected to increase by 1.4% (not enough to make up for the 2.0% decline in 2012). The mismatch between growth rates for passenger and cargo demand tends to lead to cargo capacity in excess of demand and yields falling by 1.5%.
Fuel: Oil prices are expected to moderate slightly to $104/barrel (down $5.5/barrel from 2012). The premium paid for jet fuel refining, however, will result in a smaller drop in jet fuel prices to $124.3/barrel (down $5.2 from 2012).

Regional Performance
North American airlines are expected to post a combined net profit of $3.4 billion—the largest absolute profit among the regions, and a $1.0 billion improvement on 2012. The EBIT margin will grow to 3.8% (up from 3.4% in2012). The US economy is forecast to be the strongest growing among the developed economies and further benefits are expected from earlier consolidation.
European airlines are expected to have a second consecutive year at breakeven. The EBIT margin will also remain unchanged from 2012 at 0.6%. The continuing uncertainty in the European economy, high taxes and inefficient infrastructure continue to plague the industry in Europe.
Asia-Pacific airlines are expected to see net profits grow by $200 million to $3.2 billion in 2013. While this is the second highest absolute profit among the regions, EBIT margins for Asia Pacific airlines are expects to grow significantly to 4.7% (the strongest among the regions). Economies in this region remain the most dynamic and the deterioration in cargo markets is expected to come to an end in 2013.
Middle East airlines are expected to see profits rise by $300 million to $1.1 billion and EBIT margins improve to 3.0%. Airlines in this region are forecast to continue to expand their share of international markets.
Latin American airlines will see net profits rise by $300 million to $700 million for an EBIT margin of 3.1%. Strong trade flows and robust growth in this region support revenues and improvements continue from consolidation in Brazil.
African airlines are expected to post a third consecutive year of breakeven performance with an EBIT margin of 0.1%. Economic growth and trade flows are robust but airlines performance remains uneven.

Risks
Macro-economic, geopolitical and policy risks to the outlook remain high and largely negative.
The Euro-zone crisis is far from solved. While liquidity is returning to the market there is no economic growth. The US economy is growing, but the threat of the fiscal cliff has not been eliminated. China is expected to pursue accelerated growth, but there is a threat that the banking and real-estate bubbles could burst.
Geopolitical difficulties between China and Japan and with Iran are persisting.
Meanwhile, policy risks also persist. “We need to make sure that cash strapped governments understand aviation is a catalyst for economic growth and ensure that light touch regulation does not become a license for infrastructure providers to let costs get out of control. We will also maintain pressure on governments for important infrastructure improvements—including the Single European Sky so that hard-won cost efficiencies are not lost to battles with congestion,” said Tyler.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.
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