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Travel News - Airport Asia / Pacific.

New York (USAsian Network Travel News - Airport Asia / Pacific) May 27, 2012

AEA calls for urgent action on Single European Sky The Assn. of European Airlines (AEA) has renewed its call for the continent's states to implement the Single European Sky (SES) system to improve air traffic control. Europe currently has a patchwork of air navigation service providers, resulting in inefficiencies in routing aircraft. The European Union (EU) has talked about implementing SES for many years but individual countries have dragged their feet, airlines have complained. "We welcome the [European] CommissionOs efforts to push through the SES, but we are furious that the largest EU member states are simply not delivering," Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz said Thursday at the AEA PresidentsO Assembly in Brussels. The AEA represents 34 of the continent's carriers. "This fragmentation is ridiculous and unacceptable," Franz said. "The Commission must stand firm, rejecting every national performance plan that falls short of the EU-wide target." Implementing SES and more direct routings would save European carriers some 10%-15% on their fuel bills, Franz said at a press conference. The AEA estimates this would save 16 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and some U3.7 billion ($4.68 billion) annually. Last month, EuropeOs SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking began a study to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into non-segregated airspace in a SESAR air traffic management scenario. May 24, 2012

Air Passenger Duty and Emission Trading Scheme The APD and ETS will work to impoverish us all Adding yet another voice in opposition, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO, Martin Craigs, condemned both the EU and the UK for their imposition of taxes and levies that could have a substantial impact on tourism in Asia. Calling the UKOs Air Passenger Duty (APD) and the EUOs Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) Ooutrages,O Craigs made a passionate plea for attendees at the 2012 PATA Annual Conference to carry the message that the organization is heartily condemning those agencies or governments which seek to hinder travel. Time to take a stand against arbitrary policies He noted that PATA will continue to participate in a series of Hub City Forums, staged in aviation hubs around the world, in an effort to highlight the crucial role played by tourism in economic development and well being, especially in emerging nations where the industry is a critical component of job growth and upward mobility. Together with other stakeholders, the forums are designed to spread awareness of the value added by travel and tourism. And the consequences of actions that inhibit tourism are huge. Citing statistics that have been generated regarding the Asia/Pacific region, Craigs said that if ETS suppresses demand by just 1 percent, it will wipe out 6.5 million jobs in Asia that are dependent on the sector by 2030. While recognizing that random development has its own downside, he cautioned that in some cases profit must take second place to responsible resource usage with a long-term perspective. He lauded the decision to have representatives of world tourism finally included at the G20 meetings, an inclusion long overdue since travel/tourism generates 5 percent of global GDP and accounts for 30 percent of the worldOs trade. PATA Annual Conference in Kuala Lumpur At the conference, PATAOs anniversary gathering, the group pledged to work with other vested partners including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), and the World Travel and Tourism Council WTTC) to pound home the message that, in MartinOs words, these arbitrary levies are Omorally, politically, and financially unacceptableO to the travel/tourism sector. Asia is particularly susceptible to the effects of increased taxes or any additional cost that curtails demand for air travel. The region is geographically huge and air travel is the only practical mode of transport across its vast distances. Much of the region is still developing and lacking the road and rail infrastructures that provide Europeans and North Americans numerous alternatives to air transport. Adding support to that assertion is the fact that a recently released report from the GDS giant Amadeus shows that 8 out of the 10 busiest intercity routes are in the PATA region. No route in Europe or the Americas is included on that list with the two also in emerging market - RIO-SAO and JNB-CPT. In addition, most of the national markets with double-digit growth are also in Asia. The regionOs dominance is undeniable. In contrast to limited surface transport options, airports in Asia are among the best on Earth and air travel has become a prime component of the transportation grid. The advent of low-cost carriers, coupled with relaxed regulations, has vastly increased the volume of air travel and the goal of ASEAN 2015 is to create a single aviation market where the free flow of people goods and services can benefit all the regionOs residents. Working towards a single sky By that 2015 date, IATAOs Regional Vice President, Maunu von Leuders, said that 37 percent of the worldOs air traffic would be to, from, and within Asia. There will be a tripling of passengers and a direct contribution to the regional GDP of 6.3 percent. While the link between a healthy aviation sector and economic growth remains strong across the globe, it has a special role to play in Asia as its diverse and wide-flung nations continue to develop and integrate. While opposed across most national borders, the APD and ETS pose special threats for Asia as both are in some form tied to distance traveledNand Asia is a long jump from Europe, with most destinations extracting the maximum payments. That which does not enrich usE Craigs cited an axiom that declares, Othe more you travel, the richer you become.O The APD and ETS, by raising cost and limiting growth, risks making us all poorer. May 21, 2012

Air China Air China adds second daily nonstop Los Angeles-Beijing flight. Air China will begin a second daily nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Beijing on a new-generation Boeing 777-300ER on June 1. In February, CA 984/CA 983 from Los Angeles to Beijing was the first Air China flight from the U.S. to use the more fuel-efficient 777. Air China is the only airline that offers nonstop service between these two cities. Air ChinaOs daily nonstop New York-Beijing route is scheduled to be upgraded to the same aircraft on Oct. 1. In 2013, the San Francisco daily nonstop flight is expected to have its own B777-300ER upgrade. The 777-300ER, which has a wider cabin than any competing airplane, is designed for maximum passenger comfort and convenience. Air ChinaOs Forbidden Pavilion First Class features eight luxury suites, 41 flat beds in the Capital Pavilion business class and 259 economy seats with individual monitors and AVOD (audio-video on demand). May 22, 2012

Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Unveil 129-foot Salmon. Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute today unveiled the world's largest king salmon. Stretching nearly 129 feet, the fish-themed design will adorn a Boeing 737-800 and be revealed this fall. The new "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II" design is derived from an earlier version of the paint scheme Alaska Airlines unveiled on a 737-400 in 2005, which was re-painted with the carrier's traditional Eskimo livery last year. In addition to sporting the glimmering image of a wild Alaska king salmon like the original "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon," the new design is about nine feet longer and also features fish scales on the winglets and a salmon-pink colored "Alaska" script across the fuselage. The design is among the world's most intricately painted commercial airplanes and was produced in partnership with ASMI, which promotes wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood. "This airplane celebrates Alaska Airlines' unique relationship with the people and communities of Alaska and underscores our air transport commitment to the state's seafood industry," said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines' regional vice president of the state of Alaska. "Because the new design will be featured on a larger 737-800, this 91,000-pound king will boldly promote the world's finest seafood from the Hawaiian Islands to Boston and beyond." Last year, Alaska Airlines flew nearly 25 million pounds of seafood from Alaska to markets in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Streamlined flight schedules and a rigorous training program required of all airline employees who handle perishables ensures the seafood that travels from Alaska waters to markets across the United States arrives fresh and often within 24 hours. The goal is to keep seafood moving rapidly throughout its journey on Alaska Airlines and maintain a consistent temperature range from the time it leaves the water to when it arrives at stores and restaurants. "Alaska Airlines has a long history of supporting the Alaska seafood industry, and this special plane celebrates that commitment," ASMI Executive Director Ray Riutta said. "We're proud to partner with the state's hometown airline." According to ASMI, about half of the United States' total seafood catch comes from Alaska fisheries. In addition, the state of Alaska is widely regarded as a world leader in sustainable management of its seafood resources. Transporting about 115 million pounds of cargo annually, Alaska Airlines operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the West Coast. Note to media: An artistic rendering of the new "Salmon-Thirty Salmon II" design is available in the airline's online newsroom image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom. May 21, 2012

American Airlines American Airlines Celebrates 25 Years of Dallas-Tokyo Route . American Airlines on May 21 celebrated the 25th anniversary ofAmerican Airlines Celebrates 25 Years of Dallas-Tokyo Route ts first-ever service to Asia when it started flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). In addition, American launched an online promotion via Pinterest to celebrate the anniversary. Customers can enter through May 25 to win a luxury trip to Tokyo, including two round-trip Business Class tickets and a three-night stay at the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo. For more information about the promotion, visit www.AA.com/socialrules. This June, from Japan AirlinesO Tokyo-Narita and Haneda hubs, American will codeshare on more than 90 JAL flights to cities such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and others throughout Asia and Japan. Last year, American and JAL implemented a joint business allowing the two airlines to cooperate commercially on nonstop flights between North America and Asia. Since the launch of the American-JAL joint business agreement, the two carriers have added new service between Boston and Tokyo-Narita; Los Angeles and Shanghai; and will launch new San Diego-Tokyo Narita service later this year. In addition, JAL has moved into American's terminal at Chicago O'Hare for improved and faster connections, while both airlines have coordinated departure and arrival times for improved customer choice. Effective June 1, American will reinstate nonstop service between JFK and Tokyo Haneda (HND) using its three-class Boeing 777 aircraft while ending its JFK-NRT flight. American's new JFK-HND flight complements JAL's nonstop service between JFK and NRT. May 22, 2012

Cheapflights.co.uk Dazzling Destinations for The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Over the long weekend from Saturday 2 through Tuesday 5 June 2012, The Queen celebrates 60 years as Monarch and her 60th year as the Head of the Commonwealth. Whether you're staying in London to enjoy the heart of the Jubilee celebrations or fancy taking advantage of the long weekend to book a holiday, Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK's online leader in travel deals publishing, points travellers in the direction of the best celebrations around the world. "It's one of this summer's most anticipated events, but, with thousands expected to stampede into London for the celebrations, an escape to enjoy them from afar in one of the other Commonwealth destinations might be just the royal ticket," says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for Cheapflights.co.uk. Reach for your bunting, wave your flag and get in the Jubilee spirit with these top Jubilee destinations. London is the place to be for the Diamond Jubilee. Celebrations kick off on Sunday 3 June when neighbours and friends join together for a traditional street party. Those next to the River Thames can feast their eyes on up to 1,000 boats taking part in The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and try to spot The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal Barge. For music fans, the Diamond Jubilee Concert will be held on Monday 4 June -- those not lucky enough to get a ticket can watch from the comfort of their television. Also on Monday, The Queen will light the National Beacon and, at the same time, communities all over the UK and the Commonwealth will light 2,012 more Beacons. The last of the celebrations take place on Tuesday 5 June with a service at St Paul's Cathedral and a procession that culminates at Buckingham Palace where The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family take their places on the famous Balcony to watch an RAF Flypast. Australia Although on the other side of the world, Australia is still doing their bit to celebrate this rare occasion. On Monday 4 June, Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, will unite with the rest of the commonwealth and the UK by lighting a Beacon on top of Parliament House in Canberra. In support of the celebrations and in accordance with historical protocol, Parks Place in the Parliamentary zone will be renamed Queen Elizabeth Terrace, similarly to the names of adjacent streets Queen Victoria, King Edward and King George Terraces. If you're after a collector's item, then purchase a Jubilee stamp issued by Australia Post or a Jubilee coin which will be issued by the Royal Australian Mint. Canada In honor of the 60th anniversary of The Queen's accession to the throne as Queen of Canada, a new commemorative medal named The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal has been created. The medal is a way for Canada to honour The Queen's service to the country as well as serving to honour a significant contribution or achievement by Canadians. During 2012, 60,000 Canadians will be recognised and awarded the medal. Canada will also take part by lighting Beacons as part of a commonwealth celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. Scotland To mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Perth in Scotland has been awarded city status after winning a UK competition. Perth will now be Scotland's seventh city, along with Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling. Twenty six towns across the UK entered the competition in a bid to win the civic honour, while only two other UK towns won the honour of becoming a city: Chelmsford in England and St Asaph in Wales. Perth based its bid on its long history as a city before the status was removed in 1975 during a local government shake up. On Monday 4 June, it has been confirmed that Beacons will be lit on Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen's official residence in Scotland. New Zealand Monday 4 June will see New Zealanders celebrate The Queen's birthday and the opening of the ski season. Around The Queen's birthday, The Queen's Honours list is released. This is a list of hundreds of recipients who are acknowledged and honoured for public service, whether it's services to television or services to prisoner welfare. This year, The Queen's Diamond Jubilee also falls on the same weekend as her birthday, so expect the celebrations to be even bigger. New Zealand will pay tribute to The Queen by lighting Beacons along with other countries in the Commonwealth. May 22, 2012

Finnair Finnair launched 4X-weekly Helsinki-Chongqing Airbus A330/A340 service. May 22, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian tops DOTOs March on-time report. US carriersO on-time performance (OTP) in March improved over the same period a year ago, but was worse than FebruaryOs report. The US Dept. of TransportationOs (DOT) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported that the 15 carriers which log on-time performance data posted an overall OTP arrival rate of 82.2% in March, up from 79.2% in March 2011, but down from 86.2% in February. In March, the carriers filing OTP data reported that 4.99% of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 4.13% in February; 6.16% by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 4.33% in February; 4.9% by factors within the airlineOs control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 3.85% in February; 0.51% by extreme weather, compared to 0.35% in February; and 0.02% for security reasons, compared to 0.03% in February. Hawaiian Airlines led all carriers in March with an on-time arrival rate of 92.5%. AirTran Airways followed by 90.9% and US Airways at 87.3%. The three worst performers were ExpressJet Airlines at 74.1%, Virgin America at 74.9% and United Airlines at 77.4%. DOT said airlines reported three tarmac delays of more than 3 hr. on domestic flights and no tarmac delays of more than 4 hr. on international flights in March. All the long domestic tarmac delays took place March 17 in St. Louis, a day when severe storms hit the area. The affected carriers were American Airlines (219 min.), Shuttle America (187 min.) and ExpressJet Airlines (183 min.). May 21, 2012

Mokulele Airlines Mokulele Airlines Returns to Kapalua Airport in West Maui . Mokulele Airlines is reinstating its service out of Kapalua Airport, on West Maui. Flights will start July 1, with four flights a day. Fares will start at $59.97. Mokulele has been beefing up its service, recently adding daily nonstop flights between Kahului and Lanai City. May 21, 2012

Qantas Airways Qantas Restructures Airline Into Domestic, International Units . Australian Qantas Restructures Airline Into Domestic, International Units airline Qantas is splitting itself into two units, domestic and international, according to press reports. That means that QantasO strong domestic network will not be undermined by its struggling international operations, which could boost the price of the domestic operation. The split will create four separate business units: Qantas International, Qantas Domestic, Jetstar Group and Qantas Frequent Flyer. Jetstar is QantasO low-cost carrier, which has captured 20 percent of AustraliaOs domestic market. Bruce Buchanan, head of Jetstar, is leaving the company. Simon Hickey, who had overseen the frequent-flyer unit, will head international operations. Lesley Grant will take over the frequent-flyer program; Lyell Strambi, the current Qantas group executive, will take over Qantas Domestic, and Jayne Hrdlicka, now head of strategy and technology, will head Jetstar. Qantas faces the same problems as the rest of the industry: high oil prices and increasing competition. May 22, 2012

Singapore Airlines Weak demand prompts SIA to suspend AUH, ATH this fall. Singapore Airlines (SIA) will suspend services to Abu Dhabi (AUH) in the UAE and Athens (ATH), Greece this fall as a result of sustained weak performance on both routes. The last flights to both cities will depart Singapore (SIN) Oct. 26. SIA has served ATH since 1972 and operates two flights a week, which will increase to three between early July and late September. AUH joined the SIA route network in 2006 and is served with three flights a week. The airline said the suspensions were in line with its policy Oto match capacity to prevailing market demand.O SIA will continue to operate to Dubai in the UAE, and connections to and from Athens are possible on Star Alliance partner airlines via several SIA European destinations. May 25, 2012

Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines Vacations Offers Packages to Bangkok. Singapore Airlines Vacations is offering all-inclusive flight and hotel packages from Los Angeles to Bangkok. The package deal includes roundtrip flights aboard Singapore AirlinesO A380, the worldOs largest commercial aircraft. All fuel surcharges, taxes, and luxury hotel accommodations are included. The Bangkok vacation package is available for travel through Dec. 31 and includes roundtrip, economy class flights on SIA from Los Angeles (LAX); four nights in a deluxe room at the five-star Shangri-la Hotel; roundtrip transfers between airport and hotel; half-day Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple tour; and hotel taxes and service charges. Also offered is an optional four-day/three-night Chiang Mai extension package available from $449 per person. May 23, 2012

Tiger Airways Tiger Airways will increase 3X-weekly Singapore (SIN)-Haikou service to 5X-weekly Aug 1-31, and will operate 2X-daily SIN service to Kuching and Penang Aug 17-26. May 21, 2012

Transaero Airlines, Air Astana Transaero, Air Astana add frequencies on Russia-Kazakhstan routes. RussiaOs Transaero Airlines and Kazakhstan-based Air Astana have agreed to add one more frequency for each carrier on Moscow-Almaty (ALA) and Moscow-Astana (TSE) routes, due to growing demand. Each airline now will operate 15 flights per week between Moscow and ALA, and eight flights per week between Moscow and TSE. Last week Russia and Kazakhstan decided to amend their bilateral agreement. Currently, only one carrier from each sideNTransaero and Air AstanaNis allowed to fly on the high-demand routes of Moscow-Almaty (ALA) and Moscow-Astana (TSE). Russia and Kazakhstan may add more designated carriers on the routes during the liberalization. May 25, 2012

United Airlines United Airlines announced plans to launch daily, nonstop flights between its Denver hub and its hub at Tokyo Narita International Airport, effective March 31, 2013, subject to government approval. Eastbound service from Tokyo begins April 1. United will operate the service with state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

United will operate the service withEBoeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with 219 seatsN36 in BusinessFirst and 183 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with extra legroom. United BusinessFirst features flat-bed seats, along with a wide range of premium-cabin services and amenities. Customers on the flights will experience the aircraft's many passenger-friendly features including improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin pressure altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other features. The aircraft's use of light-weight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar sized conventional aircraft. Convenient Schedules United flight 123 will depart Denver daily at 11:55 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 3 p.m. the next day. Flight 122 will depart Tokyo's Narita International Airport at 4:40 p.m. and arrive in Denver at 12:30 p.m. the same day. The flight is now available for sale on united.com and other distribution channels. May 22, 2012 2154-2260

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Date:May 28, 2012
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