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Qatar Airways to launch service from Doha, Qatar to Penang, Malaysia

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Qatar Airways will launch direct flights to Penang, the airline’s second Malaysian destination, on 6 February 2018, as part of its ambitious global expansion plans.

In addition to its beautiful sandy beaches and stunning natural scenery, Penang is considered to be the gourmet capital of Malaysia. From street food to fine dining, visitors will be spoilt for choice with the variety of dishes available, with influences ranging from Malay to Chinese; Indian to European.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Malaysia has long been one of our most sought-after destinations, and as such, we are delighted to launch a new direct service to Penang, offering our passengers a second gateway into the country. With three weekly flights between Doha and Penang, we are sure travellers to this exotic holiday destination will be enchanted by both Penang’s magnificent natural scenery and our unrivalled five-star onboard service.”

Qatar Airways will fly three times a week to Penang with its state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which features 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, with spacious cabins and specially-designed interiors. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner also offers lower altitude-equivalent pressure, improved air quality and optimal humidity, enabling passengers to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed. Passengers will be also able to enjoy the airline’s superior in-flight entertainment system, offering a multitude of entertainment options.

The airline first launched service to Malaysia in December 2001, and currently operates a triple-daily service to Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

As part of its continued expansion in Asia, the airline also recently announced the addition of extra services to the Thai city of Krabi, as well as to the Vietnamese cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, to commence in December 2017 and January 2018, respectively.

In December, Qatar Airways will launch service to Thailand’s Chiang Mai, its fourth destination in Thailand, to meet increased demand for Southeast Asian destinations from holiday-makers.

Qatar Airways will be adding many more exciting destinations to its network in 2017 and 2018, including Canberra, Australia; St. Petersburg, Russia and Cardiff, UK, to name a few.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now celebrating its twentieth year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.

Finnair to introduce routes to Bergen and Tromsø 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Air & Sea

As a part of its growth strategy, Finnair will open new routes between its Helsinki hub and Bergen and Tromsø in Norway in May 2018, connecting the regions to Finnair’s extensive Asian network, the airline said in a statement.

Both Bergen and Tromsø are ports for the popular Hurtigruten cruises along the Norwegian coastline and the first name port serves as its southern terminus. It is also serves a turnaround port for other lines.

The routes will be operated by Norwegian regional airline Wideroe, and the flights are sold and marketed by Finnair. The onboard service will be based on the Finnair dual class service concept.

As of May 15, 2018, Wideroe will operate the Finnair flight from Bergen to Helsinki daily, with a brand-new Embraer 190-E2 aircraft. The flight’s schedule will connect to Finnair’s Asian flights as well as to Finnair’s European network. Finnair also continues to fly to Bergen via Stockholm. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, located by the Atlantic coast and surrounded by seven mountains. The city is known for its small-town charm, breathtaking scenery and ideal opportunities for exploring the beautiful fjords of Norway.

The flight between Tromsø in northern Norway and Helsinki takes place once a week on Saturdays, with the schedule connecting to Finnair’s Asian flights as well as European flights. Tromsø is situated 350 kilometers north of the Arctic circle, and is famous for its artic nature, the northern lights and a wide variety of outdoor activities ranging from hiking to whale watching.

 

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“We are excited to offer new direct flights to Bergen and Tromsø,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer for Finnair. “The Nordics are attracting more and more travelers, and we believe our Asian customers will appreciate these additions to our extensive network. The new flights also offer our customers in Norway new connections to our network of 19 Asian cities and 100 European destinations via our Helsinki hub.”

 

Crystal Skye joins the Crystal fleet

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Crystal AirCruises has welcomed the newest member of its expanding fleet, Crystal Skye, during an official handover ceremony held at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. The exquisitely outfitted Boeing 777-200LR was delivered to Crystal’s CEO and president, Edie Rodriguez from Greenpoint Technologies. Crystal Skye is the largest privately owned tour jet in the world and is deployed for chartered service, accommodating some of the world’s most discriminating groups and travelers. Crystal Skye will be christened in Las Vegas on August 12.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Crystal Skye to the family, as she marks the beginning of a new chapter and realm of luxury travel for guests who seek the unmatched Crystal Experience,” says Rodriguez. “As we embark on new global adventures with Crystal Skye, we are inspired by the shared vision of our own experts and those at Greenpoint Technologies, who brought this sky-high dream to fruition.”

With a spacious design for up to 88 guests, Crystal Skye is appointed with features rarely found in even the most luxurious private jets. She has the highest crew to passenger ratio of any twin-aisle aircraft and a non-stop range of 19.5 hours, allowing travelers to explore the far reaches of the earth while enjoying the personalized service for which Crystal is renowned worldwide. Bespoke Crystal Exclusive Class seats are designed for maximum personal space and ergonomic comfort, and convert to 180-degree lie-flat beds. The expansive social lounge with stand-up bar fosters friendly camaraderie among luxury travelers. Cuisine will be prepared by an executive chef, in two state-of-the-art galleys and paired with an elegant premium wine list from the Crystal SkyeCellar.

Crystal collaborated with Greenpoint Technologies for the extremely specialized development of Crystal Skye, as the company is renowned for its innovation and leadership in the creation of superior aircraft design. Greenpoint Technologies worked alongside Crystal’s own experts to conceive the standard of excellence and luxury required to ensure the unparalleled guest experience aboard a Crystal vessel, then brought the vision to life. The interior installation of Crystal Skye began in August 2016 at Greenpoint’s Moses Lake facility in Washington, focusing on exclusive features such as a 24-seat lounge with a central bar, sofas, custom coved ceilings, the largest wine cellar in the sky and ample space to socialize. Stone veneers, colored LED lighting and other premium details adorn the extraordinary interior.

Bret Neely, Executive Vice President at Greenpoint Technologies says, “Our goal for this program was to create a luxurious interior showcasing the elegant brand Crystal has established with their cruise ships, yachts, and riverboats. Greenpoint is a company built on Teamwork. Both internally and externally with our customers. It was amazing to see the combined core team come together to focus on Crystal’s guest experience, resulting in the beautiful and functional interior we see today.”

MedCruise ports to work with airports and cruise lines to create robust cruise supply chain

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

MedCruise member port of Barcelona plays a leading role in advancing discussions on how to best link aviation and cruising, during the BCN World Route event to be held in Barcelona 23-26 September. Santiago Garcia Mila, Deputy Executive Director, Port of Barcelona will be among the key participants at the round table "Cruise and Aviation 2020", that will discuss how to make the most of the cruise growth opportunity, what is the best way for airlines and cruise companies, airports and port authorities to work together to create the best customer journey and the most efficient and cost effective working practices.

The other members of the panel are Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO, Celestyal Cruises & Chair, CLIA Europe, and Oscar Oliver, General Director of CETMO and Former Commercial Director, Aeroports de Catalunya.

"MedCruise and its membership have already worked with airport executives in the examination of how ports and airports working together with all stakeholders can create a robust cruise supply chain approach the can achieve desirable, and sustainable growth. We worked earlier this year with cruise airport executives that gathered in Athens and we are now excited to further this work in Barcelona. Discussions on the theme are also expected to emerge during the forthcoming 51st MedCruise General Assembly to be held in Toulon, 11-14 October 2017," says Thanos Pallis, MedCruise Secretary General.

Norwegian’s UK subsidiary given tentative approval by US DOT for transatlantic operations

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Norwegian's British subsidiary, Norwegian UK (NUK), was been given tentative approval by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit. The approval reaffirms that the NUK application is in full compliance with the EU–US Open Skies Agreement.

When finalized by the DOT, the permit will allow Norwegian’s UK subsidiary to operate low-cost flights between the U.S. and Europe.

Once final approval is received from the DOT, NUK will be able to establish a seamless operation and more effectively utilize its long-haul fleet – this includes the use of the same aircraft on all long-haul routes, such as the U.S., Singapore, Argentina and other future long-haul markets Norwegian is looking at in Asia and South America.

“Tentative U.S. approval for our UK subsidiary is a positive step toward being able to offer millions of passengers even more new routes and lower fares," said Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos. "We look forward to final DOT approval for Norwegian UK’s foreign air carrier permit soon, which will allow us to continue delivering more flights, more choice and more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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