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Emirates and Cruise Baltic signs strategic partnership

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Today Cruise Baltic has announced that Emirates has become a strategic partner of Cruise Baltic. Instrumental in effecting the formation of this new, joint agreement is Claus Bødker, Director, Cruise Baltic, working in close co-operation with Emirates’ management in both Copenhagen and Dubai.

Emirates fly to more than 150 destinations on six continents, with routes to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm in the Baltic Sea region.

Says Claus Bødker: “This partnership commitment made to us by Emirates is such significant and welcome news. By networking together, implementing new, joint marketing initiatives and targeting the same source markets - including those of Asia and Australia, which are ‘booming’ - I am confident that we can reach our respective objectives of attracting even more cruise visitors to the Baltic Sea region.”

Paul Starrs, SVP Global Sales, Emirates (Dubai) commented: “For several years Emirates has been active within the cruise industry sector, however, our commitment to Cruise Baltic reflects our need to focus on priority markets, as well as the more traditional. We can combine our resources and together meet any challenges facing the airline and cruise industry; and with our complementary premium products, will look to secure the highest standards of guest experience.”

Cruise Baltic is a network of cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea offering easy access to 10 countries on a string with an ‘ocean of adventures’. The network - founded in 2004 with 12 destinations - has now grown in 2016 to 29 destinations.

Norwegian to offer direct flights between Paris and U.S.

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Norwegian will launch flights from three United States airports to Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport on July 29. Service will commence with four weekly flights from New York’s JFK International Airport, two weekly flights from Los Angeles International Airport and one weekly flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. This will be Norwegian’s first operation from Charles De Gaulle Airport. The airline currently operates flights from Paris Orly International Airport to five Scandinavian destinations.

In less than three years since the launch of its U.S. operations, Norwegian now has more nonstop routes from the U.S. to Europe than any other European airline. The airline already provides nonstop service to London, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, as well as seasonal service to Bergen. In total, Norwegian offers 38 routes from the U.S.

“Launching our fifth major European nonstop destination from the U.S. clearly underlines our commitment to the American market. Paris is one the most visited cities in the world, attracting both business and leisure travelers alike all-year round. We see great potential and demand for our transatlantic service and we will continue to offer customers more direct flights and more affordable fares from additional cities both in the U.S. and Europe,” said Bjørn Kjos, Norwegian’s CEO and founder.

Flights to Paris are now available for purchase at Norwegian.com/us, with introductory fares starting as low as $175 one-way, including taxes. For the lowest available fares to any Norwegian destination, check the Low Fare Calendar.

“It’s always great news to hear about new service to France. We think it demonstrates a confidence that American demand for travel to France will be strong again this year, and that the market can expand and support additional service. This confidence reflects well on our destination,” said Anne-Laure Tuncer, Director USA at Atout France, France Tourism Development Agency.

All Paris flights will be operated on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the world’s most modern and eco-friendly fleets. Last year, Norwegian was named the Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

American Airlines adds nonstop from Los Angeles to Auckland

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

American Airlines will add new nonstop service between its trans-Pacific gateway hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Auckland Airport (AKL) in June 2016, pending regulatory approvals. The route to Auckland provides American's customers direct access to a new destination and further strengthens the airline's joint business with Qantas Airways. American has added six new trans-Pacific routes over the last three years, nearly doubling its presence in the region.

"Auckland is a thriving destination for business and leisure travelers, and it adds to the growing strength of our global network across the Pacific," said Doug Parker, American's chairman and CEO. "We've seen a strong increase for demand from U.S. customers who need more nonstop access to New Zealand. We are excited to be the first U.S. carrier to offer a truly premium experience between Los Angeles and Auckland."

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said the new Los Angeles-Auckland service is another example of the customer benefits of the expanded Qantas American Airlines joint business. "American Airlines is one of our most important partners, and our joint business allows both airlines to provide an enhanced network and better service for customers across the Pacific.

"American's new non-stop Los Angeles-Auckland service is supported by Jetstar's domestic connections to eleven destinations within New Zealand and Qantas Group's nearly 40 daily flights to Australia. The new route across the Pacific is great news for travelers, the local New Zealand tourism industry and the corporate market," said Joyce.

The two CEOs met earlier in the day with New Zealand Prime Minster John Key to present details of American's new service that is planned to operate on the following daily schedule starting in June 2016.

American plans to operate its new daily service between LAX and AKL with the newest addition to its fleet, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner features a state-of-the-art onboard travel experience including international Wi-Fi, as well as higher humidity and pressurization closer to sea level conditions, leaving customers more refreshed after their flight. Every seat has a touchscreen monitor equipped with up to 260 movies, 240 TV shows, 13 radio channels, 350 albums and 20 games, along with universal AC power outlets and a USB connection. The aircraft is configured with 28 fully lie-flat Business Class seats, each with direct-aisle access. There are an additional 55 Main Cabin Extra seats with extra legroom, and 143 Main Cabin seats.

The flight will be operated as part of American's joint business with Qantas, which remains subject to regulatory approvals. Earlier this year, the two airlines announced increased options between the U.S. and Sydney Airport (SYD) with American launching a new nonstop flight from LAX, and Qantas adding a new flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), both beginning in December.

Through their enhanced relationship, American and Qantas intend to provide increased connectivity to markets beyond their key gateways. As the leading airline with the most daily flights in Los Angeles, American's extensive network from its LAX hub can connect customers traveling from New Zealand to more than 50 destinations. These destinations include convenient connections to the world's top financial centers, including New York and London, in addition to other top markets throughout the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. American has a rich history as Southern California's premier carrier, including 80 years serving Los Angeles. American has nearly 200 daily departures at LAX, the only three-class transcontinental service and unrivalled customer service on the ground and in the air.

Miami to offer new, expanded Europe service this winter

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Miami International Airport will welcome an impressive slate of new and expanded service offerings to key European destinations beginning in winter 2015. The upcoming additions are led by all-new scheduled service to Vienna, Austria and Istanbul, Turkey aboard Austrian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Also on tap for travelers flying to and from Miami are: expanded seasonal flights to Munich aboard Lufthansa; expanded yearround flights to Helsinki aboard Finnair; all-new Airbus A380 superjumbo service to London; and much more.

The new transatlantic air service options reflect MIA’s strategic efforts to expand its route map beyond traditional stronghold markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Turkish Airlines’ new Miami-Istanbul service, in particular, gives Miami passengers incredible one-stop access to destinations throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Israel. MIA passengers will also enjoy direct access to four cities in Germany when Air Berlin adds scheduled service to their namesake home city in November. Full details on MIA’s upcoming European service additions are as follows:

– October 16: Austrian Airlines Miami-Vienna service inaugural (five weekly)
– October 25: Turkish Airlines Miami-Istanbul service inaugural (daily)
– October 25: British Airways Miami-London A380 superjumbo service inaugural (daily)
– October 25: Lufthansa expanded seasonal Miami-Munich service (six weekly through March 26)
– October 25: Air France expanded seasonal A380 superjumbo service to Paris (daily through March 25 when Boeing 777 service resumes)
– October 25: Swiss adds four additional weekly frequencies to their year-round daily Miami-Zurich flights (11 total per week) through November 30, when three more weekly flights (14 total per week/2 daily) will be added through May 25
– October 26: Finnair Miami-Helsinki service begins and continues now yearround
– November 5: Air Berlin scheduled Berlin service begins (two weekly)

“Beginning this winter, MIA will proudly offer our customers more travel choices to Europe than ever before,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “Whether it’s new destinations, new aircraft, expanded seasonal service or additional flights, Miami travelers – and our community as a whole –stand to benefit from these service upgrades.”

Additional air service to Europe is also on tap for 2016. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced last month that it will offer scheduled nonstop service from Miami to Oslo and Copenhagen beginning next fall. MIA currently offers direct flights to 14 cities in Europe, a number that will surge to 19 by early November.

Singapore Airlines to re-launch nonstop flights to the U.S.

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has selected Airbus’ newly launched Ultra-Long Range version of the A350-900 for non-stop flights to the US. Under an amendment to the carrier’s existing order for 63 A350-900s, seven of the aircraft will now be delivered with an Ultra-Long Range capability for flights of up to 19 hours. In addition, the carrier has placed an additional order for four A350-900s, taking its total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 67.

Optimised for non-stop flights to the US, the aircraft, designated A350-900ULR (Ultra-Long Range), will ‎include a modified fuel system to increase the fuel carrying capacity, an increase in Maximum Take-Off Weight, plus aerodynamic improvements, enabling service to the US West Coast, as well as to New York.

Representing a distance of some 8,700 nautical miles, the New York service will be the world’s longest commercial passenger route, with an expected flight time of up to 19 hours. Moreover, the unique flexibility offered by the A350 XWB allows operators to reconfigure their A350-900ULR to the standard long-haul A350-900 specification should they require it.

“Our customers have been asking us to re-start non-stop Singapore-US flights and we are pleased that Airbus was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “This is another example of how we strive to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations by remaining at the forefront of product and service innovation in our industry. It will also further strengthen the Singapore hub by providing the fastest and most convenient air connectivity between North America and Southeast Asia.”

“We are excited to be working with Singapore Airlines to re-launch its premium non-stop service to the US,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “The A350 is the perfect, flexible platform for such operations, offering unrivalled operating economics for the very longest routes. And the wider and quieter cabin will provide the perfect environment for passengers to enjoy the world-famous Singapore Airlines in-flight product.”

The all-new A350 XWB entered commercial service earlier this year and features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 783 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. Singapore Airlines is the largest customer for the A350 XWB in East Asia, with deliveries of its 67 aircraft now on order starting in the first quarter of 2016. Deliveries of the carrier’s A350-900ULR aircraft are scheduled to take place in 2018.

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