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International Airlines Group partnership works

The success of International Airlines Group (IAG) in the last two to three years is proof that its strategic partnership works. The group, made up originally of British Airways (BA) and Spanish carrier Iberia and subsequently Vueling which is a budget operator, was joined by Aer Lingus in August this year. Excluding Aer Lingus, IAG […]

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What conclusions can one draw in an airlines survey?

The industry continues to be fascinated by rankings of the world’s best airlines, although the results of most surveys – take away some bias here and there – are quite predictable and almost similar across the board. The winners by and large boast excellent cabin service, great food, comprehensive in-flight entertainment and innumerable choices, more generous […]

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Making sense of ultra long-haul flights

Once upon a time, the honour of flying the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight belonged to Singapore Airlines (SIA). That was in June 2004 when SIA launched its non-stop service from Singapore to New York Newark, a journey of 19 hours on the Airbus A340-500 jet covering a distance of 9,535 miles. SIA had earlier […]

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US vs Gulf carriers: Redefining Open Skies

The new American mantra for aviation is fair skies, not open skies. With the rise of the Gulf carriers and their increased presence in the US, home carriers are banding to press the Department of Transportation (DOT) to review the long-standing Open Skies policy and the agreements executed thus far. Their grouse: Unfair competition because […]

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Qatar Airways nets a prized catch, expanding westwards

It may seem somewhat crazy, but it is definitely not surprising in today’s aviation landscape of fast changing and crisscrossed relationships, some of them making most unlikely bedfellows. The ends justify the means. Qatar Airways has acquired a 10% stake in International Airlines Group (IAG), better known as the owner of British Airways (BA) and […]

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The big deal about extreme luxury

It is a big deal in the Middle East as the Gulf carriers, notably the big three of Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, race to outdo each other in offering extreme luxury in the air (“Extreme luxury: What price prestige?“, Jun 26th, 14). Ever since Etihad introduced the Residence, a super-class three-room suite […]

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Air New Zealand enters a new era of growth

If one is planning to visit the Hobbits and the Kingdoms of Middle Earth, do not think twice about flying Air New Zealand (ANZ). The Kiwi carrier is probably best recognised in recent times for its innovative in-flight safety videos before take-off. Keeping a relatively low profile, Air New Zealand is entering a new era […]

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Competing to be the best: How reliable are survey readings?

Skytrax has named Cathay Pacific as the world’s best airline in 2014, displacing last year’s winner, Emirates. In second and third place are Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines (SIA) respectively. Asian and Middle East carriers dominated the ranks of the top ten: Emirates being the 4th, Turkish Airlines 5th, All Nippon Airways 6th, Garuda Indonesia […]

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Europe’s aviation challenges

Hope of Europe-based airlines bouncing back into good times on the back of an improved economy is not turning out to be as expected. Much of the good news reported last year seems to be short-lived. Air France-KLM is among the airlines that have issued profit warnings, even though it expects higher earnings compared with […]

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Air India joins Star Alliance: How will it benefit?

No more pussy-footing. Air India becomes a member of Star Alliance from July 11, 2014, joining a global network of 26 airlines that include founders Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and Untied Airlines. Other airlines that have since joined the alliance include Air China, Air New Zealand (ANZ), All Nippon Airways (ANA), […]

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