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The elusive Asean open skies dream

Still waiting. Asean Open Skies, or more formally known as the Asean Single Aviation Market (Asean-SAM), continues to be an elusive dream for the 10-nation bloc as members renewed their commitment at this year’s Asean meeting of their leaders in Kuala Lumpur. Asean, which stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is made up of […]

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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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Airbus A380: The next decade

Mention the Airbus A380 to travellers, and one would be showered by a barrage of praise about this superjumbo; on its quiet smooth ride or how it reminded them of the glamour of flying from a bygone era. However, has this positive sentiment translated to a profitable model for Airbus? April 2015 marked the 10th anniversary […]

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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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Is budget long-haul but a pipe dream?

Only days after announcing plans to launch transatlantic flights in five years, Ryanair retracted its position, abandoning the plans. In a statement, it said it “has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.” This ran contrary to the earlier announced approval by its board to mount budget flights […]

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Is Qantas robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Qantas thinks it has found a way to respond to the pressure to reduce airfares in light of the hefty fall in the oil price (“A conscionable call as oil price plummets: Will airlines reduce airfares?“, 26th Jan, 15). Logically, and to be expected, fuel surcharge should go down. So Qantas will axe fuel surcharges […]

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A conscionable call as oil price plummets: Will airlines reduce airfares?

As the oil price plummets – some 55% since June last year – the question top most in the mind of the consumer must be: Will airlines reduce airfares? Many of them have chosen to be silent on the subject, the reason being that the historical volatility of the market is such that the trend can […]

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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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