Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Hilton Hotel's plan expansion and new jobs for 1,500 people

Hilton Hotel's have announced plans to open over 20 new hotels in the UK which will create jobs for 1,500 people. The move in Britain is part of a wider plan to open 110 new hotels across Europe by 2014.

Hilton have made plans for hotels in areas including Lincoln and Burton upon Trent. The property in Burton on Trent will sit alongside the new National Football Centre and the area will also see budget Hampton by Hilton operate from this site. 

Simon Vincent, Hilton's area president, Europe, said:  "While unemployment figures in Europe continue to rise, Hilton Worldwide is experiencing an exciting period of growth which will see us continue to offer a wealth of rewarding career options."

Business jet passengers receive extended APD reprieve

Despite the government introducing a hike in APD for commercial passengers, it has been revealed that those travelling by private jet will not have to pay Air Passenger Duty on aircraft until 2013.

The tax was due to be implemented in April 2012 but has now been moved to the following. Commenting on the news, The British Air Transport  ssociation which represents airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Ryanair described the move as 'unfair.'

Chief Executive Simon Buck said: “It is a year's grace for the wealthy man in the business jet, but for millions of people who cannot afford to fly by business jet, they will have to pay APD increases at twice the rate of inflation from April next year. How is that fair?”

What planet are you on George?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Willie Walsh lambasts PM over lack of aviation policy

Willie Walsh, the chairman of IAG, last night went on the offensive to David Cameron for having 'no policy on aviation.'

Mr. Walsh is particularly upset that British Airports are being overtaken by foreign competitors due to our inhibitive aviation taxes. Britain's Air Passenger Duty tax has been raised at twice the rate of inflation which makes it the highest taxed aviation industry in the world.

Going further with his criticism, Willie Walsh said: "When Cameron went to China, he said we need to establish trade links and announced a Rolls-Royce deal worth £740m for engines to a China Eastern airline. But while he rightly praises Rolls-Royce, he fails to recognise that Rolls-Royce's success and growth is on the back of China's investment in aviation. The Chinese see aviation as a building block of growth. But this government has no policy on aviation. Cameron will not even acknowledge the link between Rolls-Royce and British aviation (it is as if one is divorced from the other)."

"China has built 45 airports and, by 2020, it will have built a further 52. Or look at the Middle East: Dubai was 99th in the league table of world airports; last year it was 14th; today it is 4th and, by 2014, it will leapfrog Heathrow for the No 1 slot. China, Dubai, Brazil – wherever you look, they are taking advantage of our lack of ambition. These economies are investing in aviation the way the Victorians invested in railways."

The airlines chief goes on to make a comparitive costs of a family of four flying in economy to Australia before and after the potential tax rise. Current taxes would see the family pay £680 in APD but in 2015 would be required to pay £979 if the taxes increases were put in place. There are no taxes in place for people flying from China and the Middle East and these countries are seen to be growing at the fastest rate. Countries such as Holland, Denmark and Norway are countries which imposed aviation taxes and subsequently scrapped them due to the damage they caused to their economies.

Take the hint Mr. Cameron!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Thomas Cook share price bounces back

Shares in Thomas Cook have bounced back this morning after news over the weekend that the company have received additional financial assistance of £100m.

Shares were as low as 9p on Tuesday but were the biggest riser on the FTSE 250 index this morning of the 30p. Anyone who better that the firm would be rescued at that point and bought shares would have tripled their money. It is believed that short-sellers in the market who targeted Thomas Cook made gains of more than £60m in the last five months as more than 85% has been wiped off the value of the company.

Despite the slight games, analyst Nick Batram of Peel Hunt believes that the shares are best avoided -

"As expected the banks have stepped up to the plate, and this is to be welcomed. However, a recapitalisation of the business is still likely to be painful for equity investors. Trading was challenging enough, but this could have been further exacerbated by the events of the past week. We continue to believe that the shares are best avoided."

Everyone here at Alihoco hopes that Thomas Cook remains steady for a long time.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Public sector strike to create major disruption at Heathrow

The COO of Heathrow Airport has warned airlines that public sector strikes on Wednesday could caused potential 'gridlock'.

Norman Boivan has written a letter to all airlines which says: "The delays at immigration are likely to be so long that passengers could not be safely accommodated within the terminals and would need to be held on arriving aircraft. This in turn would quickly create gridlock at the airport with no available aircraft parking stands, mass cancellations or departing aircraft and diversions outside the UK for arriving aircraft. Modelling of the impacts of strike action on passenger flows at Heathrow show that there are likely to be very long delays of up to 12 hours to arriving passengers."

In order to relieve the potential strain on the airport, Boivan has asked airlines to half capacity of international flights as immigration staffing levels are likely to be between 30-50% and that most staff would have no experience and little training. One of the main problems is that during previous strikes, border agency managers continued in their role and worked, however these employees are also expected to strike on Wednesday.

An additional major worry is nearly 100 long-haul services are due to arrive  at Heathrow before 9.00am on Wednesday. In light of the potential disruption BA have allowed to switch flights free of charge and Virgin Atlantic have also allowed passengers to change flights four days either side of 30th November.

What do you think about the strike and pensions issue?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Las Vegas takes gamble in uncertain times with new airport terminal

Las Vegas official's have decided to continue with expanding the city's airport despite it being affected by the global downturn.

Plans were made for a $2.4bn new airport terminal when Las Vegas' popularity showed little sign of slowing down. Rather than taking stock the Las Vegas big wigs have decided to 'go for broke' and attract additional visitors to the gambling mecca.

It is hoped that the new terminal will allow flyers to use Las Vegas as a hub to fly onto further destinations or as a stopover destination for people to enjoy as a short break. The new terminal will also promote itself on processing passengers faster than nearby airports such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The additional terminal at Las Vegas McCarran Airport will boost capacity up to 53 million passengers per years and allow more than 20 airlines to operate at the airport. One of the major players in the new plans is Korean Air who fly passengers directly from Seoul three times per week with a view to moving to daily flights.

John Jackson III, VP of Sales for Korean Air Americas said - "We see Las Vegas not just as an origin and destination point, but also as another hub for us. We aim to connect passengers from Salt Lake, from Denver, from Phoenix, from Albuquerque via Las Vegas when they're going to Seoul," Jackson said. "And on the other end of the Pacific, connecting Seoul to one of those 80-something destinations that are served nonstop from Seoul."

One person who does not think that the expansion plan is a good idea is Mo Garfinkle, CEO of GCW Consulting who specialize in aviation markets in China and other Asian markets - "I wouldn't call the new terminal a white elephant, but it's going to be quite empty for a long time if they're looking for flights to Asia. The Asians don't need to come to Las Vegas to get Las Vegas-style gambling,"

No risk, no reward!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Rock star vows to resurrect failed airline

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, has vowed to ressurect an airline which has gone into administration. Dickinson has risen to prominence in the last few years as a pilot for Astraeus Airlines and was at the helm for the airlines last flight from Jeddah to Manchester.

The rocker is forming a plan to resurrect the airline or to start a new brand utilising the existing staff and aircraft. Dickinson also claims to have received contact from a 'number of prospective investors.'  Commenting on the issue, Dickinson said:

"I'm extremely upbeat about these opportunities, particularly the potential for a revival, in some form, of Astraeus. The enthusiasm is also fuelled by the deluge of messages I received from the second I switched on my phone after landing the last Astraeus flight on Monday, and, of course, the interest of a number of prospective investors. I will be back at the controls of a commercial airliner before I am very much older - but I may also be at the controls of the company that operates that airliner, and others like it."

The airline has been in operation since 2002 but has blamed its downfall on lower business than forecast over Summer 2011 and prospective bookings for Winter 2012.

Dickinson famously flew Iron Maiden, their crew and equipment on the bands world tour on their own Boeing 757, Ed Force One which is named after the band's mascot 'Eddie.'

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hotelier's blackmailed by clients who threaten with poor TripAdvisor reviews

It has been reported that guests of hotel's and B&B's are blackmailing hoteliers with the threat of writing poor reviews on TripAdvisor in order to obtained free upgrades or compensation. The report shows that more than 80 hoteliers have been subjected to threats from customers.

Examples of threats include requests for 50 per cent discount when a guest checks-in in order to prevent a 'one star review' while other cases involve guests reporting false cases of food poisioning and theft.

A post from the TripAdvisor's own message board from one owner reads: "I am fed up of blackmail by guests either asking for upgrades and promising to put a good report on trip advisor (sic) or people who complain stating if we don't get our money back + compensation I will put a bad review on."

Commenting on the issue, a spokesman for TripAdvisor said: "We take allegations of blackmail or threatening behaviour by guests against property owners very seriously. Not only is it strictly against our guidelines, but it may also be illegal."

Monday, 21 November 2011

Knock Knock, who's there? Ryanair!

Budget airline Ryanair have announced that they are to open four new routes from Knock Airport in Co Mayo.

The new destinations will be Barcelona, Frankfurt, Milan and Paris and the airline hopes that the new routes will take their annual passenger numbers past the 500,000 barrier to and from Knock. The move is also good news for the local economy in Knock as it is proposed that it will create 500 jobs in the region when launch takes place in Summer 2012.

Joe Gilmore, Managing Director of Ireland West Knock Airport is clearly pleased at the new development -
"We are delighted to welcome these four new 2012 routes to and from some of Europe's biggest tourism markets. In 2012, Ryanair will deliver over 600,000 seats to and from Knock, providing low-cost direct access for European tourists to the beautiful west coast of Ireland, which will boost tourism in this region."

The new destinations added by Ryanair takes the total number of routes to 14.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Fancy watching Corrie at 32,000 ft? Better fly Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways have announced that they have done a deal with Panasonic to provide live in-flight televison on board its long-haul aircraft. The deal is to last 10 years and is valued at more than $1bn to the technology company. It will see its eX2 and eX3 IFEC systems installed on 100 new planes in addition to the 16 aircraft that are already equipped with the technology.

The state of the art systems offer broadband internet and live TV for passengers on board and will be seen on future Etihad Airbus A380s, Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A350 XWBs. 

Commenting on the move, Etihad CEO James Hogan said: “It is essential that we offer the most engaging and dynamic in-flight entertainment for our guests – especially on long-haul flights."

Which programme could you not live without whilst you were on holiday?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Aviation heavyweights go on attack over APD

Four of the world's leading airlines have called for the government to scrap Air Passenger Duty over claims that it is more damaging to the economy than the revenues that it provides to the treasury.

In what has been dubbed 'Axe The Tax' campaign the chief executives of Ryanair, IAG, eayJet and Virgin Atlantic publicly signed a ltter to George Osborne, challenging him to conduct an independent review of the economic impact of APD. The main strands to the argument include that the tax is damaging leisure and business tourism, potential jobs and putting of foreign investors.

Commenting on the isse, Willie Walsh said: “This is the probably the first time the chief executives representing Ryanair, Virgin, British Airways and easyJet have ever sat down together and that shows how important this is to us. It's an issue that goes beyond the fierce rivalry that exists between us.  Passengers numbers at UK airports have fallen in the last three years and are now at a lower level than 2004. In 2010, there were 7.4 million fewer passengers using UK airports while numbers using European airports increased by 66.3 million."

Michael O'Leary of Ryanair used an example of a similar tax in the Netherlands in 2008/2009 which was abandoned after 12 months as the £300 million revenue it produced was dwarfed by the £1.2 billion damage that is was estimated to have caused the economy. Similar schemes were alse scrapped in Belgium, Denmark and Norway.

Steve Ridgway of Virgin Atlantic said that a prime example of people being put off the UK can be seen in the 3 million of Chinese vistors who travel to Europe and only 175,000 who travel to the UK. He added that the value of spending by Chinese tourists would far outweigh the revenue received in APD

In the letter the 'Axe The Tax' campaign details how all people will be affected by the tax and not just the wealthy and business people - “For hard-working families, APD is a tax too far for the privilege of taking a well-earned holiday. It is also a tax on tourism and a tax on business. Aviation doesn’t just drive exports - it is a major exporter in its own right with our airlines earning nearly £11 billion of foreign revenues every year. Tourism is one of the UK’s most important earners and is worth £115 million to the UK economy.”

The Chancellor's statement forecast will be made on 29th November and it is expected that APD is to rise from £12 per passenger to £16 per passenger for flights up to 2,000 miles for flights after 1st April 2012.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

China's luxury hotel boom threatened by low occupancy rates

I previously reported on China's booming hotel sector and how it had become a magnet for some of the world's most prestigious hotel chains. Recent figures have shown that occupancy rates are at the lowest in Asia after India and that occupancy in Shanghai stood at around 50% compared with 80% for Singapore and Hong Kong.

Nigel Summers, a director at Hong-King based Howarth Asia-Pacific which tracks the hospitality industry believes that the offering is at saturation point:

“Hotels in some markets of China are clearly oversupplied in the next three to five years, and they won’t be generating good returns, China has had a very strong demand. The question is whether the increase in demand is going to be big enough to handle all the new hotels.”

One chain who show no sign of stopping is Hilton who plan to have 100 hotels in the country by 2014, four times as many as they currently have in operation. Intercontinental Hotels Group Plc have also said that one in four of all future hotels that it opens will be in China.

The hotels in China that seem to be faring better are those at the budget end of the market. Home Inns & Hotel Management Inc who operate 1,004 properties had an occupancy rate of 94% in third quarter while 7 Days Group Holdings filled 85.5% of rooms at its 838 properties. The rates at Home Inn's in Shanghai cost approximately £25 per night compared with £250 at Hilton in Jingan district of Shanghai.

One area that looks like to struggle is Tianjin which has a population of 9.8 million and a hotel occupancy rate of 45%. There are plans to double the amount of hotel space in the next three years with no guarantee of increased vistitors. One possible reason for these development projects between global hotel chains and local business people is the kudos attracted with owning a prestigious property such as a hotel rather than projects which make sound business sense.

The move may also be of risk to shareholders of the chains and Ricco de Blank CEO of the worlds biggest developer Sun Hung Kai Properties thinks that chains "Carry the risk of diluting their brands. It’s a worry just to see all these brands going to China and other places in Asia at such a rapid race because they can’t go anywhere else, and Wall Street is expecting certain growth.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Las Vegas hotel failing to attract gamblers

One of Las Vegas' newest hotels is said to be struggling for a fundamental reason - its lack of gamblers. The $3.6bn Cosmopolitan Hotel has reported a loss of $58.4 million in the third quarter of the year.

Hotel revenue for the Cosmopolitan Hotel during the third quarter was $49.3 million, food and beverage revenue at $68.9 million and gambling revenue stood at a figure of just $23.8 million. The issue with the gambling revenue lies in its 'hold percentage' or the amount it makes from gamblers which stood at 7.6%. This figure lies well below industry norms and projections of between 12-15%. The Cosmopolitan hopes that its new areas for high rollers 'The Talon Club' will reverse these figures and provide income on a similar level to other hotels on the strip.

Further reasons for the third quarter loss include costs attributed to promotion of the new property in a highly competitive market during the recession.

Tired of passport control? You better go by private jet

The saga involving Home Secretary Theresa May continues to rumble on as leaked emails have shown that thousands of passengers travelling by private jet were allowed into the UK without going through immigration or customs.

The emails also reveal the selectivity of the checks as staff were given a list of postcodes to check against every new passport application or renewal. The applicants who lived in 'higher risk' areas face several weeks additional delay to receive their passports. The only areas in London not deemed to be at risk are postcodes that begin with WC and EC, the most central and prosperous areas in the city. Emails also show that women over 50 are deemed to be less risk.

In addition to this leaked emails have shown that from March 2 2011 anyone on a private charter did not have to show their passports and could bypass customs. Figures estimated there to be approximately 80,000 private flights each year.

The Home Office refused to comment on the pilot scheme last night. What do you think? Is this common sense or a policy that is dangerous to national security?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Emirates sign jumbo sized order with Boeing

Emirates airlines has placed the largest value order in Boeing's history. The order will see Boeing produce fifty Boeing 777-300 with an option for a further twenty of the same aircraft with a total value of $26 billion. The latest sign off is in addition forty 777-300 already on order with the maufacturer.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group said:

"This affirms our strategy to expand our long haul destinations and continue to excel as a world leading carrier, connecting the world to Dubai and beyond. The Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft plays a pivotal role in Emirates development of a modern fleet to meet the demand for global air travel for the future."

The sign off was completed yesterday during a ceremony at the Dubai Air Show bu (H.H) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, and Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Kingfisher Airlines heading for business turbulence

Kingfisher Airlines look likely to be in business trouble after its shares slumped 18 percent to an all time low today. The airline has continued to cancel flights and reports suggest that lease companies were planning to take planes back from the airline.

Todays news comes six weeks after Kingfisher decided to stop its low cost service Kingfisher Red due to it having an unviable business plan. The services that remain in place are based on full fare seats and not the heavily discounted model that it had previously been run on. This has been put in business jargon by Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya who said: 'No shutdown, only ensuring loss minimization by a flight rationalization and enhanced revenue through reconfiguration of aircraft.'

The airline has never made a profit since it began in 2005 and had tried to receive private investment in 2008 and 2009 but failed to attract sufficient interest. It appears that the he only way out for Kingfisher would be to sell a stake in the carrier to another airline which is against currently against Indian law. Despite this, India's industry secretary secretary said last month that the government is likely to approve a plan to allow foreign airlines to buy stakes in Indian carriers.

Fancy it Mr. O'Leary?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Foreign Office's strangest requests revealed

The British Foreign Office have today revealed some of the strangest requests received by members of the general public. Over the past six months staff have had a request from a man stranded at the airport by his dominatrix (a citizen in trouble after all) to more bizarre requests such as a Spanish couple asking for Prince Charles' shoe size so that they could send a pair of shoes to him as a present.

Further unusual requests to consular staff include:
  • A caller asked staff in Malaga in mid-September where she could get a Christmas lunch as everywhere was already booked up
  • Staff in Greece were asked for tips on the best fishing spots and where to purchase good bait
  • A man called the consulate in Florida to report that there were ants in his holiday villa and asked for advice on what he should do
  • A lady complained to the embassy in Moscow about a loud buzzing noise in her apartment
  • A man asked a consulate in Greece for information on how to go about putting a chicken coop in his garden
Commenting on the issue, Consular Affairs Minister Jeremy Browne said: "Our priority is to help people in real difficulty abroad and we cannot do this if our time is diverted by people trying to use us as a concierge service.
We need to be able to focus primarily on helping victims of serious crimes, supporting people who have been detained or assisting people who have lost a loved one abroad."

The Foreign Office dealt with over 19,000 cases of genuine assistance to it citizens in 2010 and a new call centre was opened in Malaga in the same year which is said to have made significant difference in non consular enquiries.

Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Fairmont hotel dip's toe in all inclusive water

Fairmont Hotels have announced that they are to test an all inclusive style policy at their luxury Fairmont Mayakobe Riviera Maya property in Mexico.

The move is a first for Fairmont Hotels and is a sign that no matter how wealthy its customers, there is no escaping the demand and allure of a one price holiday to cover the majority of costs.

The hotel's manager Ian Robinson doesn't expect the new packages to be the norm for its guests but is an important option to have available "We noticed since the recession that we're losing some ground to some of the more upscale all-inclusives, and we want our market share back."

The Fairmont Mayakoba is located in Riviera Maya where approximately 75% of hotels are all inclusive. Other properties in the area that are not all inclusive are from the major high end chains such as Ritz Carlton, Westin and Intercontinental.

The all inclusive package at the hotel suggests that a family of four could save $311 per day if they were to dine in the hotels standard restaurants and stick to entry level drinks produced by premium brands such as Johnny Walker or Absolut vodka.

If the all inclusive experiment goes well at Fairmont Mayakoba it could be the start of all inclusive being opened up to Fairmont's other properties in sunny holiday destinations.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Antigua and Barbuda to get new airport

Plans for a new airport for Antigua and Barbuda were unveiled at World Travel Market today and will be open for business by the end of 2013. The new facility will receive investment of $43 million to make the process of entering the island more efficient and impressive.

John Maginley, the island's Minister of Tourism said that the current airport built 30 years ago is not able to withstand the large number of vistitors and further strict regulations imposed on travel today.

Maginley has also taken the opportunity to vent his frustration at the effect of APD on vistors to the island's. Commenting he said “The income it brings the UK government is hard for them to walk away from, and I understand that, but we have come up with a way for it to be fairer with a small increase for short haul and everyone else in band B. The argument is that people are still travelling but because it is more expensive those people are spending less time in resort and spending less money when there – it is damaging Caribbean economies.”

Here here John!

World's most boring cruise unveiled

Forget silver seas, pink seas or celebrity seas, MSC Cruises have announced that they are to launch thin cruises with the help of Dr Pierre Dukan, one of  the worlds most famous nutritionists. From January 2012 Dr Dukan will host the event which will aim to allow customers to shed weight, tone up and tan during an 11 day
cruise in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean.

The cruise is aimed at French speaking guests and will be run on the flagship MSC Fantasia. On board the boat will be a team of nutritionists, dieticians and a specialist physician as well as Dr Dukan. The highlight of the cruise is said to be the 'opportunity' to meet Dr Dukan himself at an onboard party.

In addition to this guests will receive a Diet Kit and undergo a personal health assessment at the start of the cruise before being advised on their individual diet and training programmes.

Erminio Eschena, General Director of MSC Cruises is pleased at the partnership: 'Mealtimes are one of the most luxurious features of cruise holidays. It is a time to relax and effortlessly enjoy an array of the finest gourmet gastronomy the world has to offer and Dr Dukan will be able to illustrate how our superb menus can be incorporated as part of a healthy and balanced diet programme.'

I've asked around the Alihoco office and were not particulary keen. Has anyone seen the crunch creams?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Ryanair set to make higher profits than forecast

Budget airline Ryanair has raised its full-year net profit forecasts by 10 per cent on the back of strong results in first six months of the financial year. The strong figures show increased revenues of 11 per cent per passenger due to higher average fares and additional fees for items such as reserved seating and online payment charges.

The figures remain particularly impressive from a business point of view as operating costs have risen more than twice as quickly with fuel prices being the main contributor to overall costs. Ryanair have since announced that they are grounding planes as a response and reducing traffic by 4 per cent over the second half of the financial year.

Ryanair Chief Michael O'Leary commenting on the news said - “Ryanair’s capacity cuts will mean that traffic in H2 will fall by 4 per cent. In November, for example, we expect to report a traffic decline of 10 per cent or almost 500,000 passengers as we ground up to 80 aircraft due to higher oil prices.”

Despite this the full year profits have been estimated at €440m, up 10 percent from previous forecasts of €400m.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Drug dealer on cruise liner jailed

A drug dealer has been jailed after being found guilty of supplying drugs on board the world's largest gay cruise. Steven Barry Krumholz from California has been sentenced to 21 months after he was caught on board the 5,400 capacity ship with 142 ecstasy pills, methamphetamine, a small amount of ketamine, and $51,000 in cash.

Krumholz was arrested in February when Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas was docked in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The Allure of the Seas was chartered by Atlantis Events and was billed as the world's largest gay cruise.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Monarch to focus on short and medium haul flights

Monarch Airlines have today confirmed that they are to change strategy and remain focused on short and medium-haul flights. The airline hopes to increase passenger numbers on existing flights and new routes by 40% from seven to ten million in order to expand its way out of trouble.

One company who will be disgruntled by the news is Boeing who were told in September that Monarch's order of six 787's was to be cancelled. Monarch Group Chairman Iain Rawlinson has put off cheap long-haul leisure flying as they are deemed to be uneconomic with the current price of fuel.

The new strategy by Monarch seems to be to consolidate their strengths and focus on the Mediterranean and Canaries whilst using only two or three similar types of aircraft with more efficient planes being brought in over time.

The airline is also to introduce 14 new routes in 2012 to Italy, Croatia and Greece.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Terrorism warning to be shown in 1.2m American hotel rooms

The Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) has done a deal with LodgeNet which will allow a 15 second terrorism security advert to be broadcast in 1.2m hotel rooms across America.

LodgeNet provides the TV content to large hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and Holiday Inn. The clip shows a man acting suspiciously with a package in the boot of a cab before moving away from the vehicle. The advert then ends with the DHS slogan 'If you see something, say something. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano says the move 'is a significant step in engaging the full range of partners in our Homeland Security efforts.'

What do you think? Does this solve a potential disaster or create fear for everyone who is watching TV in hotel rooms?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pilot lands plane on its belly in Poland

A pilot and emergency services today averted a potential disaster by managing to land a plane on its belly at Warsaw Airport. The Polish LOT airlines flight from Newark suffered problems with its landing gear and the pilot circled the Boeing 767 above the airport for an hour whilst preparation was made for the emergency landing and jet fuel was dumped from the plane.

The fire brigade prepared for the emergency landing by laying out special flame retardent foam for the plane to land on. Thankfully no one was injured and the President of LOT Airlines, Marcin Pirog  said: 'There was no panic among the passengers. The cabin crew prepared them for the emergency landing well.'

Pirog also praised Captain Tadeusz Wrona and co-pilot Jerzy Szwartz for carrying out a 'perfect emergency landing' and the two piltos also received praise from Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

The airport is due to open from 8am tomorrow Wednesday 2nd November.