Monday, 17 October 2011

First official flight for China Southern Airlines A380

Today was a historic day for China Southern Airlines as its first A380 superjumbo took flight for a trip from Beijing capital Airport to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport.
The passengers on board the flight included journalist and also the Chinese sporting superstar Yao Ming who measures 2.29 meters tall. The move to incorporate an A380 amongst its fleet means that China Southern is the seventh airline to use A380's after Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air France, Emirates, Korean Air and Lufthansa.

Reports from Qianyang Evening News suggests that the first flights are very popular, particularly with the affluent Chinese who are keen to see and be seen in the planes premium cabins.

Liu Qian, the captain of the A380's delivery flight from France to Beijing said that: “I have flown many different aircraft, including Airbus 320, 330, 340 and Boeing 737, 747. The A380’s operating experience has been the best. It’s almost a bit too quiet.”

Paris is expected to be the destination for its flights from Beijing.

Two British tourists killed in Botswana plane crash

Eight foreign tourists including two Britons have died in a plane crash in north Botswana. The plane crashed north of Botswana's Okavango Delta and claimed the lives of four Swedes, two French and two British nationals.
Despite the horrific nature of the crash, a French couple and two Botswana Nationals managed to survive and were airlifted to a hospital in Johannesburg.

The plane was said to be en-route to Pom Pom, a luxurious safari destination in the north of Botswana.

Booze free hotel chains to open in Turkey

A group of hoteliers in Turkey have undertaken a new venture which will see its hotels be free from alcohol on its premises. The chain, Safe Hotels will open in Turkey afters its directors discovered a demand for alcohol free hotels from the public.

Asım Şahinoğlu of Safee Hotels also believes that his hotels will be able to keep costs down as not serving alcohol saves the company about 8 to 12 percent of the costs. According to Şahinoğlu:  'Hotels that serve alcohol have to manage the bar and accumulate stocks [ of alcoholic drinks ] thus become costly, also because bars are not as profitable as in the past anymore,”

Despite the cheaper running costs, the company has not scrimped on its opening investment. Safee Hotels are said to have invested €1bn on four hotels which will all be opened in November. The company aims to open a total of 20 hotels within five years.

Good luck with the venture guys but I am not sure it will be popular with Alihoco clients!

UK Government reassures airline industry over Greening appointment

The government has reassured the aviation industry that the appointment of Justine Greening to transport secretary will not lead to Heathrow expansion plans being treated unfairly. As an MP Greening has campaigned against the expansion plan and a third runways as her constituency is under Heathrow's flight path. Willie Walsh, boss of IAG has raised concerns that the appointment of Justine Greening will lead to a conflict of interest. The chiefs at BAA are also worried about the appointment as they feel without the third runway Heathrow will become uncompetitive. Despite this a spokesman for BAA released a polite statement regarding the appointment -

"We understand the difference between campaigning as a constituency MP and taking decisions in the national interest as a minister.We had a number of constructive meetings with Justine Greening on Air Passenger Duty when she was at the Treasury and we trust we will receive a fair hearing from her as Secretary of State for Transport"