“We have decided to ground the Qantas domestic and international fleets immediately,” Joyce said. “I repeat, we are grounding the Qantas fleet now.”
But Joyce’s "shock and awe" strategy earned some respect. “It is a huge and gutsy call. Alan cannot survive a decision like this if it goes wrong,” an unidentified senior aviation industry source told the Financial Times.
But the Qantas union – which has been embroiled in a year-long labor dispute punctuated by rolling walkouts – was caught flat-footed, as was the government of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and, of course, tens of thousands of Qantas passengers worldwide.
If you’ve always dreamed of seeing Tokyo’s cherry blossoms or Kyoto’s famous temples, or even the Anime maid cafes of Akihabara, the Japanese government wants to help turn your hopes into reality.
In order to boost visitor numbers in the wake of its recent disasters, Japan’s official tourism agency hopes to provide free flights for 10,000 foreigners to travel to the country. FULL POST
(CNN) – Japan's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner is finally about to be delivered - three years late.
ANA should have taken delivery of the high-tech aircraft in May 2008, before a series of technical problems led to repeated delays.
But this is not the first time the Dreamliner has touched down in Japan.
Back in July, it landed amid much fanfare at Tokyo's Haneda airport during a week-long test run. It was greeted by reporters, fans and All Nippon Airways staff carrying a “Welcome to Japan” banner. A ripple of applause even broke out as the pilots stepped off the plane, emblazoned with the ANA’s blue and white logo. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – Flat-faced canines can no longer fly Cathay Pacific. And their feline friends need to make other travel plans, too.
As of Monday, the airline has banned the so-called brachycephalic breeds due to concerns that certain types of short-nosed animals have an increased risk of breathing problems and overheating due to the stress of flying.
According to the airline’s travel advisory, the ban comes out of concern for the “negative health impact to the animal” caused by air transportation.
Banned are popular breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, and boxers, as well Himalayan, Persian and exotic short-hair cats.
London (CNN) - As the United States puts its Space Shuttle programme to bed with one last blast off, Europe is putting more emphasis on exploiting what we already know about space and the technology that has been developed.
At last week’s UK Space Conference in Coventry, lectures focused on increasing investment in telecommunications and navigation systems, where the European space industry now has 40% of the worldwide commercial market.
"We have more ideas than money available, this is for sure,” said Jean Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency. “There is an increase in investment in Europe.”
In Europe, he continued, “we are putting much more priority on knowledge and services to the citizens than exploration. But exploration is the dream part of space activities.”
Singapore (CNN) – Every business traveler knows the drill: Remove your belt, jewelry, sometimes even your shoes; take everything out of your pockets and then hope you don't get selected for the dreaded pat down.
The airport security process, considered an inconvenience at best and at worst a personal invasion, is fait accompli for travelers these days. No one likes it, but everyone who wants to fly – and fly safely – gets in line.
Now a group that represents the world's largest airlines is claiming it doesn't always have to be this way.
India’s aviation industry is taking off again. Between 2009 and 2010 domestic passenger traffic grew 19% - an impressive figure considering the 2008 global financial meltdown that led airlines around the world, including those in India, to ask for government bailouts.
“I have never seen such a dramatic change in the market character in such a short span of time,” analyst Kapil Kaul, who runs the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, said.
He notes that less than 2% of India’s 1.2 billion population travels by air, which points to massive potential for growth.
Over the last five years, the industry has expanded, but it hasn’t been profitable, he said. But he thinks that will change and foresees a future of sustainable growth and profit making.
So far the big winners have been the low-cost carriers.
One of the newest to take off in India has been 5-year-old no-frills carrier IndiGo, which has climbed to the top of the pack.
Its kitschy advertisements, reputation for good customer service and low fares are making a mark on the industry.
The financial meltdown took a heavy toll on the global aviation business. But the Indian industry didn’t experience a “dramatic fall,” said IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh. "In the worst year in the aviation business ever India only dipped 5%,” he told CNN. “Now in that same year we grew by 46% in India. IndiGo grew by 46%.”
How did IndiGo manage that? One factor is that “we kept consistently bringing aircraft in,” Ghosh said.
IndiGo Airlines made history this year with the single largest aircraft deal in global history. The company made an order for 180 aircraft worth more than $15 billion.
IndiGo will need those planes if it continues to grow the way it has. This year the Indian government gave the company the go-ahead to start international service. Airlines in India are required to operate in the country for five years before being allowed to start flying internationally.
But growth certainly has its limits in India, where airlines contend with some of the world’s highest fuel taxes, insufficient infrastructure and a massive bureaucracy.
“While we were constructing this airport, we had to contend with 58 government departments. During this period, we had to contend with 100 court cases to take care of encroachments in this area,” said Aniruddha Ganguly.
Ganguly is the group head of business integration for GMR Group, the company that built Delhi Airport’s new $1.3 billion Terminal 3. He says the terminal was built on time despite the roadblocks.
“I would say that the country over the years has learnt the art of overcoming obstacles,” Ganguly said.
IndiGo’s Ghosh says the opportunities outweigh the challenges.
“Either I could work in another part of the world where fuel taxes are low and there are more efficiencies in some sectors but there is hardly any growth, or work in India where there is a 15% to 20% growth in passenger numbers every year and for the foreseeable future.”
Analysts say in the next decade India will need three times the number of airports that it has today. Since it doesn’t have enough skilled labor to build them or pilots to fly the planes, people with the right skills in developed nations with wilting economies may want to look east for opportunities.
New York (CNN) - Honeywell CEO David Cote may be a fan of blues music, but he is unequivocally upbeat about the company’s prospects.
After years of battling problems related to past acquisitions, asbestos liabilities and unfunded pension obligations, Honeywell finally seems to be hitting its stride. The stock just hit a 52-week high and Cote has affirmed the industrial conglomerate is on track for sales of $35-36 billion dollars this year.
The secret? Being boring pays! Honeywell’s businesses involve energy efficiency, safety and security and engine systems to name a few. Not exactly sexy areas, but they are essential, especially in developing economies. Honeywell gets 50% of its sales outside the U.S.
CNN International correspondent Ayesha Durgahee was honoured last night when she was awarded Business Travel News Journalist of the Year at the 2010 Business Travel Journalism Awards.
At a ceremony at The May Fair Hotel last night, Ayesha won for her CNN report on the quality of cabin air on flights.
On Ayesha’s winning entry, the judging panel, chaired by Dominic Ponsford, editor of the Press Gazette, said: “The panel was extremely impressed with Ayesha’s piece on ‘Aero-toxic Syndrome’ highlighting how air supplies onboard aircraft can become toxic and cause crew, pilots and passengers to become very ill. The piece gripped the judges who described it as ‘an international scoop ... a very strong story, and one that could and should be picked up by the wider media.”
The judges also praised her use of graphics, copy, in-depth interviews with scientists and grounded pilots, plus pieces to camera throughout the piece.
Ayesha beat the following in her category:
Deborah Rayner, managing editor CNN Europe & Africa said: "Congratulations to Ayesha from all of us at CNN. Aviation and travel issues have played such a huge part in our coverage in the past 12 months, so to be recognised in this way is fantastic. Ayesha is an exciting new talent, who has a very bright future ahead of her."
The awards, now in their seventh year, seek to recognise and reward the very best in business travel journalism. Organised and promoted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the 2010 awards emphasise the achievement of individual journalists.
The judging panel members included journalists as well as business travel managers and industry experts.
A full list of winners can be found here.
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