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Category Archives: Air Travel

Heathrow Airport trials new biometric departure technology



Compare Car HireHeathrow passengers are the first in the world to use an revolutionary technology as component of the airport’s drive to further enhance the passenger experience. Terminal 1 passengers are being asked to participate in a 2 month ‘self-boarding’ trial in collaboration with South African Airways, which makes use of biometric data to help them board their flights quicker and more efficiently.

Once passengers arrive at the ‘self-boarding’ gate, they pass through an automatic electronic barrier which takes an infrared scan of their face. This data is verified against the biometric data that was taken at the check-in stage. When the 2 sets of data scans are successfully met, the barrier opens and the passenger can pass through and board their flight. The technology means that a passenger’s identification only needs to be checked by airline staff once during the whole departure process, minimising the amount of time it takes for passengers to reach their seats in readiness for departure.

The technology also enables airline personnel to invest more time with those passengers who need more assistance. The personal data is stored securely and will be deleted at the end of the trial.

Heathrow’s Terminal 1 Director Ian Hanson said: “We are working in partnership with our airlines to trial this technology which should help make our passengers’ journeys smoother and simpler. Since its introduction we have had positive feedback from both airlines and passengers.’

To date over 300 South African Airways passengers have elected to use the technology as part of their departure passage.

New technologies are already being used by passengers in the course of the departure process, from checking in via mobile phones, ‘self-service bag drops’ to automated ticket presentation prior to passenger security. Introduced in November 2012, the self service bag drop permits passengers to produce and attach their own bag tags before putting their luggage onto the automated bag drop facility.

Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in Europe and the 3rd largest in the world in terms of passenger numbers. Car Hire Assistant provides a car rental price comparison service for travellers to and from Heathrow airport.

 

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Dubai International sets new passenger record


Dubai International has broken another monthly record by receiving, for the first time, more than 5.5 million passengers in a single month. According to the traffic report issued by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic rose by 14.6 per cent to 5,559,760 in January 2013, up from 4,852,139 for the same period in 2012.

It is also acknowledged that most markets improved in January through a combination of holiday traffic and visitors to the ever popular Dubai Shopping Festival. In addition, flight links continue to be widened between Dubai and Saudi Arabia with Emirates, flydubai, Nasair and Saudi Arabian Airlines all adding new flights in 2012.Compare airport car hire prices

For example in the course of the year Emirates added new flights to Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh while flydubai expanded its network to include Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Taif, Yanbu and Tabuk. Saudi Arabian Airlines, also introduced flights from Medina and Riyadh to Dubai and low-cost airline Nasair introduced links between Riyadh and Dubai.

“January’s record passenger numbers confirm that the growth trajectory recorded last year has continued into 2013 and Dubai Airports has taken another steady stride towards the 98 million passengers a year we expect to pass through our airport by the end of the decade,” said chief executive Paul Griffiths.

 

South Africa boosted by exposure to UK travellers


South African Airways Extreme Fares campaign has seen exceptional 2013 figures for the airline in the UK, with income up 70 per cent year-on-year across some channels. The unprecedented improvement in January bookings comes after the recent launch of South African Airways’ focused winter adventure travel marketing campaign.

This witnessed the airline partner with adventurer Charley Boorman for his 4 part TV series Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure, which was broadcast on Channel 5 and exhibited South Africa’s ultimate experiences throughout January. The country was also in the limelight last month on the BBC as a consequence of David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ show. Both shows generated interest which SAA were able to expolit.

Jon Danks head of UK&I marketing & communications, SAA said: “The integrated campaign ran across key digital, print, and social media channels, anchored to the range of adventures showcased in both shows.

“Our tie up with Charley and Channel 5 presented a cost effective broadcast solution alongside great support from partners such as Lonely Planet and tourist boards from across Southern Africa.”

UK January progress is even more remarkable given that in January last year the airline flew direct to both Johannesburg and Cape Town, since which it has dropped the direct service to Cape Town to focus on its network. The new campaign focused on the wide range of destinations across Southern Africa accessible via SAA’s Johannesburg hub.

The TV show has been hailed a success by broadcaster Channel 5 with nearly 4 million people in the UK watching, in turn engaging with SAA’s brand.

 

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Eitad Airways extends codeshare agreement with Air France


Etihad Airways has further developed its relationship with Air France-KLM, with the announcement that the UAE flag carrier will lease an Air France Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30. Under the arrangement, Air France will run the 272 seat aircraft as one of Etihad Airways’ 2 daily Paris-Abu Dhabi return services.

Last October, Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM forged a tactical collaboration which allowed the 2 airline groups to work together to create value for each airline.

The agreement extended the UAE flag carrier’s European network with code-share services beyond Paris to Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse, and saw Air France place its AF flight code on Etihad Airways operated flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi, and to cities further afield. The agreement also played a crucial role in Etihad Airways revealing direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services effective May 15, in addition to KLM boosting its direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services to daily from summer 2013.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “This agreement to wet-lease an Air France A340-300 aircraft demonstrates the mutual benefits generated by our close relationship with Air France-KLM. On the back of recent announcements, this latest cooperation deal is good for both carriers in terms of better optimising our fleets for the rest of 2013.

“The temporary wet-leased EY37 and EY38 return service will also see Etihad Airways cabin crew on board, working alongside Air France attendants to provide our guests with an inspired travelling experience that the world’s leading airline is best known for.”

 

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easyJet expands flights to Copenhagen


Budget carrier easyJet is expanding its services between London Gatwick and Copenhagen with an early morning departure from Copenhagen and an evening departure from London Gatwick. The approach will see easyJet’s flights boosted from 3 to 4 every day from 24 May 2013.

Paul Simmons, easyJet’s UK Director said: “We are actively improving our product choice, flexibility, availability and quality to help our business passengers by offering early morning and evening flights seven days a week which are supplemented by two afternoon departures.

“Our flights to Copenhagen are available from as little as £29.99** (one way including taxes) and we deliver outstanding value with our regular fares proven to be cheaper in eight out of ten occasions and flexi fares nine out of ten, so it really does make business sense to fly easyJet.”

easyJet has also enhanced the number of flights from London Gatwick to the Croatian cities of Split and Dubrovnik as well as Nice in France and currently also serves Copenhagen from Bristol, Edinburgh and London Stansted.

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Dubai International sets new passenger number record


Dubai International has started 2013 in top gear, setting yet a further monthly record by welcoming, for the first time, in excess of 5.5 million passengers in one month.

Based on traffic reports issued by Dubai Airports, passenger numbers went up 14.6 per cent to 5,559,760 in January 2013, up from 4,852,139 in the same month in 2012. The majority of markets were boosted in January by holiday traffic as well as visitors to the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Air links continue to be extended between Dubai and Saudi Arabia with Emirates, flydubai, Nasair and Saudi Arabian Airlines all adding new flights in 2012. During the year Emirates added new flights to Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh whilst flydubai broadened its network to encompass Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Taif, Yanbu and Tabuk.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, in the meantime, added flights from Medina and Riyadh to Dubai and low-cost airline Nasair launched flighta between Riyadh and Dubai.

“January’s record passenger numbers confirm that the growth trajectory recorded last year has continued into 2013 and Dubai Airports has taken another steady stride towards the 98 million passengers a year we expect to pass through our airport by the end of the decade,” said chief executive Paul Griffiths.

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Emirates Expands Glasgow Flights


Emirates will upgrade its 2nd daily Dubai flight from Glasgow Airport by introducing the 364 seat Boeing 777 aircraft on the route from 1st January 2013.

The inclusion of the 2nd daily Boeing 777-300ER, which replaces the Airbus A340-300, will result in a weekly increase in passenger capacity of more than 650 seats, as well as an extra 70 tonnes of cargo capacity in both directions every week. The second Boeing 777-300ER will also result in a constant product across the 2 daily flights to Glasgow with First Class Private Suites and lie-flat Business Class seats now offered on both flights.

Emirates was recently unveiled as an Official Partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay. They have also secured naming rights to the Emirates Arena, Glasgow’s latest world-class sporting facility.Car Hire Dubai

Laurie Berryman, Emirates’ UK VP, said: “As a result of the popularity and success of the second daily flight to Dubai, the upgraded service will be bigger and better. It is not only great news for all our customers in Glasgow, but also for the Scottish economy.

“It highlights Emirates’ continued investment and support for the area since we launched the route in 2004, and comes hot on the heels of Emirates being unveiled as an Official Partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

“No-one can be in any doubt that growth remains a key objective for Emirates here in Scotland. We can now seamlessly connect even more Scottish passengers to our extensive route network, without them having to travel via London or other European airports – and we are doing so in style with our Boeing 777-300ER.”

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Emirates’ twice daily service to Dubai is of huge economic importance to Glasgow and Scotland as a whole, and it is no surprise that the second service has proved extremely popular since its launch earlier this year.

All types of the new aircraft are equipped with Emirates’ award-winning ice entertainment system which provides 1400 channels of on-demand entertainment, including movies, TV programmes, games, audio books and music from across the world. Passengers travelling in Economy Class are provided with a generous baggage allowance of 30 kg, First Class and Business Class passengers baggage allowances are 50 kg and 40 kg respectively.

Since 2004 the Glasgow service has carried almost two million passengers and over 46 million kg of cargo to and from the Middle East and beyond, helping companies across the region to export their goods across the globe.

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