Norwegian Reward Marks 10th Anniversary

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 17, 2017 – Norwegian Reward, Norwegian’s award winning loyalty program, is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion, the Reward team is revealing the top 10 tips travelers can use to avoid paying full fare for a Norwegian flight.

“As Norwegian Reward turns 10, we’re delighted to celebrate a decade of rewarding millions of loyal passengers, including the 550,000 members we now have in the United States,” says Brede Huser, Managing Director of Norwegian Reward.

“It’s no secret that American consumers want more savings, so we’re revealing the 10 easiest ways for passengers to use our award-winning loyalty program to avoid paying full fares again. With a growing network of global routes, Norwegian continues to offer passengers affordable fares, a quality service and great opportunities for further savings.”

Photo: Norwegian Reward Marks 10th Anniversary. Photograph from Norwegian.




Swedavia awarded for use of bio fuel

Swedish airline Swedavia has been presented an award in recognition of their use of bio fuel. The award was presented during the Airports Going Green Conference in Dallas, Texas. Among other laureates were London Gatwick Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

On November 12-15, the Airports Going Green Conference was held in Dallas, Texas. During Tuesday, awards were presented for best sustainability initiatives during the past year and Swedavia was awarded for their use of sustainable aviation fuel. Since 2016 Swedavia annually purchases biofuel corresponding to the fuel consumption at the employees’ approximately 10,000 annual business flights.

The organizers of the conference raised both the climate value of the investment in their motivation, and the fact that Swedavia demonstrated leadership in the aviation industry’s pursuit of increased sustainability.

“The aviation industry will be an integral part of future transportation and the future of transports needs to be sustainable. Therefore, we need to find solutions to reduce the climate impact from the aviation industry. Biofuel is an important part of the solution and it is very pleasing that Swedavia’s commitment in this area is now also acknowledged internationally”, says Jonas Abrahamsson, President and CEO of Swedavia.

The aviation industry has made great progress in the past few decades to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions per passenger kilometer and in the last 40 years, the aviation industry has become 70 percent more fuel efficient. As travel increases, the industry needs to continue to develop to ensure a sustainable future.

By procuring biofuel for all their business flights, Swedavia wants to show decision makers, companies and producers that there is a market for renewable fuels in the airline. This can, in turn, contribute to large-scale production, a competitive price, and the aviation industry reaches the goal of a fossil-free domestic flight in Sweden in 2030.

Prize laureates in other categories included Chicago O’Hare International Airport, London Gatwick Airport and Vancouver Airport Authority.

The conference, with focus on sustainability in the aviation sector, was organized and hosted by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), together with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).

Photo: Refueling aircraft with bio fuel at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, January 2017. Photographer: Victoria Ström/Swedavia.




LOT Polish Airlines to launch Singapore-Warsaw Service

SINGAPORE, 17 November 2017 – Changi Airport Group today welcomed the announcement by LOT Polish Airlines of its intention to launch services between Singapore and Warsaw (Poland) on 15 May 2018[1].

LOT Polish Airlines, a new airline to Changi Airport, will launch 3x weekly services, which will increase to 4x weekly from July 2018. It will use a 252-seat B787-8 aircraft in a three-class configuration offering economy, premium economy and business cabins. This translates to 1,008 one-way weekly seats.

With this new service, Singapore is now linked to Poland directly for the first time. Passengers will also have onward connections to other Polish cities as well as Central and Eastern Europe via LOT’s strong network from Warsaw Chopin Airport. This is also the Polish carrier’s new air link to Southeast Asia, with LOT’s passengers able to access 47 city links in Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific from Changi Airport.

Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) Managing Director of Air Hub Development, Mr Lim Ching Kiat said, “We are delighted to welcome LOT’s new service to Warsaw. CAG has been actively growing Changi’s connectivity to Europe, and this new link is a fruit of our collaboration with LOT. Countries in Eastern Europe like Croatia, the Czech Republic and Hungary are becoming more popular with Asian travellers and LOT’s new service from Singapore will bring greater convenience and new options to our passengers to reach these countries. This also opens up more opportunities for both business and leisure travel between the two regions.”

CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Mr Rafal Milczarski, said “We are more than happy to announce a new direct service between Singapore, one of the most developed business centres in the world and a travel mecca for many tourists, and Warsaw placed in the very heart of Central and Eastern Europe. We are certain that thanks to the new connection, many Poles and other passengers from our region will use the opportunity of convenient travels to Southeast Asia. On the other hand, we do believe that the new direct connection will be an incentive for residents of Singapore who would like to take the advantage to visit Poland and get to know us better. Our offer will also appeal to all passengers travelling either for business or leisure who appreciate the comfort and the top quality product offered on board the most modern state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners.”

The flight schedule[2]of LOT’s new service is as follows:

Time Period Days of Operation Flight No. Route Scheduled Departure
(Local Time)
Scheduled Arrival
(Local Time)
From 17 May 2018 Monday, Thursday, Saturday LO68 Singapore-Warsaw 00:05 06:15
From July 2018 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday LO69 Singapore-Warsaw 00:05 06:15

For the first ten months of 2017, over 3.6 million passengers travelled between Singapore and Europe[3], a robust year-on-year increase of 7.8%. Since 2016, three new European city links – Athens, Dusseldorf and Stockholm – have been added to Changi Airport’s network. By mid-2018, 12 airlines will offer direct services from Singapore to 18 cities in 14 European countries.

Tickets for this new service are now available. For more information, please visit www.lot.com.

[1] Inaugural WAW-SIN flight departs 15 May 2018, inaugural SIN-WAW flight departs 17 May 2018

[2] Launch of service is subject to regulatory approval

[3] Passenger movements at Changi Airport

Photo: LOT Polish Airlines aircraft. Photo from LOT Polish Airlines.




Norwegian Captain, Jessica Sundquist, Named One of Moves Magazine’s 2017 Power Women

Each year, Moves Magazine, a publication that advocates for women’s rights, social fairness and equal opportunity for its readers, hosts the Power Women Gala to celebrate 25 women from all industries and professions who embody these principles and strive to make a difference.

This year, Norwegian’s Barcelona-based Boeing 787 captain Jessica Sundquist was among the honorees. She was very appreciative to be included among this group of women, who included several senior level female executives from all types of companies, Dana Bash (CNN), Sunny Hostin (ABC’s The View), Ana Navarro (CNN), Hilarie Burton (actor), Felicty Huffman (actor), Gugu Mbatha Raw (actor) and Sela Ward (actor), and shared how she felt to be a powerful woman and defy the odds.

Photo: Moves Magazine publisher, Moonah Ellison, on the red carpet with Norwegian Boeing 787 Captain, Jessica Sundquist. Photo from Norwegian.




New routes announced as LLA welcomes 1.4 m passengers in October

London Luton Airport (LLA) recorded another record month in October, welcoming over 1.4 million passengers – an increase of 3% from last year and the airport’s 43rd consecutive month of growth.

As the airport continues to add more passengers, it is expanding its route network to cater to business and leisure travel. So far in 2017, 22 new routes have been added, with the airport now offering more than 130 destinations across Europe, Asia and Africa. The latest additions include Thomas Cook announcing it will fly to eight new destinations next summer, including Palma, Dalaman and Corfu. Sun Express has increased its number of destinations from one to four, including routes to Antalya and Ankara. El Al will also be running an additional flight to Tel Aviv every Sunday throughout the winter, until March 2018.

To meet continued demand from passengers, LLA is currently investing over £150 million in an ambitious redevelopment project which will increase annual capacity by 50% to 18 million passengers by 2020.

Construction is well underway and is already delivering an improved experience for passengers once they are in the airport, including an enlarged security hall and a variety of shops and restaurants in the terminal including The Smithfield, Benugo, Friska and Bella Italia.

However, for LLA to deliver the full benefits of its transformation to passengers, the local and national economy, it needs improved public transport links to make it quicker and easier for travellers to use the airport. LLA is calling for an express-style rail service from central London to help ensure it can play its role in delivering much-needed capacity demand as the government continues to debate the expansion of capacity at London airports.

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “It is an exciting time for the airport. We continue to welcome more travellers, introduce new routes and improve the experience we give passengers as they pass through the airport. We are very pleased that our airlines are expanding their offering and we are looking forward to welcoming more passengers whether they are travelling for business or pleasure”.




Growth in passenger numbers for October

A huge 4.8 million passengers travelled through Norway’s Avinor airports in October, representing growth of 4.7 per cent compared with the same month last year. The growth was evenly distributed, with 4.7 per cent for domestic flights and 4.8 per cent for foreign travel. Strong growth for Norway’s main airport — Avinor Oslo Airport At Oslo Airport, October saw passenger growth of 6.5 per cent, which also represented 71 per cent of passenger growth at Avinor airports as a whole during this period.

The airports in Tromsø, Harstad/Narvik and Bergen also saw increases in passenger numbers, with growth of 8.1 per cent, 8.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively. Trondheim Airport, Vaernes and Stavanger Airport, Sola saw traffic growth of 0.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

Several smaller airports in the North of Norway experienced growth of more than 20 per cent in October:

Svolvær 38.2%
Hammerfest 27.1%
Leknes 26.3%

Growth at Hasvik increased all the way to 88 per cent compared to the same period last year, and this is primarily due to improvements in the routes offered.

Strong growth for the most popular domestic routes

“In October, routes to the United Kingdom and Spain experienced the most passenger growth, followed by routes to Poland, Finland and Lithuania. There has also been strong growth on the most popular domestic routes from Oslo, in particular the routes to Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Haugesund”, explains Avinor Director of Route Development, Jasper Spruit.

So far this year, just over 45 million passengers have travelled through Avinor airports, representing an increase of 4.4 per cent on last year. During the same period, the number of flights decreased by 1.0 per cent.

Photo: Airplane going in for landing on Avinor airport. Photo from Avinor.




Virgin Trains’ Azuma inspires new trend for hipster trainspotter

New findings revealed by Virgin Trains have unveiled trainspotting as the latest emerging hipster trend, as millennials with a thirst for photography, high-speed travel and fast-moving technology declare their love for trains online like never before, the train company informs in a press release.

With barely one year to go until the launch of the new high-tech Virgin trains, interest from millennials shows no signs of slowing down as Azuma continues to spark spikes in conversations on social media. Since announcing the new fleet last year, the train operator has seen three clear peaks in engagement from fans, including Azuma’s inaugural test run to Scotland in August.

Social media analytics platform Talkwalker has also identified more millennial Instagrammers documenting train travel than ever before. #Trainporn and #train_nerds saw a year on year increase in posts of over 200 per cent between January and September 2016-2017, while on #ukrailscene, posts increased by 615 per cent for the same period, with 76 per cent of these posts made by the under 35s.

To delve further into this emerging trend, Virgin Trains worked with subculture expert and author of Style Tribes,Caroline Young, to identify the top next-generation train lovers taking over social media – millennials with a thirst for ‘real’ experiences, photography and a love of technology.

Caroline commented: “This new type of train fan is an avid social media user who seeks unique adventures and experiences that will help them connect with, and impress, thousands of other users. Not only is there a certain ‘geek chic’ attached to the concept of trainspotting, but the journey becomes part of the travel experience as people enjoy the chance to observe scenery, read, listen to music, and even write. Technology is key to their lives, and we know they’re snapping and sharing their real-life experiences more than ever before.”

Caroline continues: “The new Azuma fleet will be giving this new wave of trainspotter something they’ve been excited to see for years – a totally revolutionised fleet of trains equipped with the perfect mix of speed, advanced technology and sleek design that we know the modern rail fan craves.”

The top next generation train fans, as identified by Caroline Young, are:

  1. @AllTheStations. With a social media presence of over 50,000 followers – this young couple charted to fame earlier this year when they challenged themselves to visit all 2,563 stations in Great Britain, capturing a digital documentary as they went – all fuelled by a crowdfunding project
  2. @kings_transports. Dramatic backdrops and a feel of adventure, Marzia and Cekotto have amassed 73,700 followers from around the world
  3. @version3point1. Branded as a ‘train whisperer’, Scotland-based Anne’s page is filled with beautiful photography on sweeping coastlines and her rail travel
  4. @cpsedmonds. Sharing ‘train stuff’ and beautiful black and white architectural shots

Hipster couple, Vicki and Geoff of All The Stations blog, and number one on Caroline’s list, are typical of the next generation train fan. When they visited every national railway station in Great Britain, they regularly posted video content of their coast-to-coast adventure, which took three months to complete and was closely followed by their online millennial audience.

Vicki, who has already visited the Darlington factory where Azuma will be built, said: “We’ve loved the response to our videos, which have now reached more than six million views, as it really shows that there is a growing interest in railways and train travel, and many are younger enthusiasts who, like us, are keen to have an adventure and explore the country by rail.”

Aileen Jordan, Director of Azuma at Virgin Trains on the east coast, said: “We’re really excited to see trainspotting transcend generations and become as popular amongst hipsters as it is with regular fans. Azuma has been sparking conversations on social media since we unveiled the train last year, and we’re delighted it is inspiring a younger train enthusiast. We’re looking forward to exciting even more fans when our trains hit the tracks in a barely a year’s time, and move us into the next era of high-speed passenger train travel.”

Set to revolutionise journeys on the East Coast, Virgin Trains’ Azuma will transform the UK rail industry when the new fleet comes into service from December 2018 – 65 trains will provide an extra 12,200 seats and increase capacity into Kings Cross by 28 per cent during peak time. Azuma will slice 22 minutes off East Coast journeys, making London to Edinburgh in just four hours, and London to Leeds in two hours, the norm throughout the day.

Each Azuma train will come complete with distinct new interiors, ergonomically designed seats, enhanced leg room, faster and free* Wi-Fi, power sockets for every seat, more overhead luggage space, a state-of-the-art seat reservation system, and superior catering throughout.

Photo:Virgin Trains’ Azuma inspires new trend for hipster trainspotter. Photo from Virgin Trains.




Lufthansa Group and Singapore Airlines expand collaboration

In a press release earlier this week, the Lufthansa Group announced the expansion of its collaboration with Singapore Airlines.

The new commercial joint venture which was concluded between the Lufthansa Group and Singapore Airlines in November 2015 is bearing its first fruit. Collaboration partners Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) are expanding their codeshare agreements. As a result, customers of all three airlines are now offered even more destinations and even more connections.

In addition to the Lufthansa Group’s Frankfurt hub, SIA’s expanded codeshare connections now offer customers more than 20 convenient codeshare routings via the Group’s Munich and Zurich hubs to and from various points in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.

Lufthansa and Swiss, meanwhile, are adding the following new codeshare connections in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific to their timetables:

Lufthansa from Frankfurt via Singapore now also to:

Indonesia:

Denpasar
Jakarta

Swiss from Zurich via Singapore now also to:

Australia:

Adelaide
Brisbane
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney

Indonesia:

Jakarta

Malaysia:

Kuala Lumpur

New Zealand:

Auckland
Christchurch

Travelers to these destinations can now fly Lufthansa from Frankfurt or Swiss from Zurich to Singapore and then change seamlessly onto their connecting Singapore Airlines flight with a Lufthansa/Swiss flight number. Any registered baggage checked-in in Germany or Switzerland will be checked right through to their final destination. And, as before, travelers can earn and redeem miles with the partner airline concerned under Miles & More and other Star Alliance frequent flyer programmes.

Photograph: A Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 taxing the Frankfurt international airport. Photographer: Jürgen Mai/Lufthansa




BA launches trade promotion to celebrate new San Jose route

Ahead of British Airways’ launch of flights on May 4 to San Jose in California, one of the world’s tech capitals, the airline has launched a trade promotion, according to a BA press release.

To be in with a chance to win a pair of return tickets to the city, agents simply need to book one or more customers to fly with British Airways between London and San Jose, CA between today (April 7) and May 31, for travel in any cabin until December 31.

To enter they can simply enter the code ‘787OFR’ in to the GDS when booking flights between Heathrow and San Jose.

“We’re really excited about our new route from Heathrow to San Jose, California. It’s a great opportunity to bring together two dynamic cities, renowned for their tech industries and start-ups. Equally, it’s an ideal gateway to California and the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, so it’s well worth agents offering it to clients as another option in addition to San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego,” says Stephen Humphreys, British Airways’ head of global sales.

The route will be served by the airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. As the aircraft is 20ft longer that the 787-8, it is able to offer four cabins: World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and for the first time on the airline’s Dreamliner fleet, a First cabin.

Specially developed for the 787-9, the new First cabin is very private with just eight suits. Each seat has four additional storage areas, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with charging capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

For full details of the promotion and terms and conditions agents can visit batraveltrade.com.

Photograph: A BA Club World seat. Photo from British Airways.




SAS from red to black numbers

As the SAS management presented its year-end report for November 2014 to October 2015 on Wednesday, it soon became clear that the group has accomplished many an airline’s dream nowadays, namely turning red numbers into black.

Last year’s income before tax were MSEK -918, whereas this year’s income has grown to MSEK 1,417.

Other key figures are (last year’s figures in parentheses):

Income before tax and nonrecurring items: MSEK 1,174 (-697)
Revenue: MSEK 39,650 (38,006)
Unit revenue (PASK) increased 3.8% [1]
Unit cost (CASK) increased 3.3% [2]
EBIT margin: 5.6% (0.4%)
Net income for the period: MSEK 956 (-719)
Earnings per common share: SEK 1.84 (-3.03)

Mr. Rickard Gustafson, appointed SAS' new president and CEO (photo from SAS)
Mr. Rickard Gustafson, SAS’ president and CEO (photo from SAS)

“SAS reported positive income before tax and nonrecurring items of MSEK 1,174 for the 2014/2015 fiscal year. This was a significant year-on-year improvement, primarily driven by our commercial successes, cost measures and, in the fourth quarter, by lower jetfuel costs. During the year, we have implemented extensive improvements aimed at frequent travelers and these have delivered clear results. However, the unit cost after adjustments for currency and jet fuel increased during the year, which is unsatisfactory. We now need to work even more intensively with implementation of the continued cost measures to improve our long-term competitiveness”, says Rickard Gustafson, SAS President and CEO, continuing:

“Altogether, the product enhancements and the implemented cost measures have created new preconditions enabling us to open new long-haul routes to Los Angeles, Miami and Boston next year. We know that competition will intensify moving forward, but given our improved financial position, our focused enhancement initiatives and our customers’ positive response, we have an excellent starting position. We are continuing our dedicated efforts to make life easier for our frequent travelers with time-saving and smooth journeys to sought-after destinations”.

Top photo: A Boeing 737 SAS aircraft (photograph from the SAS Group).