Tourism

THAILAND: Thailand The Land Of Smiles For All, Fights Sex Tourism

At Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi airport, a video repeats scenes of tourists visiting Thailand’s sunny beaches and its vibrant nightlife, but at the end comes a warning.

Human trafficking and slavery are against the law in Thailand. Perpetrators will be severely punished, it says, followed by a hotline number for people to report cases.

From airports to shopping malls, Thailand is ramping up a campaign targeting tourists in its latest effort to keep the country free from human trafficking, as officials eye better international ratings.

The nation is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best tourists destinations.

Government data showed Thailand welcomed a record 35 million visitors in 2017, and forecast it to rise to 37.6 million this year.

But it has also come under the international spotlight in recent years over what rights groups describe as widespread human trafficking, including women forced into selling sex and fishermen trapped in conditions akin to modern slavery.

The US State Department last year left Thailand on a Tier 2 Watch list, just above the lowest ranking of Tier 3 – in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, saying it had not done enough to tackle human smuggling and trafficking.

Eyeing a better ranking, the government has vowed a clean-up. In recent months, it partnered with airlines and charities to warn visitors against involvement in trafficking, while urging them to spot and report potential cases.

Every effort is important, Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, a Thai government spokesman said.

We are doing our best, he said.

Therefore we hope the situation in Thailand will be better, and it will be recognised by the international community.

A growing number of countries around the world are turning to the tourism sector to help combat human trafficking, including training frontline hotel and airline staff to spot the signs.

There has also been a rise of advocacy tourism, where holidaymakers sign up travel packages to learn about issues like modern slavery.

At Thai airports, banners greet visitors with warnings that human trafficking could destroy the country. A video flashes the message: Keep Thailand the Land of Smiles for all.

The government has also enlisted Thai Airways to show anti-trafficking in-flight videos on its international routes since February, said Nuttavika Tamthai, a spokeswoman for the national carrier.

In shopping centre, cinemas and train stations across the capital, Bangkok, videos show visitors how to look out for signs of human trafficking.

Some highlight sex exploitation, while another shows a child begging under a separate campaign called Can You See Me?.

This is a step in the right direction, said Malina Enlund from the anti-trafficking group A21, which has partnered with Thai authorities on the campaign since mid-2017.

The Thai government alone cannot solve the problem. We need the hotel groups, we need the tourists, we need everybody who can to join in, Enlund said.

The Australia-based group is training hotel staff in Thailand’s seaside resort of Pattaya,a hotspot for sex tourism – on how to spot trafficking signs.

The Thai tourism body said in March that Thailand is aiming to move forward as a quality destination and it strongly opposed any form of sex tourism.

An estimated 425,500 people live in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand, according to the Global Slavery Index 2016 by charity Walk Free Foundation, including migrant workers from Cambodia and Laos and women exploited in the sex industry.

Tourism Observer

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Everything you need to know about Chile’s public transport system

The Globetrotting Gal

When I arrived in Chile in February, I had never ridden a public bus for transport, and only ridden the metro when visiting Washington D.C. Over three months later though, I can not just use public transport here, but actually really enjoy it!

What follows is a run-down of the public transportation info, tips, and tricks. Specifically, it’ll be tips regarding Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, and Santiago, although all the advice but the metro advice (there’s not metro lines all throughout the country) will be useful wherever you’re at in Chile!

Why public transport?

Here’s the truth: public transport in Chile is cheap, safe, and abundant. It may not always be the fastest (a private car is going to be faster than a bus in any country), but it has been a life-saver for me here. I haven’t been behind the wheel of a car once in Chile, but I’ve had…

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Things to do in Nairobi city– Moments with Giraffes..

Marony Travel Agency

This centre, which protects the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, combines serious conser18157320_10212660645612992_5526682763139635063_n.jpgvation with enjoyable activities. You can observe, hand-feed or even kiss one of the giraffes from a raised wooden structure, which is quite an experience. You may also spot warthogs snuffling about in the mud, and there’s an interesting self-guided forest walk through the adjacent Gogo River Bird Sanctuary.

In 1979 Jock Leslie-Melville (the Kenyan grandson of a Scottish earl) and his wife Betty began raising a baby giraffe in their Langata home. At the time, when their African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) was just ge
tting off the ground, there were no more than 120 Rothschild’s giraffes (which differ from other giraffe subspecies in that there is no patterning below the knee) in the wild. Unlike the more common reticulated and Masai giraffes, the Rothschild’s giraffe had been pushed to the brink of extinction by…

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Mida Creek tour to Sudi Romantic Island

Marony Travel Agency

Mida Creek

Mida Creek lies between Watamu and the main Mombasa Road, spreading over 32 square kilometers. Its extensive mangrove forests, the warm shallow waters and large areas of mud flats attract a wide variety of birds including a great many northern migrants. Local waders include Yellow-Billed Storks, Wooly-Necked Storks, Grey and Black – Headed Herons and often flocks of Greater Flamingo. Regular winter visitors include Crab, Grey and Ringed Plovers, Common and Curlew Sandpipers, Whimbrel, Sanderling and many others, often in very large numbers.

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Many other species inhabit the margins of the mangrove forests, such as the Great White Egret, Little Egret, Pied Kingfisher and if you are lucky you may even see the spectacular Malachite Kingfisher. The Osprey and the African Fish Eagle, with its distinctive cry, are often overhead. Other species such as the raucous Hadada Ibis and the beautiful Carmine Bee-eater roost in the mangroves at…

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Travel

AUSTRALIA: Qantas Airbus A330 Struck By Lightning

A Qantas Airbus A330-200, performing flight from Sydney, to Melbourne, was descending towards Melbourne when the aircraft entered a hold at 7000 feet and 6000 feet for about one hour, received a lightning strike some time during the hold and subsequently landed safely on Melbourne’s runway 16.

The aircraft was still on the ground about 18 hours after landing.

Meanwhile, the smooth Qantas flight to Perth that was brought to the brink of catastrophe so suddenly and unexpectedly, investigators are still not certain what exactly went wrong.

Now, the captain of infamous flight QF72 has gone into detail about his terror in the cockpit when the state-of-the-art A330 made two sudden nosedives, leaving passengers and crew to fear for their lives in one of Australia’s most terrifying mid-air emergencies.

The passenger jet with 315 passengers and crew on board had left Singapore’s Changi Airport without incident on October 7, 2008 and was cruising smoothly over the Indian Ocean, right before all hell broke loose.

As the A330 headed down the West Australian coast towards Perth, one of its autopilot systems disconnected, forcing captain Kevin Sullivan, a former US Navy Top Gun fighter pilot, to take control.

Then, a flurry of warning messages lit up the flight computer, including simultaneous warnings the plane was in stall and overspeed at the same time — an impossibility.

Mr Sullivan and second officer Ross Hales struggled to make sense of it.

Then, as if it had a mind of its own, the jet took an almighty nose-first plunge towards the ocean.

In the back galley, flight attendant Fuzzy Maiava was heating food in an oven when he suddenly slammed into the ceiling — the same fate of everyone else on board who wasn’t strapped into a seat when the plane plunged 200 metres in 20 seconds.

All I could see was the floor disappearing away from my feet, Mr Maiava told Air Crash Investigations.

And next minute, bang. I must have hit the ceiling because it knocked me out.

In the cockpit, with the aircraft rapidly descending, the G-force was intense enough that even with their three-point safety harnesses, the pilots were being lifted out of their seats.

Mr Sullivan, the captain, fought against it and pulled on a side stick to stop the descent — but nothing happened. The aircraft was unresponsive to his inputs.

I’m thinking, OK, I’m not in control of this plane, he told the program.

I’m confused, why is it doing this? Because it’s not me doing it. It’s the aircraft doing it.

The captain tried the control stick again and the plane levelled off. Everyone who had hit the ceiling crashed down to the floor, including a badly injured Mr Maiava in the galley.

Then, as unexpectedly as the first time, the plane took another sudden nose dive, this time for 120 metres in 16 seconds.

I remember that big fat wind roaring through the air mask, Mr Sullivan said.

Again, my control input is locked up. Again, we have to brace ourselves against the force.

And of course, the view of the Indian Ocean. There was a flash in my consciousness: Are you gonna wind up there today?

Mr Sullivan managed to regain control of the aircraft but didn’t know how long he’d be able to keep it.

I’ve never used those words in my whole flying career, but that day, we were in trouble, he said.

After the double nosedives, the cabin was a scene of carnage, with terrified passengers screaming, crying and praying. Many of them were injured with broken bones and lacerations — some had even been scalped when their heads hit the ceiling.

In all, one crew member and 11 passengers were seriously injured and another 107 on board suffered minor injuries.

The flight crew decided to declare mayday and prepare for an emergency landing at nearby Learmonth airport, 36km south of Exmouth.

But it wouldn’t be easy, the plane was in bad shape and the flight crew wasn’t sure it wouldn’t take another sudden plunge. The closer to the ground they got, the less time and space they’d have to recover if it happened again.

Using a military manoeuvre from his time in the navy, which was his best chance at recovering the aircraft if it pitched down again, a skilled Mr Sullivan successfully landed the plane at Learmonth airport.

As waiting emergency crews rushed the plane to tend to the injured, Mr Sullivan and Mr Hales examined the flight report with injured first officer Peter Lipsett, who was on a break during the nosedives, and had a broken nose.

I looked at the two other pilots and I said, I think we’re pretty lucky to be here, Mr Sullivan said. Because it was total systems failure.

Other than the fact the incident couldn’t be easily explained, the challenge for Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators was that the A330 was one of the world’s most popular and reliable aircraft, with more than 600 in service around the world.

What happened on QF72, and could it happen again?

The documentary detailed the exhaustive and often frustrating search for answers by ATSB investigators that led to numerous dead-ends.

Eventually, they concluded there was a mysterious malfunction in one of the plane’s three air data units, which sent incorrect information to other aircraft systems.

Specifically, it was confusing altitude data with angle-of-attack data, a different but very important flight parameter associated with the angle of the plane’s wing.

In simple terms, that tricked the A330’s robust protection mode to kick in when it wasn’t needed, overriding the input of the captain, and causing the plane to pitch down unnecessarily.

It was as if the plane was trying to fix a problem it thought it had, but didn’t.

Experts are still not sure of the root cause of the malfunction in the data unit, but subsequent software changes by Airbus mean any similar error in the future won’t lead to another terrifying nosedive.

This was a black swan event, something that had never been seen before, something that no one had ever really expected would happen, ATSB lead investigator Michael Walker told the program.

Although we didn’t actually find a full explanation, we found enough of an explanation to reduce the risk of this happening again.

Mr Sullivan said the incident revealed the fallibility of automated technology.

The hierarchy still needs to be, pilot number one, computer number two, he said.

And as for the captain’s heroic piloting skills, flight attendant Fuzzy Maiava who still struggles with the physical and psychological injuries of the terrible flight had only praise.

The guy is amazing. Kevin is the reason why we’re sitting here today to tell the story.

Tourism Observer

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NORWAY: Norwegian Boeing 737 Sustains Hydraulic Failure, Lufthansa In Talks With Norwegian

A Norwegian Air International Boeing 737-800, performing flight D8-6241 from Keflavik – Iceland to Madrid – Spain with 152 people on board, was enroute at FL350 about 20nm north of Belfast International – Northern Ireland when the crew reported a hydraulic failure and decided to divert to Birmingham,EN (UK).

The aircraft landed safely in Birmingham about one hour later.

The aircraft stopped on the runway, emergency services foamed the aircraft when a hydraulic leak was seen from the left main gear.

The airport reported the aircraft diverted due to hydraulic failure. Flights were suspended for about 4 hours as result.

The airline reported a techncial issue.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr told German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung: “There’s a new wave of consolidation approaching. That means we are also in contact with Norwegian.

International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC could face a tough battle if it were to bid for Norwegian Air Shuttle after the boss of Deutsche Lufthansa said the German airline was interested in making a bid for the low-cost airline.

Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr said In Europe, everyone is talking to everyone. There’s a new wave of consolidation approaching. That means we are also in contact with Norwegian.

He added: Takeovers are always a question of strategic value, the price and anti-trust. There are no easy answers.

IAG – the owner of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus – bought a 4.6% stake in Norwegian in April and has made two offers for the airline, both of which were rejected.

The spokesperson for Norwegian said: Norwegian confirms that it has received enquiries from several parties following IAG’s acquisition of shares in the company.

These parties have expressed indicative and preliminary interest in share acquisitions, mergers, structured transactions, financing of the group and various forms of operational and financial cooperation, the spokesman said.

Norwegian believes that interest from several parties demonstrates the attractiveness of our business, he added.

Norwegian carries more than 30mln passengers a year, including 5.2mln from the UK following a rapid expansion with flights costing as little as £99 one-way to New York.

Tourism Observer

Travel

KAZAKHSTAN: Qazaq Air To Sell Stakes To China Express Airlines

Kazakhstan state owned regional airline Qazaq Air and China Express Airlines, China’s first private regional airline, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strategic cooperation in international regional passenger transportation.

As well as the possible participation of the Chinese carrier in the privatisation of Qazaq Air, the Kazakh airline has revealed in a statement.

The MOU was inked during the recent official visit to China of Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, at which a meeting of the Kazakh-Chinese Business Council saw Blair Trekern Pollock, chairman of the board of Qazaq Air, and Longjiang Wu, chairman of the board of China Express Airlines, sign the document.

With this memorandum, the two regional airlines will have the opportunity to discuss the exchange of cross-border passenger traffic and the possibility of direct financial investment by China Express Airlines into the development of our company, states Blair Treherne Pollock.

Noting the significance of the agreement, Long-Jiang Wu stressed the importance of activating regional Kazakh-Chinese cooperation in the One Belt, One Road initiative.

In this context, the mutually beneficial cooperation between Qazaq Air and China Express Airlines is a continuation of a good-neighbourly partnership aimed at strengthening trade and economic ties between the two countries.

Since its launch in August 2015, Qazaq Air, which is 100 per cent-owned by state-run Samruk-Kazyna Fund, has served more than 530,000 passengers, in doing so becoming the growth leader in the Kazakhstan air travel market.

The outlook for this year is optimistic, with the airline expecting at least 20 per cent growth to reach a targeted 300,000 passengers.

Qazaq Air is expecting to take delivery of two new Bombardier Q400 next-gen aircraft in the spring of 2019.

The fleet will thus extend to five aircraft of the type. The airline currently operates three 78-seat, Canadian-built turboprops, with an average age of less than three years.

China Express popularly known as Huaxia Airlines became China’s first private regional carrier when it was established in 2006.

It operates a fleet of 35 Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets, along with three Airbus A320s and is based at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, in south-west China.

Tourism Observer

Travel

EVA Air Has Won Four TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards

EVA Air announced the carrier won the TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards in four different areas.

This is a doubled increase from only winning two in the previous year, showing the enhancement of the carrier’s services.

EVA has now won four awards, including a fifth-place ranking among prizes such as Top 10 Airlines in the World, Top 11 Major Airlines in Asia, and Best Business and Premium Economy Classes in Asia.

Commenting on this special occasion was EVA’s President Clay Sun: EVA never compromises safety and service and makes every effort to give passengers the best possible flying experience.

All of us at EVA deeply appreciate our passengers for expressing satisfaction with our services in their ratings and reviews.

We will further elevate the passenger experience during the second half of this year when we start introducing brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and will initiate more enhancements as we begin to add Boeing 787-10s next year.

We continually seek to introduce new services and amenities and make every effort to ensure 5-star service quality for all our passengers, he added.

Also, Bryan Saltzburg, Senior VP and General Manager for TripAdvisor Flights said:

We’re thrilled to recognize the global TripAdvisor community’s favorite airlines and shine a spotlight on the carriers around the world that provide the very best flying experiences, including EVA Air.

As the airline industry introduces new fare products and a widening array of in-flight offerings, consumers continue to seek out the carriers that deliver value and a quality experience.

The Travelers’ Choice awards for airlines recognize the carriers that exceed passenger expectations and receive top marks from travellers.

To complement these awards, other honorable institutions such as SKYTRAX has listed the airline as a 5-Star Airline two years in a row and also recognized the carrier for Best Business Class Comfort Amenities and World’s Cleanest Aircraft Cabins.

In addition, EVA Air has been evaluated by the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre and has been consistently recognized as one of the World’s Top 20 Safest Airlines.

The awards won by EVA at TripAdvisor is a bold statement that can be made across the world. TripAdvisor acquires over 400 million monthly visitors with up to 600 million reviews and opinions per month across the globe.

All-in-all, it is clear that EVA has not just bettered themselves an airline in terms of the standards they offer to fliers but are on their way to perfecting themselves as a global representative in the aviation world.

Tourism Observer

Travel

RUSSIA: Pilots’ Salaries And Fleet Expansion Cause Aeroflot Losses

Net losses at Russia’s Aeroflot Group, which is made up of Aeroflot, Rossiya, low-cost carrier Pobeda and Aurora, have short up more than double in the first quarter of this year.

The deficit amounted to RUB 11.5 billion (US$195 million) in the period, mainly as a result of a significant fleet expansion programme and increases in pilots’ salaries, reveals the group’s interim financial statements drawn up in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Russia’s largest airline group expects to compensate for this shortfall during the coming busy high season, which this year includes transporting 2018 FIFA World Cup football fans, many of whom are arriving from this week.

This is the first time that Aeroflot Group has separately published its IFRS financial results for the year’s first quarter, explains Shamil Kurmashov, Aeroflot’s outgoing deputy chief executive of commerce and finance.

It will help shareholders and investors to deepen their understanding of the company and its seasonal trends.

In Q1 2018, Aeroflot Group’s overall revenue increased by 8.5 per cent year-on-year to RUB 111,942 million, driven on by a 6.6 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 11 million.

Revenue from scheduled passenger flights increased by 10.7 per cent year-on-year to RUB 91,107 million.

Revenue performance was affected by an increase in yields, primarily on international routes, due to the weakening of the ruble against the euro and the consequent effect of this on foreign exchange-denominated revenue.

Revenue from charter flights increased considerably in the period — by 18.9 per cent year-on-year to RUB 5,789 million – an improvement due, among other factors, to the strategic expansion of Rossiya’s charter programme.

Cargo revenue rose by 11.8 per cent year-on-year to RUB 3,778 million, as cargo and mail volumes grew by 9.6 per cent.

Other revenue streams decreased by 10.2 per cent year-on-year to RUB 11,268 million due mainly to a decrease in the ruble equivalent of dollar-denominated revenues from airline agreements, and because of a decrease in third-party maintenance services provided by the group.

In January-March, Aeroflot Group members collectively carried 11 million passengers, up 6.6 per cent year-on-year.

In the period, total operating costs grew 14.3 per cent to 123,538 million rubles, with aircraft operating lease expenses growing the most to RUB 18,499 million.

This was a 24.3 per cent increase year-on-year after the expansion of the fleet net increase of 51 aircraft, and 21.1 per cent on operating leases compared with 31 March 2017.

Staff costs rose 15.1 per cent year-on-year in the three-month period, amounting to RUB 21,404 million. This increase was driven by rises in aircraft captains’ salaries, effective from the start of 2018, as well as increases in the number of staff needed to support operational growth.

Fuel costs took off in the period, up by 24.1 per cent year-on-year to RUB 34,042 million. This followed a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in the average price of aircraft fuel in rubles with changes in the price of oil, as well as an increase in flight rotations and flying times.

Operating costs, excluding aircraft fuel costs, increased by 11 per cent year-on-year to RUB 89,496.

Expenses related to aircraft maintenance and passenger service amounted to RUB 21,908 million, a 3.6 per cent increase year-on-year, affected primarily by the growth in passenger traffic and increased airport costs.

Aircraft maintenance costs grew by 3.5 per cent year-on-year in the quarter, to RUB 8,469 million.Maintenance costs were significantly affected by an increase in the volume of technical maintenance work carried out inside the Group.

Other expenses increased by 16.9 per cent year-on-year to RUB 9,192 million, as a result of an increase in reserves set aside for aircraft maintenance in accordance with accounting policy, as well as bank fees and expenses on global distribution systems amid the increase in passenger traffic.

As a result of the impact of all of these factors, the Group’s quarterly EBITDA totalled RUB 10,767 million.

Tourism Observer

Travel

UNITED KINGDOM: easyJet Wants Heathrow Expansion

easyJet has announced that passengers would benefit from the increased competition to legacy carriers and would enjoy fares around 30% lower on routes to the existing UK and European Destinations if the Heathrow expansion is approved by the government.

The new entrants would also be able to launch flights to the UK and European airports that are not served by Heathrow providing economic connections that are needed in a post-BREXIT world.

The new entrants would also be able to launch flights to the UK and European airports that are not served by Heathrow providing economic connections that are needed in a post-BREXIT world.

easyJet has always in the past encouraged UK airports and the local, regional and national governments within it to make compelling cases for their airports to be linked with Heathrow.

Over the years, there has been a decline in the UK and European flights from Heathrow. From 2000 to 2017, total passengers grew by 21% and flights across Europe as a whole grew by 91%.

During that same period, there has been up to a 40% decrease in the number of domestic flight seats, a 13% decrease in European flight seats and UK destinations served has been reduced from 14 to 8 respectively, resulting in 200,000 fewer short haul seats per week today compared to the year 2000.

From 2000 to 2017, total passengers grew by 21% and flights across Europe as a whole grew by 91%. During that same period, there has been up to a 40% decrease in the number of domestic flight seats.

A 13% decrease in European flight seats and UK destinations served has been reduced from 14 to 8 respectively, resulting in 200,000 fewer short haul seats per week today compared to the year 2000.

easyJet believes that due to the constraints in capacity, this has sectioned out the regional and domestic routes a lot more than it should have done, as they made way for the more international carriers operating out of the airport.

Their case is that the Heathrow expansion should allocate some room for the regional market boom that regional carriers such as Flybe have been waiting for for a long time, especially with easyJet having a significant few regional routes already between Gatwick.

Their case is that the Heathrow expansion should allocate some room for the regional market boom that regional carriers such as Flybe have been waiting for for a long time, especially with easyJet having a significant few regional routes already between Gatwick.

easyJet supported the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition.

Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant benefits to all parts of the UK and is in the best interests of all passengers – both business and leisure, long and short haul.

This expansion would enable low-cost airlines like easyJet to operate from Heathrow in addition to existing London bases, allowing them to provide new routes and increased competition on dozens more UK and European routes.

easyJet’s costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines so easyJet’s fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today.

We look forward to engaging with the UK’s regional airports and their Governments and other local organisations to work out which regions will enjoy the largest growth in passenger demand and economic benefits from new connections to Heathrow and the rest of the world.

Expansion at Heathrow must be delivered sustainably.

Local noise and environmental impacts need to be addressed and easyJet supports the Commission’s recommendations on these issues. easyJet will bring our long-term environmental strategy, a key element of which is the next generation Airbus A320 neo aircraft.

These aircraft produce 15% fewer carbon emissions and are 50% quieter than current generation aircraft.

We are taking delivery of 130 of these aircraft and all will be flying with easyJet before the new runway opens at Heathrow.

Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant economic benefits to all of the UK and that’s why we urge MPs to support the Government’s National Planning Statement so that work can start to increase the aviation capacity for the UK.

As easyJet is talking very pro-Heathrow, there is probably a low level of doubt that there are deals being planned as the expansion progresses.

It could be the case that we may see the carrier operating out of LHR over the next few years. We have had other regional carriers such as Flybe recently launch their presence out of Heathrow, meaning that it definitely is all to play for.

easyJet could ultimately launch more significant European services from Heathrow as well, offering great capacity levels with their A321neos that they have on the way, on top of the A320neos that they are receiving already.

If they are to operate out of Heathrow, it could shake the battle between Low-Cost Carriers and more legacy carriers.

easyJet’s quest for Heathrow doesn’t seem to be to thrive, but more to fill the gap in routes that we have seen a reduction in from the likes of Heathrow.

With an already well covered regional network to destinations such as Bristol, Cardiff, Aberdeen and beyond, they will ultimately be wanting to centralize their operations from Heathrow rather than boost their takings.

And with having such an experience, there is evidently a significant level of confidence that it can come to fruition.

The emergence of easyJet can be dangerous to the market that the airport serves. Currently, it more caters to legacy carriers such as BA, Air France, and KLM to name a few.

For the European carriers, there is the great danger that competition intensity would ultimately make Heathrow more of a loss leader rather than a cash cow.

For the international carriers, it may not make much of a difference as they will be flying further than easyJet is intending to reach at this present time.

With the European LCC market already being intense as it is with the collapse of carriers and more, it will be interesting to see what effect this will have on BA’s domestic network in particular, especially as its hub is Heathrow.

And this sheer interest of Low-Cost operations out of LHR could itself bring even more competition with it.

This is where the international carriers could be more affected. With the likes of Ryanair gaining a UK AOC for the purposes of BREXIT, it could be conveyed that Ryanair may venture into the LHR market as well.

With the carrier operating out of more mainstream airports such as Amsterdam in Europe, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Ryanair were to take on KLM on the Amsterdam flight, alongside with easyJet.

It is ultimately dangerous to other carriers across Europe and internationally because fliers may want to sacrifice certain countries of tourism for the cheaper deals, which is the way it is currently going already.

The rise of the low cost fare can, therefore, be more of a reality out of Heathrow, especially with easyJet firing the starting pistol around this movement.

It can open up a lot more positive options for the airport itself but could cause the decrease in revenues for others involved in the process, such as BA on their domestic network.

Furthermore, people in the Heathrow catchment area wouldn’t have to travel elsewhere, like to Gatwick or Stansted for such flights, which would be an additional plus.

It can be established that if easyJet was to gain the space and slots needed at LHR for low-cost operations, then it could definitely change the demographic that Heathrow aims to.

With it providing that potential increase in domestic and regional flights that the airports and surrounding areas could do with, it is only a matter of time before this process starts.

And it is not to say that this process could start whilst the expansion is being implemented. It could happen now, and even more so that Heathrow and easyJet are going on the publicity stage regarding this.

All we need to wait for now is the parliamentary approval and then we can start to see everything come together, more known as the Future of Heathrow.

Tourism Observer

Travel

UAE: Emirates Increases From 3 To 5 Flights A Week To Luanda, Angola

After cutting flights to Luanda in 2014 and 2017, Emirates has announced that they are to resume additional weekly flights to the airport from Dubai International.

Starting from July 1, frequencies will increase from three to five flights per week, with daily services to be launched by the Winter timetable this year.

The flights will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which will feature eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business as well as 310 in Economy, offering up to 720 seats extra per week.

The new flights will also offer up to 23 tonnes of cargo per flight, which will give more opportunities to local businesses to import and export goods into the country.

Passengers from Luanda will be able to take advantage of the connectivity of Emirates’ portfolio, offering 35 destinations in the Middle East, 18 in Asia and more than 20 across the Americas and Australia.

As a country rich in resources, Angola has a lot to offer global trade and we have recognized a need to enhance our capacity to enable greater connectivity between our network and Luanda.

We remain committed to serving our customers in Angola with not only advanced aircraft but also more innovative product and service options, said Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Africa.

Reinstating these flights and growing our service to a daily operation, will benefit trade links, boost investment and will contribute to the economy by promoting business and supporting Angola’s supply chain, Mr. Abbas emphasized.

EK793 will depart from Dubai at 0955 local and arrive in Luanda at 1440 local. EK794, the return flight will depart from Luanda at 1815 local and arrive in Dubai for 0500 local the next day.

For the daily services in the winter, EK793 will depart Dubai at 1010 local and arrive in Luanda for 1510 local, with the return flight, EK794, departing Luanda at 1815 local and arriving in Dubai at 0455 local the next day.

Emirates’ relationship with Luanda is entering its 9th year, having launched services in August 2009 using their Airbus A330-200 Aircraft.

December 2014 saw the carrier increase the services to daily. Three years later due to resource optimisation, they reduced the flight frequencies down to three weekly.

Overall, it is good news for Luanda as they can now reinstate the flights that previously existed and continue on the expansive growth that both the airport and the airline wants to provide to fliers.

Tourism Observer