Malev, the Hungarian airline company initiated an aircraft livery design contest. The finalists were selected by a smaller jury that includes Mr Laszlo Zsoter, the designer of the present Malev livery. Malev’s planes are sometimes called Blue Nose among planespotters. If you take a look at this picture, you will understand why.
I was recommended a blog post today: somebody took a photo of an Uzbekistan Airways’ billboard that shows a plane that is disappearing in a bunch of clouds. The slogan of the commercial says: Good luck.
I don’t know whther this commercial really exists or this is just a hoax. I tried to check it on the airline’s website, but there was no sign of this billboard there.
Anyway if this is true, I have no clue what their real goal was with it. People are skeptic about these very eastern, not well-known airlines, it just scares passengers in vain. If it is just a hoax or a guerilla marketing, it is a good one, because I myself have never even heard about this airline, but today I have learned they exist.
If anybody knows anything more about it, I would be grateful if he or she shared it with us as a coment here.
These days are not the best for European plane manufacturer Airbus. Shortly after the accident of Air France flight 447, more news are coming from around the world about different Airbus plane types having technical diffculties.
On Wednesday June, 11 a Spanish carrier had to land at the Canary Islands shortly after take off due to engine problems. The aircraft was an Airbus A320.
Today (June 12) an Aeroflot flight had to abort its way from Yakutsk to Moscow and immediately land at Novosibirsk with 122 people on board, because one of the winshields of the cockpit got cracked. The plane was an A 320.
Australian JetStar’s A 330 had to make an emergency landing Tamuning, Guam. The plane took off from Osaka, Japan and was about to fly to Coolangatta, Australia. There were 200 people aboard, and the casue of the emergency landing was a fire in the cockpit.
JetStar's faulty A330
Luckily nobody was hurt during these incidents.
Airbus is facing hard times financially, as both A380 and the new A350 cost more than predicted. The company turned to the governments of the owner countries as bank credits do not cover the additional costs.
EUROPE’S largest low-cost airline Ryanair is looking at the possibility of getting passengers to carry their luggage all the way to the plane, cutting out the need for baggage handlers.
“We would say to passengers … take your own bag down through airport security, leave it at the bottom of the steps, we put it in the hold and on arrival we deliver it to the aircraft steps and you take it with you,” Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told a news conference yesterday.
Ryanair’s business is centered around cutting costs and the carrier is planning to eliminate check-in desks from October this year, saving up to 40 million euros annually.
An airline spokesman said the group would not pursue the luggage plan if it jeopardized their quick turnaround times. (Original sourc: Reuters)
Now let’s think it over for a moment. It is clear that if they close check-in counters completely, they get in trouble. We all know that luggage self-check-in does not work. People cheat with it, they screw up sticking bag tags properly on the luggage, they spend 10 minutes by sticking the bag tag instead of moving away from self check-in kiosks, so they queue up, which is not efficient at all. In the end it is always more simple to open up a check-in counter and have them pay an extra cost for checked-in lugagge. They actually do so. If you fly Ryanair, you will need to pay an extra lugagge fee. Wherever they launched it, they use carousels to take the luggage from the check-in kiosk to the security check.
So now instead of carousels and a central luggage assorter it is the passenger, who takes the luggage to security – which is actually the same security that checks on-board baggages. First of all how do they decide whether you can take a bottle of wine with you? If it is a checked baggage, it can stay there, if not, then leave it here for us? Or what?
Who weighs the baggage? The passenger? I can predict – although I am not a fortune teller – that there will be no overwiehgts any more. So how can a balance sheet be prepared for the ground staff? Is it safe?
Then the passenger takes the luggage to the stairs, puts it into a container, so the ground handlers will start loading them into the plane exactly when boarding starts. Because earlier no luggage can be left alone anywhere, otherwise it is a security hole again. For me it seems impossible to finish loading in time, but miracles can happen.
After the plane arrives it is fine that passengers take it from the container and they will not stand along a carousel again, but what about lost luggage? It would be fun to handle their claims right at the plane, when again loading starts for the return flight. Yes, I know, they can be directed to a customer management desk, but passengers are strange people: if they will see loading staff, they will try to convince them to go and look for their luggage again.
And what is it that they really save at the end of the day? A carousel that takes checked luggage to the central assorting place, then to the security and then to the aircraft, which is almost fully automized. I am not sure it is such a big deal. And on the other hand passengers pay for this service.
Well, I will keep my eyes on this story. I am too skeptic to believe this is actually going to happen.
How about you? Would you carry your checked-in luggage all through the airport to the plane?
Business Traveler magazine in the US has announced the results of a poll that was conducted among 4,000 readers. The awards were given in 3 main ctagories: airline industry, hotel industry and business travel related industries.
Naturally we were interested in the airline industry awards. Some winners were surprising, but I think if someone knows these airlines will be able to guess even without seeing the results. I am not sure whether this poll shows the real picture or it is built on preconceptions and good marketing, but I truely miss some smaller and thus more creative airlines.
Besides that I linked in the websites of the awarded airlines and I really wonder why all these big companies still use their 1999-style webdesign and why they don’t feel the need to improve them. I think one of our next posts will be an early 2009 overview of the biggest airlines with the most austere websites.
2008 was a bad year for the travel industry, and apparently 2009 will be even worse. Boeing, one of the two biggest jetliner manufacturer will start the year 2009 with a tough cut of about 4,500 positions due to the decreasing number of orders from airlines.
This number is about 3% of the total workforce at Boeing. Most of the cuts will occur in Washington state in April-May. Before that Boeing plans to notify the affected employees starting at the end of February.
Boeing announced the job cuts after a long strike that further delayed the first flights of the new Boeing 787. The huge delay in the B 787 programme is definately harmful for the company and it is probably one of the main reasons the manufacturer’s orders decreased. As AirlineWorld Blog reported earlier, Boeing announced the first delay in 2007. According to the original plans, the first Dreamliners should have been delivered to Japanese carrier ANA before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
As we have already mentioned in an earlier post about sexy setwardess uniforms, not everybody can qualify for a stewardess job. Many airlines have height and weight requirements and even once you start working as a flight attendant, you may be released any time for loosing your shape.
Apparently Air India is one of these strict airlines. In December 2008 10 stewardesses were fired for being fat. They were given a chance to loose weight and reshape themselves, but they failed. I am sure many of us have experienced the bad feeling over the failure of loosing weight in a diet. Besides this bad feeling, the ladies even lost their jobs.
According to the full story by Times Online, they initiated a legal procedure, but the court said it was the right of the airline to apply strict rules regarding the appearance of the flight crew.
Well, it is up to everyone to decide what is better: seeing good young chicks on board and fire women at the age of 50, when they cannot get a job any more or seeing old and a little overweight stewardesses during the flight time.
Exactly a week after the first A380 of Qantas Australian Airlines was named after a nice old lady, who was one of the pioneers of Australian aviation, the first commercial flight was completed by the giant airbus.
John Travolta has a good relationship with the airline. He was a Boeing 707 pilot for Qantas and after their contract was over, he received a 707 from them as a private jet with Qantas livery. The plane is parked in front of his house as he lives in a small village, where taxiways lead to the houses from the central runway and besides garages there are hangars for the private planes. See our earlier post about his topic.
Now that the first flight of the new A380 took off for los Angeles it was a nice idea from the airline to invite both travolta and Australian actress-singer Olivia Newton-John together to this ceremony.
The following pictures are from this welcome ceremony in los Angeles. In the pictures you can also see:
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
- Qantas Captain Peter Probert
- Qantas Creative Director Marc Newson
Qantas A380 ft John Travolta
Captain John Travolta
Qantas A380 welcome ceremony, LA
Just a cynical note from me: can you imagine the flight with JT and Olivia on board? As they are getting their 20th note from the passengers delivered by the stewardess: “please sing Summer nights for us”, finally they give in, the stewardess pulls away the curtains of the first class and the 2 of them stand up in line: Olivia in front and John behind. Then they start singing Summer Nights and by the time the famous shoo-bop-bop part comes, they are already dancing between the isles.
“Vodafone Spain and Spanair signed a partnership agreement launching a “two-dimensional code system that will enable passengers to receive their boarding card on their mobile phone and proceed directly to security and boarding.”"
The news above is not considered as break-through technology or extra special, we have heard about such plans, trials and working solutions before, which offer bar-codes on a mobile and then use that for boarding. I believe this solution will become a standard sooner or later all around the airline industry, or at least it should. As many of you had probably experienced when flying, it’s much easier and quicker to check in for your flight from home using the internet, or from your mobile, using mobile internet, or WAP. However, most of the solutions used on a bigger scale today still require you to proceed to the self-check-in kiosk at the airport (or maybe at the airport train terminal downtown) to claim your standard, ATB2 (magnetic stripe paper) format boarding pass. The time you spend at the kiosk is shorter when you have checked in earlier, but you still need to go there (even stand in a line sometimes), identify yourself at the machine, wait for the printing and then continue to security. But you need to visit the check-in kiosk, can not save time on that, it’s a “must do” part of the check-in experience. (And of course the paper may get stuck in the machine, or any undesired situation may arise, which is a risk for you when you’re running to catch your flight.)
To eliminate the need to go to the kiosk at the airport even when you’ve checked in by yourself earlier, a solution is needed that does not require special printing. And this solution is the 2 D Bar Code. The most important advantage of such a bar code is that it carries the same information as the magnetic stripe on the back of the “traditional” boarding card, but in a much more flexible way. The bar code only needs to be displayed somewhere (a piece of normal paper, a mobile telephone screen, or even as a tattoo on your body) it doesn’t make a difference where or how it is shown, as long as it stays readable for the reader – no need for special, “magnetizing” printers. This last thought takes us to another task to be carried out: bar code readers need to be deployed at all points of an airport (or even aircraft?) where a boarding card is to be checked/used or acted upon. More and more airlines and airports are deploying these readers, so as time flies by, this service will become more and more wide-spread.But why I like the news quoted here, is that an airline teamed up with a mobile provider. This guarantees a professional solution from the gsm side as well, and will provide more publicity when the service is launched, I’m sure. The backside may be, that for some time only Spanish Vodafone subscribers may be able to use this particular comfortable solution, but even though, I think this is an example to follow for airlines.
DEAR READERS, please share your personal experiences with bar coded check-in – if you have ever done it – by leaving a comment for this post! Please let us know which airline offered it, at which airport, and whether if you liked it or not? Did you print it yourself at home, or did you receive it as an MMS on your mobile?