Easyjet unveils new iPhone app

Easyjet has relaunched its iPhone app with new features including a countdown to travel.

The resdesigned app also allows passengers to check details such as their payment and passport information, while relevant flight infrormation “will seemlessly appear on the homepage” on the day of travel.

Easyjet iPhone app

Easyjet iPhone app screengrabA statement said: “Bags, sports equipment, seats, hotels & car hire can also be quickly added to an existing booking as well as a range of helpful push notifications relevant to travel.”

The app is expected to be available for Android later this year, Easyjet said.

The budget airline first launched its iPhone app in 2011.

In April, it added an update to the app providing personalised instructions and reminders for passengers travelling through London Gatwick (see news, April 14).

James Millett, EasyJet’s head of digital, said: “Launching our new app is another important step in using digital technology to improve our customers experience and to make it as easy to travel with Easyjet as it is affordable.”


Graham Smith

Vietnam Airlines takes delivery of A350

Vietnam Airlines has taken delivery of its first A350 XWB aircraft.

The carrier will roster the Airbus jet, which it collected from the manufacturer’s base in Toulouse today, on to its long-haul routes.

Due to arrive in Hanoi tomorrow, the airline will first inaugurate the A350 between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh before adding it to its Hanoi-Paris route.

Vietnam Airlines A350 XWB

Vietnam Airlines is only the second carrier to receive the A350, after Qatar Airways (see news, December 2014).

Its A350 contains 29 fully-flat seats in business class, 45 seats in premium economy and 231 in economy.

The business product is configured 1-2-1, meaning all seats provide direct access to the aisle, and it features the Sogerma Solstys seat by EADS.

A350 business class

Vietnam Airlines A350

Trinh Ngoc Thanh, Vietnam Airlines’ executive vice president, commercial, said: “The arrival of the A350 XWB marks the start of a major upgrade of our long-haul fleet.

“Combining the latest technologies, a wider cabin and the highest levels of comfort, the A350 XWB will enable us to fly our passengers in style whichever class of travel they choose.

“We are proud to be the second airline in the world to receive the A350 XWB aircraft.”

Vietnam Airlines’ current Airbus fleet consists of 49 A321s and 10 A330s.


Graham Smith

Ryanair awarded nine Schiphol slots

Ryanair is set to launch flights to Amsterdam this winter.

The Irish low-cost carrier has been awarded nine flight slots at Schiphol airport, according to Dutch media reports.

It has until August 31 to confirm whether or not it plans to use the slots.

In the Netherlands, Ryanair currently operates out of Eindhoven, Maastricht and Groningen.

Rival budget airline Easyjet opened a base at the airport earlier this year (see news, March 31). And, as reported earlier today, Easyjet will add six routes to its Schiphol schedule this winter (see news, June 30).


Graham Smith

Privilege Club bonus miles when booking with Kaligo

Qatar Airways has teamed up with hotel booking firm Kaligo to offer its frequent flyer programme members up to 10,000 QMiles per night when booking a room.

The promotion also allows Privilege Club members to earn 3,000 bonus miles when making their first booking through kaligo.com, until August 31.

An additional 7,000 QMiles can be earned for hotel bookings when a member’s cumulative spend is US$700 or more.

Therefore, a total of 20,000 bonus miles can be earned for a first booking with kaligo.com.

Rahul Kucheria, Qatar Airways’ senior manager of FFP loyalty, said: “By partnering with Kaligo, our Privilege Club members will have the opportunity to earn Qmiles which can be used towards a number of benefits which will enhance their overall travel experience.”

The kaligo.com website has 300,000 hotels in its database, covering 200 countries, and launched last year (see news, November 2014).

qatarairways.com, kaligo.com

Graham Smith

Easyjet to launch six new Schiphol routes

Easyjet will add six routes to its schedule at Amsterdam Schiphol this winter.

The low-cost airline, which opened a base at the airport earlier this year (see news, March 31), will operate services from Schiphol to Milan, Lyon, Salzburg, Tel Aviv, Grenoble and Tenerife.

On October 26, the carrier will commence a four-times weekly route to Tel Aviv, flying on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The next day, a six-times weekly service – daily except on Saturdays – to Milan will launch, reports airlineroute.net.

The other services will operate as follows:

  • Lyon – begins December 17, four-times weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Salzburg – begins December 18, three-times weekly on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Grenoble – begins December 12, once-weekly on Saturdays
  • Tenerife South – begins December 15, twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Easyjet is also launching four new services from Lyon in December.

On December 12, once-weekly routes to London Southend and Belfast International will commence. Both will fly on Saturdays.

On December 16, a twice-weekly service to Naples, on Thursdays and Sundays, will start, followed by the above-mentioned four-times weekly Amsterdam Schiphol operation on December 17.


Graham Smith

Mandarin Oriental to manage new Beijing property

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will expand its Chinese portfolio by managing a new property in Beijing.

Situated in the Wangfujing district of the capital, Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing is scheduled to open in 2017.

Wangfujin Street is the prime commercial and retail destination in the city. The property will occupy the top floors of a new mixed-used development, “WF Central”, and is within walking distance of several popular tourist sites including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the hotel will feature 74 guestrooms and suites, many of which deliver views of the Forbidden City.

Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing will also offer two restaurants and a bar onsite. Both restaurants will have access to a rooftop garden terrace, while the bar will be connected to a private courtyard.

Other facilities will include the brand’s signature Spa at Mandarin Oriental, along with other wellness facilities such as an indoor swimming pool and fitness centre.

For more information, visit mandarinoriental.com

Clement Huang

EY and PIA sign codeshare agreement

A codeshare agreement between Etihad Airways (EY) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will provide travellers with enhanced connections between the UAE, Pakistan and beyond.

Effective from July 27, the Gulf carrier will place its EY marketing code on PIA flights between Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Abu Dhabi.

Reciprocally, PIA’s PK code will be placed on Etihad Airway’s flights between Abu Dhabi and Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore.

“This new codeshare agreement – between the national airlines of the UAE and Pakistan – will make that experience, as well as travel onwards to Africa, Europe, and the United States, that much easier,” said Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ chief strategy and planning officer. 

In addition, Etihad Airways and PIA have confirmed that they are exploring options for members of the respective frequent flyer programmes to earn and redeem miles when travelling on the codeshare flights.

For more information, visit etihad.com

Clement Huang

Air China to serve Mumbai from Beijing

Air China will offer direct links between its base in Beijing and Mumbai from late October.

The new route will complement the existing Beijing–Delhi service, which it currently operates four-times weekly. Effective from October 25, Air China will also serve Beijing–Mumbai four-times a week.

The launch of Bejing–Mumbai will coincide with the cancellation of the carrier’s existing Chengdu–Mumbai service, which it serves thrice weekly.

Flight CA889 departs Beijing Capital International Airport on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1940 and arrives in Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 0100 the following day.

Meanwhile, the return leg sees flight CA890 take off from Mumbai at 0230 and touch back down in Beijing at 1120. The morning arrival of the flight means that passengers will benefit from having a near full day in the Chinese capital.

Flights are operated by the A330-300, which features a three-class configuration, with 30 seats in business, 16 in premium economy and 255 in economy.

For more information, visit airchina.com 

Clement Huang

LOT Polish unveils new seat designs

LOT Polish Airlines has offered a first look at its new business, premium economy and economy class seating.

The new seat designs will be added to the carrier’s B787 Dreamliner aircraft “before the end of this year”.

Business seat

Business class

Each class has a slightly different grey/blue colour scheme.

Marta Glinka, LOT’s markeing director, said: “The system constitutes a coherent and logical entirety. We hope that it will be intuitive and easily distinguished by our customers.”

Premium economy

Premium economy



Seat specifications, onboard service and in-flight entertainment will remain the same; the only thing that will be changed is “colour identification”.

Therefore, seating in business will continue to be forward-facing, in a 2-2-2 configuration, and fully-flat.

Last week, LOT announced that is plans to launch new services from Warsaw to Bangkok and Seoul next year (see news, June 22).


Graham Smith

Airports Commission runway decision due on Wednesday

The Airports Commission inquiry into airport expansion in south-east England will deliver its final report on Wednesday.

The Commission had been expected to make its recommendation shortly after May’s general election, but delayed its verdict to examine more evidence on the problems caused by air pollution (see news, May 11).

The long-awaited report will be published at 0700 on Wednesday.

There are three remaining options for a new runway in the south-east — a second at Gatwick, a third at Heathrow, or extending one of the two existing runways at LHR.


Graham Smith