Video: London City showcases World War Two discoveries

London City airport's behind the scenes video on World War Two findings

London City airport has released a new video detailing the World War Two finds uncovered during ongoing surveys of the King George V Dock, in preparation for an extension of the terminal building and new aircraft stands.

The airport was temporarily closed in February, following the discovery of an unexploded German bomb, and LCY says it has also uncovered a number of World War Two shell casings, including two dated from 1940 and 1943 which “would have been fired at the German Luftwaffe from the ground”.

The new video goes behind the scenes of the survey which has been ongoing in King George V Dock since November 2017, and which is currently the largest inshore diving project in the country.

Divers and surveyors have been checking over 400 sites on the dock bed, which are “deemed to show ‘ferrous anomalies’ during initial magnetometer surveys”.

The airport said that the vast majority of these sites have been “benign”, with 38 still to be investigated, and work scheduled for completion in November.

Aside from unexploded bombs and shell casings, more unsual items to have been uncovered by the survey include a Ford Mk I Escort, kilometres of steel wire rope, and a motorbike.

Speaking on the video, diver Tom Fountain said that the environment in the King George V Dock is “pretty grim”.

“It’s not like diving in the Caribbean,” said Fountain. “It’s pretty dark and muddy. I’ve been here since November and some of the dives we did were two, two and half, hours. It was cold. Minus 4. Cold. Damp.”

Following completion of the survey, a concrete deck measuring 75,000 sqm will be created, supported by steel and concrete columns which will be installed in the dock bed.

The piling and decking phase of the project is scheduled to take around two years to complete, with the development programme due to be completed in 2022.

The current terminal building will be extended to three times its current size, with a new departure lounge, check-in facilities, baggage reclaim and security.

londoncityairport.com

Etihad Guest partners with Air Europa

Air Europa

Etihad Guest has announced a new partnership with Spanish carrier Air Europa’s Suma loyalty programme, allowing members to earn miles on codeshare flights.

Members can now also redeem Etihad Guest miles for tickets “across the Air Europa network”.

The new agreement see reciprocal earning and redemption privileges introduced between Air Europa’s Suma schems and the Etihad Guest programme.

Commenting on the news Sandra Lenis, Air Europa’s Client and Product Director, said:

“Air Europa entered into a strategic codeshare partnership with Etihad Airways in January 2014, and as an additional value proposition, we are delighted to build upon our successful partnership by further providing our SUMA members with the opportunity to earn and spend Air Europa SUMA miles on Etihad Airways’ network.”

Last month Air France KLM and Air Europa announced plans for a joint venture on routes between Europe and Central and South America.

The Spanish carrier also has an agreement with Ryanair enabling customers to book connecting flights from 15 European cities to Madrid and onward to 16 countries in North, Central and South America, via ryanair.com.

etihad.com, aireuropa.com

Messaging is now free on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has dropped a $2 fee for in-flight text messaging and will now allow passengers to send free messages via WhatsApp and iMessage — as long as travellers have these apps on their phone or mobile device prior to boarding.

CNBC reports that the free service is being introduced on Southwest planes equipped with wifi. Southwest will continue to charge an $8 fee for in-flight wifi, but that won’t be required to send texts.

Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines already offer free text messaging. American Airlines announced its intention to do so, but hasn’t implemented free texting yet.

Southwest passengers can check the onboard entertainment portal to see if free texting is available on their flight.

Texting and email remain the primary ways for passengers to communicate onboard. Airlines have long resisted allowing travellers to make phone calls during flights, and the US Congress recently drafted a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration that continues a ban on in-flight calls.

Texts can only be sent via texting apps, not SMS based services.

southwest.com

Lufthansa orders $3 billion worth of Airbus aircraft

Lufthansa A320 neo in new livery

Lufthansa Group is showing faith in Airbus’ short-haul aircraft.

Today it announced it would be ordering a further 24 A320 neos along with three A321 neos.

The Group says it is “reacting to the positive market and earnings development and this ensures the necessary fleet size in the coming years.”

Lufthansa already has 122 A320/A321 neo aircraft on order from Airbus. A number of these are already in service.

Today’s new order will be delivered between 2023 and 2024. Ten of these aircraft are destined for Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss.

These A320/A321 neos have improved fuel consumption and a lower noise footprint.

However passengers booked in economy class will find the seating tight and they may find the toilets are also on the small size.

Back in 2016 we published a first look at this aircraft type.

lufthansa.com

Air New Zealand to launch new uniforms

Air New Zealand B777-200ER

Air New Zealand has announced plans to redesign the uniforms for its 4,500 cabin crew and airport staff.

The carrier says it will invite a selection of local designer to submit proposals, including Dame Trelise, creator of the airline’s current pink, green and blue uniforms, which were launched in 2011.

The chosen designer(s) will be unveiled early next year, with the successful submission expected to meet criteria including sustainable sourcing credentials, and “a proven track record in the New Zealand fashion industry”.

The new uniforms are expected to roll out in 2021, ahead of the arrivals of the carrier’s new long-haul aircraft fleet and new onboard product “around 2023”.

Commenting on the news Air New Zealand General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams said:

“The successful design will capture the New Zealand spirit and Air New Zealand brand and be something our people feel proud to wear. At the same time the uniform will need to be practical and meet the needs of thousands of individuals working in diverse roles and environments all over the world.

“Dame Trelise’s current uniform is loved by our staff and we are committed to ensuring the next one meets the same high standard.

“We see this as an exciting opportunity to take a step back and really consider where our business is heading and what our uniform might look like in the future. For example, will exclusively male or female uniforms always be relevant?

Previous designers of Air New Zealand’s uniforms include Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Barbara Lee, and Zambesi. The carrier said that a review of its pilot uniform will be carried out “after the cabin crew and ground staff uniform process is completed”.

Earlier this week British Airways unveiled Ozwald Boateng OBE as the designer of its forthcoming new uniforms, which will form part of the carrier’s centenary celebrations in 2019.

Ozwald Boateng to design new British Airways uniforms

airnewzealand.co.uk

Alaska Airlines tests virtual reality entertainment system

Alaska Airlines VR

Whether you’re a nervous flyer or just looking for a new in-flight entertainment option, Alaska Airlines wants to transport you out of the cabin and into new worlds of virtual reality (VR).

The airline has announced that it is partnering with SkyLights, which provides airlines with immersive VR technology, and offering First Class passengers on ten flights between Boston and Seattle and Boston and San Diego the opportunity to test out VR headsets.

“Wearing the headset is comparable to having a personal movie screen in front of you. When paired with noise-cancelling headphones, it’s easy to feel like you’re at the movie theater instead of flying,” said the airline.

In addition to exploring virtual landscapes, passengers can watch 2D and 3D movies with the headsets, including Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Ready Player One; and Ferdinand.

“We’ve made no official commitments to pursuing VR long-term, but this trial will help us shape our future strategy,” said David Scotland, Alaska Airlines’ manager of inflight entertainment and connectivity.

Alaska Airlines is the first North American airline to test in-flight VR entertainment. In 2017, Air France also tested Skylights technology with business class passengers on A340 flights between Paris CDG and St. Martin.

The French technology company also has a deal to provide its VR headsets to First Class rail passengers traveling on TGV France-Italy.

alaskaair.com

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman conducts roadshow in Mumbai

Oman’s tourism ministry conducts roadshows in Mumbai

Recently, The ministry of tourism, Oman conducted a multi-city roadshow in Mumbai. The event was attended by the officials of the Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Oman, representatives from Oman air and 140 Indian trade partners and travel agents.

Through this roadshow, the Oman tourism board informed the guests about the diverse products and experiences that Oman has to offer.

Additionally, Oman is also focussing on enhancing its MICE sector. A case in point is the recent launch of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat, that has led to an increase in business tourism of the Sultanate.

Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary, MOT said, “The Indian traveller is in a rapid state of evolution and is looking to be engaged in many ways. We recognise and acknowledge the demand we see from India and other potential markets. Hence, as part of the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy 2040, the Ministry of Tourism seeks to introduce the sector’s latest developments, services, projects and facilities of the tourism industry, such as opening the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport and launching the Electronic Visa. It also aims to promote the Sultanate’s unique cultural heritage, the pristine environment and terrain diversification that will allow tourists to experience the destination.”

omantourism.gov.om

Pranit Sarda

Recently, The ministry of tourism, Oman conducted a multi-city roadshow in Mumbai. The event was attended by the officials of the Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Oman, representatives from Oman air and 140 Indian trade partners and travel agents.

Through this roadshow, the Oman tourism board informed the guests about the diverse products and experiences that Oman has to offer.

Additionally, Oman is also focussing on enhancing its MICE sector. A case in point is the recent launch of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat, that has led to an increase in business tourism of the Sultanate.

Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary, MOT said, “The Indian traveller is in a rapid state of evolution and is looking to be engaged in many ways. We recognise and acknowledge the demand we see from India and other potential markets. Hence, as part of the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy 2040, the Ministry of Tourism seeks to introduce the sector’s latest developments, services, projects and facilities of the tourism industry, such as opening the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport and launching the Electronic Visa. It also aims to promote the Sultanate’s unique cultural heritage, the pristine environment and terrain diversification that will allow tourists to experience the destination.”

omantourism.gov.om

Pranit Sarda

Emirates abandons plans to fly Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City

Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

Emirates has confirmed it has abandoned plans to launch flights to Mexico City, via Barcelona.

Earlier this year we reported that the carrier had been granted fifth freedom traffic rights between Barcelona and Mexico City, with plans to launch flights before the end of this year.

But in a statement provided to Business Traveller, Emirates said it had withdrawn its application to operate flights from Dubai to Mexico via Spain.

“Emirates has extended full flexibility in proposing an operating schedule that utilises low demand slots at Mexico City International Airport,” a spokesperson said.

“However, despite previous assurances that slots were not an issue at the flight timings requested, the Mexican authorities have informed us that we will not be able to operate daily services, but only three flights a week.

“Unfortunately, this is not commercially viable for us given the resource investment required for such a long distance operation, not to mention the negative impact on connectivity and convenience for our customers.

“This is hugely disappointing, as our teams have been working hard with various stakeholders to bring this service to fruition in the three years since the Mexican president invited Emirates to operate this route and open new air links to connect Mexico to the Middle East, as well as key economic markets in Africa and Asia.

“We would like to thank the Spanish authorities for their full and generous support in granting all necessary operating rights for the route, which we firmly believe would have benefited consumers and businesses in Spain, Mexico, and the UAE. We remain positive about the potential of serving Mexico in the future when the conditions enable us to do so.”

Emirates had previously hoped to serve Mexico by routing Dubai-Mexico City via Zurich, but this did not come to fruition.

emirates.com

Turkish Airlines adds new premium dining services

Turkish Airlines business class dining

Turkish Airlines has launched two new dining services for business class passengers on its intercontinental flights.

Premium customers can now view meal choices and make their choices online, between one week and 48 hours before their departure. The carrier says that this can be done either via its website or mobile app, “using your ticket information”.

Eligible routes for this new service are from Istanbul to:

Atlanta, Bangkok, Beijing, Bogotá, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Havana, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Manila, Miami, Montreal, New York, Phuket, Port Louis, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington DC, Caracas, Panama City, Madagascar, Durban, Maputo, and Buenos Aires

In addition, business class travellers on intercontinental night flights to and from Istanbul can now also opt to dine on demand “at any time they wish during the flight”, although note that the airlines says that “There may be exceptions in some night flights depending on the time when the flight is performed”.

More information on Turkish Airlines’ business class dining service can be seen here.

turkishairlines.com

International Travel Partnership (ITP) collaborates with Yatra

International Travel Partnership collaborates with Yatra

One of the fastest growing travel management associations in the world – International Travel Partnership (ITP) has collaborated with Yatra Group to expand its corporate travel network in India.

As a part of this, ITP has announced the appointment of YCHS, a division of Yatra Online that caters to the large/middle market sector in India. Currently, Yatra provides real-time bookings for more than 95,000 hotels in India and over 8,00,000 hotels around the world.

Ian Epps, Director of Partnership Relations at ITP said, “The addition of YCHS brings a new dimension to our Travel Management coverage in South Asia together with the support infrastructure and professionalism of one of India’s largest travel organisations. We expect that YCHS will also add value to our already comprehensive coverage in the Gulf Region with many opportunities for regional as well as worldwide commercial initiatives.”

This partnership will help ITP clients in India to streamline their travel needs in addition to offering hassle-free and quick bookings. yatra.com

One of the fastest growing travel management associations in the world – International Travel Partnership (ITP) has collaborated with Yatra Group to expand its corporate travel network in India.

As a part of this, ITP has announced the appointment of YCHS, a division of Yatra Online that caters to the large/middle market sector in India. Currently, Yatra provides real-time bookings for more than 95,000 hotels in India and over 8,00,000 hotels around the world.

Ian Epps, Director of Partnership Relations at ITP said, “The addition of YCHS brings a new dimension to our Travel Management coverage in South Asia together with the support infrastructure and professionalism of one of India’s largest travel organisations. We expect that YCHS will also add value to our already comprehensive coverage in the Gulf Region with many opportunities for regional as well as worldwide commercial initiatives.”

This partnership will help ITP clients in India to streamline their travel needs in addition to offering hassle-free and quick bookings. yatra.com