22 November 2007

Now will we see SQ flying to alternative LON Airports?

The UK and Singapore governments have now signed their much heralded fully open skies agreement that comes into effect coincidently on the same day as the free'er skies between the UK and the USA.

Based on this i believe we shall see SQ flying to LGW (as CX used to and as EK does today) as well as possibly STN if they decide to get into the bulk game using a high capacity A380 as has been mooted for EK's Emirates Express service. Moving at least one flight to another airport will allow SQ to service the LHRJFK market that they have long coveted.

Government to press ahead with 3rd Runway at LHR

Heathrow's slow decline into a third world airport may come to an arresting end by 2020. This news comes none too soon as the airport faces competition from all corners.

Logically there is no where for the airport to expand than by wiping out the community of Sipson and over 700 homes. So the battle lines are now being drawn. The environmentalists and those whose homes are going to be affected versus the Airlines, the Government, and the TUC representing the direct 180,000 jobs at the airport.

But let's consider what will be the case by 2020. FRA may well have 5 runways by then. Munich will have 4 possibly more. AMS will have 6, CDG 6 etc, etc. That's not all - Jebel Ali in Dubai will be in full swing with modern facilities on a much larger area footprint than poor old Spanish owned LHR even with its new terminal 5 and proposed terminal 6. (No I didnt forget the new replacemen for T2).

However NOT doing it would in the words of BAA "If nothing changes, Heathrow's status as a world class airport will be gradually eroded - jobs will be lost and the economy will suffer. London and the UK's nations and regions alike are reliant on the good international connections that the Heathrow hub provides. "

From a point of reference however I cannot support the notion that air and noise pollution wont increase. That is BS.

UK Operators Cheer as Englnd exits EURO2008

In somewhat perverse logic the UK Tour Operators are cheering the fact that England lost 2-3 to Croatia in football yesterday.

Clearing the way to have people book their holidays early and not be "distracted" by the boys in White making any progress or loosing at the various hurdles - it only goes to show that Women rule in English households.

It is a dark day in the pubs across the Sceptred Isle.

20 November 2007

Affiliate Marketing gone... Mad?

As an avid watcher of the contortions that various airlines go through to get you to be both loyal and a frequent purchaser of any old stuff... it is interesting to note what has been going on at the airlines lately.

As we all know Airlines are like lemmings. They do things often to replicate each other. So on the principal that any idea is a good idea if someone says so, then let’s look at some of the recent examples:

BA emiles store.

Following on from others BA has finally stepped into this arena. The first major player was probably Ryanair and therefore all the airlines thought they were made initially. However we see more often than not that Ryanair has become an airline to watch for innovation. With their stated goal of PAYING for passengers to fly on their planes - they do a very good - if somewhat simple job of merchandising as much as they can to their customers. So what of BA and the others?

I suggest you go and check out several of them:

Delta - Medallion Marketplace: http://www.delta.com/skymiles/use_miles/redemption_partners/medallion_marketplace/index.jsp

American Express - Rewards http://www.shopamex.com/

BA Miles estore. - http://www.ba.com/

as we have seen in recent years there has been a trend towards moving customers away from some of the best deals in the house towards spending the miles elsewhere. Given the current programs what we are seeing is a clear move to offload the miles "overhang". For an airline - miles are earned cheap and can be sold essentially at a profit to other. Thus the popularity of such programs.

However we should all be clear that there is another more sinister trend underneath this. That is that the miles are being devalued and a new higher price currency is replacing it. We have already seen the move away from the gold standard of a single price for a ticket. Now there are 2 sometimes even 4 values for a ticket online. Peak vs. off peak and promotional mile redemption rates. The exchange rate also now shows up in different forms. The popular exchange rate has been for quite some time 10,000 miles = $100 dollars of value. No more. Just look at the exchange rates and you will see what we mean. For example Amex offered recently (through December 11th 2007) 30% off miles required for a program. However the new mileage rate is actually quite higher than the old standard so this is not as much of a deal as it appears.

So you have been warned. For more information - check out Randy Petersen's web flyer (yes he of the unruly hair). http://www.webflyer.com/


19 November 2007

Ouch... nasty accident to brand new A340-600

One of the longest aircraft on the planet suffered a nasty mishap last week.
10 people were injured 3 in the cockpit seriously. Lets hope they recover soon