LTU flies to North Pole
The first sightseeing flight to the North Pole
returned safely to Dusseldorf Airport, Germany on May 20. This premiere
flight, operated by German based airline LTU, used a fuel-efficient
Airbus A330-200, which flew north from Dusseldorf across Denmark,
Central Norway and the Norwegian coast all the way up to the Spitsbergen
airline LTU can now take you to the North Pole and still get you back in
time for dinner.
The weather was near perfect for the flight and passengers were able to
see the beautiful arctic landscape very clearly. Besides views through
the passenger windows, seven cameras were installed in the cockpit and
offered a high-quality live transmission of pictures into the passenger
After passing Spitsbergen, the flight continued directly towards the
North Pole, 90 degrees North. While approaching the Pole, passengers
(some of whom came all the way from Canada or the USA) toasted the
occasion with a glass of Champagne.
At the Pole, flight captain Josef Moser performed a small flight around
the world, passing all degrees of longitude and the International Date
Line within minutes. What followed was just as spectacular: two hours of
clear skies and beautiful views along Greenland’s East Coast. From
Southern Greenland, the flight took passengers via Iceland directly to
Dusseldorf where the flight landed after just under 13 hours duration in
time for sunset.
Two hundred and eighty five passengers of 13 different nationalities
were aboard this premiere flight and because of the very good feedback,
travel specialists Deutsche Polarflug have announced they will launch a
second polar flight later this year. The flight will once more depart
from Dusseldorf on September 1st and again be operated by LTU Airlines.
The carbon footprint (pollution) caused by this inaugural flight was
offset by a donation from all the passengers to a partner company
involved in conservation. The ticket price of the second planned flight
in September will contain this charge already. Flights can be booked and
more information can be obtained on the website www.polarflug.de
Ibis finds new nests in Thailand
Accor has announced it will open four new Ibis properties in Thailand next year
- with the economy brand’s presence in the kingdom set to swell to at least 12
Ten new-build properties are being developed in a joint venture with The Erawan
The hotels slated to open next year will be located in Pattaya (250 rooms),
Phuket (250 rooms), Koh Samui (200 rooms) and Bangkok (200 rooms). The Pattaya
property is expected to open first.
Accor introduced the Ibis brand in Thailand last year when it unveiled two
properties in Bangkok.
The company will also increase the presence of its All Seasons economy brand in
Thailand with the planned launch this year of the 159-room All Seasons Gold
Orchid Bangkok, 110-room All Seasons Sathorn Bangkok and 154-room All Seasons
Accor senior vice-president sales and marketing, Mr. Ray Stone, said the company
was plugging a gap in the market with the launch of Ibis and All Seasons
He said: “We have been helped a lot by the growth of low-cost carriers and
Bangkok becoming a bit of a hub for low-cost carriers.”
Mr. Stone added: “Typically in this segment, you don’t often find a branded
product and you don’t find an internationally branded product.” (TTG)
Nok Air bullish on Bangalore debut
Thai low-cost carrier, Nok Air, which will begin its
international daily flight between Bangkok and Bangalore from June 1, is
positioning itself as a “shopper’s airline”.
The LCC is promoting Bangkok as a shopper’s paradise to Indian passengers -
leveraging on South-east Asia’s largest and most luxurious shopping complex Siam
Paragon and the vibrant Chatuchak weekend market.
CEO, Mr. Patee Sarasin, said: “Nok Air did extensive research before launching
our international route to India, and Bangalore being one of the most dynamic
and prosperous cities of the country, we expect to see excellent traffic.”
The service will be operated on a 150-seat Boeing 737-400 aircraft. (TTG)
Rules on in flight liquids
to be strictly enforced
The Transport Ministry’s Aviation Department will from this
week - June 1 - enforce its rule requiring air passengers to display liquids,
gels and sprays in transparent containers before boarding flights,
Director-General Chaisak Angkasuwan announced.
Mr. Chaisak said he had met representatives of Airports of Thailand (AoT),
airlines and King Power, contracted for duty free and other business at
Suvarnabhumi airport, regarding the measure, which will be enforced both on
domestic and international routes beginning Friday, June 1.
Enforcement will follow International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
procedures already used by many airlines worldwide after Britain last year
disclosed that terrorists planned to destroy planes and passengers with liquid
bombs carried aboard aircraft.
Mr. Chaisak said ICAO personnel will inspect security measures at the new
airport and how Thai authorities monitor the carrying of liquid substances, gels
and sprays by passengers.
Although King Power has prepared clear plastic bags for passengers buying
products from its duty free shop at the airport, it expects its sales to drop by
20-30 per cent in the first three to six months after the rule is enforced.
Passengers may find it troublesome to carry the products aboard the plane in the
beginning but sales may pick up later after they are accustomed to the measure,
the company said.
Thai Airways International, the national flag carrier, earlier said the company
will comply with the new rule. (TNA)
AirAsia X tipped for September date Down Under
Longhaul budget airline, AirAsia X, plans to start flights on September 8,
between Kuala Lumpur and either Adelaide or Melbourne, according to reports
AirAsia’s chief executive officer, Datuk Tony Fernandes, was quoted as
saying that an RM800 (US$235) return fare from Australia to Kuala Lumpur was
Ms Arzila Arshad, marketing manager of Fly Asian Xpress’s’ (FAX) the
subsidiary operating AirAsia X, said Australia would be among the first few
destinations being planned for the launch in September, but declined to
confirm the details in the reports.
“There are others, but I don’t want to reveal them now as they keep changing
by the day,” she added. (TTG)