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Archive for March, 2012

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Cheap Flights

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

DealLookup.com will soon add cheap flights to its categories in response to the demand from customers who are looking for the very best travel deals.  DealLookup.com has partnered with InsanelyCheapFlights.com, which will allow them to provide their customers with the very best deals with not only airfare, but also car rentals and hotels.  DealLookup.com was originally focused on providing customers with local deals, but they are now expanding their offerings to take on a more national approach.

InsanelyCheapFlights.com is the ideal way for DealLookup.com to help their customers find the cheapest flights.  Steve Oliverez, CEO of InsanelyCheapFlights.com, said that this is an ideal fit for DealLookup.com because both sites are committed to finding the very best deals for their customers.  At the present time, InsanelyCheapFlights.com is offering all customers a $20 discount on all flights booked through them.

The above article is a summary.  Please see the source article at Google News.

Southwest Airlines to Add Nonstop Flights to San Antonio and LaGuardia

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Southwest Airlines has announced their plans to add two nonstop flights per day between Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia International Airport and between Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and San Antonio International Airport.  These new flights will begin on August 12, 2012.  Southwest currently only has nonstop flights from St. Louis to two other airports out of a total of 72 cities in 32 states.  These new flights will significantly improve their reach using nonstop flights and will improve their ability to compete in the airline industry and in the markets represented by these cities.

So what is the verdict regarding cheap flights vs. nonstop flights?  It depends on who is asked.  Senior Kyle Oetjen, said he has always been able to fly nonstop, but if faced with the choice, he would take a cheap flight over a nonstop flight.  On the flip side of the coin is sophomore Emily Meyers, who says convenience is far more important to her and that she would pay more for a nonstop flight.  She also said that she has been using American Airlines to fly to LaGuardia, but she would switch to Southwest if she could get the nonstop flights with the lower airfares.

A cost comparison shows that a one-stop flight on Southwest to LaGuardia costs $121 and that an American one-stop flight costs $276.  A nonstop American flight to LaGuardia costs $319.  When it comes to flying to San Antonio, one-stop flights on the two carriers are more comparable.  Southwest costs $167 and American costs $169.  Sophomore Megan Conn said that she thinks nonstop flights offered by Southwest would make them more competitive and that she would use them if they offered nonstop service to her hometown.  Southwest Airlines could not be reached for comment on their new nonstop flights.

The above article is a summary.  Please see the source article at Google News.

Cheap Flights to Asia Middle

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Qantas Airways is teaming up with China Eastern Airlines to bring cheap flights to Asia by forming a budget airline in Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is Qantas’ fourth Asian hub and their goal is to tap into the growing overseas market.  Both carriers have agreed to invest up to $198 million to form what will be called Jetstar Hong Kong, which will launch next year with three Airbus SAS A320s.  By 2015, the budget airline will operate 18 aircraft.  Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce is challenging Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong with his intention to target the Asian market and make international operations profitable.

 

According to Bruce Buchanan, CEO of Qantas’ Jetstar Group, Hong Kong and Greater China have the potential to reach as much as 800 million annual passengers by the year 2020, doubling the current number.  He said that the market in China is virtually unlimited because there are so many people looking for affordable airfares.  Right now there are at least 80 cities that are big enough to support a budget airline in the region and by 2020 this number could rise to at least 200.

There are currently no budget carriers using Hong Kong as a hub, despite the fact that it was used by 54 million passengers last year, because it is difficult to provide cheap flights with high airport fees and wages for airport staff.  Citigroup Inc. analyst Vivian Tao said that these factors have kept budget carriers from penetrating more than about 5.5% of the market.  Liu Shaoyong, China Eastern (670)’s chairman, said that Jetstar will probably make a profit in its third year of operation.  Future plans include a Jetstar Japan and possibly a Jetstar in South Korea, which will create an international triangle that will allow Jetstar to make the most of the Asian market.

The above article is a summary.  Please see the source article at Google News.

Booking Prices Down, Despite High Oil Prices

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

One travel company is doing what no other can do with the continuing rise of oil prices.  They are lower their booking prices when booking a flight on their website.  InsanelyCheapFlights.com is the travel company who is making the move to cheap bookings.  CEO of InsanelyCheapFlights.com, Steve Oliverez, said that the price of oil is hurting everyone, not only those who drive.  The cost of fuel makes up almost 35% of the operating costs for an airline and this makes it difficult for travelers to find cheap flights when they want a weekend getaway, a family vacation, or whether they need to fly for personal matters or for business.

As of this week, InsanelyCheapFlights.com has a promotional code that can be found on its website.  Anyone booking a flight through the travel company can save money with the promo code, which is good for any flight that is booked.  InsanelyCheapFlights.com decided to do this rather than lower the airfare on select flights.  This means that even those folks traveling to hot destinations such as New York or Las Vegas can get a good deal on their flight.

InsanelyCheapFlights.com was founded in 2009 and is the industry’s fastest growing travel aggregator.  Over the past few years, many travel sites have moved to offering hotel deals, but InsanelyCheapFlights.com has continued to offer deals on airfares, committed to finding the cheapest airfare out there.  This has made InsanelyCheapFlights.com one of the leaders in the discount travel industry.  Oliverez says that there is no end in sight for rising oil prices and that people booking summer vacation travel can get quite a shock.  They hope their promo helps.  The promo code is good for travel until the end of the year, although there is no word yet on how long people can take advantage of it.

The above article is a summary.  Please see the source article at Google News.

Montenegro and Ryanair Make Cheap Flight Deal

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

It will now be easier and cheaper for travelers to get to Montenegro for a luxury vacation to remember. Montenegro’s government has made a deal with Ryanair, the budget airline based in Ireland, that will see cheap flights to Montenegro start in June of this year.  This will offer a huge boost to the country’s tourism and overseas real estate industries.  The deal will be in effect from 2012 to 2015 and Ryanair will operate flights from March to October, with the number of flights to be operated increasing each year.  The first flights to Montenegro will be from London, Milan, and Brussels.  However, by 2014 there will be three more destinations added to the roster.  These destinations have not yet been disclosed.  At this point officials are saying that flights can go to either of the country’s two airports, either in Tivat or Podgorica.

Founder of Montenegrin Overseas Property agency ntRealty, Peter Flynn, said that this deal and the ability for tourists to fly direct to Tivat will greatly boost the real estate industry and tourism for the region.  It is something, he said, that Montenegro has needed for a long time.  Both charter and standard airlines service the country, but this will be the first budget airline to offer cheap flights to the region.  Flynn also believes that even though Montenegro is viewed as a high-end vacation destination, having a budget airline will not bring it down in any regard.  He said that even though people are looking for a luxury vacation when they go to Porto Montenegro, they are more than happy to get there by means of a budget airline.  In Flynn’s words, “It’s a means to an end.”

The above article is a summary.  Please see the source article at Google News.

Book Early to Get the Best Summer Travel Deals

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Summer travel is just around the corner and for those who want to get the very best summer travel deals they need to know where the best deals can be found and they need to book early.  There are a number of tips given by industry experts, tips that will help travelers find those cheap flights.  They remind people that traveling mid-week is cheaper.  Also, Europe and Thailand are cheap destinations this summer.  Most of all, book now to avoid disappointment as there is no end in sight for the high oil prices.  For travel in July and August travelers will find the best deals if they book by mid-April.

Dubai Chronicle says that the top summer travel destination is Turkey, particularly in Antalya and the old district of Istanbul.  Emirates Airline is offering special rates of AED 1920 return on daily flights from Dubai to Istanbul.  Qatar Airways is also offering a special starting at AED 1500 for a return flight to Dubai.  The lower airfares are a result of increased capacity and Turkey is such a popular destination as it spans Asia and Europe, allowing travelers access to some of the oldest countries in the world, via train, bus, or air.  Italy, Spain, and Greece also have good airfares from Dubai, at AED 3000, but all other European destinations start at AED 5000 so travelers who wish to travel to other destinations in Europe will be better off using the budget airlines in Europe.

For those who want to travel to a destination outside of Europe, the best summer travel deals can be found for travel to Thailand.  Qatar Airways is offering return tickets to Bangkok for AED 1900.  It is also a good idea to keep a close watch on both Qatar Airways and Emirates Airlines as they frequently offer 3-day travel deals that can give travelers a 30% discount if they book in time.  It is also important to check around for the best deal before buying travel insurance.

The above article is a summary.  Please see the original article at Google News.

Jet Airways to Merge JetLite with JetKonnect

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Jet Airways, India’s largest airline, is set to merge its two low-cost carriers, JetLite and JetKonnect, creating one inclusive budget carrier that will service domestic connections in India.  The announcement came from Jet Airways on Monday.  They said that as of March 25, JetLite would no longer be operating under that name but would be merged with JetKonnect, after which they will operate one low-cost carrier under the name JetKonnect.  The two low-cost carriers have been very popular for those looking for cheap flights to India and Nepal.

JetLite has been in operation since 2007, its creation and launch a result of Jet Airways takeover of Air Sahara.  JetLite operated with a fleet of 19 Boeing 737s and was a well-known name in the Indian travel industry, with cheap flights to more than 30 destinations, including Nepal.  The announcement to merge JetLite and JetKonnect was first made in July of 2011.  The reason for the merger, given when the initial announcement was made by K. G. Vishwanath, Jet Group’s Vice-President Commercial Strategy and Investor Relations, was that the airline wanted to operate only one brand of low-cost carriers to domestic destinations within India.

 

The new JetKonnect will connect India’s primary cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, as well as a number of secondary destinations.  On Monday Jet Airways also announced that JetKonnect would not only be offering the traditional cheap flights on domestic routes, but would also be offering Premier services on a number of routes, services that rival the Premier services on Jet Airways flights.  JetKonnect will operate some flights under the S2 code and others under the 9W code.  Jet Group currently operates more than 600 daily flights to 24 international destinations and 50 local destinations.  The have a fleet of 120 aircraft.

The above article is a summary.  Please see the original article at Google News.

Skyscanner Announces Traffic Growth

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Skyscanner, launched in 2002 by Gareth Williams, is a flight comparison website that has changed the cheap flight landscape. At the London Web Summit, Skyscanner announced they they have achieved a 400% growth in traffic in their Asian and Indian markets, the Asia office having only opened six months ago. Williams spoke with Ben Rooney of The Wall Street Journal and said that they are currently working on solving a number of problems, which, with only one round of funding to the tune of £2.5 million in 2008, are relatively straightforward.

The primary focus of Skyscanner comes in two areas, the first of which is international growth. The website relies on click-throughs to generate revenue and they make $2-$3 million per month this way, due to the 20 million visitors to the site each month. Skyscanner has a visitor repeat rate of 50%. Their India and Asia offices have helped Skyscanner expand on an international level and they are committed to this expansion, with a staff of ten now working in their office in Singapore. They also hire people from 30 different nationalities, all of whom work out of the headquarters in Edinburgh. The company understands the need to build local community around their product.

The other area of focus for Skyscanner is the mobile market. So many people plan their flights and trips on a mobile device that developing a mobile presence to compliment their online presence is a must. Since Skyscanner is building a product that is needed by people outside of the US and Europe, they are able to do so without the usual fanfare that accompanies an online company. This allows them to bring in higher revenue and not have to play up the brand and create the hype that normally accompanies this type of product.

See the original Google News article for more details.

Tiger Airways Ready to Roar in Australia

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Tiger Airways started out small and small did not include the Sydney Airport.  Sydney Airport is one of the most expensive privatized airports in the world and since Tiger was offering cheap flights, Sydney did not fit into their model.  For their first two years of operation, Tiger did not consider Sydney as viable.  However, in 2009 they realized they would have to open up and give it a go if they wanted to tap into the biggest portion of the Australian market.  They began Sydney-Melbourne flights the following year.  Now two years later, Tiger Airways has officially announced that starting in July they will station dozens of pilots and crew in Sydney, along with three Airbus A320s.

Last July the airline was grounded by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority because they deemed the airline unsafe.  Since then Tiger has changed significantly, including getting rid of the management team that were in charge when the airline was disgraced and replacing with a new, more conservative management team.  They have also worked hard to become Australia’s most reliable airline in terms of on-time arrivals and few cancelations.  The airline has even allocated an Airbus A320 as a backup aircraft, which is practically unheard of for an airline that offers cheap flights.

Andrew David, CEO of Tiger Airways, said that while Sydney is a tough market, they will go where the demand is.  He also said they are working well with the Sydney Airport and that they are focusing offering a reliable and consistent product to customers as well as offering them good choices.  They are committed to the Sydney market for at least the medium-term as they do not want to go in and out of markets and put the reliability of the airline into question.  Tiger has had to alter prices to account for increased fuel prices and the carbon tax, but they are still in contention to be a price leader.

See the original Google News article for more details.

Can Cheap Flights Really Be Guaranteed?

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Australia’s largest discount travel agency, Flight Centre, has been accused of fixing their prices illegally.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) makes the accusation, stating that Flight Centre has been secretly working with Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, and Singapore Airlines in order to advertise deceptive pricing and undercut the competition.  A lawsuit has been filed with the federal court and it alleges that Flight Centre has, on six separate occasions between 2004 and 2009, asked the airlines in question to remove their discounted seats offered over the internet as the prices of these seats were lower than those of Flight Centre.

Flight Centre has not agreed to settle out of court and the issue may take a number of years to go through the courts to see if they have done anything wrong, but the issue does bring into question the practices of discount air travel agencies and their relationship with the airlines.  Do consumers really get the guaranteed lowest prices?  The travel agents are generally perceived as the good guys by consumers, working tirelessly to bring them the very best deals, but what exactly goes on between the principals, such as the airlines and hotels, and the travel agents?

The most effective way to distribute airline tickets has been discussed and debated ever since international tourism took off after the war.  In the ACCC lawsuit, the main issue to be addressed is whether airlines should sell their tickets directly or sell them through an agent.  One or the other should be the norm.  Travel agents do add additional value to customers by offering them package deals and one place to make all their travel plans, but whether they offer the lowest prices as they claim they do is in question.  Regardless, Flight Centre has done a booming business, with $249 million in profits in 2011.

See the original Google News article for more details.

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