Posts by Sharon Evers

TUI Group set to further expand its cruise fleet

TUI Group’s Cruises segment is one of the Group’s strong growth pillars. Due to the continued increase in demand, the world’s number one tourism group is planning to expand the segment by an additional newbuild of the Mein Schiff fleet. A vessel of identical design to the new Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 with a capacity for up to 2,894 passengers will be built at the Finnish Meyer Turku shipyard. The financing of the vessel will be realised by TUI Cruises and is currently being finalised. Mein Schiff 7 is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

The future investment underscores TUI Group’s strategy. The cruise business is one of the key elements of the growth roadmap pursued by the globally operating TUI Group. The Group continues to invest in its cruise portfolio and expands, modernises and rejuvenates the fleet. The planned measures will help TUI to accelerate the expansion of this growth segment.

Spring 2018 will see the planned change in TUI Cruises’ fleet: the new Mein Schiff 1 will be launched in May. The previous Mein Schiff 1 vessel will transfer to Marella Cruises’ fleet as Marella Explorer. Marella Cruises is the former Thomson Cruises and a subsidiary of TUI UK & Ireland. In 2019, the new Mein Schiff 2 will be added to the TUI Cruises fleet. It is planned that the new Mein Schiff 2 will replace the current Mein Schiff 2. In addition, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will expand its fleet next year. In spring and autumn 2019, it will launch the two luxury expedition vessels Hanseatic nature and Hanseatic inspiration.

TUI Group’s fleet currently comprises 15 cruise ships, operated by its subsidiaries TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Marella Cruises.

KLM Cityhopper welcomes 43rd Embraer

On Wednesday evening, KLM Cityhopper welcomed its latest Embraer E175+ bearing registration PH-EXT to Schiphol. The arrival of the 13th E175+ brings the total number of Embraer aircraft in the KLC fleet to 43, which includes 30 E190s.

In its drive to better serve customer interests, KLM continues to invest robustly in fleet innovation. Delivery of this latest aircraft constitutes an important step in this context. The Embraer boast a multitude of technical features, which lower fuel consumption and therefore contribute towards significantly reducing CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption for the new E175+ aircraft is no less than 22% lower than that of the Fokker 70, which KLM said farewell to in 2017.

KLM Cityhopper currently operates the biggest Embraer fleet in Europe. By mid-2018, the overall KLC fleet will consist of no less than 49 aircraft produced by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer. The 44th and 45th Embraer aircraft are expected to arrive by the end of February.

American Airlines celebrated the opening of its new Flagship Lounge

American Airlines celebrated the opening of its new Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining facilities on Wednesday, January 17 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), offering customers several options to dine, relax and get ready for long journeys.

Suzanne Boda, American’s Senior Vice President – Los Angeles, joined Sean Burton, President of the Los Angeles World Airports’ Board of Commissioners to officially cut the ribbon on the more than 14,500-square-foot space. “The opening of the Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining are the latest evidence of our increasingly strong position in Los Angeles,” Boda said. “We are setting ourselves apart from the competition by becoming the only domestic carrier to offer a sit-down dining experience at LAX.”

With the opening of Flagship First Dining, American customers can now enjoy a sit-down meal before boarding their flights – the first product of its kind at LAX. The newly renovated Flagship Lounge offers customers high-quality food and drink options and the space to unwind while waiting for their flight. “As our West Coast gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, Los Angeles is where many of our customers begin long flights either internationally or across the U.S.,” Boda said. “We are proud to offer best-in-class lounge and dining options at the start of their journey.”

American’s renovations to its Flagship Lounges and its Flagship First Dining are part of a $200 million investment in the luxury travel experience. At LAX, dedicated investments include a new Admirals Club in Terminal 5, a refurbished Admirals Club in Terminal 4 and, now, the new Flagship Lounge and Dining in Terminal 4. American is the largest carrier at LAX with more than 200 daily flights on peak days to 70 destinations on five continents. Last year, the airline announced that it would be investing more than $1.5 billion in improvements at LAX Terminals 4 and 5 for its customers and nearly 7,000 team members who work there. “Building a world-class airport requires strong airline partners like American Airlines, and we are thrilled by the investment they are making at LAX,” Burton said. “Reimagining and modernizing our airport is just as much about creating exceptional amenities as it is about new construction, and the American Airlines Flagship Lounge is an example of the first-class facilities that travelers can expect from LAX.”

Since 2015, American has added service to 24 new destinations from LAX, including Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong, Tokyo Haneda and, as of last November, nonstop service to Beijing. More than 500 new team members, including Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking flight attendants and customer service agents, have joined American at LAX since 2016

KLM and Kenya Airways have signed an extended sales agreement

KLM and Kenya Airways have signed an extended sales agreement for most European and Eastern African countries, which are the focus of the cooperation.

The two airlines already have a longstanding Joint Venture (JV) agreement under which Kenya Airways and KLM operate on the London and Amsterdam routes into Nairobi. The new agreement enables KQ and KLM to sell more JV flights to/from Europe and East Africa and destinations beyond Amsterdam and Nairobi.

Commenting on the extended GSA agreement, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Sebastian Mikosz said: “Kenya Airways is working towards strengthening its network and consolidating Nairobi’s position as a leading hub in East Africa. The networks of both airlines are complementary and we are confident that this agreement will allow us to find the synergies for us to grow our respective networks.”