KLM launches Messenger customer chat on KLM.com

As of today, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will offer Facebook Messenger users in Japan, South Korea and South Africa the option of asking questions to service agents via Messenger customer chat on KLM.com. In this way, customers are offered quick and personal service when booking tickets, changing bookings or in case they have baggage-related questions. KLM is one of the first airlines in the world and one of a select group of companies taking part in the pilot for this chat service in collaboration with Messenger.

This pilot with Messenger is a next step in KLM’s social media strategy. KLM wants to be present on the social media platforms used by its customers. Customers frequently use Messenger to ask questions to KLM. The integration of Messenger customer chat into KLM.com makes it even easier to get a personal answer from KLM, which can be reread at any given time.

The small-scale pilot will be available in Japan, South Korea and South Africa, with agents communicating in Japanese, Korean and English. Customers can use Messenger customer chat via a ‘chat now’ button that will appear on relevant KLM.com pages when a service agent is available. The pilot will serve to guide further roll-out of the service in the future. In six Western European countries, KLM already has a direct chat service via KLM.com, available via the website itself. The new chat service via Messenger is a next step in KLM’s social media integration.

The Riu Palace Paradise Island reopens in the Bahamas after a complete renovation

RIU Hotels & Resorts has just reopened in the Bahamas the Riu Palace Paradise Island, a 24-hour All-Inclusive hotel that, after a complete renovation, has also been converted to an establishment exclusively for guests over the age of 18. The hotel, property of the RIU chain since 2005, is located on Paradise Island, the best beach in Nassau, and it provides free WiFi in all areas of the hotel, an extensive gastronomic offer, and concierge and 24-hour room service, in addition to the exclusive customer service of RIU Hotels & Resorts.

The 379 rooms of this hotel on Paradise Island are equipped with a wealth of amenities, like a minibar, beverage dispensers, air conditioning and a coffee maker. Likewise, the facilities include two swimming pools, one of them with a swim-up bar, and an area of umbrellas and lounge chairs with beverage service. Next to the pools, there is also direct access to the hotel’s reserved beach area.

As regards the gastronomic offer, the Riu Palace Paradise Island has five restaurants for savouring the best dishes of its chefs. At the main restaurant, there is a large breakfast buffet with show cooking stations, as well as dinners featuring international and local specialities. But on top of that, the resort has a daily barbecue station next to the pool and four a la carte restaurants: the Japanese ‘Tengoku’, the steakhouse ‘Bahamas’, the fusion cuisine of ‘Krystal’ and the new one after the reopening, ‘Chutney’, with Indian specialities. Guests will also be able to enjoy the best snacks and aperitifs at the hotel’s three bars, as well as at ‘Capuchino’, the pastry and ice cream shop. And, if they want to enjoy a special evening for two, the resort offers the option of a romantic dinner on the beach upon request.

The entertainment programmes of the Riu Palace Paradise Island will be the perfect complement to guests’ vacations, as they offer shows and live music as well as numerous leisure and sport activities. In addition, the more athletic guests also have the option of going to the gym or practising beach volleyball, windsurfing, snorkelling and kayaking nearby the hotel. And to relax, guests will have the Renova Spa, with a sauna, jacuzzi and an extensive list of beauty treatments.

All of the All-Inclusive Riu Palace hotels provide free WiFi in all areas of the hotel, 24-hour room service and ‘hammock-side’ service. The hotels in the Riu Palace ‘Adults Only’ collection also provide additional services like a welcome glass of champagne, concierge service, premium beverages throughout the hotel, bathrobes in all rooms, turn-down service and, for an additional charge, a special wine list and a romantic dinner on the beach.

Hainan Airlines: nonstop flights between Shanghai and Brussels

Starting today, the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines will carry out three direct flights a week between Brussels Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. These flights are operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a Boeing Dreamliner 787-9, one of the world´s most modern aircraft. Today the Brussels – Shanghai route was officially opened at Brussels Airport, in the presence of Prime minister Charles Michel, Deputy Prime minister and minister of Employment, Economy and Consumers, Kris Peeters and minister of Transport François Bellot.

Today, the new three weekly service between Brussels Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport by the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines was inaugurated at Brussels Airport. These nonstop flights will further facilitate the current investment and export possibilities between the two countries and create new opportunities.

For years now, Belgium has had important contacts with Shanghai, and there is increasing interest from the business world in both countries. “In recent years, the Chinese metropolis has become an attractive destination for investments thanks to a steadily improving market position. Business leaders from both countries are reacting very positively to this new connection,” says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.

Hainan Airlines has been present at Brussels Airport for more than 10 years now and in the peak season provides a daily direct route between Beijing and Brussels Airport. After a memorandum of understanding was signed in Beijing last November, Hainan Airlines has now obtained the necessary slots at both airports to offer nonstop flights between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Brussels Airport as well. “Since we started with our route from Beijing to Brussels in 2006, hundreds of thousands of people have been able to enjoy the universally-praised service that Hainan Airlines offers between Belgium and China,” explains Huo Wei, Vice President of Hainan Airlines. “Business and leisure trips between Belgium and China have already grown enormously in recent years, and our new offer of direct flights between Shanghai and Brussels will only accelerate this expansion.”

easyJet signs agreement with Air Berlin

easyJet signed an agreement with Air Berlin to acquire part of its operations at Berlin Tegel Airport for a purchase consideration of €40 million. This excludes potential start-up and transitional operating costs. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in December 2017.

The acquisition will result in easyJet entering into leases for up to 25 A320 aircraft, offering employment to Air Berlin flying crews and taking over other assets including slots. easyJet has launched a recruitment campaign to attract around 1000 of Air Berlin’s pilots and cabin crew who will be recruited over the coming months and will then be trained on easyJet’s safety and operating procedures. In line with easyJet’s business model they will be employed on local, German contracts under collective labour agreements negotiated with ver.di.

This agreement is consistent with easyJet’s strategy of purposeful investment in strong number one positions in Europe’s leading airports (or number two to a legacy incumbent). This will enable easyJet to operate the leading short haul network at Tegel connecting passengers to and from destinations across Germany and the rest of Europe. This is in addition to easyJet’s existing base at Berlin Schönefeld and would mean that easyJet would be the leading airline in Berlin.

easyJet will make announcements on the new routes and services to be flown to and from Tegel in due course. easyJet will operate a reduced timetable at Tegel during the winter season but plans to operate a full schedule from the summer season 2018.

easyJet looks forward to building on the strong, customer focussed platform it already has in Berlin to fly more passengers, employ more people and support more economic growth in both Berlin and Brandenburg.