Brussels Airport invests €52 million to equip Pier B

Brussels Airport is investing over 52 million euros to equip its Pier B with new boarding bridges and offer greater comfort to passengers. This large-scale project is an important step towards meeting the future demands of its customers, passengers and airlines and preparing for future technological developments in aviation.
The 24 boarding and deboarding bridges at Pier B date from 1992 and will gradually be replaced by state-of-the-art aerobridges to meet the general trend with airlines of operating flights to Brussels Airport with ever larger aircraft. Equipped with air conditioning and large windows, these new bridges not only have a modern look, they’re also more efficient.

“This major investment in new state-of-the-art boarding bridges perfectly fits in with Brussels Airport’s strategy of offering greater comfort to our customers, passengers and airlines, and increasing operational efficiency”, explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport.

Two thirds of the new aerobridges will be dual boarding bridges, which will speed up the boarding and deboarding process while offering greater comfort to passengers and enhanced operational efficiency for airlines. A triple boarding bridge will be installed at gates 31 and 33 of Pier B, which will enable Brussels Airport to meet future demands from the airlines to operate with A380s. In the meantime, it can be used as a double boarding bridge to accommodate large aircraft such as the Airbus A330 and A350 and the Boeing 777 and 787. Work on the installation of this triple boarding bridge will begin this week, heralding the launch of the first phase in the renovation programme.

The replacement of the 22 other boarding bridges will commence at the end of 2018. To maintain full operational capacity, the work will be rolled out in phases. The project will be completed around 2022.

Smoking ban planned at 20 popular beaches

From next month it is forbidden to smoke on one of the twenty selected popular beaches in Thailand. If you smoke, you can get a fine of 100,000 baht (€ 2500) or you will be in prison for a year.

According to the authorities, the big problem is that smokers also throw away their bulbs on the coast. For example, a day-to-day nature organization found nearly 140,000 cigarette remnants on a stretch of 2.5 kilometers of beach in Phuket. The responsible public service does not mean that tourists stay away because there is a smoke ban at once. “People go to the beach to relax. They are happier if they are not disturbed by smokers”, said a spokesman.

There are special smoking areas for non-cigarette users.

Thomas Cook Airlines and Transat A.T: agreement to exchange aircraft seasonally

Transat A.T. inc. and Thomas Cook Group Airlines are pleased to announce the signing of a seven-year agreement for the exchange of aircraft on a seasonal basis. Under the terms of the agreement, Thomas Cook will make available every winter to Air Transat a number of narrow body Airbus A321s and will receive at least one wide-body Airbus A330-200 in return. This will enable both companies to manage and utilise their fleets more efficiently.

The agreement takes advantage of the different seasonality of the two companies: Air Transat uses a greater number of smaller aircraft in winter to serve its destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida, and larger aircraft in summer to serve the transatlantic market. In contrast, Thomas Cook uses smaller aircraft in summertime to fly to destinations around the Mediterranean Sea and larger wide-body aircraft in the winter to fly to the long-haul destinations like Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

“This agreement marks a new step in the reconfiguration of our fleet,” says Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “It allows us to improve our flexible-fleet model, making it even more efficient. Our fleet will eventually consist solely of Airbus A330 and aircraft from the A320 family, such as the A321, which will mean a more harmonized travel experience for our customers as well as lower operating costs,”.

Christoph Debus, Chief Airline Officer, Thomas Cook Group, said: “The new partnership provides additional growth opportunities for our airline, and again demonstrates how Thomas Cook Group is transforming through partnerships. By taking advantage of the complementary seasonal demand in North America and Europe, we will be able to operate additional long-haul flights during winter and better balance the seasonal demand for our short and medium-haul aircraft, resulting in more cost efficiency and choice for our customers.”

Lufthansa Group airlines to offer many new destinations in winter 2017/18

This winter the Lufthansa Group airlines will be offering flights to 288 destinations in 106 countries

The airlines of the Lufthansa Group—Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings—will become even more attractive in the winter season 2017/18. Passengers can continue to enjoy the high level of service, quality and reliability of the Lufthansa Group on countless new routes.

In the upcoming winter flight schedule for 2017/18, the airlines will be offering their customers precisely 24,922 weekly flights worldwide Over the winter, they connect 288 destinations in 106 countries. In addition, there will be more than 18,000 codeshare flights with around 30 partner airlines supplementing the respective flight programs, offering passengers an almost worldwide network of routes. The winter flight schedule of the individual Group airlines will come into force on Sunday October 29, 2017, and will be valid until Saturday March 24, 2018.

The most important new routes of the Lufthansa Group airlines:

From November 8, 2017, Lufthansa will offer flights between Berlin and New York (USA) five times a week. Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, an Airbus A330-300 will take off heading west. Lufthansa will thus be once again basing a long-haul aircraft in the German capital, for the first time since 2001. By resuming the Düsseldorf – Miami (USA) connection from this coming winter, Lufthansa is responding to the numerous requests of passengers from North Rhine-Westphalia. The service will begin on November 8, 2017, and flights will take off three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

The winter flight schedule will see Beijing (China) becoming a new A350-900 destination for flights from Munich. Lufthansa passengers can thus travel to the Chinese capital for the first time on the world’s most advanced and environmentally-friendly long-haul aircraft. The Airbus A350-900 will take off four times a week from Munich. After Hong Kong, Beijing is the second most important Lufthansa A350 destination in China. In addition to this, there will also be Lufthansa A350-900 flights leaving from Munich for Boston (USA), Delhi (India) and Bombay (India).

There will also be a wide range of flights in the upcoming winter from Munich to Charlotte (USA), Denver (USA) and Tokyo (Japan). From the end of October, Lufthansa will start operating flights to many new winter destinations – Pamplona (Spain), Genoa, Bari, Catania (all in Italy), Kuusamo (Finland), Cluj and Timișoara (both Romania) are the new destinations from Frankfurt. There will also be flights this winter from Frankfurt to Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Reykjavik (Iceland), Palermo (Italy) and Paderborn. With Nantes (France), Glasgow (UK) and Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the flight program from Munich will now be expanded to include a number of further attractive city destinations.

Swiss International Air Lines and Edelweiss
In the upcoming winter flight schedule, another destination will be added to the route network of the Boeing 777-300ER – Swiss will now operate its flagship aircraft on flights to the Brazilian city of São Paolo. As regards its short-haul routes, Swiss will be flying to Breslau and also to Niš in Serbia for the first time. In addition to this, Swiss will be expanding its flight program to include Berlin and Düsseldorf. They will also be increasing the number of flights taking off for Moscow. The Swiss affiliate Edelweiss will expand its flight program to include the Canary Islands, among other destinations, and will also be operating flights to Orlando (Florida) for the first time this winter.

Austrian Airlines
In their winter flight schedule for 2017/18, Austrian Airlines will once again be introducing a new long-haul destination. From October 25, 2017, a Boeing 767 will fly passengers to the Seychelles. As such, the airline will be offering a winter flight schedule with five long-haul destinations in warmer climes – Mauritius, the Maldives, Colombo, Havana and Mahé. In Eastern Europe, Austrian Airlines continues to be the market leader among the western European airlines flying from a hub. Here, the airline will be offering flights to a total of 34 destinations in the coming winter. In Ukraine, Austrian Airlines’ program will include four destinations – Kiev, Dnipro, Lemberg and Odessa. Four flights a week will go directly from Vienna to both Lemberg and Odessa. With eleven flights per week from Vienna to Kiev, five to Dnipo and one weekly flight from Innsbruck to Kiev, Austrian will be flying to Ukraine up to 25 times a week. Turning to Romania, Austrian Airlines will fly to Bucharest, Iasi and Sibiu. The Austrian Airlines flight schedule for Romania will thus include three destinations and 41 flights per week.

Eurowings are continuing to expand their long-haul program in their winter flight schedule for 2017/2018; but customers can also look forward to new destinations on both short and medium-haul routes. One highlight in the new flight program is a further intercontinental service from Cologne/Bonn – from the end of October, Eurowings will be flying once a week to Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city.

There is also some exciting news in Düsseldorf – from this winter, Eurowings will be expanding its long-haul program from this airport too. Eurowings will be operating flights from Düsseldorf to four dream destinations in the Caribbean. Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with two flights a week, Puerto Plata every Thursday and Varadero (Cuba) every Friday. The quartet will be completed by Cancun in Mexico. This route will be served by Eurowings once a week from December 18 onwards.

Passengers will also be able to fly from Düsseldorf to Zagreb in Croatia three times a week, and to Marrakesh in Morocco twice a week, as well as to Hurghada in Egypt once a week. Their new base in Munich is a further focus of expansion for their winter flight plan. Here, new destinations will include Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, all on the Canary Islands, as well as Marrakesh (Marocco) and Lisbon (Portugal). The airline will also fly to two new destinations in the UK from Salzburg – four times a week to London-Stansted, and to Birmingham and Manchester both twice a week.