LOT announces increased frequencies to North America and new destinations

LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) in the winter season of 2016/2017 will enhance its presence in the US by increasing frequencies from New York (JFK) and Chicago (O’Hare) to Warsaw. The Polish carrier has also announced several new long-haul destinations from its Warsaw hub to Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo (Narita). LOT will also launch more than a dozen new European connections, thus expanding its hub and providing convenient connecting flights to passengers flying to such cities as Ljubljana, Zurich, Cluj-Napoca and Nice.

The airline continued:

Long-haul flights are the most important part of LOT’s strategy. The first new long-haul flight is scheduled for January 13, 2016 and will be to Tokyo–the first direct connection from Poland and New Europe (Central and Eastern Europe) to Japan. Bangkok and Seoul will start in autumn 2016. The Polish carrier will also enhance its presence in New York and Chicago by adding two additional frequencies to its winter schedule from each city.

“Opening new long-haul destinations is essential for our development, which is why we will launch them as quickly as possible,” said Sebastian Mikosz, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines.

“Even now, connections operated by the Dreamliner (above) are the most profitable part of our business.

LOT is the only airline that offers on a larger scale, convenient, regular flights from Poland and New Europe to New York, Chicago, Toronto and Beijing. Four current connections will be supplemented with three more, and later this year, LOT will announce two new long-haul destinations to operate in 2016. After opening these five new destinations next year, LOT will more than double its network of long-haul connections compared to today. We want our hub to develop along with us. Opening more than a dozen European connections guarantees even more convenient transfers for new passengers from Poland and the entire region. But the new connections are just the start. Next year we plan to enhance our presence in those destinations where we already operate. This means, for example, an increased frequency of flights from Chicago and New York in the winter season.”

In addition to the new long-haul flights, LOT will begin to fly to three new destinations in Europe in 2016: from Warsaw to Venice and Cluj-Napoca (January) and to Ljubljana (March). LOT will also return to routes that were suspended due to the Restructuring Plan. Thus LOT’s passengers will be able to fly directly from Warsaw to Barcelona (January) and to Athens, Nice, Zurich and Beirut (March). From January 2016, flights between Warsaw and Belgrade, Dusseldorf, Yerevan, Chisinau, Zagreb and between Gdansk and Krakow will be restored, many of which are the connections suspended since July this year, as part of the final pool of compensatory measures required by the European Commission.

LOT is able to operate the entire first phase of its network development using only existing aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Chris Sands/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner SP-LRC (msn 35940) departs from Calgary.

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Air Canada to transfer more winter routes to rouge

Air Canada (Montreal) is planning to transfer additional routes to its leisure subsidiary Air Canada rouge (Toronto-Pearson) (YYZ) for the upcoming winter season. According to Airline Route, the carrier will transfer or start the following routes:

Toronto – Sarasota/Bradenton (A319) (October 24)

Toronto – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (A319 and 767-300) (October 25)

Toronto – Panama City (767-300) (October 25)

Montreal – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (A319 and 767-300) (December 16)

Vancouver – Kona, Hawaii (767-300) (December 19)

Montreal – Tampa (A319) (January 15, 2016)

Montreal – West Palm Beach (A319) (January 15)

Montreal – Nassau (A319) (January 17)

Toronto – Barbados (767-300) (January 7)

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Not operating under the rouge brand, Air Canada’s Boeing 767-3Q8 ER C-FJZK (msn 29386) waits for the next assignment at the YYZ base.

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American to start Dallas/Fort Worth – Quito flights

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will start a new route from its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub to Ecuador in December. The carrier will start DFW – Quito flights five days a week starting on December 18 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N756US (msn 1340) prepares to land at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI).

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Lufthansa introduces its new fare concept for Europe

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today issued its anticipated announcement on its on-going refinement of its travel options in Europe:

Lufthansa logo-2

Effective July 28, 2015, Lufthansa is introducing a new price concept for flights in Europe. The new Economy Class fare options “Light”, “Classic” and “Flex” shall apply from October 1, 2015, for domestic and European flights and will offer different services depending on the price. For example, within Economy Class, passengers can select services according to their individual wishes. The booked fare can be complemented with additional services by individually adding further options.

Jens Bischof, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “It is the wish of many customers to only pay for the services they actually make use of. With this new fare concept, we are doing just that. In the future, given this flexibility, every passenger will be able to individually create a tailor-made flight with the various service components that we are offering. The price options, Light, Classic and Flex, are more transparent and allow customers in Economy Class a selection of fare options within Europe.”

The new fare concept is being introduced during the course of the Lufthansa sales strategy realignment. The various fare options differentiate themselves in the areas of free luggage, seat reservations, as well as rebooking and cancellations options. The choice will now consist of a fully flexible Business Class fare and three new Economy Class fares.

In addition to the actual flight itself, all of the fare options include one piece of hand luggage, snacks and drinks on board, a reserved seat at check-in from 23 hours before take-off, as well as Award, Status and Select Miles. The fare options and services included are presented transparently. For bookings in Economy Class, all three fare options are always available. Thus, different option packages can be combined on an outward and return flight. Additional services, such as seats with more legroom or an upgrade to Business Class, can be booked separately at any time, even after ticket purchase.

The new Europe fares of Lufthansa at a glance (click to expand):

Lufthansa European Pricing Options

The new fares at a glance (click to expand):

Lufthansa new fares at a glance

Economy Light

The new Light fare will, from 1 October, be the most economical option for those traveling only with hand luggage and not in need of any ticket flexibility. Jens Bischof said: “To date, about a third of our passengers travelling within Europe only take hand luggage”. The Light fare can be booked from only 89 Euro for a return flight. No rebooking or refund is possible with this option. If desired, customers can additionally book a piece of luggage (from 15 Euro for the outbound and return flight respectively) or book a seat (from 10 Euro per flight) at any time between booking and start of the journey.

Economy Classic

The Classic fare includes the opportunity to check-in a piece of luggage of up to 23 kg. This option also offers a new, additional opportunity for many passengers to secure their desired seat, free-of-charge, at booking. Finally, the Classic fare is more flexible than the Light fare because it can be rebooked to another flight on the original connection for a fee. The Classic fare can be booked from 129 Euro for a return flight.

Economy Flex

The Flex fare is focused principally on passengers that require more flexibility in their travel planning. In addition to the free seat reservation, the Flex fare offers the opportunity to rebook the flight at no extra cost or change the itinerary. If the originally planned booking class is no longer available, it is possible that an extra payment is necessary. In this fare option, frequent fliers will get an additional 50 per cent of Premium Miles credited in the framework of a Miles & More promotion. The extra cost of the Flex fare as compared to the Classic fare is between 60 and 160 Euro, depending on route.

Business Class

Besides the three Economy fares, there continues to be a Business Class fare which includes all the usual services and conveniences of this travel class, such as access to the lounge, increased luggage allowance of 2 x 32 kg, seat reservation and an open seat next to it, and priority boarding. The novelty is the full flexibility in rebooking and cancellation. Thus, in the new price concept, all Business Class fares will be re-bookable without a fee and refundable free-of-charge. If the originally planned booking class is no longer available, an extra charge may be necessary under certain circumstances. The Business Class fare is the premium offer and especially suitable for business customers and discerning leisure travelers. The Business Class fare is available from only 399 Euro for a return flight.

Austrian (2015) logo

Lufthansa is introducing the new fare concept together with Austrian Airlines.

Swiss new logo

Swiss has already used the new concept since the end of June.

Brussels Airlines logo

Brussels Airlines introduced a fare concept with various options in 2014. The fare concept for long-haul flight tickets remains unchanged.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A320-214 D-AIZX (msn 5741) departs from Toulouse.

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Korean Air to become a new passenger Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental operator

Korean Air (Seoul) is already a Boeing 747-8F Intercontinental freighter operator. The flag carrier will soon to be welcomed to the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger club with the pending delivery of its first copy (above). The company has 10 Super Jumbos on order and will replace their older Boeing 747-400s with new type. The older 747-400s will be phased out by 2017.

Korean Air logo

Like Lufthansa, Korean Air will soon operate both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-800.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, the pictured Boeing 747-8B5 HL7630 (msn 40905), taxies into position on the runway at Paine Field near Everett for a test flight.

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WestJet increases nonstop service from Edmonton

WestJet (Calgary) today announced new nonstop service between Edmonton and Nanaimo, British Columbia, as well as more flights between Edmonton and Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Regina and Saskatoon.

WestJet 7.2015 new Edmonton flights

This winter, WestJet will fly nonstop from Edmonton to 26 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean including Orlando, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Maui, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

WestJet’s popular nonstop seasonal service between Edmonton and Maui begins on December 11, 2015, on board the airline’s Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

In other news, WestJet will also offer daily winter seasonal Boeing 767-300 ER service from Toronto (Pearson) to Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 5, 2015 through April 30, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GQWJ (msn 35505) with the special Tartan Tail taxies at the Calgary hub.

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Delta and China Eastern solidify their strategic partnership, Delta to acquire a 3.55% share

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) today signed an agreement to expand their partnership and better connect Delta’s global network with China Eastern, one of the leading airlines in China. The agreement will include a $450 million investment by Delta to acquire a 3.55 percent stake in China Eastern.

Delta continued:

Delta logo

This move marks a significant step in the airlines’ collaboration and partnership that will allow Delta and China Eastern to compete more effectively on routes between the U.S. and China, provide more travel options for customers in both countries and make joint investments in the customer experience.

“The execution of the Subscription Agreement and the launching of commercial cooperation plan by China Eastern and Delta indicate significant strategic moves of China Eastern to comprehensively reform further, actively explore and develop mixed ownership economy, and actively promote globalized development,” said Shaoyong Liu, China Eastern CEO. “The cooperation of the parties is based on a global vision and joint strategic blueprint. The parties will take advantage of their respective route networks, flight services, relevant businesses and advantageous resources to fully connect the world’s two top economies as well as two top air transportation markets. The parties wish, through excellent operation and international cooperation, to optimize customer experience, enhance the parties’ global competitiveness and promotes the development and revenue growth of both parties.”

“Delta’s relationship with China Eastern is long-standing. We share a vision that will create the most profitable, enduring franchise between the U.S. and China, with world-class customer service,” said Richard Anderson, Delta CEO. “For the past three years, Delta has welcomed members of the China Eastern team at our headquarters for sharing best practices and work study opportunities. We have learned much from one another already and look forward to deepening our already effective partnership.”

China Eastern 2014 logo (LRW)

China Eastern, with its wholly owned subsidiary Shanghai Airlines, and Delta currently operate codeshare flights on 30 domestic routes in the U.S., 43 domestic routes in China and seven trans-Pacific routes between China and the U.S. China Eastern serves the three largest U.S. markets, with four nonstop flights from Shanghai and Delta serves the three largest cities in China with six daily non-stop flights from the U.S.

  • China Eastern and Delta continue to strengthen cooperation and support each other in the China-U.S. market through greater access to each other’s networks and an improved customer experience. Among recent improvements:
  • China Eastern and Delta have expanded their joint China-U.S. offering – further cementing their position in the largest market to/from Shanghai – with Delta’s recent addition of new Los Angeles to Shanghai service.
  • Delta’s recent move to Terminal 1 at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport to co-locate with China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines has resulted in more convenient connections and a seamless airport and baggage experience for customers.

Newly developed joint corporate sales provide more competitive products to customers in China and the U.S.

Equity investment

As part of the enhanced strategic partnership, China Eastern and Delta entered into a conditional subscription agreement where Delta will invest $450 million in China Eastern’s H-shares, which trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The investment equals approximately 10 percent of China Eastern H shares and [3.55] percent of the total shares of China Eastern. Delta also will be entitled to an observer seat on the China Eastern board of directors. The agreement is conditioned upon achievement of a final marketing agreement and approval by each carrier’s board of directors.

China Eastern in the U.S.

China Eastern will operate 35 weekly departures to 4 destinations in US from Shanghai, 2 flights a day to Los Angeles, daily to New York, San Francisco and Hawaii, also 3 flights a week from NanJing to Los Angeles. China Eastern operates Luxurious new 777-300ERs on routes between China and North America, which will be a major market for China Eastern over the future years. China Eastern plans to open new routes to North America and also boost frequencies on existing routes.

Delta in China

Delta will operate 28 weekly departures to Shanghai this summer. Delta also offers daily service to China’s capital, Beijing, from Seattle and Detroit and to Hong Kong from Seattle. Delta has grown its China network by nearly three times in the past five years.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. China Eastern’s new Boeing 777-39P ER B-2002 (msn 43288) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

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