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FlyZambia Airlines to be new national carrier

It looks like Zambia may get a new national airline to replace the much loved Zambia Airways which went into liquidation in 1995. South African and Zambian investors have spoken about launching FlyZambia Airlines to be new national carrier later this year with both domestic and international routes from Lusaka using Fokker 100 and 50 series aircraft. Possible international destinations to be served by the new carrier include airports in Zimbabwe, Angola, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Independent airline, Zambezi Airlines, currently use Boeing 737 aircraft to fly cape Town, Dar Es Salaam, Harare, Johannesburg, Livingstone, Lumbumbashi and Ndola from Lusaka. Most recently Zambian Airways was the national carrier but ceased operations in January 2009 and low cost carrier, Zambian Express stopped flying in 2001. Zambia is a great destinations for tourism and currently has poor or underserves flight services, the launch of FlyZambia Airlines could and should be part of a national tourism strategy let's hope that all goes well as investment arrives and operations commence !

BA/Iberia parent IAG also eyes TAP

Previous reports suggested to "up for sale" signs on portuguese airline TAP were likely to attract a bidder from South America but now a local European suitor, in the form of the recently merged British Airways and Iberia, is probable.  

The acquisition agenda set out by Willie Walsh upon his completion of the BA/Iberia merger provides the context for this move and it would be another step in the rapid consolidation (coagulation ?) of the international airline market. IAG is third, behind KLM/Air France and Lufthansa  in size in Europe with flights to over 200 destinations using 400 aircraft and transporting 55 million passengers last year. TAP has a geographically important position on the western edge of Europe plus has attractive historical ties to Portuguese speaking parts of South America and Africa. TAP is currently part of the STAR alliance, competing with BA's OneWorld group.

Gatwick Airport makeover includes massive upgrade programme

True to the axiom that "the closer you are to a place, the less you really know about it", from our HQ at the end of the runway at London Gatwick Airport, we often pass through Gatwick but rarely linger to explore anything more than the briefest of passenger experiences. However today was different, as a guest of the Airline Business Development Managers and accompanied by a prestigious global airline with their sights on a future long haul service into London, I was shown over the amazing new developments that are currently transforming Gatwick into a world class airport. With the aims of getting rid of queues; achieving an exemplary on-time punctuality record and preenting a friendly face to all its passengers Gatwick is re-building, revamping, redesigning and re-envigorating every bit of its infrastructure and personality.... and it's working!

From specially designated areas for carriers with special needs, to state of the art boarding card readers through to well though out passenger flow routes and less - but more relevant - shops Gatwick is awash with purposeful change for the future. A special mention goes to the brand-new NO1 Gatwick Traveller lounge in the north Terminal with its amazing spa (including fish pedicure), cinema and games rooms plus plugged-in/wi-fi'd work area..£20 per passenger if booked on the web (£25.00 on the day) including bar and bistro facilities (www.no1traveller.com) got to be good value for anyone not flying in business class!

Gatwick is rapidly becoming the airport of choice of people flying into and out of London. Vietnam Airlines have just announced that they are starting flying to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from Gatwick in December 2011 ans I can see why......

Phongsavanh Airlines on the radar and on the runway

The news story we published in May 2010 about the launch of Phongsavanh Airlines was is one of the most read news stories we have ever featured, so when we saw the news update that the new airline from Laos is planning to start flying in September 2011 we thought it was worth blogging the most recent news.
First the good news:' Phongsavanh Airlines is aiming for a September takeoff with an initial service to Bangkok from Vientiane, plus routes to Hanoi and Siem Riep. Now the bad news: "Phongsavanh is positioning itself as a 'premium low-cost airline', offering business and economy classes". Mmmmm .. "Premium, Low cost" is  bit like a chocolate biscuit without the chocolate or a non-alcoholic cocktail for the price of a champagne daiquiri. Still we don't pretend to know the market and apparently teh new airline has strong financial backing, let's hope it gets its marketing act together before the launch.

Blue Air to launch winter flights from £17.79


Revitalised Romanian Low Cost Carrier Blue Air has launched its winter


2011 flying programme from London Luton Airport to Bucharest and Bacau

with a special one-way price of £17.79 including taxes.



The airline will operate London Luton to Bucharest five times per week

on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday departing Luton at

10:00 each day.

London Luton to Bacau flies three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday

and Saturday leaving Luton at 16:20 each day.


Blue Air flights to Bucharest use the Baneasa airport which is the

closest airport to the city centre.


Blue Air Flights to the city of Bacau, in the north East of Romania,

provide an easy access to the Carpathian Mountains and the tourist

region of Transylvania.


Blue Air UK Country Manager, Alina Danculea said: " Our flights for

summer 2011 are filling fast as UK based Romanian families book their

flights home to visit friends and relatives, plus a growing number of

independent tourists are now choosing our services for their holiday

flights to Romania. Our winter flying programme from London Luton

Airport is now available for everyone to book and the cheapest fares

are only there until they've all been sold .. which judging by the

number of calls we are already receiving won't be for much longer !

It's exciting seeing the way that demand for our low cost services is

growing .. and growing ! We have a close relationship with London

Luton Airport and its clear that our choice to use London Luton has

been an important factor in this growth."


Blue Air is the only Romanian low cost carrier and operates a fleet of

modern Boeing 737 aircraft. The airline prides itself on being the

smart way to fly to Romania and has developed its passenger centred

approach to flying since its launch in December 2004. As well as

services from London Luton, Blue Air also operate regular flights from

Dublin to both Bucharest and Bacau.


UK bookings can be made through the UK reservations centre on 0871 744

0104 or 01293 874926, 7 days a week from 08:00 to 20:00. Alternatively

the www.blueairweb.com website has an easy to use on-line booking



Blue Air is represented in the UK by Alternative Airlines sister company, Flight Directors Scheduled

Services Ltd, who specialise in representing high

growth carriers to emerging markets.


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