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Aviation

Coveted global award for SriLankan

Airbus Industrie has announced that SriLankan Airlines will receive the global award for Operational Excellence among all small airlines that operate the Airbus A340 aircraft.

This is the second such prestigious award won by SriLankan from Airbus Industrie, one of the world's two largest manufacturers of commercial aircraft. Airbus in 2004 presented Sri Lanka's National Carrier with the global Operational Excellence Award for another type of aircraft - the twin-engined A330.

Senior Manager Aircraft Engineering, D.A.G. Jayasuriya said: "We at SriLankan Airlines emphasise the need for the most efficient use of our aircraft, so as to provide the finest delay-free service to our passengers.

We are delighted that our continuous efforts have been recognised as being among the best, by none other than the aircraft's manufacturer."

SriLankan was the first carrier in Asia to operate the wide-bodied long-haul A340-300 aircraft, the first of which it was acquired in August 1994. It now has five A340 aircraft in its all-Airbus fleet.

Captain Milinda Ratnayake, Senior Manager Flight Operations, said: "This award is a tribute to all those who are responsible for the efficient operations of our fleet - from Aircraft Engineers and Technicians to Pilots, Cabin Staff, Airport Service staff, Cargo staff, Cleaning staff, and so many others."

The airline has a multi-disciplined Punctuality Improvement Committee, which meets daily to evaluate even the slightest flight delay, identifies causes for individual delays, and takes action to prevent their recurrence. These include maintenance reasons and human factors.

The award is for a 2-year period from November 2005 to October 2007. It is based on wide-ranging selection criteria which include number of hours flown, number of take-offs, operational interruptions due to maintenance issues, and flight delays.

Priyantha Rose, Manager Aircraft Maintenance, said: "The high standards of SriLankan Airlines' operations have once again drawn praise. In recent times we have been lifting the level of operations higher and higher, and have received recognition from a large number of global organisations."

SriLankan's Engineering wing last year received EASA 145 accreditation from the European Aviation Safety Agency. Systems and processes of its Flight Operations Department are already certified for the ISO9000:2001 standard.

The A340s fly primarily from Colombo to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Other aircraft in its fleet are the wide-bodied A330s and twin-engined medium-range A320s.

The Award will be presented at Airbus Industrie's Long Range Technical Symposium, which will take place in Dubai next May. The awards are presented every two years.


Dubai to launch low-cost airline

Dubai is to launch a low-cost carrier that will serve the growing budget travel market within the region and benefit the huge number of expatriates in the UAE.

Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has instructed concerned authorities to set up the low-cost airline company in Dubai.

"While setting fares, the company will be taking the financial and living conditions of passengers into consideration," Wam reported, without elaborating when the airline will be launched and its routes.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of the Emirates Group, will also be the Chairman of the new airline, while Gaith Al Gaith, Executive Vice-President for commercial operations at Emirates, will be its chief executive officer.

"Dubai's open-skies policy encourages the growth of air transport, which has and continues to contribute to the development of this city.

The new airline, a low-cost carrier, will complement the international air services already provided by Emirates," Shaikh Ahmad said.

Although two Emirates officials have been named chairman and CEO of the airline, it is unclear what relationship will the new airline have with the Emirates Group. Mike Simon, Emirates' vice-president for corporate communications, told Gulf News: "It is a completely separate airline. Emirates has nothing to do with it except the fact we have the new low-cost airline will help Dubai to regain the market gradually being left out by Emirates, analysts believe.

(Courtesy Gulf News.com)


Emirates daily non-stop to Milan, Rome

Trend-setting Emirates Airline will soon offer non-stop daily flights to Italy's fashion hub of Milan as well as the nation's capital Rome, bringing a new tailored approach to its Italian services.

From July 1st, Emirates' flights from Dubai to Milan and Rome will both be direct, non stop and running seven days a week - bringing more convenience and comfort to passengers, just eight months after the airline launched its Venice service.

Under the simplified routings, from July onwards, travellers to Milan and Rome can enjoy one continuous journey.

The de-links will also increase passenger capacity on both routes, broaden passenger choice over seats and streamline the booking process for ticketing agents.

Keith Longstaff, Emirates' Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe, said: "This is great news for our passengers travelling in and out of this part of southern Europe.

By removing stops en route, we can get customers to their chosen destination faster and in greater comfort."

Mr Longstaff added: "We can also offer more cargo space as the hold will be exclusive to either Milan or Rome, eliminating the need to share precious cargo space with another destination. These significant service improvements highlight our increasing commitment to Italy and to the customers who value our products and services."

The Milan route will be served exclusively by an Airbus A330-200, offering First, Business and Economy Class. The Rome flight will continue to be served by a Boeing 777-300, also on a three-class basis.

Emirates, which now reaches 99 destinations across six continents, has been serving Italy since 1992, when it started flights between Dubai and Rome, followed in 2000 by services to Milan. In July last year, the airline launched flights to Venice, providing the only non-stop air link between the Middle East and one of the world's best known tourist destinations.

Emirates is also the only airline in the world offering a water limousine airport transfer service, which gracefully transports Premium Class passengers to and from Venice airport aboard Riva-style vessels across the Venetian Lagoon.

The Dubai-based carrier is known for its industry leading initiatives.


Key changes in aviation sector

Sri Lanka's only budget airline, Mihin Lanka is to get a new CEO soon. The present CEO, Sajin Vaas Gunawardene, who played a key part to formulate this airline is to step down and remain in the Director Board.

A former Head of Commercial at SriLankan airlines who is currently serving in China is expected to replace him.

In addition Head of Passenger Sales, Sri Lankan Airlines Manoj Gunawardane is tipped to be appointed CEO of the airline.

The former CEO, Chandana De Silva has once again joined Emirates. After the take over of the national carrier by the government Secretary to the Treasurery, Dr. P. B. Jayasundara was recently appointed as Chairman SriLankan.

(SS)


Air Transport industry lose $3.8 b

SITA, a leading IT provider which tracks passenger baggage worldwide for the air transport industry, has launched a major report which shows how baggage handling can be improved at the world's busiest airports through the better use of technology as the industry now handles around 2.25 billion pieces of checked baggage every year.

Francesco Violante, SITA CEO, commenting on the 4th annual SITA Baggage Report, said, "Once again, the past year has seen an increase in the amount of baggage mishandled worldwide.

"RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) also has a role to play and could save the industry as much $700 million if it was fully implemented across the industry."

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO, added, "We get baggage right 98 per cent of the time. With a total volume of over 2.2 billion bags in the system, the 2 per cent that is mishandled is a big problem that we need to fix."

According to Report because of growing pressures on baggage management linked to passenger volumes, tight aircraft turnaround times, and heightened security measures.

Figures from WorldTracer, SITA's fully-automated system for tracing lost and mishandled passenger baggage used by 400 airlines and ground handling companies, show that 42.4 million bags were mishandled or delayed in 2007.

The air transport industry handles around 2.25 billion pieces of checked baggage every year.

Courtesy ASIA Travel Tips .com

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