(First posted in the morning Eastern Standard Time and updated in the evening). Today’s trending aviation news comes courtesy of UK Government, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines (JL), Qantas Airways (QF), Boeing / Inmarsat and American Airlines (AA).
Trending Aviation News – February 4, 2015
(UK Government) Air Passenger Duty Announcement – UK airports charge some of the highest Air Passenger Duty (APD) of the world. Starting in May 1, 2015, children under 12 years old with their own ticket would be exempted from paying this duty. This new policy will be extended to persons under 16 years old in 2016. Passengers should automatically receive a refund back any original payment of the APD after all the flights are flown (departing from the UK) from the travel agency or airline directly. Check your statements for the refunds.
Below is a table on the rates charged currently (last updated in April 2014):
Other information can be found in this link.
This is a welcomed change for the UK tourism industry as many families travel to this country for vacation. Also note that the reduced rate is for the lowest class of seat or a seat with pitch less than 40″.
(Delta Air Lines) Delta to Fly Boeing 717S on West Coast Shuttle – After purchasing and refurbishing the Boeing 717S from AirTran (a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines). Delta Air Lines (DL) will be using these aircrafts on more than half of its 15 daily San Francisco (SFO) to Los Angeles (LAX) flights starting in June 2015. The remaining flights will be operated by Delta partner Compass Airlines with a 76-seat Embraer jet.
The following infographics provide flight facts and path information on this flight. Note that the width is better on the Embraer than the 717 in both First and Economy class. Premium Economy does not receive additional amenities on this short flight.
It is a great idea for DL to use some of the 717S for its West Coast shuttle operations. Their chief rivals on this route are United Airlines (UA) with 13 daily flights, Virgin America (VX) with 11 daily flights and American Airlines (AA) with 10 daily flights. The additional capacity increase introduced by using the bigger 717S will create strain on the already low yields but may not be a big concerns for for AA, UA and DL as they are feeding passengers for their international operations between SFO and LAX (and surrounding area airports). VX may be more impacted as their connecting operation is smaller.
(Japan Airlines) JAL Provides Its Inbound Customers With BIC CAMERA Coupon On The Airline’s Overseas Website – Following the introduction of free hot spot access for its passengers (as reported by Experience The Skies), Japan Airlines (JL) is working with electronic store giant BIC CAMERA to provide passengers with more amenities while shopping.
Beginning on February 2, 2015. All eligible passengers to Japan will receive additional discount at all BIC CAMERA stores on top of the 8% off with the Tax-Free Policy. Passengers just have bring the correct coupon and either JAL E-ticket or boarding pass to enjoy the discount.
(Qantas Airways) Qantas & Samsung Unveil Industry-First Virtual Reality Experience for Travellers – The two giants are working together to provide Qantas First Class International passengers onboard the Airbus A380 and at First Class lounges in Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL) with a new virtual reality experience. They will enjoy the experience using Samsung Gear VR technology.
While health effects of using this technology over time have not been noted, this new partnership brings innovations for the airline passengers looking to pass the time. They can use the technology (refer to link) for example to review the weather and locals in another city, interact with airline customer service, review meals on board ahead of time, etc).
(Boeing) With Boeing Inmarsat-5 Launch, Global Broadband Network Closer to Reality Gogo is a reseller of the broadband network (starting in late 2014 – refer to link) and this will be extremely useful for its own airline partners to provide passengers with a better WiFi experience.
(American Airlines) American Airlines And Korean Air Announce Codeshare Agreement – In a historic first, American Airlines (AA) and Korean Air Lines (KE) have signed an exclusive agreement for KE to codeshare on AA’s Dallas (DFW) to Seoul (ICN)’s flight. KE’s SKYPASS members would be able to earn miles on this flight (Experience The Skies will verify if this will be status miles).