February 2007 issue

Travel News
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EU wants to cap air fuel emissions

The European Union (EU) has announced plans to introduce a carbon dioxide emissions limit for aircraft operators. The limit would come into effect from 2011 and be based on the average aviation emissions for 2004 to 2006. The current international emissions trading scheme, which was enacted to meet the demands of the Kyoto protocol to cut air pollution, has not been extended to international aviation so far.

The proposal includes not only domestic flights within Europe, but all international flights landing in and departing from the EU and would enforce emissions restrictions on foreign-based carriers who serve major routes via London, Frankfurt and Paris. In an accompanying impact study, the European Commission predicted a rise in ticket prices of e4.60 (US$6) to an average of e39.60 (US$52) if the restrictions became enforced.

Some air carriers have reacted angrily to the plans and together with the US government have demanded a global discussion on the subject. If the law was not worked out properly, said David Henderson, Spokesperson for the Association of European Airlines, it would be “incredibly painful to us”. Abigail Moore from British Airways added that if the law was not restricted to inner-European flights, “the proposal will risk international disputes and could lead to retaliation by non-EU countries”.

The EU has also suggested other solutions to reduce carbon emissions, including a freeze on all new airport construction and the introduction of a national quota for landing slots. Giovanni Bisignani, Chief Executive of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), said that less carbon emissions would better be achieved by reorganising routes and avoiding delays and called for a generalised system of air traffic control for the whole of Europe.

The debate also affects airport operator BAA’s plans for building a third runway at London Heathrow in the UK by 2015. If BAA cannot meet the required standards for noise reduction and lower concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the airport environment, the new runway will be moved to other London airport, Gatwick. According to British Airways Chief Executive, Willie Walsh, without runway extension, Heathrow will be “an aviation backwater” in 25 years.

Use of mobiles possible on Qantas and Emirates flights

Air passengers might soon be able to use their mobile phones while in the air. Australian carrier, Qantas, and Dubai-based airline, Emirates, both announced plans to offer a mobile phone service on board for passengers over a trial period.

Qantas passengers will be able to use their phones during flights to Australia, as well as send and receive text messages and emails, after a deal was made between the airline and Telstra, Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Aero Mobile.

Dubai-based airline Emirates announced a similar service on one of its Boeing 777s from January this year, with plans to later extend the use of the relevant Aero Mobile technology to the whole fleet. To make a call on a flight and send emails, passengers must have GMS phones with global roaming accounts and GPRS-enabled laptops.

United Airlines expands routes

US-based United Airlines has boosted its daily non-stop flight from Chicago to Shanghai with a Boeing 747, offering customers more seats to China in response to growing demand.

Furthermore, a second route between San Francisco and Frankfurt is being launched from April this year. In 2007, United also has plans to provide daily non-stop services between San Francisco and Taipei and introduce three additional weekly flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong. The airline has announced that its customers can avoid booking fees and collect bonus miles by booking online from January.

Travel Update

The first direct flight from Auckland to Shanghai has finally been launched by Air New Zealand after more than a year of planning. For the time being the airline is scheduled to fly to Shanghai three times a week with plans for a daily service to be introduced in the next two years.

Qatar Airways has announced plans for seven additional routes this year to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The carrier, based in the city of Doha, aims to establish new flights to Lagos in Nigeria, Tanzania’s capital Dar Es Salaam, to Bali and Ho Chi Minh City, plus daily scheduled flights to New York. Two destinations in Northern and Eastern Europe will follow.

Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines have expanded their cooperation concerning services in Australia, the UK, the USA, the Middle East and Singapore. Since December 2006, Singapore Airlines’ passengers can fly via London to Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dubai, while from January this year, Virgin Atlantic customers are able to use Singapore Airlines’ service between London and Sydney via Singapore.

Low-cost carrier EasyJet has placed a US$2 billion order with Airbus after a 56 per cent rise in annual profits. Despite a 33 per cent rise in unit fuel costs and the cancellation of 469 flights during last August’s terrorism scare in the UK, the airline had a strong summer season and profited from opening 11 new routes.

Saudi Arabian Airlines has revealed plans to operate low-cost flights. Director, Khaled Al-Mulhim, said that the airline is responding to the demands of low-income travelers, especially the millions of expatriate workers seeking employment in Saudi Arabia each year.

Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways is to launch a low-cost subsidiary to protect its market share against Jetstar’s efforts to expand into the Japanese market, according to Peter Harbison of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

A new terminal at Dublin Airport in Ireland is due to open in autumn 2009, handling about 15 million passengers per year. Construction starts in spring and will cost an estimated e394 million (US$517 million). A new check-in area is already being built.

Scotland’s Glasgow Airport begins its UK£25 million (US$48 million) terminal extension this year. By 2030, the airport is expected to service up to 24 million passengers annually.

In Australia, Queensland Airports has announced plans to extend its Gold Coast Airport runway. Adding another 500 metres to the runway track will enable the airport to cater for international flights from Asia or even the USA, boosting tourism in the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers regions of the state. The runway is expected to be operational by the end of March.

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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.





Asociación Gallega
      de Escuelas
      de Español - Agaes
English Australia
Perth Education City

Alphe Conferences
Icef - Work and
      Travel Forum

Malta Tourism

English Australia
Perth Education City

Algonquin and
      Lakeshore Catholic
      District School Board
Bodwell College
      Services - CISS
Cowichan Valley
      District #79
Delta School District
Maple Ridge / Pitt
      Meadows School
      District #42
Richmond School
      District #38
Stewart College of
Vancouver English
Vanwest College

Mandarin House

Quito S.I. Spanish
      Institute - Centro
      Asociado Cervantes

Anglolang Academy
      of English

Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
English Studio
Harrow House
LAL Language and
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Malvern House
Queen Ethelburga’s
St Christopher School
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
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      Spain, USA)
Worksop College

Alliance Française
SILC - Séjours
       (England, France,

Prolog - International
      House Berlin


inlingua Malta
Malta Tourism

Self - Escola
      de Línguas

Cape Studies -
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      Study Group
Garden Route
      Language Centre
Good Hope Studies

Asociación Gallega
      de Escuelas
      de Español - Agaes
Esade - Executive
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

EF Language
      (Australia, Canada,
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ALCC - American
Boston School of
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California State
      San Marcos
Kaplan Educational
Monterey Institute
      of International
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California San Diego
University of
      Santa Cruz
Zoni Language
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Archer Education
Global Lifestyles
IH Vancouver

Tellus Group
Training Partnership
Twin Group

Icef - Work and
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International House
      Sevilla - CLIC