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September 2013 100

September 2013


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NEW AIR SERBIA SOARS NEW NAME, NEW LOOK REVEALED FOR SERBIA’S NATIONAL AIRLINE AS ETIHAD AIRWAYS ACQUIRES EQUITY STAKE AND MANAGEMENT CONTRACT

T

he national airline of Serbia now has a new name – Air Serbia – and a new corporate logo and color scheme, as part of the largest transformation of its 86-year history. The change signals not only a rebranding of the former Jat Airways, but a whole new identity, affirming that Air Serbia will be a completely different airline. Driving the change is Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, which has secured regulatory approval to acquire 49 percent of Air Serbia and has been awarded a five-year management contract. Announcing the groundbreaking deal recently, James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said the rebranding signaled the arrival of an all-new airline and exciting new opportunities for Serbia. “This is not just a change in strategy,” said Hogan. “It is a package of changes so significant that the airline requires a change of identity and appearance.” Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić said a strong national carrier was essential not only for the Serbian economy but also for national pride. “The people of Serbia value their heritage and their national identity,” Vučić said. “This change signals a break with the national airline’s past practice but not with its strong ethnic roots. “The name Air Serbia will carry the national identity


Chief Ex

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into other markets, and clearly establish the Serbian brand in a way that Jat Airways could not.” In a related development, a new chief executive office for Air Serbia has been installed, Dane Kondic. Kondic has more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, having held senior positions in sales, marketing, customer management, and strategic change management. He has dual Australian and Serbian citizenship and speaks Serbian. Vučić said of Kondic’s appointment: “These are exciting times as Jat Airways becomes Air Serbia, and we are delighted to appoint Dane, a highly talented and driven professional, as the airline’s chief executive officer. “Dane has a strong record for delivering results at several leading global aviation companies and this, combined with his understanding of the Serbian business community, as well as the Serbian language, will ensure the airline begins its new life in great hands.” Kondic has gained his experience in roles across the aviation industry, including positions at Malaysia Airlines and Qantas, as well as in the agency, wholesale and content areas of the travel business. For his part, Kondic said, “It is a great honor to be given this opportunity to lead Air Serbia as the airline enters an exciting new era. The national carrier is very important to the Serbian people and I, alongside my new colleagues, look forward to building a truly world class company.” Between August 2012 and August 2013, Kondic held the position of Sabre Airline Solutions’ Regional Director


for Southeast Asia. Prior to that, he was vice president commercial, at Abacus International in Asia. He also held the positions of vice president North Asia for GTA by Travelport; managing director Kuoni Travel China Ltd; and general manager of Worldwide Sales for Malaysia Airlines. Kondic said the rebranding ultimately would cover every part of the airline, from aircraft exteriors to cabin crew uniforms, ticket offices, boarding passes and advertising. “The new brand will take the Serbian name and its red, white and blue color scheme from Belgrade to the world,” he said. He also revealed that a key figure in the rebranding of the national airline was 25-year-old graphic design student Tamara Maksimovic from the Serbian city of Novi Sad. At the end of her course, Tamara was required to develop a portfolio of branding designs for an organization of her choice. “I wanted a big project, something with a lot of detail and a lot of applications,” she explained. “It came to my mind to choose an airline. I chose Jat Airways.” The airline discovered Tamara’s portfolio on a graphic design website, and engaged her to design the new branding for Air Serbia. “Branding is what I love the most,” Tamara said. “The Jat Airways design came from the former Yugoslavia. I wanted to refresh it and make it Serbian. This is very exciting. Seeing the design now - I’m super proud of it.” Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2012 carried 10.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 94 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 78 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and over 80 aircraft on firm order, including 41 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus and, subject to regulatory approval, will acquire 24 percent of India’s Jet Airways.


BRITISH AIRWAYS THAI-UP WITH PG British Airways and Bangkok Airways (PG) have

reached a codeshare agreement for more seamless British Airways flights to the popular holiday destinations Phuket, Koh Samui, and Chinag Mai in Thailand. The arrangement for shared flights will bring more functional transactions on British Airways booking website ba.com, and more accessible connecting flights from the UK to the holiday hotspots in Thailand. British Airways flies daily to Bangkok, and twice daily to Singapore, both cities, which serve as a stop-over for the new codeshare flights. The streamlining reflects also homewards, as the Bangkok service will be moving from Heathrow Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 in October, with better access to other connecting flights in sight. Steve Ronald, British Airways’ head of alliances, said: “The beautiful beaches of Thailand will be more accessible to European tourists now that we have teamed up with Bangkok Airways. The move of our Bangkok service to Heathrow’s Terminal 5 will also serve to streamline connections between Europe and the Far East.” Peter Wiesner, Bangkok Airways senior vice president network management, commented the effects of the agreement: “We believe this partnership will offer a unique advantage for British Airways’ customers who will enjoy our unparalleled services which include free lounge access, in-flight meals and more. I am confident that this will also strengthen Bangkok Airways’ extensive codeshare scheme as well as boosting tourism in Thailand and Asia.”

GULF AIR LAUNCHES SPECIAL PROMO FOR ITS FALCON GOLD PASSENGERS Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, recently offered a special summer promotion for its Falcon Gold passengers traveling from Bangkok to key destinations across the airline’s network in the Gulf Countries, Middle East and Europe. Falcon Gold class promotional fares start from as low as Bt46,565 to the Middle East and Bt68,760 to Europe. Destinations included in the promotion are Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Riyadh, Muscat, Doha, Kuwait, Sana’a, Khartoum, Amman, Cairo, Beirut, Larnaca, Frankfurt, Paris, Istanbul, London, and Larnaca. Gulf Air Acting Country Manager for Thailand, Khalid A. Rahman said, “To coincide with the vacation season, we are awarding our premium class passengers with a limitedtime promotion offering more affordable fares to a range of popular holiday destinations. Gulf Air, with one of the largest Middle East networks, is well positioned to connect travelers to several key destinations in the region offering excellent connectivity, via Bahrain, to prominent cities in the Gulf, the Middle East and Europe.”


BANGKOK AIRWAYS STARTS BANGKOK-MANDALAY SERVICE Bangkok Airways (PG) launches a new route from Bangkok direct to Mandalay on Sept, 15, with four flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) by Airbus 319 with seat capacity of 144. The schedule is effectively time-framed and operated in daytime. PG709 departs Bangkok at non, arriving Mandalay at 1:20 p.m., and returns as PG710, departing Mandalay at 2:10 p.m. arriving Bangkok at 4:35 p.m. Bangkok Airways promotes the new route with a discounted price tag. ´The Mid-Year Promotion´ for Bangkok - Mandalay roundtrip fare starts at Bt3,790++, and is valid for travel before Nov. 30. For more information and reservations, visit www. bangkokair.com or call 1771 (24 hrs call center)

ASIA ATLANTIC AIRLINES LAUNCHES 1ST BOEING 767-300ER AIRCRAFT

Japan‘s H.I.S. Group and Thailand’s Baiyoke Group have created a joint venture, Asia Atlantic Airlines, which will be offering a legacy carrier service that “adheres to the very highest standards of Asian hospitality.” The airline will commence operations with flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka (Kansai) utilizing two Boeing 767300ER aircrafts. Asia Atlantic Airlines plans to expand its network to include China, South Korea, Guam and Hawaii, as further aircrafts are delivered. On board, there will be both Thai and Japanese crewmembers to serve the passengers. “With our years of experience of leisure tours in Asia, we offer convenience not only for tour operators but also guests, who will enjoy the highest standards of safety and service comparable with legacy carriers,” said Bobby Haque, president of Asia Atlantic Airlines. Passengers traveling on Asia Atlantic Airlines will have access to both a departure lounge and dedicated immigration counters at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.


AIR ASIA GETS A320 Airbus has delivered its 8,000th aircraft, an A320 for the Indonesian wing of AirAsia The delivery highlights the manufacturer’s position as a leader in the civil aircraft market, delivering highly advanced, fuelefficient family of aircrafts. The product line is also the most comprehensive offered by any aircraft manufacturer, covering every segment of the market from 100 to over 500 seats. Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO said: “It’s particularly fitting that our 8,000th delivery goes to AirAsia - one of the world’s fastest growing airlines.-In an increasingly challenging and diverse worldwide economic context, we are more than ever focused on delivering real value to our customers,” she concluded. Altogether, over 13,000 Airbuses has been ordered worldwide and for now, the 8,000 actual aircrafts has been delivered to nearly 500 customers and operators worldwide. Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, group chief executive officer of AirAsia said: “The excellent fuel efficiency and economics of Airbus aircraft are key contributors to AirAsia’s success – we are confident that these modern aircraft will enable us to continue our ambitious growth plans.” AirAsia Group is the largest low-cost airline in Asia and operates an all-Airbus fleet.

AIRBUS DELIVERS 1,000TH A330 TO CATHAY PACIFIC Airbus reached the 1,000th A330 recently, and delivered it to Cathay Pacific, the world´s largest operator of the A330 with its sister airline Dragonair. Ivan Chu, chief operating officer, Cathay Pacific Airways said: “The A330 is the backbone of our mid-size fleet and we are delighted with the reliability, flexibility and above all the economics of this great aircraft. We are very proud to be the recipient of the 1,000th A330.” The wide-body aircraft enjoys increasing popularity with airlines across the globe. The major reason for the success is A330s economic advantage, which Airbus continuously strives to maintain. Consequently, the aircraft remains the most cost-efficient twin engine wide-body in service today for both regional and long haul routes, with the latest versions capable of flying non-stop on sectors of up to 7,250 nautical miles / 13,420 km. John Leahy, chief operating officer, customers said: “The A330 offers the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in its category in service today and is unmatched even by the latest competing aircraft. That a world-leading airline such as Cathay Pacific Airways has placed so many repeat orders says it all.”


QANTAS AWARDED ‘ECO-PIONEER AIRLINE OF THE YEAR Qantas has been named as one of the world’s leading airlines for environmental action in the annual Air Transport World (ATW) Eco-Aviation Awards. ATW announced that Qantas had won the ‘EcoPioneer Airline of the Year’ category, in recognition of its long-standing environment strategy and leadership of the aviation industry’s efforts to become more sustainable. Qantas’ comprehensive environment strategy has been in place for more than 10 years, with the goal of improving fuel efficiency, mitigating carbon emissions, reducing energy use, and engaging Qantas employees and community organizations. Some of the recent environmental milestones have included Australia’s first commercial biofuel flights in April 2012, and pioneering in fuel-efficient flight navigation technology. John Valastro, Qantas’ head of environment said: “We aim to lead by example – through our fuel efficiency and biofuel initiatives – but also to play a role in the industry forums dedicated to reducing aviation’s impact on the environment.--This award will provide inspiration as we move forward with the next phase of our environmental strategy, including making the case for commercial production of aviation biofuel in Australia.”


ETIHAD AIRWAYS OUTLINES EXPANSION OF AUSSIE OPERATIONS Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has outlined major changes to its Australian operations, including new aircraft, new routes, additional flights and new airport facilities. Some of the future steps include additional flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to Abu Dhabi with Airbus A380, commencement of nonstop flights between Perth and Abu Dhabi, and construction of premium lounges at Sydney and Melbourne Airports from 2014. Etihad will also increase its equity in Virgin Australia from a 10 per cent shareholding to 19.9 percent. The partnership with Virgin Australia enables Etihad Airways to connect with 45 destinations in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said: “We have a significant presence in Australia, with 28 weekly departures, annual expenditure of over $100 million, direct employment of 106 staff and engagement of 415 local contractors.” “Virgin Australia is a key member of our ever-expanding airline equity alliance, and Etihad Airways is an active and long-term investor in Virgin,” he added.


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Thailand Airline Timetable September 2013