Vanilla Air
Aug 21st, 2013 by elisa

Vanilla Air is the rebranded name of the budget arm of All Nippon Airways’ airline. The reason? Because it is “loved by everyone in the world”.

Initially a joint venture between All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Malaysia-based AirAsia it had the name AirAsia Japan. However, ANA now wholly owns the carrier so a name change was deemed appropriate.

Airline executives took a month and a half to decide on Vanilla Air from around 200 options.

“We chose vanilla as our brand name because it is popular and loved by everyone in the world,” the airline’s president Tomonori Ishii told reporters in Tokyo. “I think it is a very cute name.”

Vanilla Air will begin flights in late December with a fleet of two aircraft, to be leased from ANA.  The target market will be travellers heading for holiday resort destinations in Asia.

Most punctual airlines
Feb 20th, 2013 by elisa

For the third year running, Japan Airlines (JAL) has been announced as the most punctual airline 2012.

Flightstats 2012 Airline On-Time Performance Service Award Winners recently announced the winners, with Japanese Airlines fairing well overall in the list – All Nippon Airways won the top spot for the fewest cancellations globally.

The other four finalists for most on-time were Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, KLM and Scandinavian Airlines.

In Europe, LOT Polish Airlines came out on top with 89.35% of its flights on time. This was closely followed by Aer Lingus, Finnair, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines.


Cold snap causes travel disruption
Jan 15th, 2013 by elisa

The UK is experiencing travel delays due to the recent cold snap. At the time of writing, Norwich Airport is closed and has cancelled its flights. Passengers are advised to contact their airlines for further details to rebook their flights.

12 Met Office yellow weather warnings are in place across much of the country. These are to alert people of potentially severe weather which could affect driving conditions and cause travel delays.

The cold weather is expected to last all week, with BBC forecasters predicting more snow for eastern England on Thursday, spreading to south-west England and parts of Wales on Friday.

Elsewhere in the world, snow caused the cancellation of 71 flights at Narita airport in Tokyo yesterday, leaving 3,400 travellers stranded. Staff at the Japanese airport distributed sleeping bags, water and crackers to the travellers as they waited for flights to resume.

Around 8cm of snow fell in central Tokyo and surrounding areas, causing travel disruption and leaving thousands without power.

Japan hit by typhoon
Jun 20th, 2012 by elisa

Yesterday, Japan was hit by one of the most powerful typhoons in eight years, killing one person and leaving a 16-year-old girl missing. Around 450 domestic and international flights to the country were cancelled.

Typhoon Guchol hit the south of Osaka, travelled north along the island of Honshu at 40mph then went into the Pacific Ocean this morning. Over 150,000 people in the storm’s path had to evacuate their homes as they were at risk from high waves, storm surges, landslides and gusts of up to 110mph.

Despite the order to evacuate, bullet trains were stopped for safety reasons, which left thousands of passengers stranded.

Authorities are warning that another storm is expected to land in Southern Japan on Friday.

Qatar Airways new flights to Tokyo
Jun 14th, 2012 by elisa

Qatar Airways will launch new flights from Doha to Tokyo from October.

The airline already has a daily flight to Osaka, so it is hoped that by further serving Japan the airline will be able to connect passengers from Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, as well as encouraging Japanese travellers to visit Europe and America.

The airline has launched a number of new flights this year, including flights to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Rwanda, Croatia and Iraq. It plans to add even more destinations before 2012 is out, substantially increasing its international hub.


ETS opposition meeting in Moscow
Feb 29th, 2012 by elisa

The meeting of countries opposed to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) took place in Moscow a few days ago. The result is a declaration signed by 23 countries listing eight measures they will consider adopting unless the ETS is scrapped.

The US, China, Brazil, India, Japan and Russia are among those who have signed, but Canada, Egypt and Qatar, who were involved in earlier protests against the scheme, decided against signing the declaration.

The retaliatory steps in the declaration include imposing new taxes on EU airlines, and suspending talks about giving European carriers more flying rights outside the bloc. Also, Russia has threatened to cap flights by airlines from the European Union, such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Russia’s deputy transport minister Valery Okulov said he was looking at giving preference to routes over Siberia to carriers from Japan, China and other Asian nations instead of those from the EU. This measure could force the airlines to take longer and more expensive routes to Asia and Australia, which may mean numbers of new flights will be limited.

Moscow is also considering banning Russian airlines from taking part in the scheme, following China’s example. A similar action is also being considered by the US Congress. However, the alliance of opponents have backed away from the more extreme measures, such as re-opening existing EU trade deals to pressure European industries.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate commissioner, maintains that Brussels will not back down on the particulars of the scheme.

The officials gathered in Moscow will meet again in Saudi Arabia in the summer.


2011 Round up
Jan 3rd, 2012 by elisa

Happy New Year to all our readers! Before we move on to this year’s news, here’s a round up of some of the biggest stories we covered on this blog in 2011, it certainly was an eventful year!

January started with the troubled BMI threatening to withdraw its Heathrow – Glasgow route after passenger charges at Heathrow were raised (this was confirmed a month later). Ryanair returned to Manchester with four new routes. And the political troubles in Egypt disrupted flights.

Spiraling conflict in Egypt caused complete cancellation of routes to popular holiday destinations in February. Meanwhile, Which? launched a super complaint on airline card fee charges,the cost of Qantas’ engine troubles were revealed, and airlines flying from the UK finally started to show clearer air fares.

March brought faster flight times under a deal signed by traffic controllers. But by far the biggest news of the month was the huge tsunami which hit Japan and led to re-routing of flights to avoid possible radiation risk, and advice to leave Tokyo.

A Skyscanner survey found Spain back in favour for British holidaymakers in April.

In May Belfast Airport started to charge for going for a cigarette break, and the ongoing battle between Unite and British Airways was finally settled!

More natural disasters happened in June with violent aftershocks in Christchurch, New Zealand and volcanic eruptions in Chile.

The News of the World phone-hacking scandal broke in July with airlines withdrawing their advertisements as a result.

In August research revealed the use of smartphones were ruining people’s holidays.

The Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand in September, where Wales’ hopes were dashed.

The first biofuel passenger flight took place in October, however green campaigners claimed it wasn’t as environmentally friendly as everyone thought.

Europe announced a ban on body scanners at airports in November, but the UK decided to go against the decision.

Finally, December saw 150mph winds hit parts of Scotland, which is where we are now at the start of 2012 as tremendous winds continue to batter the UK once more.


So, what travel news is in store for 2012? Keep up to date here!


Dreamliner hitch
Nov 8th, 2011 by elisa

A technical hitch on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft has been reported by All Nippon Airways (ANA). Pilots had to manually wind down the landing gear after an indicator lamp in the cockpit suggested the automated system had failed and the wheels were not properly down. The plane landed on its second attempt at Japan’s Okayama airport.

ANA said it and Boeing are investigating the problem.Boeing has refused to confirm the problem was with a hydraulic valve, only confirming that they are investigating the problem.

The aircraft is flying again, but only on domestic routes for a trial period, before being switched to international services.


Free flights to Japan
Oct 11th, 2011 by elisa


Are you a budding travel writer but have no cash to go across the world? Well, accoding to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the Japanese Tourism Agency plans to give away 10,000 free airfares to visit areas of Japan! All they ask in return is that you write a report about your trip which will be published online.

The move is to promote overseas tourists to visit the country in an attempt to help boost the tourism industry in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster following the tsunami in March.

Would-be travellers will have to submit online applications detailing the areas which they would like to visit. The agency hopes that the successful applicants will write back positive reports about the country, which will help to ease worries about visiting the country after recent events.

The programme, which will require travellers to cover other costs such as accommodation, is expected to start from next April, subject to government budgetary approval.

BA suspends Tokyo service
Apr 19th, 2011 by elisa

The lack of demand for flights to Tokyo has prompted British Airways has suspended its services to the city, only a couple of months after it introduced them this year. BA says it will keep demand “under review” however, and will continue with its daily service to and from Narita.

The Foreign Office is still advising against all but essential travel to areas north east of Tokyo following the earthquake and tsunami in March. There are still risks of aftershocks and more tsunamis, and last week the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) announced the provisional accident severity level at the Fukushima nuclear plant had been raised from level five to seven on the international nuclear event scale.




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