Friday, October 30, 2009

China Southern Airlines Named “Best Airline China 2009”;

World Airline Awards Honors China’s Largest Carrier

HAMBURG, Germany - April 13, 2009 - China Southern Airlines, (NYSE: ZNH, HKSE: 1055, SHA 600029) -  - the newest member of SkyTeam and the largest airline in The People’s Republic of China has been named Best Airline China 2009 in The SKYTRAX World Airline Awards™.

The honor recognizes China Southern’s quality of service and size of network, reflecting its continued growth as a quality international airline company.

The annual SKYTRAX World Airline Awards™ ( are among the most highly regarded in the industry, with the results based on surveys of more than 15 million air passengers from nearly 97 nationalities conducted over 10 months, between August 2008 and March 2009.

Mr. Edward Plaisted, Chief Executive, SKYTRAX, said “the awards, now in their 10th year, were renowned for being the only truly global, independent passenger survey of airline standards”.

China Southern scored high in varied categories ranging from flight safety, in-flight service, ground service, size of network and brand image.

China Southern Airlines currently operates 342 modern Boeing 777, 747, 757, 737 and Airbus A330, 321, 320, 319 and 300 jet aircraft serving destinations to 905 cities in 169 countries, forming an extensive network, with Guangzhou and Beijing as its hubs, covering all of China and radiating throughout Asia with convenient connections to all main cities in the world via close cooperation with all the SkyTeam member airlines.

In 2008, China Southern Airlines carried nearly 58 Million passengers, being ranked world #4 and Asia #1 and the only one Asian airline listed in the Top 5 from China; ranked as the largest airline in China for 30 consecutive years and is the only carrier in mainland China entering into the world’s Top 10 passenger airlines.

China Southern Airlines is the aviation marketing leader in China and is renowned for its numerous branded services such as The Sky Pearl Club Frequent Flyer program; First & Business Class VIP Lounges Ground Service; China Southern Connections Service and “95539” Customer Service & Call Center Hot Line.


The World Airline Awards™ are based on the World Airline Survey by SKYTRAX - - carried out between August 2008 and March 2009.

The SKYTRAX World Airline Awards™ celebrated its 10th anniversary with 500 people attending the ceremony in Hamburg to see the winning airlines receive their accolades here in Hamburg.

More than 16.2 million travelers participated in the Survey over an eight month period with more than 97 different passenger nationalities taking part, it is not difficult to see why The World Airline Awards™ are highly regarded, recognized and quoted across the globe.

The survey measures over 35 different aspects of passenger satisfaction for an airline's product and service standards - evaluating the 'typical' travel experience.

The World Airline Survey is regarded as the primary benchmarking tool for passenger satisfaction levels of airlines throughout the world - constituting a unique survey format based upon analysis of both business and leisure travelers and across all cabin travel types (First, Business, Premium Economy & Economy Class passengers).

About China Southern Airlines

The newest member of SkyTeam - - and the largest airline in The People’s Republic of China for the past 30 years, China Southern Airlines - - connects more than 80 cities around the globe. Major business and vacation destinations served in China include: Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan and as well as International service, including: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Islamabad, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Lagos, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Osaka, Paris, Penang, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. 

World of Airline News

American to launch flights to Buenos Aires

American Airlines will launch daily Chicago O’Hare-Buenos Aires service on Dec. 13 aboard a 221-seat 767-300. This is part of ints strategy for International expansion apart from Europe which is starting its open skies policies with North America come 2008. These new routes are expected to shore up the profit margins of the big 4 American and Canadian carriers.

Pacific Blue to launch NZ domestic flights

Pacific Blue, the international arm of Australia’s Virgin Blue, will launch domestic services in New Zealand on November 15. The carrier will dedicate two 737-800s to flights between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It announced promotional fares from NZ$39 ($27.17), while normal fares will be equal to or above those of Air New Zealand.

Here comes competition to Air New Zealand(ANZ) on its home turf

Loose bolt said to have led to China Airlines 737 fire, explosion

A small hole in a fuel tank caused by a loose wing slat bolt was the likely cause of the Aug. 20 China Airlines 737-800 post-landing fire and explosion at Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan’s Aircraft and Railways Accidents Investigation Commission said yesterday.

Kazushige Daiki, the commission’s chief investigator, said a 0.8-1.2-in. hole was found in a fuel tank. Investigators believe the hole was caused by a bolt from a right wing slat. “The bolt pierced through the fuel tank and we believe that caused fuel to leak out,” he said at a news conference in Okinawa. The fuel subsequently ignited, although the source of the ignition was not discussed. The commission released a photograph that showed the punctured fuel tank, which appeared to have a hole with a bolt protruding from it.

Daiki added that it is unknown how the bolt came loose and made its way to the tank. All 165 passengers and crew were able to escape the fiery aircraft before an explosion destroyed it. At a separate news conference in Taipei, Taiwan Aviation Safety Council Executive Director Yang Hung-chih confirmed that investigators believe “a several-cm.-long bolt came off from its position and pierced the tank, resulting in the leak.”

 This news is very grave indeed in light of the fact the airline declared that a detailed C Check was carried out very recently and no issues were found. Is this a end to the airline’s credibility? This could well push the airline towards losses this fiscal.

The Best Airlines and Airports in India

Each year, the Air Passengers Association of India conducts a survey of passengers and members to find out the best airports and airlines in the country. To help you plan for a good travel experience in India, here are the results for 2008.
Mumbai's Chhatrapathi Shivaji International Airport. Mumbai airport won this award for the second year in a row by providing the best experience for its passengers. This was achieved through its upgraded amenities, including better immigration facilities, more check in counters in the domestic departure terminal, more baggage conveyor belts in the new domestic arrival terminal, and location of the terminal closer to the car park.
Chennai International Airport. Chennai Airport, which has been somewhat modernized in the past few years, was recognized for its cleanliness, passenger amenities, comfort, and customs and immigration processes.
Jet Airways. Jet Airways is well regarded for its customer focus and brand value. It stood out from the rest in terms of livery (the markings, colors and logos that distinguish each airline's fleet), food, service, punctuality, and baggage handling.
Indigo. Having commenced operations in 2006, Indigo is only relatively new to the market. It was acknowledged for its value for money, punctuality, connectivity, safety, refunds, and baggage handling.
Kingfisher Airlines. Kingfisher Airlines has the same owner as India's well known Kingfisher beer, and puts signifiant effort into recruiting charming and attractive cabin crew. Therefore, it's not surprising that it won this award. Cabin crew ranked highest in terms of courtesy, appearance, presentability, responsibility, and anticipating passenger needs.

Travel+Leisure ranks Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Thai Airways as the best in the world

Another ranking, another familiar (and not so familiar) story. This time, Travel+Leisure ranking of World’s Best international airlines ranks Singapore Airlines at the top, followed by Emirates – which climbed a notch, and Thai Airways as the third, which climbed two notches. The surprise entries in the top few airlines here are SilkAir – Singapore Airline’s regional wing – and Air Tahiti Nui. It’s surely a proud moment for those at Singapore Airlines and SilkAir to have both the airlines among the world’s best. Air Tahiti Nui is in the Top 10 for the first time, so quite an achievement for them as well.
All rankings like these tend to bring out certain unique nuances about the airline industry. Here are some interesting observations.

   1. These rankings are attained by surveying readers of the Travel+Leisure magazine, who’re serious holiday-makers. Hence, the inclusion of “holiday-destination-heavy” airlines like SilkAir and Air Tahiti Nui should be taken with a pinch of salt. Moreover, the fact that other established holiday airlines like Thomas Cook and Condor are not included in this ranking should send some signals back to their headquarters.
   2. The fact that there is hardly any overlap between these rankings and airlines that won the Freddies – ranking of the best frequent flier programs – reflects that most of the fliers who’ve participated in this survey are not frequent fliers. So does that mean that this ranking should carry less importance than others? Probably not. It just reflects the preferences of a different segment of travelers.
   3. An often overlooked factor is the regularity with which some airlines come out tops, regardless of the ranking type and year after year, like Singapore Airlines and Emirates. It says tons about their management not finching in times of crises (like now!) and keeping their promises with their customers.