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Ever heard of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line? We're guessing probably not, but the Smithsonian sure has; the seaplane carrier is classified as the world's first airline, which inaugurated commercial air service in 1914 when it took off with one paying passenger. It may have been a short journey (only 23 minutes!), but the Airboat Line's impact extends to today as commercial aviation has become a $2.2 trillion dollar industry, employing over 57 million people.
In 2014, the world celebrates 100 years of commercial air travel, but that's not all.
In this last century, airlines and airplanes have evolved into a fact of everyday life for travelers, and some of the pioneering companies will mark milestones this year. Here's who to wish "happy anniversary":
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WiFi is scheduled to arrive is set to arrive at Nok Air sooner than later, and it sounds like Thaicom are the folks behind the in-flight Ku-band technology. Installations are moving quickly, and the system could be up and running as soon as this July or August. The plans are to start with six planes as soon as possible, and after that they’ll move into installations for 30 more.
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Is that a wrench in your pocket or are you just happy to see this airplane?
That's a question for the 12 men chosen to star in the newest naughty calendar from Thai budget airline Nok Air.
Just as they recently partnered up with Playboy Thailand for a 2014 calendar of ladies, so too has the low-cost carrier done a deal with gay lifestyle magazine Attitude to produce a 2014 calendar of hot men.
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Nok, a budget airline based in Bangkok, called up Playboy Thailand and collaborated with the men's publication to choose the "10 Hottest Bunnies" to star alongside Nok's colorful fleet of Boeing 737s (and ATR 72s) for a 2014 calendar. There's no word on the cost of the calendar, but it's safe to assume that passengers may buy them onboard Nok's flights.
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We’ll be honest—we have a hard time keeping up with all the new low cost carriers that continue to pop up each and every month. This week brings another one, so we’re definitely going to need to make some flash cards or something to study. That way we can remember where they fly, what they’re called, and what their livery looks like.
Anyway, enough about us, as the news is all about Nok Air and Scoot. These two carriers are teaming up to set up a new budget airline, and the plan is for the new airline to do its thing with a base over in Bangkok. Each carrier is going to throw around $60 million in cash to set things up, as the new venture will be known as NokScoot.
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There's just over three weeks left until Halloween and, besides getting enough snack-sized Snickers for the little trick-or-treaters ringing your doorbell, there's all the planning that needs to go into a unique costume. Luckily there are some airplanes with creative paint jobs to lend some disguise inspiration.
From wildlife to wild childs, be on the look-out for some mile-high Halloween hijinks during your next trip with these airplanes on the loose. Here are nine of our favorite planes masquerading as something else:
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We find it exciting to walk through an airport and catch a glimpse of a specially painted airplane gliding by the windows, or even sneak a peek at vibrant liveries while taxiing to our gate in a foreign land. Thankfully the airline world is chock full of super quirky, stand-out airplane designs and, while some make us raise an eyebrow and tilt our head, all bring a smile and make us reach for our camera.
Here are some of the more flamboyant aircraft paint jobs::
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It takes a special sort of person to be a flight attendant. In the early days of airplane travel, flight attendants were a cross between nurses and bellboys, then the jet era called for them to be glamorous representatives of the airline. Today, flight attendants are recognized as service professionals who often undertake a full career in the skies.
Thailand's budget airline Nok Air is still seemingly stuck in that early jet age mindset, however, as they've just launched a recruitment drive via Facebook, with requirements that read more like Barbie's resume than a job posting.
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What is the turn of a new year without a flight attendant calendar controversy? This year, the award for naughty airline calendar goes to Thai budget airline Nok Air, whose slogan is "We Fly Smiles."
They also apparently fly scantily clad, as Nok's Facebook previewed three photos from the calendar as part of a contest to win a free copy. Each of the teaser photos (shown here) are now angering the Thailand Ministry of Culture, on the grounds that the image doesn't promote the country in a proper, positive light. That doesn't mean the Ministry of Culture can stop Nok from printing their calendars, though, so the contest to give away 300 of them continues.
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Don't knock Nok Air. Their planes may be painted like tropical birds, their flight attendants young enough to feel more like candy-stripers, and their hub airport of Bangkok's Don Mueang International empty enough to inspire more smirks than all that "we fly smiles" claiming they make, but our own flight on Nok was actually pretty great.
First off, a little background. Nok Air is a Thai low-cost airline that started up in 2004 and now runs routes out of Bangkok to a slew of popular vacation destinations typically no more than several hours' flight time away. View all their routes right here. Flights start around 1,300 THB ($41) on average, which even includes an in-flight snack and one free checked bag up to 30kg.
We hopped onboard, flying from Bangkok-Don Mueang to Phuket International, a 1.5-hour flight that cost us only around $51 USD total (and it was a last-minute booking).*
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In our Prime Plane Spotting series, we've discovered quite a slew of odd places to get right up near the big jets; there've been coffee shops, a pool, Venetian water taxis and even an IKEA, but never before have we found a golf course.
At Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, an entire 18-hole, par 72 golf course sits between the two runways. It's called Kantarat. Seeing it is believing it, and even better is crossing from hole to hole in a golf cart, waiting for a red light to change so you can drive across the tarmac for your next shot.
So this is a new take on dealing with soaring fuel prices: Thai LCC One-Two-Go will ground its entire fleet starting today, through September 15. At that point, the carrier says, it will resume service.
One-Two-Go is the country's second-largest low cost carrier, and rival carriers are more than happy to snap up displaced customers. Right now, domestic flights on AirAsia start at just $63 all-in, and Nok Air also has a bunch of good-looking "Smile Fares."
So far this year, two smaller Asian carriers have shut down, and Qantas and Thai Airways have announced capacity cuts.