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After a challenging time finding the right dance partner to waltz around the floor, Qantas came up empty on their plans to create an all-premium airline based in Kuala Lumpur. On the other hand, they've had a win in Hong Kong. No, not with the creation of an all-business class carrier. but instead to go low-cost again with Jetstar, Qantas' budget off-shoot.
On Monday, on that side of the world, Jetstar partnered with Shanghai-based China Eastern, to create Jetstar Hong Kong. Yes, the bright orange star will be flying happy passengers all around Asia for a fraction of the cost of other airlines.
Airline Security / China Eastern Airlines / Martial Arts / Flight Attendants / Airline News / China Travel / → All Tags
Last April, we told you about Hong Kong Airlines training their cabin crew to ward off terrorists and unruly passengers by using kung fu. Now, the martial art safe for onboard combat is being offered to flight attendants on China Eastern Airlines.
The Shanghai-based carrier announced that the first group of 20 cabin crew recently finished their courses. In all, 2,600-plus flight attendants will be trained for self-defense by using the ancient fighting technique. Airlines executives think that flight attendants could be seen as an easy target for would-be baddies.
Airline Alliances / Airline Industry / SkyTeam / Star Alliance / Shanghai Airlines / China Eastern Airlines / China Travel / Airline News / → All Tags
This was kind of predictable. Having been taken over by SkyTeam carrier China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines will leave Star Alliance later this year and take up residence under that alliance's umbrella. So if you want to use your Star Alliance points to book a Shanghai Airlines flight, you've got until Halloween. Probably a little before that, if you want to be on the safe side.
Shanghai's departure won't really hurt Star Alliance as much as it will help SkyTeam. Star will still be be the largest of the three alliances, with 27 carriers that outright blanket the entire globe (minus, in fairness, Australia). It will still have the world's largest airline in United/Continental. In North America it will still have US Airways and in Europe it will still have Lufthansa. In Asia it will still have China Air, the continent's fifth largest airline and one that continues to grow aggressively. So Shanghai's defection isn't exactly going to be a devastating blow.
China Eastern Airlines / Delta / Airlines / Airline Industry / China Travel / World Expo Travel / → All Tags
Nothing is official until the proverbial ink is drying on the proverbial paper, and we're not even sure they use paper any more for these things, but it now seems certain that China Eastern Airlines is joining the SkyTeam alliance. Officials have confirmed the deal, ending rampant speculation about which of the three alliances the airline would choose. The broad industry upshot here is pretty straightforward: SkyTeam failed in their huge bid to get JAL, so they needed a different way to continue expanding into the Pacific, but more interesting is what this may portend for China travel.
With the six-month Shanghai World Expo set to launch on May 1, the pressure was on for China Eastern to make a decision. The airline was China's last major unaffiliated carrier, which is less than ideal when you're in a geographic region dominated by international travel. They'd already inked a codesharing agreement with Taiwan's China Airlines, expanding their traditional cooperation with that airline into a broad array of cargo flights, passenger flights, logistics, aircraft maintenance and marketing. The deal was specifically done in preparation for the expo, and China Eastern subsequently slashed cross-Strait prices by as much as 20%. Hopefully this new deal, which opens up more than 13,000 daily SkyTeam flights, will trigger more of the same.
We knew LAX has delays, but this has to be one of the worst we've ever heard of.
Dozens of travelers have been stranded at the airport for more than two days after their Shanghai-bound flight was delayed. The China Eastern Airlines flight was scheduled to depart 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, but passengers sat on the plan for several hours before being asked to deboard because the plane was experiencing mechanical trouble. A second attempt was made Monday, when passengers reboarded the plane, sat on the tarmac for another hour, traveled a whopping 100 feet and then were told to return to the terminal.
The airline is paying for hotels and food, but passengers are peeved that CEA has refused to book them on another airline or provide a more thorough explanation. After leaving the plane for the second time Monday, they even staged a mini sit-in, refusing to leave the airport terminal.
On Tuesday evening, the airline flew in a mechanic from China and finally got the plane ready for takeoff -- at 10:54pm -- a three-day ordeal overall. But by this time, we wouldn't be trusting the mechanics anymore than on the first day.
· China-bound passengers stranded at LAX [LAT]
· Flight leaves LA after nearly 3-day delay [Mercury News]
· JAL Engine Incident Proves Airlines Do Eat Your Luggage [Jaunted]
Airlines in China are queuing up with the rest of the country’s companies for a ladleful of life-saving capital. Looks like now’s the time to see if this communism thing really works!
In addition to China’s already announced 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) economic stimulus package, Air China and the other big Chinese airlines are seeking industry-specific government aid to cope with their losses. Even the mention of the bailout sent shares of China’s three biggest carriers soaring. According to Reuters, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines were each likely to receive 3 billion yuan, or $439 million.
No word on whether the extra cash will prompt these carriers to trade in the rubbery meat they try to pass off as chicken, but we’re guessing, per usual, the passenger will be the last one to reap the benefits of any eventual government infusions of cash.