Travel News: Qatar Airways Named Airline of the Year at Skytrax World Airline Awards 2011

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker celebrating an historic moment as the carrier is named Airline of the Year at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards 2011 held during the Paris Air Show. (PRNewsFoto/Qatar Airways)

PARIS, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Qatar Airways has been named “Airline of the Year” at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards 2011 for its outstanding inflight product and operational excellence.

Qatar Airways’ global ranking among more than 200 international airlines rose to the world’s top position – up from third spot last year – further cementing its stature as one of the world’s best airlines.

The awards are selected by the airline’s most important audience – its customers. More than 18 million passengers worldwide were polled during the annual Skytrax awards.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker collected the award at a ceremony today during the Paris Air Show, being held at Le Bourget.

Qatar Airways, which remains one of a select-few carriers with a Skytrax Five Star ranking for service excellence, also claimed the “Best Middle East Airline” award for the sixth consecutive year.

The international airline also received the accolade “Best First Class Lounge” for its Premium Terminal at the carrier’s Doha hub – a facility for exclusive use by Qatar Airways’ First and Business Class passengers.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the awards were a fantastic achievement, honoring many aspects of the airline, in which it had excelled in different areas, including its inflight product, onboard service, environmental leadership and overall operations in the air and on the ground.

“Since I became the Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways in 1997 at the time of Qatar Airways’ relaunch, my goal was simple – for Qatar Airways to reach the pinnacle of the airline industry,” he said.

“At Qatar Airways we always aim at doing the best in everything we do. To be considered as the top airline in the world is a huge achievement and a very rewarding moment in Qatar Airways’ history.”

Added Al Baker: “It is extremely gratifying to be recognized as “Airline of the Year”, which takes into account the outstanding efforts and hard work of all our employees, as we continuously aim to exceed the expectations of our customers.

Over 18 million air travelers from more than 100 different nationalities took part in the 10-month long survey. The awards are recognized around the world for being the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and as the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.

SOURCE Qatar Airways


Travel Update: The DDB Life Style Study® Uncovers What Most Annoys Airline Travelers

CHICAGO, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The DDB Life Style Study® asked Americans what was the worst experience to have on an airplane: sitting next to a boring person who won’t stop talking, sitting next to a crying baby, sitting next to an obese person, or sitting next to somebody with strong body odor. Across gender, age and parenthood status, sitting next to somebody with strong body odor was considered the worst among the four choices by 64% of people.

The unpleasantness of sitting next to a crying baby pales in comparison, with only 23% of people citing this as the worst. Apparently, boring people can keep talking because only 8% of people found this the worst, and only 6% of people claimed sitting next to an obese person as the worst.

“Considering there are several movements currently taking place to create family-only sections of aircrafts, we were surprised to find that crying babies didn’t rate higher as an annoyance to airline travelers,” said James Lou, U.S. Chief Strategist at DDB. “There has been a lot of press indicating that people wish there were child-free flights. Stories of lawsuits about passengers claiming hearing loss as a result of sitting next to screaming children and news of families who were removed from flights because of their unruly children have received a lot of attention, but apparently those issues are in reality less bothersome than others.”

Unsurprisingly, parenthood status does seem related to feelings about sitting next to a crying baby. According to the study, people who have children aged five or under are more tolerant of sitting next to a crying baby, with only 8% citing this as the worst choice.  People with children aged 6 or older are less tolerant, with 18% claiming that sitting next to a crying baby is the worst.

“It’s possible that these parents have selective memories of their own children’s behavior or higher opinions of their own abilities to console their little bundles of joy,” added Lou.

“Given how much conversation there has been around overweight individuals having to pay for an extra seat on some airlines, we were also surprised to find that sitting next to an obese person was the least bothersome to our respondents,” added Lou. “It seems that we as a society may be more tolerant of overweight people than some of the new airline policies would have us believe.”



Travel and Aviation News: Dassault Introduces the Falcon 2000S

The New 3,350 nm (6200 km) Falcon 2000S

Geneva, Switzerland, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Dassault Falcon today launched the Falcon 2000S, bringing a large cabin aircraft to the super mid-sized business jet market. It will offer category-leading payload, range, performance and efficiency. The 3,350 nm Falcon 2000S will feature inboard slats, high-Mach blended winglets, a new generation PW308C engine that produces fewer emissions, an entirely new BMW Group DesignworksUSA interior and redesigned cockpit aesthetics along with the next-generation EASy II flight deck. It is expected to be certified in the end of 2012 with deliveries beginning in early 2013.

“After speaking with our customers and performing a thorough market study, our research confirmed that the ideal platform for a wide-body business jet in this range segment was indeed our very successful Falcon 2000,” said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. “We optimized the platform with a long list of standard options, cutting edge technology and industry leading features with the Falcon 2000S. Our proudest accomplishment, though, was designing an aircraft that burns 10% less fuel than aircraft 20% smaller while offering a very competitive price.”

New 2000S Cockpit Design

With full fuel, the Falcon 2000S will have the largest payload in its class at 1,850 lbs; a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 41,000 lbs with a balanced field length of 4,450 feet which is up to 500 feet less than competing aircraft.

At M.80, the Falcon 2000S will have a range of 3,350 nm (standard aircraft, 6 pax, NBAA IFR reserves, 85% Boeing Annual Winds). It will climb directly to 41,000 feet in 19 minutes, reach a mid-cruise altitude of 45,000 feet and offer a certified ceiling of 47,000 feet. The aircraft will also be able to land at 95% of its MTOW, or about 39,300 lbs enabling it to tanker more fuel. Additionally, with an approach speed of only 108 knots and an advanced autobraking system, the Falcon 2000S will be capable of landing at airports with challenging and steep approaches and shorter runways such as London City Airport. At a typical end-of-flight profile, the Falcon 2000S will need just 2,600 feet of runway, or the equivalent length needed for a typical turboprop aircraft.

Examples of Falcon 2000S City Pairs:

(Standard aircraft; 6 pax, M.80, NBAA IFR reserves, 85% annual winds):

New York → London, Vancouver
Sao Paulo → Sal, Cape Verde; San Juan, Puerto Rico
Paris → Bangor, Maine; Dubai
Singapore → Mumbai, Seoul, Perth
Dubai → Geneva, Hanoi
Beijing → Dehli, Singapore
San Francisco → Miami, Honolulu

Falcon 2000S Features a Long List of Standard Equipment

“The impressive performance characteristics of the Falcon 2000S are matched by the value it brings to the operator. By building on the Falcon 2000 platform, we were able to substantially reduce development costs which will benefit our customers with a very competitive acquisition price,” said Rosanvallon. “Not only is the cabin taller, wider and more elegant than competing aircraft, it will come equipped with a comprehensive list of standard equipment.”

The New 3,350 nm (6200 km) Falcon 2000S

The 2000S is available in a standard floor plan with seating for ten passengers, along with three elegant color and material schemes that Dassault has specially designed in collaboration with BMW Group DesignworksUSA. Dassault and DesignworksUSA also collaborated on the award-winning interior option for the Falcon 7X.

Along with its unique styling, the Falcon 2000S will be delivered standard with a new Rockwell Collins Cabin Management System that places more controls and convenience into the hands of its passengers making the transition from the office to the aircraft as seamless as possible. In addition to saving weight, the new system will provide high definition viewing for Blu-ray media on wide-screen monitors of up to 19 inches. Functions can be controlled anywhere in the aircraft via an iPod touch or iPhone with a special application that allows control of video playback, operation of the optional electronic window shades and adjustments to lights and temperature, among others.

The AirCell Axxess II Satcom System will be included as a standard feature. The Falcon 2000S will be delivered standard with EASy II in the cockpit.

Updated, Greener Engine

Thrust on the 2000S is provided by two efficient and highly-reliable Pratt & Whitney 308C engines proven on the Falcon 2000EX/LX which will provide 7,000 lbs max thrust each at ISA+15°C. However, the newest generation of this engine is even more environmentally friendly due to a new TALON II® combustor. It produces 20% fewer NOx emissions than the previous generation, without any penalty in power. It will also be 40% greener than required by the CAEP/6 regulations being planned for future implementation.

The first Falcon 2000S flew on February 17, 2011 in Mérignac, France. Since that time, 40 flights have been flown with 100 flight hours accumulated. The test campaign is expected to conduct 500 flight hours before certification.

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