Category Archives: Business

Business

Delta Virgin Atlantic to start passenger-sharing in July 2013

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US-based Delta Airlines recently said that it has finalized its deal with Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways. The president of Delta Airlines, Ed Bastian announced the deal to the reporters at a press conference on Monday, June 24, 2013.

Bastian said, “We are very excited to announce today that share transaction has been completed and we stand firmly together as partners. This is a strategic investment that will enhance Delta’s network and create a trans-Atlantic joint venture between the U.S. and the U.K., which is going to be a $3 billion entity.” The recent move is not a full merger between the two carriers, but it still gives Delta an important ownership stake, as well as a seat on the board of the second-largest UK carrier.

Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic has described the deal with Delta as truly a crucial turning point in the history of the company. When it comes to passengers, the tie-up is expected to bring pooled flight options and frequent-flier benefits for customers of both fliers.

The most tangible sign of codesharing begins next month, in July 2012, when the airlines will begin selling seats on some of each other’s flights. They have also opened a lounge access to the eligible members of either carrier.

Business

Railway delays and high prices leave passengers unsatisfied

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Railway services in London are lacking customer satisfaction as there are constant complaints about delayed journeys and poor ticket value. The passenger satisfaction is dipping every day, as the value for money and how companies are dealing with the delays have become the biggest cause of complain.

On a national level, the percentage of passengers satisfied with their journey overall was 82%, which was compared to 83% in a similar survey conducted in spring 2012 and the figure in autumn 2012 was 85%. The operators, which scored the lowest numbers were Northern and First Capital Connect and both had figures of 76%.

In terms of overall proportion of passengers satisfied with the value for money, when it comes to the price of their ticket, was 42%. Just 38% of passengers in London and southeast England thought that their ticket represented a good and reasonable value for money. However, passengers using services that were run by the Southeastern train company were least satisfied with what they were getting for their money, as 49% said they represented bad or unsatisfactory value for money.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Passenger Focus said that passengers are the main overall funder of the Great Britain’s railways.

Business

Starbucks to add calorie information

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American beverage company Starbucks said that it will be displaying calorie information for its coffees and snacks at all US locations. The company will begin displaying the calories later in June 2013. On June 18, 2013, the company stated that the labels will be made compulsory by the government and are meant to encourage health-conscious consumers to further customise their orders by choosing sugar-free syrups or non-fat milk over more calorie-heavy variations.

Lisa Passe, a spokesperson from Starbucks, said, “People are already customizing their drinks”. The spokesperson went on to say that the pastries made by the coffee company will also come with calorie count. The decision to add calorie count was made after the move taken by Panera Bread Co., which is the first national restaurant chain to voluntarily post calorie count for their menu.

Sandwich giant Subway used the disclosures in order to position itself as a healthier alternative to its fast food rivals. The US Food and Drug Administration will soon require chains with 20 locations or more to make similar disclosures by the end of 2013.

On the other hand, food chains in New York City and California already post the nutritional statistics in order to comply with the local health regulations.

Business

Boeing aircrafts’ demand increases at Paris Air Show

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US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing met with a huge demand for its fleet, as the airlines were lining up to place or confirm their orders on the first day of Paris Air Show on June 17, 2013. The value of the orders went over the $10 billion mark. Morgan Stanley showed its domination on the jet maker’s stock and called it an overweight rating.

Under such circumstances, the shares of Boeing went up 1.2 % in recent trade, to $103.04 and they have gone up 37% year-to-date. This has also sparked rumours that the new 797 aircraft might soon be launched, maybe even this week. The GECAS, which is a unit of GE, became the second largest company to endorse Boeing 787- 10X on Monday, June 17, 2013 at the air show.

The GECAS had also committed to buy 10 Boeing 787-10X as it followed in the footsteps of Singapore Airlines. Last week’s report said that Boeing is expected to launch the program as soon as this week.

The new larger version of the 787 is expected to be made of similar carbon composite materials, which is intended to save costs, but will be able to seat more people. More airline companies also ordered their new aircrafts from Boeing.

Business

Airbus conducts successful A350 maiden flight

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On June 14, 2013, aircraft manufacturer Airbus declared the maiden flight of its new passenger jet to be successful. With the latest announcement, the company decided to take over the leadership from Boeing, in terms of long-haul aircraft market. The test aircraft of the Airbus A350 took off from the Toulouse base of the company and landed back in the same place around four hours later.

The test flight was focusing on the basic handling of the aircraft and speed capability. The flight also demonstrated the satisfaction of the crew, as one of them unfurled the Airbus flag from the cockpit immediately as soon as it touched down. The company has full confidence that the new A350 will help it to cut down the domination of the Boeing in the lucrative aircraft market.

The company will be providing a strong alternative to the US manufacturer’s new 787 Dreamliner and its popular 777 Jet. The chief executive of Airbus, Fabrice Bregier said, “We are talking about a market of 6,000 long-range aircraft for the next 20 years, and we want to have more than 50 per cent of this market.” The Europe-based manufacturer is hoping that the A350 can do a fly past at the Paris air show next week.