Entries in Hamburg (3)


Air Berlin starts Hamburg-Keflavík non-stop route

The German semi-low-cost airline Air Berlin has commenced twice-weekly non-stop service between the Hanseatic city on the River Elbe, Hamburg, and the Icelandic town whose name means "driftwood bay" in the local language.  The route between Hamburg's Fuhlsbüttel Airport (IATA: HAM; ICAO: EDDH) and Keflavík International Airport (IATA: KEF; ICAO: BIKF), on a southwestern promontory of the volcanic island nation in the north Atlantic, will operate two times a week, on Sunday and Thursday.  The flights are about 3 hours 20 minutes each, in both directions.  The route will be flown with the Airbus A319.

Keflavík International was built in 1942 by the American military, which called it the United States Naval Air Station Keflavík, or NASKEF.  Keflavík International is the only year-round  international gateway (by air) in Iceland.  It is about 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of Reykjavík, the capital.  A plain near the Icelandic national capital was the site of the A.D. 930 establishment of the world's oldest continuously functioning parliamentary body.  This is now an Icelandic national park, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

[There is no source because this exotic bit of news was hardly reported at all in the Anglophone press.  A bracketed date notation on the English language Wikipedia article for Keflavík International Airport, under Airlines and Destinations, tipped off the webmaster of this site, who decided to report on it.  All articles which inspired this in one way or another were translated from German or Icelandic using Google Translate.

Searches for the route on Air Berlin's website, and on www.kayak.com/flights, are successful, for Sunday and/or Thursday flights.]

Click on the Google +1 button below if you like the article!


Two airlines looking for awards in Hamburg next week made a deal

Canadian carrier WestJet Airlines, in the running for Best Low-Cost Airline at the World Airline Awards in Hamburg, Germany next week, soon intends to make an interline agreement with Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong-based carrier perennially in the running for Airline of the Year at the Awards.  The Canadian carrier announced via the Internet earlier today that travelers with Cathay Pacific will soon be able to book a Cathay Pacific flight and a WestJet flight in the same reservation and same itinerary.  Air travelers will be able to smoothly transition to or from a flight operated by Cathay Pacific to or from a flight operated by WestJet, at Vancouver International Airport (IATA: YVR; ICAO: CYVR), and Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ; ICAO: CYYZ).

Additionally, WestJet entered into a baggage agreement with Cathay Pacific’s short-haul associate airline Dragonair.  This arrangement permits travelers on any one of the three carriers to check their bags only once, and they will be handled seamlessly among the three carriers.  Interline reservations will be handled by Cathay Pacific’s reservation system.  The deal between WestJet and Cathay Pacific is scheduled to be finalized next month.

WestJet was founded in 1996 as a regional airline in western Canada.  Early success enabled it to branch out first nationwide in Canada, and then to the rest of North America.  Its main hub is at Calgary International Airport (IATA: YYC; ICAO: CYYC).  It has a secondary hub at Toronto Pearson.

Cathay Pacific was founded in 1946 by American and Australian former air force pilots.  Each put up one dollar HKD to register the new airline.  It is based at Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG; ICAO: VHHH), and is one of only six airlines in the world recognized with five stars, the highest honor given to an airline by Skytrax, an internationally recognized measurer of airline quality.  Cathay Pacific will defend its 2009 Airline of the Year title in Hamburg next week against nine other nominees, all based in the eastern hemisphere.

related story

Airline of the Year will be named in Hamburg on May 20 (May 10, 2010)

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original story (WestJet Airlines)


Airline of the Year will be named in Hamburg on May 20

United Kingdom-based Skytrax will give out a number of awards on May 20 this year, including Airline of the Year, at the World Airline Awards, an internationally respected awards ceremony.  This year the ceremony will be held in Hamburg, Germany, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, just as it was last year.  Awards for which all airlines are eligible will be given in dozens of categories, including Best Cabin Staff, Best Regional Airline, and Most Improved Airline.  Some awards that will be given out later this month are seat-class specific, such as Best Airline Lounge, and Best Airline Seat.

The most coveted award is always the overall Airline of the Year award.  But a Best Airline will also be recognized for seventeen different regions in the world.  In fact, a number of the awards will be given on a worldwide scale, and also on a regional basis.  Nominations for the various awards were made yesterday, whereby the field for each award was narrowed to ten airlines.  As a result, no North American carrier or European carrier is in the running for Airline of the Year.  The flag carriers of Australia (Qantas) and New Zealand (Air New Zealand) will compete with eight Asian airlines for that award.  JetBlue, Southwest, and Virgin America are in the running for Best Low-Cost Airline, along with the Canadian low-cost carrier WestJetAir Canada is in the running for Best Trans-Atlantic Airline.  The six airlines contesting for the North American Service Excellence Award are, alphabetically, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin America, and WestJet.

Skytrax has also awarded Airport of the Year since 1999, an accolade first claimed by Schiphol in Amsterdam (IATA: AMS; ICAO: EHAM), but every year since, claimed by an airport in Southeast Asia.  Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards have been given for Airport of the Year annually since 2001, the most frequent award recipients being Hong Kong International (IATA: HKG; ICAO: VHHH) and Singapore Changi International (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS).  Seoul Incheon International (IATA: ICN; ICAO: RSKI) is the only other airport to win Airport of the Year since the awards were first given out.  At no time since 1999 has an airport in the Western Hemisphere ever received Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Since it originated, Skytrax has gained the reputation as being a fine impartial judge of airline and airport quality.  Its airline rating system awards between one and five stars to airlines based on various aspects of airline quality.  This rating system is ongoing in nature, and as of this post, Skytrax awards five stars to only six airlines in the world, all of them located in Asia, and four of them located in Southeast Asia.  Skytrax was founded in 1998.

original story (World Airline Awards)

2010 nominations for the various awards (World Airline Awards)

list of Skytrax five-star airlines (Skytrax)