Bangkok Airways to Expand Services Bangkok Airways is expanding its route network. The new flights includes Bangkok-Krabi (twice daily starting 31 March) and Bangkok-Mandalay (4 weekly flights starting 16 September). Both destinations are already open for booking. Additional services will be in place for Bangkok-Trat (3 daily flight) and Bangkok-Male (5 weekly flights starting 31 March). Moreover, all flights served between Bangkok-Phnom Penh will now be operated by Airbus A319 and additional frequencies will be added to flights between Samui-Phuket during summer. The airline recently launched a direct service from Bangkok to Vientiane – Laos, and an additional service between Hong Kong – Koh Samui. Flights to Koh Samui, Siem Reap and Luang Prabang will be seasonally adjusted. All recently introduced flights and services to other destinations will be maintained as during this timetable period. Currently, Bangkok Airways serves eight domestic routes: Chiang Mai, Lampang, Sukhothai, Pattaya (U-Tapao), Trat, Phuket, Samui and Krabi and eleven international routes: Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Yangon, Maldives, Dhaka and Mumbai.
JAL to Serve Miyazaki Beef in International First Class Japan Airlines is to introduce award-winning Miyazaki beef to its inflight meals for First Class passengers on international routes from Tokyo (Narita) to Europe and North America from today (9 January) until 31 March 2013, to commemorate the launch of JAL Sky Suite 777 - the airline's latest inflight products and services. Produced in Miyazaki Prefecture situated in the southern islands of Kyushu, Japan, Miyazaki beef is rated over level A-4 by the Japan Meat Grading Association for its outstanding quality of meat. It won the topmost accolades in five of nine categories in a nationwide wagyu (Japanese beef) quality contest that is held every five years, for two consecutive contests (2007 and 2012), and is recognized as the most superior beef in Japan and a well-known prime label overseas. Between today and 28 February 2013, JAL will serve the high grade beef in First Class as a main western meal selection. Customers will be able to enjoy the Miyazaki beef fillet "alla Rossini", matched with fragrantly seared foie gras and apple - a menu specially crafted by Seiji Yamamoto, Michelin 3-star chef and owner of distinguished Japanese restaurant Ryugin. There will be a regular change of menu from 1 March 2013 and JAL will continue to utilize Miyazaki beef in the new line-up until 31 March 2013.
Boingo Wireless has expanded its relationship with NTT Docomo, one of Japan’s premier mobile communications companies and the second largest mobile operator in Asia. The agreement will give NTT Docomo access to Boingo’s global network of more than 600,000 hotspots, including hundreds of airports, thousands of hotels and restaurants, and myriad metropolitan hotzones worldwide. “Our partnership with NTT Docomo is a testament to the strength of our global Wi-Fi network and its ability to provide an offload solution for one of the largest mobile carriers in the Asia Pacific region,” said Allen Pan, director of Asia Pacific for Boingo Wireless. “As the cost of global data roaming has become an increasing pain point for carriers, our turnkey global Wi-Fi platform will give them a remedy to ease that pain for customers, as well.” Through a separate agreement with NTT Docomo, Boingo customers and partners can now access NTT Docomo’s more than 55,000 hotspots throughout Japan, in locations such as airport lounges, hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes, and transit stations. The NTT Docomo hotspot network will also be available to Boingo’s other platform service partners. The addition of the NTT Docomo locations increases Boingo’s Wi-Fi footprint in Japan to more than 60,000 hotspots.
Air travel demand has started to recover on routes between China and Japan after previously being hammered because of the territorial dispute between the two countries. "Demand from business class passengers is coming back to the level before [the disputes happened]," said Shinichiro Ito, the president and chief executive of All Nippon Airways. "Sooner or later, a full recovery will come, probably next year." However, leisure travel still had not shown signs of recovery as tourists would rather delay their trips until the tension subsided, Ito said. "We forecast that December's passenger volume will swing back to as much as 80 per cent of the level in the same period last year," he said. Continue reading
Toyota today announced a $1 million contribution to the American Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations to support relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy in the regions worst-hit by the storm. In addition, Toyota will match employee contributions to the American Red Cross and other non-profits doing relief and recovery work in affected communities. Commenting on the donation, Shigeki Terashi, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., said, "On behalf of Toyota, we express our sincere condolences to the families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since we have operations and many dealerships in the affected regions, we felt a special responsibility to lend a hand. In addition to this contribution, many Toyota employees are already involved in volunteer activities to support those in need. We very much appreciate their support."
Hawaiian Airlines has launched flights between Honolulu and Sapporo in Japan. The capital city of the island of Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest and northernmost island, Sapporo, is Japan’s fourth-largest city with a population of 1.9 million. Sapporo is renowned for its ski resorts – the city hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics – and the world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which annually attracts millions of visitors each February to see its spectacular snow and ice sculptures. Hawaiian’s Honolulu-Sapporo service is adding 41,000 new air seats to the market annually and the benefit to Hawaii’s visitor industry will be significant, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “Today’s launch of Hawaiian Airlines’ new Sapporo route is great news for Hawaii’s tourism economy and will generate an estimated $61 million in visitor spending and $6.7 million in state tax revenue” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “The flight will also provide residents of Hokkaido with its only direct access to Hawaii. We remain committed to working with Hawaiian Airlines to ensure the success of this flight and providing visitors greater accessibility to our state.” Hawaiian’s Flight HA 441 departs Honolulu International Airport on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 14:45, crosses the international dateline, and arrives at Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport at 19:00 the following day. The return flight HA 442 departs Sapporo on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 21:30, crosses the international dateline, and arrives in Honolulu at 09:55 the same day. Hawaiian will operate its Honolulu-Sapporo flights with wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft seating 264 passengers, with 18 in Business Class and 246 in the Main Cabin.
Major Japanese Internet Shopping Website Launches Sale of Low-Price Solar Panels for Home Use Rakuten Inc., one of Japan's major Internet shopping site operators, launched on July 17, 2012, a new service called "Rakuten Solar," where it sells home-use solar panels. The company partnered with solar panel system company Ecosystem Japan Co. to provide integrated services spanning from solar panel sales to installation without the use of intermediaries. It offers seven types of models that provide electricity ranging from 2.77 kilowatts (kW) to 3.33 kW, 3.88 kW, 4.44 kW, 4.99 kW, 5.55 kW, and 6.29kW. Rakuten established a structure where it can provide low-cost systems without compromising in terms of quality by limiting the choice of lineup, buying in bulk, and dealing with a part of the service procedure on the website. It first started this service in the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama, and now expands nationwide to except isolated islands and areas of heavy snowfall. Source: JFS
Registration for 2013 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon to Open 24 October 2012 The first phase of registration for the 17th Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, featuring the Marathon, Half Marathon and Wheelchair Races, will start tomorrow, 24 October 2012 at 7am. Registration for the 10km will commence on 31 October 2012. Entry quotas will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, and the registration deadline is 30 November 2012. The 17th Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon will take place on 24 February 2013. Chairman of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2013 Organizing Committee, William Ko, said, "We expect the majority of participants will register through our online system. To avoid online traffic congestion, two separate registration periods are offered to participants joining different races. We hope this will smooth out the enrollment process." The entry fee is HK$300, and applicants registering online via the official website will receive instant confirmation upon successful application. Marathon participants are reminded to assess their own fitness prior to registration to decide which race category to enter, and to allow themselves adequate preparation and proper training to achieve optimal performance on race day. Web: http://www.hkmarathon.com
LINK will be First Airline in Japan to Fly ATRs Japan's new regional carrier LINK will be the first airline to fly the ATR 72-600 in Japan, one of the last Asian countries where ATR aircraft have not yet entered. LINK will start operations in 2013 with the introduction into its fleet of three leased ATR 72-600s. The aircraft will be delivered starting in late 2013. The three 70-seat ATR 72-600 aircraft will be equipped with new Pratt & Whitney 127M engines and new full-glass cockpit developed by Thales. They will also be equipped with the new Armonia cabin, developed by Italian designer Giugiaro, featuring the most modern layout and most advanced technologies in the field of passenger comfort. Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Koichi Sugiyama, Chief Executive Officer of LINK, said, “The ATR 72-600 perfectly fits with our requirements in terms of low operating costs, most updated technologies and optimal comfort. This is the most-recently certified 70-seat aircraft on the market, and we are proud to start our operations with such a modern, successful and well-reputed aircraft.” Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, added, “We are entering a new and huge market which may bring us substantial commercial opportunities in a country with some 130 million inhabitants. The introduction of these ATR 72-600s with LINK will give us the opportunity of further consolidating our newest 70-seat aircraft as the reference for regional operations. We will make sure for offering all the supports Link will need for its future success in Japan and commit to this important market. The ATR 72-600 features the lowest operating and maintenance costs of the market, as well as the newest navigation aid tools for optimal performances. In addition, we are pleased to bring into Japan an aircraft which is largely recognized as the greenest one among all regional planes.”
Toshiba Launches Household Fuel Cell That Operates Independently Even During Blackouts Major Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba Corp. and Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corp. announced on June 25, 2012, the development of a new type of Ene-Farm, a household fuel cell, which operates even during blackouts by employing a self-sustained operation function. Shipping of the product to city gas companies and liquefied petroleum gas distributing companies is now underway. The new product uses a combination of the conventional model, which was released in March 2012, and the self-sustained operation function. When the Ene-Farm is in operation during blackouts, power can be supplied through an independent outlet from the Ene-Farm. Another type of the Ene-Farm equipped with a selection switch box automatically changes the power source for water heaters from commercial power sources to the Ene-Farm during blackouts. Source: JFS