PHOTOS: British Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A380

A milestone for the British aviation industry, as the country's national carrier took deliver of its first Airbus A380, becoming the tenth operator in the world to receive the superjumbo.

First look inside Singapore Airlines' brand new premium cabins

View these amazing photos and video showcasing the airline's next generation of business and first class cabin products, set to be the new industry benchmark for premium air travel.

PHOTO: First Airbus A350 XWB’s engines powered up

Rolls-Royce's Trent XWB engines have run for the first time on the A350 XWB, moving the aircraft closer to its maiden flight.

Pilot becomes online sensation with stunning cockpit photos

Air Arabia pilot Karim Nafatni's amazing photos have not only attracted a massive online following, but the global media have also jumped on the appreciation bandwagon.

PHOTOS: Thomson becomes first UK airline to receive Boeing 787

Thousands gathered to watch Thomson's first 787 Dreamliner (from an order of eight) arrive at Manchester Airport, completing its delivery flight from Paine Field in Everett.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Guest post: VLJs yet to take off in the private jet business

VLJs are intended for a wider market, offering lower operating costs than current private jets2006 saw the introduction of very light jets (VLJs) on to the aviation market, with the expectation of turning the air charter industry on its head. Industry experts predicted as many as 20,000 VLJs would be in operation by 2020. However, half way towards that time frame, there are only approximately 1000 currently in the skies.

These aircraft are specifically designed to make private jets more affordable through the use of more than 5,000 small community airports throughout the United States. VLJs are intended for a wider market, offering lower operating costs than current private jets.

The inadequate growth of VLJ manufacturing is largely down to financial backing. The air charter industry is not for the feint hearted; it requires deep pockets and a solid customer base. Many manufacturers have struggled to deliver their new business jets; notably Diamond Aircraft Industries are reported to have suspended the development of their D-Jet aircraft, which was scheduled to hit the market in 2010.

With all of the promises from the aircraft charter manufacturers, only three companies have successfully put their aircraft into the skies; the Embraer Phenom 100, Cessna Citation Mustang, and the Eclipse 500. However, with further charter aircraft models awaiting certification, the industry may be set to pick up.

VLJs are equipped with the latest in jet engine technology

These smaller, lighter, charter aircraft are equipped with cutting edge jet engine technology that offers a more cost effective fuel efficiency. They have the ability to take off and land on much smaller runways than other private jets. This allows them to use smaller airports, and avoid the time delays that are often present at larger, busier airports. Yet despite this much needed advancement in the industry, it is yet to reach the expectations of industry analysts.

In a recent interview with Alex Berry, Sales and Marketing Director at Chapman Freeborn, Alex explained how the economic advantages of VLJs are not as "game changing" as some people expected. Whilst VLJs represent a cheaper entry level option for twin engine jets, and their operating costs are slightly lower than their larger alternatives, much of the cost of fuel, landing, and handling remain more or less the same. Coupled with the similarities in the cost of crew for a small aircraft, it is easy to see why these aircraft aren't as popular as first predicted.

However, whilst supply and demand for VLJ's hasn't quite hit the levels that were expected, Alex remains hopeful that these smaller jets will have their place in the market. Alex explains that VLJs provide a solution that meets the customer's needs at a lower cost. The trade-off of course is a reduced level of comfort, but this is unlikely to deter those on a budget. There is also a perception that once a customer has tried a VLJ at a relatively cheap expense, they will understand the true value of chartered flying, and pull away from the commercial airlines. This ought to result in an increase in demand for business aviation.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Guest Post: KLM Aviation Empire Gives You The Opportunity to Run Your Own Airline

The marvellous machinations of modern air travel continue to achieve stunning industrial advancements that encourage massive consumer outreach. One of the daring innovations being yielded is the development of a technological interface that will allow passengers to conduct the operations of their own virtual airline. These new programs appear to be comprehensively in-depth, and their availability to the public is sure to attract significant media attention. The potential utility of simulation software is vast, and the application’s intuitive design is sure to spark public interest around the world.

Origins of the Virtual Airline

In an unprecedented business move, the company that initiated this new conceptual system is KLM. They have formally unveiled their inspired initiative, and the program is officially dubbed as “KLM: Aviation Empire.” It is a startlingly educational venture for the brand. The program steadily progresses through the worldwide history of air travel. A hundred years of aviation events are traversed utilizing the perspective of the company itself. Players will be able to take control of every minute element that comprises air travel, and they ultimately arrive in modern times to find the complex industry that is currently in place.

The prototypical development of this game showcases the company’s first attempt at marketing their brand for general consumption. In terms of animation quality, the game seamlessly transitions across a globe that is smoothly rendered to generate an engagingly sleek effect. There are copious tasks embedded into the interface that are capable of occupying a player’s attention for extended durations of time. These intricate features include land management, airport construction, customer outreach, airplane acquisition and international route navigation. Because the game’s sequence of events directly parallels the chronology of KLM’s inception, the first global connections formed are between Amsterdam and London.

Perks of the Software

There are several incentives for airlines to offer the services of online airline simulators. For instance, these revolutionary programs can provide a bountifully entertaining distraction during the era of extended waiting times in the terminal. The game can be fully integrated into individual travelling patterns around the world by offering achievement awards for arriving at different airports in real life. With this unique function, airlines can actually increase the amount of seats they sell on their flights. This feature is accomplished by encouraging avid participants to travel to various locations for the purpose of unlocking exclusive in-game material. In according with their historical theme, Amsterdam is a physical destination that provides grand virtual compensation.

Innately, this software has been programmed for portable enjoyment. It fluidly accommodates worldwide networks, and the game itself barely exposes any tendency to lag. The company does a phenomenal job of blending promotional material with factual information. By providing accurate details on the development of air travel, KLM demonstrates a reputably unbiased capacity. This ability to be objective will earn new consumers from an untapped arena of the market. The game is presently available for a variety of mobile platforms, which means that a continuous stream of internet savvy customers will be engaging with the brand for the first time.

Integration with Modern Times

Even though it may have the persona of a mere novelty device, some speculators have worried that the program may actually detail crucial aspects of airline operations to unwelcome parties. Fortunately, possible threats can be mitigated. Ideally, the creators will be able to prevent steadfast realism from providing vital information to prospective terrorists and hijackers. This has been managed by implementing subtle adjustments to accuracy. These slight alterations are too minor to be detected by the average user.

Players of the game  are rewarded in a number of ways such as getting game credits, which can be redeemed for various in-game items, such as new airplanes or landing rights in different cities around the globe. There is an opportunity to earn different kinds of badges after making progress and accomplishing certain goals in the game. By logging in with a Facebook account players can share their achievement and progress in the game with friends. The leader board feature show how well each player is doing among their friends and the rest of the world. There are claims that indicate KLM and game developers may be working on expanding how the game interacts with the real world. Among the ideas that have come up is putting leader boards on KLM boarding passes. Speculations suggested that KLM may give discounts on air travel for the top players of Aviation Empire. However, however no specifics were confirmed as of yet.

Surprisingly, this game’s glossy graphics are supported by unmatched substance. With credibility, the developers have brought a new forefront to the competitive industry of airline management. Online notoriety leads to an increased base of consumer support, which results in financial staying power for brands that connect to users through modern methods. Furthermore, the program’s massive entertainment values will likely provoke young people to pursue careers in a field that has witnessed a dwindling of its occupational applicants. “KLM: Aviation Empire” comfortably establishes the brand’s image for providing pristine service, and it invites flight enthusiasts to enjoy a first-hand retelling of the worldwide flying industry.


KLM operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations. Flights can be booked online at KLM.com or you can just head over to Cheapflights.co.uk and compare KLM flights quickly and easily.