BA names first Dreamliner routes

BA names first Dreamliner routes

By Phil Davies

BA names first Dreamliner routesBritish Airways is to start new Boeing 787 Dreamliner services to Toronto and Newark after receiving the first in a fleet of the new generation aircraft.

The Toronto service is due to start from Heathrow on September 1 replacing 767s and 747s on the route followed by Newark, currently served by 767s and 777s, on October 1.

The airline’s first 787 touched down at Heathrow yesterday following Thomson Airways becoming the first UK carrier to take delivery of the 787 earlier in the month.

The aircraft was welcomed to Heathrow by Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA parent company International Airlines Group.

He said: “The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I’m sure British Airways’ customers will love it,” said Walsh.

“The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.”

BA will configure the 787 with 214 seats – 35 in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 154 in the World Traveller cabin.

The aircraft is the first of 24 Dreamliners BA has on order. Additionally, IAG recently announced that it will convert 18 options to firm orders for BA, subject to shareholder agreement.

Twelve of these will be extended range 787-10s, meaning that BA will operate the entire 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10.

Boeing vice president of European sales Todd Nelp said: “The delivery of the first of BA’s 787s is an exciting milestone for Boeing and British Airways.

“The 787 is the most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient commercial jetliner in its class. Its improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and cleaner cabin air will offer BA’s passengers an unparalleled flying experience.”

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Disney Cruise Line tops J.D. Power satisfaction survey

Disney Cruise Line tops J.D. Power satisfaction survey

By Tom Stieghorst
J.D. Power & Associates has ranked Disney Cruise Line tops for consumer satisfaction in its first-ever survey of the cruise industry.

Disney scored well ahead of the pack. Four other cruise lines were bunched together. But their satisfaction index scores placed Royal Caribbean International second, followed by Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Lines rated below the industry average score for satisfaction, J.D. Power said.

The survey found 18% of passengers reported experiencing at least one problem on their cruise.

“Many cruise lines in the report have very high levels of passenger satisfaction, well above the report average; however, for more than a year, the overall industry has been dealing with a lot of negative news affecting customer perceptions, expectations and trust,” said Ramez Faza, senior account manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power.

“To raise the bar, the industry must focus on meeting the needs of the nearly 20% of passengers who experience a problem with their cruise line experience,” Faza said.

Carnival to leave Norfolk in 2014

Carnival to leave Norfolk in 2014

By Tom Stieghorst
The Carnival Glory will be homeported in MiamiCarnival Cruise Lines is shuffling several of its ships in 2014, and one result is that Norfolk, Va., will no longer serve as a cruise ship homeport.

The Carnival Glory will stay in Miami year-round after November. It had been originating cruises in Norfolk in the spring and fall seasons out of a $36 million terminal opened in 2007.

The switch would leave the terminal largely unused by the cruise industry. Glory became the only ship homeported in Norfolk after Royal Caribbean International relocated a ship from Norfolk to Baltimore three years ago.

Carnival’s decision to keep the Glory in Miami also means it will not return to Boston, where it is currently offering a series of voyages through July.

In other deployments, the newly refurbished Carnival Sunshine will only stay in New Orleans for the upcoming winter, rather than year-round. It will move to year-round sailing from Cape Canaveral in April 2014, bumping the Carnival Dream to do seven-day cruises from New Orleans full time.

The Carnival Liberty, currently based in Miami, will shift in April to do year-round five- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Cape Canaveral, as well.

The Carnival Pride moves from Baltimore to Tampa for seven-day cruises from December 2014 to April 2015, replacing the Carnival Legend, which departs from Tampa for Australia next August.