Qatar and Asiana emergency landings, 40% off Hilton Asia-Pacific, Etihad kills AirBerlin, AirBaltic sale, Sri Lankan adds Gan island & more
– the Qatar flight from Washington D.C. went much more south than usual (to make use of prevailing winds over the Atlantic) – and promptly got into major turbulence which triggered an emergency landing
Qatar Airways flight QR708 landed at Lajes Airport early Sunday with 356 passengers aboard, about five hours after the plane departed Dulles International Airport. Passengers said the emergency landing was prompted by three minutes of severe turbulence as the plane flew over the Atlantic Ocean. One person aboard the plane, Raseel Mohamed, told The Washington Post that when the plane was rocked, passengers’ heads struck overhead bins, one passenger fell to the floor and several people were tossed around the cabin.
– meanwhile Asiana had an emergency landing in Russia because of a faulty(?) smoke alarm sensor
Asiana Airlines Flight OZ521 was on its way to London with 197 people on board when it landed at an airport in the central Russian city of Khanty-Mansiysk about 10:50 p.m. following an alarm that smoke was detected near the engine, officials said.
– Hilton has another 40% off sale for Asia Pacific – those are usually ‘real sales’ off the prepaid rates available before the sale started
Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel) has announced it will sell its 49.8% shareholding in its Austrian production company, Niki (HG, Vienna), to Etihad Airways Group unit, Etihad Investment Holding Company LLC, for EUR300 million (USD318 million). The transaction is subject to government approval.
The move is part of a greater plan to create a new European leisure airline group in which Etihad will partner TUI AG.
As such, on the closing of the transaction, Etihad will immediately contribute its stake in Niki to the new European leisure airline group and will not effectively control, or become a majority owner of Niki.
I’m personally skeptical Air Berlin will survive in its new (current) form. It will drop out of OneWorld sooner or later and retreat to an even smaller niche market – their core business model is (still) broken.
Most of their tickets are priced really low anyways – so no need to follow this sale too closely.
– Flying Blue and PointsHound now offer 10,000 miles for a two night stay – this is still an amazing offer
– Azerbaijan Airlines is inspired by Norwegian and Pobeda and wants to start their own LCC now
This is great news since you can now use miles all the way to your hotel in the Addu Atoll. The Atoll is one of the southern-most of the Maldives archipelago and only Maldivian flew from Male before.
There are a number of new hotel options (incl. a Shangria-La) right at the Atoll which is easy to get around on ferries and roads.
– EgyptAir has an interesting fare of $1,088 RT in Business Class from Paris to Johannesburg
The leg from Paris to Cairo is in Economy but the Johannesburg leg is in Business. Not my favorite airline but a good deal to enjoy some better weather.