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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
upfront EmiratEs has again rEcEivEd plaudits for its inflight technology after scooping the much-coveted Skytrax 2008 Best Airline Inflight Entertainment Award for the fourth consecutive year. The airline’s ice (information, communication and entertainment) and ice Digital Widescreen systems received top honours based on a passenger survey carried out by Skytrax. From August 2007 to June 2008, more than 15 million travellers of 93 nationalities took part in Skytrax’s World Airline Survey, which covered several areas of the airline industry. The criteria for the award included the quality of inflight entertainment, best movie selection, TV and documentary programs, and best audio choices. Quality of headsets and sound, audio programming, games selection and screen size were also considered. Alexandra Macaulay has recently launched Ladybird Events, an event management consultancy based in Macao. With the growth of the MICE industry in Macao, Ladybird Events is on the ground to manage events for corporations and businesses. All events are approached with a can-do attitude and Alexandra believes in being hands-on in all the events that Ladybird manages to provide clients with the support they need. Ms Macaulay has extensive event management experience gained over many years working with different companies (Boral, Clean Up Australia, Centacare, and the Australian Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group to name a few). She hails from Sydney where she successfully ran an event management consultancy for more than 11 years (see www.abcevents.com. au for a complete overview of activities in Australia). She can be contacted via email on email@example.com. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) recently announced its Gold Awards to recognise exceptional achievement in a variety of endeavours, with plenty of Asian business operators in the mix. A total of 22 awards were presented as well as four “grand awards” for “best of show” entries. Singapore Airlines was the winner in the PATA Grand Award 2008 marketing category for its Singapore Airlines First 10 miceAsia.net to Fly the A380 campaign, and Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia received the PATA Grand Award in the environmental category. Some other winners included: The Sarawak Convention Bureau in the marketing media – promotional travel video category; Klong Rua Village, TAT, in the environmental education program category; Banyan Tree Bintan Conservation Lab in the ecotourism project category; and Hong Kong Disneyland in the marketing – industry category. Cathay Pacific Airways announced a loss of HK$663 million in its 2008 Interim Results. This compares to a profit of HK$2581 million in the first half of 2007. The big change in the company’s financial performance was entirely due to the relentless rise in the cost of jet fuel in recent months. Group turnover rose by 22.6 per cent over the same period in 2007 to HK$42,448 million, with a significant increase in both passenger and cargo revenue. However, ever-increasing fuel prices completely undermined the airline’s business, with the average into-plane fuel price increasing by 60 per cent to US$132 per barrel. As a result the fuel bill rose from HK$10.55 billion to HK$19.31 billion, a climb of 83 per cent. Fuel as a percentage of total operating cost rose to 45.3 per cent for the first half of 2008, compared to 33.6 per cent for the same period in 2007. Passenger revenue for the Cathay Pacific Group increased by 21.9 per cent to HK$25,566 million and the group’s two airlines, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, carried a total of 12.5 million passengers in the first six months of the year – a rise of 13.7 per cent over the same period in 2007. Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt said: “Global aviation is making a painful adjustment to the new reality of US$100-plus oil. Cathay Pacific is reducing other costs where it can but there is a limit to how much cost can be saved before quality and brand are compromised. It is thus inevitable that fares for passengers and shippers will have to rise to reflect the new cost of operation.” Singapore Airlines increased its frequency on the Singapore-Delhi route to double daily (14 times weekly), up from nine flights a week, on September 1, 2008. The new schedule provides a daily early morning arrival into Delhi, in addition to the existing late evening arrival. On the return from Delhi, the new schedule provides a morning departure that arrives into Singapore in the late afternoon. The increase in frequency reflects the strong interest and demand for flights to and from Delhi, and the importance of the Indian market to Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines began operating one of its daily flights between Singapore and Delhi (SQ407 and SQ408) using the new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This aircraft