01 November 2018

Istanbul New Airport

Countdown Sign at IGA office (2014)
I joined IGA as one of its first employees back in 2014. Then the project land was full of mining lakes, hills and beautiful trees. When I first heard the targeted inauguration date, 29th of October 2017, I told my colleagues that this is simply impossible.

Before IGA, I was working for Abu Dhabi Airports Co. (ADAC) and aware of tricks and possible delays in an airport/terminal construction project. I am a marketing and communication professional, not an engineer or developer but there is /was common sense. Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal was supposed to built in 3 years and inaugurated in 2014-15. It is still not operational.

Groundbreaking ceremony area (2015)

Back in 2015, I told my colleagues at IGA that President Erdoğan may cut the ribbon on 29th of October, 2018, earliest, but probably this would be a soft opening and realistically new airport will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2019, ideally by March, with the start of summer timetable of Turkish Airlines. That was my prediction and it looks that that was a pretty good one.

TK staff with their new uniforms at Istanbul Airport
Istanbul's new airport was officially inaugurated last Monday, 29th of October, although it won't be fully functioning till the end of the year according to the latest plan announced by DHMI (State Airports Authority) and Turkish Airlines.

Well, one way or another, we have a new, game changer airport. I read a lot of news and articles about it and believe that the most objective, un-bias one is from CNN with a gallery of pictures and three expert views to let you understand what it means to Turkey, European and global aviation. Here is the link; CNN Travel

Last but not least, there were speculations, mostly politically fueled, about its name since the project kicked-off. Finally, we ended up with a clear name; Istanbul Airport.

It has a new website too; http://istanbulhavalimani.aero/en

Good luck IGA!

25 July 2018

Connection Service: Details Matter

"We monitor thousands of flights a day to help you make that all-important connection"

Star Alliance promotes its new connection service at Frankfurt Airport with a focus on speed.

11 May 2018

Google Duplex - AI

Well, here it is... AI by Google. Follow below link to read the story on official Google AI Blog.

There is voice call examples too but my favourite is the picture of Yaniv Leviathan, Google Duplex lead, and Matan Kalman, engineering manager on the project, enjoying a meal booked through a call from Duplex. Too much on their plate?

Link: https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html

Enjoy the ride!

28 March 2018

Ultra-long-haul flights of the world

My longest flight was about 13 hours, from Istanbul to Sao Paolo on a Turkish Airlines A340. It was not an easy one. You have roughly 10 hours free time when you exclude meal services. If you are not lucky enough to fly in a premium cabin,  flying in the economy can be a painful experience. After the first meal service, a movie and a book, I slept for a while and when I woke up, I realized that I have another 7 hours to arrive. Since that journey, I promised myself to save my miles for long-haul upgrades.

Ultra Long Haul Era

This week, Qantas, the Australian carrier, launched a 14.500km direct route from Perth to London. This is the first direct air link between Australia and Europe and it took 17 hours.

The Economist has recently published a 'daily chart' covering this hot topic. Here is the list of 10 ULR flights of the world and their approximate routes. All these flights are 15+ hours. There are already some studies going on about the healthiness of these flights and possible effects on human body. Imagine yourself in an economy cabin for a looong time... will you able to make it?

Click here to read the original 'daily chart' of The Economist based on OAG data.
Start saving either your miles or money to have a pleasant ULR flight!


27 February 2018

Lufthansa - A step back in rebranding

Lufthansa to revise “new” livery after only three weeks according to the news on aviation websites

This is quite unusual for a German company and it looks like the debate is going on inside the airline HDQ in Frankfurt.

I think that this rebranding is not a successful one. I read and watched everything on LH's dedicated site for this rebrand; Explore the New. Have a look >>>

Still not convinced!

Removing the famous LH Yellow from the logo (and tail), and decrease its use to as low as %10 (just a small yellow area next to the front door) was not the best decision. Dark blue colour and its shape on livery was another problem, which LH is tackling now.

I support rebrandings in principal as someone who has rebranded an airline 10 years ago. However, I know that this has to be done very carefully, especially if you are a global brand. Sometimes a brand refresh is better than a complete rebranding.

There are good examples though. Etihad did a fantastic job several years ago. This one was more complicated as two languages were involved and local cultural sensitivities were higher.

Let's give LH some time and space. I believe that they will consider all feedback and may tweak it again for a better solution.

15 December 2017

“Emerging High Value Customers” or eHVCs

At Delta Air Lines, marketing executives have a phrase to describe customers and potential customers younger than 35 — and it’s not “millennial traveler.” They prefer to call them “Emerging High Value Customers” or eHVCs. Click here to read the article on Skift.com.

I believe that defining a new segment among millennials is important as different parts of the travel and hospitality industries have a more or less same approach to millennials. However, this group of people may trigger changes and development of new products and services based on better segmentation and understanding their needs.

Not all millennials want to fly low-cost, rent a room through Airbnb and discover a city or country as the others.