21 Aralık 2016

Airbnb Flights

Before we get into details, please have a look at these two links;
  • Skift - Airbnb Is Really Building A Flight Search Engine 
  • Bloomberg - News about intentions of Airbnb

Skift Take by Dennis Schaal;
Turns out it is more than a trial balloon, after the announcement of possible flight search at Airbnb Open last month. The margins are tiny in flight search, not sure why it would be better than any other OTA, other than it has lots of traffic coming to Airbnb.

How has Airbnb changed the way we travel?

Simple. They offered a new, different, and genuine way to stay in the cities we visit. We loved this from host to guest concept. If you go for a room, it is far less expensive than a hotel room. This may not be suitable for all, but if you go for an entire apartment, it is a better option than any hotel, especially if you are traveling with more than two people.

I traveled to Amsterdam this month with my friends, and we stayed in a nice, centrally located apartment. It cost €50pp/night, which was less expensive than a 3-4 star hotel option. We had the luxury of being in a "home" with a nicely decorated living room, two bedrooms, comfy beds, a fully equipped kitchen, wi-fi, and so on.

It was like staying at a friend's place while s/he is away.

How I booked our tickets?

Like many of you, I first searched through online platforms to see all available schedules and price options. To be sure about the prices, I also checked the selected airlines' websites because sometimes you can catch a better deal. After all, I booked via an OTA, bavul.com, which was nearly 20% cheaper than the website of the airline we flew.

The decision process for many leisure travelers is more or less the same.

So the idea of offering flights, too, is fine and has potential, especially when you have such traffic, but at the end of the day, it depends on how it is going to work. Google, the most visited site globally, has Google Flights, which facilitates the purchase of tickets, but it is not the best. As written in one of the above links, Kayak.com has no worries because they know their product is superior to Google Flights.

That is why Dennis Schaal has a point.

Airbnb has been looking for some other initiatives to boost business. Last month, the company made it possible to book local experiences and tours. Again from host to guest. Such a nice idea.

When it comes to aviation, obviously, things are different. To be successful, Airbnb should find a way to change the way we book as they did before. Offering flights like an OTA will not make a difference. I would go and have a round of talks with the hosts, in this case, airlines, to explore potential opportunities, not cents.

Good luck, Airbnb!

23 Eylül 2016

30 Mart 2016

Return of supersonic flights

I remember the Concorde Era and the last campaign of British Airways to experience a supersonic flight with the legendary Concorde from London to New York. I worked for Swissair and was entitled to have a discounted ticket, but not enough budget as a young marketing executive.

Since then, I have thought about the length of flight times and supersonic flights' reintroduction by using advanced technology. The introduction of new generation aircrafts such as B787 and A350 brought some improvements to the cabin and passenger comfort, significantly reducing fuel consumption and operational efficiency but time.

My latest long-haul flights from Istanbul were to Sao Paolo and Johannesburg. Each of them was more than 10 hours. Personally, I can manage flights up to 6 hours, but longer flights are a waste of time, even if you fly in Business Class.

New Era

Finally, a company called Boom announced the return of supersonic flights. In an interview, Blake Scholl, the founder and chief executive of Boom, said, “This isn’t science fiction; we are actually doing this. You will be able to fly New York to London in three-and-a-half hours for $5,000 return, [roughly] the same as [the cost] of business class.”

Sir Richard Branson says Virgin will partner with Boom to build and test plane to succeed where Concorde failed – ‘this lets you commute’ across oceans.

Boom planes will travel 2.6 times faster than any other aircraft, up to speeds of 1,451 miles per hour – Concorde's top speed was in the region of 1,350 miles per hour.

Each vessel will have 40 seats in two rows on either side of the aisle and will allow passengers to travel from London to New York in under 3hr 30min, which is almost half of the current flight time between two cities. I believe that this new initiative will pave the way to more affordable supersonic flights in a decade. Good luck, gentlemen!

Please click here to read the full story published in The Guardian or visit the project's official website; boom.aero

28 Şubat 2016

Digital in Turkey - 2016

It is better to compare it with the previous year's results, which I published in this blog; Digital in Turkey.

From my point of view, the most important one is the 50% equal share of laptops/desktops and mobile devices/tablets. Social media usage and habits are also indicative both in Turkey and the rest of the world. In two years, the company I work for will inaugurate the world's biggest hub; Istanbul New Airport. The question is, are we going to have a traditional airport website for our further passengers or what?

Anyway, here is the chart for the main indicators. The full report can be viewed through slideshows of @wearesocialsg on LinkedIn.

26 Şubat 2016

The people behind SWISS

I was one of them for almost 7 years... first 5 years with the legendary Swissair, which was a unique and priceless experience. The below video is such a nice one that brings you on a journey through the successor SWISS.

19 Şubat 2016

Why Boeing airplane models start with number 7?

I was wondering about the real reason for a long time. Why they name them as 7X7?

Forget all stories and conspiracy theories you heard about the model numbering of Boeing airplanes. There is a logical reason which makes sense, at least at the organizational level...

After World War II, Boeing President William Allen set about an ambitious restructuring of the company, dividing each new department by three-digit numbers. The 300 and 400 departments continued to focus on the company’s propeller aircraft offerings, while 500 came to denote the company's part focused on turbine engine development. The 600s were reserved for rocket and missile products. And finally, the burgeoning jet aircraft division of the company was assigned the number 700.

As the company prepared its Model 700 jet for commercial sales, Boeing’s marketing department swept in and rightfully suggested that the name didn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Instead, the 700 was renamed as the alliterative 707. The 717 followed the pattern, with subsequent decades, bringing the 727, 737, 747, and so on up to today’s 787 Dreamliner.

Click here to read the full story and visit the official pages of Boeing about their commercial airplanes.

04 Şubat 2016

The World's Longest Flights

Here is a nice work that shows the world's longest flights as of January 2016. Nowadays, MEB3 airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad, compete for another title, the world's longest route.

Infographic: The World's Longest Non-Stop Flights | Statista

Qatar Airways is planning to launch the Doha - Auckland route (9.034miles/18,5hrs), while Emirates announced Dubai - Panama City link (8.588miles/17,5hrs). On the other hand, Singapore is planning to reinstate its legendary Singapore - New York flight (9.500miles/19hrs) with Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft.

You may visit the following links to read a bit more about this new battle; Yahoo Finance, Skift, and Statista. I also heard that Turkish Airlines is searching for an aircraft to establish an air link between Istanbul and Australia, the only continent that TK doesn't serve.

My personal limit for a comfortable and healthy flight in economy class is around 6-7hrs. In premium cabins, this is around 12hrs. The idea of spending 18-19hrs or even more in a flight where you have limited space makes me nervous.

Have a nice and short flight!

29 Ocak 2016

Qantas Safety Video + Destination Marketing

One of the best videos combining flight safety and destination marketing. Congratulations Qantas! I believe Turkish Airlines should do one, in a better way, and focus on genuine Turkish Hospitality.

20 Ocak 2016

GlobeTrotter Travel Guidebook - Japan

A few months ago, I got an email from the Turkish Embassy Office of The Cultural and Information Counselor in Tokyo, Japan. They asked me to send them the latest visuals of the Istanbul New Airport project to share with a travel publication in Japan.

Yesterday, I received the printed copy of the GlobeTrotter Travel Guidebook. Still, I have no idea what is written above or next to the visual of IGA, but it was nice to see it there. I can only read 2018, which is the opening year of the airport.

Thank you, our friends!