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  • all female Ethiopian flight 18 November 2015 | View comments

  • Ethiopian Airlines to operate all-female flight For the first time tomorrow, Ethiopian Airlines will operate an all-female flight. Not only will the pilots be women, but so also will be cabin crew, ground operations, flight preparations, on-board logistics, aviation safety, ramp operations, security, catering, air traffic control and the call centre. The flight from Addis Ababa to Bangkok is hoped to inspire other young female students in their dreams to become aviation professionals. Ethiopian Airlines is the biggest airline in Africa and has been in existence for almost 70 years. Lufthansalooking to next downturn Already looking towards the next economic downturn, Lufthansa’s chief executive is predicting a round of consolidation in the European airline sector – a prediction already made by Willie Walsh of IAG – International Airlines Group

    At the Guild of Business Travel Agents conference last week, Carsten Spohr said Lufthansa would be an “active participant” when the market next contracted. Not if its current difficult industrial relations with pilots and cabin crew continue; LH’s attitude to charging travel agents for making bookings on global distribution systems is also a cause for concern. Marriott closes $12.2bn deal to buy Starwood The winner in the great Starwood buyout is Marriott International. The deal brokered over the past week will see Marriott becoming the world’s largest hotelier. The $12.2 billion stock and cash deal will add 50 per cent more rooms to Marriott’s portfolio and take it to more than 1.1 million rooms worldwide.

    The boards of both companies approved the acquisition and it must now be approved by shareholders. The new company will have 5,500 hotels. The next largest hotel group is Hilton Worldwide with 4,400 properties and about 720,000 rooms. New frequent flyer programme at Aer Lingus Aer Lingus announced the launch of AerClub yesterday, the new frequent flyer programme to replace Gold Circle. Members will be able to collect and redeem points on not just EI but also other carriers. Easyjet has also announced that they will launch a frequent player programme. Celebrating 20 years in business this month, the carrier has trialled a FFP scheme with regular passengers.

    Flight Club will be an invitation only to passengers who have flown at least 20 flights or spent a certain amount with the carrier in the previous year.

    Benefits will include a price promise, dedicated contact centre, free seat choices, and flexibility. Ryanair are expected to introduce a loyalty programme next year

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