Thursday, December 9, 2010

Aviation - Germany making the most of wide-bodies and skeletal ones

Its coming up on my birthday and I’m in a cheery mood, so this blog post will contain nothing but what my daughter Marian calls “rainbows and unicorns” news - make that anatomical and zoological news - whatever, grumpy me is under a temporary restraining order. 

In keeping with the holiday season, the folks at Lufthansa  had a media get-together Tuesday night in New York. I assumed the most significant thing they'd say was “bottom’s up”, but make an announcement they did, two in fact.

photo by Patricia Thomas courtesy Lufthansa
Martin Riecken, head of corporate communications for Lufthansa Americas, broke the news that Jens Bischof (left) vice president of the Americas for the German carrier would be moving over to the C-suite, as head of sales and revenue management.  If he's headed back to Germany, he might miss the arrival of his airline’s first A380 service out of JFK.
That was announcement number two.

Beginning February 15, Lufthansa will offer twice a week service between New York and Frankfurt.  Emirates and Air France are already operating their behemoth A380s at JFK, so Lufthansa is not the first. Nor is Lufthansa expecting to fill all 526 seats right away.  But Airbus delivered the airplane and an airliner not flying is not doing its job. Putting the positive spin on the less-than-desirable-date to begin offering 5 to 10% more capacity on the route, Martin said, the airline will “probably offer customers some good deals.”

Photo courtesy Lufthansa

Then I said, wait a minute Martin, who’s leaving frigid-New York in February for the just-as-frigid-Frankfurt?

Then he said, seventy percent of those travelers aren’t even staying in Frankfurt, they’re continuing on.

Cape Town, Singapore, Mumbai anyone?  Yeah, that does sound a lot better.

But perhaps what Lufthansa needs to sell more tickets is a little of what Delta’s having, that being passengers who get on the airplane and strip. Look, while I was covering up burka-style, trying to hide the pounds I put on at my Thanksgiving dinner, some Delta Air Lines passenger boarded flight 6562 from Chicago to New York two days after the holiday and promptly bared all.  Did she read my post about how sexy aviation is and just feel the need to contribute?  Search me.

On second thought, don’t search me, I'll opt for the full body scanner. But for those who think U.S. transportation security agents can’t wait to get to work each day for another round of electronic snooping under the skirts of travelers check out this spoof. It’s not new but its circulating on the internet to great comic effect as the TSA's 2011 pin-up calendar.

Well I did some sleuthing and I can reveal that Miss August and her 11 siblings pre-date the controversy over the full body scan. The calendar wasn't even created in the United States, its German.

According to Jack Polke, medical sales director for the Japanese radiological company Eizo, a similar calendar "was created by a marketing company associated with our German group."  That would be Butter, an ad agency in Berlin and Dusseldorf. Did someone recreate Butter's brilliant idea as Mr. Polke suggests? Or are these the very same images, with a different pair of shoes Photo-shopped on our model's metatarsals? You be the judge. Click here to see Misses January through December. But beware, this content leaves little to the imagination.  

“We're sorry for the delay but we're having some problems loading the cheetah.” Talk about unexpected announcements from the flight deck, passengers on Qantas flight 675 from Melbourne heard that Wednesday morning while waiting to push back from the gate. Nah, I don’t think the cat opted for the pat down over the full body scan. The spokeswoman for Qantas assured reporters that the cheetah, headed for her new home at the Adelaide Zoo was safely tucked away a cage. Nevertheless, she still proved to be a handful for airline workers loading her onto the aircraft. As a consequence the flight from Melbourne was half an hour late for takeoff. As excuses go, its a purr-ty good one.

1 comment:

Captain Samir Kohli said...

Hey Christine,

Wish you a very happy B'day and a great year ahead. Where's the party, and am I invited?