Japan's Insurance Industry

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During the heydays of the 80's and the first half of 90's, like rest of its economy, Japan's insurance industry was growing as a juggernaut. The sheer volume of premium income and asset formation, sometimes comparable with even the mightiest USA and the limitation of domestic investment opportunity, led Japanese insurance firms to look outwards for investment. The industry's position as a major international investor beginning in the 1980's brought it under the scanner of analysts around the world.

The global insurance giants tried to set a foothold in the market, eyeing the gargantuan size of the market. But the restrictive nature of Japanese insurance laws led to intense, sometimes acrimonious, negotiations between Washington and Tokyo in the mid-1990s. The bilateral and bilateral agreements that resulted coincided with Japan's Big Bang financial reforms and deregulation.

Building on the outcome of the 1994 US-Japan insurance talks, a series of liberalization and deregulation measures has since been implemented. But the deregulation process was very slow, and more often than not, very selective in protecting the domestic companies interest and market share. Although the Japanese economy was comparable with its counterpart in USA in size, the very basis of efficient financial markets – the sound rules and regulations for a competitive economic environment – were conspicuously absent. And its institutional structure was different, too, from the rest of the developed countries.

The kieretsu structure – the corporate group with cross holdings in large number of companies in different industries – was a unique phenomenon in Japan. As a result, the necessary shareholder activism to force the companies to adopt optimal business strategy for the company was absent. Although initially touted as a model one in the days of Japan's prosperity, the vulnerability of this system became too evident when the bubble of the economic boom went burst in the nineties. Also working against Japan was its inability to keep pace with the software development elsewhere in the world. Software was the engine of growth in the world economy in the last decade, and countries lagging in this field faced the sagging economies of the nineties.

Japan, the world leader in the "brick and mortar" industries, surprisingly lagged far behind in the "New World" economy after the Internet revolution. Now Japan is calling the nineties a "lost decade" for its economy, which lost its sheen following 3 recessions in the last decade. Interest rates nose-dived to historic lows, to thwart the falling economy – in vain. For insurers, whose lifeline is the interest spread in their investment, this wreaked havoc. Quite a few large insurance companies went bankrupt in the face of "negative spread" and rising volume of non-performing assets. While Japanese insurers largely have escaped the scandals afflicting their brethren in the banking and securities industries, they are currently enduring unprecedented financial difficulties, including catastrophic bankruptcies.

Institutional Weaknesses

The Japanese market is a gigantic one, yet it is comprised of only a few companies. Unlike its USA counterpart, in which around two thousand companies are fiercely competing in the life segment, Japan's market is comprised of only twenty-nine companies classified as domestic and a handful of foreign entities. The same situation prevailed in the non-life sector with twenty-six domestic companies and thirty-one foreign firms offering their products. So, consumers have far fewer choices than their American counterparts in choosing their carrier. There is less variety also on the product side. Both the life and non-life insurers in Japan are characterized by "plain vanilla" offerings. This is more apparent in automobile insurance, where, until recently premiums were not permitted to reflect differential risk, such as, by gender, driving record etc. Drivers were classified in three age groups only for purposes of premium determination, whereas US rates long have reflected all these factors and others as well.

The demand varies for different types of products, too. Japanese insurance products are more savings-oriented. Similarly, although many Japanese life insurance companies offer a few limited kinds of variable life policies (in which benefits reflect the value of the underlying financial assets held by the insurance company, thereby exposing the insured to market risk), there are few takers for such policies. At ¥ 100 = $ 1.00, Japanese variable life policies in force as of March 31, 1996 had a value of only $ 7.5 billion, representing a scant 0.08 percent of all life insurance. By contrast, American variable life policies in force as of 1995 were worth $ 2.7 trillion, roughly 5 percent of the total, with many options, such as variable universal life, available.

Japanese insurance companies in both parts of the industry have competed less than their American counterparts. In an environment where a few firms offer a limited number of products to a market in which new entry is closely regulated, implicit price coordination to restrain competition would be expected. However, factors peculiar to Japan further reduce rivalry.

A lack of both price competition and product differentiation implies that an insurance company can grab a firm's business and then keep it almost indefinitely. American analysts sometimes have noted that keiretsu (corporate group) ties are just such an excuse. A member of the Mitsubishi Group of companies, for example, ordinarily might shop around for the best deal on the hundreds or thousands of goods and services it buys. But in the case of non-life insurance, such comparative pricing would be futile, since all companies would offer much the same product at the same price. As a result, a Mitsubishi Group company, more often than not, gives business to Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., a member of the Mitsubishi keiretsu for decades.

On paper, life insurance premiums have been more flexible. However, the government role looms large in this part of the industry as well – and in a way that affects the pricing of insurance products. The nation's postal system operates, in addition to its enormous savings system, the postal life insurance system popularly known as Kampo. Transactions for Kampo are conducted at the windows of thousands of post offices. As of March 1995, Kampo had 84.1 million policies outstanding, or roughly one per household, and nearly 10 percent of the life insurance market, as measured by policies in force.

Funds invested in Kampo mostly go into a huge fund called the Trust Fund, which, in turn, invests in several government financial institutions as well as numerous semipublic units that engage in a variety of activities associated with government, such as ports and highways. Although the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) has direct responsibility for Kampo, the Ministry of Finance runs the Trust Fund. Hence, theoretically MOF can exert influence over the returns Kampo is able to earn and, by extension, the premiums it is likely to charge.

Kampo has a number of characteristics that influence its interaction with the private sector. As a government-run institution, it inarguably is less efficient, raising its costs, rendering it noncompetitive, and implying a declining market share over time. However, since Kampo cannot fail, it has a high risk-tolerance that ultimately could be borne by taxpayers. This implies an expanding market share to the extent that this postal life insurance system is able to underprice its products. While the growth scenario presumably is what MPT prefers, MOF seemingly is just as interested in protecting the insurance companies under its wing from "excessive" competition.

The net effect of these conflicting incentives is that Kampo appears to restrain the premiums charged by insurers. If their prices go up excessively, then Kampo will capture additional share. In response, insurers may roll back premiums. Conversely, if returns on investments or greater efficiency reduce private-sector premiums relative to the underlying insurance, Kampo will lose market share unless it adjusts.

Japan's life insurance sector also lags behind its American counterpart in formulating inter-company cooperative approaches against the threats of anti-selection and fraudulent activities by individuals. Although the number of companies is far lower in Japan, distrust and disunity among them resulted in isolated approaches in dealing with these threats. In USA, the existence of sector sponsored entities like Medical Information Bureau (MIB) acts as a first line of defense against frauds and in turn saves the industry around $ 1 Billion a year in terms protective value and sentinel effect. Off late, major Japanese carriers are initiating approaches similar to formation of common data warehousing and data sharing.

Analysts often complain against insurance companies for their reluctance to adhere to prudent international norms regarding disclosure of their financial data to the investment community and their policyholders. This is particularly true because of the mutual characteristic of the companies as compared with their "public" counterpart in US. For example, Nissan Mutual Life Insurance Co., failed in 1997, generally reported net assets and profits in recent years, even though the company's president conceded after its failure that the firm had been insolvent for years.

Foreign Participation in Life Insurance

Since February 1973, when the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) first went to Japan to participate in the market, fifteen foreign life insurance companies (with more than 50% foreign capital) are currently in business. However, companies like American Family Life (AFLAC) were initially permitted to operate only in the third sector, namely the Medical Supplement Area, like critical illness plans and cancer plans, which were not attractive to Japanese insurance companies. The mainstream life insurance business was kept out of reach of foreign carriers. However, the big turmoil in the industry in the late nineties left many of the domestic companies in deep financial trouble. In their scurry for protection, Japan allowed foreign companies to acquire the ailing ones and keep them afloat.

Foreign operators continue to enter the Japanese market. As one of the world's top two life insurance markets, Japan is considered to be as strategically important as North America and the European Union. Consolidation in the Japanese life market, facilitated by the collapse of domestic insurers and by ongoing deregulation, is providing global insurers with prime opportunities to expand their business in Japan. The total market share of foreign players is gradually increasing, with global insurers accounting for over 5% in terms of premium incomes at the end of fiscal 1999 and over 6% of individual business in force. These figures are roughly two times higher than those five years earlier.

In 2000, the AXA Group strengthened its base of operations in Japan through the acquisition of Nippon Dantai Life Insurance Co. Ltd, a second-tier domestic insurer with a weak financial profile. To this end, AX formed the first holding company in the Japanese life sector. Aetna Life Insurance Co. followed suit, acquiring Heiwa Life Insurance Co., while Winterthur Group bought Nicos Life Insurance and Prudential UK bought Orico Life Insurance. Also newly active in the Japanese market are Hartford Life Insurance Co., a US-based insurer well known for its variable insurance business, and France's Cardiff Vie Assurance.

In addition, Manulife Century, subsidiary of Manufacturers Life Insurance Company inherited the operations and assets of Daihyaku Mutual Life Insurance Co., which had failed in May 1999. In April 2001, AIG Life Insurance Co. assumed the operations of Chiyoda Life, and Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd. took over Kyoei Life. Both the Japanese companies filed for court protection last October.

The foreign entrants bring with them reputations as part of international insurance groups, supported by favorable global track records and strong financial capacity. They are also free of the negative spreads that have plagued Japanese insurers for a decade. Foreign players are better positioned to optimize business opportunities despite turmoil in the market. Although several large Japanese insurers still dominate the market in terms of share, the dynamics are changing as existing business blocks shift from the domestic insurers, including failed companies, to the newcomers in line with policyholders' flight to quality. The list of companies, with foreign participation, is the following:

INA Himawari Life
Prudential Life
Manulife Century Life

Skandia Life
GE Edison Life
Aoba Life

Aetna Heiwa Life
Nichidan Life
Zurich Life

ALICO Japan
American Family Life
AXA Nichidan Life

Prudential Life
ING Life
CARDIFF Assurance Vie

NICOS Life

Foreign insurers are expected to be able to prevail over their domestic rivals to some extent in terms of innovative products and distribution, where they can draw on broader experience in global insurance markets. One immediate challenge for the foreign insurers will be how to establish a large enough franchise in Japan so that they can leverage these competitive advantages.

What ails the life insurance industry?

Apart from its own operational inefficiency, Japan's life insurance sector is also a victim of government policies intended in part to rescue banks from financial distress. By keeping short-term interest rates low, the Bank of Japan encouraged in the mid-1990s a relatively wide spread between short-term rates and long-term rates. That benefited banks, which tend to pay short-term rates on their deposits and charge long-term rates on their loans.

The same policy, however, was detrimental to life insurance companies. Their customers had locked in relatively high rates on typically long-term investment-type insurance policies. The drop in interest rates generally meant that returns on insurers' assets fell. By late 1997 insurance company officials were reporting that guaranteed rates of return averaged 4 percent, while returns on a favored asset, long-term Japanese government bonds, hovered below 2 percent.

Insurance companies cannot make up for a negative spread even with increased volume. In FY 1996 they tried to get out of their dilemma by cutting yields on pension-type investments, only to witness a massive outflow of money under their management to competitors.

To add insult to injury, life insurance companies are shouldering part of the cost of cleaning up banks' non-performing asset mess. Beginning in 1990, the Finance Ministry permitted the issuance of subordinated debt made to order for banks. They can count any funds raised through such instruments as part of their capital, thereby making it easier than otherwise to meet capital / asset ratio requirements in place. This treatment arguably makes sense, inasmuch as holders of such debt, like equity holders, stand almost last in line in the event of bankruptcy.

Subordinated debt carries high rates of interest precisely because the risk of default is higher. In the early 1990s insurers, figuring bank defaults were next to impossible and tempted by the high returns available, lent large amounts to banks and other financial institutions on a subordinated basis. Smaller companies, perhaps out of eagerness to catch up with their larger counterparts, were especially big participants. Tokyo Mutual Life Insurance Co., which ranks 16th in Japan's life insurance industry on the basis of assets, had roughly 8 percent of its assets as subordinated debt as of March 31, 1997, while industry leader Nippon Life had only 3 percent.

The rest, of course, is history. Banks and securities companies, to which insurers also had lent, began to fail in the mid-1990s. The collapse of Sanyo Securities Co., Ltd. last fall was precipitated in part by the refusal of life insurance companies to roll over the brokerage firm's subordinated loans. Life insurers complained that they sometimes were not paid off even when the conditions of a bank failure implied that they should have been. For example, Meiji Life Insurance Co. reportedly had ¥ 35 billion ($ 291.7 million) outstanding in subordinated debt to Hokkaido Takushoku Bank, Ltd. when the bank collapsed in November. Even though the Hokkaido bank did have some good loans that were transferred to North Pacific Bank, Ltd., Meiji Life was not compensated from these assets. It apparently will have to write off the entire loan balance.

Subordinated debt is only part of the bad-debt story. Insurance companies had a role in nearly every large-scale, half-baked lending scheme that collapsed along with the bubble economy in the early 1990s. For example, they were lenders to jusen (housing finance companies) and had to share in the costly cleanup of that mess. Moreover, like banks, insurers counted on unrealized profits from their equity holdings to bail them out if they got into trouble. Smaller insurers of the bubble period bought such stock at relatively high prices, with the result that, at 1997's year-end depressed stock prices, all but two middle-tier (size rank 9 to 16) life insurance companies had unrealized net losses.

What Lies Ahead

Analysts have identified the following short-term challenges to the sector:

New market entrants;
Pressure on earnings;
Poor asset quality; and,
Capitalization.

The recent high-profile failures of several life insurance companies have turned up the pressure on life companies to address these challenges urgently and in recognizable ways.

The investment market has been even worse than expected. Interest rates have not risen from historically low levels. The Nikkei index has sagged since January 2001, and plummeted to 9 year low following recent terrorist attack on American soil. Unrealized gains used to provide some cushion for most insurers, but, depending on the insurers' reliance on unrealized gains, the volatility of retained earnings is now affecting capitalization levels and thus financial flexibility.

Table 1
Major Risks Facing Japanese Life Insurance Companies

Business risks
Financial risks

Weak Japanese economy
Strong earnings pressures

Lack of policyholder confidence, flight to quality
Low interest rates, exposure to domestic, overseas investment market fluctuations

Deregulation, mounting competition
Poor asset quality

Inadequate policyholders' safety net
Weakened capitalization

Accelerating consolidation within life sector, with other financial sectors
Limited financial flexibility

Most analysts probably would agree that Japan's life insurers face problems of both solvency and liquidity. Heavy contractual obligations to policyholders, shrinking returns on assets, and little or no cushion from unrealized gains on stock portfolios combine to make the continued viability of some companies far from certain. Many others, while obviously solvent, face the risk that they will have to pay off uneasy policyholders earlier than they had planned. Either solvency or liquidity concerns raise the question as to how insurers will manage their assets. Another factor that has to be considered is Japan's aging population. As Mr. Yasuo Satoh, Program Manager of insurance industry, finance sector, IBM Japan, points out, "The industry needs to change the business model. They have to concentrate on life benefits rather than death benefits and they have to emphasize on Medical Supplement and long term care sectors as the overall population is aging. "

Japanese life insurers are actively pursuing greater segmentation, while seeking to establish unique strategies both in traditional life and non-life businesses. In late 2000, the sector witnessed the emergence of several business partnerships and cross-border alliances involving large domestic life insurers. Anticipating increased market consolidation, heated competition, and full liberalization of third-sector businesses, the companies are reviewing their involvement through subsidiaries in the non-life side of the business, which was first allowed in 1996.

Over the long term, Japanese insurers are likely to forge business alliances based on demutualization. Widespread consolidation in Japan's financial markets over the near term will bring about an overhaul of the life insurance sector as well. Although domestic life insurers announced various business strategies in the latter half of 2000 to respond to this sea change, the actual benefit of various planned alliances for each insurer remains uncertain. Further market consolidation should add value for policyholders, at least, making available a wider range of products and services. To succeed, life insurers will have to be more sensitive to diverse customers needs, while at the same time establishing new business models to secure their earning base. Long term prospects seem to be good considering the high saving rate of Japanese population. But in the short term, Japan is poised to see a few more insurers succumb before the sector tightens its bottom line with sweeping reforms and prudent investment and disclosure norms.

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United Airlines: Dominating the Skies

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United Airlines was founded on 6th April 1926 at Boise in Idaho. Its original name was Varney Air Lines. Its airport lounge is named Red Carpet Club and it is a member of the Star Alliance. It offers flights to 216 destinations across the world and its parent company is United Continental Holdings. It is based at Chicago, Illinois.

Fleet Size

United Airlines has 359 airplanes in operation. 97 of these are Airbus A320s and 96 are Boeing 757-200s. The American airline also has 55 Airbus A319s at its disposal along with 35 Boeing 767-300ERs. There are 33 Boeing 777-200ERs and 24 Boeing 747-400s along with 19 Boeing 777-200s.

Hubs

United operates from six main hubs – International Airport of O'Hare at Chicago, San Francisco Airport, Washington Dulles Airport, Los Angeles Airport, Denver Airport and Narita International Airport in Tokyo.

United Airlines is looking to add a few airports to its list of hubs in the future. They may be mentioned as below:

Newark Liberty International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport

Destinations

United Airlines offers flights to Accra and Lagos in Africa. In the Caribbeans, its flights can be boarded from cities such as Oranjestad, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, San Juan and Punta Cana. In Central and North America, its flights head to Liberia, Cancun and Calgary apart from several destinations in USA.

In southern America, this American carrier provides flights to Buenos Aires, Lima and Rio di Janeiro among others. In Asia, Beijing, Taipei, Osaka, Singapore and Seoul have the major airports. The most important European destinations of United Airlines are Brussels, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Melbourne and Guam are the major locations in the Oceanian belt.

Frequent-Flyer Program

Mileage Plus is United Airlines's frequent flyer program. The main benefit of the program is that the recipients receive never-ending mileage. However, in order for this to be effective, the flyer has to either redeem or earn travel miles every eighteen months.

The organization also provides elite-level memberships. This provides more benefits than the standard memberships. This facility was initiated in 2010 and was accessible only by members who held Premier, 1K and Premier Executive Membership status.

These members could also get limitless upgrades on domestic flights. However, these facilities are provided only if there is sufficient space in the flights.

Codesharing Agreements

United Airlines has Codesharing deals with a number of airlines:

Aer Lingus
Hawaiian Airlines
Avianca
Island Air
Emirates
Jet Airways
Ethiopian Airlines
Qatar Airways
Great Lakes Aviation
TACA Airlines
Gulfstream International Airlines

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The Airline Ticket is a Binding Contract

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This contract you received and which you may not have even known you entered, has many terms and conditions governing your flight that are often hidden in convoluted legal language. On the back of the typical ticket are fine-print paragraphs called "Conditions of Carriage". Included with these paragraphs is a statement that the airline has filed additional policies with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) about its liability limits and its promised services for passengers. Federal law mandates that any person who sells airline tickets – including airline employees at the airport or at an airline call center, as well as travel agents, travel websites and other retailers – must make a copy of the entire contract of carriage, including the aforementioned statements filed with the DOT, available to you upon request.

The contract of carriage is the basic document which governs the relationship between the airline and you, covering everything from boarding requirements and baggage limits to the compensation you are due if your flight is delayed. As mentioned before, the contract is usually written in very fine print and stilted toward the legally educated, but it is important. Read it. Each airline will have its own independent contract of carriage and while many use similar language, there will always be important differences also. You must always read the actual contract provided by the carrier before you file any complaints about your flight.

A piece of US legislature called the Federal Aviation Act protects your rights on domestic flights. This act gives the DOT authority to create and enforce regulations governing the responsibilities of airlines and the rights of passengers. While this act pre-empts most state laws that attempt to regulate airlines, some state statutes and common-law contract rules may still apply.

On international flights, your rights will largely fall under an international agreement called the Warsaw Convention. Almost all of the world nations that have functional airports now abide by the terms of this treaty. Like the Federal Aviation Act, it lists an airline's liability for any losses you may incur because your flight was delayed or your baggage was lost, delayed or damaged while you are engaged in international travel. If your ticket shows that you will be flying between countries that have adopted the Warsaw Convention or if, on the way to your final destination, you will stop over in a country that has adopted it, you meet this qualification.

An odd twist of the Warsaw Convention is that it applies, based on the way the ticket was issued, not on the actual flights. For example, if you booked a flight from Las Vegas to Tokyo and the flight crashes in California, you will be covered by the Warsaw Convention because it was your intent to fly internationally between the USA and Japan (both nations participate in this treaty). However, if your flight from New York to Oregon veers off course and crashes in Canada, the airline would not be bound by the Warsaw Convention.

Remember that the ticket you buy is in fact a legal contract and you are entering it willingly by purchasing it.

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Top Online Travel Companies (OTAs) In India – Know Them Better Before You Use Their Services

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There are over 30 online travel companies in India excluding Airlines and other Hotels sites. Few of them specialize in a particular field. For the benefit of all visitors to India coming from around the world, the top ten sites, where you can book your India trip are as under –

Makemytrip.com – MakeMyTrip, India's No 1 travel website, founded and promoted by Mr Deep Kalra, is the top website in the country for any travel related products and services. They offer airline tickets, hotels bookings, car rentals, holiday destinations, and even train bookings now on their website. Makemytrip caters to the US / Canada markets, Indian market and recently they have started makemytrip UAE as well. Makemytrip is now coming up with their firs IPO in USA and raising around $ 100 million. They got oversubscribed and raised around $ 800 million. Their office is based out of Gurgaon in India and they have over 700 employees. Their code specialization is into holiday planning and booking, including inbound travelers. They are believed to be selling over 8000 tickets per day.

Yatra – Yatra is known to be the second best OTA travel website in the country. It has been promoted by Dhruv Shringi along with a couple of more guys, who served with eBookers before this venture. Yatra has been funded by some leading Indian Reliance group, TV 18 Group and NVP and recently got funding from Intel as well. They specialize in domestic flights. They are also based out of Gurgaon in India and have over 600 employees. They also book Car Rentals, Hotels, Holidays and Train bookings. Currently, it is expected that they are selling over 5000 tickets per day.

Cleartrip – Cleartrip was a new entrant in the Indian market around 3 years ago and they are known for their technology. As the name says, their technology is very clear and on their home page as well, you do not see any banners and pop ups. They were the first OTA to integrate with India's Railway Reservation system called IRCTC. They are based out of Mumbai and have a smaller team as compared to Makemytrip or Yatra.

Expedia India – Expedia very recently entered Indian travel space and they are currently focusing on their hotels business. They are yet to integrate LCCs (Low Cost Carrers) such as GoAir, GoIndigo, JetLite, Kingfisher Red etc into their portfolio. But it is sure that in a year time, they will be leading the Indian market.

Travelocity India – Travelocity is yet again a new entrant in the Indian market and they are progressing fast. They bought another hotel OTA called Travelguru recently. They are being controlled from Singapore.

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About Kingfisher Airlines

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It is one of the privately owned and famed airlines in India, based in Bangalore India this airline has created a mark for itself over last few years since its commencement of operations in 2005. Kingfisher Airlines comes from the parent company “United Breweries Group” or popularly known as the “UB group”.
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Having the main bases at Bengaluru International Airport, Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport, it operates a network of around 40 destinations with more than 200 flights per day.
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Though being an domestic airlines till yet, it has shown intensions to fly to USA following the lease of new Airbuses A320 and A200 in coming times with Bangalore being its major hub. Currently this airline flies with two service classes Economy and Business and has been granted a 5 star rating from Skytrax.
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Kingfisher as per its expansion plans have also acquired stake in Air Deccan airlines, which is an LCC in the market and have also shown intensions to acquire further stake in the same. Due to its inflight services and operations, Kingfisher airlines have also been awarded with lot of accolades and awards like the Business leadership award by NDTV, Economic Times Avaya award, India’s favorite airlines in a survey by IMB, Service excellence for a New airline by Skytrax and more.
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Kingfisher airlines have also started The Kingfisher airlines Tennis Open championship which has come up as a prestigious and high profile event by tennis fans across the world. This whole thing was started in order to reinforce the winning attributes and values ​​of the Kingfisher brand.
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The currently held event of IPL cricket also had Kingfisher airlines as a sponsor for the Bangalore team. Mr Vijay Mallya, being the proud owner of this airline is all set to achieve higher targets and objectives in the coming time and he is all minds for it.

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Discover the Little Known Secrets of Finding the Best Cheap Flights to Canada

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There are many good reasons to make use of cheap flights to Canada. The giant of the North American continent is the USA. We have all heard how everything there seems to be bigger. Canada may be a smaller country than the US as far as territory is concerned but its charms are just as exciting.
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This country is renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Canada provides a spectrum of climates from snowy to hot. This means you can take advantage of world class skiing resorts in the Rockies. A popular resort is Marble Mountain.
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Finding out about cheap flights to Canada is a pleasant surprise because this is a location that is very popular. It is also a location that is well known around the world for its exceptionally high standard of living and open space.
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You can also witness the Northern Lights from Canadian soil. The best vantage point for this amazing natural wonder is Newfoundland and Labrador. This part of the country boasts an interesting and rugged shoreline and the character is unmistakably nautical.
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Cheap flights to Canada come with many benefits. Whether you are a vacationer or a regular visitor to Canada you will be able to save money. Try booking your tickets as early as possible in order to gain even more of a discount. All cheap flights are handled by established and experienced travel agents and airlines. This gives the traveling consumer a choice.
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You can get the most cost effective tickets to Canada by opting for a package deal. This could include air tickets, rental car, and accommodation and specified meals. A very good example of an all inclusive trip to Canada is a stay at a skiing resort. This may even include the use of skiing equipment and care for the kids. Booking cheap tickets has never been easier. Simply go online and make your choice.

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How to Get Cheap Travel Packages

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The Direct Route Isn’t Always the Cheapest
In many cases there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how including work. There are seasonal changes, time changes, variations depending on demand, and then what seems like changes for not any reason at all. When searching for discount etc., look at alternate routes to get where you need to go. In many cases, a combination of 2 flights can be cheaper in comparison with one flight.
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This typically works by taking advantage of very low cost domestic plane tickets within the USA. For example, a return flight coming from New York to Montreal hotel like Best Western Europa in center ville in Canada, which is a trip approximately an hour, generally expenses around $ 300. For the roughly the same price you can find returning flight from NY to Los Angeles. The point is that for causes have to do with traffic, polices, and taxes, household flights are significantly cheaper then international ones, mile pertaining to mile.
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So depending where you want to go, you may come across your plane tickets is much cheaper if you’re willing to make a home flight very first, in advance of switching to an overseas one. If you live in the northern United States, as an example, and want to go to Latin or South America, it will eventually frequently be much cheaper to 1st go on a domestic flight to the southern hub including Miami or Dallas, tx and then fly additional south from there, in contrast to taking a lengthy trip directly from a northern city.
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When exploring multiple flights, furthermore keep in mind how close you might be to a main airline hub – it will be a lot additional highly-priced to fly around the globe directly from a more compact city then in order to fly to a significant hub very first.
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In many cases if you’re willing to put up with the slight inconvenience of two arrivals, discount travel could be yours. Just remember that as it stands many discount flight websites don’t search for arrivals in this way, so you will need to do some creative thinking by yourself.
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Eat Locally
An often overlooked key to lower price travel is food costs, which can be greatly reduced by buying in local grocery stores rather than dining out. Most places you stay will take advantage of tourists if you can and you frequently don’t understand until you do some currency conversion that you are forking out $ 10 for a poor dinner at your hotel.
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Instead, purchase some healthy snakes and fresh food from a market to eat within your outings. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you’ve to cook – it just means you must grab something fresh that you are able to eat on the go rather than quitting for lunch in the touristy restaurant.

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Incredible Amusements Parks in the USA That Aren't Disneyland or Six Flags

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Over the past few years, amusement parks in the United States of America have become synonymous with Disneyland or Six Flags. But anyone who has ever been to any other amusement park in the country will tell you that this is not the case. Fun time with family at a theme park is not limited to merely the two amusement park chains and there are myriad other such sites where one can have a whale of a time. So, without wasting any more minute, let us get straight to the best of the amusement parks in the country where you and your entire family can have truckloads of fun.

Worlds of Fun – The ultimate family fun destination

If there weren't already enough reasons to book a flight to Kansas City, now you get one more with the truly remarkable and exciting Worlds of Fun. There's so much to do here that one visit will seem insufficient and you will be persuaded to come back again. Fun rides, entertaining shows, water slides, this place has it all. Just get on a cheap flight to Kansas City and brace yourself for tons of fun.

Cedar Point – The kingdom of roller coasters

Cedar Point in Ohio takes immense pride in calling itself "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World" and this might very well be true. The park is home to 18 state-of-the-art roller coasters that will take the adrenaline levels through the roof. And that's excluding other adventurous rides that you can enjoy with the entire family. 2018, also marks as the year Cedar Point launched its much-awaited Steel Vengeance roller coaster, the world's first hyper-hybrid coaster.

Hersheypark – A park that will make you drool

Hersheypark was founded to offer moments of fun and leisure to the employees of Hershey's Chocolate Factory but that soon changed and today the site welcomes fun seekers from near and far. While its 14 roller coasters are designed to offer fun of varying levels, the concerts that are organized here during the summer months will keep you on your feet. So, are you ready for some sweet-sweet memories? Do remember to check the park dates before you book your tickets.

Universal Studios Hollywood – A blockbuster of a destination

No one can deny the fact that Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the biggest reasons for people to book flights to Los Angeles. That great is its charm. While here, you can enjoy numerous rides themed on the biggest Hollywood flicks such as the Flight of the Hippogriff, Transformers: The Ride-3D, Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride and many more. And if you want a truly unsurpassed experience and wish to visit the sound stages where TV shows and films are shot, then book yourself a VIP ticket.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg – An idyllic summertime escape

Touted as the "World's Most Beautiful Theme Park," Busch Gardens Williamsburg is not just a place to have a ball with your loved ones, but also a sight to behold. This European themed park gives a sneak peek in to Germany's Oktoberfest, Europe's aesthetic villages, streets of Paris and Scottish hamlets. It's jam-packed with incredible experiences that will keep you asking for more.

So, have you booked those cheap domestic flights to one of the aforementioned destinations already?

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Purchase Tickets To Airlines Online For USA Domestic Flights

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Flying today can be a frustrating experience. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an important job to do, keeping us all safe during USA domestic flights and they have implemented numerous measures in the address of these concerns. Then add to this fuel prices, airfare wars, and all the previous existing challenges, you have a big mess that comes with your cheap flights. I have found a few methods of streamlining the experience that I would like to share with you. Proper preparations can convert a horrid experience into a pleasurable one. Really, it is not hard.

  • Purchase tickets to airlines online
  • Reduce or eliminate checked baggage
  • Proactive snack preparedness
  • Inventory yourself before you go to the airport!

Purchase Tickets to Airlines Online

If you have ever stood in line at an airlines ticket counter then you already understand the pleasure of eliminating this experience. Lines are long and slow. Internet purchases have eased the experience considerably. You are able to print a boarding pass right in the comfort of your own home. When you arrive at the airport, you are able to proceed directly to your gate.

Reduce or eliminate checked baggage

Many airlines are now charging for checked bags. I have seen up to 20 dollars per bag as the fee. This is a direct result of fuel prices and allows agencies to offer seemingly cheap flights as these fees are paid at the airport. I bring only carry-on luggage. A simple man, it is not difficult to pack three days of clothes within the carry-on bag I use. When I am flying to family, I will ship bags in advance. The cost is comparable and the airport hassle is great to miss. You must stand in those lines at the counter to check bags.

Proactive snack preparedness

When in flight, snacks are few and drinks are expensive. I always prepare for a flight with a couple bags of peanuts, a candy bar, and a bottle of water. The key is to proceed to the gate with all things in unopened factory sealed condition. I always place them in my carry-on and have never had issue. When I get on the plane I will retrieve my snacks prior to storing in the overhead storage; I am flight ready!

Inventory yourself before you go to the airport!

When you arrive at the TSA checkpoint, you will have big trouble if forgetting something in your pocket. Cigarette lighters, pocketknives, and other seemingly harmless items will trigger a response that can lead to airport delays. Inventory yourself at home and walk out of the door. Easy it is to slip up and have a minor nightmare at the TSA gates.

I do these couple small things each time I fly. I hope you find them helpful in some way. Remember, when purchasing cheap flights check the baggage fees when booking tickets to airlines online. USA domestic flights do not have to be miserable experiences.

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