Members' News

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SWEDEN: After 15 years as CEO of A-Train, the company who operates Arlanda Express, Per Thorstenson is retiring towards the end of the year. Under his leadership, Arlanda Express has become established as one of the world's most successful, award-winning, airport train companies. The recruitment process to find a new CEO is underway.

Arlanda Express is a major feature for visitors to Stockholm, carrying millions of tourists and Stockholmers every year. Under Per Thorstenson's leadership, the company has won many awards for train design, on-board service and the company's commitment to diversity and durability. At the same time, the number of passengers has been steadily increasing on the Arlanda rail link.

"Leading Arlanda Express has been incredibly rewarding. Together we have created a company that is very strong, as a brand and financially. Our goal has always been to be leading example for customer service, not only in Sweden, but internationally. It is with pride I can say we have succeeded,” Thorstenson said.

The recruitment process to find the next CEO is underway and further announcements will be made in due course. Per Thorstenson will remain as an advisor to the company in a transition period.

"Under Per’s exemplary leadership A-Train has developed strongly as a company. It is with great appreciation that we thank him and wish him well in the future,” said Simon Geere, chairman of A-Train.

Milestones under Per Thorstenson’s Leadership

  • Service Score: Best Service "Land Transport" 2013-2017
  • Per Thorstenson awarded as Person of the Year by The Global AirRail Alliance
  • Cambridge Analytica: 3G Diversity Awards 2016
  • Swedish Transport Administration: Sweden's most punctual train operator, 2011- 2015
  • Global AirRail Awards: Best service in the world for express trains to / from airports 2013
  • Monocle Magazine: No. 2 in the World - Travel Top 50 2012
  • Monocle Magazine: Best Express Train to / from Airport 2012
  • Red dot design award / Product design 2011 of the year
  • Global AirRail Awards: Project of the Year 2011
  • ISI Wissing: Most satisfied customers in the travel industry 2011
  • Newspaper Manager: The Year's Expert Award for Working with Diversity 2010
  • Stockholm Chamber of Commerce / Stockholm Shippers: 2002 Transport Company

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UK: A Scottish comedy duo, the Krankies went undercover to challenge Heathrow Express's team, as a third of parents bend the truth to get reduced fares. Heathrow Express offers free travel for kids aged 15 years and under.

"We are a nation of fibbers when it comes to buying tickets for our children, with over a third (38%) of parents admitting they have tried to beat the system in order to get discounted fares," Heathrow Express said.

British parents have today admitted they have gone to extreme lengths to get cheaper fares, with almost one in five (18%) admitting to having either hidden their child from a ticket inspector, told their child to look and sound younger or asked their child to pretend to be asleep.

One in 10 parents have gone as far as to get their children to rehearse lines to claim they are younger than they are, before heading to the ticket office.

To celebrate the hilarious lengths parents go to, Heathrow Express who conducted the research, have partnered with iconic Scottish comedy duo, The Krankies, in a new video which sees Wee Jimmy Krankie go undercover to blag a free ticket on the Heathrow Express.

Ian Tough, star of The Krankies, said; “We’ve loved bringing back Janette’s character to see if the Oldest Kid in Town can even try to pull off what so many parents continue to do across the country. Thanks to Heathrow Express and their free tickets for children 15 and under, we were able to just about pull it off.”

The research also reveals that parents are likely to twist the truth on average four times in a lifetime to get discounted tickets, with dads more likely to encourage their child to look younger to get cheaper tickets than Mums. Out of those parents that have never claimed their child was younger, 38% have been tempted to do so, whilst more than a quarter of the nation (26%) think it’s totally acceptable to bend the truth to get cheaper fares.

Fraser Brown, Director at Heathrow Express said; “It’s been a lot of fun working with the Krankies to see if they can still pull off the legendary Wee Jimmy Krankie character! For those travelling on the Heathrow Express with children, there is no need to tell any fibs because all children aged 15 and under get free tickets. You can also get your tickets for a cheaper fare too if you book in advance – head to the website today to book.”

 

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RUSSIA: Moscow's airport express rail operator Aeroexpress and the local ride-share company BelkaCar have completed their first joint campaign with over 800 air-rail passengers using a promo code for their first ride with a discounted fare.

Aeroexpress passengers who have booked their rail ticket through the website or via the mobile app received a 500 roubles discount to travel via Moscow's leading car-sharing service.

“Thanks to our cooperation with BelkaCar, we were able to offer passengers the fastest and most beneficial way to reach the airport right from their home or office. During the New Year holidays, this was particularly in demand,” commented Valery Fyodorov, Chief Operating Officer of Aeroexpress.
During the campaign, which ended on 11th of January, passengers purchasing Aeroexpress e-tickets received a code to claim the discount with the car-sharing service.

On 25th of January BelkaCar has announced that they are extending the partnership until 8th of February. According to BelkaCar, the goal of the partnership is to help alleviate the transportation problems around the city, especially during the busy New Year's celebrations period.

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Airtrain wrapped tram web

AUSTRALIA: Following the highly anticipated launch of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 on December 17, Airtrain is now set to wrap a tram in a unique design developed with customer feedback from December 21 to June 2018, to help passengers recognise the new Airtrain and tram connection and its convenience and affordability.

A number of passengers have already experienced seamless travel from Brisbane Airport’s Domestic and International terminals straight to Surfers Paradise and all major stops in between, thanks to the one simple change from Airtrain to tram at Helensvale station.

With Gold Coast tourism seeing a 7.2% increase in domestic visitors from June 2016 - 2017, the renowned holiday destination is well placed to attract more travellers in 2018 with the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

GoldlinQ (G:link) CEO Phil Mumford said passengers were embracing the extended light rail system more with than 40,000 people riding the G: on the opening day.

An online survey by Airtrain of almost 800 participants showed more than 90% of respondents praising the new tram connection.

One respondent of the survey said: “It is good to know that once you get on the tram at the Gold Coast, you get the connecting train all the way to the Brisbane Airport. Also the same can be done in reverse.”

Airtrain CEO, Chris Basche said the tram service greatly assists tourists and locals in accessing the coastal region of the Gold Coast and he is excited for the wrap to help travellers identify the smooth and faster connection from the Brisbane Airport to the beaches.

“Thanks to the new tram connection at Helensvale, it has never been easier to travel between Brisbane Airport and Surfers Paradise and the wrap will encourage more tourists and locals to take advantage of the simple connection of the tram service from Brisbane Airport,” said Mr Basche.

“We have already seen an overwhelmingly positive response from travellers with hundreds of bookings made for the tram service in recent days since the service launched on Monday.

“We’re excited to continue to meet the growing passenger demand of those travelling between the Brisbane Airport terminals and the Gold Coast during the busy Christmas period, into the Commonwealth Games and for years to come.”

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, welcomed the launch of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2, saying the new seamless transport option supports the growing number of visitors travelling via Brisbane Airport to the Gold Coast and beyond.

“Currently 23%, or nearly a quarter of a million, of all international visitors arriving into Brisbane Airport travel onwards to the Gold Coast region,” Ms Alroe said.

“Having this rail link operational prior to the Commonwealth Games in April is good news as 70% of all attendees coming for the Commonwealth Games are expected to arrive and depart via Brisbane.” 

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KLIA Ekspres Grab Package

MALAYSIA: KLIA Ekspres and the on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform Grab Malaysia have joined forces to offer a promotional package for their customers.

Travellers who purchase a KLIA Ekspres single trip plus Grab package online at RM55 can get a free Grab ride (worth RM10) to or from KL Sentral Station. This is the same fare as the normal KLIA Ekspres single trip ticket at the counter.

With each single trip package purchased via KLIA Ekspres website, mobile app or kiosk, they will receive a Grab Promo Code worth RM10 each. They can use the Promo Code on a GrabCar, GrabTaxi or a GrabShare ride. Travellers who purchase a KLIA Ekspres Return Trip + Grab package will receive two Grab Promo Codes worth RM10 each.
 
“As Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s preferred ride hailing service, we are always on the lookout for partnerships that will add value to our passengers, business partners and driver-partners. Therefore, this partnership with KLIA Ekspres will definitely improve the overall ride experience for our travellers – both locally and also foreigners, and support our objective of providing convenient and accessible mobility services to all in any way we can,” said Sean Goh, Country Head of GrabMalaysia.
 
Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of KLIA Ekspres said: “At ERL, we recognise that ride-hailing is not only here to stay but will also grow with time – and we embrace this change. We are pleased to launch a new collaboration with Grab that will utilise ride-hailing features as part of the overall KLIA Ekspres service. We believe this will also encourage greater public use of the rail network and improve travel convenience for KLIA Ekspres customers.”
 
“This collaboration will provide a complete airport-to-home travel solution. Ensuring comfortable, convenient, and affordable transportation is a great way to make the start and end of any journey memorable!” said Noormah.
 
Goh further added that with features such as GrabChat (in-app chat system), GrabPay (cashless payment) and GrabRewards (Grab’s loyalty and rewards programme), every ride is made easier because passengers, especially tourists from the SEA region, can communicate with their drivers to minimise miscommunications, pay for their Grab ride without having to fumble for any small change, and above all, get to either use or collect GrabRewards points and exchange them for any local promotion.