Paris Air Show 2009: The debut of a new Russian airliner the Sukhoi Superjet 100

The biggest orders of the Paris Air Show were racked up by Sukhoi, the Russian aerospace firm best known for its fighters.

The 98-seat airplane is the first to come from the country since the fall of the Soviet Union and is slated to compete with the new Bombardier CSeries and Embraer’s E-Jets.

Sukhoi claims the operating cost of the Superjet 100 will be 10-15% lower than either of its competitors.

The airplane made its public debut at the 2009 Paris Air Show and racked up 27 firm orders with 17 options at the show, an impressive total considering the otherwise gloomy mood in Paris.

Carriers from Italy, Indonesia, Russia, Spain and Armenia have ordered the jet, bringing the total firm orders to 149 so far. It may be time for a U.S. carrier to take a look at this airplane as well.

Gadling was there for the public flying debut of the Superjet 100:

There’s also a nice video of the proposed interior of the Sukhoi’s first airliner here.

Check out the rest of Gadling’s Paris Air Show coverage.

9 reasons ’09 will be the year of the “YAYcation”

Christopher Elliot, over at Tribune Media Services, reported how 2009 will likely be the year of the “naycation.” While Gadling’s own writer, Tom Johansmeyer, agrees to some extent that this could be the case, I hope we might be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

So, the optimist/devil’s advocate that I am, I present to you 9 reasons this will be the year of the “YAYcation.”

  1. Obama: If The Economist‘s Global Electoral College is any indication of how the world feels about Obama, then it is a logical assumption that Americans can feel more welcome abroad. With Clinton as the new Secretary of State, and Obama’s openness to relations to formerly cold countries such as Cuba, we should explore some uncharted territory.
  2. The economy: The world’s ailing economy appeared to be Elliot’s main argument for the “naycation,” but I beg to differ. If the economy is so bad, then why not invest in an affordable trip abroad? Your money will go farther abroad than staying home and paying for steep electric and phone bills.
  3. No job? Might as well travel: My cousin lost his job at Wachovia a few months ago, is now engaged to his long-time girlfriend, and is planning a year-long globetrot. WHY NOT? Take advantage of your lost job and get lost in the world for a while.
  4. Disappearing wonders of the world: It’s not just global warming that is causing the world’s beloved wonders to disappear. I think some places in this world are becoming too trodden and destroyed by human contact. The Pyramids, Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu are just a few of the places I’ve seen that simply no longer hold the same luster as before. People populate and flood these places on a daily basis, and we need to go there — now — to see them before they are overridden by tourism.
  5. New, great places to explore: There are several new world wonders like the Kremlin in Moscow, Aya Sophia in Istanbul, and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany that are awesome places. But what about exotic countries like Mongolia, Slovenia, and Morocco? I’m ready to explore, aren’t you?
  6. Independent women travelers: No longer are men the only ones gallivanting around the world. Nowadays, there are more and more females traveling around solo, and women are muchless daunted by traveling abroad and the economy shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
  7. Cheap flight deals: Gadling blogger Kraig Becker summarized some fabulous travel deals for the new year. There are tons of great, cheap flights around the world, and it’s not that hard to find them anymore either.
  8. The world is flat: Thomas Friedman called it when he explained how the world is flat, and I can’t agree with him more. Your friends around the world are easier to contact (by email, text, Skype, or otherwise), making it so much easier to organize a trip to visit them and sleep on their couches. Or, if you’re daring and trusting, you can couch surf with perfect strangers for free.
  9. Virtual travel just won’t cut it: I am a huge fan of vicarious travel, but there comes a time when this kind of thing just doesn’t produce the same effect. Instead of playing Halo 3, for instance, I would much prefer getting out there into the wide open world and seeing the real thing with my own two eyes.

10 more ideas for traveling cheaper in 2009

Even though the economic forecast seems to drone on and on as being gloomy, here are more tips for how to travel cheaply. With the beginning of a new year, start using some of these tips and you might find out that travel in 2009 can be less expensive than you thought it might be.

One of my mantras is “Don’t assume.” That means, don’t assume something is expensive until you check out all possible angles. I’ve been surprised over and over in my life how travel is doable and affordable.

1. Plan ahead AND wait until the last minute– I do both. Planning ahead, helps me save for a trip and have enough time to do research. Waiting until the last minute has landed me deals I didn’t expect like cheap tickets to a traveling company Broadway play and to see David Sedaris. I sat in great seats for a fraction of what the people around me had paid. Some theaters offer discounts on the day of a performance. That’s how I bought $25 dollar tickets to Avenue Q. Sometimes, certain days at certain times will be cheaper. Call a theater box office and ask.

2. Buy an Entertainment Book– If you’re going to be traveling to a particular city in the United States, consider buying that city’s Entertainment Book. An Entertainment Book, typically sold by clubs as fundraisers, can be purchased directly from the Entertainment Book website. If you buy one for the city nearest to where you live, there will be a deep discount for the second city purchase–or for both. The book contains coupons for restaurants, movie tickets, museum admissions, art events and other local attractions. After one purchase, the book often pays for itself. It’s also a great way to find out places to visit that you may not have thought of before browsing its pages.

3. Pack snacks – When you travel, pack snacks. Think about buying them ahead on sale and storing them so when you’re heading out the door, you have snacks on hand. That will help you stay fed while seeing sites without spending more money than you planned on. Plus, this will save you time since you won’t have to figure out what or where to eat. When my daughter and I were in Denmark the first part of December, my Danish friend had snacks on hand everywhere we went.

4. Ask for water– Whenever we travel, if we’re stopping at a fast food place, I always ask for a cup of water. Water is free. If you’re traveling on Amtrak, ask for ice. The ice is free and when it melts, you’ll have water. I received that tip from a woman who was traveling with her family from California to New York. She said buying water on the train is expensive, but the snack bar hands out ice for free.

5. When ordering at a restaurant, share– If you are traveling with another person, or as a family, figure out which items you can order to share that will give everyone something he or she wants to eat but will cost you less money. Yesterday, my son and I were eating at the Barn Restaurant at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio. I noticed that the sandwich plate was $4.99. For $3.99, you could add on one trip through the soup and salad bar. Instead of ordering him the soup, I ordered everything for myself, gave him the soup that came with meal and we shared items from the salad bar and the sandwich. The restaurant was amenable to this arrangement.

6. Ask for the best hotel deal at the front desk before you check in–In November, we stayed at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. When we were checking in, I was lamenting that we had an Expedia reservation since I found out that there were better deals if we had gone through the hotel directly. My dad, who was with us, asked the hotel clerk what he might throw in to sweeten our stay. We were given four continental breakfast vouchers. The breakfast was great. If we had paid, it would have cost us $10 a piece.

7. Don’t assume how expensive travel might be without checking first–This summer I was pleasantly surprised how inexpensive it was to take the train the New York City on Amtrak. I thought the train would have been more expensive than it was. Two weeks ago my mother snagged an airline ticket to LaGuardia for $166. This summer, the same ticket would have cost her almost $400.

8. Don’t assume you won’t be able to use frequent flyer miles for a flight–My daughter and I went to Denmark from Columbus for 50,000 miles each using Northwest frequent flyer miles. I thought we wouldn’t be able to get those tickets until I checked.

9. If you have a discount card, don’t forget to use itAAA is one of those cards I keep forgetting to use for other things besides our car and hotel deals. Two days ago, I was at the Libbey Glass Factory Outlet Store in Toledo, Ohio and saw that they give 10% off for AAA card holders. I saved $1. Hey, it’s something.

10. Go to places on days when there is a discount or a free day– Just today, when we were in Findlay, Ohio at Wilson’s, a family-owned hamburger joint that has been around since 1936, I found out that if you go in on a Saturday with your Wilson’s mug between 7–11 a.m., you can get a free cup of coffee. If we had gone to the Barn Restaurant on Monday night, my son would have eaten for free.

Speaking of coffee. When you travel, bring your travel coffee mug with you. Truck stop type places often will charge you less money if you bring in your own cup.

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