American Airlines has released details and pictures of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner which will begin international services from 2 June 2014. The aircraft features Business Class and Main Cabin (Economy) Class, as well Main Cabin Extra American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner will initially put on the domestic Dallas Fort worth DFW to Chicago route from 7 May for familiarization then put into its first permanent route between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Beijing (PEK) from 2 June 2015 which this will be daily non-stop between then comes the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Buenos Aires (EZE) from June 4. The new cutting edge aircraft will feature Wi-Fi Internet and increased entertainment options in all cabins. American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class AAs business class is arranged in a 1-2-1 seating configuration with 28 seats in total that can convert into a 77 inch long full lie flat bed, other features include dual universal AC power outlets and USB ports. Inflight entertainment is delivered via a 16 inch touch screen display which options of 180 TV programs, 250 movies and 350 music/audio options. To cut down on cabin noise each seat is equipped with a set of Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling headphones. American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Main Cabin (Economy Class) In Economy Class each seat is equipped with a 9 inch Inflight entertainment display that delivers the same programing as in Business (180 TV programs, 250 movies and 350 music/audio options) in addition each seat is equipped with Universal AC Power and USB ports. Seats are configured in a -3-3-3 seating configuration 198 in total with 48 configured as main cabin extra seats that provide an additional 6 inches of leg room and pitch, so that’s 150 seats in main cabin and 48 in extra. As in Business Class Wi-Fi internet connectivity is an option
Vietnam Airlines has released photos of its soon to be delivered Airbus A350 XWB on the same day in which the airline also released photos and a seat map of their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, photos here (opens in new window): Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Cabin and Photos From the photos it looks like this aircraft will only be a two class Economy Class, Business Class cabin unlike the airlines 787 which will have Premium Economy. Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class Business will have eight rows of four seats totaling 32 seats in total laid out in a 1-2-1 seating config. Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350 Economy Class Economy Class is laid out in a 3-3-3 seating configuration, it is not known yet how many seats in total.
Vietnam Airlines has released photographs of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which it will take delivery of from the middle of 2015, as well as a seat map Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Map VNA first Dreamliner will begin life on the on the Hanoi (HAN) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) route from 1 June 2015 operating twice daily then after 29 June it will be put in International service on the Hanoi (HAN) to London Heathrow (LHR) route. From the photos the aircraft will feature Economy Class, Premium Economy Class, Business Class cabin Business Class Business Class seats 28 with 7 rows of 4 with seats laid out in a 1-2-1 seating configuration, window seats are angled out and center seats angled inwards, seats have a 42 inch (106.6 cm) seat pitch and convert into a lie flat bed, the In-flight entertainment system is connected to a large 15.4 inch LCD, other features include USB, SMS, in-flight power as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. If you want to compare with their existing product take a look at the following flight review i did for Business on their A330 (Opens in new window so you can continue reading this article) Vietnam Airlines Business Class Flight Review Sydney to Saigon The second photo below looks to be a self-service bar that is located in-front of business. Premium Economy Class Premium is laid out in a 2-3-2 seating configuration all forward facing, in total there are 35 seats in premium economy in 7 rows of 5 seats. Premium Economy seats also have a 42 inch (106.6 cm) pitch just as in business, the IFE system is connected to a 10.6 inch (27 cm) LCD Economy Class Economy Class features 211 seats in roughly 22 rows of 9 seats as well as some additional single row of 7 seats and 2 separate rows of 3 seats. Economy seats have a 32 inch (81.2 cm) pitch and again the IFE is connected to a 10.6 inch (27 cm) display. If you are confused check Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Map
Qantas today announced the introduction or Bid Now Upgrades an invitation only Business Class Upgrade bidding system that will begin operation from this week. Bid Now Upgrades will allow Economy and Premium Economy passengers booked on both domestic and international Qantas services to upgrade to business if they receive the Bid Now Upgrade invitation email. See the sample Bid Now Upgrade invitation email below How will the system operate? After Classic Upgrade Reward seats have been allocated any additional seats will be available for Bid Now Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant said Bid Now Upgrades will provide greater opportunity for customers to travel in Qantas’ premium cabins. “As Australia’s leading loyalty program we are always exploring new ways for our Frequent Flyers to redeem their Qantas Points and we know that upgrading to a more premium cabin is something that many of our members aspire to,” she said. “This is designed for Frequent Flyers who don’t have a balance high enough to request an upgrade “For a member who doesn’t have enough points to submit an upgrade request for their whole family, Bid Now Upgrades offers an alternative chance to travel at the front of the plane with their spouse and children using a combination of money and points.” Ms Grant said Bid Now Upgrades will not change the process or priority for Frequent Flyers submitting classic Upgrade Rewards more than 24 hours out from their scheduled departure. “This new initiative will in no way impact the chances of members securing a Classic Upgrade Reward – these will always be confirmed first regardless of their Frequent Flyer tier and they remain the best value option,” she said. Important notes: Customers invited to participate in Bid Now Upgrades will receive an email, seven days before departure, enabling them to make an offer for an upgrade within a set range of points Minimums are from 3,000 Qantas Points for a domestic upgrade and from 5,000 Qantas Points for an international upgrade. A minimum dollar amount will also be required. Customers’ Bid Now Upgrades offer can be modified or cancelled at any time up until 24 hours before departure, but customers don’t see each other’s offers. Customers will be notified via email approximately one day before departure if their offer has been successful or not. If a customer is not successful, they pay nothing and keep their current seat. More information can be found here: http://www.qantas.com/bidnowupgrades
Korean Air this week announced a new Business Class offering “Prestige Suites” which has already been rolled out to several Airbus A330 aircraft flying routes to Guangzhou, Singapore and Hanoi. This new cabin product goes beyond what the airline deployed in its Airbus A380 in June 2011, read details here Korean Airlines A380 Business Class (opens in new window) The new Korean Air Prestige Suite which was designed by BE Aerospace will be rolled out to 12 Boeing 777-300ER, 10 Boeing 787-9, 10 Boeing 747-8 and 6 A330-300 new aircraft which the carrier has on order. Configuration wise the Prestige Suite is laid out in a staggered 2-2-2 seating configuration with a unique design that allows for direct aisle access for window passengers without disturbing the aisle passenger. Each seat has a width of 22.5 inches when in its lie flat position and 21 inches in its regular seat config, and a pitch of 87 inches. On the entertainment side the new Business Suites’ IFE system gets an upgrade with a larger 17 inch LCD display.
A closer look at the retro themed livery of Qantas’ latest Boeing 737-800 that will service domestic routes from next week
The Australian Business Class seat race is heating up with details of Virgin Australia’s state of the art Business Class Suite being released, which will be introduced into the airlines Domestic East Cost to Perth and Boeing 777 International routes.
Take a look at LATAM Airlines Group Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 Cabin Product photos, these are mockups of what the final product will look like but they would be fairly accurate.
Today Emirates added a Dubai to Los Angeles A380 service making it the world’s longest Airbus A380 service. At 16 hour 20 minute long the world’s longest A380 flight crosses Russia the North Pole and then Canada before entering US Airspace and landing in Los Angeles. Even though Emirates operates world’s longest A380 flight the title of the world’s longest flight of any commercial aircraft by distance goes to Qantas with its 747 operated Sydney to Dallas flight and the longest flight in time goes to Delta Air Lines with a 17 hour Johannesburg to Atlanta service. Emirates A380 has 489 seats in total across 3 classes with 399 seats in Economy Class, 76 in Business Class and 14 luxurious first class suites. First Class also features the world’s only inflight showers. The Dubai to Los Angeles service operates under flight number EK 215 and the return flight from Los Angeles operates under EK 216.
Virgin Australia is adding an additional six flights per week to Bali Indonesia from the east coast of Australia. The additional flights that will go into operation from 19 December will see an additional three flights from Melbourne, two flights from Sydney and an extra weekly flight from Brisbane. All flights will be operated on Virgin Australia’s new two class (Economy and Business) Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer Judith Crompton said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to adapting our schedule to meet the demand of travellers. “Bali is one of Australia’s most popular international leisure destinations, visited by over 2.8 million Australians each year. By adding more than 1,000 seats per week, we will be able to support increased demand to this region. “We have also invested in a number of product and service enhancements on our services to and from Bali, to enhance the travel experience for our customers. We are now pleased to offer inclusive hot meals and choice of beverages and, by the end of the year, our innovative new wireless in-flight entertainment system will be available on all flights to and from Bali”, Ms Crompton said.
Air New Zealand have announced that they plan to put the world first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Auckland to Perth Route. The world’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner route will begin operation on 15 October 2014 and as we wrote earlier internally the aircraft will feature three classes Business Premium, Premium Economy, and Economy with some economy dedicated to their Skycouch seating. The Airline has also revealed they plan to put future Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on their Auckland to Tokyo and Shanghai as well as Christchurch to Tokyo services, not exact dates for these additional services but their website says by the end of 2014. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon made the announcement at the official opening of the airline’s Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre in Auckland today. A feature of the centre is the only Boeing 787-9 full cabin interior outside the factory in Seattle. “The 787-9 is going to be a game changer for Air New Zealand and is a key element in delivering on our Go Beyond growth plan. Not only is the 787-9 around 20 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it’s replacing, it also sets a new benchmark for passenger comfort,” Mr Luxon says. “Our new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre will give us a venue to showcase the on board experience before the world’s first 787-9 to enter commercial service joins our fleet in the middle of next year. We’ll have a busy programme of hosting customers, trade partners and stakeholders at the centre over the coming months. We are confident they will be as excited as we are about the future of air travel.” Mr Luxon says the Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre will also be the hub for further innovation from Air New Zealand. “We are determined to deliver step changes in customer experience and to work with our trade partners to crack business issues and seize opportunities together. This centre provides a focal point to bring to life the best of Kiwi ingenuity and we are going to make it available as a venue for other like minded Kiwi businesses to use.” Mr Luxon also unveiled the cabin layout and configuration details for Air New Zealand’s 10 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft at the centre’s opening. You can read about and see the seat photos Air New Zealand 787 Dreamliner Seats Revealed Photos and see the seat map here Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Map Diagram Released
Following on from Delta, JetBlue and American Airlines, United Airlines is the next Airline to gain approval from the US FAA to allow Personal Electronic Device (PED) use by passengers during take-off and landing. As with other airlines Wi-Fi, Bluetooth enabled devices must be switched to flight mode during take-off and landing or below 10,000 feet. “I want to thank the FAA and Administrator Huerta for working with us so quickly to offer this great benefit to our customers,” said Jim Compton, vice chairman and chief revenue officer at United. “Safely expanding the use of portable electronic devices is one of the many ways United is working to deliver a more user-friendly travel experience for our customers.” Currently, only United customers traveling on mainline flights arriving or departing within the 50 United States may operate portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. However, the airline is working with its regional partners to extend the benefit, and expects to allow customers gate-to-gate use of their electronic devices across all United Express flights operating within the 50 United States by the end of the year as well. Passengers may still be asked to turn off their electronic devices in certain situations, such as low-visibility operations, and are reminded to carefully follow crew member instructions at all times. Voice calls from cell phones or VoIP-enabled devices are also still prohibited during taxiing, takeoffs, landings and while the aircraft is in flight. The full media release from United Airlines can be read here: United Airlines Begins Offering Electronics-Friendly Cabins
With the US’s air travel regulator the FAA last week easing rules to allow the use of personal electronic equipment during take-off and landing, there’s been a flurry of airlines rushing to get approval. Delta and JetBlue were the first to get it and as of yesterday American Airlines joined the club. Here’s some additional helpful information about PED use on American and American Eagle Airlines: When the aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in airplane mode. Wi-Fi access on equipped aircraft will be available shortly after takeoff. Customers need to secure their handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seatback pocket. Previously, these devices needed to be stowed under a seat or in an overhead bin during taxi, takeoff and landing. Because the safety of our customers and people is always our top priority, customers should listen to all safety briefings and comply with crewmember instructions. Our crewmembers don’t like to interrupt our customers’ productivity, but always want them to be safe. This change doesn’t apply to larger items such as laptops. These items will still need to be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing. Some American Eagle flights won’t allow the expanded use of PEDs until later this year. It’s important to note that even though PEDs can be operated during takeoff and landing units that have wifi, cellular or Bluetooth capability are required to be switched into flight mode during take-off and landing/below 10,000 feet and calls are not allowed at all during the flight. The full FAA media release is here: American Obtains FAA Approval to Allow Extended Use of Handheld Portable Electronic Devices So what does it mean for us here in Australia? Australia’s regulator CASA is closely watching developments however David Flynn from Australian Business Traveller recently reported here in Australia there is no specific rule in regards to the use of PEDs inflight rather as reported by ABT “The issue is covered by rules which require aircraft operators to ensure safety is maintained at all times” “If the airlines wish to change the current restrictions they would have to show there was no risk to safety.”
Looks like Paris CDG is the next Emirates destination to be serviced by only A380 aircraft. At present Emirates operates three return services to Paris with two daily A380 services and a 6X week 777-300ER service, from 1 June 2014 the 777 service operating on EK 71/72 will switch to the Emirates A380 Superjumbo. As well as slightly increasing capacity it will add more Business and First Class seats on the route. The new time table is as below: Flight Number From Depart To Arrive Frequency EK071 DXB 04:30 CDG 09:40 m,tu,w,f,s,su EK073 DXB 08:20 CDG 13:30 Daily EK075 DXB 15:00 CDG 20:05 Daily EK072 CDG 11:20 DXB 19:50 m,tu,w,f,s,su EK074 CDG 15:35 DXB 00:20+1 Daily EK076 CDG 21:50 DXB 06:20+1 Daily Thanks to Kevin over at Ghetto IFE for the find Emirates Prepare to Take Paris to A380 Operation Only
Star Alliance is currently running an online quiz in which participants can win a full 12 months of Star Alliance Gold The online interactive quiz is open to all Star Alliance Frequent flyer members worldwide and tests the player’s knowledge and observation skills correctly pack a virtual suitcase and match the aircraft tailfins to the correct cabin crew uniforms, In addition players will have a limited time to complete the quiz, with penalties for incorrect answers The top two players from each Star Alliance Frequent Flyer program with the fastest time will win the Gold Status prize. To enter the competition head over to http://www.staralliancegoldgame.com/