Starting in 2013 Air France- KLM plans to test, in partnership with Panasonic Avionics, a program that brings on-board connectivity to the airlines’ long-haul flights.
The experimental project will allow passengers to connect to the internet, send emails and SMS text messages, and, eventually, watch TV shows on their computer.
Emirates has unveiled the world’s widest seat-back television screens, to be installed on its new aircraft.
The new 12.1-inch screen is the largest economy class seatback system in the world, Emirates says, complete with high-definition displays — another first for the Dubai-based carrier.
New screens are also being installed in premium classes, Emirates said May 31, including a 27-inch widescreen in First Class and 20-inch screen in Business Class.
Malaysia Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, becoming the eighth airline in the world to operate the superjumbo.
The plane, set to go into service July 2, will fly a non-stop route between Kuala Lumpur and London Heathrow and will be among a total of six A380s planned to be flown by the airline.
It includes economy seats on both decks, along with lie-flat first class seats on the lower deck and lie-flat business class seats on the upper deck.
The man who’s been described as the ‘Picasso’ of the pastry world has been tapped by All Nippon Airways to cater its dessert menu.
Passengers on international flights traveling in First and Business Class will tuck into a range of in-flight desserts created by French pastry wizard Pierre Hermé, best known for his inventive macaron flavors and gourmet cakes.
The trio of desserts will debut in June for First Class customers and in September for Business Class passengers.
After Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2012 Haute Couture show was staged on a Chanel-branded airplane, air travel has never seemed so glamorous, and now airline Virgin Atlantic is launching its first ever lipcolor inspired by the cabin crew’s uniform.
The company has teamed up with beauty brand bareMinerals for the shade Upper Class Red, which will be sold at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Spa at Heathrow, Gatwick and New York JFK airports, before reaching bareMinerals stockists later this year. It will also be available for pre-order on board Virgin Atlantic flights.
Not content with loading professional chefs onto its planes, Etihad has now gone one step further by sourcing daily produce from an organic farm in the UAE.
The products are provided by Abu Dhabi Organics Farms, a prize-winning outfit which is managing to cultivate vegetables and fruits and raise cows, chickens and goats despite the blistering heat of the desert that surrounds it.
Business and first class passengers on Lufthansa flights from the US to Germany will are now able to enjoy meals provided by luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental.
The menu features dishes especially created by award-winning chefs at Mandain Oriental properties in San Francisco, New York and Miami.
Hong Kong Airlines has launched its all business-class service between HK and London, another stage in the revival of a type of travel many thought would die out.
The new all-premium plane touched down at London Gatwick March 8, adding a new type of service to a route already well-served by the likes of Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Qantas and Air New Zealand.
International airline alliance SkyTeam is to roll out a global premium service for its top-paying customers – based on a package offered by US airline Delta since 2010.
The SkyPriority service will standardize the luxury travel experience for customers flying with SkyTeam members at over 1,000 airports around the world.
The service includes specifically prioritized check-in areas, baggage drop-off points, ticket offices, transfer desk, boarding lines and baggage handling for customers flying First or Business class.
The interior includes LCD touch panels, leather seating, plants, sheepskin-covered full-length beds and more than 1,000 videos to choose from.
Each berth even has a dresser for storing clothes – naturally, pyjamas are provided and there are just 14 berths in the whole cabin.
Customers flying the massive planes, which operate between Dubai and destinations such as Paris and London, will now be able to use wifi-enabled devices on selected routes, Emirates confirmed December 12.
Eleven of the airline’s 19 planes have now been kitted out with the technology, with the remainder of the fleet following suit in the coming months.
Air Canada and Virgin America have topped other North American airlines in a health ranking of on-board food.
According to DietDetective, which runs an annual survey examining the nutritional values of the food served to economy class passengers flying domestic, five-star-rated Air Canada “cares about its passengers’ health, that’s for sure.”
Virgin America was described as the best-improved airline, also being awarded five stars, with DietDetective’s Dr Charles Stuart Platkin saying that the calories and nutrient density of its on-board snacks had improved since last year.
United Airlines was in third place, slipping in score because of its merger with Continental, which has left it with “only a few decent healthy choices.”
Rounding off the list were US Airways, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
For some airlines, the blog suggested that it may just be easier to bring personal food, recommending easy-to-transport foods such as fruits, energy bars, sandwiches or nuts that can be taken through security checkpoints.
Source: AFPrelaxnews – Read the full analysis:
Last week Lufthansa sent its first retrofitted 747-400 from Hong Kong to Frankfurt and those flying first class were in for quite a surprise.
Where previously these planes catered for 16 passengers in their ultra-luxury section, now they are fitted out for just eight and that means a full-length, window-side bed next to the seat, among other treats.
At the same time other carriers such as Qantas, Air France and British Airways have removed some first class seating from selected planes and increased the space available to business class.
With the European debt crisis affecting all airlines, Lufthansa is hoping the changes will attract more and more passengers from the South China region “and to attract more passengers to pay a full fare we need to offer an ever great product”.
According to market researchers China Elite Focus there are more than one million “Chinese Luxury Tourists,” who fly first or business class.
“Chinese tourists are big spenders, they are travelling more and seeking new venues. Traditionally, CLTs have holidayed mainly in Asia but are beginning to look further afield to Europe, the USA, Middle East and Australia,” said the company.
Lufthansa has not forgotten its business class passengers either. The airline is planning to roll out its first full flatbeds in business class in its B747-8 planes which are due to come into service early in 2012.
US airline Delta, which introduced a middle ‘Economy Comfort’ class earlier this year on long-haul services, is to roll out a premium economy class across its entire fleet.
The new class will be introduced on over 800 of its aircraft operating in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and northern South America.
The announcement is set to bring a new cabin class to the majority of Delta’s jets, with seat pitch of 34 inches or more, more leg room and priority boarding.
Abu Dhabi flag-carrier Etihad has announced plans to roll out onboard wireless connectivity for its long-haul routes.
The carrier confirmed September 28 that two aircraft flying between Abu Dhabi and Europe would be kitted out by the end of the year.
Further aircraft will be added by March 2012, the airline said, and it is preparing to decide on a ‘fleet-wide’ system which will allow customers to surf the internet while flying on all its planes.
To be rolled out from the end of next month on one Boeing 767-300 flying domestic routes, the six-week test will see Qantas’s current entertainment programme broadcast to a tablet supplied by the airline.
The airline, which is the seventh in the world to fly the enormous Airbus aircraft, will wave off the first A380 flight from New York across the Pacific Ocean on August 9, launching what it describes as a “new age of air travel.”
It will be the first A380 service between Asia and New York, carrying some 407 passengers — considerably less than the 525 that the A380 is capable of.
Michael Chiarello, chef, author and TV host, is the latest food celebrity tapped by an airline to create star-powered in-flight meals.
Delta Air Lines announced Monday that passengers flying in their BusinessElite cabin will tuck into meals specially developed by the American chef.
Michael Chiarello is known for his Emmy Award-winning show Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, shown on US channel the Food Network and his performance on Top Chef Masters on US cable channel Bravo.
Flyers with US budget carrier JetBlue can now buy themselves speedy access through security lines, an idea which could catch on further afield.
At select airports, passengers who purchase the “even more speed” package will be able to use dedicated lanes, or those reserved for premium passengers, to ensure they pass through security checkpoints faster than the rest.
Although many airports around the world offer a premium security package sold by a third party, such as Privium at Schiphol and London Heathrow‘s “Fast Track” program, an airline bundling the service with a flight is an interesting development.