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Airline News Roundup April 2016

ANA and Yamato Transport offers Same Day Baggage Delivery Service in Japan

Travel - Check in Luggage
Travel – Check in Luggage

ANA and deliver service Yamato Transport Co Ltd will offer Japan’s first ever same day baggage delivery service between two cities. International visitors flying into Japan can send the baggage same day between four designated hotels in Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto for JPY2,000 per piece.

The designated hotels include Hyatt Regency Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo, ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka and ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto.

ANA and Yamato Transport have already made inroads in this sector since September 2012, allowing Japan residents to send baggage from home and pick it up on the baggage carousel at the international arrival airport.


British Airways Celebrates 400 Years of Shakespeare

Scotland, United Kingdom (British Airways photo)
Scotland, United Kingdom (British Airways photo)

British Airways is celebrating 400 Years of William Shakespeare this year offering special discounts on return fares to the UK and Europe so you can visit Shakespeare’s home and exhibition in his birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon. You can also catch one of his plays at the historic Globe Theatre on the banks of the River Thames in London.

All in fares to UK and Europe start from S$1,218 on World Travel Plus premium economy and S$6,188 in Club World business class.

Travel from Singapore between 11 April 2016 and 31 December 2016 and book by 4 May 2016 on ba.com


Emirates Adds 10th Daily Service Between Dubai and London

London (Shutterstock Image)
London (Shutterstock Image)

Emirates will add a tenth daily flight to London starting 1 October 2016. The new service will also be Emirate’s fourth daily flight between Dubai and London Gatwick. Operating on the Boeing 777-300ER, the flight can accommodate eight in First, 42 in Business and 310 in Economy class.

EK023 will depart Dubai at 9.50am and arrive in London at 2.30pm. The return flight EK024 will depart London at 4.50pm and arrive in Dubai at 2.40am the next day allowing for connections to key destinations in the Middle East, West Asia and the Far East.

Emirates AC Milan Livery
Emirates AC Milan Livery (Emirates Photo)

Earlier last month Emirates showcased its sponsorship of AC Milan by unveiling an A380 livery depicting the club’s football players in action on the Dubai-Milan-New York JFK route. The aircraft with registration number A6EET operated as EK0205 touched down at Malpensa International Airport in Milan on 9 March. The decal spans over 500 sqm of the world’s largest passenger aircraft. AC Milan players featured on the livery include Riccardo Montolivo, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Bacca, Keisuke Honda, Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia De Sciglio.


Emirates Airline, ITB BErlin
Emirates unveiled its new business class seats at ITB Berlin 2016. (Emirates Photo)

Emirates will be launching new business class seats which will be fitted in all the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft delivered from November 2016 onwards. The newly enhanced seat features an ergonomically designed headrest, a pitch of 72 inches and the latest touchscreen controller allowing the seat to be electrically converted into a fully flat sleeping position at 180 degrees. The industry’s largest personal television screens will be 23 inches. There will also be the mini bar located conveniently within your seating area.

Emirates Inaugural Dubai - Auckland on the Airbus A380 (Emirates photo)
Emirates Inaugural Dubai – Auckland on the Airbus A380 (Emirates photo)

Last month Emirates launched its first non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland contending with the world’s longest scheduled flight title. The inaugural flight was operated with an Airbus A380 rather than the Boeing 777-200LR that will regularly plough the route.

The Boeing 777-200LR can accommodate 266 passengers with eight in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 216 in Economy Class.

With the introduction of this non stop service, Emirates will fly over 2,000 seats a day in each direction on New Zealand services.


Etihad Airways Renews Sydney Opera House Partnership

Sydney Opera House - Etihad A346
Sydney Opera House – (Etihad Airways photo)

Etihad Airways has signed up another five years with the iconic landmark Sydney Opera House as its Major Partner and Opening Nights Presenting Partner. The A$30 million deal will see Etihad Airways supporting Opera House programming by flying guest artists and performing arts companies to Sydney from across its network of 116 international destinations. Etihad Airways will also leverage its investment in Australian tourism through its partnership with Tourism Australia to increase tourism to Sydney and the Sydney Opera House.


Japan Airlines Launches Business Class Meal Online Reservation System

JAL New Business Class Food
JAL New Business Class Food

From 6 April 2016 at 4pm, Japan Airlines will be introducing Business Class meal reservation service on its website. Customers can book either a Japanese or Western Menu in advance for their first meal during flights. The reservation of Western Menu only has beef on the menu. This reservation system is excluded for breakfast on flights departing at midnight.

This service will be introduced for Honolulu flights departing on and after 12 April 2016 and departures from 1 June 2016 for other select international flights.

Online reservations closes 25 hours before scheduled departure time from Japan and 48 hours before scheduled departure time for flights headed to Japan.

jal sky suite iii
jal sky suite iii

Japan Airlines will upgrade its Business Class seat on its B777-200ER

Japan Airlines B777-200ER will be revamped with JAL SKY SUITE aircraft interior. The renewed cabin interior will be introduced on the Tokyo (Haneda) – Bangkok route from July 2016 and the Tokyo (Haneda) – Singapore route and JAL’s Honolulu route from this winter.  JAL has 11 Boeing 777-200ER airplanes.

New fully flat seats named JAL SKY SUITE III provides unobstructed aisle access for every seat in the Business Class. The JAL SKY PREMIUM seat will be introduced in the Premium Economy Class. Economy class seats will be changed to the JAL SKY WIDER seats which offers increased seat pitch of up to 10cm more than the current seat. The new spacious economy cabin will have a seating configuration of 3-4-2.

Korean Air To Launch Incheon-Okinawa Service from 5 May

Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan (Shutterstock photo)
Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan (Shutterstock photo)

Korean Air will launch daily service operating on its Boeing B777-200 aircraft to its 16th Japanese destination from Seoul to Okinawa from 5 May 2016. The flight can accommodate 248 passengers.

KE 735 will depart Seoul (Incheon) at 3.35pm and arrive in Okinawa at 5.55pm on the same day. The return flight KE 736 will depart Okinawa at 7.05pm and return to Seoul at 9.35 pm on the same day.


Malaysia Airlines Berhad Quarterly Progress Update

Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class Cabin
Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class Cabin

Malaysia Airlines Berhad restructuring continues to show positive results. Continued progress seen despite challenges. Its largest codeshare agreement with Emirates takes off and expands network whilst encouraging tourism. Both carriers place their codes on the Kuala Lumpur – Dubai route as well as other routes under the agreement. The first phase of the agreement will see 11 destinations introduced, including Rome, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt, with the rest being added progressively over the next few months subject to regulatory approvals. Once complete, Malaysians will have access to over 30 destinations in Europe, Middle East, Canada, and Africa.

The partnership with Emirates will allow Malaysia Airlines to retire its fleet of B777-200s completely. It has ordered four brand new Airbus A350-900s aircraft with deliveries starting from October 2017. It is evaluating additional A350s in order to reach a critical fleet size, allowing standby aircraft for any scheduled maintenance and enabling future network expansion.

Its A380s are due for scheduled maintenance at the beginning of the second quarter this year. An average of one A380 aircraft will be out of commission for the remainder of 2016. It is exploring reinstating a former flagship aircraft to ensure minimal interruptions on the London route.

The new A330 lie-flat bed business class seats were introduced end March 2016 and a cabin refresh programme will also be completed on all A330s along with the new seats by 31 August 2016.

Revenue per available seat kilometre continues to improve. Improved on time performance. The key focus is still on renegotiation of contracts and cost saving measures.

The new A330 lie-flat bed business class seats were introduced end March 2016 and a cabin refresh programme will also be completed on all A330s along with the new seats by 31 August 2016.

Malaysia Airlines is planning to move to concentrate most of its operations in Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s main terminal. This would aid quicker connections for ASEAN passengers between international and domestic flights, improving connection times, provide faster and more reliable baggage transfer.


Qantas B737 Aircraft Races Tesla Model S

Qantas 737 Races Tesla Model S (Qantas photo)
Qantas 737 Races Tesla Model S (Qantas photo)

A Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft has pitted against a Tesla Model S P90D electric car on the three kilometre runway at Avalon Airport, southwest of Melbourne Australia. It was a test of innovation, skill and power.

The Boeing 737’s two CFM international jet engines can generate over 50,000 pounds of thrust and fly through the sky at a cruising speed of 850km/h. It can approach the speed of sound flat out in the air.

The five seater Model S goes from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour in three seconds.


The Tesla was hard to catch off the start but the 737 narrowed the gap as it barrelled down the runway. Both travelled neck and neck as the 737 reached its take off speed of 140 knots and the Tesla reached its max at around 250 kilometres an hour.

During the coming months Qantas and Tesla will introduce the following services and benefits for customers:

  • Exclusive events for Qantas frequent flyers, enabling them to experience new Tesla vehicles and technology;
  • Qantas Club membership for Tesla Model S owners;
  • Tesla High Power Wall Connectors at Qantas Valet facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide allowing Model S owners to charge whilst they travel.

Additionally Qantas will become Tesla’s airline of choice in Australia and offset all the car maker’s domestic corporate travel emissions as part of Qantas’ Future Planet Programme.


United Airlines Flies Non Stop Between Silicon Valley and Silicon Wadi

Tel Aviv (shutterstock image)
Tel Aviv (shutterstock image)

United is the first U.S. airline to serve Israel from the West Coast. The new three-times-weekly direct service operating on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner will strengthen business, tourism and cultural relationships with Israel.

UA 954 will depart San Francisco International Airport at 8pm on Monday, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive in Tel Aviv at 8.10pm the next day. The return flight UA955 will depart Tel Aviv at 12.55am on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and arrive in San Francisco at 6am the same day. The flight time between the two countries averages 15 hours.

In June and July, the service will operate on United’s Boeing 777 aircraft.


Air China Boeing 747-8I (Boeing photo)
Air China Boeing 747-8I (Boeing photo)

United has also strengthened its partnership with Air China through a multi-year agreement.

Through the new initiative, Air China and United will work together to elevate their product offering to customers across the travel experience, including:

  • Expanding connecting flight opportunities to further enhance their industry-leading joint network between China and the United States
  • Creating a more seamless experience for customers when traveling through key gateway airports, such as Beijing and San Francisco
  • Enhancing elite frequent flyer benefits for each other’s most loyal customers when traveling on the joint network
  • Coordinating and expanding joint marketing and product-enhancement opportunities in both the United States and China

United currently serves three mainland China destinations nonstop from its Asia Pacific gateway at San Francisco. It will launch an additional nonstop service from San Francisco to its fourth destination in China, Xi’an on 8 May 2016 and its fifth destination Hangzhou on 13 July 2016 subject to government approval.

Air China and Singapore Airlines have also gone into a strategic partnership. Read about that here.

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