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Singapore Airlines to re-launch world's longest route

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch the world’s longest commercial flights in October, with non-stop services between Singapore and New York using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range).

Flights are to be launched on 11 October 2018, to Newark Liberty International Airport. The route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily operations will commence from 18 October after an additional A350-900ULR aircraft enters service.

SIA is the world’s first customer for the new A350-900ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus. The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. Tickets will be made available for sale progressively across the various booking channels, starting from tomorrow.

Flights will cover a distance of approximately 9,000nm (16,700km), and travelling time will be up to 18hrs 45min. Singapore Airlines served the Singapore-Newark route until 2013, when services were suspended after the aircraft used at the time, Airbus A340-500s, were returned to Airbus.

“Singapore Airlines has always taken pride in pushing the boundaries to provide the best possible travel convenience for our customers, and we are pleased to be leading the way with these new non-stop flights using the latest-technology, ultra-long-range Airbus A350-900ULR,” said Singapore Airlines’ CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.

“The flights will offer our customers the fastest way to travel between the two cities – in great comfort, together with Singapore Airlines’ legendary service - and will help boost connectivity to and through the Singapore hub.”

The A350-900ULR will offer customers a more comfortable travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels.

Singapore Airlines currently has 21 A350-900s in its fleet, with 46 more on order including seven of the ULR variant. The first A350-900ULR is due for delivery in September, with all seven due for delivery by the end of the year.

Singapore Airlines currently serves New York JFK, daily via Frankfurt. Other US destinations include Houston (five times weekly via Manchester), Los Angeles (daily via Seoul and daily via Tokyo), and San Francisco (daily non-stop from Singapore as well as daily via Hong Kong).

Non-stop Singapore-Los Angeles flights are also planned with the A350-900ULR, details of which will be announced at a later date.

Delta launches summer service from Atlanta to Milan and Venice

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Delta is growing its Italy network from Atlanta with the start of summer seasonal service from Atlanta to both Milan and Venice. The flights, which operate daily join those from New York-JFK-Venice and Detroit-Rome, which are already in operation for the summer.

A second daily nonstop flight from Atlanta to Rome begins next week, joining the year-round nonstop service. In total, Delta will operate up to seven flights a day from the U.S. to three airports in Italy this summer.

Customers flying to Italy can enjoy a range of new services from Delta this summer, including the opportunity for Delta One passengers to choose their meal in advance. Those traveling in the Main Cabin will receive new menu cards, servicewear and enjoy a complimentary glass of Italian-produced Prosecco sparkling wine​.

Following Delta's recent move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 at Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport, customers enjoy a faster and smoother journey through our Italian hub. Terminal 3 is located closer to Delta's departures from E Gates, meaning customers now have a much shorter walk and more time to explore the terminal where they can take advantage of free Wi-Fi as well as a wide variety of retail outlets and restaurants.

Qatar Airways to launch 16 new destinations in 2018

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

On the opening day of ITB Berlin, the world’s largest international travel fair, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, announced the airline’s aggressive expansion plans and 16 new destinations for 2018.

H.E. Mr. Al Baker announced a raft of forthcoming global destinations for the airline in line with its expedited expansion plans, including the announcement that Qatar Airways will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg. Other exciting new destinations to be launched by the airline include Tallinn, Estonia; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; London Gatwick, United Kingdom; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Valletta, Malta; Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay, Turkey; Mykonos and Thessaloniki, Greece; and Málaga, Spain.

In addition, services to Warsaw, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague and Kyiv will increase to a double daily frequency, while services to Madrid, Barcelona and the Maldives will increase to triple daily.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is tremendously excited to announce further expansion with a significant number of new destinations to be added to our extensive global network throughout 2018 and 2019. This is a direct reflection of our commitment to connecting travellers across all corners of the world in a way that is meaningful and convenient to them. We are committed to continuing our ambitious growth strategy, in order to be able to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible and to take them anywhere in the world they wish to go.”

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA). Just last month, the airline welcomed the Airbus A350-1000, for which it is the global launch customer.

Qantas starts historic nonstop flights from Australia to Europe

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Qantas’ first Perth to London flight has taken off, marking the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe – and the fastest way of traveling between the two continents.

The history-making QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday evening and will land in London at 5am on Sunday.

Operated by a Boeing 787-9, the flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favourable winds on any given day without having to factor in a mid-point in the Middle East or Asia when choosing a flight path.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, described it as a major milestone for Australia as well as global aviation.

“This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,” said Mr Joyce.

“The original Kangaroo Route from Australia to London was named for the seven stops it made over four days back in 1947. Now we can do it in a single leap.

“The response to the flight has been amazing, both for the attention it’s received since we announced it and the bookings we’ve seen coming in. It’s great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world.”

Mr Joyce said a huge amount of work had gone into improving the experience for customers taking the 17-hour journey.

“This is hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has ever put in the sky.

“Boeing designed the Dreamliner with features to reduce jetlag, turbulence and noise. We’ve taken that a step further with our cabin design, giving passengers more space in every class as well as bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage.

“We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.”

The daily QF9 begins in Melbourne, flying to Perth before then flying non-stop to London. Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London.

Today’s first flight coincided with the opening of the airline’s new Perth International Transit Lounge featuring jetlag reducing lighting as well as pre-flight stretching classes, and relocating all of the airline’s domestic and international flights into a single terminal at Perth Airport for faster, smoother connections.

Mr Joyce added: “I’d like to specially recognise the support and cooperation of the Federal Government, the West Australian Government and Perth Airport. Without their help this flight, and all its broader benefits, wouldn’t be happening.”

Qantas chose its newest Dreamliner ‘Emily’ to operate the inaugural service, which features a striking livery by Balarinji based on the artwork Yam Dreaming by Indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The initiative is part of the national carrier’s commitment to promoting the best of Australia to the world.

From today, Qantas customers can choose from three routes between Australia and London – the direct Perth-London service on the Dreamliner; a reinstated Sydney-Singapore-London service on the A380; and via Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to London via Dubai with partner Emirates on mix of A380 and 777 aircraft.

Crystal Luxury Air upgrades Bombardier jet

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Air & Sea

Crystal Luxury Air, which is part of Genting Hong Kong’s Crystal brand, recently completed a refurbishment of its Bombardier Global Express Jet XRS that included a revamped connectivity platform as well as new entertainment options for its guests.

The jet also now boasts new carpeting, new window treatments, plush new seating and elegant wood finishes to all cabinets and doors.

The aircraft, which flies on-demand charter worldwide routes for up to 12 guests, features three spacious cabins with flexible configurations, and can comfortably accommodate business needs and leisure travel alike, with sleeping berths for up to six. "Crystal’s celebrated service and world-class cuisine with menus created according to guests’ preferences further distinguish this bespoke experience," the company said in a statement.

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