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Emirates adds ninth gateway to its USA network

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Emirates, a global connector of people, places and economies yesterday announced that it is launching a daily service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 5 from 5th August 2014. The service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR powered by GE90 engines.

Chicago will become the airline’s ninth gateway in the USA, following soon after the commencement of its services to Boston, Massachusetts on 10th March this year.

Speaking about the new route, Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said “Chicago has long been a destination in the United States which Emirates has wished to serve. Like Dubai, Chicago is a major global trade and transportation hub with great cultural diversity that is an economic engine for its region.  We welcome the chance to establish a non-stop trade bridge between these two great cities and, via our Dubai hub, to more efficiently link Chicago area passengers and shippers with our international network beyond Dubai to over 140 destinations spanning six continents. This is good news for trade and tourism for both cities, and jobs that rely on both, as well as for consumers who will benefit from greater competitive choice.”

“Chicago welcomes Emirates, one of the world’s largest international airlines, to our city,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Air transport links are critical for trade and tourism, and Emirates’ non-stop daily flights to Dubai will only add to our global connectivity and further our goal to host 55 million visitors by 2020, in turn generating jobs not only at the airport but across Chicago’s travel and hospitality industries.”

 

 

United Airlines to launch nonstop service between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

United Airlines today announced that it will introduce nonstop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, effective Oct. 26, 2014 (westbound), subject to government approval. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be its first international deployment of the aircraft type.

"We are excited about using the newest version of the Dreamliner, the 787-9, to provide nonstop trans-Pacific service to Melbourne," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer. "Our customers on these new flights will enjoy a more convenient itinerary, as well as improved inflight comfort and amenities. At the same time, we will seek to make changes to our Sydney schedule which will enable faster connections via our San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs from points throughout the Americas."

Flight Schedule

Flight 98 will depart Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. daily except Tuesday and Thursday and arrive in Melbourne at 9:15 a.m. two days later (all times local). On Thursday, flight 98 will depart Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. and arrive in Melbourne at 8:15 a.m. two days later (all times local). The flights to Melbourne will not operate on Tuesdays.

On the return, flight 99 will depart Melbourne at 11:15 a.m. daily except Thursday and Saturday and arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:50 a.m. the same day. On Saturday, flight 99 will depart Melbourne at 3:15 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:50 a.m. the same day. The flights to Los Angeles will not operate on Thursday.

Flying times will be approximately 15 hours, 45 minutes westbound, and 14 hours, 35 minutes eastbound.

Convenient connecting flights

United has timed the new flights to conveniently connect at Los Angeles with an extensive network of service throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America.  United and United Express jointly operate nearly 200 flights daily from Los Angeles to more than 65 destinations. With this new service, United will provide convenient one-stop service to Melbourne from more than 37 U.S. cities.

Sydney schedule changes

With the launch of nonstop Los Angeles-Melbourne service, United will end service between Melbourne and Sydney. The airline will seek to retime its daily departures from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney in order to allow a greater range of connections beyond the hubs and to provide more convenient arrival times for customers on connecting flights from Sydney to New York and other East Coast destinations.

Onboard products and services

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new Los Angeles-Melbourne service will offer a total of 252 seats - 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst flat-bed seat reclines 180 degrees and features an on-demand entertainment system with touch-screen monitors. BusinessFirst amenities include power outlets, USB ports and multi-course meals with complimentary premium wines and spirits.

Economy Plus seats offer up to five inches of extra legroom, and both Economy Plus and United Economy seats feature adjustable headrests, power outlets and personal seat-back monitors delivering a multi-channel inflight entertainment system on demand.

Air France unveils its new Business Class seat

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Air France is continuing its move upmarket and unveiled today its new Business class seat, for a completely renewed travel experience. In total, 2,102 seats will be installed between June 2014 and summer 2016 on 44 Boeing 777 aircraft, the core of Air France’s long-haul fleet.
Every detail has been specially modelled to give the seat its unique design. The passenger is instantly enveloped in its graceful curves into a cocoon-like state of special care.

This real cocoon, with its particularly refined finishing touches (leather upholstery, topstitching) provides an ideal level of comfort and offers the prospect of a perfect sleep.

The new Air France Business class seat was developed around the concept of 3 « F » :

• Full flat - the seat converts to a fully flat bed - for crossing time zones without fatigue;

• Full access - direct access to the aisle, regardless of the seat’s location in the cabin;

• Full privacy - a protected area through the seat’s enveloping curves, providing a true bubble of privacy in the sky.

Specially designed for Air France, this seat was developed in collaboration with Zodiac Aerospace, a world leader in the manufacture of aircraft seats. Its unique design was specially created by designer Mark Collins of Design Investment, specialized in the world of high-end transportation and by the design and branding agency, Brandimage.

Seeking to offer the ultimate in comfort in the sky, Air France engaged customers, company employees, designers and ergonomic experts in the seat’s cooperative design effort.

A 16-inch (41 cm) high definition touch screen with more than 1,000 hours of entertainment

In the Business cabin, customers have a wide touch screen offering a high definition image. This 16-inch (41 cm) screen offers a unique onboard navigation experience similar to a tablet. With a completely redesigned user interface and available in 12 languages (French, English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Arabic), choosing an entertainment program from over 1,000 hours of entertainment has never been so easy and intuitive.

At a glance

• A seat that converts into a completely flat bed for maximum comfort;

• Direct aisle access for every passenger; • An enveloping structure of curves, providing a feeling of privacy;

• A seat that features all of the latest technology: a wide high definition touch screen, a touch screen handset, electrical outlet, USB port and new noise-reduction headphones;

• A padded headboard, an Air France signature feature;

• An adjustable soft leather headrest; • Space and multiple storage areas close at hand;

• A delicate-to-the-touch duvet, a XXL feather down pillow;

• High quality, down to the finishing: leather, choice fabrics, stitching

Best & Beyond, Air France’s long-haul ambition

Within the framework of its Transform 2015 plan, Air France is continuing to develop the move upmarket of its entire range of products and services called “Best & Beyond”. With an investment of over 500 million euros, this project aims to place Air France at the best possible level in terms of products and to make a difference with a caring attitude towards its customers.

Finnair to open direct service between Helsinki and Miami

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Next winter Finnair will begin operating nonstop scheduled services between Helsinki and Miami, Florida. The new seasonal flight, operated with Airbus A340 aircraft in a two-class Business and Economy cabin configuration, will commence from December 16, 2014 until March 21, 2015.

AY007 will leave Helsinki (HEL) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 09:55 for arrival in Miami (MIA) at 14:05 local time. AY008 departs Miami at 16:00 for arrival in Helsinki at 08:50 local time the next day. Starting from January 3, 2015, the service moves to three times weekly with an additional frequency on Saturdays. The flight lasts approximately 11 hours outbound while the return journey takes less than 10 hours. The timetable connects well with passengers transferring from other cities in Finland, Estonia and Sweden.

“Services to Miami with codeshare partners have always been popular, and the time is now right to offer a direct nonstop route in the winter season in addition to these services,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “Finns love Miami and southern Florida, and there is a sizeable Finnish expatriate community in the region. At the same time, this new direct route also gives us the opportunity to develop Finland and Lapland as exotic winter tourism destinations for Americans.”

The route between Helsinki and Miami International Airport will be included in the joint business on transatlantic traffic with oneworld alliance partners American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. This gives customers the possibility to mix and match flights on the different carriers for the best pricing and scheduling. For example, an itinerary could include a nonstop flight to Miami in one direction, but a connecting flight through New York, Madrid or London in the other, if the timing is more convenient. Finnair’s cooperation with the other three carriers also means that Miami is yet another gateway to dozens more North American destinations.

Miami, with a population of more than 400,000 in a metro area of more than 5 million, is at the centre of the largest urban area in the southeastern United States. The region is famous for its beaches and leisure activities, as well as its top-tier entertainment, sporting and cultural attractions. Miami is also a major commercial and financial centre in the United States and widely seen as an economic and cultural gateway between North and South America.

United Airlines unveils new amenities for top customers at Newark Liberty International Airport

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

United Airlines earlier this week opened a new Global Services reception lobby for its top frequent flyers at the airline's New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport. The new lobby offers personalized check-in and travel services to members of United's invitation-only Global Services program, and to customers traveling on long-haul international flights in United Global First.

Customers will access the new lobby via the Premier Access entry located at Door 4 of the Terminal C mid-level departures area. Adjacent to the C-2 security check-point, the reception area features four full-service check-in positions staffed by Global Services representatives wearing easily identifiable uniforms – gray suiting with gold ties or scarves. The reception area provides direct access to four newly constructed security lanes, which can be used either as TSA PreCheck lanes or standard lanes for customers who are not PreCheck-eligible, depending on demand. Customers using these lanes will have convenient access to the United Club in concourse C-3.

The decor of the new space closely mirrors the new United Club design concept that United introduced last year.

"United's new Global Services reception area at our New York hub will enable us to provide the high level of service our most loyal customers expect, while the expanded number of security lanes will expedite screening for all customers," said Jimmy Samartzis, United's vice president of customer experience. "This project is the latest step in our continued efforts to offer a more flyer-friendly premium travel experience for United customers."

Mercedes Flight-Connection Service

The airline also announced it will expand its tarmac transportation service, currently offered in Chicago and Houston, to Newark Liberty beginning today. United will offer the chauffeur service, using Mercedes-Benz GL-Class vehicles, to some Global Services members and United Global First customers who are connecting at Newark to a domestic or international flight. Where feasible, representatives will meet Global Services and United Global First customers with applicable itineraries who may have tight connections and will drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flights.

United offers the service to surprise and delight its top customers who may have a tight connection or who have a substantial distance to travel between connecting flights.

United launched the tarmac transportation service at its Chicago and Houston hubs in July 2013 and plans to add the service at other U.S. hubs later this year.

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