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Delta becomes only U.S. carrier with full flat-bed business class seats, direct-aisle access on all widebody overseas flights

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Delta Becomes Only U.S. Carrier with Full Flat-Bed Seats Featuring Direct-Aisle Access on All Widebody Overseas Flights
Full flat-bed seating to be expanded to Delta's 757-200 transcontinental fleet starting spring 2014


ATLANTA, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has completed the installation of full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in BusinessElite across its entire international widebody fleet, making it the only U.S. carrier to offer full flat-bed seats and the convenience of direct-aisle access on all widebody overseas flights.
Delta Air Lines and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 370 destinations on six continents. For more information visit news.delta.com.

The completed interior fleet modifications include all Delta Airbus A330-200/300, Boeing 767-300ER/400ER, 747-400 and 777-200ER/LR aircraft, which represents Delta's largest interior fleet modification investment in more than a decade. With these modifications complete, Delta also is the only U.S. domestic carrier to offer personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights.

"We're investing in giving our customers the wide range of options they want on long flights -- from being fully connected via in-flight Wi-Fi to being fully disconnected and enjoying a great movie or comfortable sleep," said Tim Mapes, senior vice president – Marketing. "Delta has set a new standard for our customers by adding full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access, improved meals and amenities, and quality in-flight entertainment options."

Beginning July 1, 2014, Delta also will operate three updated Boeing 757 aircraft with full flat-bed seats on the transcontinental route between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. These will be the first 757 aircraft in service to feature Delta's previously announced upgrades including full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on transcon flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. All transcon flights on these routes will feature full flat-bed seats by summer 2015.

Delta has invested billions of dollars in the customer experience including, updating interiors with more baggage space and access to power throughout 225 domestic narrowbody aircraft through 2016, a new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta. Delta has also spent more than $100 million to expand, renovate and consolidate terminals C and D at New York-LaGuardia Airport, opened a Sky Deck at Delta Sky Clubs in New York-JFK and Atlanta in 2013. Additionally, customers have seen Delta's investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, power recharging stations at dozens of airports, continued updates to the Fly Delta app including features such as integrated baggage tracking and mobile check-in.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport deploys automated passport control kiosks

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

The Broward County Aviation Department has installed ten automated passport control kiosks for use in Terminal 4 in partnership with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The intent is to expedite the processing of inbound travelers who hold United States and Canadian passports.

The kiosks will capture and validate travel document and customs declaration data, photograph the face of the passenger processing the entry passport, and print a receipt to present to a CBP Officer.

The automated kiosks are expected to enhance the travelers experience and increase the efficiency of processing international travelers.

Currently, automated passport control kiosks are in use at international airports in New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), and Miami (MIA) in the United States, as well as in Montreal (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) in Canada.

Cost of equipment, startup support, software maintenance, and training for 10 Automated Passport Control Kiosks is $460,000.

FLL’s international traffic has tripled in the last ten years and it is now 16% of total traffic compared to 7% in 2003.

Year-to-date international traffic for January is up 20% over the same period last year. For February 2014 our passenger count is up 16.2% over the same period last year.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the preferred domestic airport in South Florida, ranks 21st in the US in terms of total passenger traffic. With over 600 flights a day, FLL offers non-stop service to 100 U.S. cities and international destinations to Canada, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin American, and Europe. In 2013, FLL served 19.5 million domestic and 3.5 million international travelers.

Strategically located in the heart of the South Florida region, FLL is one of the economic engines that drive Broward County and provides 134,638 jobs and generates $10.6 billion annually for the local economy.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.

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.”

 

 

Lufthansa presents Premium Economy Class

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Premium Economy Class A340 Cabin View 1 565px

The ITB 2014 in Berlin is the scene of a world premiere on its opening day: Lufthansa’s new Premium Economy Class is being presented to industry experts today. The new travel class can be booked from May onwards and will be available from November 2014, initially on the Boeing 747-8. The new seats will gradually be fitted on the entire long-haul fleet within twelve months.

"Our Premium Economy Class will create a completely new travel experience that combines affordability with greater comfort. The seats offer up to 50 per cent more room than Economy Class and will position us in a premium segment within the international competitive environment," said Jens Bischof, CCO & Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board in charge of Sales, Product and Marketing, during a press conference at the Lufthansa stand in hall 25.

The new product will enable Lufthansa to meet the requirements of many business and private passengers who travel with other airlines in a similar travel class or who fly Economy Class due to travel specifications. Following the introduction of its new full-flat Business Class, Lufthansa created a much wider gap between Economy and Business Class. As a result, there is now room for its new Premium Economy Class, which offers considerably more space and comfort as well as many additional product features, but is closer to Economy Class than Business Class in terms of its average prices. The move also means that Lufthansa is introducing a completely new travel class for the first time in 35 years.

"The design and features of the new seat in particular are based on extensive passenger surveys and workshops with sales partners – a process that has been successfully used at Lufthansa. Following the upgrade of our First and Business Class, the installation of 3,600 seats on all 106 of our long-haul aircraft in just one year will mean another step towards becoming a five-star airline,” continued Bischof. "We expect to see more than 1.5 million passengers per year in our new Premium Economy Class."

50 per cent more room and “German engineering”

The new seats were designed in partnership with the company müller/romca Industrial Design in Kiel and produced by the seat manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz near Lake Constance. Depending on the aircraft type, they are up to 3 centimetres wider and provide greater privacy as well as approximately 10 centimetres more room at the side thanks to each seat having its own wide armrest and a centre console between the seats. The back rest can be reclined further and the seat pitch is a significantly more spacious 38 inches, or 97 centimetres. As a result, passengers have around one-and-a-half times as much room as Economy Class.

The head rests can be set to the exact height desired and folded at the sides for added comfort and support. Height-adjustable foot rests from the second row back and – for technical reasons – leg supports with an integrated foot rest in the first row provide extra comfort. Practical features around the seats such as a bottle holder, electrical socket and lots of storage space for passengers’ belongings also help to ensure a relaxed and pleasant journey.

Additional services for Premium Economy passengers

With a baggage allowance of two items weighing up to 23 kilogrammes each, passengers can take twice as much free luggage with them compared with Economy Class. For an extra EUR 25, passengers can also enjoy the comfort of the Lufthansa Business Lounges before their departure. Lounges were previously only open to status customers and are otherwise unavailable on a paying basis. Check-in and boarding procedures as well as hand luggage regulations are the same as in Economy Class.

An enhanced service awaits Premium Economy passengers on board: They are greeted with a welcome drink and will find their own water bottle as well as a high-quality amenity kit with practical travel accessories at their seat. Meals are presented on menus commensurate with the new travel class and served on porcelain tableware.

Passengers can navigate the extensive in-flight entertainment programme using their own touchscreen monitor on the seat in front of them. This can also be done using a remote control, which serves as a controller for video games as well. The screens are 11 to 12 inches (28 to 30 centimetres), which makes them at least 2 inches bigger than the screens in Economy Class, depending on the aircraft type. A wide selection of magazines and newspapers completes the range of entertainment on offer.
Up to 52 seats, depending on aircraft type, and attractive pricing

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class is located within the cabin as a clearly identifiable separate compartment between Business and Economy Class. It has a high-quality design and contains between 21 and 52 seats, depending on the aircraft type. Installation of the new travel class, which is to be carried out on a gradual basis, sub-fleet by sub-fleet, will start this autumn and finish in summer 2015. The first sub-fleet to be fitted with the new seats will be the Boeing 747-8.

Ticket prices in the new Premium Economy Class will be closer to Economy Class than Business Class – a return flight across the North Atlantic or to Asia will cost an additional EUR 600 on average.  

5 STAR: Premium Economy Class an important part of the service campaign

The introduction of Premium Economy Class will complement the many improvements that Lufthansa plans to make in all classes on board and on the ground by 2015. By this point in time, the entire long-haul fleet will have the new First and Business Class – which will involve the installation of 7,000 new seats on the Company’s aircraft. Apart from the interior of the cabins, services on board and on the ground are also being enhanced. The goal is to demonstrate to an even greater degree the qualities of being a dedicated host with a keen understanding of service and hospitality.

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.

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