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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.

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.

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.

Symphony of the Seas to operate from Barcelona and Miami during inaugural season

Royal Caribbean recently broke ground on the dramatic new PortMiami Terminal A, which will herald the arrival of what will be the world's largest cruise ship and the global cruise line's newest addition, Symphony of the Seas. She and Oasis-class sister ship Allure of the Seas will unite in November 2018 to offer island-hopping adventures through the Caribbean from the Magic City and add Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis to other marquee Oasis-class ports of call. Symphony's inaugural year of Europe and Caribbean itineraries are now available to book; Allure of the Seas' 2018-2019 itineraries will open for sale later in the month.

The 26th ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Symphony of the Seas, will be delivered in April 2018 and spend her inaugural summer season exploring the Mediterranean calling on ports in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. She will then arrive to Miami in early November to begin seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries on Saturday, November 17 from the state-of-the-art Terminal A, dubbed the 'Crown of Miami.' Symphony of the Seas will claim the title of the world's largest – and most adventure filled – cruise ship, offering 28 more staterooms than her newest sister ship Harmony of the Seas and encompassing 230,000 gross tons. Touting new features and amenities for guests, she also will boast all the groundbreaking innovations and thrilling experiences that have garnered world-wide recognition for Harmony of the Seas. Among the award-winning and acclaimed favorites are the distinct seven-neighborhood concept, imaginative and sophisticated dining, Bionic Bar robot bartenders powered by Makr Shakr, Broadway-caliber entertainment, the iconic waterfront AquaTheater, the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, and Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea.

The 'Crown of Miami,' a 170,000-square-foot terminal, scheduled for completion for the arrival of Symphony and Allure, will be the most innovative cruise facility in the U.S. with an expected $500 million in revenue and the addition of 4,000 jobs to Miami-Dade County. It is anticipated that Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. will generate at least 1.8 million passenger moves at PortMiami, representing 30 percent of the port's projected passenger traffic.

Harmony of the Seas sets sail on first official cruise from Barcelona

Royal Caribbean International’s President and CEO, Michael Bayley, sends off the cruise line’s newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, as she departs on her inaugural cruise from her summer homeport of Barcelona, Spain this week. Coming off of receiving stellar guest satisfaction scores and feedback on its first repositioning cruise, from Southampton, U.K. to Barcelona, the world’s largest cruise ship is sailing an exclusive five-night Western Mediterranean itinerary with visits to Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy at full capacity, with guests representing more than 34 countries.

Guests will enjoy a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling features as they sail to the most popular Mediterranean destinations. The ship combines the distinct seven-neighborhood concept that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships are known for with some of the most modern and groundbreaking vacation amenities, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea with a 10-story plunge; robot bartenders at The Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr; interior staterooms with virtual balconies that provide real-time views of the destinations, and VOOM – the fastest internet at sea – so that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their adventures with family and friends back at home.

Harmony of the Seas’ inaugural summer season will offer 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries, showcasing Europe’s most popular destinations – Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseilles), France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. The adventure-packed ship will reposition to the U.S. in November, where she will make Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL her permanent homeport.

CBR 1/2017 CONTENTS

CBR 3/2016 CONTENTS

CBR 2/2016 CONTENTS