There’s been a lot going on in the airline industry lately and what better way to fill you in than with a round-up of all the latest flight travel talk.
From new flight paths to upgraded cabin comforts, here are all the updates you should know about – they might even influence your next holiday.
Cathay Pacific launches most advanced aircraft in Australia and in-flight upgrades
Cathay Pacific has become the first airline to launch the world’s most advanced aircraft in Australia – the Airbus A350-1000 – with flights into both Melbourne and Perth. The new aircraft utilises the latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies including LED mood lighting, Wi-Fi and new inflight entertainment selections.
They’re also indulging passengers with new enhancements across service, soft products and culinary offerings. Thanks to a collaboration with luxury lifestyle brand Bamford, Business and First Class travellers on long-haul flights will be treated to a new range of amenity kits and bedding, including plush pillows, quality slippers, mattress toppers and new blankets. Meanwhile long-haul Economy Class will be getting upgraded menus curated by renowned Hong Kong restaurant group Black Sheep Restaurants – along with the return of the popular Betsy Beer.
Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines sign commercial agreement
Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines have signed a commercial agreement (subject to regulatory approvals) that will strengthen the long-standing partnership between the two airline groups, expanding its regional and long-haul codeshare routes. The two carriers intend to share revenue on flights between Singapore and Malaysia, expand codeshare routes and participate in joint marketing activities to develop tourism.
Fiji Airways welcomes first A350-900 XWB
Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline has become the first operator of the A350 from the Australia-Pacific region, accepting delivery of its first of two Airbus A350 XWB aircraft on 21 November 2019. The aircraft, ‘Island of Viti Levu’ will go into commercial service on December 1st 2019 flying Nadi to Sydney. Following this, the aircraft will rotate out on the Sydney and Los Angeles routes, with the second Airbus A350 XWB arriving mid-December 2019. From January 1st 2020, the A350 will fly daily between Nadi and Sydney as well as Nadi and Los Angeles. It features 33 fully lie-flat beds in business and 301 economy seats that are among the most comfortable in the market.
Hawaiian Airlines launch new sustainable amenities
Hawaiian Airlines has teamed up with Moloka‘i-based brand Kealopiko to launch a new line of in-flight amenities carrying a message of sustainability. The new range – adorned with coral and fern patterns to pay homage to Hawai‘i’s delicate natural resources – reflects the two companies’ shared commitment to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, care for the environment and steward island visitors. In an effort to reduce waste, all amenity kits feature eco-friendly paper packaging and include products made from bamboo and other sustainable products.
Aircalin has become the first Asia-Pacific airline to operate the Airbus A330neo
Aircalin, the national airline carrier to New Caledonia, has begun operating the first Airbus A330neo flight to Sydney – the first airline in the Asia-Pacific region to operate this aircraft. The A330neo offers enhanced performance and comfort and is powered by new generation Trent 7000 Rolls Royce engines that provide a quieter propulsion system, with improved fuel economy and a longer range. The arrival of the first A330neo is part of a fleet renewal plan forAircalin, with additional A320neo aircraft scheduled for 2020 and 2021. The airline has also recently introduced a new Premium Economy class.
Qantas rolls out upgraded A380s
Qantas has rolled out the first of its upgraded A380s, to deliver a new level of comfort for its passengers. The multimillion-dollar upgrade of 12 aircraft includes new seating across expanded Business and Premium Economy cabins and a refresh of the aircraft’s First and Economy seating. The onboard lounge has also been redesigned. Premium Economy seat numbers have increased from 35 to 60.
Qatar Airways signs an interline agreement Greek airline Sky Express
Qatar Airways has announced it has signed an interline agreement with Greek airline Sky Express. Qatar Airways’ passengers will benefit from access to 24 exciting new destinations in Greece including Santorini, Crete, Corfu and many other destinations on Sky Express’s domestic network. Meanwhile, Greek passengers outside of Athens can travel seamlessly between Greece and Doha and onwards to destinations in Asia, the Middle East and Australasia.
Sky Express. Image: Qatar Airways Mykonos. Image: Qatar Airways
United Airlines introduces a direct service from Melbourne to San Francisco and new Timeshifter app to beat jet lag
Travellers can now fly direct from Melbourne to San Francisco with United Airlines, connecting Australians to more than 70 U.S. destinations via United’s San Francisco hub. This nonstop route launched 31 October, marks United’s fifth nonstop flight between Australia and the U.S. and will fly three times per week on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
United Airlines has also committed to helping travellers beat jetlag by partnering with Timeshifter®, an app that outlines the best time to see and avoid light, sleep and enjoy caffeine to adjust quickly to a new time zone. All MileagePlus members will receive access to a free Timeshifter jet lag plan, while Premier 1K members receive a complimentary subscription with unlimited plans. The app is targeted at customers flying across three or more time zones and will be a helpful tool for them to manage their jet lag.
LATAM Airlines’ first Boeing 787 with new cabin standard
LATAM Airlines Group’s 25th Boeing 787 – which took off for the first time from Santiago International Airport on 21 November – is the first Boeing 787 to feature LATAM’s new cabin standard of unmatched comfort. In Business Class this includes improved privacy, direct aisle access, 180-degree seat recliners and updated in-flight entertainment. In Economy, seats offer greater space and comfort, state-of-the-art inflight entertainment systems and fast-charging USB ports. Cabin space and windows will be larger, with the windows also featuring an auto-dimming function, as well as new LED lighting and reduced noise. The aircraft will operate from Chile to medium and long-haul destinations, including Sydney, New York, São Paulo, Tel Aviv and Madrid.
Business Class. Image: LATAM Airlines Business Class. Image: LATAM Airlines