First is flying with British Airways

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

Since The First Wing opened on April 5, the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers at Heathrow Terminal 5 has welcomed nearly 200,000* travellers through the dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

That’s around 1,800 customers a day transferring through The First Wing from check-in to the lounge. The smoothness and convenience of the innovation has resulted in great customer feedback and has also reduced the number of customers travelling through the normal security search areas, delivering a benefit for all fliers.

The airline is continuing to invest in other improvements to First, including a refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 to be unveiled in October 2017. The lounge, which is exclusively for First customers will receive an updated look and feel, as well as improvements to the terrace area.

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

Additionally new Liberty London washbags will take to the skies at the end of July. The kits feature prints from Liberty’s vintage textile archive. The ladies’ version features an eye-catching print called ‘Indiana’ flower pattern in a range of blues, while the male washbag showcases a more understated black and grey paisley design called ‘Arundel’.

The gentlemen’s washbag features Refinery’s revitalising moisturiser, lip balm, deodorant stick and shave gel as well as a razor, brush and comb, toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, socks, ear plugs and pen. The ladies’ kit includes Aromatherapy Associates triple rose renewing moisturiser, hydrating hand lotion, renewing cleanser and deodorant stick, along with a lip balm, cotton wool pads, toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush and pen.

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “We know that our First customers are used to the very best in life and have very exacting standards. They rightly expect every part of their journey with us to cater to their needs, so we’ve focused on areas that we know matter to them. First Wing enables them to maximise their time, whisking from kerb to lounge through the fast track security channel. And we’ve paid attention to the details that make a difference on board too, through elements such as the updated Liberty washbags and the ability to pre-order a preferred meal.

“From the feedback we’ve received from our First fliers, these changes are making a real difference to their experience, driving great customer reaction and there’s more to come with the revamped Concorde Room at Terminal 5, due to be unveiled this October.”

*: Actual volume of customers through First Wing between April 5 and July 24, 2017 is 199,200.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways announces partnership with the White Company

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways today (July 04th, 2017) announced its plans to give customers a great night’s sleep in the sky through a partnership with the luxury lifestyle brand, The White Company.

The iconic British retailer will supply bedding and amenity kits in Club World as part of the airline’s £400m customer investment plan, with a focus on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all.

Later this year, customers travelling in Club World between Heathrow and New York JFK will be given a new elegant day cushion which will double up as a fantastic lumbar support when working or relaxing on board

Courtesy: British Airways.

Exclusively for British Airways, The White Company have also designed a bespoke, luxuriously soft large pillow and white cotton pillowcase to enhance customers’ comfort and to help them sleep well in the sky.

Customers will also be given a super-soft woven blanket with satin trim and a specially developed luxury duvet to improve their quality of sleep, as well as a padded mattress cover giving an extra layer of comfort. The new bedding from The White Company will then be gradually rolled out across British Airways’ other long-haul routes.

The new Club World amenity kits come in an elegantly designed bag from The White Company and contain products from the retailer’s ‘Restore & Relax Spa Collection’, as well as a super-soft jersey eye-mask, offering a further touch of luxury in the sky.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “Our investment in Club World has started and we’re kicking off by helping our customers sleep even better in the skies. Partnering with The White Company, another quintessentially British brand renowned for quality and style, is the first step in a multi-million pound investment for our premium customers.”

Chrissie Rucker MBE, founder of The White Company, said: “We are passionate about creating the best night’s sleep for all our customers and I’m truly delighted to now be working with British Airways to ‘sleep well in the sky’. I hope you love the result as much as we do.”

The White Company opened its first international flagship store in New York last month at 155, Fifth Ave in the city’s Flatiron district.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways is also introducing a number of measures on board to maximise available shut-eye time for customers in Club World.  Breakfast cards will also be given out so customers can select if they wish to be woken for breakfast and if so, what they would like.

In autumn a new restaurant-style premium dining service will begin in Club World, with display trolleys allowing customers to select dishes from a choice of freshly prepared starters and desserts served on beautiful new table settings.

Source: British Airways.

Air France: Young and connected… discover Joon!

Courtesy: Air France.

Air France presents its new airline, Joon, which will start operating medium-haul flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle this autumn, followed by long-haul flights in summer 2018.

Joon is especially aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology. This new brand has been entirely designed to meet their requirements and aspirations, with an authentic and connected offering that stands out in the world of air transport.

Joon will not be a low-cost airline as it will offer original products and services that reflect those of Air France.

Joon is a lifestyle brand and a state of mind. Short, punchy and international, the name Joon is designed to address a worldwide audience.

  • Courtesy: Air France.

Its visual identity is based on an electric blue colour code symbolizing the airline’s dynamic attitude, as well as the sky, space and travel. The uniform of Joon’s flight attendants will be inspired by the new fashion codes, basic and chic.

“We started with our target customer segment, the millennials, to create this new brand that means something to them. Our brief was simple: to find a name to illustrate a positive state of mind. This generation has inspired us a lot: epicurean and connected, they are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others. Joon is a brand that carries these values”, said Caroline Fontaine, VP Brand at Air France.

“With Joon, we have created a young and connected brand that will give the Group a new impetus. Designed for our millennial customers, it will offer more than just a flight and a fare, it will offer a global travel experience. We’ll provide a further update in September, with more details on the brand’s content, products, services, destinations and range of fares!” said Dominique Wood, EVP Brand and Communications at Air France.

The realization of the Trust Together strategic project

Courtesy: Air France.

In the Air France-KLM Group’s brand portfolio, Joon is Air France’s complementary younger sister, which will also inspire its customers to travel with its elder sibling.

This new airline will be managed by Jean-Michel Mathieu, CEO of Joon. As such, he will join the Air France Executive Committee.

“The creation of a new airline is a historic moment in many ways. Joon is another step in the deployment of the Trust Together strategic project. Its creation will improve the profitability of the Air France Group, enabling it to reduce its costs and ensure the sustainability of its business model. Jean-Michel Mathieu, who has taken part in the development of this new airline since the start, today becomes its CEO. With all the Group’s teams, we are concentrating our energy on the successful launch of Joon.” said Franck Terner, CEO of Air France.

Biography of Jean-Michel Mathieu

Jean-Michel Mathieu is appointed CEO of Joon.

Jean-Michel Mathieu, 48, has spent most of his career with the Air France and Air France-KLM group, particularly in the Network, Revenue Management, Digital Services and Customer Relations sectors.

A former assistant researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, he is a graduate of the French École nationale de la statistique et de l’administration économique (ENSAE).

Source: Air France.

SAS lounge in New York larger and in a new design

Courtesy: SAS.

Scandinavian Airlines continues to invest in its SAS Lounges and have now opened the newly renovated lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport (terminal B). The 100 sqm larger lounge creates an exclusive space for SAS travelers to relax or work in front of their flight.

The lounge (440 sqm) can now host more travelers and is designed with Scandinavian furniture and material. Some of the lounges new improvements include the new serving area with a wide range of cold and hot dishes, which are served throughout the day, a wide selection of magazines, a secluded guest work space, more outlets and more charging stations as well as free WiFi, check-in and reservations assistance etc.

Courtesy: SAS.

“We are pleased to be able to welcome more travelers to our new lounge in New York, where we fly directly to and from Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. We have in recent years launched several new destinations between Scandinavia and the United States, and next up is Miami from Stockholm, which opens in October, says Max Knagge, head of SAS USA.

In addition to New York, SAS is flying directly from Scandinavia to Washington, Chicago, Miami, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the United States. Through the Star Alliance, which recently turned 20 years old, offers additional more than 18 400 flights per day to 1 300 airports in 191 countries.

Source: SAS.

Airbus delivers first A350 XWB for Delta Air Lines

Courtesy: Airbus.

Delta Air Lines has taken delivery of its first A350-900, and will be the first U.S. airline to operate the newest member of Airbus’ leading widebody family. The A350 XWB will bring unrivalled eco-efficiency and a superior passenger experience to primarily transpacific routes starting in October.

Today’s delivery is the first of five A350-900s scheduled for delivery to Delta in 2017. The aircraft features 32 seats in the Delta One cabin, 48 seats in Delta Premium Select and 226 seats in the Main Cabin.

The A350 XWB was the first aircraft to incorporate the innovative passenger experience elements collectively known as Airspace by Airbus. Delta’s customers will enjoy the quietest twin-aisle cabin, with more personal space and the largest overhead bins in the business. More fresh air, LED ambient lighting, and optimization of cabin pressure, temperature and humidity all combine for absolute passenger wellbeing.

The A350 XWB also boasts the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, and the fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. This combination of technologies translates into unequaled operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 847 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.

S7 Airlines takes delivery of its first A320neo

Courtesy: Airbus.

S7 Airlines, one of Russia’s leading carriers, member of Oneworld global airline alliance, has taken delivery of its’ first A320neo which is on lease from BOC Aviation. The aircraft is the first Airbus to feature the airline’s new livery and is also the first NEO to be operated in Russia.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, S7’s aircraft features a comfortable two-class cabin layout, (eight business and 156 economy class seats). The airline will operate the aircraft on domestic and international routes. Since the first aircraft entered service in 2004, S7’s Airbus fleet has grown to 44 A320 Family aircraft.

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver more than 15 percent fuel savings at entry into service and up to 20 percent by 2020. With more than 5,000 orders received from over 90 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent market share.

Source: Airbus.

Airbus delivers its 100th A350 XWB

Courtesy: Airbus.

Airbus has delivered its 100th A350 XWB, just some 30 months after the first delivery of the world’s most modern widebody aircraft in December 2014. The 100th aircraft delivered is an A350-900 for China Airlines.

“The 100th A350 XWB milestone comes as we reach our fastest widebody production ramp-up, on track to meet the target of 10 A350 deliveries per month by the end of 2018,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft. “We are especially proud to deliver today’s aircraft to our long-standing customer China Airlines. The A350 is setting new standards for long haul air travel in terms of efficiency and comfort, thus being the perfect aircraft for China Airlines to expand its long-haul network.”

“China Airlines is happy to be receiving the 100th A350 XWB,” said Nuan-shuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines. “This remarkable new aircraft has not only met, but exceeded our expectations at every level. This includes operational efficiency, the step-change reduction in fuel consumption and the in-flight comfort standards it offers our passengers. Worldwide demand for air travel will continue to grow strongly, especially on long haul routes linking Asia with Europe and North America. The A350 XWB is one of the key assets in our fleet and will be the basis for the development of our long haul route network.”

To date the A350 has been delivered to 14 airlines worldwide and is flying with an outstanding operational reliability rate of 99%*. “This is a remarkable statistic at this early stage of the programme,” Fabrice Bregier adds.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. As the founding member of “Airspace by Airbus” cabin brand, the A350 XWB cabin provides passengers and crews the best in comfort, well-being and technology.

The A350-1000 is the new member of the A350 XWB family and benefits from its high level of commonality with the A350-900. Scheduled for Type Certification and first Customer delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017, the A350-1000 is currently performing an intensive and successful flight test campaign.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 847 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.