Finnair expands its growing network in China with new year-round route to Nanjing

Courtesy: Finnair.

Further strengthening its solid presence in China, Finnair today announced the opening of a new year-round route between Helsinki and Nanjing, China. Located along Yangtse River, Nanjing is one of the four ancient capitals of China, and a vibrant center for culture and economy. With a population of over 8 million people, Nanjing is an important commercial hub and leisure destination with growing passenger and cargo demand.

Offering convenient transfers to Finnair’s network of over 100 destinations, the new route between Helsinki and Nanjing will be operated three times per week during the summer season and two times per week during the winter season.

The opening of the Nanjing route will increase Finnair’s growing footprint in Northeast Asia, with the Finnish carrier flying to seven destinations in Greater China during the 2018 summer season. Altogether, Finnair will fly 38 weekly flights to Greater China, flying daily flights to both Beijing and Shanghai, 4 weekly flights to both Chongqing and Guangzhou, three weekly flights to both Nanjing and Xi’an as well as 10 weekly flights to Hong Kong.

“We are very pleased to be expanding our growing network in China with the addition of Nanjing, our seventh destination in Greater China,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “Finnair is fast becoming one of the biggest and most preferred European carriers operating between Europe and China. Next year will also mark a very important milestone in our history as we will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Finnair’s inaugural flight to Beijing and China.”

Over the past decade, Finnair has placed a strong strategic focus on the Chinese market, opening direct routes to Chongqing, Xian and Guangzhou while enhancing the passenger experience with Chinese signature meals and mobile payment solutions onboard such as Alipay.

The inaugural flight to Nanjing will take place on May 13, 2018 and the new route will be operated with an Airbus A330 aircraft. The new flights will be available for sale on www.finnair.com as of today (August 30th, 2017).

Source: Finnair.

Airbus and Cathay Pacific: a long-term partnership reaches new heights

Courtesy: Airbus.

The exceptional partnership between Airbus and Cathay Pacific Airways was marked by a unique concert in Toulouse, France this week that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – and coincided with Cathay Pacific’s latest announcement for Airbus jetliners.

Yesterday’s concert of Hong Kong’s Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) was hosted by Airbus in partnership with Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

As one of the world’s most respected pre-professional orchestras, AYO provides a platform for young classical musicians from around Asia to highlight their talents and perform in the international arena. Since its formation 27 years ago, many of AYO’s alumni have gone on to join some of the greatest orchestras in Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the United States.

More than 100 young musicians perform at the Airbus University

The orchestra’s Toulouse performance, comprising over 100 young musicians and held at the Airbus University, was attended by an audience that included personnel from Cathay Pacific – led by the airline’s CEO, Rupert Hogg – officials from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, local Toulouse dignitaries and Airbus employees.

“Cathay Pacific has long been a great supporter of AYO, and when the airline asked if we could host this special concert during the European leg of its tour, we were most happy to support the request,” said Rainer Ohler, the Head of Communications at Airbus. “In addition to commemorating the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s anniversary, it really was a celebration of the excellent partnership between Airbus and Cathay Pacific.”

Conducted by AYO’s founder, Richard Pontzious, the orchestra gave a stirring 90-minute performance of Richard Strauss’ Don Juan, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and the William Tell Overture by Rossini. Organising the event took several months of coordination with AYO and Cathay Pacific, and involved setting up the Airbus Events Centre as a venue suitable to host a classical concert.

Cathay Pacific Group’s fleet of Airbus jetliners continues to expand

The 21 August concert capped a noteworthy day in the relationship of Airbus with Cathay Pacific, which also saw the airline sign a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 32 A321neo jetliners, to be used by its Cathay Dragon regional operation.

The Cathay Pacific Group has been flying Airbus aircraft since the early 1990s, with more than 100 Airbus aircraft in service today. It currently has 23 A320 Family aircraft, 61 A330-300s (the Asia-Pacific region’s largest A330 fleet), along with 17 A350-900s.

In addition to the additional 32 A321neos covered by the newly-signed memorandum of understanding, the airline has 31 A350 XWBs on order for future deliveries, composed of five more A350-900 versions and 26 of the longer-fuselage A350-1000s.

Source: Airbus.

Lufthansa A350-900 – Ni hao Hong Kong!

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

From 12 September, Lufthansa will be offering flights to Hong Kong on an Airbus A350-900. “Our passengers can now experience the world’s most advanced long-haul aircraft for the first time on a flight to the Far East. The flight to Hong Kong is one of the longest routes in the Lufthansa flight schedule. Flying on the A350-900 gives passengers an extraordinary experience. An optimized level of cabin pressure ensures that they arrive feeling more rested”, says Wilken Bormann, CEO of the Munich hub. Due to the flight distance—at 10,000 kilometers—Hong Kong will be served by two aircraft flying alternatively. These will be the fourth and fifth A350-900 aircraft due to be delivered to Lufthansa on 12. August and 2 September respectively, bearing the identifiers D-AIXD and D-AIXE. The A350’s maiden flight to Hong Kong will take off on 12 September at 22:30 and will be welcomed for the first time in Hong Kong eleven hours later at 15:35 local time on 13 September.

Hong Kong is an important destination for business travelers and there are plenty of interesting sights for holiday-makers to discover, too. Asia’s third largest metropolis offers visitors an unusual mix of Western and Asian culture. There are unforgettable experiences to be had, such as the view across the skyline, which is beyond comparison, or a visit to Victoria Peak. Hong Kong is also an important trade center and a key transportation hub for Asia.

With the arrival of the A350-900, a state-of-the-art newcomer has now joined the fleet at Lufthansa. The first of fifteen A350-900 arrived in Munich in February to be stationed there. By September 2017, five of these aircraft will be taking off from their home base of Munich to fly to Boston, Delhi, Mumbai and Hong Kong. The A350-900 has space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in Economy Class. The aircraft is currently the most advanced and most environmentally-friendly aircraft in the world. It uses 25 percent less kerosene, produces 25 percent fewer emissions and is significantly quieter on take-off than comparable types of aircraft. Lufthansa has placed orders for a total of 25 ultra-modern jet aircraft of this type.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

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.

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.

In summer 2018 Lufthansa will fly non-stop from Frankfurt to San José (Costa Rica)

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Good news for all fans of Central America: Lufthansa will include the Frankfurt – San José connection in their summer 2018 flight schedule. From 29 March 2018, a non-stop Lufthansa flight will take off every Thursday and Saturday from Frankfurt to the capital city of Costa Rica, the ‘green paradise of Central America’. The connection is thus the second connection offered non-stop by the company from Frankfurt to this region – the first being the connection from Frankfurt to Panama. Both connections complement each other perfectly. So you can now jet off to San José seven times a week from Frankfurt: twice non-stop with Lufthansa, or five times via Panama with a short flight with Lufthansa’s partner Copa Airlines.

Costa Rica combines fascinating landscapes, cloud forests, Caribbean flair and heavenly beaches with impressive national parks and rain forests, and is therefore especially popular with travellers who value ecologically important tourism.

Flights to San José use an Airbus A340-300, which has 279 seats covering Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class. LH518 leaves the Lufthansa Frankfurt hub at 13:45 and arrives in San José in the late afternoon at 17:55 local time. The return flight takes off from San José in the evening at 19:50 and lands at Frankfurt Airport the following day at 15:10 after a flight time of around 11 hours.

For more information and to book Lufthansa flights, go to LH.com on the Internet or call the Lufthansa Service Center on +49 (0) 69 86 799 799 (fixed line rate). Flights can also be booked at Lufthansa travel agency partners, as well as at Lufthansa sales counters at the airport.

The new connection at a glance

Frankfurt (FRA) San José, Costa Rica (SJO)

  • Twice a week (Thurs, Sat from 29 March 2018)
  • LH518: FRA 13:45 – 17:55 SJO
  • LH519: SJO 19:50 – 15:10 +1 FRA
  • Price: from 881 euros including taxes and fees
  • Distance: 9.362 km (5.055 nautical miles)
  • Airbus A340-300

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.