British Airways completes Boeing 747 cabin refresh

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has completed the major makeover of 18 of the airline’s iconic Boeing 747s to give them the look and feel of their newest aircraft.

Each jumbo jet now features a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system – as well as extra seats for customers flying in Club World.

The first aircraft to be refreshed departed for New York, on the airline’s flagship transatlantic route, while the last one also goes back into commercial service tomorrow (August 4) as the BA117, flying customers from Heathrow to JFK airport.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We have recently taken delivery of our 12th A380 super jumbo and have now have 13 Dreamliners in our fleet, however the iconic Boeing 747s remain an important part of our fleet, that many of our customers love.

“We know customers who fly the revamped 747s really appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, better seating and new state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, making their flight just fly by.

“Our engineers have made these amazing aircraft look and feel like new, with enhanced comfort, cutting edge technology and cool, clean design.”

Across all 18 aircraft the 11 month refit has involved:

  • 61 miles of wiring for the new Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system
  • Enough new carpets to cover 34 tennis courts
  • Nearly six miles of new LED lights
  • 4,500 light fittings
  • Fabric changes to 4,950 seats
Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

The refit means the aircraft cabin interiors are similar in look and feel to the airline’s newest aircraft, with 16 additional Club World lie-flat seats.

New carpets, seat covers and mood lighting have been fitted throughout each aircraft to match the new colour pallet of the airline’s new A380 and 787s, including new seat foams and new style seat covers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort.

All eighteen refreshed aircraft have also been fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system, which gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the four-engined Boeing 747s.

As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. World Traveller customers also have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.

The revamped jumbos now operate on selected flights to New York JFK, Chicago, Johannesburg, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh, Kuwait, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC.

British Airways has a fleet of 142 long-haul and 143 short-haul aircraft operating flights to almost 200 destinations around world.

Source: British Airways.

KLM modernises World Business Class in all its Airbus A330 aircraft

Courtesy: KLM.

Courtesy: KLM.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is modernising the World Business Class cabin interiors of all its Airbus A330s. The new World Business Class in this aircraft will be available for passengers to enjoy from early in 2018. It marks another step in KLM’s ongoing investment in customer comfort.

The Airbus A330 is the last aircraft type in the KLM ICA fleet to be fitted with new World Business Class cabin interiors. By the end of 2018, World Business Class throughout KLM’s entire ICA fleet will be fitted with new cabin interiors. The World Business Class cabins of KLM’s Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 747-400 fleets have already been refitted. Work on the Boeing 777-300 fleet has just begun and is expected to be completed in June 2017. KLM’s latest aircraft, the Boeing 787, already has the new World Business Class cabins.

The new World Business Class has full-flat seats for maximum passenger comfort, a twelve-language Inflight Entertainment System and a 3D flight-tracking system. KLM’s new World Business Class cabin interior has been designed by the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius.

What is more, for years now, KLM World Business Class has offered meals developed by trendsetting Dutch chefs. This year, we have engaged chef Jacob Jan Boerma to work in KLM’s kitchens. The tableware that KLM uses with its meals was created by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.

Source: KLM.

United Airlines unveils a new way of travel with Polaris Business Class

United Airlines today unveiled its latest product, the Polaris Business Class, the most significant product transformation of the airline in more than a decade, featuring a re-imagined Business Class experience, with total comfort from the pre-flight to the end of the flight.

An exclusive product comes with a really transformative experience; the airline has chosen to outfit its wide body fleet with a custom designed – exclusive to United seat – instead of than selected options already in the market. This class was designed by Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom. All seats in United Polaris will have access to the aisle, full flat bed with almost two meter-long (1.98 meters).

The class has an idea, which is crafted as individual, the suite is like pods where the customer personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

Everything designed in Polaris cabin has the idea to rethinking the Business Class experience, the airline has performed more than twelve thousand hours of research and the sleep was one of the key priorities for international Business Class travelers. Polaris’ design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of clients and employees, in-flight product simulations and more than one hundred product evaluations.

In order to provide a more pleasant and relaxing sleep, several other amenities were designed with United’s customers sleep in mind.

The company has worked with luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom designed bedding. Everything has been thought to provide the best sleep in the sky; bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. Mattress cushions will be available upon request.

On flights longer than 12 hours, United Polaris pajamas will be available by requesting, however, slippers will be available on all flights. A gel-cooled pillow will also be available upon request. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other in-flight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

A high elevated dining experience will be available on the flight. Upon boarding, the passenger will be welcomed with a pre-flight beverage of his/her choice and gourmet chocolate. In the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flights menus updated seasonally, which will be developed with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs.

Be prepared for an upgraded wine experience, with the highest quality options curated exclusively by United’s Master Sommelier. On board service will also include made-to-order signature ice-cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flights snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Lounges for United Polaris customers will also be opened in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a United States airline to Business Class clients – that will feature custom designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so passengers can refresh and dine before boarding their aircraft. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be available.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport will be the place of the first United Polaris lounge, which will be opened on December 1st, 2016. Eight other airports will airports will receive these new luxury lounges in 2017, they are: Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH), New York (EWR), Washington Dulles (IAD), Tokyo (NRT), Hong Kong (HKG) and London Heathrow (LHR).

United Polaris will be available on all long-haul intercontinental flights on December 1, 2016, with the new in-flight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. United Polaris will first take flight in December on the Boeing 777-300ER (walk-up bar unit on board) and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner and Airbus A350-1000. The Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 will be retrofitted.

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

Images: Courtesy of United Airlines.

Video: Courtesy of United Airlines.

British Airways: Top flight long-haul snacks for Club Kitchen

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Premium travellers with the munchies are being served up with a new range of long-haul top flight snacks in British Airways’ Club Kitchen.

Customers flying in British Airways’ Club World cabin will be able to help themselves to an array of indulgent treats, as well as fresh fruit and healthy snacks from the airline’s specially stocked Club Kitchen, which provides a range of food and drinks that customers can help themselves to throughout the flight.

On offer will be a new selection of British brands and old favourites, offering a bigger and better range of snacks to business and leisure travellers. The boost follows feedback from customers and cabin crew, who identified the Club Kitchen’s most popular products.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We know many of our customers who fly long-haul in Club World like to snack between meals so we’re proud to offer a bigger and better range of top flight snacks from premium British brands for them to indulge in.

“We’ve increased the number of popular snacks, brought some old favourites back and updated our healthy options for those customers who are looking for something to snack on while watching their movies, as an accompaniment with their wine or just to help them relax before sleeping in their fully flat beds.”

Among the new brands appearing in the kitchen are patisserie maker rhokett, with their range of summer season cakes, such as Millionaires Tart and Lemon Drizzle.

Among the new brands appearing in the kitchen is dessert and pâtisserie company, rhokett. Their summer season cakes, wrapped in individual portions, include moist Lemon Drizzle and a Millionaire’s Tart with decadent toffee topped with chocolate.

Flights to India will also feature Indian specific Indian snacks, including a new range of Tuk In ‘curries-in-a-naan’ in handy packs, in Chicken Jalfrezi and Korma Paneer flavours.

Old favourites will be returning, including the popular Cadbury’s box, with its selection of chocolate treats, including packs of Fudge, Crunchie, Twirl and Buttons, along with Green & Blacks chocolates, and retro sweets from Sweet Ideas like Rhubarb & Custard, Sherbet Lemons and Mint Humbugs.

Healthy snacks and nibbles have also been updated with the new selection of cold salad pots and sandwiches and a super seed snack bar from ‘9BAR’.

Quality high street retailer Waitrose will continue to ensure a daily supply of freshly cut fruits as well as fruit yoghurt with granola topping while Island Bakery shortbread, nuts and Joe & Seph’s popcorn will also feature, as will top British crisp brand – Kettle – in a selection of classic flavours.

Customers flying in Club World can also enjoy the airline’s new Club World Champagne – Henriot Brut Souverain NV, which has clinched top spot, with a gold medal in the 2016 International Wine Challenge.

Club World customers can enjoy complimentary fine wine and dining, fully-flat beds and a generous checked-in luggage allowance of two pieces of 32kg baggage. They also have access to private lounges to relax and dine before their flight, dedicated check-in desks and priority boarding.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways announces its longest long-haul flight to Santiago, Chile

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways is launching the only direct flight between London and Santiago in Chile from January 3, 2017.

Santiago will become the airline’s lengthiest long-haul route, taking 14 hours 40 minutes, nearly an hour more than the current longest flight of 13 hours 50 minutes service to Buenos Aires.

The four-a-week flight will be served by the airline’s newest aircraft, the four-cabin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, complete with a new First cabin.

Santiago will be the latest destination in Latin America to join British Airways’ route network.  The airline recently launched new services to San Jose in Costa Rica and Lima in Peru.  In addition, it also operates flight to Rio and Sao Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

New First Class / Courtesy: British Airways.

New First Class / Courtesy: British Airways.

Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways said: “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru, and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region.

“The Chilean economy has been steadily growing, with increasing trade links to Europe so this new direct route will respond to the need for travel between the two Capital cities to do business face-to-face.”

“Equally, Chile is of enormous appeal to leisure travellers, especially those looking for adventure, exploration and experiences, thanks to its outstanding and diverse natural beauty and attractions and its great food and wine.”

There’s something for everyone in Chile as a destination. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy skiing and snowboarding around Santiago, trekking around the Andes or water-sports along the extensive coast-line. Thanks to the country’s natural wonders, from the driest desert in the world, to the lakes and glaciers, and the huge swathes of national park there’s many different animals and birds to be seen.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Chile also has a rich culture to explore, from Easter Island with its Moai statues to Valparaiso’s old quarter, which has UNESCO heritage site status. The city of Santiago is also fascinating and the region’s food and drink, especially the wine, is renowned. And thanks to all that coastline and the islands around Chile, there’s plenty of beach holidays for travellers wanting a relaxing break.

To celebrate the launch, British Airways is offering a special fare of £749 return in World Traveller (economy), £1,299 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and £1,999 in Club World (business class).

British Airways is taking delivery of 21 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, five of which arrived in 2015 and 11 of which will arrive this year. The final five will be delivered during 2018.

They feature a new First cabin, thanks to the fact the 787-9 is 20ft longer than the 787-8. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

Editor’s Note:

  • The new Santiago flight will depart from Heathrow on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 22:00 and arrive in Santiago at 09:40 local time the following day. The return flight will depart at 18:45 arriving back in London at 12:05 local the following day.
  • The new route from Heathrow to Santiago is approximately 11,645km, while Buenos Aires is 11,083km.
  • Although this is British Airways’ first direct flight to Santiago, the airline previously operated there as a ‘tag-on’ from Buenos Aires between 1993 and 2000.
  • The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has 216 seats and is the most technologically advanced aircraft in British Airways fleet.
Source: British Airways.

British Airways offers free upgrades to First Class

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways customers who book a Club World (business class) seat between April 5 and June 14 are being offered the opportunity to upgrade to First one-way for free if they’re travelling between April 5 and August 28, 2016.

Customers who’d like to take up the offer can do so by contacting their travel agent, or calling the British Airways contact centre on 0344 493 0787.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “Unsurprisingly, these upgrade offers are extremely popular with our customers. For no additional cost, they can enjoy all the extra benefits of First, from the bespoke lounges to the comfortable suites on-board and personalised service. It’s a really nice way for us to recognise our customers and give them something back as a thank-you for their booking and their loyalty.”

Customers booking can expect to be whisked through fast-track before making their way to the First lounge or Concorde Room (outbound from Heathrow Terminal 5). Once on-board the sophisticated cabin they can settle in to their suite with its 6ft 6inch bed, personal blinds and wardrobe and  experience a personalised service, complete with an a la carte menu, fine wines and champagne.

Customers flying on one of British Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will experience the airline’s very latest First class, introduced in late 2015. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

For more details on the upgrade promotion, customers can visit www.ba.com/upgrade

For more details on First class, visit: www.ba.com/first.

Note:

  • The offer is only available on published fares
  • Terms and conditions apply. See ba.com/upgrade for full details
  • Bookings must be made between April 5 and June 14, 2016 for travel between April 5 and August 28, 2016

Source: British Airways.

Lufthansa: New travel experience in the Airbus A350-900

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

The A350-900 provides Lufthansa passengers with a comfortable traveling experience. With its wider cabin passengers have more room and a generous sense of space. A self-service section in Business Class provides more passenger comfort, plus new seats in economy and larger monitors. Thanks to a special lighting concept, passengers arrive at their destination feeling more rested. “We want our customers on board to feel comfortable and to arrive relaxed even after long flights. This is why we have improved passenger comfort even more in the A350-900”, says Thomas Winkelmann, CEO Lufthansa Hub Munich.

For the first time, Lufthansa will offer its customers a new service on the A350-900. Passengers in Business Class will be able to serve themselves refreshments between meals. In a specially designed self-service area passengers can enjoy a variety of snacks. A refrigerator is also provided with cold drinks.

Passengers in Economy will in future be seated in ergonomically designed seats which also appear in a new color scheme. In future there will also be more room to stow personal items.

In all classes passengers will benefit from the latest FlyNet technology and improved web surfing above the clouds. The larger screens provide the most advanced user interface.

Thanks to the special design of the A350-900, the cabin pressure during flight is pleasant, so passengers arrived more rested. This is comparable with an altitude of 1,800 meters, versus 2,400 meters of altitude with comparable aircraft. The effect is also enhanced by an innovative lighting concept with a total of 12 light scenarios. These can be deployed in such a way that passengers can adapt their biorhythm better to local time at their destination.

Lufthansa is stationing the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircraft at Munich starting January 2017. Initial destinations are likely to be Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will provide seating for 293 passengers: 48 in Business, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in Economy.

The A350-900 is the world’s most modern and environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft. It consumes 25 percent less fuel and produces an up to 50 percent less noise footprint than similar aircraft types.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.