British Airways revamps flagship Concorde Room

  • Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has revamped its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, taking inspiration from the very best of British Design.

The refurbishment to the airline’s exclusive lounge included re-upholstering iconic pieces of furniture, and adding new feature pieces to the room, all of which are illuminated by hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings.

The terrace, which is so popular with travellers thanks to its position overlooking the runway, features luxurious sofas and new elegant loungers.

Mobile phone chargers are also on hand for travellers to ensure their devices are fully charged before they fly.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “In recent years we’ve invested in our lounges, including new ones in Boston and Gatwick South Terminal and revamped spaces in Edinburgh, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Belfast, Washington, Singapore and Dubai.

“We believe our customers will love the new look and feel of the Concorde Room, in particular the terrace that we have re-designed to create a private oasis in the middle of a bustling airport.”

Customers will still be able to dine before they fly in private booths with a full waiter service. If they wish to unwind ahead of their flight, private cabanas with a day bed and en-suite are available to book.

Next in the schedule for a revamp is British Airways’ lounge at New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements being made to the customer experience at check-in. Next year Aberdeen and Rome’s lounges will also be revamped, and Geneva will be expanded. Further investment is then planned in San Francisco, Johannesburg and Chicago and Heathrow’s other lounges will be refreshed over the next few years.

Earlier this year British Airways opened its exclusive First Wing at Heathrow T5, a new private check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers. Providing a dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

On board the airline’s First cabin, customers can also benefit from bespoke washbags designed by Liberty London exclusively for British Airways as well as regular updates to the in-flight menu and wine list.

The Concorde Room is exclusive to British Airways’ customers travelling in the airline’s First cabin.

Source: British Airways.

Winter 2018: Finnair to add over 100 weekly flights including Lapland, Russia, Stuttgart, Lisbon and the Baltics

Courtesy: Finnair.

Finnair will continue to grow its operations during the 2018-2019 winter season with additional capacity added to existing routes in Lapland, Russia and the Baltic countries. In addition, Stuttgart and Lisbon will become year-round destinations.

“Our growth will continue next year with over 100 additional weekly flights compared to the current winter season,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “We are also steadily increasing the capacity on our Lapland routes for next year’s winter. Nearly 30,000 seats will be added compared to this winter.”

During the 2018-2019 winter season, Finnair will serve both Kittilä and Ivalo, two of the most popular winter destinations in Finnish Lapland, with additional daily non-stop flights. In addition, schedules for flights to Lapland airports have been aligned for more convenient connections and increased options for customers. Finnair’s direct flights to Lapland from London Gatwick, Paris and Zurich will also continue for the 2018 winter season.

Stuttgart and Lisbon, two new destinations for Finnair starting on April 23 and June 1 respectively, will continue during the winter season and become year-round routes for Finnair. Stuttgart will be operated as a daily flight and the Lisbon flight will be operated three times per week. As previously announced last spring, Finnair’s flight to Nanjing, China is also continuing as a year-round route with two weekly frequencies during the winter season.

Finnair is adding a new daily overnight flight to Moscow, which will greatly improve connections for Russian passengers travelling to Europe and North America. Additional capacity is also being added for St. Petersburg as the route will be operated with a larger jet aircraft. With this change, Finnair will be adding approximately 600 additional seats per week on the St. Petersburg route. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg will be operated with three daily frequencies.

For the Baltic region, Finnair is also adding a weekly frequency on Sundays for both Riga and Vilnius. Finnair will operate 19 weekly flights to both destinations during the 2018-2019 winter season.

Source: Finnair.

Summer 2018: Finnair continues strong growth, opens new routes to Lisbon and Stuttgart, increases capacity for popular destinations

Courtesy: Finnair.

In line with its growth strategy, Finnair is adding two new European routes for its summer 2018 lineup including new non-stop flights to Lisbon and Stuttgart, as well as increasing capacity to Tokyo, Chicago, San Francisco, Bangkok and Delhi. Finnair will also be increasing capacity on several of its popular short-haul destinations during the summer 2018 season.

With over 100 European destinations, Finnair continues to expand its route network. As of June 1, Finnair will fly four weekly flights to Lisbon, Portugal. The flights, offering convenient connections for customers travelling to and from Asia, will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with a newly WiFi-equipped Airbus aircraft. Finnair is also expanding its presence in the German market, opening a new daily route to Stuttgart, Germany. The new route, which opens April 23, will be Finnair’s sixth destination in Germany.

“Traffic between Europe and Asia continues to grow, and Finnair’s expanding network now offers more choice than ever before for our customers,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “We are also adding frequencies and capacity to popular Europeans destinations to serve the needs of our growing customer base both in Asia and Europe. Altogether, Finnair will be increasing its total capacity for next summer by 14 percent compared to the previous summer season, including the newly announced route to Nanjing.”

Finnair will add capacity to its popular long-haul destinations for the summer 2018 season:

· Finnair’s flight to Chicago will become daily with the addition of two new weekly frequencies from April to October

· Finnair’s three weekly flights to San Francisco will now have a longer operating season, flying from May 3 to September 27. All of Finnair’s flights to the USA are operated as a joint business with American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia

· Finnair will now fly double daily to Tokyo Narita with three new weekly frequencies. Together with Japan Airlines, Finnair will now offer three daily flights as part of its joint business with British Airways and Iberia

· Three new weekly frequencies will be added to the Bangkok route, serving 10 weekly frequencies during the summer season and 16 frequencies during the winter season

· An additional weekly frequency will be added to the Delhi route bringing it to four weekly frequencies during the summer season and six frequencies during the winter season

In addition, Finnair is increasing frequencies for several popular European destinations during the summer 2018 season:

· Seventeen new weekly frequencies to Tallinn, flying up to ten times daily

· An additional daily flight to Moscow, serving the Russian capital three times daily, and up to six times daily in co-operation with Aeroflot Russian Airlines. In addition, the three daily frequencies between Helsinki and St. Petersburg will now be flown with an Embraer jet aircraft.

· An additional daily frequency to Gdansk, serving the Polish Baltic Sea city with two daily flights

· Four additional weekly frequencies to Edinburgh

· Four additional frequencies to Barcelona between June and August, bringing it to fourteen weekly

· Three additional weekly frequencies to Madrid from June to October, bringing it to ten weekly frequencies

· Two additional weekly frequencies to Reykjavik, serving the Icelandic capital with multiple daily flights in co-operation with Icelandair

· One additional weekly frequency to Dublin, Dubrovnik, Malaga, Tel Aviv, Billund, Venice, Chania, Skiathos, Santorini, Rhodes, Heraklion, and Corfu

Finnair also today announced a new year-round route to Nanjing, China. All new flights can be booked on www.Finnair.com as of today (August 30th, 2017).

Source: Finnair.

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.

British Airways powers its future by turning household rubbish into jet fuel

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has entered a partnership to design a series of waste plants that convert household waste into renewable jet fuel to power its fleet.

The partnership, with Velocys, a renewable fuels company, is part of the airline’s plans to develop long-term, sustainable fuel options.

The first plant will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household waste per-year, destined for landfill or incineration, including nappies, plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers, and convert it into clean-burning, sustainable fuels. This will contribute to the airline’s commitment to reduce net emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.

As well as helping the airline industry reduce its carbon emissions this initiative will also significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. The UK still sends more than 15 million tonnes of waste per year to landfill sites which not only damages our natural environment but also releases further greenhouse gases affecting climate change.

The planned plant will produce enough fuel to power all British Airways’ 787 Dreamliner operated flights from London to San Jose, California and New Orleans, Louisiana for a whole year. It would be the first plant of this scale. The airline plans to supply its aircraft fleet with increasing amounts of sustainable jet fuel in the next decade.

The jet fuel produced at the plant will deliver more than 60 per cent greenhouse gas reduction, compared with conventional fossil fuel, delivering 60,000 tonnes of CO2 savings every year. This will contribute to both global carbon emissions reductions and local air quality improvements around major airports.

During the past week the Department for Transport has published changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), and for the first time, sustainable jet fuel will be included in its incentive scheme. These changes to the RTFO are designed to promote sustainable aviation. Once implemented, they are expected to provide long term policy support for this market.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Sustainable fuels will play an increasingly critical role in global aviation, and we are preparing for that future.

“Turning household waste into jet fuel is an amazing innovation that produces clean fuel while reducing landfill.

“From developing innovative operating techniques, to investing in the most modern and efficient aircraft, we have a strong track record in researching, identifying and implementing ways to reduce emissions.

“This partnership continues this tradition, and shows how we are investing in our long-term future – and that of our customers.”

Source: British Airways.

British Airways launches new premium transfer drive service at Heathrow to help customers avoid missing connecting flights

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways is introducing a new service called Premium Transfer Drive at Heathrow to ensure that customers who are at risk of missing their connection are able to catch their onward flight.

The new scheme applies to customers travelling on a UK domestic flight, who are connecting on to either a short-haul flight in Club Europe, a long-haul service in Club World (long haul business class) or First, or who are Silver or Gold Executive Club members.

British Airways’ team at Heathrow will track these customers, and where there’s a risk they will miss their connection, will provide an ‘airside’ car transfer between one flight and the next.

They will also send a message to the inbound aircraft, so the cabin crew can inform the customer that a car will be waiting to transfer them, thereby alleviating any stress or worry.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ new director of brand and customer experience, said: “Missing a connection is one of the most stressful situations a customer can experience, so helping them through that journey and keeping them informed is critical. The new premium transfer service will enable us to identify customers who are at risk of missing their onward flight, and proactively arrange to collect them by car, whisking them directly to their next flight.

“We’re already receiving great customer feedback from customers who have benefitted from the new service and as WiFi is introduced on our aircraft, we’ll also be able to use that to communicate directly with customers about their onward flight.”

British Airways is investing £400 million in Club World with an emphasis on improved catering and sleep. At Heathrow a First Wing check-in area with direct security and lounge access has opened, and lounges around the airline’s network are being revamped and improved.

The Club Europe cabin has been introduced on UK domestic services and recent catering improvements have been introduced in Club Europe as well as across all long haul cabins.

British Airways customers can look forward to the latest generation Wi-Fi across British Airways’ long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years.

Source: British Airways.

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.