A farewell flight: United schedules last flight of its Boeing 747 fleet

Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines today announced the retiring flight of their 747 fleet. The farewell flight will take place on November 07th, 2017 as “UA747” from San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL). The aircraft is scheduled to departure from San Francisco International Airport at 11:00 AM* and land at Honolulu International Airport at 02:45 PM*.

By coincidence (or not) this flight has the same route which United made when the airline performed its first Boeing 747-100 commercial flight on July 23th, 1970.

The airline plans to make a remarkable throwback flight with the intention to recreate the United’s first 747 commercial flight. Customers, employees and invited guests will be present. The travelers can expect a 1970s-inpired menu to retro uniforms for flight attendants to inflight entertainment befitting of that first flight, passengers will help send the Queen of the Skies off in true style.  With the same name of United’s first 747 aircraft, this flight will be called “Friend Ship”.

Tickets for this upcoming United 747 goodbye can be purchased now at United’s website or via its app. Seats in the traditional “hump” area of the aircraft (upper deck) will not be sold since the airline will give for all the guests the opportunity to spend time in this iconic space.

For customers with a seat in United Polaris First Class or United Polaris Business Class, the airline will hold a drawing that will happen at the gate prior to boarding for an opportunity to occupy one of a select number of seats in the upper deck during the last journey of United’s 747.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

This farewell journey will start at 09:00 AM* at San Francisco International Airport, featuring a Boeing 747 gallery, remarks from United employees and executives, as well as refreshments.

Upon landing in Honolulu, local employees will welcome the Queen of the Skies with final festivities to finish this magical day. Everyone is encouraged to use the #UA747Farewell hashtag in social media posts.

United Airlines has been one of the driven forces of the 747 Program, since the beginning the airline has made several orders and has bet on the 747 performance.

With acquisition of the new Boeing 747 variants over the years, new routes to Europe, Asia and Oceania were possible and the airline made a record. On 1988, an United Airlines Boeing 747SP-21 took off from Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) towards to Athens (Greece), the aircraft made one stop and then took off again towards to Taipei (Taiwan), before returning to Seattle on the following day. This flight was called “Friendship One” due to the donation of the entire profit of this flight to the Friendship Foundation, a San Francisco-based charity organization who donates millions of dollars to terminally-ill children. It has also marked the first two-stop round-the-world flight, Neil Armstrong and Moya (Bill Lear’s widow) were onboard. The precise record is a flight time of 36 hours, 54 minutes and 55 seconds and a distance of 23.125 miles.

United is making path on their fleet for more state-of-the-art and eco-friendly aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777-300ER and the Next-Generation 737’s. Upcoming aircraft as Airbus A350 XWB (which got an order update early September) and the Boeing 737-10 MAX (historic order of 100 units and the worldwide largest operator of this aircraft variant) will also help together with the Eco-Skies initiative the airline with this mission.

*: Local time.

Premium Economy at Austrian Airlines now available

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Effective immediately (since September 06th, 2017), Austrian Airlines passengers can book a seat in the new Premium Economy travel class for flights starting on March 6, 2018. The centrepiece of the new Premium Economy Class is a new seat providing passengers with more comfort on their journey compared to regular Economy Class seats. The first Boeing 767 will begin to be refitted today. All eleven long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet will gradually be refitted to include the new travel class. The twelfth long-haul aircraft to be acquired by Austrian Airlines in the spring of 2018 will also be equipped with Premium Economy.

“The new Premium Economy Class is an important milestone in our strategy aimed at linking the issue of individualization with quality. The customer can individually choose the travel class according to her or his needs, whether the preference is to fly in a price conscious manner in Economy Class, treat oneself to a little more service and comfort in Premium Economy or luxury travel in Business Class”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto. In particular, the new Premium Economy Class is designed to appeal to passengers who want to afford more service and a higher level of comfort on flights to their holiday destinations as well as price-conscious companies whose employees should travel in comfort on business trips.

The new Premium Economy Class at a glance:

  • New seat with a broader seat surface and generous seat spacing
  • Footrest starting in the second row or leg support with integrated footrest in the first row
  • Always a separate central armrest with fold-out table and cocktail table
  • 12-inch screen with remote control for the in-flight entertainment system
  • Own power outlet and USB port on the seat
  • 2 x 23 kg free baggage
  • High-quality food selection with menu card
  • Welcome drink
  • Amenity kit with useful travel accessories

More space with the new seat

The Premium Economy seat produced specially for the Lufthansa Group is supplied by the aircraft seat manufacturer ZIM, and provides passengers with plenty of legroom based on seat spacing of up to 97 cm or 38 inches. Additional footrests take the strain off the legs on a long flight. The central armrest with fold-out table between the seats and a personal, broad armrest for every passenger enables more privacy and more room on the side. In addition, every seat is equipped with its own power outlet and USB port.

More service in the new travel class

The new Premium Economy Class offers much more than a considerably more comfortable seat. Passengers in the new travel class can check in two pieces of luggage at no charge, each with an allowable weight of up to 23 kilograms before being pampered on board with culinary delights. Travelers conveniently select their favorite food from the menu card, and the food is served on china dishware. Moreover, every passenger in this travel class is given a small amenity kit with useful travel accessories to ensure a restful stay on board. Premium Economy passengers enjoy the extensive in-flight entertainment programme on large 12-inch touchscreen monitors.

Flights in Premium Economy Class can be booked as of now, via Internet, on the Austrian Airlines booking hotline at 05 1766-1000 or at a travel agency. Premium Economy fares range between Business Class and Economy Class. For example, the round-trip Vienna-Bangkok-Vienna flight is available starting at EUR 839 including taxes and charges.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Air Canada introduces Montreal – Tokyo non-stop flights

Courtesy: Air Canada.

Air Canada announced today (August 23th, 2017) the introduction of a new service between Montreal and Tokyo Narita starting June 1, 2018. Flights will operate year-round, with daily service during summer peak travel and three times a week during the winter, with Air Canada’s flagship aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Air Canada’s new transpacific service from its Montreal hub is designed to optimize connectivity to several Canadian and U.S. cities: Quebec City, Ottawa, Halifax, Charlottetown, Boston, Philadelphia and Orlando.

Special introductory fares start as low as $999 round-trip, all in, and tickets are now available for purchase at aircanada.com or through travel agents.

“Air Canada is continuing its global expansion by strategically building its Montreal hub, and we are thrilled to announce the launch of non-stop flights to Tokyo, Montreal’s first scheduled link to Japan. The new flights will offer travelers from Atlantic Canada and the Northeastern U.S. convenient access to Japan and beyond, complementing our existing Tokyo flights from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, while also strategically positioning Air Canada as a leader in the growing Montreal–Asia market,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Canada. “This new transpacific service further reflects Air Canada’s ongoing international growth strategy from Montreal, following the recent introduction of non-stop flights to Shanghai, Lima, North Africa and Europe. In addition, it enables Montreal to derive significant direct benefits including the creation of close to 130 Air Canada flight attendant, pilot and airport positions.”

“This direct flight between two international cities, Tokyo and Montreal, shows that Montreal is once again a major player in Canadian and North American aviation. After Shanghai and Tel Aviv, this new flight to Japan’s capital reflects a major investment by Air Canada that will generate significant economic and tourism benefits for our city,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

“Great news for our business community and for Quebec’s economy and tourism. This route will facilitate growth of Quebec businesses as well as further trade with Japan and other Asian countries. Moreover, introducing non-stop flights attracts foreign companies, which in turn contribute to Quebec’s economic prosperity,” said Lise Thériault, Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for SMEs, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development.

“We are pleased with this new first for Montrealers,” said Philippe Rainville, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montreal. “The addition of Tokyo to our air service, on top of Tel Aviv, Algiers and Shanghai, among others, certainly reinforces Montreal-Trudeau’s status as an international hub. This new non-stop flight illustrates once again Air Canada’s desire to use Montreal as a strategic platform. This city-pair with Japan also greatly enhances our service for the Montreal community, since Tokyo Narita offers connections to all Japanese cities and to many destinations in Southeast Asia, the Far East and Oceania,” he added.

“Among our international development priorities, Japan is a market with significant potential, as our colleagues recently confirmed at the national level. This direct route between Montreal and Tokyo confirms our intention to move forward to further promote Quebec’s original tourism offer in Asia. Congratulations to Air Canada on this initiative,” said Martin Soucy, President and CEO of the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec.

“Tourisme Montréal wanted to be a partner in this new Montreal–Tokyo service because it allows Montreal to further its international influence. This important addition builds on the new flights between China and Montreal operating during the last two years. We believe that the impact on Montreal tourism will be highly strategic and showcase Montreal’s vitality, while giving us access to Japan and other Asian and oceanic destinations. I would like to congratulate Air Canada for its dynamism and its major contribution to the future of Montreal and Quebec tourism,” stated Yves Lalumière, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.

Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft feature three cabins of service offering comfortable ergonomic seating and enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screens.  Air Canada’s International Business Class cabin has 180-degree lie-flat seats in configuration guaranteeing direct aisle access. The Premium Economy cabin offers more generous personal space, wider seats, greater legroom and recline, premium meals, complimentary bar service, priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport. The Economy cabin has slimline seats providing comfortable personal space and state-of-the-art individual on-demand entertainment system.

All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access at the Montreal hub, priority boarding and other benefits.

Flight #

Depart

Time

Arrive

Time

AC005

Montreal (YUL)

14:05

Tokyo Narita (NRT)

15:50+1

AC006

Tokyo Narita (NRT)

17:30

Montreal (YUL)

16:30

So far in 2017, Air Canada has launched seven new services from its Montreal hub to: Shanghai (China), Marseille (France), Dallas/Ft. Worth and Washington/Dulles (U.S.), Reykjavik (Iceland), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Algiers (Algeria) with an eighth new route to Lima (Peru) beginning in December 2017.

Air Canada operates more non-stop flights between Canada and Japan than any other carrier with up to 46 non-stop return flights between Canada and Japan per week. Complimenting the new service between Montreal–Tokyo Narita, Air Canada operates flights up to seven times a week flights between Vancouver–Tokyo Narita; double daily flights between Toronto and Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita; flights up to seven times a week between Calgary–Tokyo Narita. Air Canada also offers summer seasonal service to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport daily up to seven times per week and Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya up to four times per week with Air Canada Rouge.

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.

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.

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.

Lufthansa is expanding its European network this winter

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa is launching seven new winter destinations starting at the end of October: Pamplona, Genoa, Bari and Catania are the new destinations available from Frankfurt. The offer from Munich will be extended to include Nantes, Glasgow and Santiago de Compostela as further attractive city connections.

Pamplona is on the Lufthansa flight schedule for the first time ever. From 6 November onwards, the city in northern Spain will be connected with four weekly flights from Frankfurt. Furthermore, Genoa, Bari and Catania will be new winter destinations available from Frankfurt. Lufthansa customers can reach all three Italian cities up to three times per week. The flights depart starting on 29 October and will expand on the services already offered from Munich.

Due to high demand, Lufthansa will also fly to Nantes, Glasgow and Santiago de Compostela from Munich for the first time in winter.  There are daily flights to Nantes in western France, with flights to Glasgow four times a week. The Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela is on the flight schedule every Sunday and thus expands the services on offer from Frankfurt.

The new winter destinations are now available to book, with fares starting from 119 euros for a return flight.  For more information and to book Lufthansa flights, go to LH.com 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 connections at a glance

Frankfurt – Pamplona (PNA)
Four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) from 6 November 2017

Frankfurt – Genoa (GOA)
Three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) from 29 October 2017)

Frankfurt – Bari (BRI)
Three times a week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 29 October 2017)

Frankfurt – Catania (CTA)
Twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday from 29 October 2017)

Munich – Glasgow (GLA)
Four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday from 29 October 2017)

Munich – Nantes (NTE)
Once a day (from 29 October 2017)

Munich – Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
Once a week (Sundays from 29 October 2017)

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.