China Airlines adds non-stop flights to London

(By China Airlines)

China Airlines has started operating the Taipei-London (Gatwick) service on December 1 with the new A350-900 XWB fleet making four flights a week.

This route makes China Airlines the only airline in Taiwan to offer non-stop flights to London. The introduction of non-stop flights to London represents a major boost to China Airlines’ European network.

When added to existing non-stop flights to Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany), Vienna (Austria) and Rome (Italy), China Airlines will operate 22 weekly flights to five European destinations and is the only Taiwan-based airline that currently operates so many non-stop flights between Taiwan and Europe.

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Photo: KCS

To celebrate the launch of the new route, China Airlines hosted a banquet in London on the afternoon of December 1 local time.

Guests including Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the UKAmbassdor David Y.L. Lin, UK Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands, Trade Envoy to Taiwan Lord Faulkner of Worcester, British Representative in Taiwan Catherine Nettleton, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Mei-Hua Wang, Gatwick CCO Guy Stephenson, and Deputy Mayor of Taoyuan City Wang Ming-de, were invited to celebrate the inaugural flight of this new route.

As part of his banquet speech, China Airlines Chairman Nuan-hsuan Ho said that the introduction of direct flights to London by China Airlines represented an important milestone in the development of bilateral economic and cultural relations between Taiwan and the UK.

Fourteen new A350 and ten new 777 aircraft have been subsequently introduced in recent years to optimize global network capacity and introduce non-stop flights on all European routes.

China Airlines now offers the most non-stop flights between Taiwan and Europe of any carrier.

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Future efforts will focus on the continued strengthening of relationships with partner airlines to provide Taiwanese travelers with the most comprehensive network for traveling to and from Europe.

The China Airlines CI069/CI070 Taipei-London service departs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday on the latest A350-900 XWB aircraft, which are equipped with 32 Premium Business Class, 31 Premium Economy Class and 243 Economy Class seats.

Passengers who opt to fly non-stop with China Airlines will reach their destination in just 13 hours, saving between 3 to 7 hours of transit and stopover time.

Gatwick Airport offers convenient customs check and luggage pick-up and is also well connected to downtown London as well as major English cities in the north and south, making it very convenient for transit as well as arrivals/departures. (Full Story Here)

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British Airways adds new route to Greek island of Kefalonia

(By British Airways)

British Airways customers will have even more choice of holiday hotspots this summer with the launch of a new route to Kefalonia and more seats on sunshine services.

From May 15 until October 6, 2018, customers will be able to fly direct from Terminal 5 to the island of Kefalonia, home to some of Greece’s best beaches and the idyllic setting to Louis de Bernieres’ novel-turned-film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

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Kefalonia, Greece
Photo: Ulrike Wegner

Flights will depart on Tuesday and Saturdays, with return fares starting from £118 in Euro Traveller and £398 in Club Europe.

The island of Kefalonia is renowned for its picturesque beaches, traditional fishing villages and stunning scenery and Myrtos beach is one of the world’s most photographed stretches of sand. It will be the first time the airline has operated to the Greek island.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and chief executive, said “We’re always developing our leisure offering from Heathrow so are incredibly pleased to be adding Kefalonia to our network.”

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“The launch of our new summer routes, which also include Figari in Corsica and Almeria, mean we will be flying 39 more routes in 2018 than we did in 2016 – an increase of 17 per cent. We’re also further improving our schedules and increasing the number of flights to European destinations such as Ibiza, Santorini and Split,” he added. (Full Story Here)

ANA introduces “Tastes of JAPAN”

(By All Nippon Airways)

TOKYO — ANA, Japan’s largest and only 5-star airline, is proud to announce the “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA – Explore the regions -” campaign, a secondary phase of its hugely successful “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA” series, which was launched in September 2013.

The first phase of “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA” showcased the best of Japan’s cuisine represented through ANA’s in-flight meals and videos.

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Photo: Cyclonebill

The program mainly promoted each of Japan’s 47 prefectures, introducing the local foods and ingredients, as well as sightseeing locations. It successfully finished covering all 47 prefectures by November 30, 2017.

Starting this December, “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA” is moving on to its second phase, with a new tagline, “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA – Explore the regions.”

Instead of examining 47 prefectures every three months, we have divided the country of Japan into eight regions, and will further closely examine each region for six months to introduce the culinary specialties and hidden gems across Japan.

By focusing rather on a wider area, i.e., “regions” of Japan, ANAS’s aim is for its passengers to explore more than one prefecture in one trip and enjoy each of its local specialties.

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To achieve this, ANA is providing renewed in-flight meals and lounge services, a newly designated section in our in-flight magazine “WING SPAN”, and the introduction of a new in-flight video series, “SELECTRAVEL,” which is also available through ANA’s YouTube channel.

“SELECTRAVEL” is created in English and from a Non-Japanese point of view. It features two travel itineraries of the same local area, based on the tourist’s preference of what they may want to experience.

Also, the “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA” menu was exclusively for First and Business Class passengers. However from December, ANA will begin introducing a taste from each region to Economy Class passengers on select European, North American, and Latin American routes. (Full Story Here)

Farm-fresh, local menu added on Delta flights from L.A. to N.Y. and D.C.

(By Catherine Sirna, Delta Air Lines)

Delta continues to board farm fresh, chef-driven meals at 30,000 feet, as it expands its innovative approach to in-flight cuisine to the West Coast.

Beginning Dec. 1, Delta One customers on flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport will enjoy culinary creations from the airline’s new Los Angeles-based chef partners, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.

Each dish features farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients from some of L.A.’s most beloved farmers and purveyors.

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Each dish features farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients from some of L.A.’s most beloved farmers and purveyors.
Photo: Delta Air Lines

“When we began cultivating our partnership with Jon and Vinny early on, we talked about the importance of not just stamping their names on our menus,” said Lisa Bauer, Vice President – On-Board Services. “At Delta, it’s so much more than that. It’s about partnering with chefs to create authentic, locally-sourced meals on board.”

JVThe chef duo has curated a menu that is reflective of the fare served at many of their popular L.A. restaurants, including Animal, Son of a Gun and Jon & Vinny’s.

Their debut menu for Delta includes: a starter of confit portobello mushroom carpaccio with Tamai Farms arugula pesto, almonds and pecorino, a main course of marinara braised meatballs with bianco DiNapoli tomato, garlic bread and
Gioia whipped ricotta, or Domenico’s pumpkin ravioli with Schaner Farms sage brown butter sauce and pecorino cheese, and a dessert of Tamai Farms strawberry bread pudding.

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“We are so excited to partner with Delta because it allows us to introduce the smaller farmers and producers who we work with on a daily basis to its global customers,” said Shook.

“On top of that, by using the same network we lean on at our L.A. restaurants, we’re able to authentically re-create some of our most beloved dishes – like our iconic meatballs – and take it from the ground to the sky,” said Dotolo. (Full Story Here)

Qantas opens new lounge at London airport

(By Qantas Airways)

LONDON — Qantas will welcome customers into the new spacious Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Airport, as the airline counts down to its direct 787 Dreamliner flights between Australia and London.

Qantas has spent the past 12 months building a dedicated lounge at Heathrow as part of a multi-million dollar investment for customers on its existing London services as well as the landmark Perth-London route starting on 24 March 2018.

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Qantas Airways
Photo: Paul Spijkers

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said investing in the first dedicated Qantas Lounge at Heathrow was key as the airline prepares to directly air link Australia and Europe for the first time.

“The Kangaroo Route is at the heart of Qantas’ identity and London is one of our most important destinations,” said Joyce. “We have worked with leaders in design, food and service to create a lounge that is modern and comfortable and incorporates the aesthetics of the Qantas lounges that make our customers feel at home.

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“We are reshaping what customers come to expect from international travel with direct flights between Australia and London. It’s a long flight, so we’re taking a holistic approach to passenger wellbeing on and off the aircraft, and the new Heathrow lounge is an important part of that,” Joyce added. (Full Story Here)

United Airlines bares 10 new U. S. routes

(By PRNewswire)

CHICAGO — United Airlines (UAL) has announced it will offer customers more opportunities to travel from five of its U.S. hubs to 10 cities in California, Florida, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas beginning in April 2018.

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United Airlines
Photo: John Taggart (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Additionally, the airline announced it will optimize its O’Hare International Airport (ORD) schedule to provide shorter connection times and more options for customers connecting through Chicago.

“We continue to focus on making United the first choice for customers when planning their domestic and international travel,” said Grant Whitney, United’s vice president of Domestic Network Planning.

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“Our new daily services connect customers to important business markets and our new seasonal summer routes provide more customers with convenient access to enjoy our National Parks.” (Full Story Here)

Qantas customers can now watch cricket live at 30,000 feet

(By Qantas Airways)

SYDNEY — Customers traveling on Qantas Domestic aircraft fitted with inflight Wi-Fi will have the opportunity to watch every live game of international cricket played in Australia this season.

As part of the airline’s partnership with Cricket Australia, Qantas will live stream 75 matches of professional cricket played in Australia including the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes T20 matches, Magellan Men’s Ashes, the Gillette One Day Internationals and T20s, the KFC Big Bash League and Rebel WBBL.

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Cricket World Cup Final
Photo: Tourism Victoria (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Qantas Chief Customer Officer, Olivia Wirth, said Qantas is leading the way in Australia for inflight connectivity.

“Qantas is proud to support the men’s and women’s teams through our Cricket Australia partnership, and as part of that we’re able to offer more than 400 hours of live cricket over the season to around 60,000 customers inflight every week,” she said.

“Our goal is to give our customers the best inflight Wi-Fi experience in Australia. We’ve installed ViaSat’s next generation in-flight Wi-Fi service, which delivers speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional on-board Wi-Fi by tapping into the nbn satellite network. We’ve partnered with the best in entertainment and we’re offering it for free.”

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Ben Amarfio, Cricket Australia Executive GM, Broadcasting, Digital Media and Commercial, said: “Our mantra of serving cricket fans wherever they are, is going to the next level with this fantastic initiative. This unique partnership allows us to deliver on that even when cricket fans are 30,000 feet in the air. Courtesy of Qantas, cricket fans won’t miss a ball of action.

“We are also delighted that we will be able to showcase a wide variety of Cricket Australia Digital’s feature content to fans on-demand, so they get their cricket fix even when matches are not being played,” Amarfio added.

Following a successful customer trial earlier this year, the airline has so far installed next generation Wi-Fi hardware on *15 Boeing 737 aircraft as part of its progressive rollout.

Focusing initially on its 737 fleet, Qantas will begin installation on its domestic A330s from early next year, with 80 B737 and A330 aircraft complete by the end of 2018. (Full Story Here)

Qatar Airways lowers prices for transporting large pets

(By Qatar Airways)

DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways has responded to demand from passengers seeking to transport their pets around the world by reducing the price to the lowest rates ever into and out of Doha.

As the only airline that will carry pets as excess baggage to and from Qatar, the airline has gone beyond expectations and reduced the cost of traveling with a pet.

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Photo: Qatar Airways

While it used to cost pet owners and animal refuges approximately USD400 to transport a large dog to Europe or the Americas on another carrier, the same journey will now cost just USD300 on Qatar Airways out of Doha.

This significant cost reduction means that it will now be easier than ever for passengers to travel with their beloved pets.

The airline has also more than doubled the weight allowance for domestic pets to travel on the same flight as their owners as checked-in baggage, by increasing the weight limit for pets and their containers from 32kgs to a generous 75kgs.

The move is set to position Qatar Airways as the airline of choice for people seeking to transport their pets around the world.

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It follows an increase in demand from passengers wanting to travel on the same flight as their domestic pets, or from animal refuges relocating stray animals to new homes overseas.

Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Ehab Amin said: “We know how much our passengers love their family pets and often don’t want to be apart from them. This move to increase weight allowances while also reducing the fare structure means that our passengers and their domestic pets can now travel comfortably on the same flight together.

“We are one of the few airlines in the world that accepts domestic pets as checked-in baggage on our passenger aircraft. So in keeping with our very inclusive culture and our drive to always enhance the customer experience, we are delighted to increase the pet weight limit from 32kgs to 75kgs, while significantly reducing charges.” (Full Story Here)

Japan Airlines gets top honors in customer satisfaction survey

(By Japan Airlines)

TOKYO — Japan Airlines (JAL) announced that it received top honors in two categories through the 2017 Japan Customer Satisfaction Index Survey.

This survey is conducted annually by the Service Productivity and Innovation for Growth (SPRING) organization in Japan.

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Japan Airlines
Photo: Arpingstone (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

This will be the 5th consecutive year JAL ranked number 1 for “Repeat Intention Rate” and also the second time in three years to win top honors under the category of “Customer Satisfaction” ranking.

As for the Domestic sector, JAL will make continuous efforts to improve and deliver an enjoyable travel experience for all valued customers.

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According to the company`s medium-term management plan (2017-2020), JAL aims to become one of the most valued and preferred airlines in terms of customer satisfaction by the end of fiscal year 2020.

In order to reach this goal, the carrier will continue to refine the quality of the services provided to all customers. (Full Story Here)

Singapore Airlines’ A380s has wide range of in-flight offerings

(By Singapore Airlines)

SINGAPORE — Customers traveling on Singapore Airlines’ latest Airbus A380 aircraft, featuring the Airline’s newly launched cabin products, can look forward to a wide range of in-flight offerings including soft furnishings, amenities, an exquisite dining experience and highly advanced in-flight entertainment system.

The Finer Touches

Created for a distinguished few, each of Singapore Airlines’ Suites will feature a plush mattress bedding, two pillows and a fluffy cotton duvet, complete with embroidery crafted by the French luxury brand, Lalique.

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Business class
Photo: Singapore Airlines

More photos here

Complemented with a stylish sleeper suit, slippers, eyeshades and socks, customers can lounge in comfort before drifting into peaceful sleep in their private cabin in the sky.

The relaxed and contemporary setting in Business Class is enhanced by a stylish combination of padded bed sheets, blankets as well as a larger pillow.

These soft furnishings provide a relaxed atmosphere on board, bringing greater comfort for customers as they work or unwind during the flight. (Full Story Here)