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OMG OMG OMG. We have good news and great news, both related to Hello Kitty and a certain airline fond of covering their planes in the illustrated character.
First, the good news:
Taipei-based EVA Air will soon add another Hello Kitty aircraft to their fleet, bringing the total to 7 airplanes covered in Sanrio cuteness. The theme hasn't yet been leaked, but the planethe second Boeing 777-300ER to sport a Hello Kitty livery (the other five are Airbus A330s)will be delivered in May 2015. Inside will be 333 seats: 39 business class, 56 premium economy, 238 economy.
Now, the great news:
Turbulence / 777 / American Airlines / Travel Safety / NRT / → All Tags
What crazy force is powerful enough to lift a 200lb galley cart off its wheels and toss it around an airplane cabin? The answer: turbulence.
It can happen to any aircraft, at any location, and today 240 passengers and 15 crew onboard an American Airlines Boeing 777 found this out firsthand.
The flightAA 280 bound from Seoul's Incheon Airport to Dallas-Ft Worthdidn't complete its 12-hour nonstop route, instead diverting to Tokyo-Narita after severe turbulence injured 14 onboard, with 5 eventually needing further assistance at a hospital. The passengers will spend the night at a hotel before continuing on to Dallas tomorrow. The photos shared from the flight come from a passenger seated in First Class; we can only wonder at the mess Economy endured.
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Which of these words doesn't belong? TWITTER BOEING 777 US AIRWAYS PORN MH370
Actually, if you'd been on Twitter earlier today and spotted a very NSFW mis-tweet reply from US Airways' @usairways account, then you'd know that, unfortunately, all of the above terms are now entwined in one of the most egregious social media slip-ups of all time.
Here's what happened:
Airline News / American Airlines / 777 / Airplanes / Business Class Travel / Seats / Economy Class Travel / → All Tags
This week in Hamburg, Germany, airlines and media are happily schmoozing during the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo, and you know what happens when airline executives mix with international journalists? Hands are shaked, cocktails are quaffed, and big announcements are made.
American Airlines was nearly first out of the gate with a doozy of a news drop, that they'll be retrofitting their entire 777 fleet to new Business Class and Main Cabin seats. Previously, only AA's brand new Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A321Ts boasted these best seats in the fleet, but this news means the bulk of AA's international service on 777-200s will soon join the fun.
Australia Travel / Sydney Travel / United / Airplanes / Airplane News / 747 / 777 / SYD / LAX / SFO / → All Tags
April 1 may be known for April Fools' Day pranks, but the United 777s that dotted the tarmac at Sydney Airport were no joke. Yesterday marked the first day for United's regular LAX and SFO service to Sydney to be operated by all 777-200s, instead of the older 747-400s. The last UA 747 to depart Sydney said "so long" on March 31, and with it goes the worst plane to fly between the US and Australia, in terms of passenger comfort and entertainment.
Our friends at Australian Business Traveller detailed the change after it was announced, and noted that this means fewer seats in all classes. Overall, however, the news is excellent for travelers on the 14-hour non stop flights.
Business Class Travel / Japan Airlines / Japan Travel / NRT / 777 / Seats / → All Tags
Last year, Japan Airlines launched their new business class cabin, but it's only just now beginning to take to the skies. And while we always get pretty excited for flat-bed seats, we're even more excited to announce these newly outfitted birds are bringing their bells and whistles to US routes.
Japan Airlines seeks to tick all the boxes for travelers hoping to cross the Pacific in comfort. The seats are aubergine-hued, lie-flat, with dual mode mattresses, large entertainment systems, direct aisle access for each, and lots of nooks and crannies to store your stuff.
A roaming Jaunted associate got lucky and scored the new cabin on a recent flight from Chicago-O'Hare to Tokyo-Narita; he was left quite impressed with the entire seat and comfort of the cabin. He only took a few photos, but here they are.
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Above: 9M-MRO, the aircraft involved
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER has disappeared over where the Gulf of Thailand becomes the South China Sea, and neither the airline nor authorities are sure of its whereabouts or fate.
Flight MH370 left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 12:41am local time Saturday and disappeared at 2:40am. It was meant to land in Beijing at 6:30am local time but, as we write this, it is already past 10am without any sign of the aircraft. The last radio contact and position on FlightRadar24 shows it traveling on course at 35,000 feet.
Malaysia Airlines hosted a press conference to confirm that there is a search and rescue operation underway. Fuad Sharuji, Malaysia Airlines VP of Operations, on CNN's AC360, states the only definite: "at the moment we have no idea where this aircraft is right now."
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Yet another new Hobbit movie has the folks down at Air New Zealand all excited to launch their latest homage to Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. The Kiwi airline has given fans of the movie a sneak peak of the latest release's namesake character by emblazoning a plane with Smaug, a mythical dragon of The Hobbit: The Desolation of the Smaug.
There's no doubt that Air NZ loves anything and everything Hobbit, as this is actually the second Boeing 777-300 to be wrapped with a Hobbit scene. Both colorful Boeings regularly fly between New Zealand and the US, which makes Los Angeles the best place to spot the new dragon.
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Nearly two years ago American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in US Bankruptcy Court. It was a dark time, with AA suffering from an old fleet and style that was more shabby chic than chic. In that time, the airline has managed to re-brand, take delivery of new aircraft, introduce new seats, and overall "get with the picture."
We recently took a tour through the Flagship First Class cabin onboard one of AA's new Boeing 777-300ERs and were shockedSHOCKEDat how far the airline has come with their reinvention. Although there's still a ways to go before AA makes Economy cool (a fool's errand), at least paying for First Class now yields the passengers a worthy experience.
Without further ado, the five things we're surprised to see in American Airlines First Class:
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"This Hello Kitty jet is for everyone. On it, every day is a happy day. We are spreading a message of happiness." - EVA Air's Chairman (and Captain) K.W. Chang
In 2005, EVA Air painted Hello Kitty on the side of a plane. Then they did it again in 2006. The two planes turned frowns upside-down for a few years, but went away in 2008. Then, in 2011, we showed you the return of the Hello Kitty planes, though these newest versions only flitted around Asia at the time. Now, the US finally gets in on the kawaii action as the airline debuts their first Hello Kitty Boeing 777 and a first trans-Pacific route for the cute Sanrio character: Taipei to Los Angeles.
"Other airlines only do the exterior job [of theming a plane], but we've done it all," says Chang. "We want everyone to share our world," before connecting to other Star Alliance flights and returning to their world. You've already read the 11 coolest facts about these airplanes, but see exactly what Chang is talking about in our 77 original photos of outside, inside, and all around the new 777:
EVA Air Hello Kitty / Hello Kitty / Sanrio / EVA Air / LAX / Airplanes / 777 / Boeing / New Airplanes / Airplane News / Livery / Cartoon Travel / Taiwan Travel / Taipei Travel / Los Angeles Travel / TPE / List / Awesome Stuff / Cute Travel / Star Alliance / → All Tags
It's not every day you see dancing on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport, but when that dancing is to celebrate the arrival of a Hello Kitty-themed airplane, it's completely warranted.
Slipping into a gate alongside the tails of 787s, 747-8s and A380s yesterday was EVA Air's brand new Boeing 777-300ER, its body painted all over with the cheery cartoons of Sanrio's Hello Kitty and friends.
Over 70 Hello Kitty enthusiasts were on the inaugural flight, joined by a troupe of Hello Kitty dancers, characters, artists and Hello Kitty's creator herself, Yuko Yamaguchi. The arrival marks the beginning of regular, nonstop flights between LAX and Taipei-Taoyuan for this aircraft, which is arguably the most kawaii addition to aviation since Pokémon showed up on some 747s. Even as Alaska Airlines' Mickey Mouse plane passed by, all eyes remained on EVA's Kitty.
Before booking a flight, however, there's some things you should know about EVA Air's Hello Kitty 777:
Food Travel / Airplanes / 777 / United / Continental / Houston Travel / Food Festivals / → All Tags
THERE IS. A BARBEQUE PIT. SHAPED LIKE A BOEING 777.
Take a second to process that, and then update your iCal to include the dates February 27 - March 1 2014, when this miracle of modern engineering will again cook up thousands of hot dogs and hamburgers during Houston's World Championship Bar-be-que.
The pit itself was born in 1999, designed by a Continental Airlines maintenance foreman and constructed by BBQ Pits by Klose. It's a 1:10 scale 777, now repainted with the updated United merger livery.