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In-Flight WiFi / Singapore Airlines / A380 / 777 / Airline News / Travel Tech / Technology / WiFi / OnAir / → All Tags
You heard it here first in April and now, after five months of testing and tooling, A340s and select A380s and 777-300ERs will be able to log on in the air, no matter where that happens to be (with the exception of on the runway and under 10,000'). This includes the A340s that operate what's known as the world's longest non-stop commercial flight, Newark to Singapore.
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Uh oh. Taiwan's EVA Air better watch its precious Hello Kitty planes in the coming months, as Japanese carrier ANA is reintroducing their Pokémon-painted plane onto routes. It's a cartoon catfight (or rather, dogfight, since we're talking airplanes).
The routes to get the cartoon jet will be domestic within Japan and served by a Boeing 777 sporting the special livery, starring Pikachu.
Believe it or not, ANA has been flying Poke-painted planes since 1999, when a 747 was launched with the livery. They still have one or two of those big babes flying around, and they recently all came together at Tokyo-Haneda Airport for ANA's celebration of the special liveries. Gotta catch 'em all!
Air New Zealand / 777 / Boeing / SkyCouch / Seats / Premium Economy / Airplanes / Airlines / Airline News / Airplane News / → All Tags
Just in case you missed it, the seats are basically coach seats with the middle blocked out. Then at cruising altitude the three seats transform into a couch of sorts, where you and your traveling companion can snuggle up for the long-haul flight over the Pacific. It seems that these seats are catching on, and they might just make their way over to other airlines as well.
Apparently the airline has already been chatting with like 12 other airlines about the ability to license the Air New Zealand invention. Airline officials seem to have no problem doing so, but they are pretty honest when they state that they’re looking for quite a bit of cash for them to share their clever idea. Sounds likeif all goes wellt might be around the end of the year when we start to hear about the snuggle-seats being offered up elsewhere.
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This is Part 2 of our flight videos. Check out the JFK-HKG leg here.
We got pretty lucky. When we originally left New York for Hong Kong weeks ago, we landed at HKG during sunset, and it was a lovely welcome to a stunning landscape. Now, on the return to New York-JFK, we found ourselves again facing into a reddening horizon, which painted the skyscrapers of the distant downtown as milky blue silhouettes.
Cathay Pacific's flight CX 840 leaves Hong Kong just past 4pm, arriving to JFK some 16 hours later around 8:30pm the same day. We had two afternoons to enjoy, and enjoy it we did, using the time to watch the entire second season of Downton Abbey and finally getting around to watching the movie I Am Love.
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What will 50,000 British Airways miles (pre-Avios) and a little over $300 in taxes get you? Well, for starters, an economy seat on Cathay Pacific flight CX 831 from New York-JFK to Hong Kong-HKG. It'll also get you a few more flights around Asia and the long return leg, but for right now let's talk about the magic of the JFK-HKG jaunt.
Before British Airways devalued their miles by switching to the new Avios system, we made a feverish call to their award booking center. Our prime goal: get a seat on this flight, one of our favorites, which takes 16 hours to deliver you from the metropolis of NYC, up over the North Pole, down to the bright lights/big city of Hong Kong. The timing is perfect; depart NYC in the early afternoon before rush hour, and arrive to HK in the middle of sunset the next day. Surely if you could dig through the center of the Earth from New York, you'd emerge in HK.
Here's the video we shot just the other day:
Awesome Stuff / Livery / Air New Zealand / Sports Travel / New Zealand Travel / Airplanes / Airplane News / Boeing / 777 / → All Tags
If a black airplane lands at night, do you even see it land at all? Okay that was kinda stupid, but all words pale in comparison to the awesomeness of the newest Boeing 777-300ER to be delivered to fun-loving Air New Zealand. It's the All Blacks-edition jet, the second plane in AirNZ's fleet to be outfitted in the black livery that's an ode to the rugby team All Blacks. One could even say the color is jet black.
The 777 is fresh off the Boeing assembly line in Everett, WA and lucky to start its life as the pimpest-looking plane in the sky. It's actually the largest plane painted noir, as the old Playboy DC-9 is long gone and AirNZ's other black metal is the smaller Airbus A320, confined to domestic itineraries. But this babythis one with its three classes (four if you count the Skycouch)this one is also flying further, like to LAX and London from Auckland.
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United's 777 from San Francisco to Tokyo-Narita in Business Class was a fly-by-night thing. Literally. It was a flight on which we upgraded at the last minute, boarded at the last minute, and everyone onboard slept for the majority of the 11-hour, 15-minute flight.
Since we've already detailed the in-flight meals, we'll keep our impressions of the seats and service quick and dirty:
Jaunted Reporting Live / Videos / SkyCouch / Air New Zealand / Premium Economy / Business Class Travel / 777 / Airplane News / Airline News / Eric Rosen / Seating / Seats / → All Tags
As you might have guessed from our preview last week, we were all up in and around the all-new interiors on the first of Air New Zealand’s five 777-300ER’s last week, when we hopped aboard the delivery flight from Seattle to Los Angeles. Of course our first order of business was to cuddle up in the new SkyCouch.
Here’s a quick video we asked one of the friendly flight attendants to make showing us how to set up the SkyCouch for slumber, and then we’ll fill you in on our experience test-napping it during the long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Auckland...
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Earlier this week, we took a pre-holiday jaunt up to Seattle for a quickie tour of the Boeing factory, including visits to the 777 and 787 production lines, with the final goal being a tete-a-tete with Air New Zealand’s new SkyCouch-equipped 777-300ERs.
At their flagship facility in Everett, Washington, just outside Seattle, we heard about the company’s strategic planning for the future and it’s twin-pronged strategy of promoting the 777 and 787 as complementary components of an airline’s service. As the giant planes ever so slowly inched along on their assembly lines, we learned that although Boeing is only turning out 5 777s monthly right now, the plan is to increase productivity to 8.3 a month by 2013, for a grand total of 100 a year.
And then we were off to visit the big guns: the 787 Dreamliner and Air NZ's new baby, a shiny 777-300ER.
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And we're back, live from Hong Kong, to reveal the big news that had Cathay Pacific inviting over 3,000 of their most frequent flyers to come check out. Many announcements dropped only a couple hours ago, the most important of which is the debut of newer, wider, fancier business class seats.
We've been rolling through our photos like gangbusters, after posting the very first images online of the new seats via Twitter, and nowwithout further adohere are Cathay's new biz seats with lie-flat beds, with the space to allow "passengers to sleep in any position."
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Lately we’ve been pretty hot and heavy about Boeing’s 777 plane, especially since that’s the bird that Branson and company have chosen to launch V Australia. However, apparently there’s some trouble with the 777 engines, and federal regulators want airliners to take a look at what’s going on. If you’re planning a trip down under on V—don’t worry—their 777s use engines from General Electric.
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Machinists at Boeing's Everett, Washington factory have been on strike for nearly a month, extending seemingly endless delays on the 787--and on the three 777s V Australia ordered for its first flights. The new carrier, an offshoot of Virgin Blue, will now move its launch date back from December 15 to February 28, 2009 and hope that its planes are ready by then.
There are a couple of options for passengers who booked one of the now-canceled flights. You can call up for a full refund, or the carrier will book you on another airline, if you need to fly. A third option: V Australia will rebook passengers on a flight "on or after March 1, 2009" and toss in a $200 voucher for another Virgin Blue flight.
If the strike comes to an end soon--though The Seattle Times says that ain't likely--V Australia says it will move its launch date back up. As for all the money the carrier will lose because of the strike, a press release ominously declares:
The impact of the serious delay would be addressed between Virgin Blue and The Boeing Company at a later date.