Tag: A340

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There's a New 'Longest Flight in the World' and It's a Doozy

November 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM | by | Comment (1)

The king is dead, long live the king!

Just before dawn across the world at Singapore-Changi Airport, an Airbus A340-500 touched down and taxied to its gate. The passengers filed off, followed by the flight crew, and there was no fanfare for this last arrival of the longest flight in the world.

At nearly 18 hours and 9,500 miles, Singapore Airlines' SQ 21/22 between Newark and Singapore was a monster of a nonstop which only accommodated 100 travelers in all-Business Class comfort. All good things must come to an end, however, and Singapore dropped the route in order to trade in the old, gas-guzzling, four-engine A345s for some shiny and efficient A350s to come.

It's a smart move, but a sad one regardless. Singapore 21/22 will live on through the stories of those who flew it, and we're proud to add our hour-by-hour account to the aviation history books.

Moving on, another flight route must now ascend to the throne and claim the title of "longest flight in the world." For that, look no further than Texas.

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What It's Like to Fly for 18 Hours on the Longest Flight in the World

Where: Singapore
September 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

9,500 miles on one fell swoop. Welcome to the longest commercial flight in the world, Singapore Airlines non-stop between Singapore and Newark. As much as we hate the word "bucketlist," that's what this is—a superlative experience with an entry in the history books and, sadly, an expiration date.

The planned distance of flight number SQ 22 is 9,525 miles with a scheduled flight time of 18:55h. The return, SQ 21 from Newark to Singapore, is a tad longer depending on winds, but we count them together. Even the aircraft is special; it's an Airbus A340-500 arranged with only 100 seats, all Business Class. The 1-2-1 configuration means comfort and relative privacy for both solo travelers and couples.

November 23, 2013 is the final flight of SQ 22, and Singapore's route from Los Angeles (the second longest flight in the world) is also due to end, on October 20, 2013. You have been warned. This season is the last chance to get onboard the world's longest flights, but a white glove experience comes with a premium price; a roundtrip starts from $7,500 during these finale months (but they do accept Star Alliance miles for award bookings).

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Finnair Flashes Their Frosty Blue New Business Class

Where: Finland
February 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Another week, another new business class seat. This time, it's Finnair's turn to dazzle passengers with a fully horizontal comfy chair. Pair this new seat with their Marimekko design and revamped premium menus and things are a-changing at Finnair.

So the seats aren't exactly new since a few of them already sport some butt-prints on three of the carrier's Airbus 330s. Eventually they will be added to the entire fleet of long-haul planes —A340 and, eventually, A350—to make a consistent product for passengers. And, just like many other European business class upgrades, this one comes with aisle access for (almost) everyone.

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Frankfurt Airport's New A-Plus Concourse: A Super Home for Superjumbos

Where: Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
November 19, 2012 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last month, Lufthansa opened the brand-spanking-new A-Plus Concourse at Germany's Frankfurt International Airport. Why's it so special? Well, among other things, it's directly designed for the biggest, baddest airplanes out there. We're talking A340s, 747s, 747-8is, and the almighty A380. This week, we'll take you inside and all around this place through which some 6 million travelers will journey each year.

If you're an airport whose tarmac is already crawling with superjumbos and you're about to add another 6 million passengers per year, what do you need? The answer: Lots and lots of space. German efficiency. An airline with enough mega planes and super long routes to keep the place hopping. So there you go. The answer is Frankfurt and its hometown airline, Lufthansa.

Speaking of German efficiency, let's talk tech. For passengers, Pier A-Plus boasts self-scan boarding gates, which are awesome if you hate waiting in lines. For operations, the addition of A-Plus means Frankfurt International has the world's largest airport baggage handling system. All of this becomes more and more important with each day, as Frankfurt looks to have a whopping 90 million travelers annually by 2020, up from 56 million in 2011. And those flyers will be stepping into FRA from more and more superjumbo aircraft.

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Inside Frankfurt Airport's Completely New A-Plus Concourse: Six Million Travelers Can't Be Wrong

Where: Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
November 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last month, Lufthansa opened the brand-spanking-new A-Plus Concourse at Germany's Frankfurt International Airport. Why's it so special? Well, among other things, it's directly designed for the biggest, baddest airplanes out there. We're talking A340s, 747s, 747-8is, and the almighty A380. This week, we'll take you inside and all around this place through which some 6 million travelers will journey each year.

0500 hours.

The seatbelt sign is on and traytables are up and locked. The Lufthansa Airbus A380 named "Tokio" is on final approach to Frankfurt International and we're inside.

Seat 15K.

It's a window, upper deck, right over the hulking wing of this superjumbo. Looking out, the airport on the horizon glows with the fluorescence of its millions of lights, pre-dawn. Usually we're not super anxious to leave a plane to experience the airport, but Frankfurt is an exception.

Wheels down.

Turning off onto the taxiway, we can already spot the many Lufthansa crane logos that adorn each Star Alliance gate. It's pretty obvious who rules this coop.

Rounding a corner, the A380 aims for its new home on the ground—a long, sleek concourse with gates and facilities designed for its massive dimensions. Whereas the plane squeezes itself into other airports, like buttoning pants two sizes too small, here it finds Frankfurt's just-opened A-Plus Concourse is tailor-made with breathing room. Once we've parked, three jetbridges stretch out to welcome over 500 passengers into these fresh digs.

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The Oakland Raiders' Air Asia X Plane is Just a 'Commitment to Excellence'

May 22, 2009 at 10:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

Remember the other day when we wondered if the Oakland Raiders would be getting a new jet or possibly a new route from Air Asia X? Well, an Examiner story says that the Raiders have put the logo on an Air Asia X plane only as a way to "enhance their brand globally." And in that spirit, the plane will be called The Commitment to Excellence.

Yup, a team that finished 5-11 in the NFL is trying to get new international fans by tricking out an Air Asia X A340. The Examiner writes:

What makes this combination most unusual is that not only is Air Asia X not the carrier that the Raiders use for their away games, they don't even serve the United States, nor do they have plans to do so in the immediate future. They serve Malaysia, London, and Australia. [Raiders CEO Amy] Trask does expect that "Commitment to Excellence" will be flown in to Oakland for at least one game day.

And apparently, the logo on the tailfin is just the beginning. Raider Nation will be present throughout the plane in the form of pictures of Raiderettes, Raider scenes, Raider Jerseys and Raider logos in other areas. (The lavs, maybe?) The Raiders CEO also referred to Air Asia X as a "bodacious airline" but said the new deal would not conflict with the team's long-time partner Hawaiian Airlines. Whatever the deal, let's hope the Raiders can improve their record this year or at least show some commitment to excellence.

Related Stories:
· Are The Oakland Raiders Getting an A340 Jet Or Just An Air Asia Route? [Jaunted]

[Photo: Andrew/Airliners.Net]

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Are The Oakland Raiders Getting an A340 Jet Or Just An Air Asia Route?

May 18, 2009 at 11:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

A while back we heard some rumors that Air Asia X, a low-cost long-haul carrier would be opening up a new route out of the U.S. Back then we heard:

Azran Osman Rani (CEO of AirAsia X) has been talking to JFK and 2 California airports regarding launching long haul service from KL. There's nothing definitive lined up, but the time-frame would be in about a year.

This weekend, we were tipped off about a thread over at Airliners.net where a member noticed this plane adorned with an Oakland Raiders logo peeking out of an SIA hanger at the Changi Airport in Singapore. There's a lot of speculation going on in the comments of this thread, ranging from the Raiders owner Al Davis forking out money for a new team jet to the rumor we like the most--Air Asia X is going to start an Oakland service soon.

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Singapore Airlines Stepping up the All Business Class Game

August 7, 2008 at 5:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Starting September 21, Singapore Airlines will be flying all business class across the Pacific from Singapore to both Newark and Los Angeles. And to make that 19-hour flight a little easier, your seat will be about the size of a Honda.

Each of the 100 super-recliners on this specially outfitted A340-500 is 30 inches wide and lays flat to six feet, four inches. You'll find AC power and a USB plug at every seat to complement a 15.4-inch video screen that delivers more than 900 movies, TV shows and music tracks. Singapore says they'll have 130 different games to help you pass the time, too.

So how much does it cost? We found seats in early October for "just" $7,290 all-in.

Related Stories:
· A345 All Business Class [Official Site]
· Singapore Airlines Announces Asia-US Business Class Service [PSFK]