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At this time last year, spotting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the skies was quite the rare occurrence. But as the aircraft's teething problems have calmed and more tails roll off the factory floor, airlines are more eager than ever to welcome the efficient jet into the fold.
LAN became the first airline in the Americas to add 787s to their fleet, welcoming the aircraft back in early September 2012. United soon followed, with the title of first in North America that November. Since then, however, no other American airlines have picked up the keys to a Dreamliner.
Air Canada is about to break that dry spell as they prepare their hangars for 787s, to be delivered in spring 2014 and running test routes both domestic and transatlantic until summer. The initial regular routeToronto to Tel Avivcommences in July, 2014 and seats are already on sale, beginning at $1,400 roundtrip (we even found availably in all classes for July 1 on AC084).
By 2019, the airline will have 37 total 787s in the skies (15 787-8 and 22 of the stretched 787-9s), so Toronto to Tel Aviv is only just the tip of the route map.
We’ve seen saddle seats, in-flight couches, and those side-slip seat things, and yet there’s still room for more unique and interesting takes on the airline seating situation. This week we caught wind of another company’s take on the next big thing in seating surfaces, and this time it’s all about customization.
Seymourpowell is the organization behind this new idea, and their plan is to bring their idea—called Morph—to the friendly skies. Basically instead of just taking a one-size-fits-all approach to the airline seating system, these new seats can change things up right on the fly.
If you’re looking for a wider seat that’s not a problem, as the seat can shift, shake, and shape to exactly what you’re looking for. The thought is that the airlines would be pretty interested in something like this, as with customization comes the opportunity to charge passengers for the convenience of doing so.
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There’s nothing we enjoy better than a little new airplane smell, and if you’re getting aboard a Delta flight anytime soon you might be enjoying exactly that—well, kind of. You see Delta kind of has a whole bunch of new planes, but the catch is that they’re really only new to them. They’ve all had quite the life before flying with the Delta livery and logo, as many of them are just being shipped over from their former life at AirTran.
Just last week the first of Delta’s Boeing 717s took to the skies, as one of the planes departed from Newark-Liberty on its way to the home base down in Atlanta. Right now there’s a total of two planes in their Boeing 717 fleet, but they hope to boost those numbers to around ten before the end of the year.
We’re not quite in love with the latest airplane from the folks over at Airbus just yet, but that’s because we’re just getting our first peek of what it has to offer—let’s just say we’re still getting to know one another. However, our fondness has begun to blossom, as another A350-900 recently finished one of its first flights.
This is actually plane number two that has rolled off the assembly line, as this plane did its thing on October 14 over at the testing facility at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.
Obviously they’re looking for all kinds of stuff during these first flights—like the plane’s ability to takeoff and land without a problem. Specifically it’s all about airplane avionics like flap and slat configurations and how the plane handles operations up in the air and on the ground.
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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:
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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:
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· British Airways' 787 took off to Toronto. It flies! Well, we already knew that. They were a half-hour late in arriving, but we wouldn't have wanted an inaugural on a 787 to end early, either. Check out our gallery to see more.
· British Airways adds Austin, TX to the 787 routes. While we're on the topic of the BA 787, might as well mention that this morning held the huge announcement of a new route to come in spring 2014: London to Austin, TX. The first flight will happen in March, bringing a second international destination to Austin Airport, which currently only has over-the-border flights to Mexico.
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Just over a year ago we first told you about American Airlines, and their plans to woo celebrities, business people, and other hotshots that regularly fly from coast to coast. A lot has happened since then, but the basic premise remains the same—new Airbus A321s with lie flat seats will be doing the transcontinental flights from New York to spots like San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Just to remind you of what these planes are packing, each brand-y new jet will be a true three-cabin aircraft with 10 of those totally flat sleeper seats in First Class, 20 seats in Business Class, and then plenty of other seats back in Economy Class—including three dozen or so extra legroom Main Cabin Extra seats. Even with JetBlue trying to cash in on the transcontinental market, we’ll risk saying that American Airlines might just have the best up front product on cross country flights.
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In case you were wondering how big an Airbus A380 really is, perhaps this picture will provide some sense of perspective: it shows the brand new British Airways A380 nose-to-nose with its smallest cousin, the teensy Airbus A318. How cute is that? You can almost hear the Disney Planes dialogue: “Move over, little one”. “I ain’t going anywhere, big guy!”
This unique photo-op happened at Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland. Why there? The Airbus A380 is on its rounds of familiarization flights before it will start flying to and from Los Angeles on September 24, and made a trip to Shannon as part of this cycle. The A318 of course makes its daily stop on the way to New York-JFK from London’s City Airport, where it refuels, and if you’re on the magic flight number BA001, you can clear US immigration.
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There's no hiding the fact we are really excited for Disney's newest animated feature, Planes; after all, it is about planes! Valuable life-lessons, star-studded voice-overs and cute talking airplanes, what more can you ask for?
The creative minds at Disney have drawn up Rochelle, a spitfire little racing plane determined to win any race she enters. Acting as the heroine of the story, she is painted pink, hails from Quebec, and voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Here's the twist, she is only French-Canadian for the North American release of the movie and will take on different names and sport a different paint job in different countries. For example, in the Russian release she's red, white and blue and in Australia and New Zealand, she is the Aussie 'Shiela' with a kangaroo painted near her tail.
When it comes to new airplane news it seems that it’s always bad news, and this week that seems to be the case for the planes and people over at Bombardier. The airline manufacturer has been prepping the airplane bits and pieces for quite some time, as it hopes to get the CSeries into the hands of air carriers sooner than later.
Unfortunately it looks like they’ve hit another snag, as Bombardier has delayed the first test flight of its plane once again. Originally things were scheduled to hit the skies by the end of July—that’s like next week—but now it sounds like the new plane will be flying "in the coming weeks.” That’s all that Bombardier seems to want to discuss regarding the delay, so we guess we’ll leave it at that.
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We’re not exactly sure why, but we’ve got a thing for winglets. It might be their fuel saving capabilities, or it might just be that they look kind of cute and cool hanging out there at the end of the wings. Either way we’re excited about the latest design that United is testing out.
One of the carrier’s Boeing 737-800s has already received the updated wingtips, as the new split scimitar made one its first appearances. These new winglets will eventually make their way to the Boeing 737 MAX, so it’s kind of a big deal to see them in the wild for the first time.