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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:
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For several years, airlines like British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Virgin America and more have "flown in the face of men's health issues" by getting involved with the Movember movement. For 2014, the mustachioed will be joined by yet another airline, as Aer Lingus waxes up their own cookie duster.
The plane with the 'stache is an Airbus A320 named "Des" (the tail number is EI-DES) and, if you spot him on the tarmac at your home airport, you can share your photos of Des using the hashtag "#moplane."
Since Aer Lingus accepted the challenge from the Ireland chapter of Movember to participate, the airline has set up a Movember site for donations from their flyers.
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How you doing? That’s what we’d like to say to American Airlines’ brand new Boeing 787. It just rolled out of the hangar complete with the airline’s new livery on the new plane, and we have to say that it looks pretty darn snazzy.
Right now the only place you can check it out is over in Everett, Washington, but if all goes according to plan it’ll be in the hands of the pilots and people over at American Airlines before the end of the year.
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This isn't just any 787, either. Virgin Atlantic is the first European airline to welcome the longer, cooler 787-9 to their fleet, and they do so on their own 30th birthday as an airline, hence the aircraft's name, "Birthday Girl" G-VNEW.
Inside are 198 Economy, 35 Premium Economy, and 31 Upper Class seats, plus a new "Wander Wall" concept in Premium Economy. This is essentially a snack-and-chat station, since the bar is reserved for Upper Class only. Speaking of that barit's been redesigned to fit within the 787-9, but you'll still be able to pop on a barstool and order a Virgin Redhead somewhere 38,000' above the Atlantic Ocean. Instagram it instantly, thanks to long-haul in-flight WiFi onboard.
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The Boeing 747 is known as the Queen of the Skies, but even royalty sometimes needs to step aside for the next generation. Just this year we saw United ditch their jumbos between San Francisco and Sydney, Air New Zealand took the planes out of their fleet, and over at ANA they’re not using the big birds any more as well. Next to retire the planes is Delta, but you will have a few years of farewell before the head to the big hangar in the sky.
Right now the carrier has around 16 of the planes kicking around, as most of them were acquired back with Delta shacked up with Northwest Airlines. Apparently the planes ain’t what they used to be—too big, not fuel efficient, etc.—and it looks like Delta will be taking them out of commission as soon as 2017.
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Every aviation museum worth its salt these days can boast of classic warplanes, military fighter jets here and there, and perhaps a pre-jet-age Lockheed Constellation, but few go the extra mile to secure and preserve the rarest, most historic, and, in some cases, most expensive airplanes nearly lost to history as does the Museu TAM.
The museum is the baby of TAM Airlines and is now the largest museum in the world maintained by an airline. Unfortunately it isn't the easiest daytrip destination; the Museu sits in a spacious pair of hangars just outside the town of São Carlos, an hour's drive from the city of Ribeirão Preto (location of the nearest commercial airport), which is itself an hour's flight (or 3-hour drive) from São Paulo. You'd never expect to find one of the world's most important aviation museums way out here, in this part of rural Brazil better known for sugarcane plantations, but here it is.
The museum opened to the public in 2006 with only around 32 aircraft, but they've been quite busy since and the collection now numbers 89 vintage and rare flying machines (49 of which are incredibly still in flying condition).
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The people over at WestJet have been offering budget flights around Canada and beyond since 1996, but now it sounds like they’re thinking about switching up their fleet to include more airplanes for more passengers, for more routes. Right now they are pretty much only utilizing different versions and flavors of the Boeing 737, but the future may bring wide-bodies.
It sounds like they’re thinking about scooping up as many as four larger planes, as they look to boost capacity—and profit—with more seats. Right now the focus seems to be Hawaii, as the carrier plans to utilize these new planes as soon as the fall of 2015.
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Good news from the planes and people over at Alaska Airlines, and this time it has nothing to do with their in-flight oatmeal. The carrier is pretty darn proud of their latest airplane advancement—thanks to Boeing—and now they’re all about sharing the news about their expanded overhead bins.
These new so-called Space Bins can increase carry-on capacity by roughly 50 percent, and that’s certainly appealing to those passengers bringing plenty of personal belongings along for overhead storage.
Alaska Airlines is apparently the first carrier that will offer these up, and for those familiar with the airline’s current Boeing Sky Interior—it’s kind of a similar look but with even more capacity.
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New airplane alert!
163 Boeing 787 Dreamliners are flying the skies right now, a number current as of this week. That includes 162 787-8s and 1 lonely 787-9 for Air New Zealand, which only headed from Boeing's headquarters in Everett, WA to its new home of Auckland, New Zealand at dawn this morning.
That 787-9 won't be lonely for long, however; over 25 airlines have placed orders for more than 400 of the sleek and efficient jets. So why are we getting excited for yet another Dreamliner? The answer is shockingly simple: it's awesomer. Sure, the original flavor 787-8 is great and Boeing will continue to roll them out, but the 787-9 is, as Daft Punk would sing, "harder, better, faster, stronger."
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We’ll admit that this isn't exactly the most exciting piece of airline news, but if you’re traveling over the next few days we figured you’d like to know what’s going on with your airplane.
Carriers like American Airlines are busy checking out some of their Embraer E190 jets, as a couple bits and pieces might be loose. Engine pylon bolts might not be as tight as they should be, and the airplane manufacturer has recommended that airlines go ahead and check things out—you know, just in case.
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World Cup 2014 begins in little more than a week, on June 14. Right about now the national soccer teams are either packing up to hit the skies before hitting the turf, or they're already touching down in Brazil for pre-game practice.
Seeing as how the World Cup games are played in 12 different cities throughout the month, teams not only need transportation to Brazil, but within the massive country. For this, each team relies on a private or chartered aircraft, and many take the opportunity to show off a bit of their national pride.
Here are 7 such special aircraft you'll spot in the skies over Brazil this next several weeks:
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It's a 'Hello Kitty' world now.
As Taiwan's EVA Air continues to promote their fleet of six Hello Kitty jets (5 A330s, 1 777) and Japan Airlines gets in on the action with one Kitty-fied 777, ANA is slowly saying fond farewells to their once robust fleet of Pokémon planes.
The idea to paint up an aircraft in Pikachu and other characters goes all the way back to 1992, with a contest ANA hosted to welcome children's drawings as design concepts. No plane was painted with Pokémon until 1998, however; the first was a 747 on domestic routes, which flew for 17 years before heading into retirement.