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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.
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Canada is psyched.
Why? Well, simply because they've finally received a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to call their very owntheir first 787 landed in Toronto on Sunday, fresh from Boeingand the campaign to promote it is one of the most endearing airline projects yet.
It begins with Air Canada's 787 slogan, "Everything You Dreamed Of," and continues to slick promises like, "All Jet. No Lag."
Beyond the snazzy photos of interiors and that icy blue livery, however, we're most in love with a touching video series introducing the aircraft with a sentimentality that's so delightfully Canadian.
Air Canada has 37 Dreamliners on order, and an incredible 15 of them will hit the skies come this autumn, with the full lot delivered by 2019.
In the above "Born to Fly" video, the experience of such a technologically advanced aircraft is paired with the journey of one Air Canada 787 First Officer to his spot in the right seat. With it, Air Canada is answering a question we always find ourselves asking those lucky enough to sit up front in a brand new airplane: "where did this passion of yours originate?"
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We heard that Transaero had some plans for their Airbus A380s, and now it sounds like we’re in for a real treat. The carrier that does its thing to and from Russia is planning on packing the double-decker aircraft, and it might just take the title for the world’s largest passenger plane—when counting the number of travelers stuck in the seats.
Plans call for cramming 652 seats aboard these Airbus A380s, and we can only imagine that’s going to limit our legroom and seat recline. These big birds are set to join the airline’s fleet at some point in 2015, so you’ll have plenty of time to stretch and prepare before taking to the skies.
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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.
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Well, it's been a good run. Today marks the end of Boeing 747 service on Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA). The double-decker Queen of the Skies first took to the skies for ANA in 1976, flying Tokyo-Sapporo and Tokyo-Fukuoka.
ANA flew 47 of the jumbos, and its 38-year career ended with a domestic flight from Naha to Tokyo-Haneda. That final aircraft will now make its funeral flight to the recyclers.
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After all the hype (and drama) with the introduction of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, this summer should see the arrival of another 787 sibling to the family, the 787-9. Like the long-wheelbase version to the existing 787-8, Air New Zealand will be the first to fly it, but Virgin Atlantic is hoping to get their hands on the first few of their order list too.
While the airline hasn’t formally announced launch routes yet, it did brainstorm possible destinations way back when the aircraft order was placed, before being hit with its years of production delays.
So what will it be? In addition to replacing older aircraft for routes in its existing network (we wouldn’t be surprised if it goes head to head with some of the choices British Airways has made), Virgin mentioned routes of London to cities like Bangkok, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver.
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We’ve had a thing for American Airlines over the last year, and rightfully so. The carrier gobbled up a competitor, scored a new paint job and branding, and ordered a bunch of new airplanes. They’re going for a fresh look and identity moving forward, and the latest plans to upgrade some less-than-new Boeing 767s just moves them further forward.
One could call the Boeing 767-300ER the workhorse of the carrier’s fleet, and they’re going to upgrade and improve the business class cabin and most of the other interior bits and pieces in about half of the them. It sounds like April 1 will be the day these updated planes hit the skies, as a nonstop flight between New York-JFK and Zurich will be the first route with the refreshed aircraft.
The planes will head into the hangar for this extended maintenance through 2015, so be on the lookout for more and more updated aircraft arriving to a route near you.
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Above: the cockpit lavatory of the Boeing 747-8i
We mention it now because the 747-8 is the only Boeing commercial aircraft with a built-in feature which would've prevented a hijacking situation like what happened with Ethiopian flight 702 earlier today. That feature: a restroom and rest area just for the cockpit, located behind the armored flight deck door, which means both pilot and co-pilot never have to leave the secure area to use the restroom.
At the debut of the 747-8 Intercontinental in June 2012, Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein noted the advantages of having this lavatory and crew rest quarters inside the cockpit, as it increases security and minimizes flight crew absence from the flight deck. [Update: The restroom within the flight deck is actually an option on all 747s, and some older 747-400s have it (such as in the case of Qantas' 744 fleet), but the 747-8i is the first aircraft where it's been the popular option].
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It seems like just the other day that Delta’s final DC-9 flight took to the skies, and now the plane has already found a place to spend its retirement years. For those that are sad without DC-9s zipping across the sky here at home, you can now pay your old pal a visit at the aviation museum over in Charlotte.
One of Delta’s DC-9s is now a resident at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, and it will be doing its best to make friends with the other airplanes that call the place home. Another famous resident is the US Airways' Airbus that did the impossible during the “Miracle on the Hudson” incident.
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It’s time to bust out the credit card digits, as the final DC-10 flight—this one is the real deal—is now scheduled and up for sale. Biman Bangladesh Airlines will be taking the ol’ bird up into the skies for its last voyage, as the plane and people travel from Dhaka to Birmingham with a little bit of a stopover in Kuwait. As you may recall from a few weeks back Birmingham—the one in the UK—will be the final resting place for the plane, as it’s going to do the retirement thing at an aviation museum.
For those that want to be part what they’re calling the DC-10 Farewell Tour it’s going to cost you, as the last flight will set you back between roughly $850 and $1000 depending on where you want to seat—they’re charging more for those next to the windows. February 20 is the date for the last commercial flight, but after that there’s a few scenic flights scheduled that might be a little more affordable.
Last week another Airbus A350 XWB—that’s a mouthful—rolled off the assembly line, as the airplane manufacturer moves forward with the latest and greatest from its most recent line of jets.
This is airplane number three, and it’s designed for all the testing required before a plane like this can take to the skies packed with passengers. The folks over at Airbus refer to this one as MSN2, and what makes it a little more unique and design forward from its plane siblings is its paint-job. This one has a special livery to reflect the carbon-fiber composite materials that are utilized as part of the construction of the new bird.
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Just last month we were talking about the DC-10 making its last scheduled flight, and now this week there’s something similar happening with the DC-9.
Delta inherited a bunch of that type of plane during their merger with Northwest, and ever since the DC-9 has been busy doing its thing with the Delta logo and colors along its fuselage. Well now it’s time for things to come to an end, as Delta is sending the plane into the skies one last time.
The final flight of the DC-9 from a domestic carrier is now scheduled for January 6, as Delta looks to mark the end of an era. There’s still a few of these planes scattered across the globe, but when Delta stops flying them that will pretty much close the book on the story and life of these aircraft.