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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 availability in all classes for July 1 on AC084).
[Update 8am December 6, 2013: Air Canada has just announced that also beginning July 1, 2014 will be nonstop flights on the 787 from Toronto to Tokyo-Haneda! This will be the only daytime flight from North American to Haneda, and the only nonstop from a Canadian airport to Haneda, which is a more convenient airport to downtown Tokyo than Narita.]
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.
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Hey, what's the deal with the unmarked Boeing 747 in the background of test track shots on BBC Top Gear?
A quick Google search revealed that we're not the only curious ones, as the plane is part of a Wikipedia article on the former airfield where Top Gear films:
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As the very first Dreamliner to wear an Australian tail number, VH-VKA is a breath of fresh air for Jetstar, featuring amenities such as USB charging in each seat, video on demand and adjustable headrests. This is all in addition to the features that come standard in every new 787, such as larger, auto-dimming windows, LED lighting, and improved cabin ambiance.
Photo Gallery / KLM / Business Class Travel / Amsterdam Travel / 747 / Boeing / Seats / In-Flight Comfort / Design Travel / AMS / Netherlands Travel / → All Tags
The Dutch are good at many thingsmaking cheese and growing tulips would be traditional examples, but a much more modern one is their ability to provide a good lay.
Wait a second. We’re not talking about Amsterdam’s infamous red light district; shift focus across the city to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and the KLM aircraft buzzing around it, where passengers are now enjoying a good lay…all the way back in lie-flat seats. It’s here you’ll find the current palette for Dutch talent, in the features and service of KLM’s brand new World Business Class.
Where once buying a Business Class ticket on KLM meant reclining just enough for a comfortable nap, it’s now all about the lie-flat bed and a proper snooze. In fact, some 70% of business class used to be awake for the full, hot breakfast before arrival; the new seats mean more sleeping in, however, and the uptake on breakfast is down to 20%. We’re living proof of this; we drooled in deep sleep and awoke to the farmland of Holland, with only enough time before landing to scarf down a cinnamon roll.
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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.
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Nearly two years ago American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in US Bankruptcy Court. It was a dark time, with AA suffering from an old fleet and style that was more shabby chic than chic. In that time, the airline has managed to re-brand, take delivery of new aircraft, introduce new seats, and overall "get with the picture."
We recently took a tour through the Flagship First Class cabin onboard one of AA's new Boeing 777-300ERs and were shockedSHOCKEDat how far the airline has come with their reinvention. Although there's still a ways to go before AA makes Economy cool (a fool's errand), at least paying for First Class now yields the passengers a worthy experience.
Without further ado, the five things we're surprised to see in American Airlines First Class:
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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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Houston has a problem.
Or, rather, Houston had a problem, as their bitterness from being passed over when NASA handed out Space Shuttles may be staunched by the delivery of the special 747 carrier plane instead.
Okay, so the home of Mission Control will likely never heal from the pain of the Shuttle decision, but a consolation prize does mean the city's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center will have something other than laboratories, training rooms and the mission control center to show off to visitors. According to Space.com, the modified 747 "Shuttle Carrier Aircraft" will be disassembled with Boeing's help, shipped to Houston, and reassembled within a brand new, $12 million, six-story building at Space Center Houston, adjacent to Johnson Space Center.
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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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Well, we've all made it through another week and whether it was spent on the road, in an office, or dreaming of your next vacation, we'd like to celebrate the upcoming weekend with a fun photo. Today's travel snapshot is brought to you by Mother Nature and a perfectly timed landing aboard a Boeing 747-400.
This cool image was snapped on approach to Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport. While gazing out the window, we were startled by a dark object below. In our peripheral vision, we first thought it to be a whale or some other natural phenomenon, and we hauled out our camera to get a pic. Alas, the object wasn't a giant sea mammal, but even better; it was a shadow of the Boeing jumbo jet in which we were flying.
If this isn't reason enough to request a window seat, we don't know what is. So what does it mean when a 747 sees its shadow? It means it's landing at the ideal time of the morning or afternoon for you to still enjoy a pleasant day at your destination. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Happy weekend!
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Here, have a cookie
Happy Aviation Day! Yes, this is a recognized day in the United States, like "Donut Day." National Aviation Day was declared by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939, to commemorate the birthday of Orville Wright. Well, to do their own celebrating this year, plus show off their brand new Boeing 737-900ERs, Delta is giving away a massive prize package to majorly excite true aviation fans everywhere.