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Airline News Round-up: 787s and an A380 for Everyone!

October 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

Too much awesome aviation news came down the pipeline this week, so we'll just wrap it up neatly for you with some bullet points:

· LAN's first 787 Dreamliner hit the South American skies: Well, it's official; South America's first Dreamliner is running its first regularly scheduled service, flying 22x week between Santiago (SCL) and Buenos Aires (EZE). The inaugural happened on October 1 after the plane got some fresh ink (check out the 787 underneath the cockpit windows). Wanna see more? LAN's Facebook page has an entire gallery from the event and our own photos and video of the delivery event are still hot and fresh.

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Global Turmoil Hitting Travel Industry in...Actually, Pretty Much Everywhere

September 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes politics impacts travel. It's an even more unfortunate fact of life that sometimes politics impacts travel so much that we have to write about it on a Friday afternoon instead of easing you into the weekend with baby animal pictures. And yet here we are, with flights being emptied or cancelled across three continents because of a variety of geopolitical flare-ups.

The most dramatic bit of travel politics comes out of Japan, where no less than 40,000 seat reservations to China have been canceled. China has been on a bit of a tear recently, claiming a bunch of islands that by and large aren't straightforwardly quite theirs. The campaign has put them on a collision course with various other countries in the region (obviously) and one of those countries is Japan. There have been anti-Japan protests in China and, apparently, lots of Japanese people are sufficiently pissed off to cancel vacations to China.

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Allegiant, Virgin America and Delta Bring the New Routes This Week

September 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM | by | Comment (1)

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.

· Virgin America:
If you’re looking for somewhere warm this winter there’s always Palm Springs, and thanks to Virgin America it’s now available nonstop from New York-JFK. The airline has been connecting passengers over to PSP for quite some time, but it’s only been a nonstop option out of San Francisco during the cooler months. The new nonstop flight between New York City and Palm Springs will be a seasonal affair, and the plan is to do the flight once per week on Saturdays beginning on December 22. There’s always the option to fly through San Francisco on your way to Palm Springs, but we’ve got to say—nothing beats a nonstop option.

· Delta:
There’s quite a bit of an oil boom going on in North Dakota, so it’s time for the airlines to start cashing in. It might not be the ideal route for a weekend getaway—especially in the winter—but Delta is banking that plenty of business folks are interested in swinging into Williston, North Dakota. The airline is adding a pair of nonstop flights each and every day of the week, as they do their thing between Williston and their base over at Minneapolis-St. Paul. The new service in and out of Sloulin Field International Airport will start up on November 12, and there are even plans to drag in a trailer to add some additional space to the terminal—we’re thinking that means no pre-flight Starbucks.

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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner: Who's Got It and Who Desperately Wants It

September 7, 2012 at 3:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

As we type this very sentence, Air India flies at cruising altitude on the long journey that will take their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner all the way from South Carolina to New Delhi.

And yet it seems like only yesterday we were perched atop the Future of Flight Center in Everett, WA, in the early morning cold and mist, as the absolute very first Dreamliner was delivered, to Japanese carrier ANA. In fairness it's been a solid year since then and while five airlines now boast Boeing 787s in their fleets, there's a whole slew more champing at the bit to get their mitts on the sleek plane.

Let's review who's got it and who wants it, shall we?

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Bust Out the Crayons: ANA Wants You to Design Their Next Livery

Where: Japan
September 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

You know we’re pretty critical of an airplane’s paintjob, and to be honest we’re still not so sure about the design United picked after merging with Continental. Anyway, it’s now time for everyone to put their crayons and colored pencils to the test, as there’s one carrier actually looking for input when it comes to designing the outside of one of their planes.

ANA is stumped over how to decorate one of their Boeing 767s, so they’re asking for a little bit of assistance. As the airline celebrates its 60th anniversary, they’re looking for a design they can utilize. We’re not sure if they want to paint the plane like a giant birthday cake, but we’ve got to say that’s the first thing that came to mind.

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Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue, and ANA Star in This Week's New Routes

August 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.

· Virgin Atlantic:
Transatlantic flights—and beyond—are the first things that come to mind when you think of Virgin Atlantic and their route network, but the latest news out of the airline might just cause you to start thinking a little bit differently. Virgin Atlantic just announced their intention to start up their first domestic route, as the plan is to fly from London-Heathrow over to Manchester starting early next year.

If all goes according to plan the flights will operate three times per day between the two cities. They’ll be leasing some Airbus A319s to get the job done, and we even heard that they’re thinking about heading to spots in Scotland—Aberdeen and Edinburgh to be specific.

· British Airways:
British Airways just made it a little bit easier to get around the globe, as the plan is to start up some new service over to Sri Lanka. The plan is to link London-Gatwick with Colombo beginning on March 31 of next year.

Unfortunately this isn’t a nonstop option, as there will be a stop on the way over. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it sounds like the stop will be in the Maldives. Flights will run back and forth three times per week, and all the passengers will be riding aboard Boeing 777s. Apparently British Airways hasn’t visited Sri Lanka since like 1998, so it’s good to see that the planes are heading back over there.

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An Extreme Frequent Flyer Reviews ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Where: Japan
August 14, 2012 at 11:09 AM | by | Comments (9)


A 767 wing on the return trip

Note: This story is a review of a trip including several segments, one of which was on a 787. Max also flew on a 767 and included this wingtip photo with the gallery as a whole trip. This was not made clear when first published, but explains the 767 image above.

International DJ, frequent flyer extraordinaire and Jaunted contributor Max Graham just flew from Tokyo to Hong Kong and it happened to be on one of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Here, he drops his thoughts on the ANA flight:

Pre-flight, in the lounge:

It began in Canada, flying up over the country and down into Tokyo onboard an Air Canada 777. Thanks to my Star Alliance status, I headed straight for the ANA lounge at Narita, which is not huge but just lovely with very pleasant local staff. Technically my first stop, in preparation for boarding the 787, was the lounge shower. Thankfully these are as nice as many showers in boutique hotels, complete with the awesome Japanese heated toilet contraption that’s a must for any “lost in translation” traveler.

Other awesome bits that put me in an great mood was the six noodle bowl options, free wifi and a nice cold Sapporo after the shower. Sadly the lounge's Sake Bar was closed (I was there in the morning), but it seemed quite well set up, again feeling like a bar within a cool boutique hotel.

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Five Airlines Flying Special-Edition Olympic Airplanes

July 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week marks the moment most of us have been waiting for after the city announcement came in 2005. This Friday, London will be on center stage as it hosts the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Thousands of athletes from nations all over the world have already been converging on the British city, clogging up the airports with their gear bags.

It very common for the Olympics host country to give their national flag carrying airline a new paint job advertising the world's largest sporting event. We have already talked about what British Airways have done to some of their metal, but it is worth another mention, as well as a highlight of what other airlines are getting in on the Olympic spirit.

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Pika Pika! ANA's Pokémon-Painted Boeing 777 Returns

Where: Japan
July 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

Uh oh. Taiwan's EVA Air better watch its precious Hello Kitty planes in the coming months, as Japanese carrier ANA is reintroducing their Pokémon-painted plane onto routes. It's a cartoon catfight (or rather, dogfight, since we're talking airplanes).

The routes to get the cartoon jet will be domestic within Japan and served by a Boeing 777 sporting the special livery, starring Pikachu.

Believe it or not, ANA has been flying Poke-painted planes since 1999, when a 747 was launched with the livery. They still have one or two of those big babes flying around, and they recently all came together at Tokyo-Haneda Airport for ANA's celebration of the special liveries. Gotta catch 'em all!

[Photo: ANA]

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JetBlue, ANA and Southwest Lead This Week's New Route News

July 13, 2012 at 8:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.

· JetBlue:
It’s always exciting to hear about where JetBlue is headed, especially when you consider all that free live television and those complimentary snacks. It looks like they’ve added city number 72, as JetBlue is getting ready to start flying to and from Cartagena, Colombia. That’s not all folks, as this was a busy week for JetBlue with cities 73 and 74 as well.

They’re also going to head to Samaná, Dominican Republic, and Grand Cayman. All the new options are set to start up later this year—November to be specific—and all will be heading out of New York-JFK. Looks like it’s time to start planning a little Caribbean getaway.

· SAS:
It’s a long way to Denmark from the left side of the United States, but Scandinavian Airlines is up for the challenge. They’re planning to connect San Francisco with Copenhagen beginning in April of 2013 and, if all goes according to plan, the nonstop options will do their thing up to six times per week all year long. These long-haul routes will require plenty of jet fuel, so we’re sure the tanks will be filled to the max on either the A330s or A340s that will do the heavy lifting on these new routes.

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New Planes and New Routes from Emirates, American and More

July 6, 2012 at 8:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.

· American Airlines:
It’s not exactly a new route, but we thought we’d share some new plane news. We knew that American Airlines was all excited over the upcoming arrival of their new Boeing 777-300ERs, and it looks like next summer will see the arrival of the new planes on the airline’s route between Los Angeles and London-Heathrow.

It’ll be a three-cabin affair up at 35,000 complete with the lie-flat beds, WiFi access, and plenty of in-flight entertainment. If all goes according to plan the planes should start doing their thing on a daily basis beginning on June 1 2013, so start saving up those frequent flyer miles.

· ANA:
Looks like Boston is getting a little competition from a city on the opposite coast, as All Nippon Airways is bringing some of their Boeing 787s to Seattle. ANA already flies between Tokyo and Seattle, but the plan is to shift the planes doing the flying over to the 787s starting as soon as October. The airline didn’t announce a specific date for the switch over as of yet, but in the interim it’ll be Boeing 777s doing the heavy lifting across the Pacific.

If you have plans to be in Tokyo or Japan this fall, it might be worth considering routing yourself through Seattle for a chance to score a shot at the 787.

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Surf at 35,000 Feet All the Way to Japan Thanks to JAL and ANA

Where: Japan
June 28, 2012 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Not too long ago in-flight WiFi was limited to a few airlines, on a few routes, and only in a few countries. Sure, things were going well at 35,000' at home in the nifty fifty, but when it was time to take one of those long-haul flights the wireless options were few and far between. It seems like the airlines have really picked up the pace over the last 12 months or so, and now it looks like Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are the latest carriers to invest a little cash in connectivity.

Up first is Japan Airlines, as they’ve already figured out plenty of the details—including pricing. The first planes to receive the JAL Sky system will be some of their Boeing 777-300ERs, and, if all goes according to plan, passengers flying between Tokyo-Narita and New York-JFK will be surfing the ‘net at as soon as July 15.

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