SAA has confirmed all flights operated smoothly, except flights to East London and Livingston, on the first day back at work.

South African Airways (SAA) announced that normal operations resumed as workers returned to work Saturday, following an eight-day wage strike which ended with a deal between management and unions on Friday, 22 November 2019.

Employees affiliated to unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) were demanding an 8% salary increase.

On Friday, the unions and SAA management came to an agreement of a 5.9% pay increase retrospective to April this year.

See more at HERE

Enhancements to the amenities in its much-lauded first- and business-class cabins today including new wellness menus, tableware and refreshed bedding.

Cathay’s premium cabins are highly rated thanks to double-wide seats that transform into lie-flat beds, personalized service, and excellent catering. The airline is aiming to make its onboard product even more refined with a set of improvements currently being rolled out.

Upon stepping onboard, passengers will be greeted with a newly defined service moment in the form of a welcome tray with a personalized note, a hot towel and a glass of sparkling jasmine silver needle tea from the airline’s partner, JING.

The serviceware is also getting an update and will include china from famed Japanese porcelain house Noritake, Robert Welch custom-designed cutlery, and full-size wine glasses from Riedel.

First-class guests might also get a better night’s sleep thanks to the new amenities and bedding from U.K. luxury brand Bamford including 600 thread-count sheets, a duvet and mattress pad from sustainably sourced cotton, and a full-sized soft pillow. Flight attendants will also spray a dash of Bamford Botanic Pillow Mist as part of the airline’s new turndown service.

Cathay Pacific New First Class Experience - Bedding

Cathay Pacific x Bamford New Business Class Soft Products - Amenity Kit

In the business-class cabin, meanwhile, long-haul passengers will also find a new range of bedding by Bamford including a soft mattress topper, larger pillows and premium slippers. The pillowcase and two-piece duvet will both be made from sustainably sourced cotton and 400 thread count. New unisex Bamford amenity kits will also begin appearing onboard from December 1 onwards and will be presented in a rotating selection of four colors.

LTC members will be eligible for a round-trip raffle for a domestic Business Class Ticket!

Luxury Airfare Academy announces a special promotional offer for Luxury Airfare Specialists who complete the program during the month of November.

Eligible participants will be automatically entered into a drawing for a round-trip domestic business class ticket to the destination of their choice.

“We are excited to welcome new participants to the Luxury Airfare Academy as they begin their journey to become Luxury Airfare Specialists and own the vert lucrative luxury airfare travel space. We wanted to run this special promo as a way of welcoming new advisors into the program.” said Daniel Santiago, Director of the Academy.

China Southern Airlines passengers connecting in Guangzhou may now enjoy complimentary star-rated hotel accommodation

Passengers flying with :
 
China Southern Airlines operating flights.
China Southern Airlines international code-sharing flights.
China Southern Airlines domestic code-sharing flights operated by Chongqing Airlines or Xiamen Airlines that connect with China Southern Airlines international flights or China Southern Airlines international code-sharing flights.

Passengers must go China Southern Airlines Accommodation Counter near Gate No.50 on the 1st floor of Bai Yun International Airport Terminal 2 for hotel reservations.

Currently, passengers may choose from the Pullman Hotel, the Dong Fang Hotel, the holiday Inn Guangzhou Airport Zone, the Dragon Lake Princess Hotel, the Guangzhou H.J. Grand Hotel, the Guangzhou Hao Yin Gloria Plaza Hotel , the Civil Aviation Hotel and the Hexing Hotel etc. There is a list of 29 available hotels.

40,000 PASSENGERS’ TRAVEL PLANS WRECKED BY TWO-DAY WALKOUT

A two-day strike begins at (SAA), has left 40,000 passengers with their travel plans wrecked.

Members of the South African Cabin Crew Association and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa took action in a dispute over pay and conditions and almost all flights have been cancelled, except for some of Friday’s international departures – including to Heathrow, Frankfurt and Munich.  SAA has told passengers not to turn up at airports in South Africa and worldwide. 

British Airways unveiled its long-awaited new business class seat, which launched on the carrier’s first A350 aircraft in July.

Branded the Club Suite, the product features a sliding door, 40 per cent more storage, and a 1-2-1 layout with direct aisle access for all passengers. New features include a vanity unit and mirror, IFE screen measuring between 17 and 18.5 inches depending on the aircraft, with the ability to watch inflight entertainment from gate-to-gate, and PC / USB power ports.

The new British Airways Club Suite

The current Club World ying-yang layout has been replaced by a Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat in a herringbone formation. As the seatmap below shows, there will be 56 Club Suites in the A350 Club World cabin, along with another 56 World Traveller Plus seats, and 219 in World Traveller.

British Airways A350 Club Suite seatplan

World Traveller Plus will benefit from new furnishings including a new pillow and warm quilt and new amenity kit, and the A350 aircraft will have wifi throughout.

It’s important to note that the new suite will initially only be available on a fraction of BA’s long-haul aircraft, with four A350 deliveries expected this year, as well as two retro-fitted B777-200s.

BA says that it will roll out the new product “in a carefully managed programme designed to minimise disruption to customers”.

The new British Airways Club Suite

The A350 operated on selecteded short-haul crew familiarisation flights to Madrid during August and September, before being rostered onto selected services to Toronto and Dubai during October.

Beyond that the carrier will begin to roll out the Club Suite “on further long-haul aircraft across the network” from the start of 2020.

Positive reviews for the new seat when it launches will be crucial – in recent years BA’s current Club World product has been overtaken by carriers offering direct aisle access, sliding doors and the latest IFE systems. For our comprehensive business class seat guide, detailing the products on major airlines worldwide, see:


Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its brand new Upper Class suite which will launch on the carrier’s A350-1000 aircraft this summer.

There will be a total of 44 Upper Class suites on the A350, with passengers benefiting from “a deep mattress and the thickest pillow in the sky”.

Upper Class customers will have access to the new A350 social space The Loft, which features a 32-inch TV screen, with the ability to connect individual headsets via Bluetooth.

The Loft on Virgin Atlantic's A350-1000

The carrier has moved away from its current herringbone Upper Class layout (where seats face into the cabin), to a new 1-2-1 configuration with seats facing outwards towards the windows.

Features include a 44-inch seat pitch, with the seat converting into a fully flat bed measuring up to 82 inches, and the carrier stresses that “All suites will transition seamlessly from an upright seat, straight to a bed”, meaning no more having to get out of the seat to flip it over into bed mode.

The new Upper Class suite on Virgin Atlantic's A350-1000


There is an 18.5-inch screen, with passengers able to control the IFE system through their personal devices, and “a deployable privacy screen”.

Virgin Atlantic announced a brand new daily service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv starting in September 2019.

With 180,000 seats each year, the new service offers seamless connections and enjoyable long-haul experiences for customers travelling from Tel Aviv, via London Heathrow, to destinations throughout North America – across both the Virgin Atlantic and Delta networks, including New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Tel Aviv flights commenced on September 25th 2019, with tickets going on sale from February 25th. Upper Class customers will have access to the new A350 social space The Loft, which features a 32-inch TV screen, with the ability to connect individual headsets via Bluetooth. Find out more on the Virgin Atlantic website.

Philippine Airlines marks another milestone in aviation history as the first airline to offer a direct nonstop service to the NYC from the Philippines.

A brand-new PAL Airbus A350-900 commenced the historic flight which departed Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport for a 16-hour nonstop journey across the North Polar regions, landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on the evening of the same day.

For his part, PAL VP Sales Ryan Uy noted brisk sales for this newest product offering. “People wanted to experience the much-talked-about A350 aircraft, to sample the spacious cabins and enjoy the fine dining and wide choices of video entertainment. The new route on the A350 flight fly directly to the U.S. East Coast, with no more time-consuming stop-overs and no inconvenient transfer connections along the route.

Tourists and balikbayans based in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states will now find it easier and more convenient to visit the Philippines. Prior to the new PAL service, Manila-bound passengers had to go through intermediate stop-overs in Canada, the U.S. West Coast or airports in other Asian countries, usually by connecting from one flight to another.

The PAL service between Manila and New York City gives passengers the flexibility to choose from a wider selection of departure days.

From October 29 to November 3, PAL will operate a four times weekly service (Monday / Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday) from Manila to New York.

PR126 departs from Manila at 8:10PM and arrives in New York JFK at 11:15PM (local time) on the same day. By November 5, Manila departure will shift to 9:00PM and arrival in New York JFK remains at 11:15PM. Starting December 6, PAL will start serving the MNL-NYC route five times weekly with the introduction of the 5th frequency (every Wednesday).

From October 30 to November 5, PAL will serve the New York to Manila route four times weekly (Tuesday/ Wednesday / Friday / Sunday).

All PAL flights to New York will depart from NAIA Terminal 2. PAL flights from New York will arrive at NAIA Terminal 1.
(However, PAL flights to and from Canada, i.e. Vancouver and Toronto, will use NAIA Terminal 1 as their point of departure and arrival in Manila.)

The new long-range A350 that will serve the Manila-JFK route boasts outstanding characteristics:

— Can fly up to 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km) and boasts a quieter cabin up to 4 times less noise, making it the quietest twin-aisle aircraft to date
— Has an all-new design and state of the art technology, with the aircraft’s advanced Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines producing unparalleled range and efficiency 
— Has a light weight but very strong structure which also costs significantly less to maintain: 70% of which is made of advanced material including 53% composite
— Offers Wi-Fi service for all passengers (subject to time and volume caps), with affordable renewal plans
— Features special LED mood lighting, customized especially for PAL, giving passengers a more intimate in-flight experience that helps them adjust to time zone and day vs. night changes

PAL A350 BUSINESS CLASS
The Business class cabin – with 30 seats configured in 1-2-1 format so that every single passenger enjoys direct access to the aisle – offers a seat pitch of 44 inches and seat width of up to 24 inches. The seat – which reclines to a full-flat bed measuring 78 inches in length – has an adjustable air cushion to adjust seat firmness, lumbar massage feature, additional storage for personal items, power ports and augmented reading lights.

PAL A350 PREMIUM ECONOMY
The Premium Economy class has 24 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration in an exclusive cabin. Seat pitch is at 38 inches and seat width is at 19 inches. Premium Economy seats – which have a recline of up to 8 inches – are equipped with legrest and footrest, additional front pockets for personal items, bottle holders, reading lights and power ports.

PAL A350 ECONOMY
The Economy class cabin – with a total of 241 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration – offers passengers roomier leg space and greater seating comfort with a seat pitch of 33 inches and seat width at 18 inches; plus a recline of up to 6 inches. Features include a 4-way headrest and USB power ports.

In the pipeline for the Philippines’ only 4-Star Global Airline are new services to other destinations in North America and / or Europe as more A350 aircraft join the fleet. Seattle, Chicago and a point in Western Europe are being eyed

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched the world’s longest commercial flight, between Singapore and New York.

The non-stop flight between Singapore and New York departed Changi International Airport on 11 October 2018 at 2337hrs (SIN time) and arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport a day later, at 0529hrs (US Eastern time). The flight duration was 17 hours 52 minutes.

Operated by the all-new Airbus A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range), the route will initially run 3x per week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily operations commenced on the 18th of October after additional A350-900ULR aircraft entered service.

To commemorate the inaugural flight, customers departing from Singapore were treated to an evening of performances and an assortment of food and beverages at a special boarding gate event. Customers also received an exclusive goodie bag containing a commemorative certificate and a pair of SIA-branded Bodum glasses.

Designed with the customers’ well-being in mind, sleep strategies and specific cabin lighting settings to enhance cabin ambience for rest and relaxation were also introduced. The aircraft is designed with higher ceilings, larger windows and an extra wide body to help reduce jetlag and ensure that customers feel well rested and relaxed upon arrival.

Customers also have greater control over their in-flight entertainment (IFE) experience with myKrisWorld – a world-first IFE personalisation offering that provides content recommendations based on customer preferences and viewing history. KrisFlyer members are able to save and resume content, create playlists, and customise their preferences on myKrisWorld for subsequent flights. In addition, KrisFlyer members will have access to 200 additional hours of in-flight entertainment content. This is on top of the more than 1,000 hours of existing in-flight entertainment offerings.

Customers can also experience high-speed in-flight WiFi service on Singapore Airlines’ new A350-900ULR aircraft. Equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ new satellite modem that operates with its third generation satellite network, the service is capable of delivering higher-speed Internet to customers. Currently available on A350-900ULR aircraft in Singapore Airlines’ fleet, this service will be progressively introduced on other aircraft that are equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ Internet and mobile in-flight connectivity.

SIA is the world’s first customer for the new A350-900ULR, with seven firm orders with Airbus. The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The aircraft will also be used for new non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles, which are to be launched on 2 November 2018, as well as to increase services on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route. By the end of the year, SIA will have 27 non-stop flights per week between Singapore and the United States.

High-resolution images of the A350-900ULR in Singapore Airlines’ livery can be downloaded from: https://bit.ly/2rXYbIK.