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@SpaethFlies

Flying on Austrian Airlines’ Boeing 777 to Cape Town

BildVIENNA - Austrian Airlines (AUA) is the smallest long-haul airline within the Lufthansa Group with twelve aircraft in this segment, one half being Boeing 767s, the other 777s. The motto "small is beautiful" fits AUA perfectly.
@SpaethFlies

Record flight on the world's longest route

BildSINGAPORE - There I go again on board the longest scheduled flight in the world from Singapore to New York! I recall very vividly how I did this torture once before in 2004, because yes, that’s what it was back then. It took me 18 hours and eleven minutes on an A340-500 from New York to Singapore.
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

Crossing Australia in Virgin`s A330

BildSYDNEY - To fly transcontinental in Australia means comparable distances to North America, the Aussies call this “tyranny of distance”. Nobody would think of crossing the 3.300 kilometres as the crow flies between Sydney on the South Pacific coast in the East and Perth on the Indian Ocean in the south-western corner of the country on the ground. 
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

On tour with Singapore Airlines latest Business Class

BildSYDNEY - I am often asked which is my favourite airline. That’s always hard for me to answer, as I see some things at least in many airlines that I like. One airline, however, sticks out, partially because I fly on it since 1986: Singapore Airlines (SIA).
@SpaethFlies
   EXCLUSIVE 

In the cabin of the Air France offspring Joon to Brazil

BildFORTALEZA - Air France, currently battered by strikes, is far behind in the quest of the airline industry to lower costs and become more efficient to sustain tough competition. One way to achieve this is supposedly the new “Joon” brand, whose operational costs are 15-18% below the Air France main-line, according to Joon`s CEO.
@SpaethFlies

To the Indian Ocean with the new A350 of Air Mauritius

BildJOHANNESBURG - Fortunes for airlines in the Indian Ocean can change quickly, as currently illustrated by the example of Air Seychelles, which I have reviewed here just one year ago. At the time the carrier operated two A330s, to Düsseldorf among other routes.
@SpaethFlies
   Product    EXCLUSIVE 

How Qatar Airways gives "Business Class” a new meaning

BildDOHA - Qatar Airways doesn’t appear modest at all when praising its new premium product as “the best Business Class in the world” or, literally, “First in Business”. Anyone who puts the benchmark this high should make sure to be able to deliver.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests    EXCLUSIVE 

Trying out Ethiopian's newest jets, A350 and Boeing 787

BildCAPE TOWN - Ethiopian Airlines is Africas biggest airline since some time, ranging in front the former market leaders from the continent, SAA, Kenya Airways and Egypt Air. Ethiopian Airlines has long held the reputation of being Africa’s best airline, an assertion supported by its continuous profitability, its modern aircraft fleet and its impressive route network.
@Spaethflies
   Product 

How does Finnairs A330 score versus its A350 product?

BildHELSINKI - Finnair has massively renewed its long haul fleet by adding currently eleven A350s, eight more are to follow. At the same time eight older Airbus A330s remain a second backbone, especially for shorter routes like to the US East coast.
Airlines
   Product 

A sneak peak into Lufthansa`s 2020 Business Class

BildFRANKFURT - United Polaris, Delta One Suite, Ethiad Business Studio and Qatar Airways Q-Suite - airlines double down on Business Class revenue with schmick new cabins. Lufthansa will close the comfort gap to competition with introduction of the first Boeing 777-9 widebodies in to its fleet by 2020.
#DAS17
   Product 

Emirates catching up in new First Class product race

BildDUBAI - In 2003 Emirates was the first airline offering fully private suites in First Class. Now other carriers are upping the ante and the Dubai-based carrier has to catch up. At the Dubai Air Show this week, Emirates managed to launch a few industry firsts in First – question is: Are they really enhancing the experience?
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

Taking United’s new Polaris seat from San Francisco to Frankfurt

BildSan Francisco - Hardly any product launch has stirred so much interest and discussions among frequent fliers as United Airlines did when it launched Polaris. When the world’s third largest airline announces a revamp of its premium product as United did in June 2016, this naturally raises expectations.
Exclusive

Singapore Airlines raises benchmark in new A380 Suites

BildSINGAPORE/HAMBURG - It will have been ten years and barely two months since the world’s first A380 passenger flight when the new cabins of the first freshly delivered Airbus A380 for Singapore Airlines (SIA) are seeing their premiere.
@Spaethflies
   Product 

Air Astana Business Class sets Boeing 767 benchmark

BildASTANA - Kazakhstan sounds very far and remote for most Western Europeans, hardly anyone has an idea about this huge country. It is the world`s ninth-largest even, home to only 18m people, while its economy is just about half the size of Ireland`s.
@Spaethflies
   Tests 

Icelandair as cheaper premium alternative over the Atlantic

BildHAMBURG - Icelandair is a booming airline, last year it jumped the four-million threshold for the first time, carrying 4.1m passengers. Only in 2009 it flew just 1.3m customers. Then in 2010, a volcano erupted on the Atlantic island, paralysing air traffic over Europe for days.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests    EXCLUSIVE 

Taking the Delta One Business Class over the Atlantic

BildAMSTERDAM - For all Delta departures from Amsterdam, an important hub for the Skyteam partner, there are special procedures before boarding. All departure monitors and even the boarding passes don't indicate the real departure gate, but instead a special gate at which US-bound passengers have to undergo special questioning.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests 

African adventure – taking TAAG Air Angola to Luanda

BildLUANDA - The national airline of Angola in the southwest of Africa is one of the continent's oldest airlines, having commenced operations already in 1940. Still it is fairly obscure internationally. Its home state Angola is one of the most expensive countries on earth, where a civil war raged until 2002.
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

Taking an Air Seychelles A330 to the islands in the Indian Ocean

BildDUSSELDORF - Air Seychelles is the national carrier of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. For the country consisting of 115 far flung islands, whose total footprint is a third smaller than the German city of Hamburg, and of which only a few are inhabited by a total of 93,000 people, tourism is the number one source of income.
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

Flying low cost, South African style

BildCAPE TOWN - kulula is a low cost airline rarely known beyond the borders of South Africa. "Kulula" means "easily" in the Zulu language, linguistically almost an African take on easyJet. It was founded 2001 as spinoff of private airline Comair, which flies since 1996 in close relation with British Airways, since then also under the BA name and livery.
Flight report
   Product 

WOW air goes wide body – taking the purple A330 to Iceland

BildKEFLAVIK - Icelandic LCC WOW air is a prominent newcomer to European aviation, which makes quite a wave not only because of the bright purple color in which its aircraft are painted. Travel writer Monica Suma reviewed the WOW air A330-300 product on behalf of PaxEx.com.
IFEC
   IFEC 

Qantas streams Netflix, Spotify into its cabins

BildSYDNEY - Qantas passengers on Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights will be able to watch their favourite shows, avoid missing out on live sport and listen to almost any song they like, with Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify coming on board to provide content in 2017. Long haul flights will follow the lead mid-2017.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests 

Condor and its premium products on medium and long haul

BildFRANKFURT - Holiday flights have been a class-less society for long. Since the 1990s some European holiday carriers have tried out premium offers on long haul flights, but rarely did they exceed the status of a minimally enhanced Economy. The holidaymaker wants to travel on the cheap, that seemed to have been the assumption.
Airlines
   IFEC 

American drops IFE-screens on the 737 MAX

BildFORT WORTH - With the improvement of satellite-based systems American sees no need to offer seat-back IFE screens on its Boeing 737 MAX fleet. "More than 90 percent of our passengers already bring a device or screen with them when they fly," American informed its staff about its decision.
Interview with CEO Farhad Parvaresh

Iran Air receives first new aircraft since 1994 from Airbus

BildTOULOUSE - January 12, 2017 is a truly memorable day in Iranian aviation history. Iranian television broadcasted live when flight IR700 from Toulouse landed at Tehran's Mehrabad airport at about 2.30pm local time. It was the delivery flight of an Airbus A321, registered EP-IFA.
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

Air France Dreamliner features revamped Premium Economy

BildPARIS - For the first time since 2009, Air France is introducing a brand new aircraft type this week into scheduled operation. Eight years ago, it was the Airbus A380, now it is the Boeing 787-9. It took over the carrier's daily service from Paris CDG to Cairo on January 9, a flight lasting 4.5 hours.
Skytrax
   Product 

Five stars for Doha Hamad International

BildDOHA - Hamad International Airport (HIA) joins the top tier of global airports becoming the sixth airport in the world to receive the "5-Star Airport"designation by Skytrax, the London-based aviation institute for airport and airline rankings. HIA is first ever airport in the Middle East to earn this title.
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

From the new Swiss lounge in Zurich to Montréal on the A330

BildZURICH - It was an exciting year for Swiss, with two newcomers to the fleet of Lufthansa Group's affiliate in Switzerland: In January, the first Boeing 777 (of six today) arrived, July saw the world premier of Bombardier's C Series (four in service today).
Airports

London Stansted to build new arrivals terminal

BildSTANSTED - London Stansted Airport unveiled plans for a new £130 million arrivals building to improve the passenger experience. The building is the latest phase in the multi-million pound transformation programme by airport investor MAG to support future growth and attract new passengers and airlines.
Fleets

South African Airways receives its first A330-300

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of its first of five new leased A330-300 widebody jetliners, becoming the first Southern African operator of the aircraft type.
@SpaethFlies Exklusive
   Tests 

Taking the longer C Series transatlantic with Air Baltic

BildMONTRÉAL - Nothing about flight BT9801 is ordinary. Including its scheduled departure time of 2am EST from Montréal this Tuesday night. On board the delivery flight for Air Baltic of the first Bombardier CS300 from Montréal to Stockholm.
@SpaethFlies
   Product 

TAP Air Portugal launches biggest cabin revamp

BildLISBON - TAP Air Portugal's headquarters at Lisbon airport was built in the 1960s, and the buildings clearly show their age, with maintenance hangars dimly lit in yellow light. But the heritage-rich Portuguese flag carrier, which just celebrated its 70th anniversary in September, seems to be in renewal mode.
Flight report
   Tests 

Flying Etihad`s Business Studio to Abu Dhabi

BildABU DHABI - Back in May 2014 Etihad Airways gathered 150 media representatives in Abu Dhabi to unveil its upcoming A380 and 787 interiors. Well, the A380 "Uber-First" Residence Suite stole the show and overshadowed the new Business Class Etihad introduced the same day. It deserves more attention.
Economy Basic

United strolls into bare fare territory

CHICAGO - United follows Delta along the bare-bone trail and hopes to appeal to cost-sensitive fliers with a new Economy Basic fare option.
Digital PaxEx
   Tech 

Meet Mildred, the pink-haired Lufthansa chatbot

BildFRANKFURT - Meet Mildred. Lufthansa`s latest hire in customer support is "a friendly lady with glasses and her pink hair in a bun", according to the German airline. Actually, Mildred is more digital than human. Lufthansa developed the chatbot avatar "Mildred" to help customers browse for flights.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests 

Flying Air Canada’s new Business Class from Frankfurt to Toronto

BildFRANKFURT - Even for frequent fliers it's not easy to keep track with the different aircraft types and cabin products Air Canada offers on long haul routes. In Frankfurt alone, Air Canada this summer deployed five different aircraft types on the four routes it operated:
By Andreas Spaeth

How Alitalia reinvents itself

BildROME - Pope Francis has a problem: By capacity the pontiff is a frequent flyer on Alitalia, mostly on long haul. And Alitalia's premium service is of such high class since recently that the Holy Father deems it to be too luxurious.
236 seats
   Product 

Qantas 787-9 embraces premium long haul flying

BildSYDNEY - Qantas plans a schmick 787-9 cabin layout, fitting only 236 seats into the stretch due to arrive next year. "We are planning to make the most of the 787`s amazing range, so we have designed the cabin to give Qantas passengers a better experience on long haul flights", says Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
"Turista Premium"
   Product 

Iberia to introduce Premium Economy by 2017

BildMADRID - Iberia joins the Premium Economy band waggon. The new "Turista Premium" class will be available on 37 of its long-haul aircraft, starting during the summer season of 2017. Iberia will retrofit the cabin on eight Airbus A330-300 and 13 A340-600 to be modified in the course of 2017 and 2018.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests 

Long haul comfort on short haul: Belgrade – Berlin on Air Serbia

BildBELGRADE - The former Yugoslavia played a long and proud role in aviation. A glimpse of that can still be seen in the aviation museum, one of Europe's biggest, opened in 1989, located at the entrance to Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport.
@SpaethFlies
   Tests 

Taking Cathay`s new A350 from Dusseldorf to Hong Kong

BildHONG KONG - Since the summer, Cathay Pacific is the sixth operator of the new Airbus A350-900, on September 1st the new aircraft took up its first long haul route in the Cathay network: From Hong Kong to Düsseldorf and back.
Airlines

Easyjet launches Apple Pay on web bookings

LUTON - Easyjet announced that its customers can now use Apple Pay for bookings made on its website. "This makes payment a seamless 2 touch process", Easyjet said.
The First Wing at London Heathrow
   Product 

British Airways speeds elite passengers through T5

BildLONDON - Brits just love to queue, right? British Airways challenges this stereotype with a new fast track option for its First Class passengers travelling through London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. "The First Wing" - a dedicated walkway from check-in to the lounges - will open in April 2017.
Economy Class

Emirates to charge passengers for seat reservation

DUBAI - Emirates will start charging a seat selection fee in its bottom Economy fares Special and Saver by October.
50 Shades of Blue
   Product 

Lufthansa to introduce new Economy Class with A350-900

BildMUNICH - Lufthansa will introduce an all new long haul Economy Class with its first Airbus A350-900 scheduled to arrive at the carrier`s Munich base early 2017. Seats in light and navy blue covers expel the grey from Lufthansa`s Economy cabins and will be "padded a tad less firmly", according to the airline.
Airlines
   Product 

ANZ embraces Premium Economy, scraps SpaceSeat

BildAUCKLAND - Air New Zealand is to spend more than 100 million Dollars increasing the number of premium seats on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and refurbishing its Boeing 777-300 fleet in response to customer trends.
Airlines
   Product 

Cathay Pacific relaxes its baggage policy

HONGKONG - Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair announced the introduction of a new baggage policy, which will see passengers benefit from increased check-in allowances and lower excess baggage charges.
Interview with Rossen Dimitrov
   Product 

Qatar Airways doubles down on its Business Class allure

BildDOHA - Each new aircraft joining Qatar Airways has to pass a CEO inspection before flying passengers. Early 2017 Akbar Al-Baker will accept a first Boeing 777-300ER into the fleet featuring an all new Business Class cabin that will most likely raise the industry bar for premium travel.
Terminal 3

Delta and Virgin Atlantic co-locate at Heathrow

BildLONDON - Delta Air Lines will operate exclusively from London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3, effective Sept. 14, 2016. Delta and Virgin Atlantic will now operate from the same terminal, making it easier for customers to manage their travel plans including any last-minute flight changes.
Airlines
   Product 

American introduces premium IFE content on domestic flights

HOUSTON - American Airlines elevates its passenger experience by adding complimentary premium movies, TV shows, music and games in the main cabin on all domestic flights offering seatback entertainment systems or Wi-Fi.
Icelandair
   Tech 

How about booking your next flight on Facebook Messenger?

BildREYKJAVIK - Icelandair announced they will offer passengers the option of booking their next transatlantic flight through Facebook Messenger. The Facebook Messenger Stopover Bot is one of the newest examples of tech-driven passenger experience in the airline industry.

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