This week’s aviation wrap reveals new services for two major airlines, while another has doubled down on plastic reduction. Winning!
Singapore Airlines announces $50 million upgrade of Changi Airport T3 lounges
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be investing more than $50 million in a major revamp of its SilverKris and KrisFlyer Gold Lounges at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Renovations are due to commence in August 2019 and are expected to be completed by mid-2021.
The redevelopment project will see an overall 30 per cent increase in space and total customer capacity for the Terminal 3 lounges.
The new lounges will offer more generous open spaces, upgraded facilities and a wide array of F&B selections, all tailored to the needs and preferences of our customers.
SIA has engaged renowned hospitality designers Hirsch Bedner Associates to inject a fresh look and feel to each lounge that is modern yet homely, while inspiring a sense of timeless elegance.
SilkAir (owned by SIA) is also celebrating the introduction of seven-times weekly services from Darwin to Singapore, with the number of direct flights increasing from the current six-times weekly.
The additional service represents an increase of almost 17 per cent in the number of seats per week on the route and continues the SIA Group’s strategy to invest and expand its operations in Australia.
Emirates launches service to Porto and two daily A380 flights to Muscat
Emirates has launched its new four times weekly service to Porto, its second destination in Portugal. The new service provides Australians travellers with a direct flight to the popular city in the north of the country.
Australian customers travelling on Emirates to and from Porto will experience the airline’s newest Business and Economy Class cabins, while enjoying the famed hospitality and service from its multinational cabin crew, including Portuguese nationals, regionally inspired meals, complimentary beverages and over 4000 channels of entertainment on ice, featuring the latest movies, music and games.
The flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and depart Dubai as EK197 at 0915hrs and arrive in Porto at 1430hrs. The return flight, EK198, will depart Porto at 1735hrs and land in Dubai at 0415hrs the next morning.
Emirates is also giving travellers to and from Oman more choice, comfort and luxury with the first arrivals of its double daily A380 services to Muscat. Flights EK 862 and EK 864 were each welcomed with water cannon salutes upon arrival, ushering in the new services to Oman’s capital, Muscat.
The Muscat A380 flights will fly approximately 340 kilometres each way, making them the shortest A380 flights in the world. That is also shorter than the internal wiring of the A380, which when stretched from end to end reaches a distance of over 500km.
The double daily A380 operations underscore Muscat International Airport’s modern infrastructure and readiness to handle aircraft operations. Over 4.7 million passengers have flown on Emirates between Muscat and Dubai since 1993, equal to the capacity of more than 9,000 Emirates A380s.
LATAM provides exclusive front-row viewing of total solar eclipse
On Tuesday 2 July, LATAM was the only airline that flew in the shadow of the total solar eclipse, offering an exclusive experience for its passengers.
On the EFLIGHT 2019-MAX flight departing from Easter Island, over 50 leading eclipse experts and enthusiasts flew 12,500 metres high in a 787-9 Dreamliner over the Pacific Ocean.
During the flight, passengers experienced total darkness for more than eight minutes, tripling the approximately 2.5 minutes that it lasted on land.
Qatar Airways launches Qsuite Business Class in Adelaide
Qatar Airways has officially launched its award-winning, patented Qsuite Business Class for Adelaide as part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to Australian travellers.
Passengers can now experience Qsuite when travelling between Adelaide and 160 destinations worldwide, including over 55 European cities.
Qsuite features the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class. There are private cabins for up to four people with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room.
Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats allow colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialise together.
Air New Zealand doubles down on plastic waste reduction, shakes up cocktail hour for Dry July, and announces direct Auckland flights to Sunshine Coast Airport
Air New Zealand has committed to increasing the number of single-use plastic items it will remove from its operation this year by more than double, from 24 million to nearly 55 million items.
To mark Plastic Free July the airline has removed individual plastic water bottles from its Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins, as well as from its Works Deluxe offering on Tasman and Pacific Island services under five hours in duration.
This is expected to divert more than 460,000 bottles from landfill annually and reduce carbon emissions by more than 300,000 kilograms per year by reducing weight on the aircraft.
Air New Zealand will also introduce a new range of in-flight cocktails featuring New Zealand’s first artisan distilled, alcohol-free gin.
Business Premier customers wanting a sophisticated drink without the punch can now order blended cocktails made with boutique Kiwi distillery Ecology & Co’s alcohol-free spirits on flights between Auckland and San Francisco throughout July.
Air New Zealand will serve the Muriwai Mule with Ecology & Co Asian Spice and the Tahi Rua Tonic with Ecology & Co London Dry on NZ7 and NZ8 until 31 July. The alcohol-free spirit will also be available with soda and ice for those wanting a zero-sugar beverage.
Air New Zealand’s direct seasonal service between Auckland and the Sunshine Coast launched last week, opening-up fresh opportunities for local residents and tourism businesses.
The direct services will fly till 27 October, operating four days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Auckland at 09:15am and arriving at Sunshine Coast Airport at 11:15am. The return journey departs Sunshine Coast Airport at 12:40pm, arriving in Auckland at 5:40pm.
Droplets in a Stream charity recognised in Queensland Parliament
The Queensland based charity, Droplets in a Stream (DIAS) were recognised in State Parliament for the incredible work they have done protecting children in Uganda and bringing children to Australia for life changing surgery.
Supporters and partners of DIAS including South African Airways (SAA), were invited to the Queensland State Parliament by The MP for Moggill and Shadow Cabinet Minister Dr Christian Rowan to recognise their achievements.
South African Airways and Virgin Australia have combined efforts over the last 2 years to support DIAS in flying children and carers from Uganda to Australia to receive life changing surgery which was performed free of charge by surgeons in Newcastle and Brisbane. In addition, in March this year SAA also sponsored flights for one of the World’s leading neurosurgeons, Dr John Christie, to fly from Australia to perform up to 40 surgeries in Uganda.
The recognition follows the broadcast of an SBS Dateline documentary called ‘How To Catch A Witch Doctor’ which focused on the work being undertaken in Uganda by Peter Michael Sewakiryanga with the support of Rodney Callanan of DIAS to protect vulnerable children.