Aviation Wrap: Airlines go pink for cancer awareness month, Boeing invests $30m in Virgin Galactic + MORE!

Looking for a legend to fly with over October? Check-in with this week’s Aviation Wrap to see who’s doing what for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Qantas goes pink for breast and prostate cancer awareness

Qantas FlyPink announcement

The Qantas Group has kicked off a month-long awareness campaign, in a bid to raise $100,000 for breast and prostate cancer research, in partnership with Movember and the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).

Recognising that everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by cancer, ‘FlyPink’ 2019 officially launches today with an inaugural flight on QantasLink’s QF2164 from Sydney to Port Macquarie.

All operating crew on the launch flight, including the pilots and flight attendants, are cancer survivors.

Susan McHaffie, a QantasLink Captain, started FlyPink in 2015 with the aim to raise $20,000 for breast cancer research. FlyPink has since raised $500,000 for NBCF, Movember and affiliated overseas charities.

Funds are raised through the sale of ‘FlyPink’ pins and pink epaulettes donned by hundreds of pilots across the Qantas Group and airlines worldwide.

This year’s pin design includes the NBCF pink ribbon combined with the iconic Movember moustache after FlyPink ‘grew a mo’ last year to extend its fundraising reach.

Boeing invests $30 million in Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic first spaceflight

Boeing is investing US$20 million (around $30 million) in Virgin Galactic, a space tourism venture by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Virgin Galactic aims to be the first commercial spaceline. In July, Travel Weekly reported Virgin aims to make the venture a reality by the end of 2019.

Boeing’s investment will be in return for new shares in Virgin Galactic and is, therefore, contingent on the closing of that transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, the aircraft manufacturer said in a statement.

Virgin Galactic has invested US$1 billion of capital to build reusable human spaceflight systems designed to enable significantly more people to experience and utilise space.

Qatar Airways supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month with pink amenity kits

Qatar Airways Breast Cancer Awareness Month amenity kits

Qatar Airways passengers on long-haul flights in First Class and Business Class will be presented with BRIC’s limited edition pink-themed amenity kits during the month of October, marking the airline’s annual support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Made from vegan leather, the exclusive amenity kits come in two colours – a white kit with the iconic breast cancer pink ribbon prints for female passengers (pictured above) and a charcoal grey kit with pink accents for male passengers.

Both kits feature a unique zipper pull in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon. Each kit is further personalised with a message imprinted on a band, reading: ‘Support the fight & think pink’.

Etihad celebrates 10-year Virgin Australia partnership with Bonus Points promotion

Etihad Airways will celebrate its 10-year anniversary with Virgin Australia – and their respective frequent flyer programs Etihad Guest and Velocity – in style, by launching a series of offers for Australian travellers.

These include a major Bonus Points promotion, followed by a One Million Points giveaway, alongside a rolling program of rewards throughout 2020.

To kick-start the milestone campaign, Etihad Guest and Velocity Frequent flyer members who book flights from anywhere across Australia and New Zealand onto Abu Dhabi or across the Etihad network will be rewarded with enough bonus points to fly domestically with Virgin Australia.

Valid for bookings between 9–22 October and travel until 31 March 2020, passengers selecting to fly Economy will be given 7,800 bonus points; Business travellers will be offered 15,500 bonus points; this is enough for each to travel in Economy and Business respectively on a domestic ticket.

AirAsia challenges perceptions of low-cost airlines in new Aussie campaign

airasia campaign

AirAsia has released a new Australian campaign to celebrate carrying 600 million guests, while also challenging people’s perceptions of affordable travel.

“Low cost to us isn’t cheap, it’s good value. Most Australians have heard of AirAsia but they may not know what experience to expect and think flying low cost is a compromise,” AirAsia Group head of brand Rudy Khaw said.

“AirAsia takes great pride in having the best service in the skies, as well as amazing inflight food and surprise touches such as our Premium Flatbed offering and Quiet Zone.

“AirAsia is about offering choice, meaning that in addition to great value fares, our guests can tailor their experience to suit.

“We’re always trying to stay ahead of the competition and ensure our guests are always satisfied – 600 million guests can’t be wrong!” Khaw said.

This article was originally published by Travel Weekly’s sister publication, B&T, which you can read here.

Porsche, Boeing to partner on premium urban air mobility market

Porsche and Boeing have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace.

With this partnership, both companies will leverage their unique market strengths and insights to study the future of premium personal urban air mobility vehicles.

As part of the partnership, the companies will create an international team to address various aspects of urban air mobility, including analysis of the market potential for premium vehicles and possible use cases.

A 2018 study by Porsche Consulting forecasts that the urban air mobility market will pick up speed after 2025.

The study also indicates that urban air mobility solutions will transport passengers more quickly and efficiently than current conventional means of terrestrial transport, at a lower cost and with greater flexibility.

Michelin-starred restaurant unveils new outpost at Hong Kong International Airport

Duddell’s Unveils New Outpost at Hong Kong International Airport

Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Duddell’s is pleased to announce that their newest outpost, Duddell’s HKIA is now open within Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

Marking the restaurant’s second location in Hong Kong, following on from the flagship in Central district, this new arrival offers global travellers Cantonese comfort food of unmatched quality within a casual setting.

Welcoming over 74 million visitors annually and operating upwards of 800 flights each day, Hong Kong International Airport is the latest location for JIA Group’s growing portfolio and a burgeoning foodie hub.

Situated within the departures hall food court, the new concept is accessible for all outgoing travellers. Duddell’s HKIA is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week — giving both business and leisure travellers access to culinary excellence around the clock.

Singapore Airlines to offer free WiFi for visitors to Singapore

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Datapro Technologies have partnered to provide complimentary WiFi to eligible SIA and SilkAir customer while in Singapore through ‘hotspot’, a travel WiFi service.

The free three-day, two-night WiFi offer comes with 2GB data, which allows eligible customers to stay connected to the fastest 4G WiFi secure network while exploring Singapore. Each hotspot device offers up to 12 hours of battery life and can support up to five connected mobile devices.

Customers can pre-book their WiFi devices online before their travel date at www.singaporeair.com/free3d2nwifi, after which they can proceed directly to the hotspot station at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel with their SIA or SilkAir flight booking reference number to redeem their free three-day, two-night WiFi.

The complimentary three-day, two-night WiFi offer is available until 14 October 2020.

British Airways’ VR experience comes to North East England

Fly, British Airways' virtual reality experience, comes to the North East

British Airways’ one-of-a-kind virtual reality experience, Fly, which brings the history and future of flight to life, will open at PROTO, Gateshead on Wednesday 16 October (local time).

Built for British Airways by award-winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, Fly is an interactive, full-motion, multi-sensory experience that traces humankind’s relationship to flying.

The virtual reality experience was first seen in London in August as part of the airline’s BA 2119: Flight of the Future project.

Finnair starts codeshare cooperation with Fiji Airways

Finnair and Fiji Airways have agreed on a new code-share partnership between Helsinki (HEL) and Nadi (NAN) in Fiji through three gateways served by Finnair.

Finnair’s AY code will be added to Fiji Airways’ flights between Hong Kong (HKG), Singapore (SIN), Narita (NRT) and Nadi, offering an exotic new destination for Finnair customers in the South Pacific.

Finnair’s flight numbers will later be added to Fiji’s flights between San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX) and Nadi, subject to applicable government approvals.

With this addition, it will now be possible for Finnair customers to complete an around-the-world trip with Finnair flight numbers.

Fiji Airways’ FJ code will also be added to Finnair’s flights to Helsinki via Singapore, opening access for Fiji Airways’ customers to Finland and points beyond in Europe.

Featured image (L to R): QantasLink’s inaugural 2019 FlyPink operating crew – captain Kerry Scott, first officer Cameron Stuart, flight attendant Fiona Crockett, and flight attendant Michelle Redman. 


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