Aviation wrap: ANA launches Tokyo-Perth direct flights, Jetstar’s Spring Sale + MORE

Here’s this week’s wrap on all things aviation, which is best enjoyed while listening to John Denver’s “Leaving On a Jet Plane”. Unless you hate John Denver, of course.

ANA’s inaugural Tokyo-Perth direct flight touches down

All Nippon Airways’ (ANA’s) inaugural direct flight from Tokyo to Perth touched down last night, bringing with it 184 passengers.

Western Australia’s Tourism Minister, Paul Papalia, was among the new flight’s first passengers, along with Australian Ambassador to Japan, Richard Court.

Passengers were greeted by WA Premier Mark McGowan and ANA VIPs on arrival, and traditional Aboriginal dancers were also on hand to offer a warm welcome.

The Matagarup Bridge and Optus Stadium will also lit blue to welcome the first ANA direct service landing in Perth.

Ahead of take-off, a celebration was held in Tokyo to mark the occasion with Japanese drummers and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Papalia and Court handed passengers gifts, which included a toy quokka and a free ticket to travel to Rottnest Island courtesy of Rottnest Express and the Rottnest Island Authority.

As part of a campaign to promote the flights in Japan, the Keisei Skyliner – a high-speed train that transports passengers to Narita Airport – has been decked out with quokka imagery on the exterior.

ANA is the first airline to fly direct between Perth and Japan since 2011, with a travel time of about nine hours. The deal to secure the flights was struck with support from the McGowan government, through Tourism Western Australia, Tourism Australia and Perth Airport.

The airline will operate daily services on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which has a total of 184 seats including 32 business class seats, 14 premium economy seats and 138 economy seats.

ANA’s new flights have been heavily promoted in Japan through a campaign featuring popular singer and actor Nissy.

The campaign, a collaboration between Tourism WA, Tourism Australia and ANA, features the Pinnacles, Kings Park, Rottnest Island, Fremantle and the Swan Valley, and is currently running on ANA’s website and social media channels.

The introduction of the new service makes Perth the second only Australian city served by ANA.

Jetstar’s Spring Sale ends today!

Time is almost up for Jetstar’s Spring Sale, with the airline offering discounted fares across its international and domestic networks to help ring in the start of a new season and farewell those winter blues.

Travel dates range from September 2019 to September 2020, with the sale ending at 11:59pm (AEST) tonight, unless sold out prior. Check out the Jetstar website for more details.

Singapore Airlines teams up with COMO Shambhala to launch wellness cuisine

Singapore Airlines and COMO Shambhala wellness dish [1]

Singapore Airlines (SIA), together with Singapore-based wellness brand COMO Shambhala, has launched specially curated wellness dishes on selected flights from September 2019.

The wellness dishes are part of SIA and COMO Shambhala’s partnership aimed at enhancing customers’ holistic wellbeing and travel experience.

Customers can look forward to a menu of healthy and flavourful dishes, each carefully tailored to nourish the body and alleviate travel-induced stresses such as fatigue.

Ingredients rich in antioxidants and micronutrients, such as kiwi, yoghurt, beetroot and strawberries, come together in immune-boosting dishes that will help customers feel refreshed even after a long flight.

Others aim to promote good digestion and circulation for a more comfortable journey.

First Class and Business Class customers will be able to enjoy the wellness inflight menu on selected flights departing Singapore to Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

The dishes will also be available for pre-ordering via ‘Book the Cook’ for First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy Class customers on all routes departing Singapore.

Malaysia Airlines gives inflight offerings a refresh

Aspinal of London travel amenities [1]

Malaysia Airlines has recently refreshed its inflight offerings, which includes renewed soft furnishings that have been carefully designed to provide better comfort to passengers.

The airline is also the first to partner with luxury brand Aspinal of London to provide travel amenities for its Business Class and Business Suite passengers.

WiFi will also be extended to other Malaysia Airlines fleets with the aim to have the offering onboard all its wide aircrafts by the middle of 2020.

Biometric boarding arrives at DFW for American Airlines customersAmerican Airlines customer boards flight at DFW using biometric boarding technology

American Airlines has begun using biometric boarding for customers departing from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), with the launch of the biometric boarding program at its largest hub.

American customers traveling on select international departures from DFW Terminal D can now enjoy additional convenience during the departure process.

Instead of scanning boarding passes, the new one-step facial recognition program will scan and verify a customer’s identity with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in seconds at the gate. With this new process, no customer biometrics will ever be stored.

The airline plans to expand biometric boarding to nearly 75 international gates throughout DFW Terminals A, B, C and D by the end of this year.

American implemented a biometric boarding program at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this year. The carrier said it will continue evaluating the program and its potential expansion to more locations and flights throughout its global network.

Emirates’ features artwork by Mawaheb artist in September inflight entertainment guide

Australian travellers flying with Emirates this September will be able to enjoy limited edition artwork on their inflight entertainment guide.

This month’s guide will feature a special edition cover with artwork created by Abdulla Lutfi, an Emirati artist represented by Mawaheb from Beautiful People.

Meaning ‘talent’ in Arabic, Mawaheb is a Dubai-based art studio for adults with special needs, also known as “the determined ones” following a directive by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

Lufti worked closely with Emirates’ inflight team to create the magazine cover, which features a lively depiction of a flight with customers tuned into different channels on Ice, the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system.

Abdulla Lutfi (Emirates)

United Airlines scraps expiration rule for MileagePlus miles

United Airlines has announced that MileagePlus award miles no longer expire, giving members a lifetime to use them on flights, experiences, hotels and more.

Luc Bondar, vice president of loyalty and president of MileagePlus at United, said: “We want to demonstrate to our members that we are committing to them for the long-haul and giving customers a lifetime to use miles is an exceptionally meaningful benefit.

“Our MileagePlus program provides customers more ways to earn and use miles than any other US airline.

“More customers used miles to book award trips in 2018 than in any year before, and we expect with [this] announcement that even more will use miles to travel the world in the years to come.”


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