Air New Zealand partners with Allbirds

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Air New Zealand and footwear brand Allbirds have partnered to develop an eye mask designed to help customers sleep better.

The airline collaborated with Allbirds on the design of the mask, including conducting onboard trials to provide feedback through the development process.

The mask, dubbed ‘the Bird Mask’, will be available exclusively in Air New Zealand’s business premier cabin on selected North American routes throughout October, including the airline’s daily NZ1/NZ2 service between Los Angeles and London.

The mask is made from sustainable ZQ-certified New Zealand merino wool and castor bean oil-based foam.

The design includes moulded eye indentations to allow for natural eye movement, while the birdlike-beak provides a comfortable seal against the face to completely block out light, the companies say.

Discussing the collaboration, Air New Zealand chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod said: “By putting our heads together we’ve created a product our customers will truly value and re-use again and again, while also benefiting New Zealand’s international brand awareness.”

“We jumped at the chance to work with Air New Zealand, a brand that similarly prioritises thoughtful design and customer experience,” said co-founder and co-CEO of Allbirds Tim Brown. “By bringing our comfort expertise to the Bird Mask, we’ve been able to create a product that’s perfectly aligned with Air New Zealand’s empathy for the consumer.”

Hong Kong Airlines debuts new A350 business class product

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Hong Kong Airlines has unveiled its refreshed business class cabin on its fleet of A350 aircraft.

At the heart of the new product is the upgraded business class seat, designed in-house using Rockwell Collins’ Super Diamond platform

Each seat comes with a set of specially designed smooth and soft bedding while the modern and neutral tones in the refreshed cabin offers a comfortable environment for travellers to work and relax in.

All of Hong Kong Airlines’ 33 new Business Class seats on the A350 are ideally arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, which guarantee passengers direct access to the aisles and maximum privacy to work, rest and unwind. With a simple touch of the seat control panel, the seat can be easily reclined into different positions or converted into a comfortable 78-inch full-flat bed, ensuring travellers get ultimate rest during the flight.

Hong Kong Airlines has partnered with Thales Group to install a brand-new AVANT IFE system into the A350 aircraft. With a 17-inch widescreen monitor, the system features the Avii Touch Passenger Media Unit. Avii provides intuitive navigation, full android smartphone look and feel, and acts as a second entertainment screen.

Thales is also providing FlytCare services and Ka-band connectivity to the fleet of 9 new A330 and 19 A350 aircraft.

Speaking at a special product showcase event Wang Liya, Hong Kong Airlines vice chairman and president said, “Our latest business class offering and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system is the result of an ambitious effort to revamp our premium services for our customers. These are significant investments for the Company, and will help lead Hong Kong Airlines into a new decade of success.”

Hong Kong Airlines’ new business class product on its latest A350 will be deployed on the Bangkok route for crew familiarisation during its first month of operation, after which it will serve Los Angeles regularly.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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LATAM Airlines to renovate cabins with US$400 million investment

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LATAM Airlines will renovate the cabins of over 200 aircraft as part of its objective to offer a personal travel experience with more options and flexibility to all passengers.

At the heart of the objective, is the two-year cabin renovation of over 200 aircraft, with passengers being able to fly on the first renovated aircraft before the end of this year.

LATAM Airlines will remodel the cabins on a number of different aircraft including the Boeing 767, the Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft for long-haul flights, as well as the Boeing 787-9’s and the Airbus A350-1000.

The new cabins will feature a Premium Business class with a new ‘Wide Thompson’ seat. Passengers will have direct aisle access, ample space for individuals or couples (including full-flat bed) and an 18-inch in-flight personal entertainment system.

The economy cabin will feature ergonomically designed seats by Recaro, offering fast-charging USB power ports and a state-of-the-art 12-ionch in-flight entertainment system. Passengers in economy will also have the option to upgrade to LATAM+ Seats, offering more space, reclining seats and premium services such as priority check-in and boarding.

LATAM Airlines will also renovate the cabins of over 150 Airbus A320 and A321 operating on domestic routes within Latin America. These cabins will feature Wi-Fi connectivity and improved in-flight entertainment options, seats by Recaro and the opportunity to upgrade to LATAM+ Seats, offering more space, overhead lockers and premium services such as priority check-in and boarding.

LATAM Airlines has spent three years developing the design of the airlines’ new cabins by consulting passengers and experts, carrying out seat trials and ergonomic tests over the course of 360 evaluations involving customers, cabin crew and LATAM Airlines members. To develop Premium Business seat, the airline simulated flights with sleep trials over a two-week period.

Claudia Sender, vice president of LATAM Airlines Group said, “Plans to renovate LATAM Airlines’ cabins were agreed as part of our long-term vision to offer an industry leading on-board flight experience to all our passengers, including those travelling for pleasure who want to ‘travel for less’ and business travellers who want privacy and rest, and to be able to offer upgrades to those who desire one. On-board experience is one of the most important differentiators in choosing an airline and the most relevant factor in customer satisfaction, and so it was essential that our passengers were involved in the development process of our new cabins.

“At LATAM Airlines, we are committed to better understanding and satisfying passenger needs and we believe that our new cabins – in addition to our unrivalled network of destinations – will place LATAM Airlines as a market leader for passengers travelling to and in Latin America”.

LATAM Airlines Peru will be the first to receive renovated aircraft before the end of the year, followed by LATAM Airlines Brazil at the start of 2019. LATAM Airlines Group’s Chile affiliate will operate aircraft featuring the new cabins from the second half of 2019.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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New children’s amenity kits for Yakutia Airlines

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Russia’s Yakutia Airlines is roll-out a new amenity kit for families and young children.

Developed by AK-Service, the kits draw inspiration from the nature and culture of the Yakutia region, and features a polar lights motif.

The kit comes in a colourful pouch, and includes a puzzle and multi-coloured visiting cards, which kids can exchange with each other, and an activity book.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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Alitalia redesigns kids packs

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Alitalia and BAYART Innovations have collaborated on new amenity kits for child passengers.

Introduced in mid-May, the kits is available to all children aged 2 to 12 travelling on intercontinental flights in all cabin classes.

The new kit a box-shaped postcard contains a two-sided face eye mask emblazoned with ‘Wake me Up’ and ‘Let me sleep’, a toothbrush and toothpaste,  Non-slip, washable and reusable socks, reusable headphones compatible with most electronic devices, a game book and coloured pencils.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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British Airways makes flying child’s play

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New research from British Airways has shown that children today take their first flight three times earlier than their parents did, and by the age of ten will have travelled to four different countries.

One in 10 babies take to the skies before they have even turned a year old – and a tenth of under-17s are even signed up to airline loyalty programmes. This is in stark comparison to their parents, as a fifth of those surveyed, didn’t get on a plane until they were 18.

Claire Bentley, managing director for British Airways Holidays, who commissioned the research, said, “Air travel has become much more accessible to people over the last few decades. We now live in a connected world, where new destinations are opening up all the time and as a result, children are not seen as restrictive to travel, but essential travel companions, with rich experiences and new cultures to discover. Many family holidays are now taking place abroad allowing children to experience a flight at a very young age.

“To make travelling with little ones easier; this summer we’ve introduced a number of new initiatives at our home at Heathrow; including family boarding passes, a dedicated check-in area and fast-track security exclusively for travellers with children under 12.”

Despite this wanderlust, one in ten parents admitted to being unprepared for their first flight as parents. A third confessed to forgetting to take their child’s favourite toys (34%), while one in five (21%) even forgot to pack their child’s medication. A quarter (27%) failed to plan their child’s sleep around the flight times.

As a result, four in 10 parents find travelling with children – from newborns all the way to 17 – stressful and the biggest fear when flying with kids is how to keep them entertained for the duration of the flight. This is followed by worries about disturbing other passengers and the pressure in the cabin causing their kids pain. Their fears may not be justified though as only 16% said they have been left embarrassed by their child’s behaviour on a flight.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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Emirates gives passengers immersive 3D 360 degree view of aircraft interiors

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Emirates has become the first airline to introduce web virtual reality (VR) technology on its digital platform,, letting customers navigate from one seat to another, as well as allowing would-be customers to book their preferred seats from within the 3D environment.

The 3D seat model is a visualisation engine that displays an immersive 3D 360 degree view of the interior of the Emirates A380 and the Emirates Boeing 777, giving customers a chance to explore their seats, the spacious cabin and the Emirates on-board product.

This new feature allows users to navigate through the economy, business and first class cabins, as well as the Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa on the Emirates A380 using navigational hotspots.

Alex Knigge, Emirates’ senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand (Digital), said, “As we continually invest to provide our customers with an unmatched travel experience on-board and on the ground, we also work very hard to give our customers a world-class digital experience. We are pleased to be the world’s first airline to introduce this cutting edge web VR technology, which offers our customers an immersive opportunity to learn more about the fantastic Emirates experience before they step on board. In our usability tests with customers, we found that they particularly appreciated the 3D seat and cabin models when selecting their seats.”

The immersive experience is now available for the three class Emirates A380 but will soon include renderings of Emirates’ entire fleet including all configurations of the A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

The 3D 360 degree views of the cabins also feature a virtual reality element for a more immersive experience. Users can enjoy hands-free cabin navigation and seat selection by using any VR headset like Google Cardboard. This award-winning technology is compatible with all devices without the need for external applications or plugins. The 3D seat models were created in partnership with Renacen who were awarded the Crystal Cabin for the best visionary concept for this project at the recent Crystal Cabin Awards.

In addition to the new 3D cabin models, new product videos are available on which illustrate the end to end travel experience across all cabins. The videos serve as a guide, giving new customers a clear idea of all the features of the Emirates travel experience.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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Spiriant brings new amenity kits to Asiana Airlines

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Passengers flying in Asiana Airlines’ premium classes can enjoy two brand-new amenity kits from 1 May, developed by on-board equipment specialist SPIRIANT.

Asiana’s first class guests can receive a revamped Salvatore Ferragamo bag with a newly updated design. Now in two shades of grey, it also matches the interior’s ‘Tuscan Soul Quintessential’ cosmetics collection by Bianco die Carrara. The kit’s functionality has also been boosted with the addition of a loop handle on the top.

Meanwhile, business class travellers can enjoy a L’Occitane iPad Mini Case, made with a padded cotton canvas with a wide zippered opening so it can be used as an iPad Mini or small tablet case. The kit will be available in two colour combinations over the course of the contract: brown and beige to match the Asiana business class cabins and navy and green to echo the L’Occitane label.

“We have enjoyed a highly creative and innovative relationship with Asiana Airlines with the introduction of amenity kits for all classes,” said Angie Fung, general manager amenities at SPIRIANT. “Moving forward with these exciting new amenity kits for first and business class, Asiana has trusted us to deliver top product quality as always and in an efficient timespan. We already have early indications that their reception has been very positive.”

EVA Air and Georg Jensen in amenity kit partnership

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EVA Air has partnered with design brand Georg Jensen to create a new amenity kit for its Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel Class passengers.

Launched in April, the new Georg Jensen branded kits have a duo bag design, featuring a black safiano bag with a detachable chocolate brown bag. The kits can be used for glasses, jewellery, technology storage, as a wash bag, or for a variety of travel items.

Designed and created by Buzz, the new Business Class kit has been made to be able to be re-used post-flight as a travel organiser and to appeal to male and female passengers.

Each kit contains premium 3LAB skincare products comprising ‘Perfect’ Hand Cream, ‘M’ Cream Ultimate Lift Eye Cream and ‘Perfect’ Lip Balm. Also included are a Georg Jensen dust bag, Georg Jensen eyeglass cloth, comb, socks, eye mask, earplugs and a White Glo Dental kit.