The A321neo is Cathay’s first aircraft to feature its newly designed Regional Business Class seat product.

Cathay Pacific readies for Airbus A321neo debut

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The A321neo is Cathay’s first aircraft to feature its newly designed Regional Business Class seat product.

Cathay Pacific’s state-of-the-art Airbus A321neo aircraft is set to enter into commercial service on 4 August 2021 when it takes its inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai (Pudong).

Cathay Pacific has already taken delivery of four A321neos and will receive a further two during the second half of 2021. By the end of 2023, the airline will have a total of 16 A321neos in its fleet, with each aircraft offering 202 seats, including 12 in Business class and 190 in Economy class.

Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “We’re incredibly excited to see our next-generation A321neo take to the skies for the first time next month as we continue to add more passenger services in the region. The single-aisle A321neo is the newest addition to our fleet and has been designed and fitted with an array of new features that offer the most enjoyable short-haul experience in the world to our customers. We look forward to deploying A321neos on more regional routes and welcoming customers on board.”

The A321neo is Cathay’s first aircraft to feature its newly designed Regional Business Class seat product. This next-generation hard-shell recliner seat provides a cocoon-like feel with divider screens for maximum privacy, and a 15.6-inch 4K Ultra-HD personal TV screen. Meanwhile, the Economy class seats feature 11.6-inch 4K personal TV screens along with a generous recline, comfortable seat cushions and new adjustable headrests.

With the A321neo, Cathay Pacific is the first airline in the world to provide 4K ultra-high-definition screens, a 4K video-on-demand experience as well as Bluetooth audio streaming (being introduced progressively) across all cabins. Customers will be able to watch 4K Hollywood blockbusters using their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones on our flights.

In addition, the A321neo will have a new and enhanced content selection providing one of the largest movie and TV libraries available on a regional single-aisle aircraft. High-speed Wi-Fi is also being introduced progressively onboard.

Cathay has also added new extra-large overhead storage bins in all cabins, providing 60% more space for passengers to stow their carry-on luggage.

SWISS has unveiled its new Premium Economy Class,

SWISS reveals new Premium Economy Class

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SWISS has unveiled its new Premium Economy Class,

SWISS has unveiled its new Premium Economy Class, as it seeks to strengthen its premium positioning in the growing leisure travel segment.

Premium Economy Class supplements its existing Economy, Business and First classes of travel from the fourth quarter of this year. SWISS Premium Economy Class travellers will enjoy greater privacy and enhanced in-flight comfort, a major contributor to which will be the newly developed fixed-backshell seat. Premium Economy customers will also be offered a wide range of in-flight cuisine, along with double the Economy Class registered baggage allowance and priority boarding. The new Premium Economy Class cabin will gradually be installed aboard all 12 of SWISS’s long-haul Boeing 777-300ERs from the fourth quarter of this year. The entire SWISS Boeing 777-300ER fleet will feature the new Premium Economy Class cabin by the start of the 2022 summer schedules.

“We are delighted that, in introducing our new Premium Economy Class, we are meeting our customers’ growing demand for more privacy, more comfort and more individuality,” said SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx.

Each SWISS Boeing 777-300ER will be equipped with 24 latest-generation Premium Economy Class seats from seat manufacturer ZIM. The seat is simple to recline and integrated into a fixed backshell to ensure zero intrusion into the personal space of the passenger behind. The new seat is wider than an Economy Class seat: between 46 and 48 cm, compared to 43.4. Seat pitch has been extended from the 78.7 cm of Economy Class to 99 cm, which translates into substantially more legroom. The new Premium Economy Class seat further features a greater recline and is additionally equipped with a fold-out leg rest. The seat’s covers have been produced by Lantal of Bern, Switzerland.

SWISS Premium Economy travellers will be issued with a complimentary amenity kit that is specifically manufactured using sustainable materials. They will also receive their own high-quality noise-reducing headphones to complement the seat’s 15.6-inch in-flight entertainment monitor. Personal reading lamps will provide suitable lighting on night-flight services; and electronic devices can be charged using the seat’s in-built USB-A socket.

SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour states: “Our new Premium Economy Class is tailor-made for our previous Economy Class customers who are looking to enhance their air travel experience and enjoy the benefits associated with higher travel classes. In international comparison terms, our SWISS Premium Economy Class is very clearly positioned as a top travel product.”

SWISS’s in-flight cuisine has also been specially tailored to the new class of travel. Premium Economy travellers will be offered an elderberry welcome drink, and will be able to choose from three hot meals all served on china tableware. The selection includes a dish from the award-winning ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ in-flight culinary programme, together with a vegetarian option supplied by Hiltl. “Our Premium Economy guests will be able to choose their in-flight meal according to their personal wishes and tastes,” CCO Goudarzi Pour explained. “And we’ll also be able to count on our long-standing partnership with Hiltl for our vegetarian offerings, for which we’re seeing an ever-growing demand.”

SWISS Premium Economy customers will be able to download two publications from the extensive eJournals portal onto their digital device free of charge ahead of their flight.

The new SWISS Premium Economy Class can also be experienced live and full-size in a 3D augmented reality model.

Omni Class employs multiple stand-alone throne seats, including the B/E Aerospace Diamond seat

Omni Air International unveils premium service

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Omni Class employs multiple stand-alone throne seats, including the B/E Aerospace Diamond seat

Omni Air International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group, has unveiled “Omni Class,” a new premium travel class billed as “180 degrees of 360 luxury.”

“Omni Class is the most significant advancement in passenger comfort in our 28-year history,” said Jeff Crippen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omni. “Continually reinvesting in our fleet through exceptional passenger experience upgrades like this is why Omni remains an industry leader.”

The Omni Class cabin configuration on the Boeing 767 offers a preferred two-one-two-across layout, providing every passenger with a greater degree of privacy and service than the airline’s other travel classes.

“We take pride in delivering the highest quality service to our customers,” said Robert Jared, Vice President of Business Planning and Strategy. “With Omni Class, we have not only enhanced the appointment of our cabins with the latest entertainment options, LED mood lighting, and powered seating that transforms into a 180-degree full-flat bed at the touch of a button, but also our exceptional crews have elevated the travel experience through an unmatched level of friendly and professional onboard service.”

Omni Class employs multiple stand-alone throne seats, including the B/E Aerospace Diamond seat for the Boeing 767 and the Thompson Vantage seat for the Boeing 777, which can be dressed in fine linens, duvet, and large pillow for more comfortable sleeping. They feature in-seat power, ample personal storage space, and an oversized tray table to accommodate a multi-course gourmet meal. Safran RAVE ZII entertainment systems equipped with 15.6-inch HD screens give passengers access to the latest films, games and music.

“Omni Class represents the airline’s continued investment in unique technology and custom solutions,” said Paul Bobson, Director of Business Development and Marketing. “Omni Air International continues to evaluate technology and partnerships to further expand our diverse, industry-leading portfolio of turnkey solutions.”

Omni Class is available on select aircraft from 23 June 2021.

PLAY uniforms

PLAY unveils new casual look uniform

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PLAY uniforms

New low-cost Icelandic airline PLAY has revealed its new cabin crew uniforms.

The casual apparel has been designed by couple Kolla Gunnarsdottir and Gunni Hilmarsson who commented: “We were honoured and pleased to get to work with PLAY on this clothing line for their uniforms. We really wanted to throw out all those old ideas about airline uniforms and bring in more comfort. We tried to scrap the constrictive rules often associated with these uniforms and include relaxed fits, stretchy fabrics and of course, shoes meant for working on your feet! The result is a mix of active wear and a fresh uniform.”

The uniforms are meant to encompass PLAY’s core values, simplicity, playfulness, competitiveness, equality and on-time performance.

“It was really satisfying to see how well Gunni and Kolla got our brief and our ideas for this line. We had certain ideas about the clothing and how it should represent and work with our brand and the results are just amazing,” stated Jónína Guðmundsdóttir, Chief People Officer of PLAY, whose responsibilities include uniforms.

The uniforms, which includes trainers, are not gender specific, with the crew able to select the outfit they want. Guidance on hair, make up, tattoos and nail polish have been removed.

United Airlines has confirmed it will purchase 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ airliners, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.

United Airlines commits to supersonic travel with Overture contract

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United Airlines has confirmed it will purchase 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ airliners, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.

United Airlines has confirmed it will purchase 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ airliners, once Overture meets United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.

The companies will work together on meeting those requirements before delivery.

Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimised to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and expected to carry passengers by 2029. United and Boom will also work together to accelerate production of greater supplies of SAF.

“United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes. Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust route network in the world, will give business and leisure travellers access to a stellar flight experience,” United CEO Scott Kirby said. “Our mission has always been about connecting people and now working with Boom, we’ll be able to do that on an even greater scale.”

Overture will also be designed with features such as in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology. Working with Boom is another component of United’s strategy to invest in innovative technologies that will build a more sustainable future of air travel.

“The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world,” said Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder and CEO. “United and Boom share a common purpose – to unite the world safely and sustainably. At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the advantages of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations.”

Airlander 10 cabin concept for 92 pax configuration

Hybrid Air Vehicles unveils cabin concepts for Airlander 10

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Airlander 10 cabin concept for 92 pax configuration

Hybrid Air Vehicles has unveiled concept designs for its Airlander 10 cabin interior.

HAV’s design team has been guided by engineering and regulatory demands, incorporating many considerations to ensure it is practical, feasible, and ready for the transition into production.

Airlander 10’s spacious cabin gives every passenger a comfortable seat with direct access to the aisles. The floor-to-ceiling windows are a focal point, providing passengers with incredible views and natural light. Coupled with its unique interior, the aircraft also offers a clear pathway to all-electric flight.

The Airlander 10 aircraft will be available with up to 100 seats in a hybrid-electric configuration from 2025, operating with 90% fewer emissions than conventional aircraft in similar roles. The aircraft will be offered in a fully electric configuration by 2030.

“For many decades flying from A to B has meant sitting in a metal tube with tiny windows – a necessity but not always a pleasure,” stated George Land, HAV’s Commercial Business Development Director. “On Airlander, the whole experience is pleasant, even enjoyable. And in the hybrid-electric and future all-electric configurations, Airlander is fit for our decarbonised future.”

PURE CABIN from FACC

ACS addressing COVID in the cabin

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PURE CABIN from FACC

AVIC Cabin Systems (ACS) Group have announced hygiene-focused innovations with further products in the development stage. FACC has introduced PURE CABIN, an antimicrobial surface coating; AIM Altitude is raising awareness of the protective benefits to health of ARCA, a hygienic boxed-meal system; and Thompson Aero Seating has launched the Vantage SOLO, a fully flat-bed for single-aisle aircraft that aids social distancing.

Andy Morris, VP Commercial at AVIC Cabin Systems, commented: “ACS leading the way with COVID-related innovations is another example of how well we come together as a group of companies to provide all essential aspects for the aircraft interior. In this instance, FACC has taken the high-tech route to contribute to flight safety and hygiene, while AIM Altitude and Thompson Aero Seating have used creative design and inventive engineering to find a solution to the issues. With such innovation at the forefront of our industry, positive flying experiences are back at the top of the agenda.”

PURE CABIN effectively and sustainably frees surfaces from all types of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The permanent photocatalytic surface solution by FACC is based on the TiO2 plus metal complex and was developed for line-fit cabin products and retrofit cabin applications. No pre- or post-treatment of the surfaces is required outside the guidance on routine aircraft cleaning and there is no need for a UV light source, as the active component is triggered by the normal cabin light.

PURE CABIN can be applied to all types of surface: laminates, leather, metal, injection molding, fabrics, and other materials. With no toxic or biocide-based substances, PURE CABIN is completely harmless to health and guarantees that virtually all viruses are eliminated in less than 10 minutes. The PURE CABIN solution is simply applied to the surface after cleaning and left to work for five minutes. A special lamp is supplied to check that all areas have been reached. The effectiveness of PURE CABIN has been checked and confirmed by a professional, standardised ISO procedure, carried out by independent laboratories such as OFI in Vienna. The treatment lasts for at least one year.

ARCA is an innovative galley system that introduces a new, hygienic boxed-meal system instead of set-meal trays. While the concept saves weight, creates space, and is environmentally friendly, it is its hygiene credentials that have now come to the fore.

The ARCA galley comprises aesthetically pleasing refrigerated aisle stowage units, catering for the same number of passengers within a smaller footprint. Utilising individual sealed boxes for both chilled and hot food, the ARCA system results in minimal handling and less interaction with open food content. The boxes double as closing waste-containers, which aids recycling and diverts waste from landfills, and has the advantage of reducing crew contact with left-over food and used utensils.

Thompson Aero Seating’s VantageSOLO offers a fully horizontal flat-bed for single-aisle aircraft from only a 33-inch seat pitch. Vitally, under new COVID concerns, the VantageSOLO has direct aisle-access for every seat, which can be configured with either an open aisle end, a fixed privacy screen, or a full-function suite door. This not only offers an exclusive business-class seating experience normally only the preserve of a wide-body cabin, but also greater social distancing.

The innovative reverse herringbone configuration of the VantageSOLO locates passengers away from the aisle and therefore minimises accidental contact with passengers and crew who are walking up and down the aisle.

AIM Altitude has delivered its 123rd ship set of the Emirates A380 interior to Airbus in Hamburg.

AIM Altitude delivers latest ship set for Emirates A380

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AIM Altitude has delivered its 123rd ship set of the Emirates A380 interior to Airbus in Hamburg.

AIM Altitude has delivered its 123rd ship set of the Emirates A380 interior to Airbus in Hamburg. The final ship set in this series marks a 15-year milestone in the relationship between Emirates and AIM Altitude.

The A380 interior has seen many iterations over the years, with a major refresh occurring for the 100th ship set.

Neil Taggart, Vice President & General Manager of AIM Altitude, part of AVIC Cabin Systems (ACS), said: ‘This long and continuous association with Emirates is evidence that the design of the A380’s lounge bar has reached classic status whilst retaining its freshness and continuing appeal to passengers. The synergy between design and aircraft has proved quite remarkable”.

Each ship set consists of:

  • The iconic horseshoe-bar
  • The chiller bar that stands behind the main bar
  • Left- and right-hand sofas
  • A stand-up stowage with 55” TV screen
  • A storage unit for the cabin
  • Waterfall feature for the top of the staircase

The last A380 will be delivered to Emirates out of Hamburg. AIM Altitude will continue to refresh some of the older fleet with the new style of interior that was introduced from ship set 100 onwards, so manufacture will carry on for some time to come.

Emirates and AIM Altitude have further projects on the horizon, including a confirmed programme on Emirates’ Boeing 777s and a proposed retro fit to update and refresh the A380’s older-style interior.

Interior of new Falcon 10X

Dassault Aviation launches Falcon 10X

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Interior of new Falcon 10X

Dassault Aviation has unveiled the Falcon 10X, which it claims “will deliver a level of comfort, versatility and technology unmatched by any purpose-built business jet.”

Featuring a range of 7,500 nautical miles, the Falcon 10X will fly nonstop from New York to Shanghai, Los Angeles to Sydney, Hong Kong to New York or Paris to Santiago. Top speed will be Mach 0.925.

“Today we are introducing a new benchmark in business aviation,” said Dassault Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “The Falcon 10X will offer an unrivalled passenger experience over both short- and long-duration flights, along with breakthrough safety features from Dassault’s frontline fighter technology. We have optimised every aspect of the aircraft with the passenger in mind and established a new level of capability for ultra-long-range aircraft.”

When entering service at the end of 2025, the 10X will have the biggest and most comfortable cabin on the market and offer greater modularity than any other aircraft in its class, with a selection of multiple interior configurations. The 10X is large enough to accommodate four cabin zones of equal length but owners can configure their cabin to create a truly customized interior, including for example, an expanded dining/conference area, a dedicated entertainment area with a large-screen monitor, a private stateroom with a queen-size bed or an enlarged master suite with a private stand-up shower.

“The 10X will be more than just another big step forward in business aviation. It will be absolutely the best business jet available in the ultra-long-range category, and will remain so for a long time,” said Trappier.

The 10X will have a cabin cross section larger than some regional jets. Its cabin will be 6-feet, 8-inches (2.03 m) tall and 9 feet, 1 inch wide (2.77 m): almost 8 inches (20 cm) wider and 2 inches (5 cm) taller than the widest and tallest purpose-built business jet flying today.

Passengers will experience a 3,000-foot cabin pressure altitude while flying at 41,000 feet. A next-generation filtration system will provide 100-percent pure air. The aircraft will be at least as quiet as the Falcon 8X, currently the quietest business jet in service.

The 10X will feature an entirely new fuselage with extra-large windows—nearly 50 percent larger than those on the Falcon 8X. Thirty-eight windows will line the fuselage making for the brightest cabin in business aviation.

Additionally, STELIA Aerospace will develop and manufacture a new generation pilot and co-pilot seats, aimed at improving the comfort and rest of the pilots, including a lie-flat option.

Delta has announced plans to outfit its Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its Delta Premium Select experience.

Delta expands Premium Select

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Delta has announced plans to outfit its Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its Delta Premium Select experience.

Delta has announced plans to outfit its Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its Delta Premium Select experience.

Beginning this May and Airbus A330 fleet beginning mid-July, both fleet types will also receive additional upgrades like refreshed lavatories, new LED cabin lighting, expanded personal power outlets and memory-foam comfort cushions. Both aircraft will now have four cabin experiences to give customers more options whether booking for business or leisure: Delta One, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin.

“As customers return to travel, we’re bringing them better and more comfortable experiences, and that includes introducing Delta Premium Select to more aircraft in our fleet,” said Byron Merritt, VP– Brand Experience Design. “We know customers are ready to get back into the world, and that is driving us to accelerate improvements to our aircraft that will give our customers the best onboard products.”

Delta Premium Select, an elevated Delta cabin experience available on select international routes, debuted in 2017 and features a wider seat, additional recline and an adjustable foot and leg rest on select widebody aircraft – offering customers more ways to cruise in comfort. Customers seated in Delta Premium Select also receive a TUMI amenity kit, noise-cancelling headsets and a blanket and pillow to help them arrive at their destination refreshed and relaxed.