Emirates has unveiled its new Premium Economy product on its latest A380

Emirates unveils Premium Economy

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Emirates has unveiled its new Premium Economy product on its latest A380

Emirates has unveiled a brand-new Premium Economy for its A380, as part of a wider product enhancement and refreshed look across all cabins onboard its newest A380 aircraft.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The Emirates A380 is already one of the most sought-after travel experiences in the skies, and now we’ve made it even better. While others cut back, Emirates is working hard to restore the products and services that we’ve had to suspend or adjust due to pandemic precautions and introduce new offerings and enhancements. True to our fly better promise, Emirates continues to invest to offer our customers the best possible experience.”

Emirates’ remaining order of five A380s will be delivered with premium economy cabins over 2021 and 2022. Emirates’ premium economy seats will also be installed on some of its Boeing 777X aircraft which are only due to join the fleet in 2023. Emirates is considering plans to retrofit its existing A380 fleet.

The premium economy cabin, located at the front of the main deck, with three lavatories dedicated to customers offers 56 seats in a 2-4-2 cabin layout.

A customised seat design from Recaro, based on the PL3530, the seat offers a pitch of up to 40-inches, 19.5 inches wide, and reclines 8 inches. According to Recaro, its PL3530 design team prioritised state-of-the-art features like the ones found in upscale German cars and combined it with the spirit of Dubai. The seat features a bronze trim, a distinct finish, and a cream-coloured leather dress cover, complete with a one-of-a-kind anti-stain leather with stitching and a wood panel finishing similar to Business Class.

First deliveries of the seats began in Q4 2020, and at least 250 shipsets will ultimately be installed on Emirates’ fleet.

The seat’s ergonomics offers best of comfort with its recline and movable calf rest enabling a highly relaxed lazy position, additional storage compartments, and six-way adjustable headrest also contribute to passenger sleeping comfort.

Each seat has a 13.3” screen and easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.

Until more Premium Economy seats enter its inventory, the airline intends to offer these as spot upgrades for its valued customers on a discretionary basis.

The aircraft’s 14 First Class private suites have also been widened and taller doors, for even more privacy and comfort.

Cabin detail and finishes have also been refreshed with new motifs and colours, including modern fittings in the Shower Spa.

Emirates has retained its A380 Business Class seats which offer direct aisle access for every passenger, reclines to a fully-flat position, and offers personal mini bars, ample personal storage and a high degree of privacy.

All 76 seats have been refreshed to feature champagne-coloured leather covers and wood finishing, inspired by executive jets, similar to the Business Class on Emirates’ Boeing 777 Gamechanger aircraft.

The same classic colour scheme has also been applied to the Onboard Lounge at the back of the upper deck, for the exclusive use of First and Business Class passengers.

The airline has also replaced all 338 Economy seats onboard its newest A380 with ergonomically designed seats that come with full leather headrests and flexible side panels which can be adjusted vertically for optimum support. Each features a wood grain finish on tray tables, as well as a 13.3” personal screen.

Throughout the A380 interior, customers will see new finishes and design touches featuring the Ghaf (prosopis cineraria) tree motif, as well as the clean and airy champagne colour scheme with wood panelling and bronze accents from Emirates’ latest Boeing 777 Gamechanger interiors.

All cabin classes are equipped with the latest generation of Emirates’ ice in-flight entertainment system offering improved and superior image quality. Each in-seat screen will feature ultra-wide viewing angles, a capacitive touch screen, LED backlight and full HD display.

Aeropeople secures Virgin Atlantic cabin interior maintenance contract

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Virgin Atlantic Airways has awarded Aeropeople Engineering Services, part of Aeropeople Ltd, a three-year multi-million-pound contract to manage cabin interior maintenance, repair and refurbishment across its entire global fleet.

As part of the contract, the largest in Aeropeople’s history, an 80-person team will be established at Heathrow where they will work in partnership with interiors service provider Cabinair to provide an end-to-end service for the airline across its Boeing 787 and Airbus A330/A350 aircraft.

Aeropeople Managing Director Ian Peart explained: “We have been providing recruitment services to Virgin for around 15 years and now look forward to extending that partnership in what is genuinely a ground-breaking deal that enables us to provide our customer with a turnkey solution that will minimise aircraft downtime whilst driving efficiency and value across all elements of the supply chain.

Aeropeople will set up a Line Maintenance operation at Heathrow to support front line cabin interior maintenance as well as establishing a deeper scheduled maintenance and refurbishment operation in the Virgin hangar at the airport.

Following a recruitment and training drive, work on the first aircraft was expected to commence the week of 11 January 2021.

Delta A330-900 aircraft in flight

DO&CO secures first contract with Delta Air Lines

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Delta A330-900 aircraft in flight

As it looks to expand in the US, DO&CO has won its first contract with Delta Air Lines.

From 16 March 2021 DO&CO will be the airline’s sole Hub Caterer in Detroit (DTW) for the next 10 years. DO & CO will be responsible for the entire board service across all short and long-haul flights.

In a statement, the caterer said that its culinary expertise will “support Delta Air Lines in its vision to improve the in-flight customer experience. The Gourmet Entertainment provided by DO&CO invigorates Delta Air Lines distinctiveness and promises to enhance its reputation as a premium airline.”

The caterer will also bid for Delta Air Lines’ upcoming Hub tenders in 2021.

Airbus has signed a contract with Intelsat to build two OneSat satellites operating in multiple frequency bands for Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network. The contract was signed on 31 December 2020.

Intelsat selects OneSat for next gen SDS network

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Airbus has signed a contract with Intelsat to build two OneSat satellites operating in multiple frequency bands for Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network. The contract was signed on 31 December 2020.

Airbus has signed a contract with Intelsat to build two OneSat satellites operating in multiple frequency bands for Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network.

The satellites will be based on Airbus’ OneSat product line, the latest generation of fully flexible, in orbit reconfigurable, Software Defined Satellites (SDS).

Airbus will deliver an end-to-end fully integrated solution, including design and manufacture of the satellites. The highly capable ground segment software components, when fully integrated into Intelsat’s next-generation software defined network ecosystem and advanced digital suite will allow dynamic operation of end-to-end satellite resources. The two next generation SD satellites will be delivered in 2023.

The Airbus Software Defined satellites will deliver powerful performance and a ground-breaking experience for Intelsat customers across multiple geographic regions. This agreement also marks the beginning of a radical evolution of Intelsat’s network; Intelsat is pursuing an aggressive, multi-year network transformation plan with investments in new assets that are designed for extremely high speeds, enhanced capacity flexibility, redundancy and backwards compatibility.

Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler said: “Intelsat’s investment in Airbus software defined satellites marks an important first step in evolving the world’s largest, most resilient, integrated space and ground network. Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network will be the catalyst for our growth, enabling future Gogo Commercial Aviation in-flight broadband services, as well as other managed services across Intelsat’s customer segments.”

BA has resigned chef Tom Kerridge to oversee its gourmet pre-order menu for Euro Traveller

British Airways serves up pre-order gourmet food

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BA has resigned chef Tom Kerridge to oversee its gourmet pre-order menu for Euro Traveller

As part of its focus on the short-haul experience, British Airways is partnering with British chef, Tom Kerridge for its new Speedbird Café menu in Euro Traveller.

The dishes designed by Kerridge have been created with a special focus on British provenance. These include Warm Steak & Ale Pie; Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar Sandwich; Spiced Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap (Vegan), Chicken, Bacon and Celery Brioche, and Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich (Vegetarian).

British Airways will continue to offer complimentary refreshment, comprising a bottle of water and a snack, such as a breakfast bar or crisps introduced in response to the pandemic, alongside its new Speedbird Café pre-purchase menu, hosted on its in-flight retail site www.highlifeshop.com.

Speedbird Café will launch as a pre-order proposition, which will allow customers to customise their journey by purchasing food, drink and in-flight retail items up to 12 hours before departure. It also helps the airline in its efforts to reduce onboard waste as part of its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

The airline will also be introducing another BrewDog IPA, exclusively available for British Airways’ customers. The Scottish craft brewery has developed another exciting blend for the airline called JetSteam, following on from the limited edition Speedbird 100.

Elsewhere, the airline will also be moving to the next phase of its on-board catering experience in Club Europe and on all long-haul flights from 20 January 2021, following the temporary introduction of minimum-contact meal boxes to keep customers safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline’s culinary teams have been working with caterers, DO&CO, to develop new menus in its Club Europe and all other long-haul cabins, as well as adapting the meal service to reintroduce china and glassware.

Chef Tim Boury has re-committed to designing menus for Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines and chef Tim Boury renew collaboration for 2021

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Chef Tim Boury has re-committed to designing menus for Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is to continue its culinary collaboration with Belgian chef Tim Boury to create gastronomic experiences for Business Class customers on its long-haul flights.

Following a successful first collaboration in 2020, Boury returns to create four different menus throughout 2021 for Brussels Airlines’ Business Class guests on intercontinental flights.

“We operated a reduced number of flights this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we unfortunately have not been able to share Tim’s kitchen with our wide audience of customers. The guests who did get to enjoy Tim’s culinary treats, raved about the quality and taste. That is why we decided to renew our collaboration. We are very happy that Tim decided to accept the challenge again and we look forward to top-notch Belgian cuisine on board of our flights,” commented Tanguy Cartuyvels, Head of Customer Experience and Product at Brussels Airlines.

Boury will work with local and seasonal produce to promote Belgian gastronomy.

For the first months of the year, Boury has devised a menu consisting of an apéro bite made of Gougères Brokkeloud Roeselare cheese, a choice of brioche with smoked eel and chicory or braised veal tenderloin served with rocket and stuffed tomato as a starter, followed by three choices for the main course: Veal cheek with fondant potatoes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts or cod fish with pumpkin, vadouvan spices and wild rice or a vegetarian lasagne with parsnip, celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke and porcini mushroom. The meal is rounded off with a dessert of white chocolate, banana and blackcurrant.

Salmon Miso Yaki : rilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice,

JAPAN RAIL CAFÉ offers diners chance to savour JAL in-flight meals

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Salmon Miso Yaki : rilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice,

In a collaborative first, JAPAN RAIL CAFÉ, a travel-themed cafe operated by the East Japan Railway Company, and Japan Airlines (JAL) are giving diners a limited one-month opportunity to enjoy a selection of in-flight meals in the café, and opportunity to purchase exclusive JAL merchandise.

Kentaro Dobashi, Vice President and Regional Manager of Japan Airlines Singapore said: “This partnership represents the timeless synergy between two industries—air and rail—that is so instrumental to a memorable travel experience in Japan. We are delighted that our friends in Singapore will be able to relive happy moments—whether it is the anticipation of arrival while enjoying a meal onboard or purchasing a memento of your journey—through dining at JAPAN RAIL CAFE.”

Prepared by SATS, Japan Airlines’ in-flight caterer in Singapore, the meals are strictly limited in quantity, with only 600 meals available during the month-long promotion. Served on JAL trays and compartmentalised into two appetisers, a main and dessert, these two menu varieties were specifically chosen for their popularity among passengers.

Both choices come with Zaru Udon—chilled udon noodles served with wasabi and soba dipping sauce, Kobachi—a ‘small bowl’ or side dish of spinach, corn and shimeji mushrooms in a savoury broth, as well as JAL Signature Earl Grey Chiffon Cake.

The Salmon Miso Yaki Dainomono contains grilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice, while the Chicken Takiawase Tamago is a succulent chicken thigh with shiitake mushrooms, green beans, red peppers and shredded tamago on Japanese rice.

A choice of coffee (Hot Drip Coffee or Cold Brew) or tea (Hot Citrus Green Tea or Iced Citrus Green Tea) is included with the meal.

For every in-flight meal ordered, customers, who must be a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident, get a chance to enter the grand lucky draw and win one of two JR East passes.

Until 31 January, customers can choose from 19 unique items that include JAL chopstick holders, Japanese stationery, tote bags, model planes as well as JAL branded golf balls and markers. The JAL Furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) will also be available.

In addition, Japan Airlines’ Singapore-based cabin crew will be at JAPAN RAIL CAFE every Saturday and Sunday of January starting from 9 January, from 12pm to 6pm, to teach interested customers the art of wrapping gifts with furoshiki, as well as folding origami paper planes and cranes.

Customers who order the in-flight meal are also entitled to airfare discounts of up to 28%, valid or travel until 31 March 2022.

SAUDIA Braille guides

SAUDIA extends Braille offerings for visually impaired and blind passengers

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SAUDIA Braille guides

Saudi Arabian Airlines has committed to providing services and products onboard for all visually impaired guests.

In 2015, SAUDIA became the world’s first airline to introduce a comprehensive flight guide in Braille, and this year marked World Braille Day (4 January) by extending the service across in-flight entertainment (IFE) and cuisine options.

Passengers can select a Braille cuisine option at time of booking through a simple step while making a booking from the airline’s website or by calling SAUDIA. IFE options include audio descriptive movies and content onboard.

Saudi Arabian Airlines prints all material in-house with its full-spectrum Braille printer in order to transform all materials and applications, such as special meals and menus, safety procedures and magazines in Braille for in-flight use.

Commenting on the services provided by the airline, Chief Executive Officer of SAUDIA, Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy said: “SAUDIA is committed to being an inclusive airline, providing amenities, services and support for all guests. We take pride in making our very best efforts to provide a comfortable, welcoming and hospitable experience from each point of the journey.”

Aircare Firesock containment bag, heat resistant cloves and a resealable storage container

Aircare introduces latest iteration of Firesock

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Aircare Firesock containment bag, heat resistant cloves and a resealable storage container

Aircare has released the second generation of its Aircare Firesock, a battery risk management solution currently used by over six global commercial carrier fleets, as well as hundreds of corporate aircraft.

The Aircare Firesock is designed to mitigate the risk of lithium-ion battery packs within personal electronic devices (PED) like laptops, tablets and smartphones, which can cause thermal runaway.  This occurs when one or more of the cells of a PED battery become unstable and start to overheat causing smoke, fire and explosion.

The latest Firesock, which includes the FireSock containment bag, heat resistant cloves and a resealable storage container, is now capable of withstanding internal radiant temperatures up to 2,000°F.

The resealable storage tube is designed to carry four litres of water (cylindrical measurements are 5-inches in diameter and 12.5 inches in length) for dousing in an effort to cool thermal runaway as recommended in FAA SAFO 09013. The Firesock is designed to completely contain all of the molten material and fire that results from a battery event, while the device’s structural integrity is maintained by venting gasses as they rapidly expand during an explosion.

JetBlue takes receipt of its first A320 aircraft

JetBlue begins year with A220-300 delivery

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JetBlue takes receipt of its first A320 aircraft

JetBlue has received its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft, the initial delivery of 70 A220 aircraft the carrier has on order, which will be phased in to ultimately replace its existing fleet of 60 Embraer 190 aircraft.

“The A220 is a next-generation aircraft our customers and crewmembers will love, featuring impressive range and superior economics to support critical financial and operating priorities along with new network planning flexibility,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “And as we evolve our fleet for the future, the A220’s significant reduction in per-seat emissions supports our ongoing commitment to carbon neutrality for all our domestic flights and moves us closer to achieving our pledge of net zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2040.”

Details of its custom-designed A220 cabin are still to be revealed (at time of writing) but JetBlue has promised they will be as impressive as the operating capabilities of the aircraft.

“Customers will also enjoy an elevated in-flight experience with wider seats, spacious overhead bins and extra-large windows,” the airline said in a statement.