Air Canada Rouge has lifted the lid of its seats (premium) and crew uniforms being introduced on nine A321s from this autumn

Air Canada Rouge resumes service with refreshed offerings

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Air Canada Rouge has lifted the lid of its seats (premium) and crew uniforms being introduced on nine A321s from this autumn

Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s leisure airline, has provided a glimpse of the cabin interior that will grace nine Airbus A321 aircraft from its 39-aircraft Rouge Fleet.

These nine aircraft feature a new contemporary interior design with Rouge brand accents and will be configured with leather seats offering a 30-inch seat pitch in the Economy cabin. The A321 Rouge aircraft also offer upgraded personal power options, including USB-C ports, and a convenient personal electronic device holder integrated into the seatback.

With the resumption of Air Canada Rouge service, which had been suspended since spring 2021, passengers can also enjoy recent product and design enhancements onboard all Rouge aircraft. This includes an upgraded streaming entertainment, providing passengers with complimentary access to tv and films via their own device or through a complimentary, sanitised iPad in Premium Rouge.

Rouge flight attendants will also be sporting a new uniform featuring many pieces of the award-winning Air Canada mainline uniform, accented with new neckwear and brevets to represent the Rouge brand.

All Air Canada Rouge flights are operated with narrow-body Airbus aircraft offering high-speed Wi-Fi (available for purchase) and a choice of Premium Rouge and Economy services. Customers travelling in the Premium Rouge cabin will be offered a complimentary bar and beverage service, and a complimentary meal on flights over two hours, or a snack on flights of shorter duration.

The first Airbus A321 aircraft to feature the improvements will enter service later this autumn.
“Air Canada Rouge remains integral to Air Canada’s overall strategy. As we emerge from the pandemic, we anticipate increased demand for vacation travel and from customers flying to enjoy overdue visits with family and friends. Air Canada’s leisure airline is ideally suited to serve this market with a compelling array of leisure destinations and an inviting travel experience so that the holidays begin as soon as customers board an Air Canada Rouge aircraft,” said Jon Turner, Vice President Inflight Services and President, Rouge Operations, at Air Canada.

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.

Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite and seat from Adient.

Qatar Airways introduces new business class suite on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

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Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite and seat from Adient.

Qatar Airways will launch its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, featuring a new business class suite, on a number of key routes to Europe and Asia, starting with its Doha to Milan service on 25 June 2021.

The ultramodern aircraft is scheduled for services from Doha to Athens, Barcelona, Dammam, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid and Milan and has a total passenger capacity of 311 seats – 30 business class Suites and 281 seats in economy class.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al-Baker, said: “In-line with our commitment to offering our passengers an unparalleled travel experience, we are pleased to introduce this much-anticipated business class suite on Qatar Airways’ newest wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 which will debut onto a number of key routes within our network.

“The new business class suite sets yet another industry standard with a uniquely private experience for premium passengers travelling with us, which is becoming increasingly valuable during this pandemic, while showcasing Qatar Airways’ 5-star standards of excellence and Qatari hospitality that are quintessential on all of our flights.

“Our passengers deserve the best and I am confident that they will appreciate the larger Dreamliner variant for its unmatched comfort in the sky. Passengers can rest assured that its responsible impact on the environment fully aligns with our ambition to achieve the highest levels of sustainability.”

Arranged in a herringbone pattern, in a 1-2-1 configuration, each Adient Ascent business class suite has direct aisle access with a sliding door to ensure the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Passengers seated in adjoining centre suites can slide the privacy panels away at the touch of a button to create their very own enclosed private space.

The business class suite transforms into a 79-inch fully-flat bed. Personal mobile devices can be stored safely in a dedicated phone holder, equipped with a wireless charging technology compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

The suite is complemented with by the onboard service, which includes a wide selection of international cuisine, food and beverages, as well as healthy vegan meal options that are a part of Qatar Airways’ à la carte dine-on-demand menu. Products and Amenities come from Narumi, BRIC’S, diptyque, TWG Tea, Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio and The White Company to name a few.

Economy class features Recaro seating, with each seat equipped with a 13-inch Panasonic IFE touch screen in addition to a personal electronic device holder for both mobile and iPad devices. The seat features a rotatable armrest that can be completely stowed away to the backrest, providing a more comfortable and spacious experience. Passengers can also enjoy the full dining experience ‘Quisine’.

As a warm welcome on-board the new aircraft, Qatar Airways Official Composer, Dana Al Fardan has created new boarding music portraying the mutual vision Qatar Airways and Dana share in bringing people together.

UK start-up airline flypop has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems to provide an ancillary revenue generating retail and in-flight entertainment solution on board its Airbus A330 aircraft.

flypop selects Bluebox Wireless IFE

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UK start-up airline flypop has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems to provide an ancillary revenue generating retail and in-flight entertainment solution on board its Airbus A330 aircraft.

UK start-up airline flypop has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems to provide an ancillary revenue generating retail and in-flight entertainment solution on board its Airbus A330 aircraft.

The airline is scheduled to launch with its initial aircraft in October thereafter adding an aircraft every six months, targeting the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) traveller market.

From launch, Bluebox will be deploying aircraft-powered Bluebox Wow wireless IFE (W-IFE), that will enable several ancillary revenue streams for the airline, most by directly engaging with passengers via their own personal devices during their flight. The retail solution will enable touch-free ordering and payments for food & beverages as well as gifts and other onboard retail products and will support the airline’s trolley-based retail. Though available once on board, passengers will also be able to pre-purchase IFE access within the booking path. Bluebox will also enable other ancillary revenue generating features and content, such as Gladi8tor Gaming, through LXM Group.

flypop’s Founding Director and Chief Technology Officer, Bobby Bhakar said: “Flying long-haul flights on a low-cost basis means we have to be creative in how we balance revenue and service. Thankfully, Bluebox’s wireless IFE platform provides a means to deliver both – for flypop to generate revenue at the same time we can offer services to keep our passengers engaged and entertained on board during our direct flights between the UK and South Asia.”

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.

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.”

Collage of new enhanced amenities from Mint experience

JetBlue refreshes Mint experience

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Collage of new enhanced amenities from Mint experience

JetBlue has announced the first major refresh of its JetBlue Mint service, introducing a completely new lineup for Mint, including Delicious Hospitality Group, Tuft & Needle, Wanderfuel and Master & Dynamic.

The new partners will transition into all Mint flights over the next six weeks, appearing on flights as early as 18  November.

“JetBlue’s reimagined Mint is turning the journey itself into a destination, offering the comforts of a premium travel experience at a more affordable price point,” said Elizabeth Windram, Vice President of marketing, JetBlue. “This onboard refresh allows us to reset that high bar we set in 2014, with the very best in dining and hospitality, comfort and wellness at 35,000 feet. And for those who can’t wait to see what we have in store for our London flights, well let’s just say this is a little teaser for what we have in mind.”

JetBlue tapped SoHo-based Delicious Hospitality Group (DHG) to bring their inventive culinary style, extraordinary wine and cocktail programs, and tactile dining aesthetics to the skies. Developed in partnership with Chef/Owner Ryan Hardy and Wine Director Grant Reynolds, the new Mint dining experience was created by reimagining elevated hospitality in-flight. It will feature a rotating menu of small plates that customers can choose from, individually inspired by each of DHG’s three restaurants, starting with Charlie Bird. Once onboard, customers will enjoy high-quality fare prepared with seasonal ingredients, alongside a selection of international wines and craft cocktails to be shaken on-board. To complete the experience, DHG redesigned plate ware to mimic their New York City table tops and has shared access to their revered music playlists capturing the ambiance synonymous with dining in one of their restaurants.

JetBlue has also collaborated with Tuft & Needle, the digitally native mattress company that pioneered the bed-in-a-box trend, to develop a cohesive sleep experience onboard. Travelers can relax with a convertible blanket with a built-in foot pocket, a memory foam lined pillow with a pillowcase and snooze kits that include a matching eye mask and ear plugs.

JetBlue is introducing its new “wellness kit” concept. Developed in partnership with Wanderfuel, a brand that specialises in carefully curated travel kits designed with leading nutritionist Sarah Wragge, the airline’s four wellness kits will provide customers with a rotating selection of healthy snacks, supplements and personal care items. Travelers will receive one of four kits catered to the time of day and destination they are flying to: Awake, for breakfast and morning flights; Flow, for lunch and dinner flights; Sleep, for shuteye flights; and Renewal, for Caribbean flights.

Mint customers will enjoy premium headsets from New York City’s luxury audio brand, Master & Dynamic. The custom-for-JetBlue MH40 Over-Ear headphones come with noise reduction, a brilliant, genre-agnostic sound profile, and a vintage aviation-inspired design.

A single, intuitive, integrated platform allowing airlines to manage their ancillary revenue operations efficiently (Source AOE)

AOE to acquire SHIFTEO

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A single, intuitive, integrated platform allowing airlines to manage their ancillary revenue operations efficiently (Source AOE)

AOE is to acquire on-board sales and supply chain specialist SHIFTEO. The agreement includes SHIFTEO’s In-flight ePOS, Supply Chain Management and Back Office for Catering Management solutions.

When complete the unique functionality of the vendor-independent platform will integrate with simplified vendor management to give airlines the freedom to select and manage multiple caterers and duty-free suppliers right across location hubs and service stations.

Michael Raasch, CCO AOE Aviation commented: “AOE’s new platform provides airlines with powerful operational and competitive advantages that will drive new and stronger ancillary revenue opportunities.

“Additionally, in a new strategic cooperation with on-board technology experts Airfree, we also offer airlines complete connection and digital solutions on in-flight and IFE transactions. This completes an inflight solution that can not only accelerate airline recovery from the current crisis but also deliver stronger long-term performance.”

Peter Coelho, co-founder of SHIFTEO, added: “With sustainability the second-biggest priority on airlines’ minds after recovery, this model also has the potential to create immense savings in food waste, stock management, inefficiencies, last-mile delivery, fuel cost and theft/fraud,” he added. “Transforming just 20% of buy-on-board to E-Commerce and ten percent of passengers to pre-order their meals could result in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars per year across the airline ecosystem.”

AOE has also incorporated stronger IFE accessibility to support the integration of all aspects of its digital solutions following a partnership agreement with Airfree, the leading specialist provider of on-board E-Commerce frontend and caching technology.

Kian Gould, founder and CEO of AOE, outlines the potential influence of the new platform: “Connectivity is the golden key to future incremental revenue and these agreements gives us the agility to integrate our proven solutions into the entire value-chain of the world’s most forward-

“The global crisis has accelerated both digital behavior and the obsolescence of the traditional revenue models and, as we all know, digital behavior never regresses. The only one path to recovery is the one that the passenger is already treading – the digital path.”

The AOE-SHIFTEO transaction remains subject to additional regulatory approvals and is subject to final binding agreements.

Passengers can enjoy their favourite Singapore Airlines in-flight meals at home

SIA asks to Discover Your Singapore Airlines

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Passengers can enjoy their favourite Singapore Airlines in-flight meals at home

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched the Discover Your Singapore Airlines suite of experiences to engage with its customers during COVID-19.

The Discover Your Singapore Airlines experiences are the result of a market study and a comprehensive review, which also considered factors such as the attractiveness of the initiatives to SIA’s customers and members of the public, the environmental implications, and their financial viability. An idea for a one-off short tour flight, or a “flight to nowhere”, was also initially considered but not pursued after the review.

Restaurant A380 @Changi offers an exclusive dining experience an Airbus A380. Diners can choose from special menus for each cabin class. Options include the airline’s signature international cuisine, as well as the best dishes from a special Peranakan menu that has been designed by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee. Limited slots for an exclusive pre-lunch tour of the A380 will also be available. All diners will receive KrisShop discounts, a limited edition goodie bag and additional gifts if they turn up in traditional heritage wear. Reservations start on 12 October 2020, and Restaurant A380 @Changi will operate on 24 and 25 October 2020.

Over two weekends in November during the school holidays, Inside Singapore Airlines will provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of our training facilities with a wide range of activities for the entire family. Visitors will be brought on a tour of more than 70 years of SIA’s history, get an opportunity to interact with pilots and cabin crew, and find out more about the intensive training that they undergo.

Children can enjoy craft activities such as balloon sculpting and making their own batik roses. They will also have the option to dress up and role play as cabin crew and take home their very own SIA sarong kebaya uniform. Adults can choose to operate a full flight simulator, taste some of our premium in-flight wine labels, and attend a grooming workshop. A selection of the most popular meals that are served on board SIA flights will also be on sale. Bookings open on 1 November 2020, and the tours will be held on 21, 22, 28 and 29 November 2020.

SIA@Home is for customers who are keen to enjoy the world-renowned SIA in-flight dining experience in the comfort of their own home. They can choose from 10 menus featuring exclusive First Class and Business Class meals, which will come complete with wine or champagne. Limited edition dining ware and amenities are also available depending on the package chosen. The special cabin crew concierge service for SIA@Home bookings opens on 5 October 2020.

SIA Chief Executive Officer Mr Goh Choon Phong commented: “There has been a lot of interest in our customer engagement initiatives over the last few weeks, and I would like to thank everyone for their great ideas and suggestions. We are very encouraged by and grateful for the enthusiasm and passion that we have seen. All of us are eagerly looking forward to welcoming you to discover your Singapore Airlines.”

Interior of SilverAir BBJ

Silver Air offers unrestricted charter use of Boeing Business Jet

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Interior of SilverAir BBJ

The Silver Air-managed Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) is now available for charter and uniquely without restrictions by the jet’s owner.

Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, the BBJ has an expansive 18-passenger configuration designed for personal and business travel.

Featuring a custom interior and master bedroom with a large bed, shower with exclusive steam feature, conference room, lounge area, and three lavatories, the BBJ is the first private charter with Gogo 2Ku fully worldwide high-speed internet connectivity. All onboard monitors have Apple TV for streaming and Sling TV for live TV. The galley is equipped with wine chiller, two microwaves, oven and De’Longhi coffee/espresso maker.

“BBJs are unique among private aircraft. Executive Liners, or Bizliners, are luxurious, they provide a next level VVIP experience, and the BBJ being managed by Silver Air is special even within this exclusive category. It’s state-of-the art, and the owner hasn’t put any restrictions on when we can charter it,” said Chuck Stumpf, Silver Air’s President of Business Development. “This BBJ offers flyers the ultimate in-flight experience whether you require space for your family or a working office in the sky. It’s more akin to an executive suite in a high-end hotel than a private jet.”