Airline Industry News

Airlines and Aviation

From new menus to new travel destinations to improved seating to special promotions – not to mention the latest technological innovations! Check out what’s happening in the airline industry in this new Accidental Travel Writer feature, Airline Industry News.

Qatar Spreads Wings to Eight New Destinations!

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Qatar Airways Boeing 777.

Qatar Airways is adding eight travel destinations to its route map!

Finnair Cuts Service to Greater China

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Finnair is the flag carrier of Finland.

Finnair is temporarily suspending all remaining service between mainland China and Finland.

The airline had previously suspended flights to Beijing Daxing, Guangzhou, and Nanjing.

Flights to Beijing Capital Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport will now be added to the cancellation list.

The airline is also cutting service to Hong Kong in half. The airline currently links Hong Kong and Helsinki twice daily. The number will be reduced to one daily flights from 1 to 29 March 2020.

Emirates Serving Special Desserts on Valentine’s Day

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Special desserts are being served in celebration of Valentine’s Day on Emriates.

Love is in the air at Emirates Airline in celebration of Valentine’s Day!

Emirates is serving 40 unique Valentine’s Day desserts on board aircraft and at airport lounges throughout its global network.

The desserts vary from airport to airport. They will be served from 13 to 15 February 2020.

For example, at the airline’s hub in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it has fully seven lounges.

And First and Business Class passengers can wash down  a selection of cakes and desserts with Moet & Chandon Rosé Impérial.

Included are a passion fruit cake with raspberry, red velvet cake, and red velvet ice cream,

On Valentine’s Day itself, Emirates will serve a special selection of desserts on longer flights.

Passengers flying First and Business Class can end their meals on a sweet  note with a heart-shaped passion fruit cake.

And passengers flying Economy Class will receive white chocolate passion fruit cheesecake for dessert.

Meanwhile, special snacks will be served in the on-board lounges of Emirates’ Airbus A380 aircraft.

Indonesia Calls on Airlines to Cut Fares!

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Lion Air Boeing 737s and Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-800-at-Denpasar International Airport (DPS) in Bali. Photo Credit: Riyad Filza.

The Indonesian government has called on airlines to offer special discounts to domestic travel destinations to offset the decline in foreign tourist arrivals resulting from the Wuhan Virus.

The move follows a decision to ban travel to and from mainland China in a bid to prevent the virus from entering the archipelago.

As part of the ban, the visa-free and visa-on-arrival provisions for Chinese tourists have also been stopped.

“Through the Transportation Ministry, the government has initiated giving special discounts for domestic flights to Bali, North Sulawesi and Bintan Island,” Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said.

For many years, Chinese tourists have been among the largest group of foreign tourists visiting Bali. Their favourite destinations include Bintan Island in Riau Islands, Bali, and Manado in North Sulawesi.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), 1.9 million Chinese tourists visited Indonesia during the first 11 months of 2019. They accounted close to 13% of foreign visitors.

Russian Airline Tops Global Most On-time Airline List!

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Domestic terminal at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, Russia. The airport has been  ranked the world’s most punctual airport by Cirium. Photo Credit: Standing77.

According to Cirium, Russian airline Aeroflot registered the best on-time performance in 2019.

“Looking at the Russian carrier’s past year it’s clear that as Aeroflot has more controls in place over their environment than most, that helps enormously to drive operational efficiency,” says Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO.

“Russia’s successful year continues with Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International airport also winning the top spot as the most punctual airport.”

Cirium is a data and analytics company. It analyzes more than 70 million passenger journeys and US$5 rillion worth of aircraft assets each year.

In a study of 35 million airline flights in 2019, CIrium analyzed data to determine which airlines had the best on-time arrival records.

Top 10 Most Punctual Airlines for 2019

These are the global carriers with the best on-time performance for 2019.

1. Aeroflot 

Aeroflot Airbus A321 in Manchester United special livery taking off at Sheremetyevo international airport.

Aeroflot (SU) came in first. The flat carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation had an on time performance of 87%. For flights arriving late, the average  delay time was 46% minutes.

2. All-Nippon Airways

Airplane at Tokyo Haneda Airport

All-Nippon Airways (NH) came in second. The largest airline in Japan had an on time performance of 86%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 32 minutes.

3. Delta Airlines

Delta Connections aircraft preparing for landing

Delta Airlines (DL) came in third. The second largest airline in the United States had an on time performance of 86%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 58 minutes.

4. Azul Brazilian Airlines

Embraer E-195 of Azul Brazilian Airlines landing at Congonhas Airport CGH), Sao Paulo

Azul Brazilian Airlines (AD) came in fourth. The second largest airline in Brazil had an on time performance of 84%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 34 minutes.

5. Japan Airlines

Boeing 787 JAL

Japan Airlines (JL) came in fifth. The second largest airline in Japan airline had an on time performance of 83%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 34 minutes.

6. Alitalia

Alitalia Airbus A320-214 takes off from Tegel airport in Berlin.

Alitalia (AZ) came in sixth. The flag carrier of Italy had an on time performance of 82%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 30 minutes.

7.Air France

Air France aircraft preparing for landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Air France (AF) came in seventh. The flag carrier of France had an on time performance of 81%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 41 minutes.

8. Emirates Airline

Emirates Airline Airbus A380

Emirates (EK) came in eighth. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) based airline had an on time performance of 81%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 33 minutes.

9. Korean Air

Korean air Boeing 777

Korean Air (KE) came in ninth. The largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea had an on time performance of  80%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 33 minutes.

10. SAS

SAS Bombardier CRJ-909ER airplane

Scandinavian Airlines System (SK) came in 10th. The Swedish-based airline had an on time performance of 80%. For flights arriving late, the average delay time was 31 minutes.

Airlines with the Shortest Average Delays

The difference between first and 10th place is less than seven percentage points (because figures have been rounded off).

Perhaps more important than how often flights are delayed is how long they are delayed. Then the top 10 list would look very different.

Comparing the top 10 most punctual airlines according to this standard, sixth place Alitalia would come in first, followed by 10th place SAS.

And third-place Delta would come in 10th, followed by Aeroflot, which would come in ninth. 

It would be interesting to see this criterion applied across the board. Perhaps airlines not making the top 10 list wouldn’t look so bad!

FlyDubai Spreads Its Wings to Thailand!

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Flydubai Boeing 737 arrives at Krabi International Airport in Southern Thailand. Photo Credit: Tourism Authority of Thailand.

FlyDubai has added Krabi International Airport to its route map. The airline is operating a Boeing 737 on the route.

The daily flight is an extension of the airline’s recently launched service linking its Dubai hub with Yangon, Myanmar.

“Flydubai’s new Dubai-Krabi flight will cater to the increasing numbers of travelers from the UAE, which is the most lucrative and the largest tourist source market from the Middle East,” Pichaya Saisaengchan of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says.

Flydubai’s Sudhir Sreedharan is equally upbeat.

“We are delighted to mark the inaugural flight of our new route to Krabi and to see our network grow further east,” he says.

“Over the past ten years, we have shown our commitment to opening up under-served markets and enabling millions of passengers to travel to more places more often.”

Both Flydubai and Emirates maintain hubs at Dubai International Airport. Passengers will be able to make connections to Europe and the GCC counties.

A budget carrier, Flydubai is based in the United Arab Emirates. It has many code share agreements with Emirates.

Emirates Adds Mexico City to Route Network!

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Emirates Airline’s first ever flight to Mexico flies over downtown Mexico City on its way to Mexico City International Airport.

Emirates added Mexico City its route map on 9 December 2019.

The daily flight links Dubai, United Emirates, with Mexico City, Mexico, by way of Barcelona, Spain.

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The Emirates Boeing 777-200LR receives a water canon salute as it lands at Mexico City on 9 December 2019 at 4:15 pm local time. 

A group of VIPs and journalists boarded Emirates flight EK255 at Dubai International Airport.They were flown to the Mexican capital, where they were greets with a traditional a water cannon salute.

“We are excited to start a new chapter in Emirates’ history, offering a seamless connection between Dubai, Barcelona, and Mexico City,” says Salem Obaidalla, Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Americas.

“We expect this service to generate high demand and enhance business, culture, and leisure connections as well as boost tourism and commerce between these markets.”

Emirates is operating a newly refurbished two-class Boeing 777-200LR, on the route. The aircraft has 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 layout. In addition, it has 264 seats in Economy Class.

The Business Class seats are two inches widr than those on Emirates’ earlier lie-flat seats.

In addition, the new Business Class cabin features a lounge, where passengers can help themselves to potato chips, sandwiches, fruit, and beverages. The lounge is unique to the Boeing 777-200LR fleet.

Nationals of Mexico, Spain and the UAE do not require visas to travel to any of the three countries.

FlyDubai Lands in Southeast Asia!

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flydubai Boeing 737-800 receives a water canon welcome after landing at Yangon International Airport.

flydubai has spread its wings to Southeast Asia, launching service linking Dubai with Yangon, Myanmar.

The new daily flights is code-shared with Emirates, which maintains a hub at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

The flight departs from the airport’s Terminal 3. The airline operates a Boeing 737-800 on  the route.

Yangon International Airport (RGN) is located in Mingaladon, which is 15 kilometres, or nine miles, north of Yangon. It is Myanmar’s busiest airport. It is served by approximately 10 domestic and 30 international airlines.

“We are delighted to start our new daily service to Yangon, as we see flydubai’s network expand further East,” says Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Subcontinent and Africa) at flydubai.

“We are confident that the new service will not only support the trade links between the UAE and Myanmar but also become a popular route for passengers travelling from the UAE and the GCC and for those connecting to Europe and the USA with Emirates.”

Emirates Launches Group Discounts on Thai Routes!

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Better together! Passengers enjoy in-flight meals aboard Emirates. Photo Credit: Emirates Airline.

Emirates has launched special discounts for passengers buying two to nine tickets on a single booking.

Discounts will apply to flights departing from Bangkok or Phuket to such destinations as Boston, Dubai, London, New York, Paris, and Zurich.

Tickets must be purchased by 21 July 2019 for travel completed by 31 March 2020.

Archive of Old Content

Qatar Airways to Launch Qsuite on Bangkok Route

Qatar Airways will launch Qsuite in business class cabins on the Bangkok-Doha route on 15 July.

Qsuite offers double beds  and private cabins for up to four people with privacy panels that can be stowed away.

Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats allow passengers traveling together to turn their space into a private suite.

Emirates Unbundles Business Class Fares

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Business Class Lounge at Bangkok International Airport in Thailand. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Emirates is unbundling Business Class fares, offering special discounts with the following restrictions:

  • Business class passengers buying Special Fare tickets won’t have complimentary chauffeur service
  • They won’t have complimentary access lounges unless they already have access because of their status
  • They cannot upgrade to First Class using miles
  • Their seat selection is restricted unless they have Platinum member status
  • They must pay steep change and refund fees
  • Their miles will be equivalent to Flex Economy fares passengers.

So how much is access to a business class lounge worth? Check out my reviews of the Emirates business class lounge in Hong Kong and the business class lounge in Bangkok.

Air France to Operate LGBT Friendly Flights

Air France will operate two special LGBT friendly flights in celebration of Gay Pride in San Francisco and Paris.

Flight AF084 will depart on 28 June 2019 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle for San Francisco. Flight AF083 will depart on 30 June from San Francisco for Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Crew committed to inclusiveness will staff both of the Air France flights.

The Gay Parade in Paris will take place on Saturday 29 June. It will start at Place de la Concorde, in front of the National Assembly, and wind its way through Châtelet, Le Marais, Pont Sully, and Bastille. There will be a  massive party at Place de la République.

The LGBT Parade and Celebration in San Francisco will be held on 29 and 30 June. The theme of this year’s celebration will be  “Generations of Pride”

A highlight of the weekend in San Francisco is the Gay Parade, which starts at the Embarcadero and makes its way up Market Street to Civic Center.

Qatar Honoured for Business Class Cabins

Qatar Airways has been awarded the PAX International Readership award for ‘Best Cabin Interior Passenger Experience’ for its innovative Qsuite.

Qsuite features the first-ever double seat that reclines into a lie-flat bed in Business Class.

The suite also has sliding panels that stow away, which allows passengers to create their own private suite.

Lufthansa Adds Seven Cities to Its Route Map

Seven European cities are being added to the Lufthansa route map this spring.

All of the new travel destinations are located in Europe. Included are cities in Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, and Spain.

Flights operate from Lufthansa’s hub at Munich Airport in Southern Germany.

Check out where Lufthansa will fly you this summer …

Strasbourg, France
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Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg, France. Photo Credit: Jonathan Martz.

Flights to Strasbourg begin on 9 April 2019. They operate five times a week. Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft are used on the route.

Alicante, Spain
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Condos overlooking the ocean in Alicante, Spain. Photo Credit: Diego Delso.

Flights to Alicante  begin on 12 April 2019. They operate three times a week. Airbus A320 aircraft are used on the route.

Tivat, Montenegro
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Marina in Tivat, Montenegro. Photo Credit: Alex Alishevskikh.

Flights to Tivat begin on 13 April 2019. They operate every Saturday. Airbus A319 is used on the route.

Rijeka, Croatia
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Church of Our Lady’s, Rijeka, Croatia. Photo Credit: László Szalai.

Flights to Rijeka begin on 25 May 2019. They operate every Saturday. Bombardier CRJ900 are used on the route.

Rostock/Laage, Germany

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Giebelhäuser am Neuen Market in Rostock, Germany. Photo Credit: Darkone.

Flights to Rostock begin on 1 May 2019. They operate twice daily once on Sunday afternoon. Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft are used on the route.

Biarritz, France
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Bernain Beach in Biarritz, France. Photo Credit: Joxemai.

Flights to Biarritz begin on 25 May 2019. They operate every Saturday. Bombardier CRJ900 are used on the route.

Rimini, Italy

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A lane in Borgo San Giuliano, Rimini, Italy. Photo Credit: Roby Ferrari.

Flights to Rimini begin on 26 May 2019. They operate every Sunday. Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft are used on the route.

Airline Industry News is updated frequently!

Flight Attendant Creates Dish for First Class Passengers

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Tofu Royale. Photo Credit: Emirates Airline.

Emirates is serving Tofu Royale to first class passengers on flights between its Dubai-hub and Seoul, Korea, for three months, beginning in  April.

The dish was created by Jeeye Kang, a flight attendant at the airline. Jeeye was winner of an employee competition to create a mouth-watering dish to be served to the airline’s First Class passengers.

The dish is based on a recipe dating back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392 to 1897), when it was served to Korean royalty. Jeeye’s grandmother often served the dish at family reunions.

Airline Industry News brings you the latest on in-flight meal service!

Air Malta Launches Summer Schedule

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Boats and yachts at Msida Marina, the most popular marina in Malta. It has 720 berths and can accommodate pleasure craft of up to 22 metres in length. Photo Credit: Thyes.

Air Malta has launched service to Warsaw, Poland, and will resume service to Cairo, Egypt, as part of its 2019 summer schedule.

The airline will offer 188 scheduled flights per week to 42 travel destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Included will be additional flights between its hub at Malta International Airport and Paris Charles De Gaulle, France; Hamburg, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine; London Heathrow, UK; Lyon, France; Munich, Germany; and Tunis, Tunisia.

In addition to the scheduled service, the airline will offer charter flights to destinations such as to Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Krakow, Poland.

The Republic of Malta is a small island nation situated in the Mediterranean Sea. It is roughly 103 miles (166 kilometres) south of Sicily, Italy. Tourism is one of the country’s main industries. It is especially popular with medical tourists, who fly to the country for medical treatments.

Airline Industry News brings you information on new routes!

Air France Serves New Cocktail in Business Class

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New cocktail developed by bartender at Hotel Lancaster. Photo Credit: Air France.

Air France has started serving business class passengers a new cocktail developed by the head bartender at the Hotel Lancaster in Paris.

The cocktail has dark Saint-James rum, cherry and lime notes, Marie Brizard rosemary liqueur, and white peach juice. It is topped with Champagne.

Served as an aperitif, the new cocktail is offered on all long-haul flights. It will be updated twice a year.

Airline Industry News keeps you informed on in-flight beverages!

Etihad Launches Jet Lag Advisor

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Jet Lag Adviser. Photo Credit: Panasonic.

Is jet lag about to become a thing of the past? Etihad Airways plans to integrate the Jet Lag Adviser into its passenger app.

Passengers start by imputing key personal data such as chronotype, circadian rhythms, height, weight, the nature of their travel, and travel information such as flight times, routes, and time zones into the app.

The app then uses artificial intelligence to produce personalized advice to help them reduce jet lag. Reminders are sent at each stage of their trip with recommended actions.

Etihad is the first airline to test the app. It was developed by Panasonic Avionics.

Airline Industry News brings you news on travel-related technological improvements!

Swiss International Upgrades Airbus A340 Cabins

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First Class Seat in Airbus 340 cabins. Photo Credit: Swiss International Air Lines.
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Business Class Seat in Airbus 340 cabins. Photo Credit: Swiss International Air Lines.
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Economy Class Seat in Airbus 340 cabins. Photo Credit: Swiss International Air Lines.

Swiss International Air Lines is in the process of upgrading the cabins of all of its Airbus A340s.

The First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class cabins are all being completely upgraded. Improvements include better lighting and more comfortable seats. Other enhancements include a new in-flight entertainment system that also offers internet connectivity and new galleys.

The first aircraft to undergo the makeover was deployed on the Zurich, Switzerland, to Tokyo, Japan, route. Next in line are Boston, Massachusetts; Johannesburg, South Africa; Shanghai, China; and Tel Aviv, Israel.

The airline has five Airbus AQ340s in its fleet. The programme is expected to be complete by summer 2019.

Airline Industry News reports on cabin upgrades!

Emirates Named World’s Best First Class Airline

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Flight attendants in an Emirates First Class cabin. Photo Credit: Emirates Airline.

TripAdvisor has named Emirates the world’s best First Class airline for 2019. It was recognized for such product innovations as private suites, in-flight shower spa, on-board lounges, and other industry firsts.

Michelin Chefs Create Monthly Menus

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First class cabin. Photo Credit: Air France

New First Class Menus

Air France will put dishes by Joel Robuchon on its La Première class menu on long-haul flights departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle from April through June 2019. The featured dishes will change monthly,

The menus will change each month. Here’s what’s planned …

In April 2019

  • Salmon tartare and caviar appetizer
  • Piece of beef braised with miso and its sauce, pipe rigate pasta and tender vegetables
  • Supreme of roasted guinea fowl and green peas with orange honey

In May 2019

  • Salmon tartare and caviar appetizer
  • ​Gently-cooked St. Peter’s fillet in olive oil sauce and eggplant and tomato compote
  • Farm poultry and vin jaune juice, sautéed shiitakes and green asparagus

In June 2019

  • Salmon tartare and caviar appetizer
  • ​Duck parmentier with truffle and potato purée gratin
  • Piece of beef braised with miso and its sauce, pipe rigate pasta and tender vegetables

New Business Class Menus

Passengers flying Business Class will be special menus created by Michelin-starred French chef Arnaud Lallemen. Here’s what’s planned …

In April 2019

In April, Business Class passengers will be served Guinea fowl with turnips (left) and cod and artichokes.

In May 2019

In May, Business Class passengers will be served lamb Parmentier with green curry (left) and prawns and quinoa, cauliflower medley, and gingerbread crumble

In June 2019 

In June, Business Class passengers will be served beef chuck in red wine, stuffed conchiglioni pasta shells, and carrot purée (left) and crab and prawn ravioli, lobster,and vegetable sauce.

Craft Brewery Creates Air-born Beer

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Toasting Speedbird 100 craft beer. Photo Credit: British Airways.

A Scottish craft brewery teamed up with British Airways to create the world’s first beer brewed at 40,000 feet.

Called Speedbird 100 after the airline’s logo, the beer was brewed to adapt to the reduction in taste and smell that takes place at high altitudes.

Flights Added on Bahrain – Durban Route

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Boeing 777-300ER. Photo Credit: Emirates Arline.

Emirates will add four additional flights per week between its Bahrain hub and Durban, South Africa, during the busy summer peak season.

The additional flights will operate on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 14 June and 4 August 2019.

A Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be operated on the additional flights. It will have a three-class configuration, with eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class, and 310 seats in Economy Class.

The airlines flies between the two cities daily on a year-round basis.

Airline Industry News is a new feature in the Accidental Travel Writer. It is updated with the latest airline industry news on an on-going basis.

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