Monthly Archives: February 2019

United Airlines to hold a contest for women artists to paint a Boeing 757 in an original design

United Airlines has made this announcement:

In advance of Women’s History Month beginning on Friday, United Airlines is launching a first-of-its-kind contest designed to find and uplift underrepresented women artists by providing a chance to paint a canvas like no other — a United Airlines aircraft. While 51% of today’s artists are women, less than 13% of art on display in museums is by women artists according to The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Painting a Boeing 757 provides artists with a traveling canvas that flies on average 1.6 million miles a year and 476 cross-country trips. The aircraft is roughly 300 times larger than the typical 18″ x 24″ canvas.

“As a company, we believe in the importance of equality of women in what has historically been a male dominated field,” said Jill Kaplan, United’s president for New York and New Jersey. “When we heard the statistics about how underrepresented women are when it comes to displaying their art, we thought what better way to contribute to changing this narrative than by offering the biggest canvas we have access to – an aircraft.”

United has long been committed to being a leader in advancing women in the aviation industry. Today the carrier has more women who are pilots than any other airline in the world, including Bebe O’Neil, United’s System Chief Pilot, who manages the carrier’s 12,600 pilots. The airline has worked with Women in Aviation, a nonprofit organization which provides networking, education, mentoring, and scholarship opportunities, for more than 25 years and Girls in Aviation Day to ensure a growing number of female pilots.

“As a global company with inclusion at our core, we constantly seek unique opportunities to celebrate and showcase diverse talents,” United’s California President Janet Lamkin commented. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity through this unique contest to bring visibility to the work of these exceptional female artists. We take pride in leveraging our global presence to showcase their great work to millions of people who see our planes on the ground and in the sky.”

To enter, individuals must identify as a woman, including cisgender, transgender, woman-aligned or non-binary, and reside in the United States, who can visually represent either New York/New Jersey or California, two key markets for the airline, in their own style, while combining the company’s mission and what the communities in each region mean to the artist. Two winners, one representing each region, will be chosen and given a chance to work alongside renowned artist Shantell Martin to finalize a design for their respective region’s plane. Shantell brings to the contest her talents and work, from the New York City Ballet to a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Kendrick Lamar, which are full of whimsical drawings and storytelling, that are dedicated to making sure other women artists are seen.

To enter, individuals are encouraged to visit united.com/HerArtHere and submit a design idea, examples of their work portfolio along with a short video by March 24, 2019. Submissions will be judged and narrowed down to three finalists by a panel of judges from each region, led by each region’s president, Janet Lamkin in California and Jill Kaplan in New York/New Jersey from March 25April 9, 2019, followed by a public vote from April 10April 19, 2019 to determine the winning artists from each region. Finalists and winners will also receive their own open gallery show, have their art work on display inside United Airlines terminals through 2019 with their works available to purchase and they will also be awarded 100,000 MileagePlus award miles. The final designs will take flight this fall.

Customers in Los Angeles and New York have an opportunity to visit murals by Shantell Martin as part of this contest. Each mural showcases interactive airplane windows that lead to videos with more information. The murals will be on display from now until March 18 at 799 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA and at 38 Norman Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

Air Italy signs code share agreement with Bulgaria Air

Air Italy and Bulgaria Air have entered into a code share partnership to offer customers enhanced connectivity between Bulgaria and eight major destinations in Italy, with effect from today.

Under the agreement, Air Italy’s “IG” code will be placed on Bulgaria Air flights between Milan Malpensa and Sofia, Varna and Burgas, which are all on sale from today with the first flights available from March 31st. At the same time, starting with the new summer IATA season, Bulgaria Air will put its “FB” code on Air Italy flights between Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino, Naples, Olbia and Cagliari (Sardinia), Palermo and Catania (Sicily), and Lamezia Terme (Calabria).

Moreover, thanks also to the interline commercial agreement, Bulgaria Air’s passengers will benefit from single tickets for travel between Bulgaria and Air Italy’s US, Canada and Africa destinations operated from Malpensa: Miami, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco (both from April), Toronto (from May), Cairo, Dakar, Accra and Lagos.

 

Ryanair launches its 2019 Irish winter schedule

Ryanair on February 26 launched its Irish Winter 2019 schedule, with 119 routes in total, including 2 new routes from Dublin to Milan and from Knock to Tenerife, and 10 new winter services to exciting connections such as Dublin to Kyiv and Cork to Malta.

Ryanair’s Irish winter 2019 schedule will deliver:

At Dublin:

  • 1 new route to Milan Malpensa (daily)
  • 6 new winter services: Bordeaux (2 per week), Bournemouth (4), Gothenburg (2),

Kyiv (2), London Southend (2 daily) & Pisa (2)

  • More flights on 3 other routes: Cologne (daily), Lisbon (9) & Malaga (11)
  • 82 routes in total

Shannon:

  • 12 routes in total

Cork:

  • 4 new winter services:  Alicante (2), Budapest (2), Malta (2) & Poznan (2)
  • 14 routes in total

Knock:

  • 1 new route to Tenerife (weekly)
  • 7 routes in total

Kerry:

  • 4 routes in total

Irish consumers and visitors can now book their holidays on 119 routes as far out as March 2020.

In other news, Ryanair also announced a new London Stansted route to Venice Marco Polo, which will operate four times weekly commencing in October, as part of Ryanair’s London Stansted Winter 2019 schedule, which has a total of 119 routes.

Finally, Ryanair also announced a new Manchester route to Milan Malpensa, which will operate four times weekly commencing in October, as part of Ryanair’s Manchester Winter 2019 schedule, which will be launched shortly.

All photos by Ryanair.

Brussels Airlines opens a “boutique hotel in the air” for long-haul travel

Brussels Airlines has revealed a brand new travel experience on board of its long-haul aircraft. By investing 10 million euro per aircraft in a completely new Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class the airline wants to offer a personal experience, recreating a boutique hotel feel at 30,000 feet. The interior was designed in collaboration with JPA Design.

Brussels Airlines aims to make the journey as important as the destination. With three new highly differentiated classes with quality products and the typical Belgian hospitality, the airline calls its newly introduced and retrofitted Airbus A330 aircraft “a boutique hotel in the air”, offering the same small scale personal experience as one finds in a boutique hotel. To translate its boutique aspirations into reality, Brussels Airlines has worked with JPA Design to design the brand new Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class.

The Belgian touch

Premium-quality material such as wood and leather have always been important when it comes to Belgian design. Belgian Art Nouveau and Victor Horta were the inspiration for the new A330 cabin interior. The dome light of the ceiling in the boarding area features an elegant Art Nouveau design. All seats feature rich 3D textured fabric, inspired by famous Belgian designers like Dries Van Noten.

As culinary excellence is key to Belgians, Brussels Airlines teams up with a Belgian Star Chef every year to design the Business Class menu’s on its long-haul flights. With its new cabin the airline also brings the Belgian beer and bar culture to the sky, by including a self-service bar in its aircraft and offering a varying choice of 8 famous Belgian beers to all guests. Next to that, Belgian wines, coffee and premium Belgian chocolates from Neuhaus are personally served by the airline’s warm and friendly crew.

 “At Brussels Airlines we are continuously working on improving the comfort for our guests on board as well as on the ground. With this significant investment in our long-haul travel experience, we emphasize once more on our commitment towards an exceptional passenger experience. The experience delivered by the finest boutique hotels has been the source of inspiration for our new Intercontinental Business Class. We want to be the most personal airline, give a personal service to every guest and offer everyone the warm hospitality Belgium is known for. And that is exactly the essence of a boutique hotel, offering a world-class service in a small scale environment. The comparison of our aircraft – especially on the long haul – with a boutique hotel makes a lot of sense.”

Christina Foerster – CEO Brussels Airlines

“It has been an absolute joy to collaborate with such a characterful combination of the Brussels Airlines brand & Belgium itself. Both have a genuinely unique ‘joie de vivre’ and with such great design culture to draw on it has been a fun and enjoyable project to deliver. The new cabins reflect a  ’boutique hotel in the sky’, which captures the warmth and friendliness of the Brussels Airlines brand, whilst perfectly melding JPA Design’s experience in creating hospitality and aviation interiors. Together, we’ve created a harmonious ambiance for a personalised & warm service, and the result takes the airline’s guest-experience to new levels.“  

  • John Tighe – Design Director for Transport at JPA Design

Business Class, a boutique hotel feel with an Art Nouveau signature

The new Business Class brings a boutique hotel atmosphere with a classy Belgian design, far from a traditional Business Class. Throughout the whole cabin design, Art Nouveau patterns reflect the premium Belgian hospitality and bring a sophisticated and relaxed atmosphere on board, consistent with what the airline offers its Business Class guests on the ground in their flagship lounge ‘The Loft’ at Brussels Airport. The carpet pattern is inspired by the vault design of historical Antwerp central station while famous Belgian designers like Dries Van Noten were an inspiration for the design of the seat fabric.

Thanks to its small size of only 30 seats and its unique staggered configuration, the new Business Class offers great privacy in every seat. Guests can choose between a single and a double seat depending on whether they are travelling alone or with a companion. Completely adaptable to every guest’s need the new Business seat can be converted to a lounge sofa or a 2m long full flat bed with adjustable softness. This combined with the new lighting ambiance tailored to all flight phases, ensures a rejuvenating sleep for jet lag-free flying across time zones. Furthermore, the 15.6” HD screen can be tilted to adapt to all seating positions and includes high-quality noise-cancelling headphones.

Guests travelling in the new Business Class can indulge in a fine culinary experience. International wines & Laurent Perrier Champagne from Brussels Airlines’ award winning wine cellar selected by Master of Wine Fiona Morrison, accompany a four-course gastronomic meal created by a Belgian Michelin Star Chef. This year it’s Thierry Theys from restaurant Nuance who serves his menus on board. On top of the fine dining experience, Brussels Airlines brings for the first time ever a Belgian walk-up bar on board, located just behind the Business Class cabin, offering famous Belgian beers as well as a place to network with fellow Business Class travellers.

Premium Economy, the most relaxing experience

With its new long-haul travel experience, Brussels Airlines also launches a brand new travel class. The new Premium Economy Class is completely separated from the other classes, creating a quiet and relaxed environment with soft purple and blue colours. A premium seat with increased private space, comfortable cushioning and an expanded armrest allow to travel undisturbed. A 38” seat pitch (23% more legroom compared to Economy Class), a wider seat with a bigger headrest and a generous 40° seat recline allow for a relaxing sleep. Its warm and joyful design with a red touch is a signature of the Brussels Airlines brand. The 13.3” HD screen is one of the largest HD Premium Economy screens in Europe. On top of that, a large table includes AC & USB power plugs so guests can stay productive throughout their flight.

Like everywhere, Brussels Airlines offers its ever-personal service in Premium Economy, on top of an upgraded culinary experience, a water bottle and hot towel, and later during the flight ice cream as a movie snack.

Economy Class: Warm, generous and friendly

The new Economy cabin provides additional comfort for every guest. A playful design, inspired by the sunrise on the North Sea represents the warmth of Brussels Airlines’ Belgian hospitality. The new Economy seat features an ergonomic headrest offering increased privacy and adjustable neck support. A large seat recline, personal USB port and a wide choice of entertainment and games on a 10.1’’ screen ensure an enjoyable and relaxing flight, while each guest can enjoy a nice international meal with aperitif and complimentary beers, wines and spirits.

The first refurbished A330 will be operational in April 2019.

All photos by Brussels Airlines.

Video:

QANTAS to launch seasonal nonstop flights from Melbourne to Queenstown

"Katherine"

QANTAS Airways will launch new seasonal flights direct from Melbourne to Queenstown to meet the growing number of Australians seeking winter holidays in New Zealand over the peak ski season*.

Between June 21 and August 27, 2019, QANTAS will operate three services per week between Melbourne and Queenstown with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, offering more than 10,000 seats on the route over the winter peak.

These new flights are in addition to the QANTAS Group’s 33 existing Queenstown services available each week throughout winter, with QANTAS’ flights operating from Sydney and Brisbane and Jetstar’s flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast.

The flights – which will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays – have been made possible by reducing Qantas’ Melbourne-Christchurch schedule to four services per week over the winter when demand is lower.

* Subject to government and regulatory approval.

Top Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Boeing 737-838 WL VH-VXK (msn 33481) BNE (Ton Jochems). Image: 945054.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:

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Delta to bring more options, choice and comfort to Seattle trans-Pacific flying this summer

  • ​Seattle/Tacoma to be Delta’s latest U.S. gateway to benefit from expanded selection of industry-leading premium seat products on flights to Shanghai, Seoul-Incheon and Tokyo-Narita
  • Customers can choose from 29 award-winning Delta One Suites, 28 seats in the popular Delta Premium Select category, 56 Delta Comfort + seats and 168 Main Cabin seats on new widebody aircraft
  • From award-winning Delta Sky Club to brand new state-of-the-art immigration and customs facility set to open in 2020, Delta is investing in the Seattle customer experience

More options, choice and comfort are on the way for Delta customers traveling to and from top Asian destinations at its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub beginning July 1.

Customers will begin to see these expanded products on Seattle/Tacoma flights this summer:

  • Shanghai effective July 1
  • Seoul-Incheon effective August 1
  • Tokyo-Narita effective August 31

The Airbus A330-900neo aircraft also reduces the travel carbon footprint, with increased fuel efficiency per seat of more than 20 percent when compared with previous generation aircraft. Delta will offer its flagship Delta One Suite and Delta Premium Select products on three aircraft types including the A350 and updated Boeing 777s.

Delta’s Seattle/Tacoma Hub

On March 1, Delta will begin operating its Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo-Narita route with Airbus A350 aircraft, featuring Delta One Suite and Delta Premium Select options. Delta currently operates the Boeing 767-300ER on Seattle/Tacoma service to Shanghai and Seoul-Incheon. Delta will also begin operating two of its six daily flights between Seattle/Tacoma and San Jose, California with its new Airbus A220 aircraft.

Delta operates more than 150 peak-day departures to more than 50 destinations from its hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Delta aircraft slide show:

Below Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-941 N504DN (msn 160) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944036.

Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-941 N504DN (msn 160) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944036.

JetBlue adds more routes and flights from Boston Logan

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N969JT (msn 7353) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945820.

JetBlue Airways has announced the next phase of growth at Logan International Airport (BOS) as it advances toward its goal of 200 daily departures in the coming years.

Beginning this summer, JetBlue will add more flights on twelve popular routes while also expanding or adjusting schedules to offer hourly service to Washington, D.C. and the New York metro area. The move, which will benefit both leisure and business customers, is the latest in a series of growth announcements in Boston where JetBlue flies to more nonstop destinations, operates more flights and serves more travelers than any other airline.

 

More Flights to Top Destinations

JetBlue will phase in more flights over the summer and fall on twelve existing Logan routes stretching across the eastern half of the United States to/from:

With JetBlue’s low fares and award winning service on even more daily flights between Boston and these key markets, the airline advances its leadership position in New England and makes JetBlue’s Boston focus city even more accessible to travelers across the eastern half of the U.S.

Streamlined Schedules to Key Northeast Markets

JetBlue is also introducing enhanced schedules between Boston and two top northeast corridor business markets: Washington and New York City.

JetBlue is adding up to four additional daily flights between Logan and D.C.’s Reagan National Airport and will adjust its schedule to offer near-hourly weekday service – from 6 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. – between New England and the nation’s capital. The new service – with Boston flights departing at the top of the hour – is aimed at meeting the growing demand for travel between the two cities while also offering a customer-friendly, straight-forward departure schedule. Flights will be phased in beginning this summer with new flights on sale starting this weekend.

Similarly, JetBlue will also introduce near-hourly weekday service between Boston and the New York metro area with service between approximately 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Logan flights will depart at the bottom of the hour for one of the three major New York area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). As New York’s Hometown Airline®, JetBlue’s unique service pattern is designed to meet the needs of travelers flying between Boston and anywhere across the New York metro area, whether it be Manhattan, the outer boroughs, Long Island or northern New Jersey. The flight schedule between New York and Boston will be phased in beginning this summer with new flights on sale starting this weekend.

Boston by the Numbers and Beyond

JetBlue first started service in Boston in January 2004, with 30 crewmembers, just one gate and 4,500 flights in the first year. But with the ‘JetBlue effect’ in action, the innovative airline shook up New England with its low-fare approach, driving down prices and introducing new nonstop destinations for Logan travelers.

Today, JetBlue – with award-winning service featuring the most legroom in coach (a); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (b); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio at every seat – carries more customers than any other airline in Boston, operates nearly 55,000 annual departures at Logan and offers nonstop service to more than 70 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. Boston is also home to some 3,400 crewmembers.

Beyond the numbers, JetBlue has also helped bring new gates to Logan’s Terminal C, added the airline’s award-winning Mint premium service with lie-flat seating on a variety of routes, and introduced an array of unique destinations not served by any other airline – including recently launched flights to Havana, Cuba; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and Palm Springs, Calif.

Later this year, JetBlue will take delivery of new, fuel-efficient A321neo aircraft, bringing another wave of cabin and comfort improvements along with additional range capabilities. Then, starting in 2020, JetBlue will also steadily replace its Embraer E190 fleet with the larger and more fuel-efficient Airbus A220, providing more seats in the market at a lower operating cost, and an improved onboard experience.

JetBlue has also built a rich portfolio of agreements with other international airlines at Logan that help connect customers to global destinations. Travelers can connect to cities around the world on JetBlue partners such as Emirates, El Al, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

JetBlue’s commitment to Boston extends well beyond its presence at Logan. JetBlue is a proud sponsor of the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Marathon, TD Garden and the New England Patriots. The local JetBlue team has also contributed thousands of hours to support numerous community organizations in the greater Boston area.

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N969JT (msn 7353) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945820.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:

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IAG orders 18 Boeing 777-9 airplanes + 24 options for British Airways

Boeing and International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, announced the airline has committed to purchasing up to 42 777X airplanes, including 18 orders and 24 options. The airline joins a group of leading carriers that have selected the new 777-9, which will debut next month as the largest and most efficient twin-engine passenger jet in the world.

The commitment, valued at up to $18.6 billion at list prices, will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalized.

British Airways has been modernizing its fleet – one of the largest in the airline industry – to more efficiently serve its extensive global route network. In recent years, the airline has introduced the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner family to replace its medium-sized widebody jets. The new 777-9 will replace British Airways’ larger widebody airplanes, mainly the four-engine 747 jumbo jet.

In ordering the 777-9, British Airways extends a long-running relationship with the popular 777 family. The airline is one of the largest 777 operators with a fleet of nearly 60 of the long-range jet. The airline last year committed to four more 777-300ER (Extended Range) jets via operating lease.

The 777-9 is larger and has a slightly wider cabin than current 777s, which provides the ability to comfortably sit 400-425 passengers in a standard two-class cabin. Powered by 787 Dreamliner technologies, an all-new composite wing, and other enhancements, the 777-9 offers airlines 12 percent lower fuel consumption than competing airplanes. The 777-9 can also fly farther than its predecessors with a standard range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075 kilometers).

The 777X will also debut a redesigned cabin that incorporates popular 787 features and new technologies. Recently unveiled online, the 777X interior offers larger windows, a wider cabin, new lighting, while providing passengers with a smoother ride, better cabin altitude, humidity, and sound quality.

The selection by IAG and British Airways puts the 777X at 358 orders and commitments from eight customers. Production of the 777X began in 2017, with first flight planned for this year and first delivery expected in 2020.

Image: British Airways.

Alaska Airlines unveils its new Airbus cabins

 

Alaska Airlines made this announcement on its blog:

Today, we’re excited to take you inside our retrofitted Airbus aircraft. Months of research, focus groups and iteration went into the new cabin, but we started by asking a single question: What makes you comfortable on a plane?

Turns out, your comfort is about a lot more than ergonomics, though that’s part of it. You want to feel more in control – control of your space, your belongings and, ultimately, your flight experience.

“Our goal is not to be different for different’s sake,” explained Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines vice president of marketing. “We want to be different for our guests – and we believe the details matter.”


We continued to iterate with our partners until we got it right. The new design takes your comfort to heart – with custom memory foam seats, tablet holders to fit your mobile device of choice, headrests with six adjustable settings and more.

“Comfort is about the seamlessness of all interactions you have on board,” said Johannes Lampela, BMW Designworks director of design, who worked on the cabin retrofit. “The modern traveler wants to be in control, not dictated by their space. This means they need to have freedom to put things in different places.”

Here’s a closer look at the thoughtful touches throughout the new cabin:

Calming colors 

first class Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

uniforms Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

“We wanted a calming environment because travel can be so stressful,” Woerner said. “You should feel comfortable and welcome the moment you step on board.”

For this reason, we opted for neutral colors, blending warm and cool grays and blues. When you walk from the front to the back of the plane, the colors transition from lighter to darker shades, creating a spacious first impression and a sense of depth. The goal was to produce a space that’s pleasing on the eye no matter where you’re seated.

To infuse our brand personality into the space, brighter brand colors are used as accents. Pops of fun blues can be found in elements such as the seat-back literature, mood lighting and flight attendants’ uniforms, working together to create a cohesive look. 

One-of-a-kind seats

main cabin seat Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

headrest Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

To ensure optimal comfort, our seats were tested by people sitting on them for hours at a time, mimicking a long-haul flight.

The cushions are hand-cut out of several memory foam parts, creating a design unique to Alaska Airlines.

You’ll also find a six-way adjustable headrest, accommodating more body types and giving you more control.

First class luxuries

first class luxuries Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

We took great care to ensure our first class guests get a remarkable experience as soon as they walk on the plane.

When you think of a premium vehicle seat, chances are you think of a car, not a plane. To bring in a feeling of luxury, we looked to the automotive industry for inspiration.

“For our first class seats, we wanted a sports car, performance-driven look,” Woerner said. “We’re a performance-driven, on-time airline, so this was important to us.”

first class seat Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

We carefully considered the materials and shape of the memory-foam cushion. A mix of textiles and quilting techniques were used for the seat covers to create a richer look, much like you’d find in a luxury car.

“Alaska wanted the first class seats to feel like a seamless transition from your premium vehicle,” said Martin Rehmet, regional sales director of German seat manufacturer Recaro. “The sculpted seat hugs more of your body and back.”

In their ergonomic and sleeping studies, Recaro looked at the first class seat cushion from all angles to figure out the best way to support a passenger’s feet and bring them into a relaxed position.

foot rest Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

“A footrest is the best option to support people of varying heights,” said Rehmet. “It’s also more supportive, visible and intuitive to use than a leg rest.”

In addition to a foot rest, the first class seat features cup holders – conveniently placed in the arm rest – and a side pocket for storing your reading material.

Every seat in the aircraft also has a custom tablet holder (see below) and a stretchy mesh seatback pocket to give you more flexibility to use the space as you see fit.

A multitasker’s seatback 

There’s no question: the modern traveler wants to be able to multitask. Whether watching a show while texting a friend, or sending emails while charging your phone – you want to be able to utilize more than one screen or device at a time.

tablet holder Inside our new cabin: Thoughtful touches for the modern traveler

To make our seats more conducive to multitasking, we built a custom tablet holder at eye level that can adjust to fit most mobile devices. A clip slides up and down, allowing you to find the right fit, and a non-slip shelf folds down to keep your device secure.

“It’s not a question of whether people want to bring their own device – they do,” said Recaro’s Rehmet. “We made the tablet holder more accommodating than you’ll find on other major domestic carriers.”

To enable easy charging of your device while it’s in use, the new seatbacks also feature a USB port next to the tablet holder. A power outlet remains under the tray table.

By keeping your mobile device in a hands-free position at optimal viewing height, the tray table is left open for food and other essentials. In premium class, you’ll find an additional cup holder in a more protected spot.

The seatback pocket is also bigger and more forgiving, made with a stretchy, see-through fabric. Taken together, these elements give you more freedom and control to use the space as you please.

Starting this month, guests flying on Alaska Airlines will experience a comfortable and modern new cabin, as the West Coast airline shifts into high gear retrofitting its Airbus fleet. The upgraded cabin is the result of two years of customer research and combines the best features of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, along with many thoughtful enhancements to make the travel journey comfortable, hassle-free and productive.

“Just two years after acquiring Virgin America, we’re thrilled to introduce a modern cabin that aligns the onboard experience across our fleet,” said Ben Minicucci, president and COO at Alaska Airlines. “After extensive feedback from our guests and in collaboration with our partners, we’ve infused the Alaska Airlines cabin with key brand elements from Virgin America – the result is a premium experience at an affordable price.”

Alaska’s new cabin features include:

  • Refreshed color palette from the updated bulkhead design to the carpet, bringing in neutral tones that are associated with relaxing environments against pops of Alaska’s signature blue.
  • Ambient mood lighting with calming, cool blue hues developed by lighting and color experts to complement the human body’s natural circadian rhythm. The result is lighting that changes throughout the flight to promote an uplifting energy during the day and calming energy into the evening.
  • Advanced high-speed satellite Wi-Fi by Gogo will deliver faster connection speeds, including the ability to stream content from popular services like Netflix or HBOGo.
  • Redesigned first class Recaro seats that evoke the feeling of both performance and comfort, like a luxury car. The sculpted design features memory foam and a 40″ pitch, along with footrests to support guests of varying heights.
  • Ergonomically-friendly tablet holders at each seat that accommodate most tablets and smartphones. The holders free up tray table space and an added shelf keeps devices in prime viewing position. Flexible mesh pockets also allow for easy access to essentials during the flight.
  • Upgraded premium and main cabin seats now feature memory foam for added comfort.
  • Conveniently-placed and tilted power outlets at every seat (USB & 110V) that allow guests to easily locate and charge two devices at once. The electrical boxes under the middle seat have been relocated to provide more personal space for guests.
  • Curated, onboard music program with a cool West Coast vibe that complements the relaxing and modern ambiance.
  • Cup holders throughout first class and premium class, so that guests can multi-task while they savor a craft beer, wine, or cocktail and have full use of the tray table.

Alaska’s Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft are being updated in phases this year and by early 2020, 36 percent of the mainline fleet will feature the new cabin interior – including the entire Airbus fleet, Boeing 737-700s and three new Boeing MAX 9 planes. The retrofitted planes will bring consistency to the guest experience across the Alaska fleet, and expand the First Class and Premium Class sections with 12-seats and 24-seats respectively, offering more guests the option of an elevated experience. Alaska will take delivery of its first MAX 9 this summer, which will feature the new cabin interiors.

Alaska is adding this decal on its aircraft by the front door:

Photos: Mark Durbin.

“Our guests are at the center of everything we do,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “From relaxing in our lounges to being in the air, we know travelers want more control and comfort, while also enjoying the same low fares and great service. So that’s exactly what we did – we created a relaxing travel experience, so that our guests can focus on where they’re going and leave the rest to us.”

The new cabin is part of a series of investments Alaska has made to its onboard offering over the last 12 months, which includes advanced, high-speed satellite Wi-Fi, free chat, free movies and entertainment, and a new rotating seasonal menu. The menu offerings feature fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and feel-good snack and beverage options from beloved West Coast brands including Salt & Straw, Luke’s Organic and Fremont Brewing. By 2020, the majority of the mainline fleet will have the new satellite Wi-Fi installed.

The unveiling of the new cabin interior comes on the heels of Alaska Airlines’ plans for a new 8,500-square-foot rooftop lounge at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2. Featuring stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, the lounge will feature warm finishes and a modern and welcoming vibe, along with generous amenities such as hand-crafted Starbucks beverages, made-to-order meals for purchase and an expansive bar program featuring local Bay Area draught beers and West Coast wines. The Lounge is expected to open in 2020.

In addition, as part of Alaska’s multi-year investment to refresh and expand its Lounge portfolio, the new flagship 15,800-square-foot lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will open in the next few months. Alaska is also renovating its Lounges in Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. These renovations are expected to be completed in the next few months and will include a new barista station, made-to-order meals and additional seating, as well as an updated look-and-feel.

Sun Country announces two new routes to Gulfport/Biloxi

Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737-83N WL N861AM (msn 30706) DFW (Brian Peters). Image: 945805.

Sun Country Airlines has announced the addition of two new seasonal routes to Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, Florida.

The new seasonal service to Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) will include:

  • Nonstop service to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
    • Service starts July 19, 2019
    • Operates 2x/week on Monday and Friday
    • One-way fares start as low as $59*
  • Nonstop service to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
    • Service starts July 19, 2019
    • Operates 2x/week on Monday and Friday
    • One-way fares start as low as $59*

Sun Country has experienced record growth over the past year and recently announced the largest network expansion in company history. The airline first added new routes beyond its home base of Minneapolis/St. Paul in June 2018, bringing on service from Dallas/Fort Worth, Madison, Wisconsin, Portland, Oregon and St. Louis, which brought the network at the time from 53 to 64 nonstop routes. Nashville, Tennessee was added in August 2018, and the airline now operates a total of 87 routes across 52 airports, which marks a nearly 40 percent growth in routes since June 2018.

Top Copyright Photo: Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737-83N WL N861AM (msn 30706) DFW (Brian Peters). Image: 945805.

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