Tag Archives: Star Alliance

Air Canada unveils its first upgraded Airbus A321 cabin

Air Canada made this announcement:

Customers on board Air Canada flight AC692 operated with Fin 451 (C-GITU) Saturday shared a pilot’s eye view of the take-off due to new exterior cameras connected to the aircraft’s seatback entertainment system. The new camera feature, a first for a narrow-body aircraft, is one of several innovations unveiled with the airline’s first upgraded Airbus A321, which has been redesigned from nose to tail.

Air Canada is continuing to invest in customer comfort across its fleet of Airbus A321s and A320s which will feature a new cabin interior, new technologies and services such as Bluetooth audio, and free high-speed internet. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Air Canada is continuing to invest in customer comfort across its fleet of Airbus A321s and A320s which will feature a new cabin interior, new technologies and services such as Bluetooth audio, and free high-speed internet sponsored by Bell.

Highlights of new cabin features:

  • Larger overhead bins – Latest Airbus Airspace XL design, the largest overhead bins in-class that will also be installed on the Airbus A321XLRs.
  • Upgraded seating – Presents a standardized product across the Air Canada narrowbody fleet in both Business Class and Economy. The new seats are designed to optimize passenger personal space, improve ergonomics, and provide more storage giving customers a more comfortable experience.
  • Bluetooth audio – Air Canada’s newest IFE system will feature a Bluetooth-enabled seatback monitor. Customers will be able to connect their personal headsets while watching video on demand, live TV, or listening to podcasts or music. This initiative helps reduce usage of single-use headphones and supports Air Canada’s sustainability objectives in reducing waste.
  • New exterior cameras – Customers can now watch their flight live thanks to a new first-in-class narrowbody tail and belly camera system providing high-resolution, real-time video of the aircraft exterior. 
  • Full colour LED mood lighting – New cabin lighting system will allow different ambiances to be set depending on time of day and phase of flight.
  • Fast and reliable Wi-Fi – Upgraded satellite-based connectivity.
  • Power options at all seats – All customers have access to power outlets, USB-A, and USB-C.

The new IFE system being installed on the Airbus A321 and A320 fleets will feature Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight entertainment via screens at each seat, offering the most extensive content overall of any airline in the Americas. Customers will also enjoy live TV on their flights with this new cabin, featuring BNN, CTV, LCN, RDS, TSN1 and TSN2 available on all flights operated by this aircraft, including when flying over the US.

Industry-first exterior cameras on a narrow-body aircraft provide customers real time, high-definition flight views on IFE seatback screens (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Air Canada’s remaining 14 Airbus A321s and its eight A320s will be retrofitted starting this fall through to the end of 2025.  With these upgrades, customers will benefit from an elevated narrow-body cabin experience, in line with the cabins of the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that comprise the majority of Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet.  

The new cabin also reduces the overall weight of the A321 by approximately 240 kilograms, which will reduce fuel consumption for the entire fleet once the work is completed by more than 2.4 million litres and reduce GHG emissions by 6,256 tCO2 equivalent per year, or the equivalent of the electricity used annually by 4,185 Canadian homes.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GITU (msn 1602) (Star Alliance) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940257.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

EVA Air introduces the first Star Alliance livery on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Turkish Airlines to fly from Katowice Airport to Istanbul

Turkish Airlines will launch regular flights from Katowice Airport to Istanbul on March 3, 2023. The route will be handled with an Airbus A320.

Initially, flights will be available five times a week: on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Top Copyright Photo: Turkish Airlines Airbus A320-232 TC-JPF (msn 2984) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 922956.

Turkish Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

 

Virgin Atlantic to join the SkyTeam Alliance

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement:

  • The airline will join the alliance early 2023, enhancing SkyTeam’s offering at both London Heathrow and Manchester Airport
  • Customers will benefit from more opportunities to earn and redeem miles, with access to an extensive global route network
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver and Gold members will receive a raft of Elite and Elite Plus member benefits delivered under the SkyPriority brand
  • Virgin Atlantic is already a founding partner of a Joint Venture partnership with SkyTeam members Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM

SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, and Virgin Atlantic have today announced that the UK airline will join as SkyTeam’s newest member in early 2023. Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.

Virgin Atlantic customers will benefit from a consistent, seamless customer experience, across 1,000+ global destinations. They’ll also have more opportunities to earn and redeem points across member airlines and access to a network of 750+ airport lounges, spanning six continents.

The airline’s Flying Club members will enjoy significant benefits from the day of joining, with a global expansion of its loyalty offering. Virgin Atlantic Silver Card holders will be recognized as SkyTeam Elite Members, whilst the airline’s Gold Card members will become Elite Plus.  This recognition provides a raft of benefits, including priority check in, baggage handling and boarding. Flying Club members will be able to take advantage of the benefits as soon as Virgin Atlantic officially enrolls in SkyTeam, which is expected in early 2023.

Virgin Atlantic’s entry into the alliance builds upon the success of its transatlantic joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM, each already long established SkyTeam members. The four partners are co-located at London Heathrow’s Terminal Three, alongside existing SkyTeam members Aeromexico and China Eastern, providing customers with smooth airside transits and the most convenient connection times possible.

Codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines with options for more codeshares to follow.  Interline agreements with all SkyTeam members are already in place, providing one touch point for all customers, creating a seamless journey on one ticket.

Virgin Atlantic flies to 12 destinations throughout the USA in partnership with Delta and Air France-KLM including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.  In May the airline launched a brand-new service to Austin, Texas and will start daily flights to Tampa, Florida from November. Virgin Atlantic also operates an extensive Caribbean portfolio including Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and The Bahamas.  Virgin Atlantic also operates services to Greater China, India, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.

SkyTeam members, Delta, Air France and KLM are already collocated at Virgin Atlantic’s home base at London Heathrow Terminal 3. Virgin Atlantic operates long-haul services from UK regional airports including Edinburgh and Manchester. The airline offers a comprehensive network to North America and the Caribbean in partnership with Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM, and also operates services to Greater China, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Star Alliance celebrates its 25th anniversary

Star Alliance and its 26-member carriers celebrated the 25th anniversary of the world’s first and leading global airline alliance on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

This bold vision was established in 1997 based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition, and seamless service. It continues today by leveraging technology to foster a harmonious experience for customers.

Together. Better. Connected. with Star Alliance

In conjunction with the anniversary milestone, Star Alliance and its member carriers will release exciting campaigns and customer innovations under the new brand tagline “Together. Better. Connected.” The new brand tagline captures the intent of fostering better human connections through the Star Alliance global network coupled with digital seamless connectivity.

Among the key successes and future offerings upon which Star Alliance continues to innovate are:

  • To introduce a new partnership model that cements network leadership
  • To be announced an industry-first co-branded credit card in a regional market that will offer loyalty customers of member airlines the opportunity to earn miles and points with spends
  • Jointly adopted a sustainability statement with member carriers to commit to the industry goal of net-zero carbon emissions and consequent joint efforts on decarbonisation
  • Star Alliance Biometrics, launched in 2020, is now available across four major airports – Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna – with Hamburg added in April 2022
  • Expansion of the Digital Connection Service to augment the Star Alliance Connection Centres to aid connecting passengers at major airports and the airlines serving them. This service is currently available at London Heathrow and will expand to a key European hub soon.
  • Progressive ability to reserve seats and track baggage location on codeshare flights and multi-carrier journeys through the digital channels of member carriers
  • Award-winning Star Alliance lounge in Los Angeles and other premium lounges in Amsterdam, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Paris, with new options for paid access being progressively rolled out.
  • Collection and online redemption of points and miles for award flights and upgrades across the twenty-six member carriers

Star Alliance innovations are underpinned by a robust and ever-evolving IT infrastructure that integrates the member carriers, coupled with more than 50 business practice standards and audit functions that place the customer at the center of the travel experience. On that basis, the Alliance has repeatedly won several “Best Airline Alliance” awards including the notable World Travel Awards, Skytrax World Airline Awards and Air Transport Awards which have recognised its positive contribution to the future of air travel.

Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-941 ET-AYN (msn 542) (Star Alliance) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 956312.

Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-941 ET-AYN (msn 542) (Star Alliance) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 956312.

Copyright Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-941 ET-AYN (msn 542) (Star Alliance) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 956312.

Historic Photo: Lauda Air (1st) Boeing 767-3Z9 ER OE-LAW (msn 26417) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 955255.

Lauda Air Boeing 767-3Z9 ER OE-LAW (msn 26417) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 955255.

Copyright Photo: Lauda Air (1st) Boeing 767-3Z9 ER OE-LAW (msn 26417) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 955255.

Air Canada joins ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’ at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GITU (msn 1602) (Star Alliance) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 954943.

Air Canada is bringing the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration to Aeroplan members with new and exciting ways to experience the 18-month milestone event beginning October 1, 2021. From now until September 29, 2021, Aeroplan members can enter Air Canada’s contest for a chance to win one of 50 magical prizes, including one of five Air Canada Vacations packages to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Air Canada is also adding Disney merchandise and Disney Gift Cards that can be redeemed using Aeroplan points on the Aeroplan eStore. Plus, Aeroplan members will continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan points when travelling with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations to Walt Disney World Resort.

With up to 33 weekly flights between Canada and Florida, including non-stop service to Orlando from Montreal and Toronto, Air Canada is the largest Canadian carrier into Orlando for Canadians. Later this year, Air Canada will also be offering non-stop service to Orlando from Quebec CityOttawa and Halifax. Customers looking to simplify their vacation planning can take advantage of complete Walt Disney World vacation packages, including hotel and theme park tickets, when booking with Air Canada Vacations, a distributor of Disney travel products for over 15 years.

Air Canada makes family travel as easy as possible by offering dedicated family check-in lines and early boarding, as well as offering our Skyriders program for kids that includes special meals and kits for them while onboard. And through Aeroplan Family Sharing, earning and redeeming Aeroplan points has never been easier.

50 magical prizes to celebrate 50 magical years

Aeroplan members can enter the contest between September 9, 2021 and September 29, 2021, at aircanada.com/magical50 for their chance to win one of the five Air Canada Vacations packages to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, as well as 45 other prizes that include Disney merchandise, Disney Gift Card eGifts and Aeroplan points. The total approximate value of all 50 prizes is $112,340.95 CAD. Not an Aeroplan member? Join now.

The contest is open to all active Aeroplan members in good standing who: (i) are residents of Canada, (ii) have reached the legal age of majority in their province or territory of residence, and (iii) enter the contest between September 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. and September 29, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (EST). No purchase necessary.

Full contest rules and contest entry form available at aircanada.com/magical50.

New Disney Merchandise on Aeroplan eStore

Aeroplan members will have access to a dedicated Disney shop on the Aeroplan eStore where they can redeem points for Disney Gift Cards starting at $100 CAD, or to shop for popular Disney merchandise for their family and friends.

Aeroplan Member Benefits

Aeroplan members can redeem their Aeroplan points for flights to Orlando with Air Canada, or toward an entire Walt Disney World vacation package with Air Canada Vacations. They can also earn Aeroplan points on their flights when booking with Air Canada or Air Canada Vacations. Aeroplan credit cardholders can earn Aeroplan points even faster and receive additional airline benefits.

The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration

Beginning October 1, 2021:

  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will host “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honouring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
  • This 18-month event will feature new experiences at the resort’s four theme parks and beyond, where shimmering EARidescent décor will appear as if by magic.
  • A new nighttime spectacular, “Disney Enchantment,” will help kick off the 50th anniversary festivities when it debuts Oct. 1 at Magic Kingdom Park.
  • Joining “Disney Enchantment” on Oct. 1 will be “Harmonious” at EPCOT, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park.
  • An expanded France pavilion at EPCOT will be part of the festivities and feature a new family-friendly attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and a delicious new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GITU (msn 1602) (Star Alliance) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 954943.

Air Canada (historic) aircraft slide show:

 

Avianca El Salvador launches Ontario, CA – San Salvador service

Avianca (El Salvador) Airbus A319-132 N522TA (msn 5219) (Star Alliance) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 937568.

Ontario International Airport (ONT) officials are celebrating the launch of Avianca Airlines’ service to El Salvador – the first of its kind between the Inland Empire to Central America staring on July 1.

The Bogota, Colombia-based carrier will operate three flights a week from ONT to San Salvador International Airport (SAL) in the capital city of El Salvador. Flights will arrive at ONT at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with return service departing ONT at 1:15 a.m.

Flight #

Origin

Destination

Departure

Arrival

Frequency

Aircraft

AV530

SAL

ONT

7:10 p.m.

11:30 p.m.

Tue, Thu, Sat

Airbus A319

AV531

ONT

SAL

1:15 a.m.

7:05 a.m.

Wed, Fri,  Sun

Airbus A319

*All times local

Top Copyright Photo: Avianca (El Salvador) Airbus A319-132 N522TA (msn 5219) (Star Alliance) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 937568.

Avianca (El Salvador) slide show: