Airlines News RoundUp – What’s new at Virgin Atlantic, Scandinavian and Singapore Airlines
13th March 2015
Virgin Atlantic is doubling its daily flight service to San Francisco
From October 24th, Virgin Atlantic airlines will add a second daily flight service between London Heathrow and San Francisco. Last year the airline announced the addition of a second service from London Heathrow (LHR) to San Francisco (SFO) five times a week, starting on 29 March 2015. However, due to the popularity of the LHR – SFO route , the airline will increase its flight services between the two business travel hubs by flying the route twice daily, seven days a week from 24 October. Moreover, business travellers can take advantage of an additional Dreamliner service which will operate during Winter 2015/16. Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is configured with 264 seats, which are split into 31 Upper Class seats, 35 Premium Economy seats and 198 Economy Class seats. From 24 October the first Virgin Atlantic flight to San Francisco Airport will depart at 11.25 am.
According to the airline, it is planned to roll-out the Dreamliner aircraft to further routes, such as London Heathrow to Hong Kong, Delhi, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Johannesburg as part of Virgin Atlantics fleet renewal programme. The new service is part of the airline’s joint venture with Delta Air Lines, which offers a maximum of 39 transatlantic daily flights.
Singapore Airlines unveils new Premium Economy Class
Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced their new premium economy product, due to make its debut on services to Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Sydney. The product will be available on the London Heathrow (LHR) route and the Manchester to Singapore route between August and September 2015.
The leather seats of premium economy have a width ranging from 18.5 and 19.5 inches, with an 8 inch recline. They also have a built-in 13 inch HD monitor with noise-cancelling headphones. Each seat is also equipped with individual power outlets, USB ports, a personal in-seat reading light, cocktail table and additional storage space.
The new premium economy cabin will be fitted onto all 19 of the airline’s B777 fleet as will their updated business and economy products that were introduced in 2013. The carrier claims to have integrated feedback received by customers into the brand new product, ensuring the product has a positive reception and offers more to customers.
Their latest product will soon be added to more of their destinations including Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Zurich. The majority of their fleet including their A380 and upcoming A350 will serve these destinations.
To mark the introduction of this cabin, SIA are also introducing a different dining concept called ‘Premium Economy Book the Cook’, allowing passengers to select a range of meal choices from a set menu prior to boarding. Champagne will also be served throughout the entire flight in premium economy class, making Singapore Airlines stand out from its competitors. (Image Source: Adriano Castelli / Shutterstock.com)
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) – Introduces new long-haul cabin interiors
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) revealed their new interior design concept on one of its seven A330 aircraft. The plane, fondly referred to as Erik Viking following the success of the plane’s personal Twitter account, travelled from Copenhagen to New York for its initial flight. The new livery is to be later implemented onto seven A330 and A340 aircraft that service its long-haul routes, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The new concept is said to transform traveller’s experience in all cabins offered by SAS. In Economy Class for instance, features include one power outlet and USB port per two seats and a nine inch IFE screen. Premium Economy will have an individual power outlet and USB port, a 12 inch IFE screen and a seat pitch of 37 inches. Business Class amenities include fully lie-flat seats with a built-in back massage system, direct aisle access and 15 inch IFE screens. The aircraft is now equipped with on-board Wi-Fi available in all classes of travel.
Business class will also see an update in meal options, with the carrier introducing a restaurant experience in the air on their long-haul routes. The next aircraft to be updated to the new cabin designs is scheduled to enter service in late March and will mainly fly between Stockholm/Oslo and the U.S.
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