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News from Emerald TMC

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British Airways improving its business class food offering
BA is introducing radical changes to the quality and presentation of meals served to its Club World business class passengers from 1st September. The first route to get this will be London Heathrow to New York JFK before being expanded out across its network during 2018. Post take-off snacks will disappear and a different service will be introduced with passenger being able to choose their starter and dessert (including cheese board) from a cart. The main will still be pre-ordered however the choice of hot main courses is being reduced to three from four. BA is also introducing new bedding and amenity kits from The White Company.
25th August 2017


Qantas to launch non-stop flights between London and Sydney
Qantas is planning to introduce non-stop flights between London and Sydney by 2022. It has tasked aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing to produce new aircraft under development, the Airbus A350 Ultra Long Range and the Boeing 777X respectively, with sufficient range to operate London to Sydney non-stop with no restrictions on passenger loads. Qantas claim a non-stop flight between London and Sydney could shave four hours off the journey time.
25th August 2017


ANA now serving sake in economy
ANA will start offering sake to its economy class passengers from 1st September 2017. The sakes are from leading brewery Ichinokura and are made from two varieties of rice from the Miyagi prefecture, north of Tokyo.
25th August 2017


American Airlines expands its European network
AA is to launch a number of new European services from next summer (4th May – 27th October 2018) including serving destinations Budapest and Prague from Philadelphia as well as putting on an extra service between Chicago and Venice. Both the Budapest and Prague services will be served by a B767-300, while Chicago-Venice will use the Dreamliner.
25th August 2017


British Airways introduces new premium port
BA is improving its port selection by adding Graham’s Six Grapes to its Club World drinks menu. This port was a favourite of Winston Churchill. The six-grapes symbol is Graham’s mark of quality, used to identify the very finest wines from the best vineyards. It is interesting to note some 41,000 bottles (37.5cl) were served by BA to its business class customers last year.
25th August 2017


Manchester Airport investing £1bn
Manchester Airport is investing £1bn over a 10-year period to create a new terminal which will allow for better and more connections with the aim to handle some 45m passenger per year, up from its current level of 25m.
25th August 2017


British Airways new London Heathrow to Nashville service
BA is to fly direct from Heathrow to Nashville, Tennessee from May 2018 five times weekly using a B787 Dreamliner. The flight schedule is as follows –
London Heathrow – Nashville
Flight BA223 Depart London Heathrow 15:45 – Arrive Nashville 18:50
Flight BA Depart Nashville 20:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:30
9th August 2017


Philippine Airlines new aircraft on London – Manila route
Philippine Airlines is to operate a new Boeing 777-300 ER on its London to Manila route from 19th September 2017 offering 42 Business Class and 328 Economy Class seats. The Business Class product includes a full lie-flat bed, 11 inch personal TV screen in Economy and in-flight Wi-Fi throughout the cabin. Across both classes passengers can enjoy over 300 hours of in-flight entertainment.
9th August 2017


British Airways transfers its London Heathrow to Paris Orly to London City airport
BA will operate its London Paris Orly flights from London City airport from Sunday 29th October 2017, currently this service is from Heathrow. However it will continue to offer its Charles de Gaulle flights (up to seven times daily) from Heathrow.
3rd August 2017


BA is to launch two new routes from London City airport to Prague and Reykjavik from Sunday 29th October 2017
BA is set to fly to Prague daily except Saturdays and to Reykjavik twice weekly on a Thursday and Sunday on a winter seasonal basis until late March 2018 from London City airport. These two new routes will complement BA’s existing services from Heathrow. BA flies between London Heathrow and Prague up to four times daily. BA currently flies between London Heathrow and Reykjavik four times weekly which will increase to twice daily from 29 October 2017.
3rd August 2017


Primera Air new London to Boston & Newark flights from spring 2018
Primera Air is to launch a direct flight from London Stansted to Boston and Newark next spring. Its Boston flights will start on Saturday 19th May operating four times weekly with flights to Newark launching on Thursday 19th April operating daily. It will use an Airbus A321 long range with two classes – economy and premium economy. Primera typically operates short-haul flights within Europe and is based in Scandinavia.
London Stansted – Boston
Flight PF043 Depart London Stansted 17:00 – Arrive Boston 20:10 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Flight PF044 Depart Boston 21:40 – London Stansted 09:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
London Stansted – Newark
Flight PF041 Depart London Stansted 17:55 – 21:20
Flight PF042 Depart Newark 22:50 – Arrive London Stansted 11:00
3rd August 2017


United Airlines reinstates its Heathrow to Denver service
United Airlines is to reinstate its Denver service from Heathrow (Terminal 2) on a summer seasonal basis from Saturday 24th March to Friday 26th October 2018. Operating a B787 Dreamliner it will offer 36 flat-bed seats in Business, 70 Economy Plus (premium Economy) and 113 seats in economy.
3rd August 2017


Heathrow improves its Connections
London Heathrow has recently updated and improved the information it provides for connecting passengers. In addition to videos it has new information guides preparing passengers for Connections and Security procedure.
3rd August 2017


Singapore Airlines Corporate programme for SME’s
Singapore Airlines (SQ) has launched ‘HighFlyer’ a Frequent Flyer Programme for Small Medium Sized Companies. It is designed to reward not only the traveller but also the company when flying SQ. Corporates will earn HighFlyer points while employees earn KrisFlyer miles each time they fly with SQ or SilkAir. With no minimum annual travel spend required Corporates earn five HighFlyer points for every S$1 spend on tickets booked through Singapore Airlines’ corporate booking platform or an appointed travel agent.
3rd August 2017


Japan Airlines goes double daily on London to Tokyo
JAL is adding a second daily flight from London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda from Sunday 29th October 2017 using a Boeing 787 aircraft. JL042 departs London Heathrow at 09.30 arriving Tokyo Haneda 06.25 with JL041 departing Tokyo Haneda 02.45 arriving London Heathrow 06.25.
13th July 2017


Norwegian to fly Gatwick to Buenos Aires
Norwegian is planning to fly four times weekly to the Argentine capital from 14th February 2018, using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft; this will be the airlines eleventh long-haul route from Gatwick. The near 14-hour flight will depart from Gatwick at 08.15, arriving at 19.00 on Monday and Friday. On Wednesday and Saturday, a night flight will leave Gatwick at 21.30, arriving 08.15 the following morning.
22nd June 2017


Norwegian to launch new Gatwick to Singapore service
Norwegian’s aggressive expansion at London Gatwick continues with the announcement of a new service to Singapore’s Changi airport. The route will launch on Thursday 28th September 2017. It will initially operate four times weekly, increasing to five times weekly from Monday 30th October 2017 using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two class configuration.
22nd June 2017


Etihad removes free chauffeur service
Etihad is taking away from 3rd July its free chauffeur car service for its premium passengers (First & Business) at all international destinations although the service will remain at its hub in Abu Dhabi airport. A new paid for chauffeur service for all classes of travel will be introduced at what the airline is calling a ‘specially negotiated rate’.
22nd June 2017


Jet Airways gives free travel for life
A baby born onboard a Jet Airways flight from Saudi Arabia to India has been offered free travel for life by the airline. A passenger who is a trained nurse was onboard to help the crew deliver the baby at 35,000 feet after the woman went into premature labour.
22nd June 2017


Emirates & recycled plastic bottles
Emirates have introduced a sustainable blanket made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles. It takes 28 recycled plastic bottles to make one blanket. Available in economy class it is planned Emirates will have used 88 million plastic bottles from landfills by the end of 2019.
22nd June 2017


Emirates economy class passengers and lounge access
Passengers flying Emirates economy class will now have the opportunity to use their lounges at Dubai International Airport but for a fee. Passengers willing to pay $200 can have access to their first-class lounge for up to four hours and for $100 access is available in their business class lounge.
22nd June 2017


Emirates and its A380’s
Emirates became the first airline to fly the A380 into Latin America and North Africa when it started offering this aircraft on its Dubai to São Paulo and Casablanca at the end of March. In addition it started flying the A380 to Tokyo Narita. Emirates are the largest operator of A380 with 95
22nd June 2017


China Airlines restarting London flights
China Airlines is planning to start a non-stop 13-hour flight between Gatwick and Taipei in December, flying four times weekly using an A350 aircraft. China Airlines dropped its route between Heathrow and the Taiwanese capital in 2012 after only two years of service. Flights CI069/CI070 will depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, offering 32 business class seats, 31 in premium economy and another 243 in economy.
22nd June 2017


Cardiff airport secures long-haul link
Qatar Airways is planned to be the first scheduled long-haul service for some time to operate out of Cardiff Airport starting in 2018. Details as to frequency have yet to be finalised however the new flight will be Cardiff’s first scheduled route to the Middle East
3rd May 2017


Emirates and Birmingham
Emirates are starting a double-daily A380 service between Birmingham and Dubai from 29th October offering a two-class configuration with 557 Economy and 58 Business Class seats.
3rd May 2017


Vietnam extends visa waiver for another year
Vietnam has extended its visa exemption programme until June 2018. The measure, first introduced in July 2015, means UK passport holders can make single entry visits for up to 15 days without purchasing a visa. The waiver programme also applies to French, German, Spanish and Italian nationals. This scheme was introduced by the Vietnamese government to boost tourism and in the first five months of 2017, more than five million people visited the country, a year-on-year increase of 26.8%.
3rd May 2017


Air France-KLM sign agreement with Singapore Airlines
Air France-KLM has signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines to boost its network in Asia. Air France will add its AF code to Singapore Airlines flights from Singapore to Melbourne & Sydney and on three routes to Malaysia and Thailand operated by regional subsidiary Silkair. Singapore Airlines in turn will add its SQ code to 10 Air France flights from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. Airlines will be able to offer their customers transfers on their shared routes with only one booking and a one-stop luggage check-in through to their final destination.
3rd May 2017


British Airways pricing for Wi-Fi
BA has confirmed it’s pricing for using Wi-Fi on its long-haul services initially being rolled out on their B747 aircraft. Access is available in a total of six options, across two connection speeds: Simply Connect, which supports “simple web browsing for activities such as checking emails and social media”, and Connect Plus for “a faster connection that will support video-streaming services such as YouTube”. Customers can choose from one-hour’s access for £4.99 (Simply Connect) or £7.99 (Connect Plus), a four-hour option for £10.99 (Simply Connect) or £17.99 (Connect Plus), and a full flight pass for £14.99 (Simply Connect) or £23.99 (Connect Plus).
3rd May 2017


British Airways announced change to its Executive Club frequent flyer programme
BA has announced Executive Club Members will be able to put their account ‘on hold’ for up to a year if they take maternity, paternity or adoption leave. This means their membership status will be frozen so they don’t lose their hard-earned Executive Club Bronze, Silver or Gold status even if they take fewer or no flights. A further bonus is being introduced allowing parents who take this status freeze and enrol their children as part of their household account will then receive 1,000 Avios points as a welcome.
3rd May 2017


TAP Portugal introduces long-haul hand-luggage only fare
TAP is to introduce on its long-haul flights a hand-luggage only fare as part of a range of new fares aimed at greater choice for its passengers. There are four new fare options in Economy from carry-on offering the most competitive to new Plus allowing up to three checked bags, pre-assigned seating, priority check-in and ability to make changes.
11th April 2017


British Airways plans changes to its Club World business class
British Airways has unveiled plans for catering and in-flight changes to its Club World long-haul business class product. It expects to roll these out over the next year with London to New York JFK the first most likely route to see the changes. The improvements include improved quality and presentation of food and drink with more choice, new bedding and pillows and new in-flight service routines aimed at improving the environment for sleeping.
11th April 2017


British Airways parent launches low-cost long-haul airline
British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) is launching a new low cost long-haul airline from June 2017. Based in Barcelona, LEVEL will fly to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Buenos Aires and Punta Cana. There are plans for it to expand its network from other European cities. LEVEL will fly two new Airbus A330 aircraft branded in its own livery and fitted with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats. Initially it will be operated by Iberia’s flight and cabin crew and will create up to 250 jobs based in Barcelona.
11th April 2017


Air India relocating to T2 at London Heathrow
Air India has moved its Heathrow operation from T4 to T2, joining its fellow Star Alliance member carriers. The move means all 24 Star Alliance carriers serving Heathrow now operate from one terminal.
11th April 2017


British Airways new routes from Manchester & Stansted
BA is introducing seven new routes from Manchester this summer with direct flights to Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza and Palma in Spain; Mykonos in Greece; Nice in the south of France and a weekly service to London City Airport. In addition, there will be new flights between Stansted and Florence, Geneva and Nice, plus increased frequency on existing routes to Ibiza and Palma. Flights to Malaga and Faro will also resume for the summer period.
11th April 2017


Virgin Atlantic new Manchester to US flights
Virgin has launched a new long-haul flight to San Francisco from Manchester making it the first direct route to northern California from the North of England. In addition it also launched a new Manchester to Boston service and increased its capacity on its Manchester to NYC flights.
3rd April 2017


Moscow remains the most expensive city
Moscow continues to be the most expensive city for a hotel room with an average price of £265 per night in 2016 according to a survey by HRG. It is followed by New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and Tokyo. And of the top 50 cities featured in this list, 27 saw an increase in room rates with 21 decreasing. London’s average room rate is £173.
3rd April 2017


UK bans laptops & tablets
The UK Government has banned laptops, tablets and e-readers on passenger flights to the UK from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
3rd April 2017


New Flybe London-Scotland flights
Flybe has started to offer flights from London Heathrow to both Edinburgh and Aberdeen from 26th March 2017. The regional airline is providing more than 40 flights per week to Edinburgh and Aberdeen operating out of Terminal 2.
3rd April 2017


Qatar Airways unveils new business class product
q-suitesQSuites is the new Business Class from Qatar Airways offering the world’s first double bed in this class and a customised private suite offering a face-to-face party of four configuration. Along with the new seat design there will be an introduction of new food and beverage options and a revamped in-flight entertainment system. It is planned that these will start being introduced from June 2017.

14th March 2017


British Airways is to introduce two class service on its UK domestic flights
British Airways is to introduce its Club Europe business class product on its UK domestic flights from 1st April 2017 so offering a two class service. This service will provide a 2-2 configuration on all its Airbus aircraft from both Heathrow and Gatwick with complimentary drink and food.

14th March 2017


All Nippon Airways introduces larger aircraft on its Hawaii route
ANA is set to introduce the first of its Airbus A380 aircraft on the highly competitive Tokyo Honolulu route. It will mark the first Japanese airline to operate the A380.

14th March 2017


Schiphol Airport biometric boarding trial
Amsterdam’s Schiphol and KLM is trialling biometric boarding which allows passengers to board flights without showing their passport or boarding pass at selected gates.  Eligible passengers are required to register for the initiative at a special kiosk in the waiting area at the gate where their face, passport and boarding pass will be scanned.  They will then be able to board their flight via a separate gate which identifies passengers using facial recognition.

14th February 2017


Finnair new long-haul routes for winter 2017 season

Finnair’s plans for the winter 2017 season include the following –

  • twice-weekly flight to Goa between 30 November 2017 – 18 March 2018
  • increase frequency to six flights per week to Delhi
  • twice weekly service to Havana 1 December – 23 March
  • weekly to Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) between 19 November – 18 March
  • weekly to Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) 30 November – 22 Marc
  • increase frequencies to Bangkok & Singapore (two additional weekly services respectively)
  • increase by three its weekly service to Hong Kong

14th February 2017


Manchester airport to open adult-only lounge
Manchester Airport is set to open an adult’s only lounge at Terminal 3 in April.  With a capacity of 71, passengers will be able to book in advance to gain entry at a fee of £30 (£35 on the door) with access for up to two hours including free alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee, soft drinks and a complimentary hot and cold buffet.

1st February 2017


Lufthansa and Air China to offer code-sharing flights
Lufthansa and Air China are to coordinate flights and schedules between Europe and China starting in the summer 2017 providing a greater choice of routes, departure points and connections.  Both carriers are members of Star Alliance.
1st February 2017


Qantas to fly non-stop London to Australia flights
Qantas is planning to launch a non-stop service from London to Perth from March 2018 using a 787-9 Dreamliner for the 17 hours flight.  It will be the first regular passenger route linking Australia with Europe.
1st February 2017


New London-Scotland flights

Flybe will be starting to offer flights from London Heathrow to both Edinburgh and Aberdeen from 26th March 2017.  The regional airline will provide more than 40 flights per week (18 daily to Edinburgh and 10 to Aberdeen) operating out of Terminal 2.

1st February 2017


Air India relocated to T2 at London Heathrow

Air India has moved its Heathrow operation from T4 to T2, joining its fellow Star Alliance member carriers.  The move means all 24 Star Alliance carriers serving Heathrow now operate from one terminal.

1st February 2017


Moving Terminals at Gatwick

British Airways has relocated to the South Terminal; Virgin Atlantic to the North Terminal and EasyJet consolidated its operation to the North Terminal at the end of January 2017.  These changes will benefit passengers by providing new facilities including state of the art technology at check-in, security and immigration and new bag-drop areas as well as new BA and Virgin Atlantic lounges.

1st February 2017


British Airways suspends some routes from London City Airport

BA is suspending a number of flights from City Airport including Alicante & Madrid and Angers & Hamburg and its Geneva route for the summer season from late March to late October 2017. The affected flight numbers are BA2280, BA2281, BA2284, BA2285, BA 2286 and BA2287.  Swiss will continue to fly London City – Geneva year round up to three times daily.
1st February 2017


 

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