A6-LRE, a 777-237LR, loading up at LAX for the long flight back to Abu Dhabi – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
“That was the bulliest experience I ever had. I envy you your professional conquest of space.”
Thing is, Teddy Roosevelt never flew Etihad. Guy missed out. If a small biplane could impress our only president to ever ride a moose, I think the sheer awesomeness of Etihad would likely have left him a gibbering fool!
AirlineReporter Senior Correspondent Jacob Pfleger flew Etihad’s first class product back in the days when it was still called “Diamond First Class.” It was amazing, but with the introduction of the Facets of Abu Dhabi scheme and removal of the word diamond, Etihad has taken it even further. Out of a sense of curiosity and jealousy, a need to travel to South Africa, and a desire to best Jacob, I found a good fare from Los Angeles to Johannesburg that would let me put Etihad to the test on their longest pair of flights. I flew from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi and back, the route that Etihad purchased their 777-200LR fleet from Air India specifically to launch.
The suite was too long to fit its entirety in my 14mm lens! – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
Now, when these planes came from Air India, they were in legendary Air India style. Missing parts, missing documents, pretty much close to the axe; the aircraft were not taken care of. Worse, Air India had decided to purchase the auxiliary fuel tanks from Boeing that were necessary for their dream routes to the U.S. West Coast that will only materialize this year (maybe). Etihad and Boeing worked for months to bring these aircraft up to scratch.
However, when you get on board, there is not a trace of the old horrors and neglect that these wonderful machines faced. The result is a first class cabin that is better than both Gulfstreams I have flown on.
The extremely wide seat extends into a bed well over six feet in length. Feeling exposed? Yeah, I would be too. Even though you can’t really see any other passengers when seated, that’s not the point – you have the ability to shut your doors and have ultimate privacy. When I fly, I’d rather not see anyone but the cabin crew. Commercial flights are not about socializing for me. Etihad understands.
Air France’s inaugural Paris to Vancouver flight touches down on YVR’s Rwy 08L, just after noon on a rainy Sunday
C’est magnifique! Air France’s first flight to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) touched down in a huge spray of water on a soggy Sunday afternoon. The Boeing 777-200ER landed on YVR’s Runway 08L, after a nearly ten-hour flight from Paris – Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).
This inaugural flight ran a bit late, arriving at 12:04 PM. The normal schedule has Flight AF374 departing CDG at 10:35 AM, arriving YVR at 11:50 AM, the same day. The return flight, Flight AF379, leaves YVR at 1:55 PM, and arrives CDG at 8:35 AM the following morning.
Flags flying from the cockpit, AF374 taxiies to the gate at YVR
After touchdown, the 777 received a special escort by YVR’s emergency services along Taxiway Mike, before having the traditional “new airline water cannon salute” from two fire trucks. Mind you, with the monsoon-like rain, it was tough to see the water arch!
Then, with Canadian and French flags flying from the cockpit windows, AF374 taxiied to Gate 65 at YVR’s International Terminal.
Sparkling-new Air Canada 777-300ER C-FIVX at the Boeing Delivery Center, Paine Field, Everett WA. Photo: Bernie Leighton
It’s looking pretty busy at Air Canada (AC) and not just because they’ve launched their new “leisure airline,” rouge.
This summer, AC took delivery of the first two 777-300ERs from their latest five-plane order. When this order is completed, AC will have 17 -300ERs and 6 -200LRs in their international fleet. While AC’s new 777s look standard on the outside, they are very different inside.
Their newest 777s are configured in a new, three-class cabin, seating 458. That’s a huge 30% capacity increase from AC’s older 777-300ERs, which have 349 seats in a two-class arrangement. What all has changed? Obviously we had to take a closer look.
Two Royal Air Maroc and one JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner next to the Future of Flight
Here it is, the beginning of October and for some odd reason we are having really nice weather in Seattle. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Knowing Saturday was probably going to be one of the last sunny days we are going to see around these parts and knowing Boeing towed three Boeing 787’s right next to the Future of Flight, I figured it was a really nice day to go visit Paine Field (KPAE) again.
How many brand spak'n new Boeing aircraft can you identify here?
There are a lot of Boeing 787 Dreamliners sitting outside waiting for parts. There are so many, that Boeing is having to get creative with where they are parking the aircraft. There are now three 787 Dreamliners parked next to the Future of Flight and two more outside the Boeing hangars. The three by the Future of Flight are two Royal Air Maroc Dreamliners and one JAL. By the hangars is a JAL and one all white 787 (photo).
That's a lot of eye candy at Boeing's fuel dock
The Dreamliners aren’t the only thing overly impressive on this trip. There were also five aircraft sitting at the Boeing fuel dock. Two Dreamlifters, one Boeing 747-8, one Boeing 777 for V Australia and one Boeing 767 for JAL.
It is a stare off between Boeing 747-8's
On the east side are quite a few new Boeing 747-8s. The British Airways World Cargo 747 is still sitting with just a blue belly as it was a few weeks back. There is also a nice collection of Boeing 747-8F in Korean Air Cargo and Cathay Pacific liveries. There was also one that just has the rudder painted and is a Nippon Cargo Airlines 747-8F (photo).
Visiting Paine Field is always an awesome experience, especially when it is sunny. I feel very lucky to live just a quick 15 minute drive from one of the most interesting airports in the world.
CHECK OUT 51 PHOTOS OF AIRPLANES AT PAINE FIELD (KPAE)