Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 137,829
2013: 330,818

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The Big Blue Whale Comes to Prague – Korean A380 First Visit

Kore Air's A380 visits Prague for the first time Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Korean Air’s A380 visits Prague for the first time – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Yesterday, Korean Air premiered their Airbus A380 to Prague on their regular scheduled flight from Seoul. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to welcome the aircraft to Prague.

This was the third A380 operation to Prague since its introduction to service. The first was a Lufthansa bird, which came to Prague for crew/diversion support training, and then Emirates last year on a medical diversion.

A special area had been setup for the event in the adjacent gate allowing ample room to move and view the aircraft from various angles Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

A special viewing area set up for the event in the adjacent gate – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Korean Air presently operate eight A380′s in their fleet and they deploy them primarily on their key routes to Los Angeles and Hong Kong; this one-off flight to Prague therefore came as a bit of a surprise. The reason behind this aircraft substitution (in lieu of the regular A330/B777 mix on the route) was due to a major EU technology conference in Hanover and the requirement for a large business class cabin.

Korean Air operates the least-densely-configured A380. The lower deck consists of 12 first class seats and 301 economy class seats with a generous 34-inch pitch. The upper deck is all business class, with a 94-seat cabin -this is by far the largest business class cabin on an airliner (mixed-class) to date.

Continue reading The Big Blue Whale Comes to Prague – Korean A380 First Visit

IMAGES: Qatar Airways Unveils its New Airbus A380 First Class

Qatar Airways new A380 First Class. Photo - Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways new A380 First Class – Photo: Qatar Airways

This week, Qatar Aiways unveiled what their new First Class product on the Airbus A380 will look like and it is impressive.

There are some immediate things that jump out and excite me beyond the hard statistics. The colors and branding fit right in with the overall Qatar Airways color palette. Many airlines, to their detriment, completely lose all branding in their premium cabin and begin to focus on creating an atmosphere that attempts to soothe the passenger away.

Qatar Airways’ first A380 took off from Toulouse on its maiden flight to Hamburg where the aircraft will be fitted with its cabin before being painted. Image: Airbus.

Qatar Airways’ first A380 before being fully painted – Photo: Airbus

There are some airlines that even make their premium cabins look like hospitals covered in billboards… but I won’t mention names.  It looks as if Qatar Airways has decided to create an elegant, welcoming living room-like atmosphere without losing their identity as an airline inside. As an aircraft interiors geek, I find this exciting.

Continue reading IMAGES: Qatar Airways Unveils its New Airbus A380 First Class

Epic AvGeek Photos: Airbus A350, A380 and A330 Fly in Formation

Image from Airbus

The A380, A350 and A330 fly in formation. Image from Airbus

Yea. We are going to have to say that these photos are pretty darn rad. They show the Airbus A350, A380 and A330 test aircraft flying in formation after taking off from Toulouse earlier in the day. Do we even need to write any more words? Oh right. Make sure you check out the second photo…

Continue reading Epic AvGeek Photos: Airbus A350, A380 and A330 Fly in Formation

Qatar Airways Set to Join Oneworld Alliance Next Month

Qatar Airways to join One World. Image: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways to join Oneworld. Image: Qatar Airways

An announcement was made today (September 9th) that as of October 30th, Qatar Airways will be officially accepted in to the Oneworld Alliance of airlines.

Oneworld gave the official nod to Qatar after the final reviews and checks were completed by the alliance, in conjunction with British Airways, the sponsoring airline. The review process was completed in record time and with the admission date set for approximately one year after the invitation was announced, making it the fastest approval process for a Oneworld airline to date.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said:  “In Qatar Airways’ relatively short history, we have quickly established a reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do.  We are pleased to build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to date to be joining any of the global airline alliances.  We are proud to entering the best of them, in Oneworld – and to be doing so in record quick time.  We very much look forward to flying alongside some of the best airlines in the world from 30 October, bringing the heightened benefits offered by Oneworld to our customers.”

Continue reading Qatar Airways Set to Join Oneworld Alliance Next Month

Emirates Shows Off Lounges in New Airbus A380 Concourse

An Emirates Airbus A380 at the new concourse in Dubai.

An Emirates Airbus A380 at the new concourse in Dubai.

An excerpt from David Parker Brown’s story on APEX Editor’s Blog

DUBAI: How does one go about making the world’s largest airliner, the Airbus A380, look small? Park it at the new Concourse A at Dubai International Airport, which was designed to handle the giant aircraft and all the high-end passengers who will fly in its premium cabins.

Earlier this year Emirates and Dubai International Airport opened the new concourse. David Parker Brown, a contributor to the APEX editor’s blog was invited for a tour of the Emirates Airline first and business class lounges.

Concourse A opened on 2 January 2013 and is the world’s only dedicated and purpose built concourse for the Airbus A380. The rest of the airport is able to handle the aircraft, but the new concourse was purpose-built with the A380 in mind. A formidable undertaking for the airport and airline, US$3.3 billion terminal required 159,572,880 man-hours to build.

Continue reading Emirates Shows Off Lounges in New Airbus A380 Concourse on APEX

See more photos of the Concourse A in Dubai