Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 360,327
2013: 330,818

Champagne, Caviar, and a Shower at 40,000FT – Emirates A380 First Class Review Part 1

Emirates A380 short final at Sydney Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Emirates A380 short final at Sydney – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

EMIRATES AIRLINE FIRST CLASS REVIEW BASICS:

Airline: Emirates Airline
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Departed: Sydney (SYD)
Arrived: Dubai (DXB)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: First Class
Seat: 2A
Length: About 14 hours

Not many people I know get too excited at the prospect of a 14-hour flight that leaves at 6:00 AM.  But when travelling in first class, even the 4:00 AM wake-up call is cause for excitement. I was recently fortunate enough to experience the first class product on-board Emirates’ A380 from Sydney to Dubai.

Most Emirates’ departures from Australia to Dubai are timed to leave at night; this did not appeal very much to me as when traveling first class I like to make the most of the experience, rather than just sleep though it. Luckily, Emirates had recently introduced the A380 product on their EK415 service, which departs Sydney at 6:00 AM with a 1:20 PM arrival to Dubai. This service is primarily targeted at connecting traffic onto the afternoon European services, which allow for a same-day evening arrival into Europe.

Emirates A380 first class suite, not a bad place to spend 14 hours Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Emirates A380 first class suite; not a bad place to spend 14 hours – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

I was happy to be staying at an airport hotel, meaning that I could afford to sleep in a little longer. Check-in at Sydney was completed with minimal fuss, and I was on my way to security within five minutes of entering the terminal.

Given the Qantas Emirates partnership, first class passengers traveling on Emirates flights have access to the Qantas First Class Lounge at Sydney. Sadly, the lounge was still closed at this hour of the morning. I had to make do with the Emirates lounge – while it is still of a very high standard, it is not as good as the Qantas’ first lounge.

On board, I was welcomed by the purser and escorted to my seat. As this was my first time flying Emirates First Class, I was given a very comprehensive walk-through of all of the seat and cabin features. At this time, I also received my bvlgari amenity kit along with pajamas and slippers; all of this was very nicely presented in an Emirates-branded tote bag. This is probably the best and highest quality of in-flight amenities I have received on any carrier.

Continue reading Champagne, Caviar, and a Shower at 40,000FT – Emirates A380 First Class Review Part 1

Will 757s Stop Flying Soon? Airbus Launches New A321neoLR

gathered at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 25 September 2014 to witness the historic first NEO flight - Photo: Airbus

People gathered at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 25 September 2014 to witness the historic first “neo” flight – Photo: Airbus

Recently, Leeham News broke news to the world that Airbus is offering a new variant of the A321neo.  This aircraft, dubbed the A321neoLR (rolls right off the tongue, right?) is set to extend the range of the aircraft an additional 400-500 nautical miles (nm) over the standard A321neo (now slated to be around the 4,000 nm mark).  Airbus has confirmed the aircraft, according to Leeham, and they say that it will have a 100 nm range advantage over the 757-200W, the variant used primarily for trans-Atlantic flights.

Is this new aircraft the death knell finally for the 757?

Alaska Airlines first Boeing 737-900ER (N402AS) is seen at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Image from Alaska Airlines.

The 737-900ER is a popular choice as a longer-range aircraft to replace older 757s, but is it the right fit?  Photo: Alaska Airlines

We have looked multiple times at the differences between the 757 & the A321.  The two aircraft have always gone back and forth as apparent direct competitors and even the new 737-900ER, which seem to be extremely popular with airlines like Delta, Alaska or the Lion Air Group from Indonesia, can’t seem to replace the 757.

What keeps Boeing from producing a new aircraft to properly replace the 757?

Continue reading Will 757s Stop Flying Soon? Airbus Launches New A321neoLR

Freshly Painted Qatar Airways Airbus A350

Qatar Airways’ freshly painted Airbus A350 on the factory lines in Toulouse, France. Photo: Airbus

Qatar Airways’ freshly painted Airbus A350 on the factory floor in Toulouse, France – Photo: Airbus

Qatar Airways and Airbus have released photos of their newly-painted Airbus A350-900XWB.   The aircraft has just been released from the paint hangar in Toulouse and is the first to feature the full Qatar Airways livery.  Unlike other aircraft, which had a hybrid Airbus & Qatar livery, this one in the airline’s standard grey livery with signature Oryx on the tail – it certainly does look sleek.

Continue reading Freshly Painted Qatar Airways Airbus A350

Qantas to Take Back a Few World Records by Changing to an A380

VH-OQA, a Qantas A380-841 on the ramp at Avalon Airport, Victoria five years ago. Photo - Bernie Leighton : AirlineReporter.com

VH-OQA, a Qantas A380-841 on the ramp at Avalon Airport, Victoria five years ago – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

On the 3rd of December, 2013, Emirates took the crown with having the longest Airbus A380 route in the world — from Dubai to Los Angeles. The  route is only 418 miles longer than the longest Qantas A380 route from the Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Qantas is fighting back with their recent announcement that they are going to take back the longest A380 flight crown, maintain the status of the longest commercial flight, and one-up Emirates.

Continue reading Qantas to Take Back a Few World Records by Changing to an A380

More Qatar Airways A380 Info Revealed

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 took off on its maiden flight to Hamburg, where the aircraft is being readied for delivery to QR.

Qatar Airways has now set the date for their inaugural service for the newest aircraft in the fleet, the Airbus A380.  Qatar has previously been very tight-lipped about their newest aircraft, giving just small glimpses of the on-board environment or a tease of their intended destinations (London & Paris).  When they released information on the first class seats at the ITB event in Berlin in March, this was our first glimpse into the gulf carrier’s plans for the whale jet.

Continue reading More Qatar Airways A380 Info Revealed