Browsing Tag: Boeing

Getting set up for the special 100th celebration, next to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA

Getting set up for the special 100th celebration, next to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA

In the scheme of how long the universe has existed, 100 years is barely a speck in time. But in the world of aviation, it is one heck of a long time… and a huge chunk of human flight’s existence.

It is crazy to think that the Wright Brothers first flew on December 17, 1903 and just over 12 years later, William Boeing had the foresight to create his own aviation company (called “Pacific Aero Products Co” until 1934). I am not going to go into the vast history of Boeing — there are plenty of places where you can read about it, but if you have never heard of the company before, let me give you a basic rundown.

Part of the Boeing 7-series line up at Boeing Field.

Part of the Boeing 7-series lineup at Boeing Field

About 100 years ago (July 16, 1916), William Boeing created his company, which since then has made lots of cool flying machines and defense tools, and shot cool stuff into space, along with making some other oddball contraptions. So now that we are all on the same page… let’s party!

The first ever Boeing 747-8i to visit Prague arrives on a hot summers day Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The first ever Boeing 747-8I to visit Prague arrives on a hot summers day – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The 1st of July not only marks the start of the summer school holidays in central Europe, it is also a big day on the local aviation calendar. Last year, Emirates debuted the Airbus A380 on the Dubai-Prague route to celebrate five years of service. This year was no exception, as Korean Air announced the launch of Boeing 747-8I services on the Seoul-Prague route from the 1st of July until the 30th of September.

While the Korean Air 747-400 is no stranger to Prague during the peak summer travel season, this was the first time the carrier announced the route would be operated by the Boeing 747-8I, the longest aircraft in commercial passenger service today. Korean Air had previously operated a one-off Airbus A380 service to Prague, and if this event was anything to go by, I was quite excited to be part of this historic moment. Not only was this the premier of the 747-8I in Korean Air colors in Prague, it was also the first-ever flight of the aircraft type to the town — there have not even been any cargo versions.

KLM 737-800 (PH-BXT) at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, ready to take us to Prague, with a 737-700 (PH-BGW) taxiing behind

KLM 737-900 (PH-BXT) at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, ready to take us to Prague, with a 737-700 (PH-BGW) taxiing behind

Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij is not exactly a household name in most of the world, but its initials “KLM” and sky blue branding and livery are easily recognizable. I had a quick visit to Amsterdam before moving on to Prague this past spring, so flying on the national carrier of The Netherlands out of its homebase was the most obvious choice.

As I’ve pointed out numerous times, the European concept of business class (some better service, but the same seat as in economy, just with the middle seat blocked) is never worth it on personal trips, especially for a short flight blocked for 90 minutes gate-to-gate.  Addtionally, flying KLM (being a member of SkyTeam) meant flying outside my alliance, so no priority anything nor lounge access.

What could possibly go wrong?!

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER taxis for departure at Sydney - Photo: Rory Delaney

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER taxis for departure at Sydney – Photo: Rory Delaney

It has been over eight years since my last Singapore Airlines (SQ) flight. I have always had a great fondness for SQ; after all, it was the first airline I traveled on internationally when I was just four years old, going from Australia to Europe. Even when I flew them eight years ago, they were still in my opinion the carrier to beat in economy class. With much excitement and anticipation, I booked my next series of flights with Singapore Airlines, as they turned out to be the cheapest and most convenient option for a recent work trip to Southeast Asia. I was curious to see if they were still able to deliver a class-leading product in economy class, even with the ever increasing threat of competition from the three large Middle Eastern carriers.

I ended up taking four flights for my trip, but I will focus on the first flight I took from Munich to Singapore.  This flight left the strongest impression on me, and the fact that there were only about 80 passengers in economy class made for a very comfortable flight.