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2014: 201,532
2013: 330,818

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What is Delta Air Lines Up To? The Good, Bad & Ugly

Delta unveils special "Spirit of Seattle" livery on a Boeing 737 in Seattle. Image: Delta.

Delta unveils special “Spirit of Seattle” livery on a Boeing 737 in Seattle – Photo: Delta

There has been a lot of talk over the last few months about Delta Air Lines.  They have been doing many good and smart changes, a few not so good things, and some crazy things that makes me wonder what the heck is going on. I wanted to take a look at the last few month (and maybe a bit beyond) to try and figure out what Delta has been up to.

If you wind the clock back a few months, what Delta was up to seemed to make a bit more sense than they do now.  Expanding their west coast presence was a good thing.  Turning the Los Angeles to San Francisco route into the equivalent of the Delta Shuttle on the west coast was smart.  Adding more services to Seattle to turn it in to a new focus city is good as well, but also a little crazy.  Why crazy? Well, Delta is partners with Alaska Airlines and it seems the two of them have decided to publicly show their competitive side, while still trying to be “friendly” towards frequent fliers.

Continue reading What is Delta Air Lines Up To? The Good, Bad & Ugly

A Preview of LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Computer image of LOT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

Computer image of LOT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

LOT Polish Airlines is using the addition of the 787 Dreamliner to their fleet as an opportunity to update their interior and livery. The airline describes the new interior as “modern and trendy yet an ethnic design inspired by tradition and famous symbols of Poland.”

Below are multiple photos showing what the new interior of the LOT’s 787 will look like.  LOT will configure their Dreamliner with 18 seats in Business Class in a 2-2-2 layout, 21 seats in premium economy in a 2-3-2 layout and 213 seats in economy in a 3-3-3 layout.

LOT also announced that they plan to use the 787 Dreamliner on their Chicago to Warsaw route starting in January 2013.

Business Class mock up on the LOT 787. Image from LOT.

Business Class mock up on the LOT 787. Image from LOT.

LOT's Business Class seats will be fold flat. Image from LOT.

LOT's Business Class seats will be fold flat. Image from LOT.

Economy section of LOT's 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

Economy section of LOT's 787 Dreamliner. Image from LOT.

LOT's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Boeing Factory floor in Everett. Photo from LOT.

LOT's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Boeing Factory floor in Everett. Photo from LOT.

Southwest Airlines Evolves Their Interior — More Seats, but for the Better

Yesterday, Southwest Airlines announced some pretty big changes for the inside of some of their Boeing 737 aircraft, which they are calling “Evolve: The New Southwest Interior.”

For the average customer, the differences probably won’t be so obvious — hence why Southwest is calling this an evolution rather than a revolution. The tones of brown and blue will be familiar, but with a closer eye, one can see the changes. From Southwest directly, here they are:

The new Southwest interior with new seats and carpeting. Photo by Southwest Airlines.

The new Southwest interior with new seats and carpeting. Photo by Southwest Airlines.

  • Modern Cabin Design: The new design incorporates natural, earthy tones combined with Southwest’s iconic Canyon blue and clean, aluminum accents for a more modern, fresh appeal.  The redesign is inspired by Southwest’s past with a nod to the future.
  • Lighter and More Comfortable Seat: The redesigned low-profile seat is more durable, made of eco-friendly products, is lighter, and more comfortable. 
  • Increased Under-Seat Space: The new design allows for more under-seat room for carryon luggage and approved pet carriers.
  • Customer Living Space: Reducing the recline from three inches to two inches preserves onboard personal living space while still allowing for ample seat adjustment for Customer comfort. 
  • Seatback pockets: The new netted seatback pockets are streamlined to provide more knee room. 
  • Headrest: The fixed-wing headrest provides better neck and head alignment with side-to-side support for sleeping.
  • Improved Ergonomics: The combination of the low-profile cushion and fixed wing headrestimproves ergonomics by positioning Customers “down and back” into the seat, allowing for better lumbar support, armrest alignment, and increased personal living space.
There might be less seat pitch, but there is more space.

There might be less seat pitch, but there is more space. Photo by Southwest Airlines.

The new interior means that there allows Southwest to put six additional seats on each aircraft. This is due to reducing the seat pitch from 32″ to 31″, using the skinnier seats and reducing the recline from 3″ to 2″. This will allow Southwest to increase their profit, without having to add fees.

The seats are made with eco-friendly materials and are designed to last longer, reducing replacement costs. Each seat weighs six pounds less than their predecessor, meaning real fuel savings for Southwest Airlines. The new carpet, which is made out of recycled materials, is put in by squares where a section can easily be replaced instead of taking out the whole carpet.

“We are preparing now for our next 40 years with a fleet modernization plan that includes the new interior, the Boeing 737-800 which is scheduled to come online beginning in March this year, and the 737 MAX, which is expected to join the Southwest fleet in 2017,” said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “The evolutionary changes we’re making with the new interior uphold our low-cost roots and historic focus on Customer Service. The cabin upgrade also allows us to create significant revenue opportunities without adding unwanted fees.”

Southwest plans to update all their newer Boeing 737-700s and also AirTran’s 737s and 717s. They have not stated if they will update their older classic 737s, but my guess is that they will not.  It would be unlikely, since they recently announced an order 150 new Boeing 737MAX aircraft.

Learn more about Southwest’s new interior:
* Great 360 view of the interior
* Story from Mary Kirby with APEX, who was there at the reveal
* See more photos and learn more on the Nuts about Southwest Blog
* In October 2009, Southwest shows off their Green Plane 

All Nippon Airways Shows Off Special 787 Dreamliner Livery and Interior Configuration

ANA showed off their special Dreamliner Livery today.

ANA showed off their special Dreamliner Livery today. Photo by Boeing.

Today, All Nippon Airways (ANA) unveiled their special Boeing 787 Dreamliner livery.

The livery is the celebrate that ANA will be the first airline in the world to fly the 787 Dreamliner. The blue lines at the rear of the fuselage are designed to highlight how the three core elements of the airline’s service brand – innovation, uniqueness and the inspiration of modern Japan – operate across the ANA network. Only two Dreamliners will be painted in the special livery, the rest will be in standard ANA livery.

Many have assumed that ANA would create a special livery since two of their 787 Dreamliners parked at Paine Field have kept a blank livery. The above computer drawing is from Boeing, but ANA also released some images of what the livery will look like.

ANA's new Business Class will have staggered seating.

ANA's new Business Class will have staggered seating. Click for bigger.

ANA also unveiled their new cabin layout that will premier on the 787 Dreamliner. Business Class seats will have full lay flat beds, 17″ monitors and staggered seating, allowing aisle access from every seat. For both long and short haul layouts in the 787 Dreamliner, there will be two classes: Business and Economy.

Economy class will feature seats that have fixed backs, where a passenger can recline, but it will not impede into the person’s space behind you. Every seat will have in seat entertainment and universal power and USB ports.

ANA has ordered 55 787 Dreamliners and the first should be delivered sometime in August or September.

Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, also has some additional renderings on the ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner livery and the interior configuration posted to his blog.

Taking an Interior Tour of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

The business class section of the Boeing 747-8 International mock-up has amazing lighting.

The business class section of the Boeing 747-8 International mock-up has amazing lighting.

The orange exterior of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has been getting a lot of well deserved attention. But my mother always told me, “it is what’s inside that counts.” She’s right, so let’s take a close look at the interior of the Boeing 747-8I.

The plane seen at the 747-8I unveiling had no interior and Lufthansa’s first plane isn’t quite ready yet for a viewing. However, Boeing does have a full, two story interior mock up at the Customer Experience Center located in Renton, WA and I was lucky enough to be invited to check it out.

My first impression was, “wow.” I understand that the seating choices and a lot of the fanciness won’t be chosen by every airline, but just the lighting is a huge improvement. The full color spectrum LED lighting in the ceiling and along the walls makes the cabin feel bigger and the new overhead bins (also found on the 787 Dreamliner) actually make the cabin bigger.

Boeing was able to show what “standard” lighting seen today looks like versus the new lighting and it makes a huge difference. Boeing suggests that an airline makes the ceiling lighting the same color as the sky (blues to oranges), but airlines can customize almost any color. The sky colors brings your eyes up and gives a feeling of a higher ceiling and a much more enjoyable environment.

This mini-suite on the upper deck looks pretty comfy.

This mini-suite on the upper deck looks pretty comfy.

Unlike the mood lighting seen on airlines like Virgin American (which is also awesome), the lighting in the new interior doesn’t cause the whole cabin to change colors. Airlines have the ability to create different lighting in the ceiling and side walls, but still keep the main lighting on the passengers white.

The stairs going up to the upper deck is much more welcoming on the 747-8I than the stairs I have seen on Boeing 747-400s.Showing what could be, the upper deck of the mock up had lounge and private suite seating. Who needs a seat that turns into a bed, when you can have a seat and a bed with a sitting area right outside?

Although the mock-up doesn’t have engines attached to it, I would imagine the real 747-8I will be much quieter inside. Seeing the 747-8F take off, it is obviously much more silent than the Boeing 747-400 and older models.

Boeing will have a consistent feel across all their airlines. Now, the Boeing 737, 777, 787 and 747-8I will have similar custom lighting and more modern interiors. These new interiors will keep passengers happy and help to make airlines more profit. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

More stuff on the Boeing 747-8I’s interior:
* Check out the rest of the interior photos
* Boeing’s website showing the interior
* Video of the 747-8I interior from Flight Blogger
* Interior and exterior photos from NYCAviation