Browsing Tag: #PaxEx

Airnorth operate a fleet of Embraer E-170 jets as well as E-120 Brasilia's and Fairchild Metroliners Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Airnorth operates a fleet of Embraer E-170 jets on the longer regional routes – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

In a country as vast as Australia, it is no surprise that the population relies heavily on air transport, particularly in the more remote regions of the country. For the residents in these regions, these air services provide a vital lifeline. In many regions of Australia, these remote air routes are subsidised by the government. While the local residents view these services as an essential link to the outside world,  for the AvGeek, it is a unique opportunity to experience some interesting aircraft types, airlines, and routes.

My Airnorth flight route - Image: Great Circle Mapper

My Airnorth flight route – Cairns to Darwin via Gove – Image: Great Circle Mapper

One such flight route that I was fortunate enough to experience recently was from Cairns to Darwin, via Gove. While there are at least three direct flights per day from Cairns to Darwin on the other carriers, I was very interested to try out the service offered by Airnorth.

Airnorth was established in 1978 and has always had a strong focus on providing air services within the remote regions of Australia’s top-end. In recent years, the company has been focusing in particular on the contract charter market, as well as FIFO operations.

Hainan's inaugural flight, operated by a Boeing 787-8 (B-2739), from Changsha to Los Angeles on final approach.

Hainan Airlines’ inaugural flight, operated by a Boeing 787-8 (B-2739), from Changsha to Los Angeles on final approach.

Hainan Airlines, the largest privately operated carrier in China, commenced Los Angeles’s newest non-stop service to the Chinese mainland on January 21. The twice-weekly flights, operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, will connect LAX to the capital of Hunan province, Changsha (CSX). AirlineReporter was invited to be on the ramp at LAX for the arrival of the inaugural flight from CSX.

A brand new EVA Boeing 777-300ER, currently the most popular 777 aircraft, at Paine Field (with 9-abreast economy)

A brand-new EVA Boeing 777-300ER, currently the most popular 777 variant, at Paine Field (with nine-abreast economy)

In October 2015, it appeared that Cathay Pacific was ‘flirting’ with the idea of changing its long-haul 777 economy class from a 9-abreast to a 10-abreast cabin. This appears to be correct, since Cathay Pacific gauged the responses of some of its most loyal Marco Polo customers in a recent survey to see whether they would accept a 3-4-3 configuration on their long-haul 777 aircraft.

BONUS: Flying a Cathay 777 Across North America in Business Class

“To understand the needs of our customers as well as the trend and development of the airline industry, Cathay Pacific periodically conducts research on different aspects of our offerings so as to continuously improve on our passenger services,” Julie Jarratt, Cathay Pacific Communications Manager explained to AirlineReporter. “Cathay Pacific, at this stage, has no decision to change the seat width and seat pitch of our 777 fleet.”

The economy cabin inside a Singapore Airlines 777

The economy cabin inside a Singapore Airlines 777

From an airline’s perspective, the rationale for a 10-abreast cabin is quite obvious. Not only does it provide a higher profit margin, by lowering its cost per seat mile, but it (theoretically) allows these savings to be put into other benefits for travelers in the form of cheaper airfares or enhanced services. In this sense, a denser cabin allows airlines to move greater numbers of passenger on fewer flights, which leads to fuel efficiency in the form of equated fuel burn reduction savings. I wanted to take a closer look at which airlines are taking delivery of the higher-density 777s, as that configuration is becoming more and more popular.

A surprise anniversary party at 40,000 feet! Karen got to wear the Emirate's singature uniform hat. Mayb I should have to cut the glare.

A surprise anniversary party at 40,000 feet! Karen got to wear Emirates’ signature uniform hat. Maybe I should have too, to cut the glare.

“Mr. Slutsken, would you and your wife please join us in the lounge at the back of the cabin?” asked the Purser, our flight’s senior cabin representative. She had a big smile on her face as she stood beside my business class seat in the Emirates A380 on our flight from Dubai (DXB) to Rome (FCO). I looked back at my wife; we both wanted to be right beside a window, so I was in seat 9K and Karen was in 11K on the remarkably quiet upper deck of the Airbus.

This was the second leg of our special anniversary trip. We always try to do something new for every fifth year, and this was our 35th anniversary. It doesn’t really matter when in the year it happens, so we had planned a trip to Italy in October, months after our actual anniversary date. We wanted to fly business class, and after much research and expert help, we decided to go the long way to Italy. We cashed in a whack of Alaska Airlines and hotel points for reward seats on Emirates. It would be our first time flying the airline, and also our first time in Dubai. Using Emirates’ Dubai Stopover Program, we were able to break our itinerary to spend a few nights before continuing to Rome.