A LOT Embraer E-175 landing at Prague – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
Flying business class within Europe is not often an exciting nor noteworthy affair. That said, I was pleased to recently discover that it can still be a positive experience, with a lot more than meets the eye, and at a very affordable price.
I was fortunate enough to recently experience LOT Polish Airlines’ business class product from Warsaw to Prague. As part of its ongoing brand redevelopment, LOT, like many other carriers, has introduced an online bidding system for unsold business class seats, called plusgrade.
The only business class difference versus economy on intra-European flights – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
The system allows passengers to make a bid up to 72 hours before the flight’s departure, and there is a minimum amount that can be bid (in my case, it was approximately $80). At 48 hours prior to departure, I received an email that my bid was successful, and was issued a new ticket for business class — sweet.
AvGeeks in Action – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
The 1st of July, 2015, marked the fifth anniversary of Emirates services to Prague. To celebrate this achievement, Emirates substituted an Airbus A380 on the Dubai to Prague route, which is normally served by a Boeing 777-300ER. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to the event. The occasion was celebrated in true Emirates fashion, with a large PR event and cocktail reception, as well as an aircraft tour and an opportunity to photograph the arrival from the tarmac; an opportunity any AvGeek among us will gladly partake in.
This was the fourth visit so far of an Airbus A380 at Prague. The first was a Lufthansa A380, followed by Emirates (for a medical diversion) and Korean Air (check out that story here). Unlike the previous events, there was much marketing and social media hype about the Emirates A380 – I guess this can be attributed to the strength of the Emirates brand image within the Czech Republic. On the day of the event, for those not fortunate enough to have access to the media/VIP event, Emirates handed out free hats and various other promotional items to all who came to view this spectacular aircraft, no matter what side of the fence they were on. Well done, EK!
The static display at this year’s EBACE consisted of 53 aircraft – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
I was fortunate enough to attend the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) again this year in Geneva. This is the premier business aviation event in Europe and is the second-largest gathering of industry professionals, following the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in America.
This year’s EBACE attracted close to 500 exhibitors and 53 aircraft on static display. While this was not as impressive as last year’s event, there were still some new and interesting additions not previously seen. The clear highlight, for me, was checking out the HondaJet.
The HondaJet was the star of the show at EBACE – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
This was the first public appearance of Honda’s new light business jet in Europe. The aircraft is most easily recognizable by its wing-mounted engines, something that is a major first. This unique design, increases the baggage volume and allows for a fully-enclosed lavatory to be fitted in the cabin. And who doesn’t appreciate that?
An EA-18G Growler from VAQ-129 climbs out of OLF Coupeville in full afterburner
Picture this: the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and yellow dandelions are beginning to bloom in the green grass. Sounds pretty good, right? As AvGeeks, what could make this better? Well, how about the sound of jets? Not just any jets but fast moving jets, the kind that are flown by the U.S. Navy.
Interested? You might want to head about 90 minutes northwest of Seattle and check out the NOLF (aka OLF) Coupeville. I recently got to experience all of the above, and more, and figured I should share what I experienced.
Icelandair use 757s to connect their hub in Reykjavik to European and North American destinations – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter
What has been the most talked about aircraft as of late in aviation circles? I would have to say it is the Boeing 757 — an aircraft that seems irreplaceable. This aircraft is beloved by some, hated by others, and yet so many people have flown them, no matter where you are from (unless you are Australian, then it’s going to be rare). I can remember the first time I saw a 757 (Royal New Zealand Air Force at Avalon Airshow); I can also remember my first flight on a 757 (United P.S from JFK to LAX). I’ve got so many wonderful memories of the 757 that I wanted to take a little trip down memory lane and bring you all along with me.
One of Allegiant Air’s Boeing 757s (N902NV) while still in Everett, WA – Photo: David Parker Brown
The Boeing 757 was the last clean-sheet narrow-body aircraft to come out of the Seattle area. The aircraft was produced in Renton and, much like myself, the 757 was an 80’s baby. Rolled out on January 13, 1982, it took flight just over a month later on February 19th. Deliveries of the 757-200 began in December 1982, less than a year after roll-out, with the launch customer being Eastern Air Lines for North America (since dissolved and now reappeared) and British Airways for Europe. The aircraft was last delivered in 2004, after over 22 years of production. The final aircraft was delivered to Shanghai Airlines, giving the 757 family a total of 1,050 of the type.