Air New Zealand’s “Pleased to Seat You” truck on display in Terry Fox Square in Vancouver
Air New Zealand is in the midst of refurbishing its Boeing 777-200ER fleet, and is showcasing the planesâ€™ new Premium Economy and Economy Skycouch seats during a North American â€œPleased to Seat Youâ€ tour.
The seats are on display in a 26 foot, 5 ton, glass-walled truck that will cover more than 7,000 miles, giving the public a chance to see and sit in the -200â€™s new seats. The airline introduced the innovative Skycouch in its Boeing 777-300s â€“ the footrest in a row of three seats can be positioned at the same height as the seat cushions, giving a flexible space for passengers.
With the update of the -200s, all of the long-haul aircraft in Air New Zealandâ€™s fleet will include the Skycouch, along with the new Premium Economy seats also found in its Boeing 787-9s.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER at JFK – Photo: David Montiverdi | Flickr CC
Recently, I needed to get from New York (JFK) to Vancouver (YVR) and, surprisingly, it was not easy to find a flight that didnâ€™t include a crazy set of layovers and several hours of travel time. I was not expecting to find a non-stop Cathay Pacific 777-300ER option — done!
Preparing for the flight out of New York in Cathay business class – Photo: Katka LapelosovÃ¡
The flight is special, since it is a transcontinental, but is operated as an international flight, since the stop in Vancouver is part of a longerÂ hop to Hong Kong. Because of this, the flight lands in YVR at 1am, which means you should do some planning on getting to your final destination, since options will be limited.
Itâ€™s not a long flight – only about five-and-a-half hours – but it doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy the premium experience.
Air France’s inaugural Paris to Vancouver flight touches down on YVR’s Rwy 08L, just after noon on a rainy Sunday
Câ€™est magnifique! Air Franceâ€™s first flight to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) touched down in aÂ huge spray of waterÂ on a soggyÂ Sunday afternoon. The Boeing 777-200ER landed on YVRâ€™s Runway 08L, after a nearly ten-hour flight from Paris â€“ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).
This inaugural flight ran a bit late, arriving at 12:04 PM.Â The normal schedule has Flight AF374 departing CDG at 10:35 AM, arriving YVR at 11:50 AM, the same day. The return flight, Flight AF379, leaves YVR at 1:55 PM, and arrives CDG at 8:35 AM the following morning.
Flags flying from the cockpit, AF374 taxiies to the gate at YVR
After touchdown, the 777 received a special escort by YVR’s emergency services along Taxiway Mike, before having the traditional “new airline water cannon salute” from two fire trucks.Â Mind you, with the monsoon-like rain, it was tough to see the water arch!
Then, with Canadian and French flags flying from the cockpit windows, AF374 taxiied to Gate 65 atÂ YVR’s International Terminal.
A Philippines Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER
I’ve long said that New York is one of those cities that almost every long-haul airline in the world would like to serve. Maybe it’s because New York is home to the United Nations, or because nearly every nationality and ethnicity is represented along the eastern seaboard. Or maybe it is just the prestige of flying to the “greatest city in the world.” Whatever the reason, it benefits both AvGeeks and travelers with a wide variety of airlines flying to a huge number of destinations, both near and far.
Almost every major long-haul airline in Europe serves either John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). JFK also sees several South American airlines, a few of which have added long-haul aircraft specifically to serve New York.Â All of the major Middle Eastern carriers fly to JFK, in some cases several times a day. And while JFK has long had flights from a few airlines in East Asia, recent years have seen several new airlines begin service, while a few existing carriersÂ have added additional flights.
On Monday, March 18th, Philippine Airlines (PAL) became the latest Asian airline to begin flying to New York. Or, should I say, resume flying to New York.