Air Canada Debuts 787 Dreamliner on Toronto-Tokyo Haneda Route

DSC_0959 2Air Canada announced that it has begun using Boeing 787 Dreamliners to operate flights between Toronto and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, marking the first time that the carrier has deployed the aircraft on a scheduled route.  The airline launched its Toronto-Tokyo Haneda service on July 1, and had previously been using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route before transitioning to 787-8 Dreamliners.

The planes are equipped with 20 pod-like seats in business class, 21 seats in premium economy, and 210 seats in economy.  Seats in business class are fully lie-flat with a bed length of 80” and personal 18” touchscreen monitors, while seats in all classes of service offer power outlets and USB ports.

In addition to the Toronto-Tokyo Haneda service, Air Canada plans to deploy Dreamliners on its route between Toronto and Tel Aviv later this summer, as well as on its service between Vancouver and both Shanghai and Tokyo’s Narita Airport in the winter.

Air Canada currently has two 787-8 Dreamliners in operation, and is expected to have a total of 37 Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet by the end of 2019, including 15 787-8s and 22 larger capacity 787-9s.  As the airline continues to take delivery of its Dreamliner aircraft, it will begin transferring its Boeing 767 and Airbus A319 planes, which are currently used for mainline service, to its subsidiary carrier, Air Canada rouge.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

AirAsia X Signs as Launch Customer for 50 Airbus A330-900neo Planes

An Airbus A330 in Lufthansa livery

An Airbus A330 in Lufthansa livery

AirAsia X, the long-haul subsidiary of AirAsia, became a launch customer for the new A330-900neo on Tuesday, when it signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 50 of the aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow. The carrier is expected to start taking delivery of the planes in 2018.

The A330-900neo is a member of the Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A330-800neo.  The new plane is an upgrade of the existing plane, not an entirely new design.

It will come with new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines derived from the engine that Rolls-Royce designed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and promises reduced fuel consumption per seat by 14%.  The plane will also get winglets similar to those on Airbus’ new A350 model and have greater range than current A330 models.

AirAsia Group, the parent company of AirAsia X, is one of the largest Airbus customers in the world. To date, the airline group has placed a total of 586 orders for Airbus aircraft, including Tuesday’s

AirAsia X was founded in 2007, and currently serves various destinations throughout Asia and Oceania.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Azul Brazilian Airlines Signs Letter of Intent for Embraer’s New E195-E2s

DSC_0164Azul Brazilian Airlines will be the launch customer for Embraer’s new E195-E2 jet, placing an order to purchase 30 of the aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow on Tuesday, making the airline the launch customer for the new plane.  The letter of intent also includes purchase rights for an additional 20 of the Brazilian-based aircraft manufacturer’s new E195-E2 models, which, if exercised, would bring the value of the deal to approximately $3.1 billion.

Azul is counting on the plane to reduce operating costs and increase capacity, according to its CEO, David Neeleman.

Embraer’s E2 jets have new geared turbofan engines, as well as aerodynamically enhanced wings and full fly-by-wire flight controls, among other improvements.  The aircraft’s upgrades will contribute to significant fuel burn reduction, maintenance cost cuts, and less emissions and external noise.

The first E2 jet is expected to be delivered sometime in the first half of 2018, with the first E195-E2 scheduled to enter service in 2019.

Azul currently has a total of 82 Embraer jets in service, including Embraer 190s and 195s, as well as an additional 11 on order.  The Brazilian carrier currently operates the largest fleet of E195s in the world.

Azul Brazilian Airlines was founded in 2008 and serves over 100 destinations., The airline plans to begin scheduled service between Brazil and the United States later this year.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Alaska Air’s Horizon Unit Orders Bombardier Q400 NextGen Jet

A  Bombardier Q400 aircraft in Alaska Airlines livery

A Bombardier Q400 in Alaska Airlines livery

Horizon Air, a subsidiary airline of Alaska Air Group, announced that it placed an order for a Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, while retaining options for seven more Q400 NextGens as previously agreed.  The purchase is valued at $32.6 million at list prices.

The new purchase brings the total number of firm orders of Q400 and Q400 Next Gen aircraft that Bombardier has received to date to 499. With 52 Q400s, Horizon Air is the largest operator of the plane in the world.

The Q400 NextGen is designed for short-haul operations and can seat up to 86 passengers. Over 50 carriers worldwide currently operate Q400 or Q400 NextGen aircraft.

In addition to the aircraft order, Horizon Air also signed a five-year heavy maintenance agreement with Bombardier.  Under the agreement, the aircraft company will perform maintenance on Horizon Air’s fleet in the company’s service center in Tucson, Arizona.

Horizon Air was founded in 1981, and later acquired by Alaska Air Group, which is now the parent company of both Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines.  The Seattle-based carrier flies to 43 cities in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Boeing Announces Dreamliner-Like Passenger Experience for 777X Jets

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing revealed key details about its new wide-body 777X jet.

Similar to the high-tech 787 Dreamliner, the 777X will have a 6,000-foot cabin altitude and larger windows. The windows will be 15% larger than those found in competitive aircraft, and will be located higher on the fuselage, putting them at eye level for more passengers and adding increased ambient light.

Boeing will also offer completely new cabin interiors that will include what the plane maker calls an “adaptable suite of parts” that will give airlines a choice of ceiling and overhead bins, making it possible to create “separate and distinct” cabins. The aircraft manufacturer also announced that the passenger cabin will be 16” wider than what the competition offers.

The cabin will have double the number of air nozzles, contributing to a quieter and more comfortable in-flight experience, while the wider cabin will allow airlines to offer a variety of seats in coach up to 18” in width.

The 777X will also have other features similar to the Dreamliner including higher cabin humidity, enhanced air filtration, and LED lighting.  It will have lower cabin noise thanks to a new engine nacelle design, new high bypass ratio engines, and better insulation.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Boeing Books Orders for Dreamliners, 777s, and 737 Max Jets

Boeing announced orders for wide-body and narrow-body aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow Tuesday.

CIT Aerospace ordered ten 787-9 Dreamliners, bringing the company’s total 787 orders to 20.  The deal is valued at $2.5 billion at current list prices.

Air Lease Corporation said it would order 26 planes, six 777-300ER (extended range) wide-body jets and 20 737 Max 8 planes.  The total value of the order at list prices is $3.9 billion.  The order for the 737 Max 8 planes is a reconfirmation of a previous order.

Air Lease now has a total of 104 orders for the 737 Max.

Intrepid Aviation ordered six 777-300ERs, with a value of $1.9 billion at list price.  The lessor also has an option to purchase an addition four 777s.  The total value of the deal if the options are exercised would be over $3.2 billion at list prices.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Airbus’ Upgraded A330 Wins Additional Orders

Airbus said it won additional commitments from several lessors for its revised A330 wide-body jet on Tuesday, the second day of the Farnborough International Airshow.

Dublin-based Avolon, an aircraft lessor, signed a memorandum of understanding for 15 of the just introduced A330neo planes.  Airbus said Avolon will also be a launch customer for the A330neo.

In addition, CIT Aerospace, an aircraft financing and leasing company, ordered 15 upgraded A330 jets along with five narrow-body A321s.  The total deal at list priced is valued at $4.7 billion.

On Monday, Airbus introduced the A330neo with an order for 25 from Air Lease Corporation.

In addition to orders for the new A330neo, Airbus received multiple orders for the A320 family of planes.  SMBC Aviation Capital ordered 110 A320neo and five A320ceo jets and Singapore-based BOC Aviation ordered seven A320neo family planes and 36 A320ceo aircraft.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Airbus to Offer 3D Movies on New A330neo Jet

An Airbus A330 in flight

An Airbus A330 in flight

Passengers who fly on Airbus’ upgraded A330neo aircraft, scheduled to take to the air starting in 2017, will reportedly be able to watch 3D movies while in flight.

Airbus, which announced the revamped model of its most popular wide-body plane on Monday, said it will include the ability to play 3D movies on seatback screens as part of the plane’s new in-flight entertainment system.

The A330neo will also include improved high-definition video and faster Wi-Fi, and its “fourth generation” in-flight entertainment system is reportedly going to support mobile device connectivity as well.  The planes will also have full-LED mood lighting and better fuel economy, the latter due to new engines and improved aerodynamics.

There have been no tests of passengers watching 3D movies, however, but viewing them is known to cause symptoms of nausea and dizziness in some people, which may explain why companies have not been rushing to offer in-flight 3D films.

Airbus did not disclose what type of 3D viewing system it will offer or whether anaglyph or polarized glasses will be required for watching a 3D film.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Claridge’s, London – Hotel Review

The butler did it.

There, I said it, and I’m not even the writer of cheap pulp fiction or detective novels.

Come to think of it, the butler brought me ginger tea with honey each evening, created an ad hoc brunch when several friends stopped by one Sunday morning without warning, and turned my Wagamama’s takeout one evening into an elegant feast.

But I digress.


Claridge’s, located in the heart of Mayfair, just off new Bond Street, first opened its doors in 1898.  It quickly established a reputation for elegance without a hint of stuffiness, making it a favorite of statesmen, movie stars, and aristocrats visiting from across the globe.

Walking in for the first time, I was welcomed by several individuals who already knew my name, and I was guided to the front desk, where check-in formalities were brief.  My room was ready and I was escorted to it in what I was told is the oldest working lift still in operation in the city.


My Mayfair Suite was furnished in an elegant Art Deco style with stylish lighting fixtures, rich materials, and luxurious fabrics.  At the far end of the huge living room, near the windows, was a desk and work area.  In the middle was a sitting area with two chairs and a sofa facing a non-working fireplace and an entertainment center.  Near the entrance was a dining area big enough for five to sit comfortably.

Click here to continue to Page 2Butler Service, the Bedroom, and Burberry Raincoats

Wyndham Offers New Bonus Promotion and Sweepstakes

DSC_3287Wyndham announced a new opportunity for members of its Wyndham Rewards guest loyalty program to earn additional points this summer.

Wyndham Rewards members can register online for a special bonus promotion in which they earn between two and 10 times the number of rewards points for up to four qualifying stays completed through September 15.

In addition, members can also enter a sweepstakes drawing for a chance to win a cash prize of $10,000 or $1 million. Two winners, one American and one Canadian, will be drawn from the eligible pool of entrants on September 15. The winners will then have the opportunity to choose from 50 packages, one of which contains the $1 million grand prize, and the rest containing $10,000.

In the event that the $1 million prize is won, it will be paid out to the winner as a 10-year annuity in either American or Canadian dollars, according to the winner’s preference.

The Wyndham Rewards loyalty program currently has 8.8 million active members, and awards points for stays completed at 7,000 participating Wyndham brand hotels in more than 50 countries worldwide. Points may be redeemed on hotel stays as well as air travel and gift cards for select retailers and restaurants.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Some articles on this site are courtesy of Frequent Business Traveler