16 Nov 2017 - Emirates and Thales have signed a new agreement to equip the airline’s Boeing 777X fleet with the next generation broadband inflight connectivity using Inmarsat GX global network. The partnership will give Emirates customers best in class connectivity with speeds of up to 50Mbps on its Boeing 777X aircraft due for delivery starting in 2020. Emirates and Thales already have an existing multi-million-dollar deal to fit its Boeing 777X fleet with a next generation Thales AVANT inflight entertainment system. The new agreement is part of the Emirates’ and Thales’ plans to develop and enhance the state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) on the 777X fleet.
Over the years, Emirates has invested over US $200 million to equip its aircraft with connectivity. Demand for Wi-Fi on board has been steadily increasing and today over 800,000 passengers per month connect while inflight, including travellers from New Zealand on Emirates’ daily A380 flights from Auckland and Christchurch.
Emirates offers all its customers 20MB of complimentary Wi-Fi data on board while Emirates Skywards members in First Class and Business Class enjoy unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi and discounted plans in Economy Class.
Emirates, Thales and Inmarsat have invested heavily in the new generation Wi-Fi solution and will work together to meet increasing demand for Wi-Fi on board. Broadband connectivity speeds coupled with Thales’ AVANT innovative and highly customisable IFE system will provide a further boost to Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice.
As well as operating a fleet of 100 A380s, Emirates is the largest operator of the Boeing 777 aircraft, one of the most popular and advanced wide-bodied aircraft in commercial operation today. The airline has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet, and a further 164 on firm order, including 150 of the next generation Boeing 777X aircraft.
Strollers Discover Tranquility in the Eye of the International Tourist Storm
12 Nov 2017 - In Antibes it was curious to observe that domestic property prices in the town seemed on a par with those in New Zealand’s rural Hawkes Bay and this unpressured ambience permeates the fabled Cote D’Azur,writes our roaming travel editor, Peter Isaac. If anyone was in a rush then they made sure to keep it to themselves, certainly in the Antibes town square, just a leisurely 10 minute walk from the railway station, which itself radiated a rural line, off-peak, level of activity.
Plenty of bench space in the square ringed with its murmuring cafes.
Plenty of towel space too on the inner town’s own mellow beaches, the ones you encounter before hitting the more substantial one on its outskirts toward the Cap d’Antibes.
Sauntering along the Cap d’Antibes, along the storied Chemin des Douaniers, with itinerant international New Zealand yachtsman - lawyer Zac Foot, (pictured extreme right, Baie des Milliardaires) and particularly evident was the easy-going nature of the French at leisure, and they did give the appearance of being almost entirely French.
Their behaviour being in contrast to their English-speaking counterparts who would have been determinedly striding out on the well maintained yet unostentatious and litter-free Cap foot path with their alpine sticks, or hoarsely panting by in running rig.
A cooling plunge en route in the sumptuously-named Bay of Billionaires, ringed by narrow jagged beaches and vaguely reminiscent of Cornwall’s smugglers coves, and hence one senses the Douaniers, the customs enforcers, appellation here.
As it turned out our swim was rewarded by slices of home-cooked pizza from local fellow beachgoers sympathetic to this incongruous, pallid Anglo duo.
Past the Chateau de la Croe, pre-war refuge of the abdicated Edward V111, before Winston Churchill instructed he and his duchess to hurry to the Atlantic coast where a battleship captained by Louis Mountbatten, his cousin, would pick them up before the Germans did.
The Chateau incidentally, now under restoration by its new owner, another oligarch, but of a different stripe -- Roman Abramovich, proprietor as well of the Chelsea Football Club.
Now on to the Cap itself, doubling back via Eden Roc.
On the other side now, the westerly one, on the Cannes side, ambling into Juan Les Pins which is back-to-back with Antibes.
In an international resort compression sense, it is a bit like starting a walk through Paris and stumbling across Rome too.
Latin language buffs beware though of the revealing shibboleth which even on this accepting coastline separates the dolts from the sophisticates.
It is not “Joo-an” Les Pins, as in the opera,
Or even “Wahn”
It is “Shoo-arng” Les Pins
If Antibes is redolent of the stately 1930s then Juan Les Pins presents a 1950s resort aspect, just a soupcon of repressed raffishness.
At the isthmus neck of the Cap d’ Antibes we turned east back to Antibes traversing a shallow saddle hump via the Chemin des Sables walking through leafy and seemingly deserted streets reminiscent of the verdancy and understated prosperity of the nicer suburbs one finds lining the Pacific.civic shore.
Once returned to the Antibes side of the Cap and a further supply of not terribly crowded sandy beach capacity, another immersion to dissipate the now restored received effects of the afternoon ambient heat.
This was intense it being the height of summer and thus the height of the season.
France is the world’s most visited country. The Riviera, it’s most coveted destination.
All additional proof that if you truly want to get away from it all, as the English like to say, then the most tranquil place to be is in the eye of the seasonal international tourist storm.
Emirates has unveiled the first aircraft in its fleet with a new livery dedicated to Expo 2020 Dubai. The decal was installed on A6-EPK, an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, at the Emirates Engineering hangar.
The unique and striking livery is based on the Expo 2020 logo inspired by an ancient gold ring excavated in Dubai and it underlines Emirates’ support for the vision of Expo 2020 Dubai. Emirates is the Official Airline Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Emirates operates daily A380 services from Auckland and Christchurch to Dubai and beyond and the decals will be seen in New Zealand over time as Emirates will dedicate a total of 40 aircraft from its fleet, both Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, to be emblazoned with the dedicated Expo 2020 decals; starting in 2017 through to the end of Expo 2020 Dubai. In addition, all aircraft in Emirates’ fleet will also carry a new Expo 2020 nose decal.
Emirates will be installing three different decal designs to reflect the different themes of Expo 2020 – namely, opportunity, mobility and sustainability. The theme of the first decal installed was ‘mobility’ which also relates to Emirates’ role as a connector of people, places and opportunities, as the airline links over 150 destinations in 84 countries to, from, and via its hub in Dubai. The main theme of Expo 2020 Dubai also revolves around ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai will be an important platform facilitating a global exchange of ideas, collaborations and partnerships across a range of industries and domains. Emirates is gearing up for this landmark occasion and championing the vision of ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’ through the new Expo 2020 decals that will be installed on our aircraft.”
The Expo 2020 decal installed by the Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre is one of the largest decals to be applied on an Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft. It is also the first time that the surface area on top of the aircraft has been covered by a decal. The Expo decal applied on the Boeing 777 covers over 40% of the aircraft fuselage surface area. The design spans over 37.8 metres in length and 12 metres in width. The decal was designed, printed and installed by Emirates’ in-house graphic shop team. It took a team of six staff over 84 hours to complete the decal installation.
The Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre has installed a number of eye-catching decals on Emirates’ aircraft over the years including the majestic ‘United for Wildlife’ decals and a number of customised decals celebrating Emirates’ football partnerships and a global love for sports.
The Dunedin Regional Lounge is situated on the upper floor of the airport terminal and caters to more than 120 customers. The lounge features Air New Zealand’s signature sleek design with four different seating zones to suit the needs of customers, including a café as well as business, lounge and quiet areas. A self-service food buffet and drinks station are also available.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne says it’s fantastic to be able to offer customers flying out of Dunedin a lounge with 50 percent more seating than the previous space.
“Dunedin is a key port on Air New Zealand’s domestic network and we look forward to welcoming customers to enjoy this new facility,” says Ms Hawthorne.
Dunedin Airport CEO Richard Roberts says the airport is very proud to be involved with Air New Zealand and the amazing upgrade and extension of the lounge.
“Our ongoing work with Air New Zealand to drive demand continues to increase people through our airport, so to have this new facility is a wonderful example of working better together,” says Mr Roberts.
The new Dunedin lounge is part of Air New Zealand’s four-year $100 million programme to develop its network of lounges and follows the opening of lounges in Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, Nadi, Melbourne, Wellington, Queenstown, Hamilton, Invercargill and Palmerston North.
27 Oct: Lets play with heavy machinery. And in Invercagill they are doing just that. The attraction has just opened that will allow you to rip, push and pull to your heart’s content using heavy machinery. Dig This Invercargill is New Zealand’s first heavy equipment playground, and while it doesn’t sound like a typical tourist attraction, it definitely seems like great fun.
Guests are given the opportunity to choose from nine fun options where they get to operate bulldozers, excavators, mini excavators and skid steers in a giant gravel pit. There’s no need to worry if you haven’t driven heavy machinery before, as the experienced team in charge will show you how. You don’t even need to have a driver’s licence, and there are activities for the young, young at heart and groups.
Once you have selected your experience, it is recommended that you book online or contact the team to secure your spot. When you take the controls of Dig This Invercargill’s massive machines, you get a quick overview of the safety procedures you will be required to follow and must pass the breathalyser test before being fitted with a neon yellow vest and hardhat.
The instructors will talk you through every detail you’ll need to know in order to manoeuvre the machines and give you the confidence it takes to manage the machine. Operating them might take a little getting used to, so the company has designed a series of warm-up exercises to help. You will be connected via headset to the instructors at all times, which ensures you’re under their watchful eyes. From here you will be digging, trenching and pushing yourself around the lot in no time.
Once you’re comfortable, the team will guide you through a series of activities to test your skills.
Passengers worldwide are demanding more personal control over their travel writes Peter Needham for eGlobal. In particular, they want a single biometric security token that covers all aspects of travel procedures, according to a large-scale survey commissioned by IATA to find exactly what travellers want.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) based its 2017 Global Passenger Survey (GPS) on 10,675 responses from around the world.
The responses provide insight into what passengers want from their air travel experience. Topping the list were:
Automation of more airport processes;
A single identity token for all travel processes using biometric identification;
Real-time information sent directly to personal devices;
More efficient security – without having to remove or unpack personal items;
More seamless border control.
Ready to go digital
Digital travel processes are the expectation and passengers want more. The GPS found that 82% of travellers would like to be able to use a digital passport on their smartphones for as many travel activities as possible, from booking flights to passing through the airport. Biometric identification systems were the technology of choice with 64% favouring biometric identifiers as their preferred travel token.
“Passengers want to use one single biometric identity token for all their travel transactions from booking flights to passing security and border control and picking up their bags,” commented Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security.
“IATA’s One ID project is rapidly moving travel towards a day when a face, iris, or fingerprint will provide the key to a seamless travel experience. The technology exists. Its use in aviation needs to be accelerated. Governments need to take the lead by working with industry to establish a trusted framework and agreeing the global standards and security protocols needed to use the technology.
“One ID will not only make process more efficient for passengers but allow governments to utilize valuable resources more effectively”
Passenger in control
Passengers want to be able to do more of the airport processes themselves by taking advantage of the latest digital self-service options. Baggage was the top activity that passengers wanted more control over. The GPS found that 68% of those surveyed want to self-tag their bags with electronic bag-tags being the preferred option. In addition 48% of passengers wanted to self-drop their bag.
The survey found that the number of passengers using automated immigration gates and kiosks increased by 6% in 2017, reaching 58% with a satisfaction rate of 90%. Boarding the aircraft was another area in which passengers wanted to have more control with 72% of passengers preferring to self-board, an increase of 2% over 2016.
“Passengers have never been as empowered as they are today. Self-service solutions range from mobile check-in and bag drop, to self-boarding and automated border control. Smartphone- and tablet-toting, passengers want to use these mobile devices to control their travel experience. They expect easy access to the information they want, exactly when they need it in the travel process. Airlines and airports that make the most use of technological innovations will be giving a better travel experience to their customers,” said Pierre Charbonneau, IATA’s director passenger and facilitation.
Air New Zealand will fly daily to Houston for most of next winter as demand for travel between New Zealand and Texas continues to soar.
Air New Zealand currently operates five services per week to Houston year-round. From 25 March to 27 October 2018 it will increase to a mix of daily services and six services per week, a capacity increase of 16,000 seats on the route over this period.
The airline will deploy its newly configured 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on Auckland-Houston from December 2017, the first time the Dreamliner will regularly service one of Air New Zealand’s North American routes.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says the airline has steadily grown its Houston operations since it commenced services there in 2015 and it’s fantastic to see strong demand from both ends of the route.
“A strategic gateway into America’s south, Houston is unlocking huge demand for travel to New Zealand from across the South, Mid-west and Mid-Atlantic regions, with annual visitor arrivals up 21 percent from Texas and 25 percent from New York.
“As a transit hub, Houston also offers Kiwi travellers better onward connections to popular East Coast destinations like New York, Boston and Miami.”
The newly configurated 787 offers more premium seating for customers, with 27 Business Premier seats – up from 18 on the existing Air New Zealand Dreamliner, and 33 Premium Economy seats, up from 21. Air New Zealand also offers its popular Economy Skycouch™ alongside the Premium Economy and Business Premier options on services to Houston.
Air New Zealand recently launched its global marketing campaign A Better Way to Fly in North America, using a CGI kiwi named Pete in a bid to convince more Americans and Canadians to travel with the airline to New Zealand and Australia.
| An Air New Zealand release || October 11, 2017 |||
Air New Zealand has started trialling its new Inflight Wi-Fi service on one of its long-haul Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
The airline is rolling out Wi-Fi capability across its international jet fleet, beginning with the 777-300 fleet. Further Wi-Fi enabled aircraft will become available progressively over the next couple of months.
Air New Zealand is utilising satellite company Inmarsat’s global GX satellite constellation and has partnered with Panasonic Avionics as the in-cabin technology supplier.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says the airline has been working closely with its partners to prepare for the launch of Inflight Wi-Fi which will enable customers to access email, social media channels, web browsing and go shopping while travelling.
“We’re launching Inflight Wi-Fi as a trial initially in order to gather customer feedback and ensure it meets the needs of our customers before we roll it out across our international jet fleet.
“The service will be available progressively with the installation of Inflight Wi-Fi on our Boeing 777-300 fleet expected to be completed by June 2018 and our Boeing 777-200 fleet rolling out from April next year.
“The trial will not only test the technical aspects of the service, it will also gather feedback on pricing options. Going forward, customers will be able to choose to sign up for different timeframes and have the ability to pay in a variety of ways, including with Airpoints Dollars™, as we look to offer a best in class connected inflight experience.
“Looking ahead, we’re keen to actively explore new content opportunities and will also make Air New Zealand’s friendly chatbot, Oscar, available to help assist passengers to resolve any travel related questions during their journey,” says Mr Golan.
| An Air New Zealand release || October 9, 2017 |||
The first of Air New Zealand’s new-look Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners has touched down in Auckland, with a freshly configured interior offering more premium seating options for customers.
The airline has refreshed the cabin configuration for its next four Dreamliner deliveries in response to growing demand for premium travel, increasing the number of Business Premier seats from 18 to 27 and Premium Economy seats from 21 to 33.
Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod says the airline is expecting the new cabin layout to be popular with customers.
“Since we introduced the Dreamliner, we have seen strong customer demand for our award-winning Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins and the products and service that come with these. Increasing the size of these cabins on our new 787-9 Dreamliners will give more customers than ever the opportunity to experience why Air New Zealand has been named by Airlineratings.com as the best airline in the world for the past four years,” Mr Tod says.
Mr Tod says the team at Boeing has been excellent to work with during the design process.
“They share our vision of taking comfort in the sky to the next level for more people and have supported Air New Zealand as we set a new benchmark for 787-9 Dreamliner travel,” he says.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & India Sales Dinesh Keskar, says the manufacturer has enjoyed the opportunity to work with the 787-9 Dreamliner launch customer on this reconfiguration of the aircraft.
“Since the launch of the 787-9 Dreamliner, Boeing and Air New Zealand have partnered together to bring a new level of capability and comfort to passengers around the world. With the delivery of its tenth 787-9 Dreamliner – and its newly refreshed interior – Air New Zealand is once again demonstrating its commitment to taking the customer experience to the next level,” Dr Keskar says.
Air New Zealand was the first airline in the world to take delivery of the revolutionary 787-9 aircraft in 2014 and this latest arrival takes the airline’s fleet to 10 Dreamliners. The delivery is also the airline’s first from Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The fleet has performed well to date, delivering good fuel efficiencies with each aircraft 20 percent more efficient than the aircraft they have replaced.
The latest aircraft, with the tail number ZK-NZL arrived in Auckland just before 7pm last night, Sunday 8 October (local time).
Air New Zealand’s newest aircraft is currently scheduled to enter service on Sunday 15 October, operating a service to Sydney.
It will be deployed onto the Auckland–Houston route in December 2017, the first time a Dreamliner will regularly service one of the airline’s North American routes.
| An Air New Zealand release || October 09, 2017 |||
Air New Zealand, its catering partner LSG Sky Chefs and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have teamed up to tackle inflight waste from Air New Zealand’s international services arriving in Auckland with a world-leading partnership expected to divert 150 tonnes of waste from landfill annually.
The waste reduction initiative Project Green has enabled 40 Air New Zealand inflight products that were previously sent to landfill due to biosecurity controls, to be reclassified so they can be reused on future flights if removed from aircraft sealed and untouched.
Products approved to date include sealed beverages and unopened snacks with further items to be added in coming months. In the first month of running Project Green across its international fleet, the airline diverted 13 tonnes of waste, including 266,000 plastic cups, 480kg of sugar packets and 3.5 tonnes of bottled water.
The programme, which has been developed over 18 months, is also enabling greater recycling of low biosecurity risk packaging, more accurate loading of catering items onto aircraft and reduced waste disposal costs with fewer items sent to landfill.
Waste management is a significant issue for all airlines, with International Air Transport Association (IATA) data estimating the global industry generated 5.2m tonnes of inflight waste in 2016. While Air New Zealand has always been waste-conscious, quarantine controls have presented challenges to recycling initiatives in the past.
Air New Zealand Head of Operational Delivery Alan Gaskin says, “We’ve spent considerable time auditing our inflight waste to gain a better understanding of how we can improve our handling processes. By collaborating with LSG Sky Chefs and MPI we’ve been able to make significant gains and we’re incredibly encouraged by the early data we’re seeing.
“Project Green is an outstanding example how airlines can work with border regulators to develop solutions to reduce cabin waste without comprising quarantine controls.”
The project has required a change in onboard processes for the airline’s staff, particularly for cabin crew who play a key role by returning unused items to stowage and separating goods correctly.
LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand General Manager Pieter Harting says, “Our role in Project Green is to ensure items taken off aircraft are sorted correctly and meet the standards we’ve agreed with MPI and Air New Zealand, before reloading trolleys with approved items for the next service. It’s been an exciting journey for us, requiring a big culture shift and getting our people onboard with new ways of working.”
Ministry for Primary Industries Cargo Manager Stu Rawnsley says, “This project is rethinking how waste from international flights is managed in New Zealand. It’s been excellent working with Air New Zealand and LSG to ensure the initiative meets New Zealand’s tough biosecurity standards.”
This is the first stage of the airline’s collaboration with LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand and MPI. Moving forward the organisations will look at how they can further expand the range of unused products that can safely be recovered and develop a more precise approach to analysing collection data to ensure aircraft are catered more accurately.
Project Green is just one of several initiatives Air New Zealand has in place across its business to tackle waste. The airline also has programmes in place to recycle paper coffee cups used on domestic jet services, organic waste from head office, office materials and lounge furniture, staff uniforms and blankets.
Click here or on the image below to download broadcast quality footage on Project Green, including interviews with Air New Zealand, LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand and MPI.
| An Air New Zealand release || October 4, 2017 |||