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Airline Business: the AA to VS of airline updates

Where you can get a good sleep at 38,000 feet, new non-stop routes and strategic agreements – this airline update brings you the latest industry news for business travellers.

Stretch out with Singapore Airlines

Great news for Singapore Airlines flyers who like a restful flight, with the introduction of the A350-900 on services to Australia. Noticeable features of these aircraft include lie-flat Business class seats, Premium Economy with additional privileges and the 3-3-3 economy configuration that provides more space. In addition, Singapore Airlines has improved the personal screen size and in-flight entertainment system.

The 42 Business class seats convert to fully flat beds and the 1-2-1 layout gives each passenger direct aisle access. In Premium Economy, the 2-4-2 design offers greater comfort, coupled with the new seats that recline up to 8 inches and have a calf-rest and foot rest.

“We’re pleased that the deployment of the A350-900 on flight SQ247/8 from 1 November, along with the other changes we have made over the past 18 months, will deliver customers across Australia improved product consistency, greater comfort, and the enjoyment of the latest cabin products complimented by our famous Singapore Airlines service,” said Phillip Goh, Singapore Airline’s Regional Vice President Southwest Pacific.

Virgin Australia & Virgin Atlantic go further

Further to the Virgin Australia Group route changes announced last week, the ACCC has now granted authorisation for Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic to cooperate on services between Australia and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The airlines are already codeshare partners, but this approval will enable the carriers to work more closely together on pricing, managing inventory and scheduling. Their mutual connection ports are currently Los Angeles and Hong Kong, but according to the ACCC they are permitted to add other connection points.

American Airlines goes nonstop to New Zealand

American Airlines have set their sights on New Zealand in 2020, with the recent announcement of the industry’s first nonstop route between Los Angeles and Christchurch.

“The South Island sums up everything that our customers are looking for in New Zealand — adventure, culture, and wildlife found nowhere else,” said Vasu Raja, American’s Senior Vice President of Network Strategy.

With AA’s announcement of the Christchurch service, on top of the only direct service between Dallas Fort Worth and Auckland, Raja added, “Now, we’re able to get customers from places like Louisville, Savannah or Monterrey, Mexico, all the way to New Zealand with just one stop.”

The airline plans to operate three flights a week from LAX to Christchurch and Dallas to Auckland, starting in October 2020. Tickets for both routes will be on sale from 30 November, 2019.

Qantas pulls the pin on Peking

Qantas has announced it will cancel its Sydney to Beijing (PEK) flights in March 2020.

In October 2018, the airline cut the service back to five flights per week. Since then, competitor capacity between Beijing and Australia has increased by around 20% and demand has weakened for flights with Business class.

The carrier said the route was not commercially viable and passengers will still have options to travel to Beijing through partner airlines. The Airbus A330 which is used to operate the route will be redeployed to existing destinations in Asia.

Cathay Pacific’s business class review

New mattress topper, pillow, duvet and even slippers – these are just some of the night-time treats you can look forward to enjoying on Cathay Pacific’s new Business class.

In the past, Cathay has been known for its fully-flat beds, but until now you still slept directly on the seat. The introduction of the the mattress topper is key to improving your snoozing comfort. Reports so far are positive about the upgrades. Frequent flyers are confirming that even on flights under eight hours from Australia, they got a restful sleep and were more able to hit the ground running.

This recent review from Executive Traveller gives you more info about Cathay Pacific’s new Business class service.