Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 1 July 2019.
KLM Celebrates 100 Years
British Airways is not the only airline celebrating a centenary this year.
Monday 7 October 2019 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of KLM in 1919, ahead of its first flight in May 1920.
In a rather pointed reference, KLM says: “On 7 October, KLM will become the world’s first airline still operating under its original name to mark its 100th anniversary.”
The centenary celebrations launched at an official event at Amsterdam Schiphol on Saturday. Yesterday, KLM also took delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 aircraft “Orange Blossom”.
There’s a dedicated microsite with a history of KLM at KLM100.
There were quite a number of fleet developments in the past week:
Staying with KLM, its parent company Air France-KLM announced a reallocation of future deliveries of Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft between Air France and KLM. 6 Boeing 787s intended for Air France will be delivered to KLM, taking its total Boeing 787 fleet to 27 aircraft. 7 Airbus A350-900 aircraft ordered for KLM will be transferred to Air France. The Airbus A350-900 will enter service at Air France in October.
BA retired one of its Boeing 747s, G-BNLN, last week. This leaves 33 Boeing 747 aircraft in service at BA.
IAG announced that it has converted two Airbus A320neo options into firm orders for Iberia. These will replace existing Airbus A320ceo aircraft and will be delivered in 2021.
If Apple designed aircraft cabins?
As has been widely reported, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Sir Jony Ive is leaving the company after 30 years to set-up is his own creative business, LoveFrom.
Marc Newson will also join the new firm from Apple. Marc has significant aviation experience having been Creative Director for Qantas from 2005 to 2015.
Projects for Qantas included its first lie flat seat the “SkyBed”, cabins for the Airbus A330 and A380 aircraft, as well as its acclaimed international First Class lounges in Melbourne and Sydney.
There has been no shortage of innovation in premium cabins and lounges over the decades. However, there are still areas ripe for change.
Whilst there has been talk of bunk beds and some attempts such as short-lived economy seat that reclines without intruding into the space of the passenger behind, no airline has managed to fundamentally reinvent the experience of economy passengers.
Jony Ive no doubt has a fair few air miles under his belt and a collaboration with Marc Newson, subject to willing clients of course, could produce interesting results.
In case you missed it:
BA adds new amenities to World Traveller Plus. (London Air Travel)
BA swaps short-haul routes between London Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5 from Sunday 27 October 2019. (London Air Travel)
BA Centenary Prize Draws: A return flight to Rio de Janeiro in Club World for 2 and some hampers. (London Air Travel)
BA Club World from Miami to London Heathrow reviewed. (London Air Travel)
Also of note this week:
Berlin Brandenburg: The airport with half a million faults. (BBC News)
London City airport has published a draft masterplan for consultation. The airport is seeking views on increasing the number of flights between 06:30 & 07:00 and 22:00 & 22:30 as well as at weekends where the airport is currently closed for 24 hours from 12:30 on Saturday. (London City Airport)
The digitisation of aircraft maintenance. (SWISS)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
Agence France Presse fact-checks a video alledging to show a BA flight from London to Islamabad. (AFP Fact Check)
London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing is published every Monday morning at 06:00 BST and updated throughout the day. If you have any tips or stories please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the week.