British Airways is to add additional in-flight amenities and services to passengers travelling between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Passengers travelling in World Traveller Plus and Club World will be offered slippers. Passengers travelling in all cabins will be offered Twinings green tea, the option of chopsticks for eating meals and bilingual menus.
In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly small changes. It’s also not unusual for BA to offer additional in flight amenities on certain routes for cultural reasons. Slippers have long been offered on flights to Tokyo and bilingual menus are common on many routes.
However, it does point to an effort to do better in China where BA has had mixed success. BA’s route from London Heathrow to Chengdu was suspended this month and BA faces very strong competition from Cathay Pacific on the London – Hong Kong route.
Virgin Atlantic has long been known for its small, but distinctive, portfolio of Clubhouse lounges around the world. That portfolio will be a little smaller shortly as its Clubhouse at Hong Kong International Airport is to close from Sunday 5 February 2017.
The reason for the closure is that the lease on the space occupied by the clubhouse has come up for renewal and Virgin Atlantic has decided not to renew the lease for reasons of cost.
Passengers travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin and Flying Club Gold members will be able to use the third party Plaza Premium lounge.
Cathay Pacific has today announced it will fly daily between London Gatwick and Hong Kong from Thursday 1 June 2017.
The route launched in September of this year on a four times weekly basis and clearly has been a success with an increase in frequency to daily.
The flight will continue be operated with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft in a three class (business, premium economy and economy) configuration. Cathay Pacific will also continue to fly between London Heathrow and Hong Kong five times daily.
After months of speculation, Cathay Pacific has today officially confirmed that it is to launch a four times weekly flight from London Gatwick to Hong Kong from Friday 2 September 2016.
The flight will be operated with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft in a three class (business, premium economy and economy) configuration.
Cathay Pacific will continue to fly between London Heathrow and Hong Kong five times daily.
It is something of a coup for London Gatwick airport to attract an airline with an existing presence at London Heathrow as the trend in recent years has been for long-haul airlines to move routes from Gatwick to Heathrow as and when slots become available.
This route also adds to a growing portfolio of Cathay Pacific destinations in Europe with Manchester, Düsseldorf and Madrid being recent additions. It also represents a significant investment by Cathay Pacific in London which is also currently renovating and expanding its London Heathrow first and business class lounges.
Over the past fifteen years, Finnair has been steadily, but surely, building a niche as the European airline that provides the most efficient link between Europe and Asia via its hub in Helsinki.
In 2000, Finnair served just three destinations in Asia. Now, it serves 15 destinations. Finnair also serves a number of cities without direct links to London including Chongqing and Xi’an in China and Nagoya and Osaka in Japan.
Unfortunately, this has yet to translate into long term profitability for the airline. On Friday, Finnair joined the list of European airlines to issue a profit warning.
However, the airline is committed to its strategy and aims to double revenues from Asia by 2020. This week, Finnair revealed the interiors for its new Airbus A350 aircraft which will replace its quad-engine Airbus A340 aircraft and ply routes from Helsinki to Asia from mid 2015.
The airline has 11 firm orders for Airbus A350 aircraft, and a further 8 options.
The aircraft will initially be deployed on flights to Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing in 2015. Hong Kong and Singapore will be served by the A350 in 2016.
This seat provides both a fully flat bed and direct aisle access for all passengers, which is increasingly becoming standard for business class cabins. Finnair’s seat will also include touchscreen in flight entertainment and AC and USB power sockets. There will be a total of 46 seats in the cabin.
British Airways has today, 10 June 2013, confirmed that is to take delivery of its first Boeing 787 aircraft on 26 June 2013, and a second Boeing 787 aircraft a day later. It will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft on 4 July 2013 at a special media event at Heathrow to celebrate the introduction of two new aircraft types to its fleet.