As part of the on-going Tastes of JAPAN programme (read about the feature in June to August this year), ANA will be showcasing the quality produce and specialties from the Akita, Saitama and Shimane prefectures in-flight as well as at the various airport lounges from September to November 2016.
Revered as one of Japan's three tastiest local chicken brands, international Business Class flights will feature the Hinajjidori Chicken from the Akita Prefecture. It will also be served in the classic Akita specialty of kiritanpo nabe (skewered mashed rice hotpot). In October, customers at the “DINING h” restaurant inside the ANA SUITE LOUNGE at Haneda Airport can enjoy beef filet and foie gras sauté with “Fukura” French toast in blueberry sauce. Fukura refers to a spicy French toast version of cake made from Akita tofu, which pairs immaculately with the meat sauté and vegetable side.
This November, the “DINING h” restaurant at the ANA SUITE LOUNGE at Haneda Airport will offer “Musashi wheat-fed pork loin” from Saitama Prefecture, fried in onions and ginger. A delicacy of late fall, this pork is renowned for its delectable balance of rich red and sweet fatty meat. Also served at the ANA SUITE LOUNGE at Haneda and Narita Airports is gourmet onion bread made with “Hanamanten” brand wheat grown in Saitama – kneaded with onions, black pepper and coarse-grained green pepper, then baked to a scrumptious finish.
Served on International First Class flights, savour the light and tender texture of fried tilefish caught in Shimane Prefecture, paired with sautéed abalone and flavored with garland chrysanthemum puree and olive oil. In September, the “DINING h” restaurant inside the ANA SUITE LOUNGE at Haneda Airport will feature rockfish harvested from the waters of Shimane prefecture, prepared in a sauce of seaweed salt from the Hamada region. The rich fatty meat of the rockfish is fried to a mouth-watering finish in mellow salty sauce marketed under the Hamamori brand.
As part of the project, ANA customers can also sample Japanese sake and shochu, the 'Kokushu' or national spirits of Japan, at ANA airport lounges in Haneda, Narita and Kansai Airports.
After a few impressive first experiences with the Plaza Premium Group (in terms of the beautiful Aerotel Singapore in Changi Airport as well as the Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore), I was very curious to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport - it is worth noting that at the time of writing, there are four different lounges that travellers may gain access to. Since I had an OCBC VOYAGE Card with me, I could bring a guest to enjoy unlimited access to all participating Plaza Premium Lounges around the world.
On my latest trip to Taipei in April 2017, I tried out the famous Royal Laurel Class on EVA Air - this is essentially the airline's signature business class cabin. Ever since the devaluation of KrisFlyer Miles in March 2017, redeeming KrisFlyer Miles for partner airlines seem to make more sense as it allows you to try a different product without any penalty (you used to be able to save 15% off required miles for redemption on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir metal). Since Singapore Airlines operate the A330-300 (with a 2-2-2 arrangement) from Singapore to Taipei, I have decided to redeem my KrisFlyer Miles on EVA Air's Royal Laurel Class (1-2-1 arrangement) instead (find out how ExpertFlyer can help you find award space effectively).
The SilverKris Lounge in Changi Airport is reserved for Star Alliance passengers travelling on Business and First Class (there are separate lounges within the lounge itself) as well as esteemed Solitaire PPS Club members. If you are a KrisFlyer Gold Elite (or Star Alliance Gold) member traveling in Economy or Premium Economy class, you will have to make your way down to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge (which does not stock Champagne) instead. Check out my review of the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3 of the Singapore Changi Airport.
Following the strategic alliance between Virgin Australia and HNA Aviation, Virgin Australia has just announced plans to introduce its first flights to Hong Kong from Melbourne starting from 05 July 2017. The airline company will operate five flights per week on an Airbus A330-200 with 255 seats with a 2-4-2 configuration in Economy cabin.
There are no lack of flights out of Singapore to Bali but I wanted a short weekend getaway last minute and the fares were pretty astonishing for a 2.5 hours flight. Since the KrisFlyer miles devaluation is imminent, I have decided to fork out some miles to redeem for a flight from Singapore to Denpasar even though I generally do not like to use them on short-haul flights. Check out my experience on Singapore Airlines's Business Class on-board the A330-300 below!
In case you have not been in tune with what's happening at the ITB Berlin exhibition, Qatar Airways has just unveiled the highly-anticipated new Business Class which is known as QSuites. This never-before-seen standard in Business Class travel enables a customisable private suite which is perfect even for a family of four.
Emirates which has been voted as Skytrax's World's Best Airline 2016 will be unveiling a series of new cabin products and enhancements in 2017 for both its flagship Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet. As part of this multi-million dollar cabin interiors upgrade programme, a brand new Onboard Lounge has been released for the A380 fleet.
Qantas has just unveiled the next generation of Premium Economy seats which will debut on their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from October 2017. The new Premium Economy cabin will feature 28 seats with a 2-3-2 layout to improve aisle access for middle passengers.
Customers traveling on WiFi enabled domestic flights on-board Qantas will soon be able to enjoy their favourite shows, live sports and listen to a playlist of their choice with Netflix, Foxtel and Spotify respectively in 2017. Offering speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional in-flight WiFi, Qantas will offer passengers video and audio streaming from late February this year.
Japan Airlines (JAL) has just announced the opening of a newly-renovated lounge in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The Bangkok Sakura Lounge is slated to open on 01 March 2017 and it will feature a brand new layout with more shower suites. The lounge which also be accessible to oneworld alliance elite members and eligible premium cabin passengers will join the Cathay Pacific's designer lounge which was opened in June 2015.