Following the inaugural flights to Sapporo and Jaipur earlier this month, Scoot launches a brand new, two-times-weekly flights to Dalian (one of China's top romantic cities!) via Qingdao from 30 October 2016. The winner of Asia Pacific's Best Low Cost Airline continues to extend the flight network in the region with her fleet of twin-aisled Dreamliners that is well-known for improved humidity control and cabin pressurisation.
Travellers will be able to look forward to a range of in-flight amenities like the in-flight Wi-Fi, ScooTV streaming inflight entertainment, extra legroom options and more importantly, the same incredible value for all their travels! Scoot’s and Tigerair’s combined network in Greater China spans 17 destinations presently, including Hong Kong and Macau, making up close to a third of both carriers’ combined network of 59 destinations across 16 countries in Asia Pacific. Scoot has also announced plans to inaugurate services to its first European destination of picturesque Athens in June 2017, which will be its longest flight with an estimated 11.5 hours flight duration.
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Located in Terminal 2 of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), the No.77 China Eastern Plaza Premium Lounge is the world's first co-branded lounge and it offers 180-degree views of the airport runway. As a Business Class passenger traveling on Singapore Airlines, I had access to the Air China Business Class Lounge but having been to the Air China First Class Lounge in PEK, I was slightly discouraged to check out the Air China lounge so I decided to take my American Express Platinum Card to the No.77 China Eastern Plaza Premium Lounge instead.
Contrary to speculations in the industry, the latest airline to join oneworld is not Alaska Airlines but Royal Air Maroc instead. The airline is expected to be implemented into oneworld in the middle of 2020 and it will start flying alongside some of the biggest and best brands in the airline business.
By switching to Qantas, I was able to travel in a 2-2-2 cabin (which is not great but probably better than Emirates’ 2-3-2 layout) and more importantly, I managed to cut my layover in Melbourne Airport down to 6 hours from 13 hours. The A380 Business Class product on Qantas is probably one of the most lacklustre cabin products that I have ever taken.
Air New Zealand is rolling out Wi-Fi connectivity across its international network and the service is now available on four of its Boeing 777-300 aircraft and five of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft - these aircraft predominantly operate the airline’s trans-Tasman, US and London routes. In celebration of summer and the upcoming Christmas season, the airline will be offering complimentary Wi-Fi from 01 December 2019 to 28 February 2019.
Sofitel has partnered Hainan Airlines to bring the collection of signature Sofitel MyBed products to the carrier's Business Class. Passengers traveling in the premium cabin can now experience the luxurious Sofitel MyBed in the sky. The Hainan Airlines partnership will take its ‘Hai Dream’ on-board sleep experience to greater heights with Sofitel’s signature bedding that includes a waist cushion, full-size pillows, duvet, bed sheet, feather topper and blanket. Made with patented technology of the highest thread count, the duvet cover, pillowcase and bed sheet collection features the airline’s latest Dream Feather design.
The aviation industry is abuzz with news about a 'first full member airline recruit' for Oneworld - the scheduled press conference is confirmed in New York for 05 December 2018 and there is a possibility that Alaska Airlines may become a part of this alliance. This speculation was first spotted on Skift and it will become the alliance's second 'Oneworld Connect' member (apart from Fiji Airways) if the rumours are indeed true.
Since I had to be in Auckland for work and having been there on multiple occasions this year, I decided to spend the weekend in Melbourne instead. Getting from the city to the airport is relatively easy and there are affordable options out there if you are looking to save money. Alternatively, hopping on an Uber should cost you around AUD 55 which is reasonable since it takes you from door-to-door. Now I have already checked out the fairly-unimpressive Qantas International Business Lounge as well as what is perhaps my favourite Emirates Lounge here in Melbourne Airport (MEL) on a few occasions. As such, I decided to give the newly-opened Plaza Premium Lounge a go.
As part of the merger into Singapore Airlines, SilkAir will be transferring a number of routes into Scoot over the next two years. These planned changes are expected to take place from April 2019 and they are scheduled to complete by the second half of 2020. As part of the whole realignment, Scoot will also be transferring some of its services to existing destinations served by Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.
I recently traveled on flight SQ828 to Shanghai from Singapore and it was operated on a 777-300ER. The Business Class cabin has been retrofitted with the 2013 J products and the flight was wonderful!
Since I had a five hour layover in Melbourne Airport, I decided to check out the American Express Lounge at the Melbourne Airport. There are not too many American Express Lounges in this part of the world so I was fairly excited to check it out (this was my first visit!) after convincing myself to get The Platinum Card a couple of months ago. If you hold a Centurion or Platinum Charge Card from any country, you will be able to access this lounge alongside two guests. Otherwise, please refer to American Express to see which cards are eligible for access.