Asia Pacific's best Low Cost Airline for four consecutive years, Scoot, is planning to operate four-times-weekly flights between Singapore and Berlin with the iconic Boeing 787 Dreamliners from the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory approval. The low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines will be the Group's fourth destination in Germany after Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, which are operated by Singapore Airlines.
Following the recent announcement of the Honolulu as well as Sapporo and Harbin routes, Scoot's current route network comprises of 62 destinations across 16 countries, with Kuantan flights commencing in February 2018. Scoot currently operates a fleet of 16 787 Dreamliners and 23 Airbus A320 family aircraft, with four more Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order.
Germany is the largest economy in Europe, while Berlin is a hub within Europe for technological innovation and boasts a strong entrepreneurial and start-up culture. Berlin’s rich history is unsurpassed and it is also famed for its arts and culture, having been designated a “City of Design” by UNESCO in 2006 and included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities network.
My flight from Shanghai to Singapore was on a relatively new plane (9V-SKU) and as you would imagine, the Business Class cabin features the new cabin products. The Business Class seats have 55" of seat pitch and 30" of seat width - this is fairly similar to what the previous Business Class product on the A380-800 offers but strangely enough, I know a handful of people who actually prefer the previous product for sleeping. Read more about my Business Class experience now!
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!