Cathay Pacific has just confirmed plans to launch a new direct seasonal service between Christchurch and Hong Kong in December 2017, operated by one of its high-tech A350 aircraft.
The new thrice-weekly service will link the two cities for the first time, operating over the seasonal peak 1 December to 28 February, and see Cathay and Air New Zealand extend their services between the two countries.
The flights will depart Hong Kong on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; and ex Christchurch on Monday, Thursday and Saturday (subject to regulatory approvals).
Cathay Pacific's New Zealand manager Mark Pirihi says the airline is 'delighted' to connect South Islanders with the carrier's global network. "Travellers now have more choice with a one-stop service from Christchurch to a multitude of destinations across Europe and Asia via our global transport hub of HKG," he says.
The Cathay Pacific/Air New Zealand strategic alliance agreement on services between New Zealand and Hong Kong have been extended for five more years, through to 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.
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Emirates, Skytrax’s World’s Best Airline 2016, will launch a series of new cabin products and enhancements in 2017 for both its A380 and Boeing 777 fleet.
The multi-million dollar cabin interiors upgrade programme includes an enhanced Onboard Lounge for its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 Onboard Lounge is hugely popular with our customers, and has become an iconic feature of Emirates’ A380 offering. Particularly on long-haul flights, our customers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and mingle in the relaxed, yet classy lounge area.
“Since we first launched the product in 2008, our A380 Onboard Lounge has gone through small but successive enhancements in line with customer feedback to increase the amount of space for our customers to interact in the lounge. In our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and amongst other thoughtful touches, we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialise or enjoy our lounge service.”
The new Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge will make its first public appearance at the Emirates Infinite Possibilities stand during ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs. It is currently being installed onto one of Emirates’ brand new A380 aircraft at Airbus’ facilities, and will make its operational debut in July 2017.
Enhanced Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge Features
While retaining the trademark horseshoe-shaped bar, Emirates’ latest A380 Onboard Lounge will offer more seating space with a new seating arrangement along the windows on both sides of the bar. Inspired by private yacht cabins, each seating area will have a table and window view. Overall, the lounge can comfortably accommodate up to 26 passengers at a time, including 8 seated.
The new Onboard Lounge will also feature an airier look and feel. Lighter champagne colours will be used in the cabin and lounge seating, accented by a glossy dark wood trim.
Emirates will also introduce soundproof curtains to partition the Onboard Lounge area from the other cabins, put in additional soft ambient lighting options, new window blinds with integrated LED mood lighting, and subwoofers for surround sound. The lounge also features a 55 inch LCD screen so customers can view the latest flight information, or enjoy live TV broadcasts of the latest news or sports updates.
All of Emirates’ 93 A380s currently in service feature the Onboard Lounge. The enhanced lounge product will be similarly located on the upper deck of the aircraft, for First and Business Class passengers.
At the lounge, customers can enjoy gourmet canapés, handpicked wines from around the world and limited edition fine spirits, as well as signature cocktails prepared by the bartender.
Aside from the Onboard Lounge, the Emirates A380 is also renowned for its industry-leading First Class Private Suites and Shower Spas; luxurious lie-flat Business Class pods with personal mini-bars; spacious and quiet cabins; onboard Wi-Fi; and Emirates’ multi-award winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen with more than 2,500 channels of movies, TV programs, music and podcasts.
Emirates flies the A380 to 46 cities on 5 continents. It is the world’s largest operator of the A380 aircraft with 93 of these double-decked aircraft in service, and a further 49 on order. Testimony to the popularity of the aircraft amongst travellers, Emirates has carried nearly 70 million passengers on its flagship aircraft since 2008.
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