A new U.S. ban on electrical devices on certain direct flights to the United States made headlines this week but that wasn’t the only airline news this week. In Italy, the national carrier, Alitalia, announced that it was to make a raft of cutbacks to save €1 billion by 2019.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has announced that it will launch a new route between Melbourne and Hong Kong. The new service will begin in July. Elsewhere, there was alarming news of a private business jet being flipped three times because an Emirates A380 flew too close to it. The incident left one passenger seriously injured and severely damaged the jet.
Reacting to the new in-flight devices ban, Emirates has released a reworked commercial featuring Jennifer Aniston. Fortunately for Emirates, the UK’s implementation of a similar ban didn’t include Dubai.
Alitalia, the Pope’s Favourite Airline is About to go Budget
17th March 2017 – Courtesy The Telegraph
To compete with low-cost carriers like Ryanair and EasyJet, Italy’s flag carrier, Alitalia, is about to go budget. In the coming weeks, the airline will start charging for seat selection, hold luggage and in-flight food and beverages.
Alitalia’s CEO, Cramer Ball, has said: “Only through radical change will Alitalia’s fortunes be turned around,”
“On flights that are four hours or less we will introduce the buy-on-board concept that is not only commonplace with low-cost carriers but is happening more and more at traditional, network airlines.”
The airline hopes to save €1 billion by 2019.
Virgin Australia Will Fly Melbourne to Hong Kong – New Service to Launch in July
21st March 2017 – Courtesy Australian Aviation
The new route will be Virgin Australia’s first service to North Asia and is set to take-off on 5th July. The airline will operate a five-times weekly service using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Virgin Australia will be going into competition with Qantas and Cathay Pacific who already fly between the two cities. No details on ticket prices have yet been released.
If successful, there’s already talk that Virgin will launch a second route to mainland China – likely Beijing – but no date or official announcement has yet been made.
‘Who Needs Tablets and Laptops Anyway’? Emirates Cheeky Response to U.S. Ban on Electrical Gadgets
21st March 2017 – Courtesy The Huffington Post
Emirates reacted to a widely publicised security directive that will see laptops and other electrical devices larger than a smartphone, banned from direct flights between Dubai and the United States.
In a cheeky Instagram post, the airline reworked a recent commercial, starring Jennifer Aniston. Highlighting the wide choice of entertainment options available in it’s Economy Class, Emirates asks “Who needs tablets and laptops anyway?”
The airline told passengers: “Let us entertain you.”
Private Jet Flipped Upside Down by Emirates A380 – Three Times
19th March 2017 – Courtesy DW
The incident, which took place in January, left one passenger on the private jet seriously hurt. It’s alleged that an Emirates A380 flying from Dubai to Sydney flew just 1,000 feet above the 12-person Canadair Challenger 604.
The wake turbulence caused by the superjumbo forced the small business jet into an uncontrolled 10,000-foot freefall. The jet flipped at least three times as the power in both engines was lost.
Luckily, the pilots managed to regain control and make an emergency landing at Muscat airport in Oman. One passenger was rushed to hospital and the aircraft was written off due to the severe damage it sustained.
The U.K. Joins the United States with In-Flight Gadget Ban – But Makes Some Crucial Changes
21st March 2017 – Courtesy The Points Guy
A total of 14 airlines will be caught up in the UK’s version of the electrical devices in-flight ban. British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson will join eight foreign airlines to be subject to the new measures. Those foreign carriers are said to be:
- Turkish Airlines
- Pegasus Airways
- Atlas-Global Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- Tunis Air
Although specific airports haven’t been named, the ban will affect all flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
Interestingly, unlike the U.S. ban, the UK is not imposing any restrictions on flights from the UAE, Qatar or Morocco.