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News Roundup – 16th May 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 16th May 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 16th May 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

Singapore Airlines could be about to restart services to Los Angeles and Newark with an aircraft that doesn’t include an Economy Class cabin.  The news was leaked on Twitter and suggests the airline’s new A350-900ULR aircraft will feature an all Business Class and Premium Economy layout.

From 2020, Lufthansa is set to introduce a Business Class product with all-aisle access.  The new seat will be rolled out from 2020 and will be shared with fellow Lufthansa brands – Swiss and Austrian airlines.

Also in the news – Cathay Pacific is set to make sweeping job cuts at its HQ in Hong Kong, United Airlines has had its cockpit access information leaked and the same airline has warned employees to assume they are always being filmed.

A full summary continues below.

Rumour: Singapore Airlines to Introduce All Business Class / Economy+ Aircraft on New A350-900ULR

12th May 2017 – Courtesy One Mile at a Time

Singapore Airlines is set to become the launch customer of Airbus Industries latest passenger aircraft – The A350-900ULR.  The airline already has some A350 aircraft in its fleet but the Ultra Long Range edition will open up the possibility of reaching new destinations.

It’s believed that Singapore Airlines will deploy the aircraft between Singapore to Los Angeles and Newark.  The airline previously flew to both cities but had to discontinue services in 2013.  Singapore has stated its intention to restart flights in 2018.

Now a Twitter account called @A350_Production (although not affiliated to Airbus) says the A350-900ULR will have just 162 seats – 68 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats.

That would put it on a par with the airlines old A340-500 aircraft that used to fly the Los Angeles and Newark routes.  They eventually only had Business Class seating throughout.


Lufthansa is Finally Going to Offer Business Class Seats with All-Aisle Access

16th May 2017 – Courtesy Australian Business Traveller

Australian Business Traveller spoke with Lufthansa executive Harry Hohmeister who has shared some exciting news about the airline’s new Business Class product.  An “all-new concept” for Business Class will be unveiled on its new Boeing 777-9 aircraft – slated for delivery in 2020.

“It will be a single seat approach so that every seat has a direct approach to the aisle,” said Hohmeister.  He continued: “This single seat configuration is more or less a must for the next decade.”

The final design should be confirmed by the end of 2018, with the German airline working with an as yet unnamed major seat manufacturer.  Lufthansa has already said that the new seat will be installed across its brand of airlines, including Swiss and Austrian Airlines.


Job Cuts at Cathay Pacific are Set to be Widened

15th May 2017 – Courtesy Human Resources Online

We already knew that Cathay Pacific was carrying out a review of its business and that some jobs would be lost.  However, it now looks like the extent of losses will bigger than previously thought.

The number of directors that the Hong Kong-based airline has already been cut from 15 to 13.  Senior employees in Bands C and D will find out if they still have a job on the 22nd May.  Reports suggest that Cathay Pacific will bring in extra security to manage events on the day.

It is now also believed that more junior staffers in Bands A and B will face reapplying for their roles.  Any employees made redundant will receive a package worth 12-months pay with health insurance entitlements lasting three months post-dismissal.


United Airlines Denies Security Breach but Admits Cockpit Access Information Leaked

14th May 2017 – Courtesy CNN

United Airlines has said information that could allow someone to access an aircraft cockpit could have been made public – But denies a security breach has occurred.

A spokeswoman for the airline, Maddie King said: “The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority and United utilises a number of measures to keep our flight decks secure beyond door access information,”

King said that the airline’s cockpits are still remain secure but declined to suggest how the airline would manage the leak.  It is not known how the information came to be leaked or who was responsible.


“Always assume you are being recorded or photographed” – Memo to United Airlines Staff

10th May 2017 – Courtesy The Independent

As U.S. airlines face up to the realities of camera-wielding passengers, United Airlines has issued a memo to all staff, telling them: “always assume you are being recorded or photographed.”

The memo goes on to implore employees to always “remain professional and calm,” no matter the circumstances.  Although filming is not technically allowed by many U.S. carriers the memo warns staff that they cannot threaten legal repercussions should a passenger film or photograph an incident:

“The recording or photographing of a crewmember is not a regulatory or legal violation and making statements to that effect can also potentially cause the situation to escalate.”

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