Earlier this week, Japan Airlines (JAL), the national flag carrier of Japan, announced a new cabin enhancement for their Boeing 777-200ER fleet which would ‘raise the bar one class above in all cabin services”, according to a press release from the carrier.
The brand new Business Class is dubbed “JAL Sky Suite 777 (SS2)” and is scheduled to be launched on the Tokyo Haneda- Bangkok route from July 2016, and will also be introduced on Tokyo Haneda -Singapore route and also the Honolulu route from the winter season later this year.
The new Business Class seats are manufactured by Herringbone, and are similar to the Zodiac Cirrus Aero seats found on Air France, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines. The most pleasant thing to note is that all of the seats have an all-aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration. The customisation of the seats include a small privacy partition and customised storage for passengers. There is also a large 17” PTV screen for entertainment, which is an enhancement from the current 10” screens, and will showcase a range of movies and entertainment on a brand new inflight entertainment system dubbed “Magic VI”.
Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines, said, “Our aim is to deliver enhanced services and products to more customers. We have developed this new Business Class seat with highly in-flight habitability and provision of appropriate capacity as well.” He went on to say, “JAL will be continuing to embrace new challenges, and striving to become the most preferred airline in the world.”
Earlier this week, Malaysia Airlines, the national flag carrier of Malaysia, unveiled brand new fully-flat Business Class seats fitted in its first Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The new seats will be introduced on the airline’s Kuala Lumpur–Sydney route.
The new Business Class seat product for the airline is a great step up from the current angle lie-flat seats, which is available on the Boeing 777-200 and the Airbus A380-800 aircraft; although the layout doesn’t provide each passenger with aisle access. The seat layout is in a 1-2-1 and 1-2-2 configuration. This seat configuration is a smart move for Malaysia Airlines, who are currently going through a brand restructuring process.
The Business Class seat offers a pitch of 44 inches and a width of 20 inches. When extended the seats convert into a bed 76 inches long. The seats come with increased working space and extra stowage space for personal items. Each seat is equipped with a 16-inch touch screen in-flight entertainment system. The seats are designed and manufactured by Thompson Aero’s long standing partner, Factorydesign, a UK based leading product design and aviation specialist company.
Speaking at the event, Malaysia Airlines chief commercial officer Paul Simmons said, “This marks the start of an exciting product roll-out for our Business Class customers to experience. The Business Class cabin refurbishment will be carried out in stages on all 15 of Malaysia Airlines’ A330 aircraft by September 2016.” He went on to say: “With the launch of our new seats, we are confident that Malaysia Airlines will be the first choice for travel to, from and around Malaysia. We are also confident that these seats will further improve and strengthen our premium product and service offerings.”
ANA Announces Seven UK Samurai Chefs
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s hunt for seven talented British chefs to take off on a unique trip to Japan to learn the secrets of the country’s legendary cuisine has taken another step forward. The chefs have now been whittled down to seven, and dubbed as ANA’s seven ‘Samurai Chefs.’ The talented chefs from the UK were whisked to Japan on for an immersive culinary tour, sponsored by ANA.
Hand-picked by a judging panel that included the world-renowned chef Hideki Maeda from Nobu and Yuki Gomi of Yuki’s Kitchen, the chefs were given the full Japanese culinary experience that included the showcasing of unique production methods behind popular local delicacies and visited some of the country’s most popular food markets, as well as renowned restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, Toba and Kyoto.
As a result of the trip, the seven chefs created some spectacular results, including salmon donburi and popcorn-smoked dashi, to ponzu-infused calamari and zesty hibachi. Fighting off fierce competition, only one Samurai Chef will win the chance to collaborate with ANA’s own award-winning catering team to create a light meal for its Winter 2016 Business Class menu on the airlines London Heathrow–Tokyo Narita route (mostly flown using the Boeing 777 or the Boeing 787-8).
Here are the seven finalists:
Cured Hamachi, Cucumber & Lemon Verbena Donburi
Spencer Metzger, London
“My inspiration was for a donburi dish that’s light, fresh, full of acidity and one that is not served hot, as this is the common perception of in-flight food. I want ANA’s guests to be surprised with an exceptional meal. My dish can be prepared fresh and finished on board along with the side garnishes.”
Donburi N 7
Piero Leone, London
“A 7 day tour. 7 seas where fish swim and 7 heavenly virtues. 7 herbs and 7 Gods of Luck. All inspired my dish which focuses on good, fresh ingredients packed with flavour and natural umami. The calamari, scallops and prawns are just seared, with a touch of sesame oil and ponzu sauce. Lemon jelly and miso paste add flavour, alongside two rice chips: yuzu lemon and wakame seaweed.”
Seaweed & Hazelnut Dukka, Pickled Shitake & Beansprouts Donburi with Yuzu & Tamari dressing
Lizzy (Elizabeth) Stables, London
“As you can see, my dish has quite a few different recipes going on. All are very simple but with keeping in the theme of a vegan dish, I thought it was very important to still keep the balance of sweet, salty fresh and crunch.”
Charred Mackerel Donburi with Popcorn Smoked Dashi
Kelvin Tan, Ireland
“I want ANA’s guests to relive our trip to Tenpaku dried bonito factory, where we were shown wonderful hospitality alongside an unforgettable experience – the mellow smoky aroma, the heart- warming dashi, the simplicity of a delicious bowl of rice. My donburi is a twist on the classic Ochazuke (Tea & Rice).”
Seared Sesame & Herb Crusted Tuna with Chinese Cabbage Sticky Rice
Hamza Aidouni, London
“My dish is refreshing, simple and healthy without compromising flavour. I was inspired by Tsukiji fish market – the fresh flavour was wonderfully offset by the texture and flavour of sesame seed and herb. An obvious accompaniment to my dish was the Japanese staple of rice, coated in fresh cabbage. The tofu soya is an homage to the soya district.”
Donburi Dish of Ox Cheek in Miso, Cabbage, Soy, Ginger & Crispy Noodles
Craig Floate, Nottingham
“My dish is punchy and full of flavour, with a hint of spice to get the taste buds going. The melt in the mouth beef compliments the crunchy vegetables, finished off with fragrant fresh coriander. No salt or pepper is used in the dish, with tomatoes and miso aiding the natural umami.”
Poached Salmon Donburi, Pak Choi, Shiitake, Lotus Root & Fried Leeks (Served With Ginger Infused Pu Er Tea)
Cheung-On ‘Jason’ Shum , London
“My dish has five key ingredients from Japanese cuisine; salt, sugar, miso, vinegar and soy sauce. With dashi, the gently poached salmon stays beautifully moist yet not too oily. Shiitake mushrooms and nori with the salmon achieves additional umami. The lotus root crisps provide a change in texture and is all lifted by the acidity and slight sweetness of the pickled ginger.”
Earlier this week, Aeromexico, the national flag carrier of Mexico, revealed their latest bold social media advertising campaign in a bid to promote Mexico as much more than just its stereotypical global perception. The campaign, produced by Ogilvy & Mather Mexico, premiered on television, radio, print, and billboards, and will gradually include different types of ads and graphic materials. The social media ad provides a selection of vignettes to dispel the myths cantered around Mexico, and showcase it as a progressive and peaceful destination (and is mostly aimed the US audience- I can only hope that Donald Trump and his supporters are closely watching this, too!)
Part of a new marketing campaign, the airline states that “Aeromexico is undergoing a comprehensive renovation plan focused on innovation. Proof of this can be found in the carrier’s fleet evolution program featuring nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners, considered one of the most modern commercial airplanes in the sky.”
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
Special thanks goes to
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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