Star Alliance Carrier, Air New Zealand which is very popular in the social media for its cheeky ads and smart campaigns recently gave a sneak peek at the world’s largest commercially operated aircraft to be painted completely black.
The airline has gotten Boeing to paint its fifth B777-300ER in all black livery dedicated to the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, the aircraft which is expected to be delivered to Air New Zealand in late January following the completion of its interior fit out and will make its way to Auckland, Los Angeles, London Heathrow and Melbourne airports during 2012.
Highlighting its long standing sponsorship of the All Blacks who also are the current World Champions, the airline got Kieran Read and Andy Ellis to Boeing hangar facility in Seattle for a special ceremony for the aircraft’s unveiling to world. As per Boeing, painting the aircraft took just over a week, two days longer than it normally takes to paint a 777 aircraft. 185 gallons (700 liters) of chrome-free primer and paint was used and involved a total of 14 painters working in shifts 24 hours a day. Prepping and painting the aircraft entirely black took one and a half days, followed by a further five days for the intricate detail of the silver fern overlaid on it and the Koru symbol. Remaining time was spent on the finishing touches, Boeing has termed this as one of the most challenging paint jobs in it’s history.
The all black color scheme and silver fern are a key part of both New Zealand’s and the All Blacks’ identity has already been painted on a couple of A320’s (ZK-OAB and ZK-OJR) and they entered into service earlier this year, By mid next year Air New Zealand will have six aircraft featuring the all black livery including two Airbus A320s and three Beech 1900D turbo-props. Contrary to popular belief, the black paint won’t cause the aircraft to heat up a great deal. In fact, the more than 330 individual TV screens inside the aircraft create more additional heat than the all black paint job.
Personally I find the livery amazing and a great masterpiece, hats off to the technicians who made this happen with all the long hours put in by them and am really looking forward to have a chance to fly the bird soon.
Check out the ‘Behind the Scenes’ video here:
Air New Zealand All Black Livery
BA is cementing its presence at its London-Heathrow (LHR) hub by buying 6 daily slot pairs from the troubled airline bmi British Midland International.
As reported by BA parent, International Airlines Group (IAG) in a press release, “BA plans to use these slots from late October 2011 for operating more long-haul and short haul flights”. This is a big boost for the OneWorld alliance and a dent for the Star Alliance presence at the major hub in London.
bmi is the second largest operator out of Heathrow airport serving many destinations both within UK and internationally, Initial reports suggest that the deal could be worth €100m-€150m.
Of late bmi has been going through a series of troubles with its current parent Lufthansa planning to dispose it off instead of integrating it within the group. This slot sale is expected to bring much needed cash flow for the airline which will soon be starting operations to the Indian city of Amritsar from Heathrow airport which will enable many Non-Resident Indians based out of UK from the Indian state of Punjab to avoid the Delhi airport hassle. What remains to be seen is that will be able to turn the tide for the airline or will it be acquired by a competitor eyeing the lucrative Heathrow landing slots, only time will tell.
Star Alliance member SAS is offering Eurobonus points at 40% discount. These points do not count towards upgrade to the higher membership level in the Eurobonus program. There is no limit as to how many you can Buy and Gift. The catch here is that to be able to buy or receive points, there need to be at least one registered activity on the EuroBonus account. For the exact details you check out this link.
The offer runs from September 3 to October 5,2011 and any valid MasterCard, Visa or AMEX credit card is acceptable. The buying chart looks something like this:
In my opinion the US Airways Grand Slam is a better offer when it comes to getting miles for Star Alliance but for people outside the United States and specially Europe this offer maybe worth considering.
The link to buy the points is here.
As i had blogged earlier Singapore Air was taking off its A380 from the SIN-MEL route and replacing it with a Boeing 747-400, and from today’s announcement it seems the A380 will go to the SIN-FRA-JFK which was previously serviced using a Boeing 747-400.
This aircraft swap will result in a 25%capacity increase on the SIN-FRA-JFK route and the cabin product will be far superior than the dated Boeing 747 product and is the best in its class. This is a good news for Kris Flyer members as it will result in increased award redemption availability for them whereas on the flip-side other Star Alliance carriers will not be in such luck given the fact that Singapore Air is notorious for blocking First and Business class redemptions on the A380 product for them.
Overall its a well planned move by Singapore Air as the route is much more lucrative for them than the SIN-MEL route and also in order to command premium fares on this route, the product overhaul was long due. Overall it will definitely enhance the experience for the passengers on this long haul flight and can definitely termed as better value for money compared to the older product tha’ts currently in use.
The A380 begins its operation on this SIN-FRA-JFK route from January 15, 2012 onward. So hurry and start redeeming ASAP before the availability runs out.