This week in air travel major airlines are expanding capacity and adding new flights.
South African Airways reports that it is introducing the new Airbus A350-900 on its ultra-long-haul flights between New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa, following the delivery of the new aircraft in the second half of 2019. The A350-900 will replace the A340-600 currently operating the route, which South African Airways says will allow it to reduce fuel burn by 20 percent, reducing carbon emissions, as well as offer fully flat-bed seats in Business Class and extra legroom seating in Economy Class.
In new flight news, United Airlines has announced plans for a second daily nonstop flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong starting October 26. The new flight will offer an evening departure for San Francisco for a morning arrival in Hong Kong, while a new evening departure from Hong Kong will arrive in San Francisco in the evening.
Finally, in onboard product news, Delta has announced it will debut a new Main Cabin experience on international routes starting this November. Starting then, customers flying internationally in the Main Cabin will be able to enjoy free “welcome aboard” cocktails, with Bellinis to start, as well as hot towel service and mix-and-match options for premium appetizers and larger entrees. The official launch follows a pilot program in which the product was tested on more than 700 flights between Portland and Tokyo Narita, earning increased customer satisfaction scores. The airline also made a number of tweaks to the product based on customer feedback.