May 2014

With the rise of the super-super wealthy, long haul carriers are experiencing what appears to be an insatiable demand for more exclusive first-class offerings. And so, recently Etihad revealed its apartment concept including a shower and a luxury bedroom.

In the delightfully over the top video below Dannii Minogue explains the features of what Etihad calls “the Residence”. It looks very nice, but we would comment that Dannii although big in showbiz is rather petite in stature. Google gives Dannii a height of 157 cm – about five foot two. So the size and height of the offering possibly should be considered with this in mind.

Emirates is reportedly also considering developing a more exclusive first-class offering following the success of premium suites on its Airbus A380 aircraft.

Demand for the 14 suites on each of Emirates’ A380s outstripped growth in all other classes last year, encouraging it to consider further ways of further enhancing luxury, Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori said today.

“We’re working toward the bedroom concept,” Antinori said aboard a newly delivered A380 at the Berlin Air Show. “First-class is becoming increasingly about privacy, and we want to increase privacy beyond what’s available today.”

Emirates, which take delivery of its 50th A380 next month, already has massive capacity for luxury suites, but is examining its options after the revelation of the Etihad first class apartments, and an individually-styled cabin branded “The Residence” with a double bed, separate living area and shower room.

The approach taken by Etihad and Emirates contrasts with that of Qatar Airways, which A380s will feature eight first-class seats which while the widest in the industry will resemble a roomier business-class model rather than a fully enclosed cabin or lounge.

The Doha-based carrier will also remove first-class seats altogether on some existing planes to make room for more popular business berths.

No doubt British Airways will be keeping a close eye on developments.

Three-times-a-week flights between Edinburgh and Ibiza to start later this month.

Commencing on May 23, the new flight will operate on Wednesdays Fridays and Sundays until early August, from Edinburgh to Ibiza.

A British Airways spokesman said: “Ibiza is one of the most popular destinations for Scottish holidaymakers, with tens of thousands of Scots travelling to the beautiful Balearic island every year.

“This new service will offer holidaymakers the opportunity to fly direct from Edinburgh on a scheduled British Airways service with all the advantages of flying with a full-service carrier, including free online check-in and seat selection 24 hours before departure, and complimentary food and drink on board.

“We look forward to welcoming existing British Airways customers – and those new to the airline – on board this exciting new route.”

British Airways will operate five brand new routes from London Gatwick in summer 2015.

The services start in April and will be to Cagliari in Sardinia, Crete and Rhodes in Greece and Bodrum and Dalaman in Turkey.

A passenger ready for the sun

A passenger ready for the sun

Cagliari will operate three times a week, Crete four times a week, Rhodes twice a week, Bodrum twice a week and Dalaman four times a week.

“This is the biggest launch of new routes at Gatwick we’ve had for several years and is brilliant news for families and holiday-makers wanting to get away from it all for that all-important break to relax in the sun,’ said BA head of commercial Gatwick Colm Lacy.

British Airways has started differentiating between seats in the same aircraft cabin.

In World Traveller Plus, you pay an additional sum you want to be next to the aisle, and in economy, the groups of three seats cost the same, but if you’re happy to be in the middle four then it’s just £26.

John Candy paid more

Love that middle seat

Apparently, the option has proved popular with passengers, but the added expense is not universally appreciated.

Families are in a stronger position; the airline looks at bookings involving children ahead of the 24-hour window, and undertakes to seat children with at least one parent. .

British Airways has, with football pundit Chris Kamara produced an amusing guide to Brazilian-Portuguese in time for the FIFA World Cup this summer.

Included are five essential football phrases for this summer are:

English: Offside!

Brazilian-Portuguese: Impedimento!
Phonetic: Eempeydeementoo

English: It’s like watching Brazil

Brazilian-Portuguese: É como se visse o Brasil jogar
Phonetic: Ayh coulmoo say veesay ooh Braseel jeougarr

English: Goooooaaaaallllllllllllllll!

Brazilian-Portuguese: Gooooooaaaaallllllllllllllll!

English: A cold beer please

Brazilian-Portuguese: Uma cerveja bem gelada, por favor
Phonetic: Oomah sirvayjah bain jayladah pour fahvour

English: Pie please

Brazilian-Portuguese: Torta, por favour
Phonetic: Tourtahs pour fahvour