AUSTRIAN Updates Hong Kong Frequency & Tweaks Newark Aircraft Assignments

AUSTRIAN Updates Hong Kong Frequency & Tweaks Newark Aircraft Assignments

A few days ago, Austrian updated their timetable to reflect frequency changes to Hong Kong and aircraft changes on flights to Newark.

The changes are slated to take effect for the Winter 2018/19 schedule so they’re still subject to additional adjustments, but as it stands today here’s what will be happening:

Beginning October 28, Vienna – Hong Kong will increase from 3x/week to 4x/week.

Beginning October 28,  flights between Vienna and Newark will be flown by their 777 and 767 aircraft.     The 4 weekly flights between VIE and EWR will be split between the 2 aircraft types.   Specific days for each type have not been assigned as yet.

 


 

More Plane Spotting From Zurich……

More Plane Spotting From Zurich……

As I find time to go through and process photos taken from my transfers through Zurich a few weeks ago, I’ve come up with the next batch of shots that I think are worthy of being posted.

Having a 13 hour layover on the outbound and a 7 hour layover on the inbound segments gave me plenty of time.

These shots were taken from the SWISS First Class Lounge in Terminal ‘E’ which gives you a fantastic view of all of ZRH’s runways.   The only issue is that the sun is not your best friend during most of the day because it either ‘back lights’ or ‘top lights’ the aircraft so it’s tougher to get a nice vibrant profile of any plane.

Regardless, ZRH is still one of the best all-around airports to spot in and is extremely ‘spotter friendly’ whether you are in a pre- or post security part of the airport or outside the airport property altogether and just hanging around the perimeter fences with your ladder looking for that perfect shot.

I’ll post more as I get through them.

SWISS 777 Spools up for departure…….

Austrian’s Dash8 is Vienna bound….

Another one heading for Vienna…..

Delta’s 767 departing towards the Alps before turning west for the USA

Dubai-bound Emirates A380

Arriving from Keflavik Airport in Iceland

SWISS C-series sports a new livery…..

A very clean C-Series arrives

Thai’s 777 heading to Bangkok

United 767 heading for the States…

 


 

LUFTHANSA Group Introduces ‘AnyWay’

LUFTHANSA Group Introduces ‘AnyWay’

LH group announced a new way of booking trips to a limited group of destinations that help reduce your costs and add a bit of mystery to your trip.

The way it works is that you first tell LH the dates you want to depart and return on and then book your trip as usual.   Two days before your departure, you’ll get an email from LH letting you know what flights you’ll be taking.  Don’t fret, you’ll depart and return on the days you booked, but you might get some creative routing for the trip.  Your flights will be operated by a combination of Lufthansa, SWISS, or Austrian aircraft. 

This new program is dubbed ‘AnyWay’ and it covers travel from most of Lufthansa’s German gateways including Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Leipzig.   However, the ‘AnyWay’ concept only covers 10 destinations thus far:   Miami, Bangkok, Mumbai, Dubai, Boston, Delhi, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Peking, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv.

Keep in mind that this is only available to Economy Class bookings made for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

For your willingness to be this flexible, the fares will be a bit cheaper than the lowest prices usually offered on a given route.  In most cases, I observed fares being €50 to €100 less.

Sounds like fun if you’re into saving a small bit of money, but there can be some consequences to being frugal…..

The biggest issue that I see and would have with this program is that you’ll be steered to aircraft that will already be near capacity and the airlines are trying to squeeze every last ‘sardine’ into the tin.   What this might mean for you is that you may be stuck in a middle seat on a very overcrowded A340 aircraft as you jet off to Asia.   Since you’ll be among the last passengers to be put on a flight, your odds of getting a good seat diminish dramatically.   If you book for you and your family, your odds of sitting together all but vanish if the plane is full.

However, if you’re into sitting at the back of an A340 in the seat next to the stairs going down to lavatories, you’ll have virtually everyone sitting in coach walking past you at least twice during the flight so you might be able to make a few friends as a result!  😉

‘AnyWay’ is set to launch on October 23 and will be available for travel from Mid-December to Mid-March in most cases.

To learn more about the program and to book travel under ‘AnyWay’, please visit the AnyWay webpage.     However as of this writing, it appears that the webpage is not yet functioning even though the launch was set for October 23.

 


 

LUFTHANSA GROUP Expanding Widebody Capacity to Berlin For Certain October Dates….

LUFTHANSA GROUP Expanding Widebody Capacity to Berlin For Certain October Dates….

Due to the demise of Air Berlin, and the fact that many Air Berlin loyalists are ‘stranded’ without their favorite carrier, LH Group has announced that it will continue to send widebody aircraft to Berlin in order to accommodate travelers wishing to travel to and from Berlin. This announcement follows on the heels of Lufthansa’s use of the 744 during certain flights between Frankfurt and Berlin during September.

Lufthansa in their press release feigned surprise at the fact that they’re seeing increased demand from Berlin, but with AB’s shutdown looming what was to be expected?    With LH being able to buy a significant chunk of AB’s operations, aircraft, and staff this obviously did not really come as a surprise to anyone.

So with that in mind, here are the changes that are coming for the next few weeks:

From October 23 to October 25 SWISS, Austrian, and Lufthansa will schedule most, if not all flights to be operated by A321 aircraft in order to increase capacity from Berlin to Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, and Vienna.

During this 2 day period, Lufthansa flights not being operated by the A321 will see the A346 operate the flight between October 23 and 25.   For it’s part, SWISS will send their A333s to fly between Zurich and Berlin on October 24 and 25.   Austrian will run their 767s between Vienna and Berlin on October 24.

 


 

AUSTRIAN Opens Premium Economy Booking & Begins Fleet Retrofit

AUSTRIAN Opens Premium Economy Booking & Begins Fleet Retrofit

Austrian has announced that their first 767 slated for the upgrade to a Premium Economy cabin is now in the shop and the update has begun.    At the same time, Austrian has now opened Premium Economy booking for all of their long haul flights scheduled for March 6, 2018 and onward.

The seat is identical to the one found aboard Lufthansa long haul birds except that the seat colors match the Austrian cabin decor.

As with the current product found aboard LH, the Austrian Premium Economy experience will be nearly identical as far as seat pitch, baggage allowance, and dining is concerned:

  • Increased seat ‘pitch’ as compare to Economy
  • Foot rests
  • Amenity Kit
  • Fold old tables with dedicated arm-rests
  • 12 inch IFE screen
  • One standard and one USB power port
  • Checked baggage allowance of 2 pieces at 23kg (50 lbs) each
  • Enhanced dining options
  • Welcome aboard drink

 

In all, 12 aircraft will be retrofitted between now and March 2018.    Once the €15 million retrofit is complete, Austrian will offer a total of 252 Premium Economy seats on their long haul 767 and 777 aircraft.

I suspect during the next few months (until March 2018) while the upgrades are taking place, Economy Class passengers will be offered low-cost or free upgrades to Premium Economy seats.   Miles & More Senators & HON Circle members may receive complimentary upgrades as well.    This will be take place on a flight by flight basis while the fleet is being upgraded.  At least this is what happened while LH was going through the process of upgrading their fleet.