Aviation roundup: Singapore Airlines, Neos Air and more

Here's our weekly roundup of new air routes and other aviation news

SIA adds Seattle to network
Seattle will become the fifth US city that Singapore Airlines (SIA) flies to once the non-stop route is launched on September 3, 2019. Flight SQ28 departs Singapore at 09.25 every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and arrives in Seattle at 09.05 on the same day. The return sector, operated as SQ27, departs Seattle at 10.40 every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and arrives in Singapore the following day at 17.30. From October 2019, flight SQ28 and flight SQ27 will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

An Airbus A350-900 aircraft will be used on the route, which is fitted with 42 business class, 24 premium economy class and 187 economy class seats.

In addition, existing non-stop services to San Francisco will also be increased from seven to 10 flights per week with effect from November 28, 2018.

Neos Air connects Myanmar to Europe
On October 31, Italy’s Neos Air became the first airline to connect Europe directly to Myanmar, with the commencement of Vietnam-Yangon-Milan flights. The airline deploys the wide-body Boeing 767-300ER, with capacity of 284 passengers, on the route. Flights arrive in Yangon every Wednesday at 15.00 and departs at 16.00.

AirAsia expands China network from Chiang Mai
AirAsia has announced a trio of new routes from Chiang Mai to China, namely Beijing, Hanghzhou and Nanchang.

Starting October 28, the airline launched its Chiang Mai-Hangzhou service. FD496 leaves Chiang Mai at 14.25 for arrival in Hangzhou at 19.00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. On the return, FD497 leaves Hangzhou at 20.05 on the same day, arriving in Chiang Mai at 23.10. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, FD496 leaves Chiang Mai at 07.00 to arrive in Hangzhou at 11.35. FD497 then leaves Hangzhou at 12.40 for arrival back in Chiang Mai at 15.50 the same day.

AirAsia has opened sales lines for its Chiang Mai-Beijing flights ahead of the route’s launch on November 30, marking the first time Thai AirAsia will be flying into the Chinese capital. The daily flight (FD484) leaves Chiang Mai at 22.40 for a scheduled arrival in Beijing at 04.40. FD485 then leaves Beijing at 05.50, arriving in Chiang Mai at 09.40.

Beginning December 1, the LCC will launch it Chiang Mai-Nanchang route. After departing Chiang Mai at 10.20 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, flight FD305 will arrive in Nanchang at 14.25. FD306 is scheduled to leave Nanchang at 15.10 to arrive in Chiang Mai at 17.55.

Finnair invests in premium economy for longhaul flights
Finnair will introduce the premium economy class for its entire longhaul fleet from 2021. The rollout of this cabin class will start in 4Q2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.  Detailed planning of the cabin design, service concept as well as the commercial aspects are currently ongoing, and Finnair will be communicating more details at a later stage.

Meanwhile, the airline will also renew the whole cabin of its ATR aircraft, adding new seats and carpets, as well as a fresh interior design.

The first ATR aircraft with the renewed cabin is expected to be in operation in summer 2019, and the refurbishment of the 12 aircraft will be completed by the end of 1Q 2020.

Finnair’s ATR aircraft are currently used for domestic flights in Finland, on flights to the Baltics, Gdansk in Poland and Stockholm’s Bromma airport. The flights are operated by Finnair’s partner Norra.

HK Express to take off for Nagasaki
HK Express is set to launch thrice-weekly flights between Hong Kong to and Nagasaki on January 19, 2019. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, UO830 departs Hong Kong at 13.05 for arrival in Nagasaki at 17.05. UO831 leaves Nagasaki at 19.50 to arrive back in Hong Kong at 22.05.

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