Flights

Fun new flights!

Three new flights kicked off over the weekend that I wish I’d been on!

 

Air France began nonstop service to Paris from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Sunday, March 25.

The service adds to Delta’s flights between SEA and CDG and kicks off with three times a week service (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) on a Boeing 777-200 and increases to five times a week (adding Mondays and Tuesdays) during the summer season.

Air France first served Sea-Tac between 2007-2012, when that route was given taken over by Delta.

On Saturday, March 24, United Airlines kicked off seasonal nonstop daily service on a 787-8 Dreamliner between Denver and London Heathrow (LHR).

And over the weekend Qantas completed the inaugural – historic – flight for direct service between Perth, Australia and London. The 787-9 Dreamliner made the journey in ‘just’ 17 hours and 14 minutes.

 

JetBlue starts Mint service between Seattle and Boston

This week JetBlue kicks off its “Mint” preimium service on updated Airbus A321 planes flying between Seattle and Boston, offering passengers who purchase the upgraded fares lie-flat beds, plated tapas-style meal selections, Molly Moon ice-cream and other welcome amenities.

I rode along on the first flight out of Seattle. Here are some pics from the trip.

Mint cabin seating is set up with either single suites or side-by-side seating.

The single Mint suites have an extra-large storage cabinet for belongings you want to keep near by.

In addition to complimentary alcoholic drinks and a seletion of tapas-sized dishes, Mint service out of Seattle includes ice-cream made by local favorite, Molly Moon.

Economy class seating features upgraded seats with adjustable headrests and larger in-flight entertainment screens.

And for those who get hungry during the flight, there’s a serve-yourself pantry with plenty of complimentary snacks and soft drinks.

Not flying between Seattle and Boston? JetBlue will offer its Mint service from Seattle to NY’s JFK starting in mid-April.

Virgin Atlantic’s heart-shaped flight

While I was hanging out at Heathrow Airport on Valentine’s Day waiting for my Virgin Atlantic flight to Seattle, there were lots of lovebirds getting their photos taken with a big heart frame.

Meanwhile, across town, Virgin Atlantic flight VS850P set out from London Gatwick Airport and mapped a heart shape in the sky as part of a training flight.

Pass the mustard: Qantas uses mustard seeds to power a flight

Airlines have been testing a variety of aviation biofuels made from everything from sugar and used cooking oil to corn and forest wastes to replace some of the traditoinal jet fuel on airplanes and reduce carbon emissions.

On Sunday, Qantas gave it a try, flying its Dreaminliner 787-9 on the world’s first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia.

The 15-hour trans-Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne used about 54,000 pounds of blended biofuel made from Brassica Carinata, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed developed by a Canadian-based agricultural-technology company.

The ten percent biofuel blend delivered a seven percent reduction in emissions on this route compared to normal operations.

Carinata is a promising biofuel source, says Qantas, because it needs no speical production or processing techniques, is water efficient and is a good crop to grow in the Australian climate, either in fallow areas where food crops don’t thrive or in between regalar crop cycles to improve soil quality.

Expect more biofuel flights to and from Australia in the future. In 2017, Qantas announced a project to work with Australian farmers to grow the country’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.

This wasn’t the first biofuel flight for Qantas. In 2012 Qantas and Jetstar operated Australia’s first biofuel trial flights using biofuel that included used cooking oil.

 

Alaska Airlines shares details of flights from Paine Field

Courtesy Propeller Airports -rendering of new airport at Paine Field

Commercial air service is set to begin at Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, about 30 miles north of Seattle, in the fall of 2018.

A small, state-of-the-terminal is being built and both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have said they would offer service from the airport.

In August, United said it plans to fly to both Denver and San Francisco daily from Paine Field, but Alaska has just announced the cities it plans to serve from Everett.

Starting fall 2018, Alaska announced, it will offer 13 daily nonstops from Paine Field to eight West Coast cities:  Los Angeles; Orange County, Phoenix; Portland; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California.

The number of flights for each destination is still being determined.

Flying from Paine Field is appealing to many people who live in the Puget Sound region north of Seattle in what is called the “North Sound” because it means not having to battle the Seattle traffic going south to get to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.