Flights

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.

Even more ways to get to Iceland – and beyond

How can you not go to Iceland?

The number of cities that have flights going to Iceland just keeps getting longer.

This weeks Icelandair announced new seasonal nonstop flights between Kansas City and Iceland, and between Baltimore and Iceland.

The thrice-weekly flight from Kansas City International Airport (MCI) to Keflavík International Airport (KEF)  begins May 26 and is MCI’s first nonstop transatlantic service.

The flight to Iceland from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport will operate four days a week, with flights starting on May 28. This isn’t, technically, new service: Icelandair last offered service from BWI over a decade ago and a company representative said year-round service could be possible.

Flights to both cities wilil be serviced by Icelandair’s Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Seasonal service is scheduled to end October 15.

This also means Icelandair’s glacier and aurora borealis-themed planes will be making stops in these cities. So even if you’re not flying to Iceland, keep an eye out for some cool-looking planes at these airports.

Two ways to fly free on JetBlue

If you’re lucky – or fast – you might score a free flight – or a year’s worth of flights – on JetBlue this week.

As part of the carrier’s newest version of its All You Can Jet promotion, anyone who purchases a non-refundable ticket on jetblue.com by December 15, 2017 is entered into a contest that will award 3 lucky winners an All You Can Jet pass good for flights for the winner and a companion anywhere the airline flies – for one year. Winners will be announced December 27, 2017.

(More details – including a way to enter without purchasing a ticket – can be found here.)

Another way to get a free flight is to purchase a JetBlue Get Packing board game, which goes on sale at Amazon for $19.99 today (December 12, 2017) at 12 p.m.

Each game comes with a roundtrip JetBlue flight certificate for JetBlue flights to/from JetBlue cities on JetBlue-operated flights. (All travel must be booked and flown within January 2018 – December 2018.)

Good luck!