Inaugural flights

Singapore Airlines now flies non stop to Singapore from Seattle

On Tuesday, Singapore Airlines (a codeshare partner of Alaska Airlines) celebrated the inaugural non-stop flight between Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) with a lion dance and ribbon cutting at the gate and a water canon salute.

Seattle now becomes the fourth U.S. city to boast non-stop service to Singapore, joining Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco.

During September, the flight will between Seattle and Singapore three times a week and expand to four flights a week in October.

The new SEA – SIN Singapore Airlines flight is the first-ever nonstop flight from SEA Airport to Southeast Asia. And, at 15-hours and 50-minutes, it is now also the longest longest nonstop flight from SEA airport.

The new flight is also the inspiration for a cool music video.

Singapore Airlines commissioned Seattle-based producer and musician Chong the Nomad to use an A350-900 aircraft – the same type being used for the SIA-SIN flight – as her musical instrument.

It is already a big hit!

Celebrating route launches to London, Paris, Hong Kong and other cool places

Airports and airlines around the country hosted celebrations on Sunday for the launch of several new routes.

Dallas-Fort Worth International celebrated the inaugural Air France flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The flight will operate up to five time a week on the Airbus A330 aircraft.

At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the party was to welcome American Airlines’ first nonstop flight to Phoenix from London.

In Washington State, United Airlines began flying daily nonstops between Paine Field (PAE) in Everett and both San Francisco and Denver.

And on Sunday, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) celebrated two new routes.

Japan Airline (JAL) started flying from SEA to Tokyo’s Narita Airport and Cathay Pacific began flying between SEA and Hong Kong.

The festivities for Cathay’s Pacific flight included a Lion Dance, a special cake and the ceremonial cutting of a roast pig, which is a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

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.

 

Snaps from World’s Longest Flight from the US

On Friday evening, United Airlines launched what is (for now) the World’s Longest Flight from the U.S.: an 8, 7000 flight between Los Angeles and Singapore.

Scheduled to take 17 hours and 55 minutes, the flight actually arrived more than an hour early.

I’ll be doing a few reported stories on the flight – and how to survive such a long airplane journey – but for now here are a few snaps from the pre-flight festivities.

Flight crew lines up for a group picture before United flight 37 takes off.

 

Plenty of props on hand to help celebrate the inaugural.

Business class seats stocked with Polaris bedding.

More pictures to come. Along with an hour by hour report on my (rough) journey. Thanks, United, the for the ride to Singapore.

 

Souvenir Sunday – from Fort Lauderdale

I joined JetBlue and Greater Fort Lauderdale as a guest for the inaugural Mint flight from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale last week and a day and a half on the ground.

Here are some snaps – and souvenirs – from the adventure:

Inaugural Mint passengers received a tote bag filled with JetBlue-themed items – including sunglasses.

In addition to the lie-flat seats, Mint service features a multi-course menu that includes a choice of three mini-entrees. I found three veggie choices – yay!

While staying at the beach is always a treat, I lucked out with a stay right downtown at the historic Riverside Hotel on Los Olas Blvd., which provided easy access to the water taxi route, the beach and the NSU Art Museum.

I got scolded for trying to take this photo of this woman who seemed like she could be part of an installation to match the painting.

Flamingo Gardens is a popular, ‘old-style’ attraction with a tram ride, museum, extensive botanical garden and wildlife ranging from flamingos (of course), an alligator lagoon and other wildlife.

And a gift shop for only-in-Florida souvenirs: