Iberia launches new uniforms designed by Teresa Helbig

Spanish carrier Iberia has released details of its stylish new staff uniforms.

Flight crews and ground staff of Spanish carrier Iberia will showcase new uniforms from June.

Nearly 7,000 company employees will showcase the new designs in a major international display: the nearly 140 destinations in 43 countries to which the airline flies. The new uniform will be debuted by flight crews and airport staff at the Madrid Hub.

Teresa Helbig joins the list of Spanish courtiers – including Pedro Rodríguez, Manuel Pertegaz, Elio Bernhayer, Alfredo Caral, and Adolfo Domínguez –who, since 1952, have lent their talents and skill to the design of Iberia’s uniforms

Iberia’s news uniforms are designed by Barcelnoa-based Teresa Helbig, the first woman to design a uniform for Iberia.

The Catalan designer takes classic tailoring as a starting point to create light and modern designs which are not anchored to current trends and remain timeless.

The collection combines craftsmanship, haute couture and avant-garde materials in a look to the past with an eye on the future, to continue reinventing what is to come.

The airline claims that the new uniform ‘displays a sober, elegant, and functional design that represents a natural balance between Teresa Helbig’s hallmarks and the current image of the airline’.

The uniforms are the culmination of the rebranding process that it embarked on in 2013.

The uniform’s colour range remains faithful to navy blue, fawn, and Iberia’s characteristic red and yellow.

It includes twenty elegant pieces that give no sense of rigidity, aiming for timelessness with some retro touches and some more edgy elements, such as pleats and strong shoulder lines.

In terms of its innovations, the uniform includes the very modern and functional sports shoes, along with a feather gilet and an updated design on the collars of the knitwear.

As for the accessories, the uniform’s ‘personality’ is enhanced by scarves, ties, gloves, and a bag, all of which lend it an elegant and avant-garde style.

Gemma Juncá, Iberia’s Brand & Marketing Manager, said

The new uniform is a key part of our brand, a sign of identity that reinforces our commitment to fashion and to the values of Spanish culture. We want our employees to feel proud to wear it and to represent Iberia.

The colour of the collection is based on navy blue and fawn, alongside Iberia’s “official” colours: red and yellow.
The new uniform will be debuted by flight crews and airport staff at the Madrid Hub, before being worn by staff at the rest of the airline’s stations around the world.

Trees4Travel announces partnership with Eurostar

Eurostar, the high-speed rail service linking the UK and mainland Europe, is launching a new partnership with Trees4Travel which offers passengers the opportunity to plant a tree when they book their journey via the Eurostar for Business platform.

The new initiative comes after growing demand from Eurostar business travellers to further support sustainable travel initiatives. Passengers can now choose to plant a tree when booking on the Eurostar for Business platform at a cost of £3 or €3.50 per tree and Eurostar has pledged to match each tree purchased.

Launched in September 2020, the Eurostar for Business platform offers organisations of any size a seamless start to their travel experience with all bookings easily accessible in one place, as well as access to promotional fares.

“Planet and people positive”: Trees4Travel always seeks to create partnerships that go further than simply neutralising carbon.

Trees4Travel will facilitate the activation for Eurostar, undertaking reforestation projects in developing countries to restore eco-systems, biodiversity and in support of indigenous communities through the dignity of employment.

Furthermore, Trees4Travel also assigns each tree planted with a share of an investment into a United Nations Certified Emissions Reduction renewable energy programme, which, they explain, is suitable for corporate mandatory reporting.

Nico Nicholas Co-founder and Chief Eco Officer at Trees4Travel said,

We are so delighted to be working with this most sustainability forward-thinking transport provider.

This Eurostar initiative will not only draw down more than double the carbon created by any of the journeys it represents, but also should inspire other carriers to recognize that so much can be done, if we only work together on climate action.

Eurostar’s Head of Indirect Sales & Distribution, Paul Brindley, said

We are proud to be the greener way to go between the UK and the continent and we are committed to reducing our own impact on the environment. We know that sustainability is at the heart of business travel policies and we are always looking for more ways we can help our business travellers to be part of creating a more sustainable future.

We are pleased to partner with Trees4Travel to bring this to the Eurostar for Business platform and look forward to growing our relationship and many trees on behalf of our travellers.

Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management, said

Trees4Travel and Eurostar working together demonstrates how joined-up thinking and a passion for the environment can lead to positive actions.

We’re proud that Global Travel Management was the first UK travel management company to partner with Trees4Travel when we launched the GTM Carbon Offset Programme. So, to have Eurostar also involved with Trees4Travel is a further vindication of the decision we made.

Many of our customers take pride in the virtual forests they are investing in. And the great news is that we’re adding more trees – and offsetting more carbon – every single month.

You can find out about the GTM Carbon Offset Programme and see the latest data on numbers of trees planted and amounts of greenhouse gas sequestered in the following article:

Air France to introduce new La Première cabin

Air France has announced it is working on the design of a completely new La Première cabin.

The airline states this ‘confirms the airline’s commitment to continue to offer its most exclusive and elegant service, regularly rewarded for its quality and excellence’.

Now in the design phase, the new concept will be unveiled during the 2023/2024 winter season.

The future cabin will be the longest on the market and will offer up to three modular configurations that can be fully privatized for an even more exceptional journey: a seat, a sofa and a fully flat bed.

The new cabin will equip a larger number of aircraft than at present.

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM said

La Première represents the highest level of French excellence and is an intrinsic part of Air France’s DNA. Even at the height of the Covid crisis, we could see the attractiveness of such an offer for our customers, particularly on the North Atlantic route, where load factors in the La Première cabin are currently higher than they were back in 2019. We look forward to unveiling this new cabin, which is set to meet the highest global standards.

The large-scale project is part of Air France’s strategy to ‘move upmarket’, which also covers fleet renewal, lounge renovation and the development of a more sustainable catering offer, signed by Michelin-starred chefs in the airline’s Business and La Première cabins. 

Introduced in 2014, Air France’s La Première suites are currently available on board select Boeing 777-300s serving top destinations in North America, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

The introduction of the new La Première cabin comes just days after Air France announced its new long-haul Business seat. The airline’s completely redesigned iconic seat features even more enveloping curves and extra comfort.

New Business seat: Rolled out on 12 Boeing 777-300s from September 2022, each aircraft will be equipped with 48 seats in Business class

This seat’s design is based on ‘the three Fs’

  • Full Flat, meaning that the seat transforms into a real bed almost two metres long,
  • Full Access, providing all passengers direct access to the aisle,
  • Full Privacy, ensuring optimal privacy.

A new sliding door allows passengers to create a totally private space, out of sight from the other passengers in the cabin. To create a greater sense of privacy for passengers travelling together, the seats located in the centre of the cabin are now equipped with a central panel that can be lowered by pressing it down, creating a convivial space in which to make the most of the flight together.

The seat also features a wide 17.3-inch 4K High-Definition anti-glare screen with a noise-reducing headset, a new Bluetooth connection allowing passengers to use their own headphones and several electric sockets.

As passengers board the aircraft, they are greeted by a backlit winged seahorse, ’embodying the company’s founding myth and rich history’.

The seat’s padding adds softness and a feeling of cosiness. Wool, brushed aluminium, full-grain French leather are the ‘noble, soft and natural materials’ chosen by Air France for the manufacture of its seats. Each seat is also embroidered with the company’s trademark red accent.


Virgin Atlantic celebrates the Platinum Jubilee with treats at 38,000 feet

Virgin Atlantic is marking the momentous occasion that is The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next weekend.

Customers flying to the US and Caribbean over the bank holiday weekend will be treated to extra special delicacies to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic 70-year reign.

Those travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Economy class will be greeted with a milk chocolate crown lolly wrapped and tied with a festive red ribbon.

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Premium and Upper Class customers will be offered a delicious Platinum Jubilee Mile High Tea, including a duo of finger sandwiches and a selection of mini patisseries.

The delectable cakes will be a Victoria sponge financier, a chocolate and tonka macaron, and a delicious vanilla and strawberry Battenberg with Virgin Atlantic purple-coloured marzipan.

A quintessentially English cocktail will accompany the bespoke Mile High Tea, using Hambledon English Sparkling Wine and Fever-Tree sweet British Rhubarb and Raspberry tonic.

The personalised beverage will also be available in the Virgin Atlantic London Heathrow Clubhouse, which will be wonderfully decorated to commemorate the occasion. 

Pratt Standard’s Earl Grey Vanilla Syrup, available only seasonally, is inspired by the London Fog

The celebrations are also stretching to the United States, with Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses across America also honouring the Platinum Jubilee.

Customers stopping by in San Francisco, JFK and Washington DC Clubhouses will have the chance to try out a special ‘Earl Grey Jubi-Tea’ cocktail, created with the Pratt Standard Cocktail Company’s Earl Grey Vanilla Syrup.

Pratt Standard are a woman-owned business based in Washington DC that prides itself on responsibly sourced ingredients and quality, perfectly aligning with the Virgin Atlantic five-star experience. 

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer & Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic said:

We’re delighted to take part in the celebrations for the momentous occasion that is The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next weekend. The Jubilee weekend marks a significant moment in history and we look forward to celebrating this memorable moment with our customers.

At Virgin Atlantic, creating personalised experiences and magical moments for our customers is what we do best, from the moment they arrive at the airport to when they land at their destination. From enhancing our already delicious inflight

Virgin Atlantic returns to daily Heathrow-Cape Town flights

Virgin Atlantic has announced its return to Cape Town.

A new daily service starts on 5 November 2022 and the service will operate on a Boeing 787-9 with Virgin stating fares start from £711 return in Economy.

The aircraft boasts three classes, Upper Class, Premium and Economy offering different experiences for customers as well as the airline’s world-famous social space.

The new winter service runs until 24t March 2022 and will complement the existing year-round daily service to Johannesburg. 

The airline stated that ‘with demand for travel increasing’ passengers can ‘take full advantage of the beautiful destination with easier access than ever before’.

Business travellers often extend their trips to take in Robin Island, where customers can visit the prison where Nelson Mandela was held; and some wish to challenge their adventurous side by riding the cable cars to Table Mountain’s flat top for sweeping views of the city.

Cape Town is the gateway to the Cape Winelands, the country’s top region for wine tasting tours. 

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented:  

We’re incredibly excited to return to the fabulous city of Cape Town with daily services from November. 

Although a little later than we we’d have liked due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the move reflects the fact that travel is recovering and global demand for holidays to sunny, premium destinations is returning at pace.

We’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travellers on this route who will rightly be taking advantage of the winter sun, exploring the world-renowned wine regions and soaking up the rich culture this incredible country has to offer.

Route facts

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2021, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the fifth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. 

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Changi re-opens T2

Changi Airport Group has announced that operations in Terminal 2 will resume on 29 May 2022, the first phase of the terminal’s reopening as the airport prepares to meet the expected increase in passenger traffic in the months ahead.

Closed for upgrading works since May 2020, T2’s phased reopening will expand Changi’s capacity. When completed by 2024, the expansion works will raise the terminal’s capacity by five million to 28 million passenger movements per year.

In this first phase of T2’s progressive reopening, key touchpoints such as arrival immigration, baggage claim belts and contact gates at the southern wing of the terminal will be ready for flight operations.

T2 will host mainly peak-hour arrival flights of airlines operating in Terminal 3.

A small number of T3 departure flights may use boarding gates at T2 although passengers on these flights will continue to check in and clear departure immigration at T3.

The expanded T2 will see a larger Arrival Immigration Hall with more automated immigration lanes and special assistance lanes.

The automated immigration lanes will serve Singaporeans and residents who have enrolled their iris and facial biometrics with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, as well as eligible foreign visitors who have done the same upon their arrival in Singapore.

The airport claims that, ‘as more passengers are enrolled, the number of automated immigration lanes will be increased. As for the special assistance lanes, these feature a wider width than conventional lanes, allowing passengers with mobility aids, as well as big family groups, to clear immigration more easily’.

In the Baggage Claim Hall, there will be three collection belts, with one that has been lengthened to handle more bags.

Mr Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s Executive Vice President of Airport Management, said

CAG is encouraged to see the strong pickup in travel demand and has worked closely with our partners to bring forward the progressive reopening of T2 ahead of the June travel peak to meet this demand.

The start of flight operations at T2 will provide more capacity to support our airline partners, who are also gearing up to serve more passengers in the months ahead. T2 will reopen in phases over the next two years to support Changi’s recovery as a regional air hub.

Air France-KLM and IndiGo codeshare takes off

Air France-KLM and IndiGo, India’s leading carrier, have implemented the extensive codeshare agreement announced in December 2021.

IndiGo: Air France and KLM customers now have access to 30 destinations in India

With this partnership, Air France and KLM will ultimately offer their customers access to 30 new Indian destinations and a large number of round-trip combinations for both business and leisure purposes.

Customers will be able to fly to the destination of their choice with one single booking. Flying Blue members will also be able to earn miles on all routes covered by this agreement.

On departure from their respective hubs in Paris and Amsterdam, Air France and KLM already serve four destinations in India: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

On departure from the multiple points in India, Air France and KLM will open up their global network of over 300 destinations to IndiGo customers, with more than 120 destinations in Europe and about 50 in the Americas.

Henri de Peyrelongue, EVP Commercial Sales Air France-KLM said:

We are very proud at Air France-KLM to be the first major European airline group to initiate cooperation with IndiGo. This codeshare agreement will allow us to increase our local footprint and to improve connectivity between India – one of the fastest growing markets – and the rest of the world, via our Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol hubs. For our customers this means an enhanced network with as many as 30 new destinations in India, as well as increased roundtrip possibilities for both business and leisure travel.

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy & Revenue Officer, IndiGo said,

We are pleased to commence the partnership with one of the strongest European airline groups, Air France-KLM. This codeshare is in line with our mission to provide air connectivity and affordable fares across India and to international destinations. As this summer sees a huge interest in international travel after a hiatus of two years, the codeshare will extend our on-time, affordable, courteous and hassle-free travel experience across 30 incredible Indian destinations to Air France-KLM customers.

Codeshare flights are now available to book through Global Travel Management.

Wizz Air to form new airline, based in Malta

Wizz Air, ‘Europe’s fastest growing ultra-low-cost airline’ has announced it intends to file an application for its Maltese subsidiary to be granted an Air Operator’s Certificate.

Subject to confirmation of its AOC Wizz Air Malta may begin operations in October 2022 with Malta-registered aircraft.

Wizz Air Chief Executive Officer, József Váradi said:

József VáradiL constantly evaluating

We are pleased to announce our intention to establish a new airline subsidiary in Malta.

Wizz Air is constantly evaluating the structure of its business and exploring options to establish new AOCs and bases in Europe and beyond.

The successful establishment of Wizz Air Malta later this year will help to reinforce our strong position and support our expansion plans in Europe.

We look forward to working with EASA and the Maltese CAA to take this application forward.

Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA, said: 

Patrick Ky: looking forward

This will be a new step in the already well-established cooperation between the Agency, the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate and Wizz Air.

This new set-up, where one group will operate multiple AOCs based in different Member States, but overseen by the same Competent Authority, demonstrates the possibilities available through the transfer of responsibilities to EASA.

We are looking forward to working together on the issuance of this brand-new AOC and the subsequent oversight activities.

Capt Charles Pace, Director General of the Civil Aviation Directorate Malta, stated:

Capt Charles Pace: an honour

It is an honour to have Wizz Air as one of the Airlines selecting Malta as one of their Principal Places of Business.

The team effort and approach of CAD has once again been proven to be a winning formula.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CEO and Board of Wizz Air for their trust, and I look forward to working with EASA and Wizz Air in issuing the AOC and AOL.

Munich-Zurich Airport to be the first international ‘SWISS Air Rail’ route

SWISS is expanding its collaboration with SBB Swiss Federal Railways on its intermodal transport service, which will in future be known as ‘SWISS Air Rail’.

From July 2022 onwards, SWISS customers can take advantage of the first-ever international rail/air connection in the form of a new train service between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport.

SWISS Air Rail services in Switzerland are also set to be further expanded in collaboration with SBB.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is intensifying its collaboration with SBB Swiss Federal Railways to expand its intermodal rail/air travel product under the new name of ‘SWISS Air Rail’. The new Munich-Zurich Airport route joins the existing rail/air services between Zurich Airport and the SBB stations of Basel SBB, Lugano and Geneva which have been gradually established over the past few years under the ‘Airtrain’ name. The new Munich service is the first such rail/air connection between Zurich Airport and a point in a neighbouring country.

From 1 July 2022, travellers holding a SWISS flight ticket can take advantage of rail services between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport which can be seamlessly combined with their flight.

SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour said,

Tamur Goudarzi Pour

Together with SBB, we’re taking a big further step forward in offering our customers complementary travel options.

We are jointly seeking to provide smarter combinations of rail and air transport wherever these make sense.

And we’re marking a particular milestone here in offering – with Munich – our first-ever international SWISS Air Rail connection.

Véronique Stephan, SBB’s Head of Passenger Services Markets said,

I am delighted that it will now be easier to combine rail and air travel on the Munich-Zurich Airport route.

This new service will enable SWISS customers living a short or a medium distance away from SWISS’s Zurich hub to make greater use of rail connections to get to and from the airport.

And with these quick and direct new rail services, they’ll enjoy the best possible connections with their SWISS flights.

Véronique Stephan

The timetable for the new SWISS Air Rail service between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport offers SWISS travellers a choice of six SBB trains a day in each direction. Trains may also be boarded or left in Bregenz en route. The rail ticket is included in the SWISS air fare, and can be booked now together with the flight ticket by customers of Global Travel Management.

As on all its other SWISS Air Rail routes, SWISS offers users of the service guaranteed connections in the event of a delay.

SWISS customers using SWISS Air Rail who are Miles & More members will earn status and award miles on their SWISS Air Rail ticket, too, with the number of miles earned depending on their connecting flight and class of travel. SWISS First and SWISS Business travellers using SWISS Air Rail will also travel in first class on the train; and both they and HON Circle and Senator status customers can make use of the Munich Hauptbahnhof DB Lounge.

All travellers using SWISS Air Rail from or to Munich will also enjoy automatic seat reservation and free WiFi access. F

The range of SWISS Air Rail options in Switzerland is also to be further expanded together with SBB. The plans include selected new intermediate stops on existing SWISS Air Rail routes from summer 2022 to enable even more SWISS travellers to take advantage of these seamless rail connections to and from SWISS’s Zurich Airport hub.

The Geneva-Zurich Airport service will also allow travellers holding a SWISS flight ticket to join or leave the train in Lausanne, Fribourg or Bern; and the Lugano-Zurich Airport service will offer a similar boarding/leaving option in Bellinzona. SWISS and SBB further plan to introduce improved baggage collection and delivery services for SWISS Air Rail users.

SWISS and SBB aim to work steadily to enhance the rail-and-air-travel combination and further expand their joint product and service portfolio.