On March 21st, budget airline Ryanair took delivery of their 450th next generation B737-800.
“Ryanair is proud to partner with Boeing and has operated an all-Boeing fleet since 1994. Our current order of 737-800s and the 737-MAX 200 ‘Gamechanger’ will allow us to grow our fleet to 585 aircraft and our passenger numbers to 200 million per annum by 2024, maintaining our position as Europe’s largest, and greenest and cleanest airline”
Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer, Mick Hickey.
The new B737 Max will hold up to 200 passengers which adds an extra 11 seats from the current B737-800s but most importantly, will provide huge savings on fuel efficiency. Ryanair currently has 100 unfilled orders of the aircraft. The order means that Ryanair will carry 200,000,000 passengers by 2024.
“Ryanair has consistently demonstrated the outstanding economic, reliability and safety capabilities of the Next-Generation 737-800, using this airplane as the foundation to become one of the biggest airlines in the world. To deliver the 450th 737-800 is truly a significant milestone in both companies shared history and we look forward to supporting Ryanair on the next phase of its incredible journey with the introduction of the 737 MAX 200.”
Monty Oliver, vice president, European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Other related news:
Norwegian have already unveiled their plans to use the 737 Max on transatlantic routes. The airline have 108 on order.
Easyjet are set to receive their first A320NEO in the next few months. They have a total of 130 on order.
Asiana have taken delivery of their first A350XWB. This is the first of two that they have on order.
Anything you want covered on my next post? Drop me a message on Instagram and I’ll try fit it in!
On March 25th 2017, British Airways began operations to Madrid with a Boeing 777. I was on the inaugural flight. I was eager to arrive at London Heathrow early enough to spend a good amount of time in British Airways’ Galleries Lounge before departure.
Our flight departed from Terminal 5’s B gates so we hopped on the transfer train and arrived within minutes. Our aircraft had been changed the night before from a 777-200 to the 300ER variable which was great news for us as it offered the experience to witness the huge GE90 engines in action. They put on quite a show. The aircraft was G-STBD.
G-STBD seen at her gate before boarding for Madrid
We boarded punctually and took our seats ready for pushback. The Boeing 777-300ER is configured in a four class layout. The newly designed First Cabin takes up rows 1-4 in a 1-2-1 configuration allowing plenty of privacy and new electronic blind windows. BA have received some criticism for their First product with some comparing it to the high end business products used on other airlines. The Club, or business, cabin is unique to BA with its alternating forward and backward seating allowing for a 2-4-2 configuration while still allowing some kind of privacy and a lay flat bed. British Airways’ new Premium Economy or World Traveller cabin is featured with an enhanced seat and a larger personal television. World Traveller features a new slimmer seat, with a hard back. Rows 21-50 are configured in a 3-3-3 economy layout.
The views from the club cabin were fantastic! Our 777 was fitted with GE90 engines which delivered a fantastic sound on takeoff and some amazing pictures during the crossing. The crew onboard were friendly and apart from one crew member, were happy for us to roam through the Club and First cabins taking pictures. It was also very nice to be recognised onboard by one of the crew members themselves!
The flight offered me the opportunity to experience one of British Airways’ long- haul jets for an affordable price and gave me a good insight into the service BA are offering onboard their 777s.
It is hard to fully complement BA on this product, however. The Club seats may be comfortable and tick boxes for being lie-flat but still come up short of other airlines because of the forward/backward layout. Passengers are faced with the decision to draw the centre blind in order for some privacy or lie awkwardly close to another passengers heads. This is the only drawback of a well organised B777-300 product.
I always love having the opportunity to fly onboard a long-haul jet on a short-haul route as it gives me a fantastic opportunity to blog about the experience on a bigger plane that I wouldn’t usually be able to afford a seat on.
My trip began in Iberia’s lounge for One World Silver members which overlooks a northern taxiway at MAD. The food was excellent and free WiFi was provided as well as a spectacular view of TAM’s Airbus A350. After eating far too much, I headed to my gate which was, too my surprise, packed!
I was very surprised by the amount of passengers on the flight. By looking at the load sheet I saw that it was almost at it’s 352 passenger capacity. Justification for using such a large aircraft on the route, I suppose.
The aircraft is split between two cabins; Business Plus and Economy. The BP cabin is used on the front 12 rows of the aircraft in a 1-2-1 configuration while the economy cabin covers rows 14-52 in a 2-4-2 configuration. Both the business and economy cabins are equipped with seat-back televisions showing a wide range of films and documentaries in different languages but as this was only a 2.5 hour flight, I was keen not to waste anytime.
My day had been extremely busy as I had been up at 3.30am that morning to catch the bus to LHR for my morning flight out to Madrid. I have to embarrassingly admit that I fell asleep in the middle of the flight for around 25 minutes. What a waste, I thought! I made a small trip to the rear of the aircraft so as to see the whole economy cabin and I was really impressed with the state of the cabin seeing as our bird, EC-JLE,was approaching her 12th birthday! The seat gave generous space and at full recline, 2 windows. What more could an avgeek want?
As with other airlines today, including Iberia’s IAG and Oneworld partner BA, Iberia has ceased to offer a free food service. In economy, you had the option to buy certain sandwiches and meal deals but I restrained myself. It is sad to see this being put in place on many national carriers at the moment and was one of the main reasons Air France stuck out to me. As the flight came to an end, I couldn’t help but wish we had circled for a little longer or even returned to Madrid! An excellent flight on one of the most beautiful aircraft out there and a really special treat for any avgeek wanting to travel on a long-haul jet that is strapped for cash.
Air France’s first 787 was delivered to them on November 26th 2016. When it was announced that the aircraft would operate on the LHR-CDG route, I booked immediately.
It is important to note that I booked the flight for February 14th but due to the aircraft going to tech in Cairo, the flight was operated by an A321. I called Air France who quickly and easily changed my booking to Saturday 25th of February. Very good customer service.
I arrived at Heathrow early enough to see my aircraft land and role into gate 11 at Heathrow’s Terminal 4. I wasn’t surprised to see fellow aviation bloggers and fans watch the arrival. There was a real sense of excitement to fly on this aircraft for the first time. I was allowed to board before Air France’s premium customers to get some photos of the aircraft’s interior.
Once onboard the Dreamliner I was allowed into the flightdeck for a few minutes and then led to my seat by Pascal, who was flying on the 787 for the first time. My seat was a premium economy seat, 10K, and had a fantastic view of the right engine.
In the premium cabin you get a fantastic window view and excellent sense of the huge size of the GEnx-1B engines. The configuration of the premium cabin is very impressive for the small cost at which you can sit in it. The setup is 2-3-2 which differs from the 3-3-3 cabin in economy. This means you can both sit with a friend on either side of the cabin to enjoy the flight together or sit alone in one of the seats and have a decent separation gap between you and your neighbour. The seats are supplied with headphones and reading lights in the middle for you to watch a film or read a book mid-flight. The seats are extremely comfortable and sit in a white shell which helps you not interfere in others personal space behind you. I was struck by both the comfort and the width of the seats which allow you to relax and enjoy the flight. The legroom is also very impressive. Admittedly, I was sitting in seat 10K which is at the front of the cabin but I could stretch my legs out fully and had two windows that I could look out of. Overall, a fantastic cabin on this aircraft and a great job by Air France.
As this was a morning flight, I was given a choice of coffee or tea and a croissant. They were both very tasty, but even better was the cost (free) which is becoming a rare novelty in economy cabins as airlines make cuts to increase their profit and allow reductions in price to oppose the rise of budget carriers.
The crew were one of the friendliest I have seen. Whether this was because they were all newly trained on the aircraft, I don’t know. They were happy to chat to me during the flight and were overly polite while serving customers. The feeling I got from them was one of real excitement to be flying on this new aircraft.
Air France have done a fantastic job with the design of this B787, especially in the premium cabin, and the crew were fantastic. I thought the flight was a really enjoyable one and I would recommend Air France to anyone. Professional, clean and very appealing. Well done Air France.
My return flight from Paris was operated by F-GUGR, an A318 delivered to Air France in February 2007. This aircraft is the newest of the A318s in Air France’s fleet.
Once onboard the flight I handed the crew my business card and a small letter asking if I could be in the cockpit for ground preparation. They said yes and I stayed in the jump seat during take off. This was a great surprise and very kind of Air France for organising this.
The cabin of the A318 is the basic 3-3 layout with 26 Business seats at the front and 92 economy seats at the rear. The business seats are layed out in a 2-2 configuration with a missing seat in the middle of each row for extra space.
I was sat in seat 19K which had a good view of the wing and a basic amount of legroom. The Air France crew were not as excited and enthusiastic as the crew I had onboard the Air France 787 but definitely stood out in relation to other crews I have seen. They served us in a very polite and professional manner.
For this afternoon flight I was offered a wrap and a coffee. Nothing major as an economy flyer. All in all, nothing to complain about. A good short haul service by Air France.
My flight on G-EZXW was my first time onboard EasyJet’s new cabin. I have to say that I am impressed.
Easyjet’s new cabin holds 6 extra passengers and boasts LED lighting throughout the aircraft. The updated look really suits the aircraft and helps EasyJet look more professional. The cabin also has a new toilet at the rear, improved tray tables that can hold tablets and new carpets throughout the aircraft.
The issue with EasyJet, like many budget airlines, is that you have to pay for your food. With that aside, it is very expensive too… For a drink and snack you pay a minimum of £3.60 and for a main meal such as a wrap, baguette or toastie, a drink and a snack you pay £6.50.
Next time, I’ll be sure to pick something a bit cheaper up at the airport!
The crew members on the aircraft were, thankfully, a lot nicer than the airport staff in Lisbon who we had several problems with after being delayed. We were treated pretty poorly and herded like sheep. But for the cheap airfare, who is complaining? (Me a little) I had a nice time with a couple of the cabin crew in the rear galley who told me about all the new cabin features. Overall I’d rate them quite highly. Something important I learnt is that by flying EasyJet, it’s not necessarily your experience in the air that will be affected but your time getting onto and off the aircraft. The customer service EasyJet offer is really poor at the airport and for that reason, if you enjoy spending your time in lounges or being treated well while flying, I would avoid them. For the rare flyer, holiday maker and non avgeek, Easyjet have done it very well. By offering cheap airfares they stay competitive.
I salute Easyjet for mixing budget fairs with half decent service but for a traveller who loves a good airline experience, Easyjet offers nothing. Budget boredom.
Spot the difference with the two Easyjet cabins. Old vs New.