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March 28, 2017

Air Travel: Big Cathay Pacific Codeshare, Latest on Electronics Ban




A big new codeshare agreement, the latest on the in-flight electronics ban and Alaska Airlines’ plans to retire the Virgin America name are the air travel headlines to watch this week. 

Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa Group Announce Big Codeshare Agreement

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways and the Lufthansa Group have announced plans for a new codeshare agreement to offer their passengers selected flights under their partner’s flight number.

For Lufthansa Group customers, this will significantly improve the connections available from Hong Kong towards Australia and New Zealand, the two airlines said. The agreement was signed by Ivan Chu, chief executive Cathay Pacific Airways, and Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Due to this partnership with Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and Austrian Airlines (Austrian) will be able to offer their passengers four new destinations in Australia and New Zealand as connecting flights via Hong Kong, from April 26, 2017.

With Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian via Hong Kong to:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Cairns
  • Auckland

In turn, Cathay Pacific passengers, under Cathay Pacific flight numbers, can reach fourteen different Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian destinations in Europe with their ticket, thereby expanding their options for the existing Cathay Pacific flights to Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Zurich.

Emirates Offers New Handling Service Following Electronics Ban

In the wake of the new ban on laptops and other electronics larger than a cellphone on flights from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Emirates has announced that it will offer a free new “handling service,” in which travelers will be able to use tablets and laptops during the first leg of their journey and at the gate, Fortune reports. Then, just prior to boarding, travelers will be able to hand over the electronics to security staff, who will pack them into boxes and load them into the aircraft hold. Travelers will then get their electronics back at their final destination.

“The airline industry is no stranger to new security protocols, and as a global player, we must expect and adjust to these unexpected situations,” Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, tells International Meetings Review. “Emirates is highly resilient. Yes, this new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards, but I am optimistic we will get through this.”

The airline has also released a cheeky YouTube video touting its in-flight entertainment options for travelers who won’t be able to watch movies and TV on their laptops during the flight:

In a similar vein, Etihad Airways has posted a “Make Flying Great Again” ad showing off its onboard dining and entertainment options.

“Safety and security remain the highest priority for Etihad Airways and we will continue to assist passengers in complying with this directive,” the airline said in a statement provided to IMR.

Royal Jordanian, which was the first airline to announce the ban on Twitter, has issued a list of “12 things to do on a 12-hour flight with no laptop or tablet.”


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