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 JAL’s four class revamp


JAPAN Airlines will take to the skies in January with all-new seats and inflight services in a fleet overhaul project called JAL New Sky Project. New seats will be introduced


in all four cabins onboard 13 of its B777-300ERs with the product making its debut on the airline’s daily London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita service in January. The airline is also introducing


new menus in business and first class “to create the ambience of an exclusive restaurant in the sky”, while enhancements will also be made to premium economy and economy meal services. “JAL is standing at a new beginning,” says the airline’s president, Yoshiharu Ueki. “In pursuing the promise stated in our current mid-term plan, we hope to bring our customers a


ONEWORLD EXPANSION


QATAR Airways has become the first of the big three Gulf carriers to officially join a global airline alliance following its invitation to the oneworld group. Qatar will spend the next 12


to 18 months going through the oneworld implementation programme. It will be the alliance’s second member based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which became the first airline in the region to join any of the global alliances in 2007. Fifteen of Qatar Airways'


destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to the oneworld map, taking the alliance's global coverage to 856 destinations in 159 countries, operating 9,300 flights every day. Malaysia Airlines, meanwhile,


is expected to become a full member of the alliance around the turn of the year, followed by Sri Lankan Airlines in 2013.


totally refreshing onboard experience like no other.” JAL’s new first class cabin


will be configured 1-2-1 with eight 78.5-inch-long flatbed seats and 23-inch TV screens. Business class cabins will feature 49 seats in a 2-3-2 layout that gives unobstructed aisle access from every seat and greater levels of privacy. New flatbeds measure 74


inches long and 23-inch TVs are 50 per cent larger than the existing business class product. In the premium economy cabin, the seat pitch has been increased by as much as four inches and the recline by 2.8 inches, while TV screens are a third larger at 12.1 inches. Seat pitch in economy has also been extended, from 31 up to 34 inches.


CITYJET’S THREE-STEP FARES


Five minutes with... Peter Nixon


Commercial Manager, Business Travel Direct


Peter Nixon has worked in the business travel industry for 13 years. His role is to oversee the sales and marketing function at Business Travel Direct.


What is your most memorable business travel trip and why? Successfully pitching for a contract at the European Parliament in Brussels and getting the grand tour. It was a real eye opener in terms of the workings of the EU.


What is your worst business travel experience and why? In my very first job out of university I had to make a courier trip to Stavanger in Norway to deliver an oil contract. I caught a connecting flight up from Bergen, and it was like a bus service hopping across each fjord. At one point a man got on with a goat and sat next to me.


What is your favourite destination and why? It's got to be Barcelona, a city that has it all: great infrastructure, great art, great beaches and, of course, football from another planet.


What three items do you never leave home without when travelling on business?


A good book, a pair of trainers and a sense of expectation.


AIR France subsidiary CityJet has unveiled a new tiered fare structure, relaunched its website and unveiled a new Christian Lacroix-designed crew uniform. The airline, which operates


to 20 destinations from London City Airport, will offer three fare levels – CityPremium, CityFlex and CityValue – with varying degrees of flexibility and privileges. CityPremium is a fully flexible and refundable fare that can be changed or cancelled up to 15 minutes before departure. It includes two pieces of hold luggage, priority boarding, upgraded meal service and fast track


security and lounge access where available. Prices start from £449 return including all taxes and charges. CityFlex fares start from


£219 return and CityValue fares lead in at £99. CityJet's CEO Christine Ourmieres says, “We have implemented a uniquely transparent, three-tier fare configuration that offers straightforward flexibility up to the eleventh hour.” The airline is launching a


second service from London City to Germany, with flights to Nuremburg taking off in January. It follows the launch of City to Münster-Osnabruck services in October.


What single thing could be done to improve your role in business travel? Increase the seat pitch on aircraft. At six foot, three inches tall, travel in the economy cabin is no fun!


What destination/s would you like to visit next and why? Brazil. South America is the one region of the world I have yet to experience and with the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and Olympic Games in 2016 it will be buzzing.


THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE 41


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