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The Skytender drink-dispensing machine

One of the more civilized moments of air travel is enjoying a drink at cruising altitude. Unfortunately, this amenity requires airliners to ship hundreds of soda cans and spirit bottles that are costly to fly, and make the drink service maddeningly slow. To speed things up a bit while cutting costs, the German firms SkyMax and Air Eltec have developed the Skytender trolley – a rolling automated drinks machine that promises to make conventional airline bottles and cans obsolete.  Read More

The personal climate control seats were tested in the front end of an Airbus A310 (Image: ...

These days, jet air travel is less of a glamorous Don Draper adventure and often more of a tedious ordeal. The cabin air doesn’t help as passengers suffer sinus troubles and can’t stay warm or cool enough for comfort. At the ILA Berlin Air Show running September 11 - 16, the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) of Valley, Germany will reveal to the public a new airline seat that provides air passengers with individual climate control that may make even travelling Coach a bit more pleasant.  Read More

An Air Canada Airbus A319 (Photo: BriYYZ)

This Monday, Air Canada became the latest in a lengthening list of airlines – including Lufthansa and KLM – that have experimented with running their airliners on biofuels during regular passenger flights. In this case, the aircraft in question was an Airbus A319, traveling from Toronto to Mexico City. It was tanked up with a 50/50 mix of regular aviation fuel and biofuel made from recycled cooking oil.  Read More

UK-based bargain airline easyJet has thrown its weight behind the development of an electr...

UK-based bargain airline easyJet has thrown its weight behind the development of an electric taxiing system in a bid to cut its fuel consumption and enhance its environmental credibility. The "electric green taxiing system" (EGTS) is a joint venture by engineering and aerospace conglomerates Honeywell and Safran. Safran claims that four percent of easyJet's fuel consumption is used taxiing aircraft before take off and after landing from and to gates.  Read More

An Air France Airbus A380. Air France is one of the ten safest airlines this year, accordi...

A recent system of ranking commercial airlines devised by the Air Transport Rating Agency (ATRA), and based largely on safety criteria, radically overhauls the perceived order of airline superiority. In fact, a grand total of none of the ten best airlines according to the 2011 Skytrax awards, which reflect customer service, feature in ATRA's safety top ten.  Read More

Virgin Atlantic Airways is planning to capture gases from steel mills, to create a new low...

Three years ago, Virgin Atlantic Airways grabbed some headlines when it experimentally ran one of its 747s on a mixture of standard jet fuel and biofuel. While some called it a publicity stunt, it was the first time that a commercial airliner had flown using biofuel – albeit only in part of one of its four fuel tanks. Today, however, the airline announced that it’s developing an aviation fuel that will have half the carbon footprint of conventional fuel. The carbon savings won’t result from how cleanly the fuel burns, but from how it’s obtained.  Read More

American Airlines will offer Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in premium cabins on selected flights...

Samsung Mobile has sealed an agreement with AA that will see 6,000 of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets replacing ordinary in-flight screens on selected transcontinental and international flights from later this year. With passengers now being provided with tablet computers and cabin staff on some airlines also using them on the job, it only leaves the pilots – and they're set to join the tablet party in the not too distant future as well.  Read More

Andy and Barbara Maclean, passengers on Air New Zealand's 777-300ER's inaugural flight fro...

Anyone who has taken a long haul flight will know that getting some shut eye during the flight can be a bit of a challenge at the best of times. Dealing with crying babies or restless children is only compounded by being crammed into seats that become more and more uncomfortable as the hours go by. Earlier this year we looked at the efforts of a number of airlines to make future air travel a more comfortable experience, including Air New Zealand’s “cuddle class” which features an Economy Skycouch. The new seat designs are now available in the airline’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with some of the first passengers to take advantage those on the aircraft’s inaugural flight from Los Angeles to London.  Read More

BAE Systems and Design Q have been working on some luxury concept plane interiors in the A...

We've come a long way from the early days of aviation. Aircraft cabins used to have more in common with our living rooms; seats were over-stuffed armchairs you could push around, and in-flight entertainment was a game of backgammon or bridge. It's tempting sometimes to wish for a return to those days – now it's more about either squeezing more people in, or providing a more comfortable experience only for those who can afford it. In this article, we're going to take a look at some new cushy options for your tush, and some others that seem quite outlandish ...  Read More

Cathay Pacific to offer broadband on flights by 2012

Passengers boarding either a Cathay Pacific Airways or Dragonair jet in 2012 will be able to make use of broadband connectivity. This week, the airline confirmed an agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to provide broadband access across its entire fleet with download speeds of up to 50Mbps (to the aircraft – not individual passengers), as well as call and data access for cell phones.  Read More

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