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Ricky's Memoirs

To love and win is the best thing.

Ricky's Memoirs

To love and lose, the next best.

Ricky's Memoirs

life indeed would be dull if there were no such difficulties.

Ricky's Memoirs

My life? is a ship docking in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

Ricky's Memoirs

For me, life is a journey not a destination.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Vietnam Airlines New Airbus A350

Vietnam Airlines will become the world's second airline to fly the Airbus A350, following launch customer Qatar Airways at the start of 2015.

The SkyTeam member today takes delivery of the first of 14 A350-900 jets to be delivered through to 2020.

After a series of regional 'running in' flights, the A350 will step up to international service in September/October with flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Paris.

Each A350 is configured in a three-class layout, with 29 seats business class seats which convert to fully flat beds; 45 seats in premium economy; and 231 in economy.

Looking at the photo above, you can immediately appreciate how roomy the A350 is, especially with its high flat ceiling line.

 

Vietnam Airlines A350 business class


Business class gets a familiar off-the-shelf design from seat-maker EADS... It's the Sogerma Solstys model, which is not only a 'go-to' business class seat for dozens of airlines around the world but was also Airbus' own choice for its early A350 test aircraft (below).

That's all for good reason: it's a clever staggered design which gives each passenger direct access to the aisle...

... along with a wide bench where they can park personal items during the flight.

There's a decent amount of leg room...

... and the seat extends into a long fuly-flat bed.

The fold-down table is large enough to let you work away on most modern laptops...

... with an LED reading lamp and a water bottle recess which where you want them to be.

It's worth noting that Vietnam Airlines has chosen an entirely different (yet still off the rack) business class for its Boeing 787-9, that being the popular Zodiac Cirrus seat (seen below).

Vietnam Airlines A350 premium economy class

Behind the A350's business class sits a small premium economy cabin of 45 seats.

Again, there are no surprises here.

There's a video screen for each passenger... ... which includes a USB port for charging your smartphone or tablet in flight.

Vietnam Airlines A350 economy class

The rest of the A350 is given over to a sea of 231 economy seats. As expected it's a 3-3-3 layout, which means Vietnam Airlines will offer those 18 inch wide seats which Airbus is so eager to spruik in the name of passenger comfort.

(That said, Airbus admits that at least one airline has ordered the A350 with a tighter-squeeze 10 across layout [3-4-3] where seat width is reduced to 17 inches.)

Even the cheap seats get a personal video screen, of course.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Swiss: New First, Business Class

Swiss will reveal new designs for its first class suites and business class seats when the airline's new flagship Boeing 777-300ER takes to the skies in January 2016.

Business class (below) will be improved based on feedback from travellers, Swiss CEO Harry Hohmeister told during a gathering of Star Alliance airline CEOs in Warsaw.

"The product is a good product, but of course there are always little things you can optimise." However, passengers at the pointy end of the plane will see an all-new first class cabin designed expressly for the Boeing 777-300ER.

Also on Hohmeister's plan for premium passengers are "more individual services on board and in the lounges. It's a huge investment in the customer."

Swiss will fly its first Boeing 777-300ER in January 2016 – "only six months to go!", Hohmeister smiles like an eager kid counting down the sleeps to Christmas – with five more to follow by August, "and then three more during 2017-18."

The first Boeing 777-300ER routes have yet to be decided, Hohmeister says. "Of course we will have a focus on Asia – they could be to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore or Shanghai."

"The Boeing 777-300ER changes our economics compared to the Airbus A340, which is giving us more opportunity to engage ourselves in Asia again, because the Asian markets are very much under pressure by the Middle East carriers."

Of course Brazil is also a potential market" Hohmeister adds. "It's the really long routes we are focussing on, because this is where the economics of the 777 really pay back."

2016 will be about "a 1: 1 rollover" as cities served by the fuel-guzzling four-engine A340 are upgraded to the Boeing 777-300ER, Hohmeister says.

"We want to bring more efficiency to the destinations we are flying to already, and from there we have to see where else we can develop the network. Based on higher efficiency and high profitability we also can grow to new destinations, but that’s not something for 2016."

Singapore Airlines Tempts New First, Business Class Dishes

Passengers flying in business class, first class and Suites Class with Singapore Airlines will enjoy a taste of tradition over the coming months as Singapore’s national airline celebrates the country’s 50th birthday.

Covering selected flights departing from Changi Airport between July and September, guest chef Shermay Lee conjures up dishes based on her own family recipes, which can also be pre-ordered via the airline’s ‘Book the Cook’ service.

Among them, Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken, rempah spices and keluak nuts) and Nyonya Nasi Lemak: traditionally meat with fried anchovies, cucumber and eggs with sambal spices and coconut-infused rice (pictured)…

… Nyonya Nasi Padang – a mix of meats, fish, vegetables, again with spicy sambal sauces but plain white rice… … and a Hokkien mee soup with king prawns, bean sprouts, rice noodles, eggs two ways and red eschalots: Guests in first class and Suites Class can also dine on pork rib soup and Bawan Kepiting: a Chinese-influenced soup-based meal: For dessert are ice cream wafer sandwiches in four flavours: Bandung, Gula Melaka, Pandan and sweet corn. Premium economy and economy passengers can also enjoy new menu options of Nyonya fish curry and Ayam Tempra – chicken cooked with onions, white pepper powder, sugar, black and light soy sauce plus a drop of lime juice: SQ’s SilverKris lounges in Singapore will too join in with a selection of new dishes including Chinese hawker-style Rojak (fruit and vegetable salad) and a Nyonya fried Hokkien mee.

Passengers visiting Singapore can present their Singapore Airlines boarding pass for free access to the Peranakan Museum during the same period, the history and culture of which inspired the airline’s latest inflight menus.

Cathay Pacific New Premium Economy In February 2016

Cathay Pacific will launch an all-new premium economy seat on its flagship Airbus A350 fleet from February 2016, alongside an ‘evolved’ business class seat.

A padded swing-up legrest will be built into every seat, while passengers will enjoy more legroom due to slightly greater distance between each row of seats.

“We’re always looking for what’s out there in the market” CX product exec Toby Smith tells, “and for premium economy there was a new seat which we felt was better than the current one.”

“It has a proper and more comfortable legrest in all rows, unlike a padded bar at the front which some competitors have – which when you've not got your shoes on is quite hard and uncomfortable.”

The upgrade comes four years after Cathay Pacific introduced its ‘in-between’ class in March 2012, which has a proper legrest only in the first row of seats, while travellers in other rows must make do with a less comfortable swing-down 'T-bar' footrest (show below).


The A350’s premium economy seating layout is believed to follow the same 2-3-2 grid as Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A330-300 jets rather than the 2-4-2 arrangement of the Boeing 777-300ER.

The Airbus A350 will also be used to assess the demand for inflight Internet.


"We're going to be doing some technology trials and pricing model trials on the A350, which will come with connectivity," Smith has previously confirmed.

"We've been looking at it for a number of years" Smith said, "but I'm not yet reassured by the technology."

"We look at other airlines and we hear their passenger experiences, and there's a high number of drop-outs, it's slow and some airlines charge a lot of money for it, so we want to let the technology become a bit more mature."

"There hasn't been a big push from our passengers" Smith adds. "In fact a lot of what I hear from our Marco Polo members is ‘Please don't do it, it's the only place in the wold where I’m free from the Internet'."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Avianca Brazil Join Star Alliance July 22

Avianca Brazil will join the Star Alliance network July 22, Star CEO Mark Schwab has confirmed at a press briefing in Warsaw.

“We have been working on an [airline] solution in Brazil for some time now,” said Schwab, adding that Avianca Brazil has fulfilled all membership requirements.

Avianca Brazil operates to 24 airports in Brazil, CEO Jose Efromovich said. The carrier offers 210 daily flights within Brazil from its hubs at São Paulo, Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Salvador.

“Currently we operate a fleet of 41 aircraft, including one Airbus A330F. Our last Fokker 100 will leave the fleet in August, and then we will become an all Airbus operator,” Efromovich told ATW. The fleet includes Airbus A318/319/320s. After the Fokker 100s leave the fleet, the average age of the fleet will be reduced to four years.

Avianca Brazil carried more than 7 million passengers in 2014 and expects the number to rise to 8.6 million this year. “In 2014, we had a load factor of 84% with a market share in Brazil of about 9.8%,” Efromovich said, adding the carrier has concentrated on increasing frequencies to current destinations instead of extending the network in recent years.

Avianca Brazil is 100% owned by the Synergy Group. Avianca Colombia was its mentor for the joining process.

Star Alliance may need an additional carrier in Brazil after TAM left the alliance for oneworld last year.

“We are a talking to a second carrier in Brazil,” Schwab said without giving details, although industry analysts speculate that talks with Azul could be possible.

Star Alliance currently offers 1,321 destinations and 18,500 daily flights (excluding Avianca Brazil).

What Is Coming In September 2015?

From one of my spies, there will be something brewing. Yes routes are cut and frequencies are reduced, but some of the equipment (Aircrafts) changes are temporary but some are permanent.

Most are cancelled mid August. Time to repaint some aircraft and refurbish the 330s in time for a September relaunch. Recaro or Zodiac? Well, I will update more once I have more details. Plus, It seems that during the school holiday Nov-Dec 15 period, the 388s have been lined by to do charters KUL-JED and KUL-MED. That's about 20hrs roundtrip. Stay tune.

Below are some changes made this coming Aug. 

Malaysia Airlines this week adjusted its inventory, which sees further downsizing to its operation. Majority of these changes will begin from August 2015.

Kuala Lumpur – Brisbane
eff 09AUG15 1 daily service cancelled, currently operated by A330-300

Kuala Lumpur – Guangzhou 
eff 15AUG15 Service reduce from 2 to 1 daily, MH380/381 cancelled

Kuala Lumpur – Ho Chi Minh 
eff 15AUG15 Service reduce from 4 to 3 daily, MH760/761 cancelled (Except 31AUG15)

Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong
eff 01AUG15 MH072/073 operated by Boeing 737-800, replacing 777-200ER (Overall 4 daily 737-800)
eff 15AUG15 Service reduce from 4 to 3 daily, MH448/449 cancelled

Kuala Lumpur – Male 
eff 23AUG15 1 daily service cancelled, currently operated by 737-800
Kuala Lumpur – Manila 
eff 15AUG15 Service reduce from 5 to 4 daily, MH708/709 cancelled

Kuala Lumpur – Perth 
eff 15AUG15 Service reduce from 12 to 7 weekly, MH127/126 cancelled

Kuala Lumpur – Siem Reap 
eff 17AUG15 Service reduce from 7 to 5 weekly, Day 14 cancelled

Kuala Lumpur – Taipei Taoyuan 
eff 15AUG15 Service reduce from 2 to 1 daily, MH408/409 cancelled

Kuala Lumpur – Yangon 
eff 18AUG15 Service reduce from 14 to 11 weekly


Link: Airline Route

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Down Memory Lane

Walking down memory lane sometimes could be beautiful, but sometimes things can get ugly. At a certain point in my earlier years, there were these people that molded me in what I am today. But the way wasn't always sweet and easy. There are a lot of things that happened due to what I've done. At some point, it was just a mere distant memory.

But sometimes, when you were simply having too much free time. You switched on your Facebook and look back to some of the people that you once walked together with in the past. Some memories put a smile on you, some memories just brings up that sick feeling under your skin. There were so much things that went on and on in your head, and at a certain point, you just feel like you are out of breath. 

I can't even recognize the person I once was. I lived under the skin of a mere fraction of my imagination. I do not even know how to love a human being. I did so many wrongs I wished some of them I never even had done it in the first place. I became the person I hated, and I was so afraid of losing the one person I use to want. The fear, drives me over the edge. I really hated myself for what I've done hurting those I use to care for. 

It is way past the point for an apology, or forgiveness. We eventually just move forward no matter how much we didn't want to. Yet today, I stand in a very happy place. I am not complete, but those imperfections made us what we are. No pretense, no more lies, and there isn't even the need to impress the other. We are just being ourselves. 

I do not miss the old days, but I really felt awful to have done the things that I've done. Life always has its way of bringing us to a place where we deserve. Everything I have now, I wouldn't wanna jeapordize any part of it. I've paid my dues and its time to let go of that baggage. I love you, and it would be all that matters to me right now. 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lounge Revamp For Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines will close some of its Golden Lounge airport lounges around the world and redirect travellers to the lounges of Oneworld partners.
However, the lounges which remain open – including its flagship lounges at Kuala Lumpur – will receive a much-needed upgrade as MAS works to woo premium travellers.
"They will all be improved, because they are a little bit tired" newly-minded Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller.
"There is very little consistency in terms of what we offer when it comes to food, to workspace and other facilities. This is the plan for our main three lounges in KLIA, and also London Heathrow and Melbourne."
In the coming months Mueller's team will run the ruler over the entire Golden Lounge network to see which lounges will be shuttered in favour of better-equipped facilities run by Oneworld partners, much as the airline did with its Sydney lounge in 2014.
"We currently operate 11 lounges and some of them will be closed and replaced by those of Oneworld partners in order to provide a better service to the customer" Mueller said, "because our smaller lounges will never be able to compete with a larger lounge equipped with showers and so forth."
At the same time, some MAS lounges which currently open for short periods – sometimes as little as six hours a day, according to Mueller – might be "opened to selected airline partners for better capacity."
Mueller also revealed that the airline's Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 jets would be upgraded with a new fully-flat business class seat replacing the current angled flat beds and "sloping sleepers"
The announcements come ahead of a September 1 rebranding for Malaysia Airlines and form part of Mueller's sweeping program to re-invent the troubled airline.
"Malaysia still needs a national carrier" Mueller said, but describes the new Malaysia Airlines as a lean start-up which will spring from what he terms "a hard reset" of the current company.
"We have a pretty ambitious restructuring process ahead of us" Mueller said of the process, which will be accompanied by a downsized fleet, a cut in the number of destinations and shedding more than 6,000 employees to reduce its workforce by a third.

Credit to AUSBT

New Malaysia Airlines On It's Way

Malaysia Airlines’ new CEO Christoph Mueller is wasting no time getting his beleaguered airline back on track. The airline is “bankrupt”. A third of its workforce is to be made redundant. Its fleet is to be trimmed and routes abandoned. Its operations are to be transferred to a new holding company.

Today, it has a new shareholder, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah, replacing the government. Its staff have new contracts. New management is in place. Shortly, the company will transfer its Air Operator’s Certificate from the old MAS to the new MAS, and it has already applied to IATA to transfer its MH airline code. Additionally, new cabins are to be installed in the widebody fleet it keeps.

At a press conference today, Mueller outlined how he expects the MAS phoenix to rise from the ashes of a significant period of ineffectual management, on top of which came the MH370 and MH17 disasters.

“In aviation terms, MAS as we know it is leaving its cruising altitude and preparing itself for a safe landing,” Mueller said. “We are technically bankrupt, and that decline started before the tragic events of 2014.” 

The airline will be looking at its route network and ensuring it operates the right aircraft on the right services. Despite having put its Airbus A380 fleet on the market, Mueller expects to fly these aircraft on the Kuala Lumpur-London route, although it is clear that the 12h35m eastbound and 13h30m westbound flight timings mean that additional shorter routes (perhaps to and from Australia) will be needed if the aircraft is to be profitable. MAS will keep its fairly middle-of-the-road first class cabin on these routes, at least to begin with.

The Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 fleets that form the backbone of MAS longhaul operations have been in need of an upgrade for some time, especially in business class. That’s coming, with the current angled lie-flat seats due to be replaced by beds that Mueller promises will be a significant improvement and “above the industry standard”. That would have to be a fully flat bed with direct aisle access at least, and likely an outward herringbone of some sort.

Malaysia-business-class
Malaysia Airlines’ cabin interiors
Look also for the relatively generous pitch in economy class to either be reduced or more heavily featured in advertising. Given the success of Singapore Airlines, it would seem that there is a niche for premium carriers with firm cost control and keen pricing in southeast Asia.

Overall, costs need to come down by 20 percent. Part of that will come from a slash in vendors: MAS currently has 20,000 vendors, and Mueller reckons that the figure needs to be reduced to 2,000 or 2,500.

Staff costs are also a significant proportion of this restructuring. Mueller noted that airlines are “queueing” to take MAS pilots, but it’s uncertain how many of the other 6,000 members of staff will also be snapped up. While Mueller noted that he doesn’t expect all of the 14,000 job offers the new MAS has made to be taken up — for reasons including the fact that staff may already have been made offers with other airlines — MAS is a critical part of the Malaysian economy. The airline’s revenues last year consisted of 0.7 percent of the entire country’s GDP.

A significant amount of work will be needed for MAS’ IT systems to enable these changes. Mueller “identified significant skill gaps” in the existing systems, and it seems clear that a large proportion of the cost savings Mueller expects will come from backend and head office systems. Consolidation from its current 12 headquarters buildings to one at Kuala Lumpur International Airport will be a good start on that. As part of the cost reduction, operations will shortly be transferred to a new holding company, which Mueller likened to the US process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The rest of the initial work should be completed by September, Mueller said. His end goal? “To end up finally with a profitability that is sustainable”, and not before time.

As Warwick Business School Professor Loizos Heracleous put it, agreeing with Mueller’s assessment: “As a legacy state owned carrier, Malaysia Airlines has had some constraints in terms of optimising routes, staffing levels and general operatioanl efficiency. The tragic events of last year only hastened restructuring actions that sorely needed and should have been taken a long time ago.”


A380 First Class Suites War : Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines Compared

Well-heeled high flyers will find another first class suite on their shopping list with this week's debut of Etihad Airways' Airbus A380 on the Sydney-London route.
With Etihad's chic superjumbo going up against the incumbent superjumbo squad of Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, Australian Business Traveller compared the four airlines flying an Airbus A380 with first class between Australia and London.
Our call? Etihad's game-changing A380 first class suite now rules the Sydney-London skies.
That popular route boasts some non-A380 first class options, too – most impressively on the Boeing 777-300ER from British Airways...
... and Singapore Airlines, which has its latest first class on flights from Sydney and Melbourne.
They're both exceptional first class seats, but for this comparison we kept a tight focus on the Airbus A380.
In addition to showcasing each of the superjumbo suites we polled pricing for a Sydney-London return flight in first class around the middle of August 2015 (our dates were an August 10 departure and August 19 return), and allowed for a few days' flexibility on either side in case lower fares averaged out the pricing.

Etihad A380 first class

Etihad Airways has christened its Airbus A380 first class suite as 'The Apartment', and it's not hard to see why.
Each Apartment has a total area of 3.6 square metres (39 square feet) and is finished in Poltrona Frau leather.
And while other first class seats generally follow the convention of converting into a flat bed, either by laying the seat down or flipping it over, Etihad's primo cabin has a seperate seat and bed.
And the seat's not just a seat: it's more of a reclining leather-clad lounge chair.
Across from this is a full length ottoman which opens into an 80.5 inch long and 26 inch wide bed.
Several of the suites have connecting doors so that passengers travelling together can share the experience.
Each suite also has a 24-inch flat screen TV, its own chilled mini-bar, a personal wardrobe and a vanity cabint with lit make-up mirrors, stocked with luxury branded amenities.
Passengers in the nine Apartments also have access to a single shower suite.
Located between the first class and business class cabins is The Lobby.
This social area features a lounge and bar with leather sofas, marquetry table and large-screen television.
Where it flies: Etihad's Airbus A380 begins plying the Sydney-London route (via Abu Dhabi) this week; Etihad's Boeing 787, which also launches this week on a new direct route Brisbane and Abu Dhabi, has its own upmarket first class cabin (below).
The price: during our travel period Etihad's discounted 'First Suite Saver' fares were sold out, but even the top-rate 'First Suite Freedom' fares saw the Sydney-London return trip costed as $12,388 – almost $1,400 less than Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines, for what's clearly a superior product.

Emirates A380 first class

Etihad's UAE neighbour and globe-striding competitor Emirates has, to date, been the one to beat in the private suite sweepstakes.
Savvy travellers opt for the staggered middle suites (A, E, F and K) where the beds are 79 inches long, compared to the shorter 70-inch beds in the aisle suites (B, D, G and J).
That said, the design is heavier on the gaudy golden bling than Etihad's more contempoary international style.
Creature comforts include a personal mini-bar and snack basket, so you needn't leave your little haven for almost anything but a trip to the loo – or the inflight bar, if you want to mingle with the business class brigade.
There are two shower suites available among the 14 suites.
Where it flies: The Emirates Airbus A380 flies daily from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to London via Dubai. (You can also hop the A380 from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland for the ultimate in trans-Tasman indulgence.)
The price: doing the Sydney-London jaunt all the way in an Emirates A380 suite came in at $13,768.

Singapore Airlines A380 first class

As the worldwide launch customer for the Airbus A380, Singapore Airlines created the ground-breaking 'private cabin' concept – and it's still one of those must-try travel experiences.
The interior was crafted by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, with a soft leather armchair hand-stitched at Poltrona Frau.
A single bed of 76 inches folds out from the wall of the suite...
while any pair of suites in the middle of the A380 can be transformed into a 'twin suite' with a double bed – provided there's either nobody in that adjacent suite, or you and your neighbour are on very good terms.
Where it flies: Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380 is scheduled onto daily Sydney-London (via Singapore) runs. 
The price: Singapore Airlines has a flat rate for its A380 suites, which during our travel period costed a Sydney-London return trip at $13,721.
Credits To AUSBT
 

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Live to love and love to live. The motto that I held on my entire life. Just a regular guy who loves what I am passionate in life. A song writer and producer. Living life on the move. From Malaysia to The States, New Zealand to Singapore. With the companion of great people in life. In and out from the music industry. Taking everything one step at a time. 
Eric believe what Eric says~ Cuz Eric is God~