I am thankful with everyone that who wrote to me. From friends to all the survivors out there. I think one thing we have in common that is we know that this will be a very lonely and tough path to stroll through. I am really sorry that I haven't had the chance to sit down and write back to all of you one by one.
I promise once things are better, I will take the time to write back to each and everyone of you. I am just thankful I have all the blessings and prayers from y'all.
Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.
- Marianne Williamson
Anger & Fear - Part 008 : March 25th 2015
I'm not afraid of moving on and letting go. It's just so hard to say goodbye to what I know. Especially when you know you have everything to lose. A relapse shouldn't be like a big deal any more after so many years, many may think.... But the fact is, it was never easy to even understand what went wrong. There were so much going on inside, that sometimes you feel like it is near impossible to even wanna let it all out. I'm looking out from the crossroads, and I wanna take a breath and close my eyes. But what makes this time even harder than the past?
When my oncologist called and told me to come in, I already had that sick feeling in my stomach. Few weeks ago, when I see bruises on my arm, or under my armpits, bleeding while brushing my teeth, or just nose bleeding out of no where, to many these are just harmless occurrence that happens all the time. But these are the markers and red flags for me. I went back to her and she told me that there is nothing to worry and my stats are looking good. And now she said I needed attention immediately. I don't even have a week to think about when is the best time to start treatments. I lost it.. I told her she screw up.. but is that enough to make it go away?
There are things that we have in life that we wanna hold on to. There are the people that you never wanna let go. But at times like this, everything went into a grey area. I use to be clear of what I wanted. But what do I want? What can I do to make everything better? For him and also family and friends? I can't put myself in the right place to see what is next from here.
I know this will never be over soon. But what can I do..... I wanna hold forever..... I don't wanna give in..... but what else can I do....
Thai Airways is making major changes to its services and aircraft fleet. Restructuring within the company will put an end to its freighter operations. Next week, the airline will launch its final two 747-400BCF services.
The company will also stop A340-600 services. Four A330-300 aircrafts will also be decommissioned. By July, Thai Airways hopes to sell 22 of its aircrafts.
The stoppage of services and decommissioning of planes comes amidst a series of losses for the company. The Thai carrier has approximately $5.9bn in debts (the highest in the region) and has seen 7 straight months of losses.
The company’s restructuring is being overseen by Thai Airways president Charumporn Jotikasthira. Charumporn is expected to cut capacity by 20%, sell non-core assets and reduce the fleet size from 101 to 77 aircraft by the end of 2015. As part of the downsizing, the company will be phasing out A340s and 747s. Plans to close routes to Moscow, Johannesburg and Madrid have also been announced.
Thai Airways was once a leader in the cargo market, but the company has stopped and started its freight services multiple times in recent years. The carrier was the first to use a 777F in hopes of returning to freighters. But its losses are partly due to the fact that air freight exports have declined. BFS (Bangkok Flight Services) stated that exports were down 4% in February year-over-year.
The decision to stop cargo services gives other competitors, like Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, an advantage. Cathay Pacific is investing heavily in cargo despite Thai Airways and IAG stopping their services. Other airlines, like AF-KLM and Singapore Airlines, have decided not to re-invest.
While Thai Airways has seen consecutive losses, Cathay Pacific has seen an increased profit of 20%. Cargo revenues were up in the middle of 2014, which provided the company with a strong fourth quarter.
Consumer aviation website Skytrax has published its latest annual World Airport Awards, and for the third consecutive year, Singapore’s Changi International Airport took the crown as the world’s best airport. It serves as one of Southeast Asia’s largest transit hubs and is a major cog in the city-state’s bustling economy.
“To win this prestigious award three years in succession is a remarkable achievement for Changi Airport Singapore, and underlines its popularity amongst air travellers as the world’s Best Airport,” Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said. “Changi Airport lives up to its reputation as the world’s Best Airport and rather than dwell on earlier success, the airport continues to innovate and concentrate on making the customer experience in the airport environment the most enjoyable.”
The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of over 13 million flyers from 112 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.
10. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
Yearly passengers: 83.7 million
Previous rank: 7
Why it's awesome: As the second-busiest airport in the world, Beijing's Capital Airport has played a major role in the Chinese capital's explosive growth.
With this growth, the airport has built new facilities and upgraded its infrastructure. Capital's Terminal 3 was rated as the 10th-best terminal in the world.
9. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
Yearly passengers: 52.6 million
Previous rank: 5
Why it's awesome: Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe and serves as the hub for KLM, Transavia, and Delta.
Opened in 1916, Schiphol is noted for its wide variety of leisure activities and has a library in which flyers can cozy up with a good book while waiting for their flights.
8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Yearly passengers: 72.4 million
Previous rank: 10
Why it's awesome: Heathrow is the world's third-busiest airport and the largest of the five primary airports serving London.
Heathrow is in the midst of a major renovation with the addition of a brand new Terminal 2 building. It's seven-year-old Terminal 5 building was named the best airport terminal in the world by Skytrax.
Heathrow serves as the main hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
7. Central Japan International Airport (NGO)
Yearly passengers: 9.8 million
Previous rank: 12
Why it's awesome: Built on an artificial island in the middle of Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya, Central Japan International -- also known as Centrair -- serves as a focus city for Japan Airlines and ANA.
Centrair holds the distinction as the best regional airport in the world.
It has a 1,000-foot-long sky deck where passengers can watch ships sail into Nagoya Port. There's also a traditional Japanese bathhouse where you can have a relaxing soak while watching the sunset over the bay.
6. Zurich Airport (ZRH)
Yearly passengers: 24.9 million
Previous rank: 8
Why it's awesome: Just eight miles from the heart of Zurich, the airport serves as the home for Swiss International Air Lines and as a hub linking Switzerland's largest city with the rest of the country.
For passengers with an extended layover, Zurich Airport offers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.
5. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)
Yearly passengers: 68.9 million
Previous rank: 6
Why it's awesome: Haneda is one of two major international airports that serve the Tokyo area. Located a few miles away from the heart of the Japanese capital, Haneda has proved to be a popular port of entry for business travellers and tourists.
The world's fourth-busiest airport, Haneda is know for its service efficiency, cleanliness, and shopping.
4. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Yearly passengers: 59.6 million
Previous rank: 4
Why it's awesome: Built on an artificial island off the coat of Hong Kong, HKG has become one of the most popular facilities in the world since it opened in 1998.
One of the busiest airports in Asia, Hong Kong International serves as the home to Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, and Dragonair.
Be sure to play around at the SkyCity Nine Eagles golf course near Terminal 2.
3. Munich Airport (MUC)
Yearly passengers: 38.7 million
Previous rank: 3
Why it's awesome: Located northeast of downtown Munich, MUC is one of the busiest airports in Europe and the second-busiest in Germany, after Frankfurt.
Munich serves as a major hub for Air Berlin, Lufthansa, and Condor and it features airy glass-heavy architecture. A nearby visitors park features minigolf and a display of historic aircraft.
2. Incheon International Airport (ICN)
Yearly passengers: 41.7 million
Previous rank: 2
Why it's awesome: Once again, Incheon is the world's second best airport. Located on an island just outside of the South Korean capital, Incheon is home base to Korean Air and is the 24th-busiest airport in the world. It opened in 2001.
Incheon's highly regarded facilities feature an array of shopping and dining options, in addition to a bevy of cultural performances. The airport even has a Korean culture museum.
1. Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)
Yearly passengers: 53.7 million
Previous rank: 1
Why it's awesome: For the third year in a row, Changi takes the crown as the world's best airport. Changi serves as home to Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and Tigerair and is the 13th busiest airport in the world.
The Singaporean airport has received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and broad offering of dining and shopping options.
Flyers passing through are treated to movie theatres, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.
Airbus celebrated the delivery of its 9,000 aircraft, with the milestone plane an Airbus A321 going to Vietnamese carrier VietJetAir.
“The delivery of our 9000th aircraft comes as we enjoy ongoing strong demand for aircraft across our product line,” John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, says in a statement commemorating the occasion. “The range of aircraft we offer today is unrivalled, meeting every airline requirement from 100 to over 500 seats with maximum efficiency, uncompromised comfort and broad customer appeal.”
“We are especially pleased to be delivering today’s aircraft to VietJetAir, which is a rising star in the fast-growing Asian region,” Leahy adds. “With the A321, VietJetAir will be able to increase capacity on its most popular routes while benefiting from the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft.”
Airbus delivered its first commercial passenger jet – an A300 – in 1974. Today, Airbus’ commercial passenger jet line-up includes the A320 family, the A330, the A380 and the new A350.
Several older aircraft models are no longer in production, but still fly for major global carriers. Among the most-notable is the four-engine A340. Airbus ended production of the jet in 2011, though the A340 still flies for major carriers in including Lufthansa, Thai Airways, Air France, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, Swiss, China Eastern and others.
Airbus’ landmark 9,000th delivery comes just two years after it delivered its 8,000 aircraft, which came in August 2013. Airbus says it now delivers more than 600 aircraft a year today, a figure that Airbus says “is set to rise further as the demand grows.”
Cathay Pacific will launch its new business class seat in February 2016 on board its flagship Airbus A350 fleet, with a mid-life refresh for the current Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 business class to follow.
The seat will come from Zodiac Aerospace and belong to the same Cirrus family as Cathay's existing business class, although CX product exec Toby Smith describes the platform as "an enhanced Cirrus."
Smith confirmed that the seat's design will be carried out by Germany's Porsche Design Group, which was "engaged for their industrial design expertise".
It's believed that Cathay's A350 will have 38 seats in business class, 28 in premium economy and 214 in economy.
Smith also reveals that the A350 will feature a "different and improved" premium economy seat compared to today's first-gen seat (below), although he refused to be drawn on specifics.
Little more is known about the new business class seat, except that it won't be radically different to the airline's current design.
"It will will be very much an evolution of our current seat rather than a brand new seat" Smith confirms.
"That seat has been very popular with passengers and we saw no reason to re-invent it."
"But we’ve listened very closely to areas that people said could be improved, and we’ve focussed on this. So while it should be very familiar to our passengers when it comes out, we hope to have some new touches that they will appreciate” Smith says.
The new seats carry an internal codename of ‘FB2+’, denoting them as an incremental step beyond the airline’s current second generation of flatbed business class.
Mid-life refresh for current business class
After the new seat debuts on Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350s the airline will turn its attention to a revamp of its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 business class seats.
"We do mid-life refreshes of our products, typically six to seven years after the product is introduced," Smith tells Australian Business Traveller, "and when the time comes to refresh the current product we'll be looking to fold back some of those improvements into the existing fleet."
Given that today's CX business class was launched in early 2011, Smith's suggested timeline hints at a mid-life make-over in 2017 or 2018.
Cathay Pacific is considering its options for new first class suites on the Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-9X, but might remove the primo cabin from some of its Boeing 777s as the newer jets take over on popular routes.
While the airline is now finalising the design of a new business class to debut in February 2016 on the smaller Airbus A350-900s, the shape of the new first class seat "has yet to be determined" says Cathay Pacific product exec Toby Smith.
That's because Cathay's A350-900s will be only a three-class aircraft of business, premium economy and economy cabins. Only the larger A350-1000s due from 2018 will have a first class cabin.
Cathay's not about to turn away its highest-revenue passengers, with Smith quick to assure that "we’re keeping first class. We just need to work out what fleet type is the most optimum, on the A350-1000s, whether we keep it on the Boeing 777s, and obviously we have the Boeing 777-9X coming."
A 2018 debut for a new first class suite on Cathay Pacific's flagship A350-1000 would be in keeping with the timeline for the current first class design, which was introduced in 2007...
.... and given a 'mid-life refresh' in 2013.
Cathay's first A350-1000 will be followed from 2021 by the Boeing 777-9X (below), a next-gen update to the best-selling Boeing 777 family combining ultra-long range capability with a 10% saving in fuel.
The airline is likely to fit first class only on some A350-1000 jets and outfit others with an enlarged business class cabin, similar to what's already done with its Boeing 777-300ER fleet.
"There are clearly a small number of ultra-long haul markets with a high demand for first class such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London" James Barrington, Cathay Pacific's Director of Corporate Development.
"We tailor the aircraft type to the market and the demand with a mixture of four-class and three-class aircraft."
With a total of 48 Airbus A350 jets plus 21 of the Boeing 777-9X, Toby Smith says the muscled-up fleet is about both "fleet renewal and growth."
Smith says that upon its arrival in February 2015 the first A350-900 will "do some route proving on short-haul regional flights" before being tasked to open up corridors to new cities in Europe.
"We're looking at places like secondary European destinations, and there may well be existing destinations which we we decide to swap out (for the A350)."
The A350-900 will also be kitted out with satellite Internet and used to run technology and pricing trials.
We've all seen photos of Virgin Australia's new business class seat for the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777.
... but here's a first glimpse at how the business class cabin will look when all those seats are stacked together.
The images are courtesy of London-based design agency Tangerine, which worked on the seat alongside Virgin design director Hans Hulsbosch to refine and 'significantly enhance' it from the basic Super Diamond seat supplied by B/E Aerospace.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has previously said the design is "inspired by a lot of luxury automotive interiors" (Borghetti himself is a connoisseur of classic European motoring marques) and you can see how the cabin evokes an undeniably premium feel.
The subdued colour scheme of charcoal, black leathers and brushed aluminium trimming is not only for the sake of contemporary elegance – it ensures the seat also looks great when combined with the red of the cabin crew's uniforms.
A case study on Tangerine's website says "the challenge was to infuse the spaces with sophistication and elegance that would help define the airline as a quality carrier offering outstanding service... we heavily customised new lie-flat seats to give them a sense of international style and exclusivity."
The Airbus A330s will sport 20 of the new seats in five rows of a 1-2-1 layout, ensuring direct aisle access for every passenger, down from the 24 business class berths of today's 2-2-2 layout.
The larger Boeing 777s will see an increase in the number of business class seats, up from a current count of 33 in a 2-3-2 layout to 37 seats arranged 1-2-1.
Virgin Australia plans a rapid rollout of its next-generation business class seats, despite the launch being pushed back from March to an unspecified 'mid-year' timeframe.
The airline's ambitious intent is that its entire fleet of six twin-aisle Airbus A330 jets will upgraded to feature the new seats by August.
A similar upgrade for Virgin's international Boeing 777s which fly to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi remains on track for November 2015, with the airline saying this would be completed “within three months.”
"On the Pacific route from Australia to Los Angeles this will be the business class to beat," Borghetti has previously said.
The Boeing 777 refurb will also include a newly-designed business class bar with face-to-face service for up to four seated guests.
There'll also be additional lounge seating behind the bar.
This short clip provides a virtual walkthrough of Virgin Australia's next generation business class cabin, beginning with a look at the Boeing 777's new business class bar.
Nicole Kidman will serve as the face and voice of Etihad Airways' new ‘Flying Reimagined’ brand campaign, which launches in Australia today on TV, print and outdoor advertisements.
The TV spot was shot onboard Etihad's flagship Airbus A380 and in a number of locations around the world, including various landmarks in Abu Dhabi and France.
"Etihad Airways is constantly pushing boundaries, taking inspiration from the world to provide a superlative in-flight experience for our guests" explains Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer.
"We are rewriting the rule book and reimagining flying by breaking away from convention and leading the way in innovation, design, style and hospitality. This new campaign has succeeded brilliantly in bringing our unique brand and service ethos to life on film, in print and on digital channels."
Other Aussie touches include the concept itself, by M&C Saatchi Australia; and a soundtrack composed by Ramesh Sathiah, Creative Director and Composer at Sydney-based audio design company Song Zu and was conducted by Roger Benedict of the Sydney Scoring Orchestra, a group drawn from the elite musicians of the Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber, and Australian Opera Orchestras.
Etihad's Aussie embrace has also included airline ambassador Dannii Minogue, who featured in the original launch of the airline's new-concept first class suites and business class seats.
Etihad Airways is to start flying its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to the United States from Sunday.
The aircraft will be used on the Abu Dhabi carrier’s daily Washington DC service.
“As the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class, the Boeing 787 will reduce the operating costs and carbon emissions on our Washington DC route and provide maximum efficiency and reliability,” said James Hogan, Etihad president and chief executive.
Etihad’s first 787 Dreamliner took to the skies on February 1 when it departed the UAE capital for Düsseldorf, Germany.
The new 787 interiors feature eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 economy smart seats.
Lufthansa will equip all its Airbus A380s flying the Frankfurt-Singapore route with premium economy seats by April 23.
The move will require the refit of 52 of the new seats on each of the three aircraft flying the route. The new seats will replace a forward section of the 10-abreast economy layout with an eight-abreast layout in the cabin area, according to Lufthansa premium economy launch manager Annette Mann.
“We already see around 60% of passengers [in premium economy] coming from passengers who would previously have bought economy tickets, especially on the longer Europe-Asia routes,” Mann said.
The installations will replace 10% of the existing economy seats on each aircraft; initial bookings show load factors some 15% above the standard economy class section seating.
Lufthansa said the new class promises some 50% more room than economy. Lufthansa Asia regional director Christian Altmann describes it as “a balanced product” that spreads the airline’s appeal to a wide section of travelers without the need for super-luxury suites.
“On large aircraft, [luxury suites] can lead to disharmony over service timings, passenger boarding, and from being cut off from other passengers,” he said.
The new seats, which were initially launched on the airline’s Boeing 747-8s, will eventually be refitted to Lufthansa’s entire long-haul fleet of Airbus A380s, A340s, A330s, and Boeing 747s – a refit of some 3,600 seats scheduled to be completed by October 2015.
Etihad Airways will fly its new A380 to New York JFK from December 1.
The superjumbo, which features the Gulf carrier's three-room The Residence suite, will be rostered onto flights EY103/102, one of two daily Etihad services between Abu Dhabi and JFK.
Outbound flight EY103 departs Abu Dhabi at 0255 and arrives in New York at 0840, while return flight EY102 leaves New York at 1500 and lands in Abu Dhabi at 1230 the next day.
Etihad's A380 can accommodate 498 passengers, with 417 in economy, 70 in business class, nine in first and up to two in the aforementioned The Residence apartment.
James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO, said: "The United States is a strategically important part of Etihad Airways' growing global network and as a result of increased demand from our guests travelling between New York and Abu Dhabi, and onto the world, we are pleased to upgrade one of our two daily flights to an A380.
"New York marks the first US destination where we will introduce our industry-leading A380 aircraft products and experience."
Etihad unveiled its A380 in December before rostering the aircraft onto its London Heathrow and Dusseldorf routes. It plans to fly three daily A380 services to LHR by the end of this year.
Blogger's Helping Hand Part 3: the Children at the Penang Shan Children’s Home Association
"Happiness doesn't result from what we get,
but from what we give." -Ben Carson
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.