New Air France Dreamliners raise the bar in premium economy.

first_imgAir France is offering some inexpensive opportunities to experience the first brand new aircraft type added to its fleet since the arrival of the Airbus A380 in 2009.The carrier’s first Boeing 787-9 took over the  4.5-hour daily flight from Paris Charles De Gaulle  Airport to Cairo on January 9 but it will also initially be used on shorter routes in Europe.The Dreamliner will move to long-haul service on the airline’s Paris-Montreal route on May 1 after the second of 16 787-9s arrives in spring. But there are opportunities to experience the newest addition to the Air France fleet on the cheap within Europe before that date. From February 6, flights AF1680/1681 between Paris and London-Heathrow and return will be flown by the first 787 (except on Wednesdays), with one-way economy fares offered at bargain prices as low as 66€.   With the deployment of the second aircraft, the airline is planning a round trip between Paris and Lyon in between flights to Canada to give flight crews an extra opportunity to rack up take-offs and landings.The new plane highlights one of Air France’s weaknesses:  its inconsistent cabin product, particularly in business class. Its business product ranges from aging angled lie-flat seats, especially in the A340-300 fleet and on the 10 A380s delivered since 2009, to the revamped cabins of the Boeing 777s. The rollout of the newest 777 product started in June, 2014, and it will still take until December, 2017, before all aircraft have been refitted.   Currently, 44 of 68 Boeing 777-200ERs and -300ERs have been upgraded. The airline will also keep its A340s for some time — nine of the airline’s 11 A340-300s, some over 20 years old, will only be phased out within the next three years. Air France fleet director Nicolas Bertrand told Airline Ratings during a 787 demo flight that the plan was to replace them one by one with the incoming Dreamliners.Because the ancient A340 cabins will continue to offer customers only a fraction of the comfort of the newer aircraft interiors, the biggest uncertainty surrounds the A380 fleet. “We are now making a plan and shall start retrofitting a new product from 2019”, says Bertrand, meaning that it will take at least until 2020, more than 10 years since the superjumbo’s   introduction, before passengers can expect to see enhanced A380 cabins matching the offerings of 777s or the 787.The wild variety of product levels won’t be helped by the introduction of the first Airbus A350-900s at Air France, planned for September 2019.  While partner KLM took the first 787s in November 2015, and now has eight in service, Air France will take the lead with the A350s.Air France’s Dreamliners offer 276 seats versus 294 on the 787-9s operated by KLM, the reason being that the Dutch don’t have a dedicated premium economy cabin. KLM has an “Economy Comfort” section, with an enhanced pitch of 35’’, that is otherwise an identical product to Economy. Air France takes pride in its new premium economy, which is making its debut on the 787s with a dedicated cabin (rows 11-12) with 21 seats in 2-3-2 configuration. “We use the Zodiac Airgo FX Premium seats and enhanced the pitch from 38’’ in our previous product to 40’’ now,’’ customer experience manager Fatou Gueye tells Airline Ratings. This is not the roomiest premium economy in the sky  —  JAL and China Airlines are offering up to 42’’ with the same seat hardware — but Air France’s newest product is easily among the best offerings  currently available, boasting a bigger recline of 130 degrees versus 123 degrees in the previous  fixed shell seats that were an industry innovation when introduced by the airline in 2009.  The screens for the 787’s in-flight entertainment system from Panasonic, as on the 777s, have been enlarged from nine inches to 11 inches.  Welcome innovations on the new product is the much larger foldout table, which can support a laptop easily, and new footrests which come up higher than previously to make the seat more comfortable for many passengers.A new feature in the otherwise unchanged business cabin is a smallish bar corner in a space next to door 2L.  The Air France 787 is also the first aircraft of the carrier’s 225-strong fleet to be wi-fi-enabled, a move that comes late compared to other international carriers such as Lufthansa or Emirates. “The technology wasn’t good enough, but now it is time,’’ says Bertrand.  Air France/KLM repeated this mantra and refused to sign up for on-board WiFi for years, allowing the competition to gain big advantages. The Panasonic eXConnect system using Ku-band satellites seems to work fairly well and fast, according to people who have used it on Air France’s 787 flights. However, the airline charges for data packages, the most customer-unfriendly solution, as passengers have no idea how fast their package is used up. Rather than offering a flat fee like Lufthansa, Air France charges from 5€ for 20MB, 10€ for 50MB and 30€ for 200MB. In September, Air France-KLM had signed with provider Gogo to equip a total of 124 long-haul aircraft of both carriers, 68 Boeing 777s and 15 Airbus A330s at Air France, but again only starting at the end of 2017.  There is also no word on any plans for the A380.last_img read more

SA food fund in R50m Tanzania deal

first_img30 May 2013 South African private equity food and agribusiness fund Agri-Vie has invested R50-million in the Tanzanian Food Corporation (TFC) to develop the country’s beef industry to meet fast-growing consumer demand. “There is a growing demand for quality meat products thanks to a growing middle class, increased investment, increasing awareness of food safety and the growth and development of a number of sectors in the country,” Agri-Vie managing partner, Herman Marais, said in a statement on Wednesday. Agri-Vie was established by financial services group Sanlam Private Equity and investment firm SP-aktif to drive sustainable growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s food sector. Agri-Vie’s Africa investment fund looks to invest in projects with positive development impacts and good financial returns. Tanzania’s meat industry has significant potential nationally and regionally, according to Marais. “Agri-Vie’s injection of risk capital over the next few years, the importation of genetic material from neighbouring African countries, enhanced animal foods and beef sector know-how will see the company increase production and sales many-fold,” he said. “We are proud to join the local and international founding shareholders of TFC who have developed the venture to a stage ready for significant expansion.” The TFC operations area is primarily in the Iringa region of the southern Tanzanian highlands and forms part of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, which is a public-private investment initiative to drive agribusiness output. “The operation comprises of abattoir and processing facilities, a sales and distribution channel, an estate rearing beef cattle, in combination with a supply chain for a fattening herd of cattle and sheep and an arable farming operation focusing on maize and soya as a basis for animal feeds,” Marais said. “There is also significant scope for value added products, as some 700 metric tons of processed meat are currently imported into the country annually.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 24th, 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Fieldwork continued in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 23rd. Statewide soil moisture surpluses continue to decline, however, crop condition ratings remain virtually unchanged. Some growers noted improvements in crop conditions despite the sporadic weather, while others said dry conditions are becoming a larger concern. Many county fairs are underway, and producers are hoping to get field chores done so they can spend time with their families.Read what the report says about the state’s crop conditions and progresslast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast November 26, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Sun followed by increasing clouds today; we have our next front arriving overnight tonight into tomorrow. Showers start late this afternoon and evening, and then continuing overnight. Cold air comes in behind the front for tomorrow, and that will allow for rain to end as snow through tomorrow morning and midday. Liquid totals will end up being from .25″-.75″.We dry out tomorrow night and stay that way through Thanksgiving day on Thursday. Temps cool off tomorrow overnight and stay cool through Thanksgiving before moderating late Thursday afternoon just a bit. Still we are cold overnight Thursday night.Our next system arrives on Friday. With the cold start to the day, we cant rule out a few snow flakes initially, but most of Friday will feature a mix of clouds and limited sun. Better precipitation potential breaks out overnight Friday night and continues through Saturday into early Sunday. AS warm air lifts in, we see all rain for the state. With rain totals of .25″-1″ and coverage at 90%. Cold air comes blasting in for Sunday behind a cold front, and that will trigger some additional snow for Sunday afternoon and evening, particularly up north. Accumulations are possible.Dry to start next week for Monday and Tuesday with cold air holding firm. We see snow showers next Wednesday, followed by a dry finish toe the 10 day period on Thursday the 5th. So, we have plenty of moisture potential in the forecast between the 2 big systems and some additional minor moisture here and there. The map at right shows 10 day liquid equivalent precipitation potential over all of Ohio through next Thursday.For the extended period, we have a chance of rain showers over south and western Ohio for Friday the 6th, then a mix of clouds and sun with milder air for Saturday the 7th. Rain starts off Sunday the 8th before changing to snow with some accumulations. Then dry and cold for Monday the 9th through Wednesday the 11th. Temps will be well below normal for the start of that period, but may moderate by late Wednesday afternoon and evening.last_img read more

Dhoni blames IPL for World T20 debacle

first_imgAfter a hat-trick of humiliating defeats in the Super 8 stage that saw India being thrown out of World T20 championship on Tuesday, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed the loss on IPL.According to the captain, the IPL parties have hurt India. Calling the IPL parties a distraction, Dhoni has held them responsible for player burnout.Blaming the IPL for the poor performance of his team in the world championship, Dhoni said late night games and parties wore out the players.He felt that the players have been adversely affected by the overdose of IPL and advised them to learn to balance between the game and the parties.Speaking to media after the humiliating loss to Sri Lanka Dhoni said, “IPL parties hurt India. It is a distraction for players. Late night games and parties can wear out players. Players should know how to balance between the two. Thankfully next year WC is before IPL.”last_img read more

16 days agoAgent of Real Madrid midfielder Valverde: He can play with Pogba

first_imgAgent of Real Madrid midfielder Valverde: He can play with Pogbaby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe agent of Real Madrid midfielder Fede Valverde can see him playing with Paul Pogba in the future.It’s been suggested Valverde’s emergence will see Real drop their interest in the Manchester United star.”Pogba is a fantastic player. In the future they can play together, but you have to be careful,” agent Gerardo Rabajda told Radio Marca.”The future is promising but Fede must keep his feet on the ground. He knows he got this chance but he has to stay calm and keep growing. He has proved on the pitch that he has status. He knows when to talk and when to be quiet. We are talking about a future Ballon d’Or winner.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Alabama Football Released This Hype Video

first_imgNick Saban speaking to Alabama players.Alabama Football/InstagramAlabama is ready for football.Are you?You will be after watching the following hype video.The Crimson Tide released this, “Who is ready for some Alabama football?” hype video on Instagram.Check it out:Alabama, No. 1 in both the preseason polls, opens its season on Saturday, Sept. 3 against USC at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.last_img