Aviation round up: Full stream ahead!

Guest Contributor

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This week’s aviation round up eyes up the first commercial Gulfstream G500 service,  SIA’s digtial innovations lab and a team up from two giants of the flying world.

But first some news from APAC…

Don’t Nok it

 LCC NokScoot, a collaboration between Thailand’s Nok Air and Singapore’s Scoot, has unveiled its latest China route, a new direct connection between Bangkok and Shanghai.

The maiden flight of the service starts on 25 February, when flight XW858 will depart Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport to begin a route which NokScoot CEO Chief Yodchai Sudhidhanakul believes is going to be a big hit in the region.

“To better serve our Chinese customers”

“Shanghai is China’s largest city and an iconic global destination for both business and leisure travellers,” Sudhidhanakul said. “This route continues our goal to fly to all or most of the major cities in China to better serve our Chinese customers. They want direct flights when travelling Thailand and we are pleased to meet this growing demand.“

“NokScoot currently flies to Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Tianjin and Xi’an in China. The new direct Shanghai flights will serve to boost bilateral tourism arrivals between China and Thailand,” he added.


This confidence in the success of the service is reflected by the adoption of the Boeing 777-200 to fly between the two cities, a wide-bodied twin-aisle aircraft rarely used by LCC’s and comprised of 415 seats (24 seats in Scootbiz and 391 seats in economy). 

Flight schedule

Flight From To Departure Time Arrival Time Day
XW858 Bangkok




2120 0220 (+1) Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
XW857 Shanghai




0335 0735 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday

*All times are local.

Flight From To Departure Time Arrival Time Day
XW858 Bangkok




2120 0220 (+1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
XW857 Shanghai




0335 0735 Monday ,Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Full stream ahead

Qatar Airway’s private jet division Qatar Executive, received a super sexy new year gift at the end of last year — two brand-new Gulfstream G500 executive jets. Making it the first commercial-service operator of the sleek, high-tech planes in the world.

HE Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive, said: “Our new G500 jet will offer a remarkable flying experience to many of our loyal passengers who are already keen on experiencing this ultra-modern jet. With two of these technologically-advanced aircraft in our fleet already, we are excited to be receiving an additional five G500s, to offer our passengers much more of an elite choice and flexibility.”

The state-of-the-art G500s are among some of the fastest and most advanced commercial aircraft on the market, with a cabin that features satellite communications, high-speed internet, the Oryx One entertainment system, and the Gulfstream Cabin Management System — which allows passengers to sync their own smartphones and devices with the cabin’s audio, video, light and temperature controls.

Furthermore, this is just the beginning, as Qatar Executive set to add five more state-of-the- art G500s and one G650ER jet by the end of this year

Lab love

Singapore Airlines (SIA) officially opened KrisLab, the airline’s digital innovation lab, today. First established in 2018 after an undisclosed but “significant” investment aimed at pushing the airline onto the front line of digital development, the lab opening ceremony was overseen by Singapore’s minister for trade and industry, Chan Chun Sing.

The official opening however, came following a spate of bilateral agreement with local organisations includingSingapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Economic Development Board (EDB) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Discussing the project SIA’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong, said “The SIA Group has been investing heavily to enhance our digital capabilities as part of our ongoing transformation efforts, and the new bilateral partnerships announced today will take things to the next level. Our partnerships with these key agencies also signify our commitment to developing Singapore as a digital hub in the wider aviation and travel industry,”

With the launch of our Digital Innovation Blueprint, we aim to be the leading digital airline in the world.”

Like-minded companies

The Lab has been set up to enable staff to work with like-minded companies including start-ups and more mature operations, to encourage new ideas in stimulating and creative environment. SIA has widened the scope of the project with these partnerships, with participants to work together on the how best to utilise tech, such as blockchain, mixed reality, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

“An exciting and fulfilling journey”

Kevin Shum, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, said: “CAAS is pleased to support SIA’s Digital Innovation Blueprint, in collaboration with A*STAR, EDB, NUS, and NUS Enterprise, to develop innovative digital solutions to personalise passengers’ end-to-end travel experience and transform ground handling processes.

The Blueprint will help to transform the aviation industry for the future. It will complement the other key initiatives under the Air Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM). We look forward to an exciting and fulfilling journey ahead.”

Easyjet easy life

Those lucky enough to have the opportunity to be EasyJet customers will now be able to transfer ‘fuss-free’ from  its European services flying into London Gatwick Airport and onwards on Cathay Pacific flights, as part of the ‘Worldwide by EasyJet’ service.

Commenting on the arrangement with Cathay, which will run initially between London Gatwick and Hong Kong, Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s Chief Executive Officer said:

“As the first global airline connections service by a European low fares airline Worldwide is gaining real momentum, December was a record month for connections and January has started equally strongly seeing the most growth in connections through Tegel and London Gatwick.

We are really pleased to welcome Cathay Pacific and are confident they will be a popular addition for customers who are looking for an easy and seamless way to connect between Europe, the Far East and beyond. We will continue sign up other airlines to Worldwide by easyJet during 2019 and the airline also plans to expand to other key easyJet airports in Europe.”

“Customers can book and connect with confidence”

James Ginns, Cathay Pacific general manager for Europe said: ‘Partnering with Worldwide is an exciting development for Cathay Pacific. Using easyJet’s wide European network their customers can book and connect with confidence to our daily Gatwick flight enabling straightforward access to the Hong Kong hub.”

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