Air France (and Qantas codeshare) starts A380 Singapore-Paris

Another superjumbo to Singapore is great news for Australian travellers heading to France.

Paris-bound Australian passengers with Qantas and Air France will connect onto the French airline’s Airbus A380 three times a week from April, when Air France starts flying the superjumbo between Paris and Singapore.

Qantas and Air France have a codeshare partnership on the route, and transfer passengers at Singapore.

So you’ll be able to take the A380 — with its quieter cabin, less dehydrating air and better seating layout in business, premium economy and economy — all the way to Paris.

Why the A380’s an improvement

Air France’s business class has a Qantas-style (though not Qantas-comfort) 2-2-2 configuration upstairs on the A380, an improvement on the Boeing 777 that is also on the route, which has a dreaded middle seat in the centre section.

The seats, though, are still the angled lie-flat version that aren't as comfortable as Qantas' second-generation fully flat Skybed.

In premium economy (which Air France is advertising on the route, though it does have A380s without the premium cabin), it’s 2-3-2 upstairs on the A380 — one seat fewer in the middle than on the 777.

And in economy, you’ll have much more room on the A380. There’s a small upstairs cabin with 2-4-2 seating, and downstairs the 3-4-3 covers the A380’s entire width. Air France’s crams in an awful super-squashed 3-4-3 layout on the 777, a plane that was never intended to see ten-abreast seating on long flights.

Where and when you’ll find the A380

Air France has a confusing three sets of schedules in place for its A380 between now and October.

When the A380 Singapore schedule starts on 1 April, the superjumbo will leave Singapore on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, with Paris departures on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. That schedule lasts until 3 June.

From 4 June to 10 June, the A380 leaves Singapore on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, with Paris departures on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.

From 11 June until at least 28 August, you’ll find the A380 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Singapore. From Paris, it’s an A380 on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays

A Boeing 777-300ER will fly the route the rest of the week.

Towards Paris, Air France flight 247 departs Singapore at 2310, arriving in to Paris at 0610 the next morning.

Air France flight AF256 leaves Paris at 2320 and arrives in Singapore at 1800 the next evening.


Australian Business Traveller

The world’s shortest Airbus A380 flights (starting at two hours!)

The world’s shortest Airbus A380 flights (starting at two hours!)

Travellers tend to associate the mighty Airbus A380 with long-haul flights from one corner of the globe to another, but that’s not always the case.

Many airlines run the superjumbo on jaunts lasting just a few hours in order to rake in a little extra revenue from the twin-deck jetliner between its more conventional long-distance flights. After all, with a list price of A$380 million, every extra dollar counts.

Here are the five A380 routes where you almost certainly won’t hear the plaintive plea “Are we there yet?”…

1. Guangzhou-Shanghai (2 hours 20 minutes)

In the same amount of time as it takes to fly between Melbourne and Brisbane, you could be on one of China Southern’s daily superjumbo flights from the airline’s home base in Guangzhou to Shanghai.

China Southern squeezes in this little trip after its A380s return from their journeys to Los Angeles.

2. Bangkok-Hong Kong and Dubai-Jeddah (2 hours 40 minutes)

Emirates and Thai Airways both run a daily superjumbo shuttle service between two of Asia’s busiest and most colourful cities, which have proven popular with business travel and holiday goers alike – even if your stay in the Emirates’ first class suite (below) is all too brief.

And with a twice-daily A380 service between Dubai and the Saudi Arabian metropolis of Jeddah, Emirates clearly makes the most of its massive A380 fleet, which is the world’s largest, with 31 superjumbos in the skies and 59 more on order.

3. Guangzhou-Beijing (3 hours 10 minutes)

Another of China Southern’s domestic A380 routes, with two flights each day between Guangzhou and the Chinese capital.

Three hours is barely enough time to enjoy China Southern’s spacious Platinum Private Suite first class cabin… but then, it could be argued that any time in the pointy end is time well spent!

4. Sydney-Auckland (3 hours 20 minutes)

This is another short hop for Emirates’ A380, cleverly designed to press the superjumbo into trans-Tasman service during the long layover between when it reaches Sydney on the overnight flight from Dubai and before it makes the return trip. (Emirates also does a daily Melbourne-Auckland A380 service.)

A happy side-effect of this is that it delivers an international-grade experience across the pond, especially if you book on business class – it’smuch better than anything Qantas, Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand offers.

We’re talking fully flat beds, a large laptop table with your own AC power socket, a personal minibar plus a business class bar (above) at the back of the upper deck if you want to stretch your legs and socialise.

5. Seoul to Hong Kong (3 hours 40 minutes)

On Korean Air’s daily superjumbo shuttle between Seoul and Hong Kong, there’s still plenty of time to browse the world’s only inflight duty-free store!

Located at the rear of the A380‘s lower deck, this walk-in duty free shop (well, more of a ‘showcase’ officially, as you can’t actually buy the goods directly at the counter) is lined with high-end cosmetics, perfumes and liquor to catch the traveller’s eye and prise open their wallet or purse.


The world’s longest Airbus A380 flight..?

If all these quick trips have left you curious as to the world’s longest Airbus A380 flight, that trophy goes to Emirates – its daily superjumbo service between Los Angeles and Dubai lasts for a potentially bum-numbing 16 hours and 20 minutes.

However, if you’re counting miles instead of minutes, Qantas takes the trophy. Its QF7 service from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth remains king of the non-stops with a 13,800km trek.

Australian Business Traveller


Boeing 787-9 headed to Auckland, Australia next month

Boeing 787-9 headed to Auckland, Australia next month

Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner is headed ‘down under’ next month as the next-gen jet undergoes extensive testing ahead of its mid-year debut with Air New Zealand.

The visit is expected to include stop-overs at Auckland, Brisbane and Alice Springs.

A stretched version of Boeing’s original 787-8 model which Jetstar is now flying, the 787-9 carries more passengers and can fly over longer distances than its sibling.

But the 787-9 which will fly to Australia and New Zealand in January won’t carry any passengers apart from Boeing pilots, engineers and technicians who will put the plane through its paces in an array of real-world conditions.

This will include ‘hot testing’ under the scorching summer sun at Alice Springs, in the middle of Australia, where average temperatures for January hover around 36 degrees Celsius (97.5 degrees Fahrenheit) with a record of 49.2 °C (120.6 °F).

That’s a crucial part of certifying the Boeing 787-9 for use by airlines, which is why this Dreamliner will pack a comprehensive array of equipment to record in exacting detail how the plane performs.

Boeing now has three 787-9s in its test fleet, although the next two aircraft to roll out of the factory will be fitted with standard interiors and primarily used for promotional flights.

See the 787-9 Dreamliner down under…

While details have not been finalised, the 787-9 is expected to arrive intoAuckland in the late afternoon of Saturday January 4th, 2014 to be showcased by worldwide launch customer Air New Zealand.

A preliminary schedule supplied to Australian Business Traveller by Brisbane Airport lists the 787-9 as departing Auckland on Monday January 6th around 11am (NZ time).

It will then make a refuelling stop at Brisbane Airport, touching down around 12 noon with wheels-up again at 3pm, before reaching Alice Springs around 5pm.

Flight tests around Australia’s ‘red centre’ are expected to run from Tuesday January 7th to Saturday January 11th, according to the schedule.

It’ll then be nine long months of continued testing until the Boeing 787-9 makes its first commercial flight with Air New Zealand on October 15th 2014 from Auckland to Perth.

(Tickets for that flight are now on sale at and through the Kiwi carrier’s partner Virgin Australia at

As more 787-9s join the Air NZ fleet the Dreamliner will appear on the Auckland-Tokyo and Auckland-Shanghai routes.

The 787-9s will sport two variations on Air New Zealand’s new-look livery: the classic white…

… and the eye-catching ‘all black’ design.


Inside the first Boeing 787-9

Each of Air New Zealand’s ten Boeing 787-9s will see a three-class configuration of 18 seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 263 in economy.

We’ve put together this quick video clip to showcase the seats.

The pointy end of Air NZ’s Boeing 787-9 will see 18 of the familiarBusiness Premier seats already seen on the airline’s flagship Boeing 777s.

The lie-flat business class seats are arranged in a 1-1-1 herringbone layout so that every passenger has direct aisle access.

The seat is fitted with a ‘memory foam’ mattress, duvet and two full size pillows.

Less familiar are the Premium Economy seats, with Air NZ choosing a more standard ‘off the shelf’ design instead of its Spaceseat (show below).

AirNZ's Spaceseat has been dropped from the Boeing 787

The 787-9’s premium economy seats have been sourced from US seat designer Zodiac, with Air New Zealand calling them “a customised seat best described as Business-lite.”

Arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, the seats have a 41” pitch and 5” wide armrest, with a generous 9″ recline, integrated leg rest and extendable foot support.

There are 21 premium economy seats in this stand-alone cabin, which also has its own dedicated bathroom facilities.

Read: Air New Zealand “remains committed” to premium economy Spaceseat

The bulk of Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 is given over to twoeconomy cabins with all seating in a 3-3-3 layout.

This includes 14 Skycouch rows of three seats where the legrests and armrests flip all the way up to convert into a ‘sofa-like’ flat surface.

The Skycouch rows have a 33″ pitch compared to the 31-32″ of standard economy seats.

Air NZ's Boeing 787-9 seat chart shows (in green) the 14 Skycouch rows in the first economy cabin

Read: Testing Air New Zealand’s Skycouch on the 777-300ER

The rest of the economy cabin will be fitted with a standard economy seat from Zodiac but customised to Air New Zealand’s specifications including a slimline seat back for more space, sculpted upholstering and a more flexible headrest.


Australia Business Traveller

Brave saviours deserve our salute

By Rebecca Quilliam

5:30 AM Wednesday Dec 25, 2013

Heroic acts all in a day’s work for some Kiwis, writes Rebecca Quilliam

Marzena Simpson, top, and Matthieu Mereau pulled a wheelchair-bound woman out of a train's path with less than a second to spare. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Marzena Simpson, top, and Matthieu Mereau pulled a wheelchair-bound woman out of a train’s path with less than a second to spare. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Ordinary Kiwis have acted heroically in the face of extraordinary situations this year.

One tale of selfless courage took place on an Auckland railway line in February, when two strangers risked their lives for a wheelchair-bound woman stuck on the tracks with a freight train speeding towards her.

Matthieu Mereau and Marzena Simpson couldn’t free the wheelchair of the 22-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, so they tipped it and the three of them fell forward – barely a second before the train arrived.

Also showing courage in the face of danger was a Hamilton man who threw himself in the path of a motorist who was allegedly trying to run over her partner. Footage of the incident last month showed a woman aiming her vehicle at the victim, but forced to drive away when the middle-aged man ran at the car.

But nothing says hero quite like running into a flaming building to save the life of a baby, which was just what a Palmerston North man did on the morning of February 27.

A 16-month-old girl was trapped in the burning house while her parents desperately screamed for help.

The unnamed man heard their calls and dashed into the burning building to save the toddler.

Later in the year two other children were rescued from flames when the vehicle they were in caught fire.

The 2-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sister had been left in the vehicle in a Gisborne carpark when the fire started.

Nearby businessman Mutu Ngarimu and two others pulled the unconscious children from the vehicle before reviving them.

The country’s youths have also shown courage in extraordinary situations, including 13-year-old Cade McInnes, who rescued an elderly whitebaiter from drowning when he fell into a coma and slipped into the the Hokitika River in October.

In February, Liam Robinson and Angus Bailey, both 14, didn’t hesitate to pull Andrew Tobeck from the cab of his submerged truck after it plunged into deep water in Christchurch’s Halswell River.

Three other youths, usually known to Northland police for all the wrong reasons, turned heroes when they broke into a parked heated car to rescue a baby left locked inside.

Liam Robinson and Angus Bailey plunged into the Halswell River to pull a man from the cab of his submerged truck. Photo / APN
Liam Robinson and Angus Bailey plunged into the Halswell River to pull a man from the cab of his submerged truck. Photo / APN

Police said the trio had “colourful histories” with police, but on this occasion they did the right thing.

New Zealanders have also distinguished themselves overseas – Steven Bates barricaded himself and other terrified passengers into a secure luggage area after a gunman opened fire metres away at Los Angeles Airport last month.

He took the action as gunman Paul Anthony Ciancia fired dozens of rounds into the airport crowd, killing a transit security officer and wounding seven other people.

And an Australian man has a group of Kiwi builders to thank for being able to see in Christmas this year.

The group of nine, mainly Aucklanders, lifted a ute off John Williams, who was trapped after a crash. Wife Darline said they were the only ones who stopped. “If they hadn’t stopped and done what they did, John would not have made it.”

Charlie Pyke had Will Te Kira to thank for pulling him from a burning car.
Charlie Pyke had Will Te Kira to thank for pulling him from a burning car.

Into the line of fire without a moment’s hesitation

Had Will Te Kira stopped to think about it before pulling a man from a blazing car south of Gisborne, he might have hesitated.

But instead the mechanic acted on instinct, with the help of Brett Papworth, and saved the life of 74-year-old Charlie Pyke.

Mr Pyke’s car burst into flames when he crashed in the Wharerata Hills last month. Mr Te Kira was the first on the scene.

“I stopped, got out and yelled – and heard a man’s voice reply.

“I called to Charlie to grab my hand, then I heard the whoosh of the flames starting and that made me go harder.”

Mr Te Kira yanked Mr Pyke from the blazing vehicle and he and Mr Papworth pulled him to safety just as the car exploded.

A month after the rescue, Mr Te Kira said if he had thought about the potential consequences of rushing towards a burning car, he might have hesitated. Since the incident he had wondered if, faced with the same situation, he would do it again.

“I would have rather do that than listen to a man burn to death.”

He had received a thank you letter from Mr Pyke’s daughter. “I think anyone would have done it … it’s just that I happened to be there – lucky for him.”


The New Zealand Herald

Lua Blanco poderá deixar a Record após “Pecado”; Globo seria o destino

Divulgação / TV Record


Com Sandro Nascimento
No ar atualmente como a Silvia em “Pecado Mortal”, a atriz Lua Blanco poderá deixar a Record após o fim da novela, em maio.

Seu contrato termina nesta época e já começaram a surgir os boatos. Comenta-se que a ex-“Rebelde” está com um pé na Globo.

A atriz já trabalhou na emissora carioca, onde inclusive foi revelada na TV, em 2008, na novela “Três Irmãs”.

Caso Lua Blanco se acerte com a Globo, ela será a quarta ex-integrante da novela “Rebelde” a trocar de canal.

A trama jovem terminou em 2012 na Record, e de lá pra cá migraram os atores Sophia Abrahão, Mel Fronckowiak e Arthur Aguiar.

Sophia está no ar atualmente em “Amor à Vida”, Arthur está gravando a próxima trama, “Em Família”, e Mel aguarda um projeto na rede carioca.

Micael Borges e Chay Suede são os únicos que ainda seguem na Record.



Mitch Nichols attracts overseas interest

December 23, 2013

Michael Lynch


Cop that: Victory's Mitch Nichols slots one past Andrew Redmayne.

Cop that: Victory’s Mitch Nichols slots one past Andrew Redmayne in the Melbourne derby. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Victory faces a fight to retain key midfielder Mitch Nichols, whose stellar form since joining the A-League championship chaser has made him a wanted man overseas.

Nichols, who scored twice in the 3-1 derby win over Melbourne Heart, has attracted the interest of a leading J-League side, believed to be Cerezo Osaka, who could move for the Queenslander in January.

Cerezo finished fourth in the J-League last season under Brazilian coach Levir Culpi, who is in his second phase with the club.

Nichols has been one of the A-League’s stand-out players this season and has emerged as one of the best local candidates for consideration for Ange Postecoglou’s World Cup squad.


Postecoglou, who coached him at Brisbane when he was part of the dual title-winning Roar side, brought him south to Victory for the start of the A-League season.

Victory fought hard and succeeded in retaining captain Mark Milligan during the pre-season period after the club received a bid from English Premier League struggler Crystal Palace for the Socceroo regular.

New coach Kevin Muscat is likely to fight just as hard to retain Nichols for his team’s assault on the A-League title as Postecoglou, who was then in charge, did to retain Milligan.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Kingston doubles sale values of every other Canberra suburb in 2013

December 24, 2013 – 10:15PM

Meredith Clisby


The premium penthouse apartment of Englobo Group's Aurora Kingston foreshore development will be up for sale soon following the project's completion.

The premium penthouse apartment of Englobo Group’s Aurora Kingston foreshore development will be up for sale soon following the project’s completion. Photo: Ben Wrigley.

Kingston has recorded more than $150 million in unit sales during the year, more than doubling the value of home sales in all other Canberra suburbs.

The median sales price for units in the suburb for 2013 was $510,000 and the total value of sales was $159,245,671.

Braddon with a median sales price of $430,000 and $67,017,250 worth of sales had the second highest total value of sales in the territory.

The three-bedroom luxury penthouse in Englobo's Aurora Residences at the Kingston Foreshore sold for $1,562,500 shortly after it was auctioned in June.

The three-bedroom luxury penthouse in Englobo’s Aurora Residences at the Kingston Foreshore sold for $1,562,500 shortly after it was auctioned in June. Photo: Ben Wrigley

Kambah – Canberra’s largest suburb – unsurprisingly recorded the highest total value of sales for houses with $75,498,313 at a median price of $489,000.


And the bourgeoning Gungahlin suburb of Forde had the second highest value of sales for houses for the year with $72,231,870 at a median price of $630,250.


The RP Data supplied information for the end of the year showed that Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast recorded the highest sales total of $571,568,317 for units with a median sales price of $355,000.

And Sydney’s suburb of Mosman recorded the highest sales total for houses in the country –the suburb had $805,977,253 in sales for a median price of $2,200,000.

The booming number of sales in the unit dense suburb of Kingston contained four of the five largest unit sales for the year, according to Australian Property Monitors.

All of these were apartment sales in the developing lakeside are of the Kingston Foreshore.

The Doma Group’s Bridge Point development on the island at the foreshore recorded the top two unit sales for the year with apartments selling for more than $3 million each.

And CIC Australia’s Quayside complex on Eastlake Parade was the site of the fourth highest unit sale for 2013 with an apartment selling for $2,439,725.

Colliers International ACT state chief executive Paul Powderly said the high number of sales reflected the completion of a number of developments at the Kingston Foreshore, including Dockside and Aurora.

“When you have an area that’s the focus of development and the focus of land release you’re going to have these years where it stands out as the area with highest gross value,” he said.

“Now that Kingston’s coming to an end it will probably taper off.”

Mr Powderly said buyers spent on average 15 per cent more a square metre for dwellings at the foreshore when compared to areas such as Woden and Belconnen.

“It obviously reflects the higher price of land and the superior location so you end up selling it for a higher rate per square metre,” he said.

“So more live-in owners and more sophisticated investors because they understand the value of what they’re paying for.”

Real Estate Institute of the ACT president Michael Kumm said the rest of Kingston had suffered a bit due to the booming of the foreshore and the influx of units onto the market.

But he said the oversupply would be taken up in 2014.

The Canberra Times

Após três anos, zagueiro Anderson retorna ao Vozão

Jogador que brilhou com a camisa alvinegra, volta a defender o setor defensivo do Vovô.

Jogador que brilhou com a camisa alvinegra, volta a defender o setor defensivo do Vovô.

Vozão segue se reforçando e na tarde desta terça-feira, 24/12, o alvinegro de Porangabuçu acertou com mais um reforço para a próxima temporada, desta vez para a defesa do glorioso, trata-se do zagueiro Anderson, que já vestiu o manto alvinegro no ano de 2009 e 2010.

O atleta que brilhou com a camisa alvinegra no ano da ascensão à série A e durante o ano de 2010 conquistando a classificação do Mais Querido para a copa sulamericana, será mais um reforço do Vovô para o setor defensivo do alvinegro cearense.

Após conversas entre empresário, atleta e clube, o contrato finalmente foi acertado e o jogador atuará pelo Vovô no ano do Centenário do Vozão. O vínculo do zagueiro vai até o final da temporada de 2014.

Confira a ficha técnica do novo reforço alvinegro:

Nome: Anderson Grasiane de Mattos Silva
Apelido: Anderson
Data de Nascimento: 26/08/1982
Naturalidade: Rio de Janeiro/RJ
Posição: Zagueiro
Altura: 1,86 cm
Peso: 82 Kg
Clubes: Americano/RJ, Volta Redonda/RJ, Gama/DF, Atlético/GO, Fluminense/RJ e Ceará/CE.


Souza jogará no Ceará em 2014

Na noite da última segunda-feira, 23/12, o Vozão acertou a contratação de mais uma reforço  para o ano de 2014. Trata-se do meia Souza, que atuou na primeira divisão do campeonato brasileiro pela equipe da Portuguesa/SP.

O atleta que teve passagens por grandes clubes brasileiros como Botafogo/RJ, São Paulo/SP, Grêmio/RS, Fluminense/RJ, Cruzeiro/MG, e times do exterior, vai defender a camisa alvinegra no ano do Centenário do Mais Querido.

Com contrato assinado até o final da próxima temporada, o jogador vai trabalhar para conquistar os objetivos do clube que são a Copa do Nordeste, conquista do Tetracampeonato Cearense, Copa do Brasil e a busca do acesso à Série A.

Confira a ficha técnica do novo meia do Ceará Sporting Club:

Nome: Willamis de Souza Silva
Apelido: Souza
Posição: Meia
Data de Nascimento: 04/02/1979
Naturalidade: Maceió/AL
Altura: 1,73 cm
Peso: 70 kg
Clubes: CSA/AL, Botafogo/RJ, Libertad/PAR, Guarani/SP, São Paulo/SP, Paris Saint Germain/FRA, Grêmio/RS, Fluminense/RJ, Cruzeiro/MG, Portuguesa/SP e Ceará/CE.