Carry on: Qantas drops A380s to Hong Kong, new Zurich link, Etihad's Sydney lounge and more

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Qantas is ending its Airbus A380 operation from Sydney to Hong Kong on year-round basis from September 29. Instead, the airline will operate three-class Boeing 747-400 aircraft on daily basis from this date, replacing five weekly A380 and two weekly 4-class 747-400. However, Qantas will continue a five-weekly A380 service from December 11 to January 26, 2015. First class will be not offered on these flights.

Etihad opens first Australian lounge
Etihad has opened its new first and business class lounge at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport – its first in Australia. Located in Pier C of the terminal, adjacent to Gate 51, the new lounge offers guests an environment inspired by the airline’s flagship lounges in Abu Dhabi. The 798sq m area is set over two levels with facilities including Apple computers, complimentary wifi, multi-zone electrical and USB power outlets. There are also dedicated male, female and accessible bathrooms with showers, a children’s playroom, male and female prayer rooms and a relaxation zone.

Cathay Pacific flies to Zurich
Cathay Pacific will launch a direct daily service from Hong Kong to Zurich in 2015. The airline will deploy a B777-300ER in a four-class configuration on the route, which is scheduled to start on March 29 next year. Outbound service CX383 will depart HKG at 0015 and arrive in Zurich at 0655, while return flight CX382 will take-off from Zurich at 1330 and land in Hong Kong at 0645 the following day.

Lufthansa introduces premium economy
Lufthansa's long-haul premium economy seat will be fitted on its entire long-haul B747-8 fleet by December 10. The new seat, which will be rolled out from November, is available to book now on routes from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires, Chicago, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Beijing and Washington, DC. From January next year, the first A340-600 aircraft retrofitted with the premium economy seating will take-off from Munich to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. And, from late April 2015, the seat will be aboard Lufthansa's A380-800 aircraft on its routes from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, New York, Miami, Houston, San Francisco, Shanghai and Singapore.

Air Canada unveils new cabins
Air Canada has y unveiled its new international interior product, just days after receiving delivery of its first B787 Dreamliner. The airline will provide three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy – on its B787s and converted Boeing 777 aircraft. The B787's International Business cabin is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, while Premium Economy is 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. Economy has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

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