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A roundup of some of the recent airline news that’s interesting and possibly even useful but that didn’t really merit a whole post of its own – Qatar Airways adds a new route, ANA has a new inflight health initiative, Air France decides a new “sleep suit” is what their La Première customers want and Austrian Airlines partners with a low cost carrier in Asia.
ANA to introduce the “ANA Doctor On Board” Service
When I first read this headline I assumed that ANA had decided to employ a doctor on some of its flights (can you imagine the cost?!) but it turns out that this is not what the story is about.
This is how ANA describes the new service:
Under the new service, should an injury, illness or other medical emergency occur midflight, cabin crew will no longer have to make an initial announcement and ask if there are any doctors on board. Instead, they will be able to directly seek the help of any physicians on the flight who have registered in advance with the ANA Doctor On Board service, leading to more rapid emergency response.
Registration for this service is voluntary and open only to licensed doctors who are also members of the ANA Mileage Club (AMC). If there are no registered doctors onboard the flights, cabin crews will make the traditional request for any medical professionals onboard to step forward.
* Under the new system, any injury or damage claims filed by passengers as a result of medical treatment provided midflight will be handled by ANA, with the exception of cases of willful and gross negligence on the part of the doctor involved.
The airline plans on asking doctors to register from July and hopes to roll out the service on flights from September.
In addition to the new Doctor register, ANA will be providing greater detail on medical supplies available on each flight, allowing both registered doctors and passengers with existing injuries and illnesses to confirm this information in advance of their flights.
In fairness to ANA they seem to have thought this through as they’re even issuing crew with language translation software which, the airline says, “will include medical terms in various languages, which can be verbalized via the tablets’ speakers to aid communication.”
The new software will be able to cover 17 languages by October.
Qatar Airways Announces Service To Chiang Mai
From 16 December Qatar Airways plans to use its Airbus A330-200 aircraft to fly the Doha – Chiang Mai route 5x/week.
This will be the airline’s 4th route to Thailand building on its existing routes to Bangkok, Phuket and, from 6 December, Krabi.
The schedule, as it stands right now, is as follows (subject to change):
QR918 DOH 02:30 – 14:55 CNX (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
QR919 CNX 16:45 – 22:15 DOH (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
My interest in these flights is from the perspective of someone hoping to take advantage of one of Qatar Airways numerous excellent Business class sales out of Europe and, while it’s definitely possible to connect to this new route from Europe, some layover times may be a bit longer or a bit tighter than some may prefer.
Austrian Airlines To Codeshare With Bangkok Airways
With Qatar Airways announcing a new route to Chiang Mai and now this, it’s turning into a big news day for travel to Thailand.
Austrian Airlines and Bangkok Airways have signed a codeshare agreement that will see Austrian’s customers able to book flights to new destinations in Thailand and Cambodia.
Per the airline:
Austrian Airlines and Bangkok Airways signed their first joint codeshare agreement. As a result, new destinations in Thailand and Cambodia can be directly booked via Austrian Airlines, and reached from Vienna via flights to Bangkok: In addition to the well-known vacation destinations of Phuket, Krabi and Ko Samui in the south of Thailand, passengers can fly to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand and Trat located on the Gulf of Thailand. In Cambodia, the codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways includes the destinations of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Austrian Airlines offers daily nonstop flight service to Bangkok.
Austrian Airlines has also expanded its existing codeshare agreement with StarAlliance partner Thai Airways to allow for more frequencies for destinations within Thailand.
Air France Introduces A New Sleep Suit
In the grand scheme of things this is about as unimportant an announcement as you can get…but some people seem to care so here it is……
La Première is the name Air France gives its First Class cabin and, from the photos I’ve seen, it looks pretty nice:
The airline is pretty keen on keeping its La Première product up to date and fresh (credit to them for that) and, in that vein, it refreshes the onboard “comfort kit” (amenity bag) and “sleep suit” (pajamas) every 6 months…..which is impressive because I know a lot of airline who seem to regurgitate the same things over and over a gain for years!
The new sleep suit is now out and looks like this….tah dah!!!!!
Air France has this to say about the new sleep suit:
Presented in an elegant new felt pouch, the unisex sleep suit in high quality cotton is subtly embroidered with the Air France seahorse motif. An elegant souvenir that passengers can take with them after their trip, it can easily be worn at home.
So there you have it. If you ever wondered what passengers in the First Class cabin get that you don’t there’s one of those things 🙂