The move by airlines to adopt 10 -breast seating on Boeing 777s is gaining momentum with British Airways the latest to announce higher density aircraft that will pack in an additional 52 seats.BA is planning to introduce 10-across seating in 2018, a move that will provide passengers with narrower seats and potentially place further strain on toilet facilities.The airline will increase its economy seating on its London-Gatwick-based from 216 to 252 seats on 25 777s as it trims back the business seating by eight to 32 and doubles premium economy to 48.But it will introduce new entertainment systems with bigger screens to help distract passengers from their tight accommodations. The chief executive of BA parent company IAG, Willie Walsh, told investors the move would allow BA to lower the average cost per seat, “charge a lower price and stimulate demand”.A BA spokesman told The Telegraph newspaper that the airline was flying more customers to an expanding network of destinations.”To meet this demand, we are updating our 777 cabins to bring us into line with many of our competitors and allow us to offer even more low fares,” he said. BA is not alone in it move to introduce the more cramped configuration. Cathay Pacific announced earlier this year that it would make a similar move and airlines that already have it include Air Canada, Emirates, Etihad, Air New Zealand, KLM and American Airlines. At this stage, it still operates nine-across seating along with carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines.The denser seating is the flip side to the cheap fares consumers are enjoying in many markets. Carriers move to reduce the cost of flying each economy seat by either reducing the seat pitch, essentially the distance between seats, or by adding an extra seat to each row. BA is planning to do this on its Heathrow-based Airbus narrow-body aircraft over the coming months by increasing A320 seating from 168 to 180 and A321 seating from 205 to 218.Seat designers have attempted to offset the reduction in seat pitch by designing slimline seats that are scalloped to maximise leg room and which have seat pans that move forward when the seat is reclined.They are also reducing the width of seats to accommodate the move from the nine-across seating airlines originally adopted for the B777 to the 10-across configuration. A similar situation has occurred with nine -across seating on the Boeing 787, which was designed with an eight-abreast configuration in mind. BA was forced to widen seats on its 787-9s by half an inch after narrower seats on its 787-8s drew complants .On a separate issue, Mr Walsh told the World Travel Market in London that alliances such as oneworld and Star added value today but he was doubtful would exist in 10 years.“I think relationships have changed and you are seeing more deals such as joint ventures. If you go back to my time at Aer Lingus, I didn’t actually take them out of oneworld but I prepared the groundwork for it,’’ website buyingbusinesstravel reported.“What you’ve got to recognise is there’s a cost of being a member and for a small airline that cost can be greater than the revenue and commercial benefit you gain from being in an alliance.”
11 September 2009The world’s number one tennis player, Roger Federer, says he is excited about the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The Swiss ace, whose mother is South African, holds a South African passport.Federer, who has won more Grand Slam singles titles than anyone in history, is hoping Switzerland make it to the finals in South Africa.“I think it’s wonderful that South Africa got the World Cup, first of all,” he said this week. “I remember seeing them win the World Cup for rugby [in 1995]. It was a great thing for the nation, as well.“Of course, I hope that Switzerland is going to be there too, so I can support Switzerland and South Africa, too.”Switzerland, currently 15th in Fifa’s world rankings, are in a strong position to qualify for the World Cup finals. They’re top of European qualifying Group Two, with two matches still to go.They’re on 17 points, three points clear of Greece and Latvia, and with a better goal difference than those two teams.The Swiss complete their World Cup qualifying campaign with a visit to lowly Luxembourg, which has only five points from eight matches, on 10 October, followed by a tough contest against Israel on 14 October. That match takes place on home soil in Basel.Federer takes an active interest in happenings in South Africa, and the Roger Federer Foundation operates in the country with IMBEWU, a non-profit NGO which initiates and co-ordinates sustainable participative projects in the Eastern Cape province.IMBEWU is composed of two independent but complementary organizations: IMBEWU South Africa, based in New Brighton Township in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth), plans and implements programmes at a field level.IMBEWU-Suisse, based in Neuchatel, Switzerland, supports its South African sister organisation financially and encourages global exchanges.Federer says the foundation is close to his heart, and he wishes he had more time to be involved with it. But, he says, when his playing career is over, there will be plenty of time to be more hands-on.Federer is currently in action at the US Open in New York, where he has reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for a record 22nd time in succession. He is aiming to win his third Grand Slam title of the year, after victories at the French Open and Wimbledon.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring his goal for Manchester UnitedManchester United made an impressive debut under coach Louis van Gaal on Wednesday night, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice late in the first half of a 7-0 friendly victory over the LA Galaxy.Ashley Young and defender Reece James scored two second-half goals each as United opened its summer tour with a surprisingly polished win.Van Gaal doesn’t subscribe to the notion that such a friendly is meaningless, not when United have so much work to do this summer.”I think always the results do matter,” Van Gaal said. “With such a result, you get confidence, and also confidence in a new system. The boys are willing to pick up all the info. We have given a lot of info, but it’s fantastic how they performed today.”Van Gaal’s revealed a system similar to the attack of his Dutch World Cup team. The tactics might be unfamiliar to United fans, but they worked splendidly in a stunning start.”When you see us train, you can expect something, but not 7-0,” Van Gaal said. “That for me was a surprise, and there were some beautiful goals. They scored out of some good attacks.”Danny Welbeck scored the first goal for Van Gaal, who has had limited work with his new club after leading the Netherlands to a third-place finish in Brazil earlier this month. United still outclassed the Galaxy in the friendly between two of David Beckham’s former clubs.Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera also made their debuts while United won by a familiar American football score at the Rose Bowl, the venerable college football stadium.advertisementVan Gaal was hired to repair the 20-time English champions after David Moyes’ poor tenure. United finished seventh in Moyes’ only season as Alex Ferguson’s replacement after 26 years, failing even to qualify for the Europa League.Rooney wasn’t United’s captain, ceding the job to Darren Fletcher, but the England star easily handled his scoring chances. James wasn’t even listed on United’s 25-man squad, but the 20-year-old defender provided two outstanding finishes against the Galaxy’s ragged defense.”I have nothing but respect for the show that Man United put on,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Getting punished for mistakes and really getting a lesson on the speed of play, we can actually use it as a positive for them.”Herrera, the Spanish midfielder acquired from Athletic Bilbao last month, looked sharp throughout the night. United scored its first goal under Van Gaal when Juan Mata set up Welbeck in the 13th minute for a low 25-yard shot off Jaime Penedo’s post.After AJ De La Garza was penalized for a handball in the 42nd minute, Rooney easily buried the kick even though Penedo guessed correctly. Four minutes later, Welbeck’s centering pass went through the legs of Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer, who crumpled to the ground as Rooney walked the ball into Penedo’s net.James put a sharp side-footed finish on a pass from Young for United’s fourth goal in the 62nd minute. He then scored from distance on a deflection in the 82nd minute before Young capitalized on defensive blunders for two late goals.United’s tour continues Saturday in Denver against Roma, followed by matches with Inter Milan in Washington on Tuesday and Real Madrid in Michigan on August 2.