July 23, 2015

What would low cost international flight tickets and no jet lag mean for your future vacation planning ?

Other airlines have tried a low-fare approach on long-haul flights, with little success. But Bjorn Kjos, Norwegian’s ebullient chief executive, is confident that his unconventional approach will allow the airline to offer fares 50 percent cheaper than the competition’s.

Norwegian will more than double their fleet of 787 dreamliners from 2016 to 2018 and could increase it by 4 times. During an interview with The Wall Street Journal in July 2014, Bjørn Kjos hinted at wishes to buy 20 more Dreamliners of the 787-9 type, with deliveries from 2018, though the airline refuses to confirm this order plan.

Why does this matter ?

Boeing 787 Dreamliners have longer range and can connect secondary international airports like Oakland and Sweden directly with no transfers.

Direct flights to non-hub airports means existing airlines cannot block out the gates at the hubs.

The 787 flight is more comfortable

6,000 feet cabin means you feel better after the flight. I experienced virtually no jetlag on my international flight.

That’s the simulated elevation of the cabin of the 787 at cruise. That is 2,000 ft. lower than every other jetliner today. For the traveler, especially on long-haul flights, this will be transformative to how they feel when they get to their destination.

The proliferation of 787 Dreamliners and updated 777X that would transport the number of people that used to require a jumbo jet will enable airlines like Norwegian to have multiple flights per day on the same route. This will mean they can compete for the international business traveller. This will provide better economics for discount international carriers.

There could be triple the number of Dreamliners by 2020. Up from about 300 now to 900.

The longest-range 787 variant can fly 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,700 km), enough to cover the Los Angeles to Bangkok or New York City to Hong Kong routes.

In May 2015 Boeing announced it would convert the current 787 'surge' line at Everett by the end of 2015 into an early production line for the 777X with the first 777X expected to roll off that line in 2018. Design plans call for the 777X to feature cabin design details that were originally introduced on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These include larger windows than prior commercial aircraft, increased cabin pressure equivalent to 6,000 feet (1,800 m) altitude, higher ceilings, and more humidity. The 777-8X's length is between the 777-200ER and 777-300ER with seating for about 350 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a range of 9,300 nmi (17,200 km) or more. The 777-9X is a further stretched variant with seating for over 400 passengers in a three-class configuration and a range of more than 8,200 nmi (15,200 km). Boeing states that it will have "no competitor in its market segment". The 777-9X is to begin production in 2017 and enter service in 2020. Boeing has over 300 orders for the 777X.


What low costs and no jet lag for your future international vacation planning ?

If the cost of international flights drops to the $300 to $400 range instead of $700 to $1500 or more and better cabin air pressure means no jet lag, then shorter one week international vacations would open up as a far bigger market and more frequent option.

Combined with lower cost accommodations from Airbnb type companies. This would mean two people might fly internationally for one week for $1500 (flight and accommodations) instead of $4000-6000. A family of four might fly internationally (flight ad accommodations) for $2500 instead of $7000-10000.

Direct longer haul flights can reduce 4 or more hours from the total flight time each way. The 787 flies about 8-10% faster. However, the added range can eliminate 1-2 connections. Each connection can easily add 3-5 hours.

Jet Lag Reduction

There are steps to reducing jet lag and several are improved with better flights

1. Adjust your internal clock.
Several days (at least four) before departure, gradually shift your sleeping and eating times to coincide with those at your destination. Once you arrive, adopt the local time for your daily routine.

Longer range of the 787 and 777X will mean more direct flights and fewer connections. This means you will not have to get off and switch planes which take several hours and requires waiting in lines. It also means having to get ready to get off for an hour or so before landing at the connection

2. Opt for overnight flights.
You’ll have dinner at a normal time and be much more likely to sleep than on an afternoon flight. Depending on the length of the flight and the number of time zones you cross, you’ll arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon. This is the best way to replicate your normal schedule, and it’ll be easier for you to reset your clock.

3. Curtail coffee.

4. Stay hydrated.
Drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air—even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you wear contact lenses, clean them thoroughly before your flight, use eye drops in the air, and consider removing your lenses if you nap.

5. Avoid or limit alcohol inflight.
Cabin air dehydrates passengers, and altitude changes can quicken the effects of alcohol (the rule of thumb is one drink in the air is the same as two or three on the ground). A cocktail may relax you, but it's also apt to dry you out, and even worsen symptoms of jet lag.

The cabin air in the 787 and the 777x is more humid and the cabin is like being at 6000 feet instead of 8000.

6. Try to sleep on the plane.
This is especially important when you’re traveling overnight or flying west to east. Travel is extremely tiring, and the more rest your body gets en route the more prepared you’ll be to deal with the stresses of jet lag. If you’re taking a very long flight—United States to Asia, for example—consider saving up enough dollars or frequent-flier miles to fly business or first class, as it’s a lot easier to sleep when your seat reclines all the way back. If you can’t avoid coach, opt for a window seat and bring enough padding (pillows or something that can act as such) to prop yourself up against the wall.

Again direct flights allow for more rest on one flight

7. Use sleeping pills wisely.
A pill with a short cycle may be helpful on overnight flights. Make sure, however, that you time the dosage correctly or you may be very groggy when you land. Also, an airplane is not the place to try out a pill for the first time, so only take medications you are already familiar with.

8. See if melatonin is for you.
Consider taking the nonprescription drug melatonin. Research suggests that the body uses this hormone to set its time clock. Because melatonin seems to control when we go to sleep and when we wake up, a number of scientists advocate supplements to alleviate jet lag. Some (but not all) studies suggest that taking 3 milligrams of fast-release melatonin prior to bedtime for several days after arrival in a new time zone can ease the transition.

9. Get outside.
After arrival, spend a lot of time out in the sunlight, which will help your body reset its natural time clock to coincide with your new surroundings.

10. Don’t drift off too early.

SOURCEs -Wikipedia, Norwegian Air

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