---SINGAPORE ADDS 777s ON HONG KONG ROUTE -- Singapore Airlines is phasing out its 747s in favor of a service upgrade – with fewer seats -- on its San Francisco-Hong Kong-Singapore route, replacing the 747 with a Boeing 777-300ER on daily flights. And on the existing San Francisco/Seoul/Singapore route, Singapore is adding a second Boeing 777.
The new aircraft feature 278 seats, including eight 35-inch wide first class seats; 42 horizontal-flat business class seats and 228 seats in coach. With the switch to 777s, the routes will offer Singapore’s top-of-the-line in-flight entertainment amenities, including larger LCD monitors with an in-flight entertainment system that has more than 1,000 on-demand options; iPod and iPhone connectivity; Berlitz language courses and word processing software.
The 747s being phased out have 372 seats -- 12 in first class, 50 in business and 310 in coach.
Singapore’s passenger fleet consists of 101 passenger aircraft: 14 B747-400s, 76 B777s, five A340-500s, and six A380-800s.
---NEW PREMIUM LUFTHANSDA LOUNGE AT JFK -- Lufthansa opened its new lounge last week at Kennedy International Airport. At nearly 16,000 square feet, it’s about twice the size of the airline’s original JFK lounge, and features three levels, one for each of the airline’s premium segments. The $10 million upgrade is part of Lufthansa’s $200 million lounge-renovation program. The new facility is located directly behind security in Terminal 1.
---ANOTHER RESTAURANT CHAIN FOUNDERS -- ARG Enterprises Inc., which operates 69 Black Angus Steakhouse restaurants in seven states in the western U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing a business falloff in the economic slowdown. Among other casual-dining chains that have filed for bankruptcy in the last year are o file for protection in the last year, including Bennigan’s Steak and Ale restaurants and Buffet Holdings Inc.
---FOLIES FINI -- After a 49-year run, the Les Folies Bergere topless revue at the Tropicana in Las Vegas is closing March 28. The Parisian revue opened on Dec. 24, 1959, under entertainment director Lou Walters, the nightclub impresario and father of Barbara Walters.
---SAFETY AWARENESS -- Following up on the US Airways plane that ditched on the Hudson last week, with all 155 on board rescued, TripAdvisor.com says most passengers pay attention to safety instructions on planes. In a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. respondents, conducted from January 16 - January 20, 68 percent said they frequently pay attention to the in-flight safety presentation and 30 percent said they always do. Of the 32 percent who said they rarely or never pay attention to the in-flight safety presentation, 81 percent said it is because they already know it by heart. Twelve percent said they avoid booking an exit-row seat because they don't want the responsibility of opening the doors and assisting the crew in an emergency.