June 20, 2014 6:35 pm

Latest news from Qantas, Gotthard Base Tunnel and BA

Cod tacos, chicken wings and mid-century US furniture in LAX business class lounge
Qantas’s new LA lounge

Qantas’s new LA lounge

Los Angeles Qantas have opened a new business class lounge at Los Angeles International designed “to reflect the culture of California”. As well as regular lounge facilities such as showers and workstations, it features mid-century US furniture and, drawing on the city’s thriving “food-truck” scene, offers dishes such as cod tacos and chicken wings served from carts. Most eye-catching is the designers’ interpretation of a beachside fire pit – a large circular fireplace, with an artificial fire that emits vapour to mimic smoke, around which passengers can “relax and socialise”. qantas.com

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Switzerland The first phase of test runs in the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest rail tunnel, have been successfully completed, with trains reaching 220km/h on a 13km section. Tests over the tunnel’s full 57km are now scheduled for next year, with completion due in June 2016. alptransit.ch

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London British Airways has unveiled new cabin interiors which will be fitted to 95 of its 128-strong short-haul fleet. The new charcoal-grey leather seats are ergonomically designed, with chair backs that offer more knee space to the passenger behind, moveable headrests and, instead of leg-level stowage pockets, an eye-level magazine rack from which tablets can be hung. The seats offer benefits to the airline as well as passengers: they are slimmer and lighter, allowing an extra row of seats in A320 aircraft while maintaining the same “pitch” (or distance between seats) in economy. This results in a five per cent fuel saving (per passenger/km). Business class seat pitch will be cut to the same as economy, but the middle seat will be blocked off, giving a two-by-two configuration. ba.com

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