Category: New Business

Doors, wireless charging and 4K video: A first look at Air France’s new Boeing 777 business class

If you’re flying between New York and Paris on Air France in the not-too-distant future, you could be in for a big upgrade.

The French flag carrier is soon set to roll out an updated cabin configuration on 12 of its Boeing 777-300ERs — the largest planes in its fleet. These 12 aircraft will feature a much-enhanced product across all three of its classes: Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class.

The new business-class seats, from French manufacturer Safran, aren’t revolutionary (we’re not talking about Qatar Qsuite here). However, they are the best Air France has ever offered and will be a highly competitive “hard product” for North Atlantic crossings. So far, Air France has announced only New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) as a route for this configuration, but the carrier promises more city pairs to come.

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If you’re not lucky enough to snag one of the 48 reverse herringbone seats that are all angled toward the window, you can still enjoy an upgraded Premium Economy cabin. It’s using the same seat that are on Air France’s Airbus A350s,

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Air New Zealand’s Subpar 787 Business Class

To finish off my review trip, I flew Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 business class from Auckland (AKL) to Los Angeles (LAX), which I managed to book using Virgin Atlantic points. The experience was not great, which is kind of what I was expecting.

Air New Zealand’s business class hard product is bad

Air New Zealand has first generation herringbone seats in business class, which are oh-so-outdated. These seats all face the aisle, and really provide no privacy.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 business class cabin
Air New Zealand Boeing 787 business class cabin

This flight was really a reminder of how far business class seats have otherwise come, and also of how I’m getting old(er). These seats were great in the early 2000s when other airlines primarily had angled seats on long haul flights, but nowadays these seats are simply uncompetitive.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 business class seats

The seats have virtually no storage, it’s so easy to accidentally knock things over, so many of the seat controls are poorly positioned, you’ll pull some muscles you didn’t know you had while trying to look out the window or plug something into an outlet, etc. Never mind that you

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Madison Co. celebrates new business’s move, former Honeywells building

Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson cuts the ribbon at a ceremony celebrating the business' move to Madison County.

MARS HILL – After Honeywell vacated its Micro Switch building in Mars Hill in 2012, the 110,000-square-foot building has been largely underutilized.

That all changed when Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson acquired the building last fall. On Sept. 24, county government officials celebrated the business moving to Madison with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility, located on Hickory Drive near the university’s athletic complex.

Spark Robotic specializes in computerized numerical control machines, including plasma cutting tables and router tables.

Development Services Director Brad Guth welcomed the ceremony, which included members of the county commission and Mars Hill town board.

“We’re really excited to be here at Spark Robotic, and all the other businesses that are here in the former Micro Switch building,” Guth said.

Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson bought the manufacturing complex located at 400 Hickory Drive in Mars Hill in October 2021.

“On behalf of Madison County government, we’re just very pleased to have everybody here this afternoon,” Interim County Manager Norris Gentry said. “I must say that we’re very happy to have someone relocated from Buncombe County to Madison County to find your happy place.”

Spark Robotic owner Frank Johnson said he purchased the building in October 2021, though the company operated in its Woodfin location until moving full-time to the Mars Hill complex in spring 2022.

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The NACD updates its framework for corporate boards

With stock market gyrations, inflationrising interest rateswar in Ukraine, divisive politics, and climate change making business survival ever-more challenging, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has picked an opportunity time to update its user manual forboard members.

The last time the membership group had issued a set of principles about the role and responsibilities of boards was in 2011, when corporate leaders were still reckoning with the global financial crisis. A new business ethic was growing, from b-corps to conscious capitalism, but it was far from mainstream. The end game was still focused on the shareholder—a.k.a. the stock price—full stops. Boards loaded up CEOs with stock options and equivalents with the idea of ​​“pay for performance” ringing in their ears.

The rules are beginning to change, though.

A dynamic environment of social media, systemic risks, and deep uncertainty about the future has underscored the need for a different kind of leadership, new ways of governing, and standards for conducting business that speak to a wider set of stakeholders.

As director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program for the past 25 years, I was honored to participate in the process that led to

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Locals discuss concerns over new business park currently under construction


People of Washington Bottom came together Saturday afternoon to discuss concerns over a 29-acre business park currently under construction in their neighborhoods

The Saturday meeting was a chance for the Washington Bottom community to come together and discuss the construction of PMCompany’s business park.

Jeff Simmons is a member of a concerned citizens group actively trying to stop the construction of the business park. Simmons said the goal was to talk about the concerns they’re feeling… and to brainstorm ideas on how to stop the construction.

“We’re looking at every kind of possible option to preserve or community. This is a peaceful place.”

We spoke to the Real Estate Director for the PM Company, Jared Decker, earlier in the week.

Decker responded to concerns of the construction by saying the company is playing by the rules.

“If people have questions as to whether or not we are abiding by the rules. They should call law enforcement or their elected officials and send inspectors to our site. We have an open-door policy.”

Simmons said he’s not going to stop fighting until the last nail is in.

“Some people are willing to give up too easily, I

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