United Expands Pacific Footprint with Four New Route Launches Next Week

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Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines will launch four new Pacific routes next week, beginning with nonstop service between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, and between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, on Oct. 26, 2014. Later in the week, the airline will also launch two new routes from its Guam hub – Seoul, South Korea, on Oct. 27 and Shanghai on Oct. 28.

“These four new routes further strengthen United’s presence in the Pacific, already the most extensive among U.S. airlines,” said Brian Znotins, United’s vice president of network. “New nonstop service to Melbourne and Haneda from our powerhouse West Coast hubs, and the additional new flights from our Guam hub to both Seoul and Shanghai, offer our customers convenience and schedule options that no other airline can offer.”

Los AngelesMelbourne, Australia

The airline will fly the Los Angeles Melbourne route six times weekly with the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be the carrier’s first international deployment of the aircraft type.

United has timed the new Melbourne flights to conveniently connect at Los Angeles with an extensive network of service throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. United and United Express jointly operate nearly 200 flights daily from Los Angeles to more than 65 destinations. With this new service, United will provide convenient one-stop service to Melbourne from more than 37 U.S. cities.

United started service to Australia in 1979 and today operates more flights to more destinations in Australia than any other U.S. carrier, with daily flights from its San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs to Sydney and Melbourne and twice-weekly service to Cairns from Guam.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions.

The 787-9’s extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8’s 8,200 – enables United to launch the Los Angeles-to-Melbourne service, which will be the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date.

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new Melbourne route will feature a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

San FranciscoTokyo/Haneda Airport

New daily flights between San Francisco and Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport complement United’s existing service between the hub and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. Flights from San Francisco to both Tokyo airports maximize choice and convenience for customers traveling from across the Americas to Tokyo, and to points beyond on United’s joint-venture partner ANA.

The flight schedules enable customers to use convenient public transportation between Haneda Airport and central Tokyo and Yokohama.

United also operates daily service to Tokyo/Narita from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, as well as from Honolulu.

United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. United’s San Francisco hub also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service than any airline hub in America. The company currently operates nearly 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to more than 20 international destinations.

Guam to Seoul, South Korea and Shanghai

In addition, United will launch two new routes from its Guam hub at A.P. Won Pat International Airport: daily service to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport beginning on Oct. 27, 2014, and twice-weekly service to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, the first nonstop service from Guam to mainland China, beginning on Oct. 28, 2014.

United has served Guam for more than 40 years, with United and United Express currently providing nonstop service from the hub to more than 17 destinations in the Asia/Pacific region.

Source: United Airlines.

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Celebrate Start of New Services

DELTA AIR LINES LOGO

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic this weekend are marking the launch of their new services between London-Heathrow and Los Angeles and London-Heathrow and Atlanta respectively.

The new routes are the first transfer of operations between the two airlines since the launch of their joint venture earlier this year and will offer more choice and flexibility for both airlines’ customers on these key routes across the Atlantic.

From Sunday, Delta will be flying nonstop from London to California for the first time with one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights previously operated by Virgin Atlantic. The route is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, is operating its first ever flights into the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, having taken over one of Delta’s three daily services, and is now able to offer more than 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers at Delta’s hub airport.

“We have a common goal to grow our joint venture network across the trans-Atlantic and provide customers with greater choice,” said Ed Bastian, President of Delta.  “With the Virgin Atlantic service to our hometown and Delta providing nonstop access between London and Los Angeles, this route harmonisation is a further demonstration of our strong partnership.”

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate their Los Angeles and Atlanta services at Heathrow Terminal 3. This co-location adds to the New York-JFK, Boston and Seattle joint venture flights, which already operate from Terminal 3. This provides convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for passengers of both airlines, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Clubhouse for all business class passengers. Both carriers also offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all business class flights between the U.K and U.S..

“Today marks another exciting step in our partnership with Delta Air Lines. It has been a busy first year for our joint venture and it is already delivering for our customers. From aligned schedules to reciprocal lounge access and the ability for frequent fliers to earn and burn across both carriers, we are showing how a partnership should be operated to benefit passengers,” said Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic. “Our new flights to Atlanta will give Virgin Atlantic’s customers unprecedented access to 160 points throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and we look forward to adding a second daily service from March 2015 to improve connection convenience even more.”

Virgin Atlantic expects to fly around 160,000 passengers annually to Atlanta and beyond on its new service providing convenient connections to Delta flights across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.  Virgin Atlantic has recently announced plans to add a second daily seasonal flight to Atlanta in summer 2015 as part of a package of investment into North American routes that will see the total number of peak day flights operated by the joint venture at 37 from March.

Delta is one of the largest airlines in California and from Los Angeles customers can transfer onto more than 40 destinations within the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. Delta’s additional flight complements its existing West Coast route between London Heathrow and Seattle, which launched in March this year.

Since the start of the Delta and Virgin Atlantic trans-Atlantic joint venture, 3.5 million passengers have experienced the benefits of the partnership. The two airlines also have a codeshare agreement in place, maximizing the customer appeal of the joint schedule.  The partnership enables the airlines to offer more flight choices for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic by improving their travel options.

Source: Delta Air Lines.

The Common Type Rating is approved for A350 XWB and A330 pilot training

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

Airlines and pilots will both benefit from the Common Type Rating pilot training on the A350 XWB and A330 jetliners, further extending Airbus’ concept of flight operational commonality between its fly-by-wire aircraft families.

The new regulatory approval means that pilots who are qualified and current on the A330 can already commence their preparations to take the A350 XWB’s controls by undergoing “differences training” only.

Enabling a significant reduction of costs for airlines, the differences training does not necessitate the use of a ground-based full-flight-simulator, and allows a 65 percent reduction in pilot training time – to only eight days – versus a standard transition course.  Additionally, it facilitates the creation of a pool of pilots who can fly both the A330 and A350 XWB in a single-fleet flying (SFF) concept for increased scheduling flexibility and mobility.

“This achievement is a fine example of our ability to combine innovation with commonality, and will be particularly valuable to airlines wishing to operate the A330 and A350 XWB in parallel,” explained Régine Vadrot, who leads the Training & Operational Certification team at Airbus. “The A350 XWB is a true member of the Airbus integrated family of aircraft.”

A notable factor in achieving the A350 XWB/A330 Common Type Rating is the similarity in handling qualities between the two fly-by-wire jetliners, as recently verified by pilots representing the European and U.S. civil aviation authorities who flew both aircraft.

As the latest Airbus widebody twin-engine jetliner, the A350 XWB is to set a new standard of comfort and efficiency in its class. With A350 XWB deliveries to begin before the end of 2014, an increasing number of pilots will be trained to fly the aircraft – many of whom are already approved to operate A330 jetliners.

The A330 remains a cornerstone in Airbus’ product line of twin-engine widebody aircraft, having logged more than 1,300 orders – with over 1,100 aircraft currently serving 100-plus operators worldwide.  Its attractiveness is being further enhanced by Airbus’ development of a new 242 tonne weight variant, as well as a version optimised for regional routes and the A330neo (new engine option) configuration that was launched in 2014.

Source: Airbus.

Modular Fly Away Kit for VVIP and Special Missions

Courtesy: Lufthansa Technik.

Courtesy: Lufthansa Technik.

Lufthansa Technik is introducing a new product, the Fly Away Kit, to the VVIP and Special Mission market. The Fly Away Kit is integrated in a modified LD9 Unit Load Device (ULD) and ensures the availability of important spare parts for aircraft operations by stowing them right on board.

For example, wheels, a mobile aircraft jack, essential spare parts or oil can be stored. Easily accessible in the aircraft’s cargo bay, technicians have the equipment, where it is needed. Based on the shadow-board principle like a toolbox, the VIP style Fly Away Kit is clearly organized.

Designed by Lufthansa Technik’s VIP & Executive Jet Solutions division the new product has already been ordered by a VVIP customer operating an Airbus 340 in Head of state configuration.

Walter Heerdt, Luftansa Technik’s Senior Vice President VIP & Executive Jet Solutions, said: “This new product gives our customers the independence to go to any remote airfield with a good feeling having the essential spares on-board. Especially in combination with our Mobile Aircraft Support teams or on-board technicians we can maximize the dispatched reliability for VIP operations.”

Building on Lufthansa Technik’s unique component support experience, the Fly Away Kit can be tailored for each customer’s specific needs, operation and mission. For example, the new Patient Transport Unit Next Generation (PTU NG) can be safely stowed in the ULD along with other emergency medical equipment. Special mission operators get the flexibility to store all the required equipment in this customizable standard container.

For the first time Lufthansa Technik  presents a 1:6 model of the Fly Away Kit and the on-board stowage solution of the Patient Transport Unit Next Generation (PTU NG) as one example of nearly endless stowage solutions at its booth (no.2289) at the NBAA Convention 2014 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

The modular concept of the on-board stowage solution allows individual stowages for every need and container type independent of wide- or narrowbody aircrafts. The size of a standard LD9 container is 1.6 m high, 3.2 m wide and 2.2 m deep.

Source: Lufthansa Technik.

Lufthansa Group flying to 260 destinations this winter

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The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and SWISS – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, 26 October 2014 to Saturday, 28 March 2015.

Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometres is increasing by 2.9 per cent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 per cent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa 

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This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From 26 October, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of 2 October, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday.

A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily non-stop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight.

Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.

SWISS

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In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, SWISS is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, SWISS is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra SWISS flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, SWISS is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.

Austrian Airlines 

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In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.

Brussels Airlines

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Courtesy: Brussels Airlines.

Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of 26 October. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015.

Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.

Germanwings

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In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on 8 January 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

SWISS Airbus A330-300 HB-JHK named ‘Herisau’

Courtesy: Swiss (Markus Guler).

Courtesy: Swiss (Markus Guler).

SWISS’s Airbus A330-300 with the registration HB-JHK was formally named ‘Herisau’ this morning. The ceremony at Zurich Airport bestowed the name of the capital of Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden in Eastern Switzerland on the aircraft, which was the fourteenth A330-300 to join the SWISS fleet. The naming was performed by Mayor Renzo Andreani and Swiss TV personality Paddy Kälin of Herisau, together with SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister. The aircraft, which had arrived from Delhi earlier in the morning, was given the name in a champagne ceremony and subsequently toured by the event’s invitees.

“Today’s aircraft naming is a special one,” said SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister at the event. “Herisau is the 26th Swiss cantonal capital to have its name carried by one of our advanced aircraft all over the world. And I am delighted that it’s Herisau and Appenzell Ausserrhoden, such bastions of traditional Swiss values, that should complete the Swiss cantons and cantonal capitals that we carry on board.” SWISS names its aircraft after Switzerland’s cantonal capitals, key tourist destinations and local airport municipalities.

Herisau Mayor Renzo Andreani was equally enthusiastic. “‘Our’ A330 is sure to fly over Herisau from time to time,” he explained. “But I hope that many of its inflight guests don’t just see our town from the air, but also come in person to enjoy our extensive cultural attractions and our beautiful local scenery.” As a small sample of the ‘Appenzellerland’, Mayor Andreani presented Harry Hohmeister with a large Appenzeller Biberli – a local gingerbread speciality – featuring an Airbus picture decoration.

Immediately after the ceremony HB-JHK ‘Herisau’ departed again for Delhi at around 12:45. The aircraft is one of fourteen Airbus A330-300s in the Swiss International Air Lines fleet. The A330-300 is 63.7 metres long and 16.8 metres high, and has a wingspan of 60.3 metres. It seats 236 passengers and offers an advanced cabin product in all three seating classes. With their maximum range of 8,400 kilometres, ‘Herisau’ and its sister A330s are deployed on the SWISS long-haul network, serving such destinations as Dubai, New York, Montreal, Delhi and Nairobi.

Source: Swiss.

 

Qantas unveils new A330 Business Suites with world-first seat recline from take off to landing

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.

Designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of Qantas’ A330 aircraft, offering the world’s first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing.* The Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.

The Vantage XL seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, was developed and customised extensively by Qantas after ergonomic trials and inflight monitoring with a panel of experts and ongoing feedback from customers.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the airline was excited to unveil the Business Suite, which would redefine the inflight experience for customers travelling on more than 15 international and domestic routes.

“We believe this product will deliver the best travel experience between Australia and Asia, and probably the best domestic travel experience anywhere in the world. We can’t wait for our customers to experience it for themselves,” said Mr Joyce.

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“We’ve listened to what matters most to our customers and done extensive ergonomic trials to deliver the highest levels of comfort, privacy and intuitive design.

“There’s enough space to eat while continuing to work, which is something our business customers said was very important to them, and plenty of storage room to keep the range of electronic devices that people now travel with.

“A key point of difference from all other carriers is that the seat can be in recline and fitted with the mattress from take-off right through to landing. With many Business passengers enjoying a meal in the lounge prior to travelling, this means more time to rest and sleep,” he added.

Qantas Creative Designer, Marc Newson, said that intelligent design and functionality were the guiding principles behind the new A330 Business Suites.

“The design was based on a real understanding of what Qantas customers needed on longer domestic flights and overnight international flights from Asia, with practicality, comfort, privacy and style in mind to create a relaxing environment to work, dine or sleep,” said Mr Newson.

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The Economy cabins on all international A330s will be fitted with a next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat, an earlier version of which has been extremely popular with Qantas customers on the A380 and refurbished B747 aircraft. Economy seats on the A330-200s for Qantas Domestic will also be refreshed.

Customers in both cabins on the international A330 aircraft will be able to enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, with larger seatback touchscreens in addition to Q Streaming technology, enabling them to stream content from an extensive entertainment library directly to their own devices.

Domestic Business Class customers on A330 aircraft will also enjoy the same Panasonic eX3 system, while Economy customers will have an individual inflight entertainment experience through either seatback touchscreens or devices provided by Qantas in every seat.

The work to refresh the aircraft interiors – which will take about one month for each – will start at Qantas’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month. The first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December from the east coast to Perth, and the first international A330 will commence flying in January 2015.

Qantas yesterday announced the construction of a new Domestic Business Lounge in Perth due to open in the third quarter of 2015, which combined with the A330s will set a new benchmark in domestic travel for customers travelling from Perth, both on the ground and in the air.

International and domestic routes currently serviced by Qantas A330s^:

  • Sydney-Melbourne
  • Sydney-Brisbane
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong
  • Sydney-Bangkok
  • Sydney-Jakarta
  • Sydney-Manila
  • Sydney-Honolulu
  • Sydney-Shanghai

*: Subject to final CASA certification.

^: Business Suites and Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems to be progressively introduced on A330 aircraft from December 2014.

Source: Qantas.