Rolls-Royce celebrates first run of Trent 7000 demonstrator engine

Courtesy: Rolls-Royce.

Courtesy: Rolls-Royce.

A Trent 7000 demonstrator engine has run for the first time, marking another programme milestone for the latest member of the Rolls-Royce Trent family.

The demonstrator, which will prove the key technical features of the engine, successfully completed an initial power run, on schedule, on a test bed in Derby, UK.

The Trent 7000, the exclusive power plant for the Airbus A330neo, is the seventh member of the Trent family which has become the engine of choice in the wide body market over the last 20 years. The Trent 7000 is scheduled to enter service in 2017.

Chris Davie, Rolls-Royce, Trent 7000 Programme Director – Civil Large Engines said: “This is a great moment for everyone at Rolls-Royce – we have achieved an important programme milestone on the journey to deliver our latest Trent engine. We are working closely with Airbus to ensure the Trent 7000 brings a step change in performance and economics.”

The Trent 7000 brings together:

  • Experience from the Trent 700 – the engine of choice for the current A330
  • Architecture from the Trent 1000 TEN – the latest version of the Trent 1000 engine
  • Latest technology from the Trent XWB – the world’s most efficient large civil engine

The 68-72,000lb thrust Trent 7000 will deliver significant performance benefits compared to the current version of the Trent 700. It will improve specific fuel consumption by ten per cent; have twice the bypass ratio; and will halve noise.

The Trent 7000 was selected by Airbus for the A330neo aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2014.

Source: Rolls-Royce.

Star Alliance launches fresh look for website

Courtesy: Star Alliance.

Courtesy: Star Alliance.

Star Alliance, the way the Earth connects, has redesigned its website to offer a fresh, modern look and user friendly experience across both desktop and mobile devices, complementing the individual websites of its member airlines.

Upgrades to its iPad and Android apps to improve usability and add new features will also be available shortly, as part of a wider initiative to meet the needs of today`s travellers for information at their fingertips.

The site adopts bold visual design throughout as well as mobile-friendly navigational principles that allow it to be accessed easily on any size of screen. Its information and content is targeted to the audience of Alliance travellers, who regularly fly on more than one of the Alliance’s 28 member airlines.

“We have responded to the fact that more and more customers want to have the latest information at their fingertips, wherever they are,” said Star Alliance’s Vice President for Customer Experience and Information Technology Justin Erbacci. “The new site allows us to bring more tailored information to Alliance customers, so extending and complementing the information offered by each of our member airline’s own web presence.”

The website is a one-stop shop for access to information about the whole of the Star Alliance network, the benefits offered to its frequent flyers, and about Star Alliance products for both leisure and business travel. In many cases, the site offers links to a member airline website for deeper research.

Selecting “flight search” allows the visitor to scan the schedules of all 28 member airlines, serving over 1,300 airports worldwide, to find connections that best meet their travel needs. Once the right connection has been identified, a link is offered to the relevant airline website for booking.

The home page also offers a link to “flight status” – offering up to the minute information on the status of over 18,500 daily flights worldwide.

Customers who are travelling in First Class or Business Class, or those who have earned Star Alliance Gold status, can search a database of over 1,000 lounges globally. The site also offers basic information on destination airports, with more details, including Star Alliance specific maps, available for the Alliance’s biggest hubs.

At appropriate moments during a site visit, the visitor is prompted to share location details and other information that allows site personalisation, particularly when the customer is at an airport and travelling on the same day.  Holders of Gold and Silver Star Alliance status are “recognised” with an enhanced visual experience.

The upgraded iPad app will enhance the original “globe” design on its homepage so that a swipe now opens an airport search feature. Once any of the 1,330 airports on the Star Alliance network is entered, the destination is plotted on the globe and supporting information displayed, such as weather, Star Alliance member airlines that fly there and other airport details.

New “info cards” on the home page contain App tips and current news while the Network screen now includes Star Alliance statistics and interactive capabilities that open up member airline information when you tap on the airline`s logo.

In the Android app, the section on the benefits offered to holders of Star Alliance Gold and Silver status has been completely redesigned to offer a cleaner and crisper interface, with a more user friendly display and interaction. Both new versions will be available for download shortly.

The new website and app upgrades are among a series of projects on the Star Alliance roadmap that will improve and modernise the travel experience, aimed particularly at regular Alliance travellers. This includes initiatives such as Gold Track, which offers access to a priority security lane for member airline customers holding Star Alliance Gold status or flying in First Class or Business Class. Gold Track is currently available at over 60 airports worldwide and new destinations will be added steadily in coming months.

Source: Star Alliance.

Austrian Airlines sells its entire Fokker fleet to Alliance Aviation of Australia

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines Group.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines Group.

Austrian Airlines has concluded an agreement with the Australian leading provider of fly-in, fly-out transportation, Alliance Aviation Services Limited, to sell its entire fleet of Fokker aircraft. The Austrian Airlines Fokker fleet consists of 15 Fokker 100 and six Fokker 70 planes, a total of 21 aircraft. The sale of the Fokker aircraft will rejuvenate the mediumhaul fleet of Austrian Airlines. The Fokker aircraft will be replaced step by step as of January 2016 by nearly-new Embraer 195 jets.

The purchase price for the Fokker aircraft is USD 15 million, and will comprise an issue of new shares in Alliance and a cash component. Austrian Airlines will gradually terminate its use of the Fokker jets and deliver them to Alliance Aviation in the period December 2015 to December 2017. Deployment of the Embraer aircraft will take place simultaneously. The Embraer jets currently have an average age of four years (built 2009-2012), compared to the average age of about 21 years of the Fokker fleet. “The replacement of the Fokker fleet with Embraer aircraft will serve to significantly rejuvenate our fleet and offer Austrian Airlines better unit costs”, explains Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky.

Alliance Aviation has a fleet of 15 Fokker 100 and eight Fokker 70 jet planes, and says it is the largest global operator of these types of aircraft. The company operates bases in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland. For many years it has been a customer of Austrian Technik Bratislava, which specializes in the repair and maintenance of Fokker aircraft. A long-term service agreement between Alliance Aviation and Austrian Technik Bratislava was just concluded in the spring of 2015.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Airbus A320neo receives joint EASA and FAA Type Certification

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The world’s best-selling single aisle aircraft, the A320neo, has received joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on 24th November 2015. The certified aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1100G-JM engines.

The EASA A320neo type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Certification Director Trevor Woods and the FAA A320neo Type Certificate by Jeffrey Duven, FAA Manager of Transport Airplane Directorate – Aircraft Certification Service. The Type Certificates were handed over to Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion and Airbus A320neo Chief Engineer Pierre-Henri Brousse.

“This double seal of approval represents a great achievement for Airbus. It recognizes the hard work performed by all the teams at Airbus and Pratt & Whitney. It demonstrates the A320neo is meeting all requirements,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A320neo is now cleared for its first delivery and ready to offer many airlines its winning combination of unbeatable economics and outstanding cabin comfort.”

The A320neo successfully completed a rigorous programme of certification which tested its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure the aircraft successfully met all airworthiness criteria.

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The three flight test aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines successfully accumulated over 1,070 flight hours in some 350 flights. Of these 1,070 flight test hours, 300 were completed with the same aircraft in an airline like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service.

The A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines is the first variant in the NEO Family to receive Type Certification. The A320neo with CFM engines will be certified in the coming months, the A321neo and A319neo in both engines variants will follow.

The A320neo Family incorporates latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, which together deliver more than 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 percent by 2020 with further cabin innovations. Launched on 1st December 2010, the A320neo offers airlines an engine choice between the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1100G-JM and the CFM International LEAP 1A engines. With more than 4,300 orders received from over 75 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.

Source: Airbus.

Austrian Airlines launches flight service to Isfahan

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines / Michele Pauty.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines / Michele Pauty.

Austrian Airlines will increase its flight offering to Iran starting with the summer flight schedule 2016. As of Monday April 4, 2016, Austria’s national carrier will operate four weekly flights to the Iranian trading city Isfahan. In addition to the existing flight service to Teheran, Austrian Airlines is thus further expanding its route portfolio to Iranian destinations, and will offer up to 18 direct flights each week to Iran in the future.

“After 30 years a new bilateral air transport agreement between Austria and Iran was concluded in October 2015. It serves as the basis for expanding our overall flight offering to Iran”, comments Andreas Otto, CCO of Austrian Airlines. “We recently added one additional daily flight to Teheran in the upcoming summer season. Thanks to our new flights to Isfahan, we offer the business community a further direct flight connection as the basis for expanding trade ties between the two countries”, CCO Otto adds.


Isfahan ranks as one of the most important commercial centers in Iran next to Teheran. Austrian Airlines will operate four weekly flights to this university town in Central Iran starting on April 4, 2016. Flight service will be offered throughout the entire year on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays deploying an Airbus A319. The flight duration from Vienna to Isfahan amounts to 4 hours 40 minutes.

Route Flight Number Flight Days Departure – Arrival (local times)
Vienna – Isfahan OS 875 Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 8:45 p.m. – 3:55 a.m. (+1)
Isfahan – Vienna OS 876 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 5:50 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

United Airlines to bring customers coffee’s “Gold Standard” with illy Premium Blend

Courtesy: United Airlines.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines and illycaffe are creating a new alliance that will offer the Italian company’s delicious premium blend to delight customers on board and in United Club locations worldwide.

Beginning next month, United will offer illy’s signature scuro dark roast and the coffee company’s espresso in United Club locations at the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs. Other lounge locations will offer illy in 2016, with the scuro dark roast coming to flights worldwide next summer.

Not Just a Cup of Coffee

Chosen after extensive testing with United customers and employees – including in-flight taste tests – illy reflects the airline’s global network as well as United’s commitment to creating an elevated, distinctive premium experience for its customers.

Based in Trieste, Italy, with more than 80 years of history in the coffee industry, illy’s distinct flavor comes from a unique blend of the top one percent of Arabica beans, purchased directly from the best growers in Brazil, Central America,India and Africa.

Noted for its strong commitment to sustainability, illy’s internationally certified supply chain includes farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality standards – enabling the company to offer world-class blends.

A recent Wine Spectator magazine article praised the coffee, saying it “has become a gold standard in high-end restaurants and five-star hotels around the world.”

“Our collaboration with illy is helping to make the world feel a bit smaller and making flying that much more special, simply by way of a perfect cup of coffee,” said Jimmy Samartzis, United’s vice president of food services and United Clubs. “By serving the world’s most well-known premium coffee in our clubs and on board, we are communicating an experience to our customers and our employees with the quality and care that comes with every cup.”

“It’s truly an honor for illy to be selected as the worldwide coffee partner for United Airlines. The process and final decision to choose illy demonstrates United’s deep commitment to providing its customers the highest quality products and experiences,” said Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffe s.p.a. “Our new relationship with United Airlines is also a testament to our passion for the best and recognition that the illy brand is the world’s reference for coffee culture and excellence.”

Illy will be complimentary on every flight and when offered in United’s lounges.

Source: United Airlines.

Boeing, EVA Airways finalize Taiwan’s largest ever commercial airplane purchase

Courtesy: Boeing.

Courtesy: Boeing.

Boeing and EVA Airways today finalized a historic order for up to 24 787-10 Dreamliners and two 777-300ER (Extended Range) jetliners. The order, valued at more than $8 billion at current list prices, marks the largest single commercial airplane purchase in Taiwan aviation.

“EVA participated in development of the Boeing 777-300ER and became a launch customer in 2005,” said EVA President Austin Cheng. “From that first delivery through today, we operate 22 of these high-performance long-haul aircraft. We believe the future of the airline industry will be built on fuel efficiency and cabin comfort. The new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner’s high fuel efficiency and long-range flying capabilities meets these requirements and our operational needs. These planes will support our growth well into the future.”

EVA Airways becomes the newest Dreamliner customer and will join the 787-10 launch customer team as one of the first airlines in the world to introduce the newest member of the 787 Dreamliner family.

“We are honored to welcome EVA Airways as Boeing’s newest member of the 787-10 Dreamliner launch customer group,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “For many years, EVA Air has been pushing the boundaries of aviation. Ten years ago, EVA was a launch customer for the 777-300ER. With today’s order, Boeing is proud to continue playing an integral role in revolutionizing Taiwan’s aviation history as EVA becomes one of the first customers around the world to operate the 787-10.”

EVA Airways continues to modernize its long-haul fleet to replace aging aircraft and plans to grow its fleet to more than 100 units by 2020. These new 787-10 Dreamliners will allow the airline to expand into new markets. They will be deployed on medium-range and long-haul flights and will be operated in tandem with the 777-300ERs to form the backbone of EVA Airways’ fleet.

EVA Airways currently operates more than 40 Boeing airplanes and with today’s order, the airline’s backlog will increase to 37 airplanes, which includes fourteen 777-300ERs, five 777 Freighters and eighteen 787-10s.

EVA Airways’ 777-300ER fleet continues to grow and the carrier is the world’s eighth largest 777-300ER operator in the world and fourth largest in Asia.

The 787-10 will be the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, robust range and passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement EVA’s Boeing widebody fleet while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics.

The 787-10 will be 25 percent better in fuel and emissions than the airplanes it replaces and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.

Source: Boeing.