Austrian Airlines – From Now On: Internet on short and medium-haul flights

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines launches Internet on board in real time operation. Two aircraft are “online” effective immediately, and starting tomorrow another 10 jets will be added. All 31 Airbus aircraft of the Austrian Airlines fleet have already been technically converted to enable Internet use, and will be successively “activated” in the current month of May 2017. Accordingly, passengers will also be able to use the Internet on short-haul and medium-haul flights as they fly above the clouds, and choose one of three different Internet rates: FlyNet Message for three euros, FlyNet Surf for seven euros and FlyNet Stream for twelve euros for each leg of the journey. FlyNet Message only allows for use of messaging services such as e-mail, WhatsApp or iMessage, whereas passengers can also surf on the Internet with the FlyNet Surf option. Streaming is possible with the FlyNet Stream tariff. All three packages can be billed via credit card or the payment service PayPal.

“We have thoroughly tested the new technology in recent months on five Airbus jets and 3,000 flights. Now I am pleased to be able to offer Internet above the clouds”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

The offering of Austrian Airlines and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the most advanced broadband satellite technology Ka band). This ensures reliable Internet coverage on short-haul and medium-haul flights on the basis of the Inmarsat network Global Xpress (GX). Deutsche Telekom serves as the Internet service provider and partner of Inmarsat.

Digital entertainment program as of the summer of 2017

At present Austrian Airlines is working on a new, digital entertainment program. This is expected to come on stream and be made available to passengers via the WLAN network starting in the summer of 2017. This means that passengers with a FlyNet Surf or FlyNet Stream package will be able to use their mobile devices to access an entertainment program consisting of films and series. In line with passenger requests, it is still not allowed to make telephone calls on board Austrian Airlines flights.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

The Airbus A319neo takes to the skies

Courtesy: Airbus.

The first Airbus A319neo performed its maiden flight today (March 31th, 2017), The smallest member of the A320neo Family, powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines took off from Hamburg and landed in Toulouse after a 5 hour flight.

It was piloted by Experimental test pilots Michel Gagneux and Eckard Hausser. They were assisted in the cockpit by Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin, while two flight test engineers Sylvie Loisel-Labaste and David O’nions directed the flight from the aircraft’s Test Engineer station.

This flight was the occasion for the crew to assess the general handling of the aircraft and to check the main systems. The A319neo, registered as D-AVWA, will be based in Toulouse in order to complete its flight test programme.

The A320neo Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with over 5,000 orders received from over 90 customers, capturing almost 60 percent share of the market. 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.

Thanks to their widest cabin, all members of the A320neo Family offer unmatched comfort in all classes and Airbus’ 18” wide seats in economy as standard.

With one aircraft in three sizes (A319neo, A320neo & A321neo), the A320neo Family, seating from 100 to 240 passengers, seamlessly covers the entire single-aisle segment from low to high-density domestic to longer range routes.

The A319neo is the smallest member of the A320neo Family; it offers its operators superior short field performance in hot and high conditions. It can accommodate up to 160 passengers without compromise on the comfort.

Source: Airbus.

Airbus: Clean Sky marks progress toward a “greener” air transport industry

Courtesy: Airbus.

The first eight-year phase of the European Union’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative – which targets significant reductions in noise, CO2 and NOX emissions for air transportation – came to an end last year.

Included in this activity was the flight testing of a more “green” electrical environmental control system on Airbus’ in-house A320 testbed aircraft, while a new high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical network underwent ground testing.

“Phase One gave us an opportunity to investigate solutions in depth,” said Michel Guigou, head of Overall Systems Design (OSD) for Airbus Commercial Aircraft’s Research and Technology team. “Together with Liebherr and GKN, we considered the best use of energy aboard aircraft, typically electrical technologies.” Using electricity for the onboard environmental control system reduces fuel consumption as well as emissions when compared to the traditional method – which draws air from the aircraft’s jet engines.

Clean Sky’s first phase also provided the opportunity to further explore HVDC electrical networks that are lighter and less complex than the A/C (alternating current) technology now used on aircraft. “Better architecture and technologies mean we can expect a competitive solution to be ready by 2025,” added Airbus electrical power engineer Gaetan Bisson.

Additionally, research into noise reduction technologies for flight paths flown during airport approaches and departures was conducted in conjunction with Thales – evaluating systems to optimally manage the flight phase or trajectory, thereby reducing aircraft operational noise.

Source: Airbus.

Surfing above the clouds: Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines going online on short haul and mid-range flights too

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Send emails from a height of 10,000 meters, do your online shopping while soaring over the Alps, stream videos above the clouds – and all of that with broadband quality. Soon, passengers of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be able to go online on shorter journeys too – as they have already been able to do for some time on long haul flights.

Last summer, Lufthansa received the so-called Supplemental Type Certificate for the Airbus fleet A320 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and successfully concluded all the necessary preparation work. Now the next stage of testing on Lufthansa and Austrian routes will start, initially involving five aircraft in each case. Passengers who fly on these aircraft will be offered free Internet use during this test phase. The analysis of the user behaviour will provide the data necessary to further enhance the service ahead of its market launch.

Harry Hohmeister, member of the Board of Directors of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and responsible for Hub Management, says “I am pleased that we can soon offer broadband Internet to our passengers on inner-European flights, giving them the chance to have a seamless digital experience. Since the launch of Lufthansa Flynet, it has been our goal to offer added value on board to our customers through innovation – and that also includes our Internet provision”.

In the first quarter of 2017, the number of Lufthansa aircraft fitted out with Internet access will rise to around 20. One by one, the entire Lufthansa A320 fleet is to be equipped with the latest advanced technology by the middle of 2018. The re-fitting of all 31 aircraft at Austrian Airlines is planned to be completed before the end of April 2017. As well as Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, Eurowings also has plans to bring the Internet on board its aircraft – estimated launch is to be by the end of the first quarter 2017. A total of 69 Eurowings aircraft are to be fitted with the systems by the summer of 2017.

Lufthansa passengers can gain Wifi access to the Internet using their own mobile devices. As well as email services, applications such as video streaming will be possible too. Market launch of the new service is scheduled to take place sometime during the first quarter of the year. Customers will then be able to choose between three different service packages – FlyNet Message for EUR 3, FlyNet Surf for EUR 7 and FlyNet Stream for EUR 12 per flight. Whilst FlyNet Message only allows the use of messaging services such as email, WhatsApp or iMessage, FlyNet Surf also enables passengers to surf the Internet. With the FlyNet Stream service package, streaming is also possible. The packages can be paid for by credit card or via payment services such as Paypal.

The Internet service of Lufthansa Airlines and their technology partner Inmarsat uses the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band) and provides seamless, reliable coverage on short haul and mid-range flights via the Inmarsat network Global Xpress (GX). Inmarsat partner Deutsche Telekom will be the Internet Service Provider for Lufthansa passengers.

Lufthansa Technik is responsible for the fitting of all the systems and components, as well as dealing with the required Aviation regulations and other statutory authorisations. They are fitting out the entire Airbus A320 family of the Lufthansa Group Airlines with the latest Ka-band satellite technology. By spring, almost 100 aircraft are scheduled to have been equipped. The aircraft can be fitted with the required antennae and routers on a series of ten production lines, working simultaneously, at the Lufthansa Technik sites. On account of the only minimally-invasive adjustments needed to the aircraft structure, the rapid re-fitting of even large fleets is possible – generally involving just four days downtime per aircraft.

Lufthansa Systems is providing the necessary technical infrastructure for Internet connection on board. This includes the network operations in the aircraft – the technical pre-requisite for Wifi on board – as well as the provision of the necessary software for the operation of the FlyNet portal, through which the customer gains access to the net.

Within the framework of their global partnership, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik are in addition providing a modern, multi-functional digital platform (BoardConnect) to enable digital use cases ranging from entertainment to ancillary revenues. Both Lufthansa Group Airlines and external customers will profit from this strong cooperation arrangement.

As long ago as 15 January, 2003, Lufthansa was the operator of the first commercial long haul flight worldwide to have broadband Internet access. The service had to be taken off the market in 2006 despite its technically reliable system and its growing popularity with passengers, because the necessary “Connexion by Boeing” satellites ceased operations. Since the end of 2010, Lufthansa has again been offering broadband Internet access on its inter-continental flights – once again as worldwide first. And since June 2015, FlyNet has been available on all current 107 Lufthansa long haul aircraft, With the addition of the Boeing 777 to the fleet, the group’s subsidiary SWISS also started offering Internet on its long haul flights; for the short haul and mid-range, its introduction is currently also under consideration.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Approved for airline service: how the A321neo received its airworthiness certification

Courtesy: Airbus.

This month’s A321neo certification was the culmination of an extensive effort to confirm the “ready-for-service” status of Airbus’ longest-fuselage version in its New Engine Option single-aisle jetliner family.

To receive such type certification, Airbus demonstrates that every system, characteristic and feature of an aircraft is airworthy – with the related activity involving ground-based and flight tests to measure how the jetliner performs in all conditions.

It was a recognition of Airbus’ expertise and mastery of new technology, and acknowledged the engagement of employees as well as industrial partners who have worked together during the aircraft’s development.

The 15 December type certification was granted for the A321neo version powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM engines, being jointly issued by the world’s two largest airworthiness authorities: the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States.

Airbus’ A321neo version with the other available powerplant – CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines – will be certified in the coming months.

Source: Airbus.

Air Canada launches new non-stop service between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico

Courtesy: Air Canada.

Air Canada today (December 17th, 2016) inaugurated a new non-stop service between Montreal and Puerto Rico. This morning’s departure of Air Canada flight AC958 marks the beginning of weekly flights from Montreal to San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which will operate as a seasonal service this winter.

“This new route from Montreal will make it easier for customers to travel to Puerto Rico from eastern Canada and complements our existing twice-weekly services between Toronto and San Juan. It also strengthens Air Canada’s Montreal hub, which is playing a significant strategic role in our ongoing global expansion. Our capacity in Montreal is up nearly 20 per cent over the last two years and in the past year alone we have launched or announced 13 new destinations from the city, including Shanghai, Algiers, Lyon, and Marseille,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

“I would like to congratulate and thank Air Canada for adding San Juan, Puerto Rico to its already impressive list of non-stop destinations served from Montreal,” said James Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal. “This new service will offer one more option to our passengers seeking to diversify their sun destinations.”

Air Canada’s Montreal-San Juan flights will operate with a 146-seat Airbus A320 featuring two classes of service with 14 Business Class seats and 132 seats in Economy Class. The aircraft features a personal seatback In-Flight Entertainment system and a power outlet available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Flights are timed for convenient connections through Air Canada’s extensive international network and provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access in Montreal, priority boarding and other benefits.

Flight

Departs

Arrives

Day of the week*

AC958

Montreal at 8:00

San Juan at 14:00

Saturday

AC959

San Juan at 14:45

Montreal at 18:59

Saturday

*: Service operates until April 22, 2017.
Source: Air Canada.

Airbus A321neo with P&W engines receives Type Certification

Courtesy: Airbus.

Following a comprehensive flight test programme, the A321neo powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM engines received joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on 15th December 2016.

The documents were respectively signed by EASA’s Certification Director Trevor Woods and by Jeffrey Duven, FAA Manager of the Transport Airplane Directorate – Aircraft Certification Service. Both certificates were handed over to Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes, Didier Evrard, and Airbus Senior Vice President A320 Family Programme, Klaus Roewe.

“The A321neo allows airlines to upsize their fleets while offering a winning combination of unbeatable economics and comfort. This aircraft contributes already some 40 per cent to our single aisle deliveries, and further growing,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. ”Today’s certification is a rewarding tribute to all the teams who have been instrumental in making this essential milestone happen.”

The A321neo – the largest member of the A320neo Family – successfully completed a certification programme accumulating over 350 flight hours in more than 130 flights; validating its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure the aircraft successfully meets all airworthiness criteria. The campaign also confirmed the aircraft is meeting its performance targets in terms of fuel burn and range. Offering significant environmental benefits, including a smaller noise footprint, the aircraft also demonstrated excellent low speed performance capabilities for its operators.

The Pratt & Whitney powered aircraft is the first variant of the A321neo to have received EASA and FAA Type Certification. The A321neo with CFM International LEAP-1A engines will be certified in the coming months.

The A320neo Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with over 4,800 orders from 89 customers, capturing 60 percent share of the market. Thanks to their wide cabin, all members of the A320neo Family offer an unmatched passenger experience in all classes and Airbus’ 18” wide seats in economy as standard.

Source: Airbus.