Singapore Airlines launches trans-Pacific biofuel flights with the A350 XWB

Courtesy: Airbus.

Singapore Airlines has begun a series of biofuel flights using A350-900 aircraft on non-stop trans-Pacific flights between Singapore and San Francisco.

The project is being undertaken by Singapore Airlines in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and air navigation service providers, using enhanced flight operations and Air Traffic Management (ATM) practices along the flight route.

The programme will demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits that can be achieved through a combination of the latest fuel-efficient aircraft, alternative fuels and optimised flight operations to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions.

The A350s taking part in the programme are being powered by a combination of HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) – a sustainable biofuel produced from used cooking oils – and conventional jet fuel.

Altogether, Singapore Airlines will undertake 12 flights using this biofuel mix during the next three months. The first of the “Green Package” flights occurred on 1 May, linking San Francisco International Airport with Singapore Changi Airport.

“We are embarking on this initiative to help promote the use of sustainable biofuel in an operationally and commercially viable manner,” explained Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “This is in line with our long-term commitment to further reduce carbon emissions while improving the efficiency of our operations.”

Singapore Airlines has ordered a total of 67 A350 XWB aircraft and 12 have been delivered to the carrier as of end-March 2017. Next year it will become the launch operator of the A350-900 ULR, which will be able to fly non-stop on the world’s very longest flights – including from Singapore to New York.

Source: Airbus.

Asiana Airlines takes delivery of its first A350 XWB

Courtesy: Airbus.

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the 12th airline to operate the world’s newest and most efficient twin engine widebody airliner.

Asiana’s A350-900 is configured with a three class layout with a total of 311 seats, comprising 28 in Business Smartium, convertible to fully flat beds, 36 in Economy Smartium and 247 in the main cabin.

Altogether Asiana has ordered 30 A350s and will initially operate the aircraft on flights within Asia. From the third quarter of 2017, the carrier will deploy the aircraft on premier long haul routes to Europe and the US, beginning with services from Seoul to London and San Francisco.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The spaciousness, quietness, beautiful interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of comfort and well-being, setting new standards in terms of flight experience for all passengers.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 821 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 44 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.

Third Lufthansa A350-900 has landed in Munich

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa’s A350-900 fleet in Munich is growing once again – the third A350-900 landed yesterday (April 02th, 2017) at its new home base. Captains Andreas Jasper and Pol Uffer transferred the aircraft from the Airbus works in Toulouse to Munich. With the addition of this third member to the fleet, Lufthansa will also be adding Mumbai to the A350-900 flight schedule. The first flight to the Indian metropolis is planned for 15 April.

At Airbus, the new aircraft carried the production serial number MSN087 and will now fly for Lufthansa under the international registration number D-AIXC. The A350-900 is currently the world’s most advanced and most environmentally-friendly long-haul aircraft. It uses 25 percent less kerosene, produces 25 percent fewer emissions and is significantly quieter on take-off than comparable types of aircraft. In February the first of fifteen aircraft arrived in Munich to be stationed there. The A350-900 has capacity to carry 293 passengers – 48 passengers in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy Class and 224 in Economy Class.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Airbus’ A350-1000 shows off its cold weather capabilities under the Northern Lights

Courtesy: Airbus.

The latest member of Airbus’ all-new A350 XWB widebody family has undergone rigorous ground and flight tests in the extreme operating conditions of Iqaluit, Canada – which provided a picturesque backdrop accentuated by the Northern Lights.

Iqaluit, a Canadian territory with a polar climate caused by the Labrador Current, allows Airbus’ longest-fuselage A350-1000 version to face-off against one of the most challenging environments for an aircraft. The jetliner successfully completed five days of intensive testing at an outside air temperature (OAT) that fluctuated between -28 degrees and -37 degrees Celsius.

Emanuele Costanzo, Flight Test Engineer at Airbus, said of the results: “The A350-1000 has responded successfully to the ground and flight tests performed in the freezing temperatures of Iqaluit – which demonstrates the already proven maturity and reliability of the A350 XWB.”

All three A350-1000 flight test aircraft have been engaged in the type certification campaign. These latest tests come three years after the A350-1000’s sister – the A350-900 – successfully overcame the uniquely challenging environment in Iqaluit, Canada.

Source: Airbus.

Lufthansa Airbus A350-900: Namaste India!

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

After being the star at many events in Toulouse, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg – the moment has finally arrived: Today (February 10th, 2017) the Lufthansa A350-900 starts its regular scheduled service from Munich to Delhi. This means that all Lufthansa passengers can now experience the world’s most state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft themselves for the very first time. At 12:20 the newest member of the fleet took off almost fully occupied with passengers from its home base in Munich. The first flight was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Steffen Harbarth, CCO Lufthansa Hub Munich and Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO Munich Airport, in the presence of the Lufthansa crew, and Lufthansa Station and Munich Airport employees. Before departure, there was Bavarian music playing and gingerbread hearts were passed out to passengers. The aircraft will be welcomed for the first time in India tonight at 00:10.

It is one of the most important events of the year for the Lufthansa Group because with the A350-900, the airline is welcoming a highly modern addition to its fleet. The first ten Airbus A350-900 aircraft will be stationed in Munich starting 10 February 2017 with Delhi as the first destination and Boston added to the list in March. The aircraft offers seats for 293 passengers: 48 seats in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in Economy Class. The A350-900 is the world’s most modern and environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft. It consumes 25 percent less fuel, produces up to 25 percent fewer emissions and is much quieter than comparable aircraft types when taking off.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Shaking things up: Airbus speeds up ground vibration testing for the A350-1000

Courtesy: Airbus.

An optimised method for the ground vibration testing of Airbus jetliners has reduced this validation phase for the A350 XWB’s stretched-fuselage A350-1000 version, and will now be used for the next new widebody aircraft: the A330neo (New Engine Option).

Ground vibration testing is performed to measure the aircraft’s dynamic behaviour, confirming theoretical models of various flight conditions, such as manoeuvring, flying in gusty conditions and during landing touchdowns. In addition to being part of the “go” decision for a new jetliner taking to the skies for the first time, the test data helps clear an aircraft’s flight domain and is required for type certification by airworthiness authorities.

As the A350-1000 is a derivative of the A350-900 (which underwent a ground vibration test programme for its own type certification, issued last November), a multifunctional Airbus Commercial Aircraft team was set up to shorten and simplify the process.

The A350-1000’s testing was performed over a two-day period, compared to nine days for the A350-900, and the more than one month required for previous Airbus jetliners. “We brought together people from different domains,” explained Nicolas Lastère, a Flight Physics engineer in the Loads and Aeroelastics department at Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The feedback and our results are a clear demonstration that different functions can work well together.”

Based on the streamlined ground vibration testing’s success for the A350-1000, the method will now also be used for the A330neo – which is scheduled to perform its initial take-off in the first half of 2017.

Source: Airbus.

A350 XWB: six million passengers flown… and counting

Courtesy: Airbus.

Just two years after the A350 XWB’s commercial service entry, over six million passengers already have enjoyed the unique flying experience and well-being provided by Airbus’ latest-generation widebody jetliner – which is shaping the future of long-haul airline operations.

The 62 A350 XWBs in airline service at the end of December 2016 had accumulated 154,000-plus flight hours on more than 25,000 flights, with an average daily utilisation of 12.5 hours.

These aircraft are operated by a growing customer base that currently includes: Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Finnair, LATAM, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Ethiopian Airlines, Thai Airways International (THAI), China Airlines and Lufthansa.

The A350 XWB version in service today is the A350-900, seating 325 passengers in a standard three-class configuration and offering a flight range of up to 8,100 nautical miles. It will be joined by the longer fuselage A350-1000 – accommodating 366 passengers in a typical three-class cabin layout, with a range of 7,950 nautical miles – which is scheduled for its entry in airline service during the second half of 2017. Both aircraft share the same levels of comfort and operational efficiency.

Source: Airbus.